This essay is not about giving anyone a ‘pass.’ Not about enabling anyone’s violent behavior, such enabling itself is an immense disservice and violence.
I am horrified at the possibility of significant police brutality in Chicago at the NATO summit, either unbridled sadism, or a state, or more likely national policy to start squashing dissent. But I've spoken just today with the most promising emerging activist I've met in nine years, and he was there, was brutally beaten, and he aggressively and quickly jumped in with 'Loving, we were disobeying a lawful police order. We significantly brought the brutality upon ourselves.' But I'll allow that police brutality occurs. I'll allow that states like Texas are brutal, fascist states. This is clear to me from inside accounts from the activist most worthy of the name, today.
But virtually nothing can change the fact, the truth as I understand it, that almost all men and women in uniform, including our police, take the job to beat up on people? No. To victimize people? No. To beat up on protesters? No. They're among our most selfless people, at least, as they start out, and that's important. They take the job because they can't stand injustice, or threats to innocents. Many of them rise to levels of selflessness I can't dream of, putting their bodies in harm’s way. That's why Gandhi said, I'll paraphrase, 'give me a man or woman in uniform to fight alongside any day, don't give me any cowards.'
The potent activist is a person of unimaginable, ferocious, courage. Our men and women in uniform, are the people left in our country, most of them at least, who started out at least, not to prostitute themselves for money as all other sectors of US society now always do, whether were talking today's nonprofits or corporations or even small mom and pops. That's why we go to work for these companies or organizations to prostitute ourselves for money, not because we find such work the best thing for the world. That's not what our men and women in uniform have done, for the most part. They decided to put their bodies in harm’s way for a cause. That's 90% of the way there folks, to being the INSHE Warrior, the Potent Activist. These are our natural allies.
One of the great man of peace, one of the few in the last 40 years in this country is my brother Thomas, who started what's now the 32 year peace vigil at the White House, taken over by his antithesis, the nasty, witch, my sister, Concepcion, as anti-Peace as any creature ever has been - a sad example of becoming what one hates. The activist that Thomas most admired was Dave Dellinger, the most intimate of advisors and co-warriors with Martin Luther King. A Yale student, a seminarian, who left Yale to live among the poor, and fought for the needy and disenfranchised brilliantly his entire life. Among Dellinger's proudest moments, spoken of in his book, "From Yale to Jail," as I recall, an important read, he spoke with enormous pride of how at an antiwar action at the Pentagon the police clubs began to swing, began to fly, and just as his head was about to be smashed an officer shouted, "That's Dellinger, don't hit him." Dellinger was no pansy, he hadn't bribed the police. This guy was all tough-love, mostly ‘tough’ on himself, tough as nails, hard as nails. Dellinger was a man of great courage.
Our brothers and sisters in uniform, almost all started out as people of courage, and courage is a key indicator of the heart, of loving. These are our most natural Allies, we aspiring INSHE Warriors. Secondarily, please tell me one of our top-level opposition groups, the Republicans, the oil companies, the coal companies, the banks, Wall Street, pharmaceuticals... Please tell me which of them aren't praying for activist violence against the police, for this to become an issue, about police against activists, instead of an issue about a Republican Congress, and a Supreme Court passing citizens United, Wall Street greed.... Please tell me one that doesn't pray for this distraction from themselves, to police confrontation, as I can't think of it. And neither can you.
To allow ourselves anything but the most scrupulous humanity and tough love brotherhood, every nanosecond, as the club is coming down from our fellow police, anything less than that is the height of stupidity, and irresponsibility, an explicit statement that we really don't care about our selected brothers and sisters in need who we're trying to help, it's really about indulging our self-righteousness and our tantrums.
Since my very first serious activism approaching 10 years ago now there's been one group in DC that has been protective of, respectful of, relentlessly kind to, solicitous of, supportive of this fellow sitting here with the cross of Jesus, a man I revere, on my forehead, and frequently seen on hunger strikes and finally now, death fast. That's the Secret Service, and secondarily the Park police. Have we been buddies? Never. Do we share stories? Not really. They're professionals with a job to do. I'm a professional with a job to do. They're all business, I'm all business. They're people of courage. I'm a person of courage. They get that. Voluntarily or involuntarily they get that. As quickly as the so-called activists flee from my courage, from my personal responsibility, that's how quickly the Secret Service come toward it. My most sacred possession is the belt I wear, from K. on Secret Service, on the 10 pm to 6 a.m. shift at the White House. He and his family have been immensely kind to me; the belt I wear he wore on tours of duty in the Middle East. My other proudest possession, boots I wear are from Matt, daytime patrol of the embassy; who was horrified weeks ago that I had only socks in plastic bags in the rain. Are we pals? Do they 'like' me? They love me. They love courage. I'm a person of courage. I love them. They're people of courage.
For any true, potent activist throughout history, the police are our first and most likely converts to brotherhood and unity, solidarity; with the sometimes overwhelming exception of fascist places like Texas. Anyone calling themselves ‘activist,’ with the self-indulgence to show, and allow themselves a nano-second of hostility to the police as the club is coming down, to initiate hostilities, disrespectful behavior to the police, under any circumstances, is the witting or unwitting agent of the powers of the status quo, it is their dream come true, because it totally deflects the issue from where it should be, to a stupid, meaningless war against our most natural allies. Is Loving, this writer here, is he INSHE Warrior enough to live up to the standards as outlined here, the club coming down, and still a brother? We may never know. But Courage is a word often grudgingly or generously used to describe him, so maybe