A very intresting reading.
What is violence? Who gets to define it? Does it have a place in the pursuit of liberation? This discussion never takes place on a level playing field. The Illegitimacy of Violence, the Violence of Legitimacy
What is violence? Who gets to define it? Does it have a place in the pursuit of liberation? These age-old questions have returned to the fore during the Occupy movement. But this discussion never takes place on a level playing field; while some delegitimize violence, the language of legitimacy itself paves the way for the authorities to employ it. [You can listen to an audio version of this text here.]
“Though lines of police on horses, and with dogs, charged the main street outside the police station to push rioters back, there were significant pockets of violence which they could not reach.”
– The New York Times, on the UK riots of August 2011
During the 2001 FTAA summit in Quebec City, one newspaper famously reported that violence erupted when protesters began throwing tear gas canisters back at the lines of riot police. When the authorities are perceived to have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, “violence” is often used to denote illegitimate use of force—anything that interrupts or escapes their control. This makes the term something of a floating signifier, since it is also understood to mean “harm or threat that violates consent.”