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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 20 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
(BRIEF THREAD) Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her father are vile; they deliberately perpetuate evil and what they've done is unforgivable. That said, I don't think restaurant patrons acting lawfully and peacefully should be tossed from a restaurant for their political views/actions.
2/ I've the same reaction to Pam Biondi being chased from a movie by patrons angry at her dissolution of healthcare protections. Her actions are vile; people will die because of them. They're also political—i.e., they were either lawful or civilly unlawful rather than criminally.
3/ I've the same reaction to protesters shutting down a lawfully constituted event via acts of intimidation up to and including shouting over speakers—certain speakers deserve to be politically decimated and culturally marginalized, but intimidation tactics are counterproductive.
4/ This is one of those areas in which my values as an attorney and an activist *coincide*: chasing people from public places when they haven't violated any laws is usually unlawful, but as importantly it is *unhelpful* long-term for the causes of those who are doing the chasing.
5/ Anything we do to others we should expect to be turned on us in time if we normalize it. Patrons who are pro-choice could start getting chased from theaters or restaurants. Is the comparison fair? Obviously *I* don't think so—I'm a progressive. But conservatives will think so.
6/ But if you take from all this that my beliefs as an activist are milquetoast, you're sorely mistaken. I believe in taking the maximum lawful and peaceful action *that is results-oriented*. And I believe in peaceful civil disobedience when no other means will do. Case-in-point:
7/ I'm not as enthused about the June 30th marches as others are—not because I don't think they should happen (they should), not because I don't think the cause is worthy (it is), and not because they can't have some small effect (they might). I think marches don't go far enough.
8/ America is being run by a criminal syndicate whose crimes are public and persistent. Trump was was elected via theft and fraud and his foreign policy is traitorous. The idea that we'd hold marches every few months in protest of these facts is frankly *ludicrous* at this point.
9/ Instead of chasing people from public places and shouting down speakers—acts which have *no long-term impact from an activist standpoint* and *compel masses of opponents to feel legally justified righteous indignation*, I'd have thought we'd be peacefully occupying Washington.
10/ The Orange Revolution and best exemplars of protest during the Arab Spring were peaceful, largely lawful—and where unlawful, peaceful—but most importantly *persistent* and *always* in control of the moral high ground. Marches fail the first test and chasing people the second.
PS/ I understand response to this thread will be negative. I'm okay with that because I accept that others have different opinions and this is Twitter—so it's easy for us to dehumanize one another and cartoonize opposing opinions. But my conscience required me to tweet this. /end
PS2/ I also embrace nonviolence. I don't need to be told—by anyone—what it's like to be targeted by Nazis, including for worse than insults. But I vehemently oppose the idea that Nazis not acting unlawfully should be punched—and no force on God's green earth will change my view.
PS3/ But I also think Nazis violating the law out of hate should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and believe force is required in wartime and—often—in response to unlawful violence. But violence won't take our country back now—neither large *nor* small violences.
PS4/ If you disagree with any of this, (a) I respect your right to disagree and (b) don't intend to impugn your values—as I don't know you, so how could I possibly feel justified doing that. Also (c) I urge you to be as open (in speech) about your views as I have been about mine.
PS5/ Most importantly, I urge you to do what I think the best activists do: don't require absolute adherence to your ideas by allies. Just because I disagree with you on some things doesn't mean I'm not an ally—only activists with no record of success give purity tests to allies.
NOTE/ (And yes, I know that the "/end" after the first "PS" looks *ridiculous* now! I really thought I was done. I *always* really think I'm done. Then a few minutes later I'm on "NOTE8" or "PS3" or whatever and I feel like I've gone on some kind of bender. I apologize for that.)
NOTE2/ Please—I'm asking respectfully—if you're going to respond to this thread, read the entire thread and don't misquote me. Those saying things like "he wants to do nothing in the face of evil" either never read the thread or are *wildly* misstating it and in bad faith, too.
NOTE3/ The course of action I favor right now is *peacefully taking over the capital and refusing to leave until new elections are held*. If you're on this thread saying you're more of a hard-ass because you want to *yell at people* instead of doing what I favor, reconsider that.
NOTE4/ If you follow this feed, you know I'm *very* much in favor of expressing one's contempt for fascists. But if you've ever been attacked on Twitter, then *also* had a stranger start yelling at you and following you when you're out with your family, you *know* the difference.
NOTE5/ Anyway, there's nothing else for me to say: this is Twitter, so by volume 95% of what I actually said has already been changed into something else and a bunch of folks I've no other quarrel with—and see as allies—now see me as something else. That's how it is—America 2018.
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