[Imc-bigmuddy] Shoot them till they stop moving.

Treesong treesong at treesong.org
Fri Nov 5 19:08:27 PST 2004

Hello all,

Here are a few more thoughts on my "shoot them" comment.

Yes, that was a very powerful statement on my part. It's kinda like the 
way that I tend to reserve curse words for very special occassions. If 
someone witnessed me leaping up and down on a table and shouting "HOLY 
FUCKING SHIT! HOLY FUCKING SHIT!", then that would carry much more 
weight than if a drunken militant pro-Bush fanatic did the same. It's 
similar with my mentioning violence of any sort -- hearing me even talk 
about such things is a sign of the gravity of the situation.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a man of peace. The hope for 
creating a world of peace and understanding was enough to bring me back 
from the brink of my own destruction. But what many people don't 
realize is that this presence of peace in my life isn't some sort of 
magickal quality that has been bestowed upon me by fate, by the gods, 
or by a childhood filled with episodes of Mister Rogers and Sesame 
Street. The peace in my life is not simply a given, not just an 
automatic state of affairs like my hair color or eye color. No, my 
peace is a choice -- a very conscious, very challenging choice that I 
feel most fascists [and some of my fellow revolutionaries] greatly 

People may see me being aloof, quiet, gentle, even passive, and assume 
that I'm still the shy, introverted, and timid person that I was ten 
years ago. Some of them even assume that I don't experience any real 
anger beyond a mild annoyance at the usual delays and complications in 

This simply isn't the case. This couldn't be farther from the truth. I 
am as much "Rage Against The Machine" as I am "Gentle New Age Foo Foo 
Harp Music." And I can't be fully understood without understanding both 
sides of that coin.

Let me put it this way. Anyone who knows me -- really KNOWS me, not 
just as an acquantaince or a community character -- knows that I have 
an incredible rage inside of me that surpasses all boundaries. 
Anarchists talk about "Love and Rage" in the same breath for a reason. 
In a world of such violence and oppression, the two go hand in hand.

My RAGE is an unquenchable fire. My RAGE is like a burning rain that  
consumes the entire Earth in flames and is still not satisfied. My RAGE 
is the incomprehensible anguish of a soul whose heart lies in the 
torturous wasteland between very realistic utopian visions and very 
dystopian American reality.

If I truly believed that the reality of the United States of America on 
November 2, 2004, were all that is possible, then I would rest easy at 
night, get a higher-paying job at some computer firm somewhere, and 
just enjoy the ride. But the fact that I see a very REAL potential for 
a better world SQUANDERED on a daily basis, often for the most 
senseless reasons imagineable, leaves me filled with enough RAGE to set 
the world on fire and then some. As I watch the tides of fascism rising 
all around me, it's very tempting to fall into a mindset similar to 
what the fascists themselves experience. "Those CONSERVATIVES out there 
are threatening the people, the communities, the beliefs, the hope for 
a better tomorrow, that I love so dearly. Therefore, they are 
EVILDOERS, and I must shoot them until they stop moving."

That's a very tempting perspective sometimes. Who among us hasn't 
reacted to a major threat against our loved ones by feeling a homicidal 
rage? That's a very natural feeling to have when you feel that your 
loved ones are threatened, whether that threat is a semi truck with bad 
brakes or a sophisticated empire in the process of conquering the world.

Armed struggle is certainly a much simpler solution -- much more black 
and white -- than some complex effort to promote peace and 
understanding through nonviolent direct action. It also feeds your ego 
by making you out to be the suffering hero who takes up arms in spite 
of a longing for peace. "Oh, poor little me, surrounded by all of these 
fascists, the last bastion of hope in the world, forced to take up arms 
in defense of true freedom, true democracy, ecological integrity, blah 
dee blah." It also keeps us ANGRY and BITTER forever so that we don't 
have to feel deeper, more tender feelings like DESPAIR, FEAR, and so 
on. [Seriously -- when was the last time that you really let yourself 
feel deep despair at the state of the world rather than immediately 
turning that despair into rage, frustration, etc.?]

So, this is why I made the "shoot them" comment. Number one, because if 
we fail to pursue an active campaign of strategic nonviolence right 
here, right now, then sooner or later, THEY will come gunning for US 
and give us a choice between violent resistance or death. That's not a 
choice that I desire to make, so I'm not waiting for them to offer it 
to us. Number two, my comment acknwoledging violence as a possible 
response to fascism demonstrates that our advocacy of nonviolence is 
not something that we do out of weakness and timidness, but something 
that we do out of STRENGTH and COURAGE. It's a CHOICE that allows us to 
reclaim our humanity in the face of an inhuman empire. That choice not 
only affirms our own humanity, but also affirms the humanity of the 
very people who would harm us. It's done as much to prevent harm to 
THEM as it is to prevent harm to their intended victims. We see the 
fascist's choice to support harm, and we could very easily respond to 
that choice with armed violence. But INSTEAD, we have chosen to respect 
THEIR humanity MORE than they respect OUR humanity. And that is a 
choice that humanizes them and us alike, creating a "we" rather than 
an "us versus them." If they can grasp the significance of our choice 
to respond to their fascism with roses rather than the bullets that so 
many would be eager to hand us, then maybe, just maybe, they can stop 
feeling so goddamned paranoid and understand that we actually do care 
about their freedom and well-being too. Maybe then, they will set aside 
their will to power, if only on a trial basis, and start working 
together with us to create a society that we all find agreeable.

Okay... so I've written a long email once again. But it's all important 
stuff, so I hope no one's too aggravated about my long-winded 
commentaries. Basically, I see the gist of that "shoot them" comment as 
this: "We COULD simply engage in the same sort of murder that you 
fascists are supporting, and we DO feel strongly enough about defending 
others that we would march into certain doom to do so. BUT, we have 
CHOSEN to approach you with nonviolence in the hopes that our 
recognition of your humanity might empower you to start recognizing 
your own humanity and the humanity of those who you are harming."

Anyway... that summary ended up being almost as long-winded as the 
original explanation, and my ability to formulate coherent thoughts is 
slipping away due to tiredness... :) So, I'd better get going. Let me 
know what you think [and feel]... let us hope that somehow, some way, 
we can create a world where everyone, whether reactionary or 
revolutionary, understands and agrees that there can and must always be 
some option other than "shoot them till they stop moving."

Love and Healing,


>  This statement has been on my mind all day, I have chewing on it 
every sense I read it.
>       It wasn't said by Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Relly or Hugh 
Muldoon. The Presidant said were gonna smoke'em out, but no He didn't 
even say this.
>       It was writtten by our own peace loving song singing Treesong 
and I may even be quoteing it out of context  which is something Rush 
limbaugh would say.  
>     That is a bit of an exteme position to take and some times people 
do feel that way. Just like in the news this last week when a guy at a 
zoo climed into a lions den and tried to convert a lion to 
Christainity.  When the lion got the chance he attacked the guy and 
tried to tear his arm off.   I know how that lion feels. This actually 
happend .
>    I like this statment but it really wouldn't It would just cause 
more fanactitics to rise up.
>   The best time to talk to a fascist is when his ideals fail him or 
her then you can talk to them.      
>           Shoot'em till they stop moving. I love it.
>      Willie
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
>  Check out the new Yahoo! Front Page.  www.yahoo.com/a

More information about the IMC-BigMuddy mailing list