Progressive movements are experts at policing their own behavior. Vast amounts of energy are spent reminding each other to stay peaceful and nonviolent in the face of state violence inflicted by political and economic forces. So often we sabotage our own momentum for fear of being too aggressive in our methods.
We retreat and wonder what we did wrong. We struggle to craft the right framing of our own narrative. Language is scrutinized. Introspection drifts into derailment. While purging ourselves of any controversial or ‘violent’ language, we often forget the ways systemic violence plagues peoples’ daily lives.
Bicycle/pedestrian advocates have escalated their vernacular with the introduction of the term ‘traffic violence‘; rightfully understanding that the thousands killed each year by cars were victims of a lethal system that rewards motorists with social privilege.
Applying this vocabulary to other spheres seems productive, especially where it concerns issues of housing justice. It’s not entirely new, but it bears repeating. Say it with me now: Gentrification Violence.
— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 9, 2014