“Any last pressing concerns about getting arrested?”

August 24, 2011


More than 100 activists have been arrested so far for protesting against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House — and more are getting locked up every day. At least 2,100 people have signed up to participate in the two-week sit-in, which kicked off on Saturday and will continue every day through Sept. 3. Not all of the protestors are intending to get arrested, but expect hundreds more to serve some time in the clink.

Letter from the Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963: 

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling, for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.



3 Responses to ““Any last pressing concerns about getting arrested?””

  1. collinmaessen Says:

    The latest number I heard from climate progress for the arrests is 220 people.

  2. […] “Any last pressing concerns about getting arrested?” [Climate Denial Crock of the Week] […]

  3. otter17 Says:

    Hmm, I must have missed them on Saturday. I was in DC for a vacation with the family, but I didn’t see the Keystone XL protesters at the White House. Oh well.

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