On July 4, Adam Kokesh hopes to lead 1,000 protesters armed with guns into Washington, D.C. to advocate for open carry. In Kokesh’s eyes, a crowd armed with guns compares to the nonviolent civil disobedience practiced by Mahatma Gandhi.
Kokesh answered the Washington Postthrough a series of text messages:
Suppose the D.C. police, as they have promised, block the marchers from crossing into Washington? How should they respond?
“With Satyagraha,” Kokesh, 31, texted The Washington Post. That is a term used by Mahatma Gandhi to describe his strategy of nonviolent resistance to British rule in India. […]
Did his response of “satyagraha” mean violence is unacceptable?
“Only if absolutely necessary in defense of life or limb,” he wrote.
Satyagraha, in Gandhi’s words, is “a way of life based on love and compassion.” Gandhi explained that “[i]n the application of Satyagraha I have discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and sympathy.”
Compare Satyagraha to Kokesh’s event description on Facebook. Although Kokesh claims his march will “peacefully turn back” if confronted with “physical resistance,” he ominously warns the march will be violent if “the government chooses to make it violent.” He also proclaims that “[w]e will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny.”
Because open carry is illegal in D.C., the police chief has already warned that “passing into the District of Columbia with firearms is a violation of the law and we’ll have to treat it as such.” Even open carry groups like Gun Owners of America are wary of the march, which is now at over 4,000 Facebook RSVPs.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.
It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.