GHDI logo

Ulrike Meinhof Calls for a Move from Protest to Resistance (May 1968)

page 2 of 2    print version    return to list previous document      next document

Let it be established: it has been documented that you can’t simply shoot into a crowd here, that the protest by intellectuals against the mass stupefaction by the Springer media is serious, that it is not meant for the dear Lord and not for later, in order to be able to say at some point that you were always against it. It has been documented that common decency is a shackle that can be broken through if those wearing the shackles are beaten and shot at. It has been documented that there are still people in this country who do not merely condemn terror and violence and [who] are secretly opposed to it and sometimes take a risk and open their mouths and do not let themselves be frightened; and there are also people who are willing and able to resist so it can be understood that business cannot continue as usual. It has been shown that incitement to murder and murder disturb the public peace and order, that there is a public that will not accept that. That a human life has a different quality than windowpanes, Springer trucks, and demonstrators’ cars, which were overturned and damaged by police in absolutely arbitrary acts during the delivery blockade in front of the Springer tower. That there is a public determined not merely to call the intolerable intolerable, but to intervene to disarm Springer and his accomplices.

Now, after it has been shown that there are means other than just demonstrations, Springer hearings, and protest events, means other than those that have failed, because the attack on Rudi Dutschke could not be prevented; now that the shackles of common decency have been broken, the discussion on violence and counterviolence can and must be started anew. Counterviolence as it has been practiced during these Easter days is neither suitable to arouse sympathy, nor to draw startled liberals over to the side of the extra-parliamentary opposition (APO). Counterviolence risks turning into violence, where the brutality of the police determines the law of action, where superior rationality gives way to powerless rage, where paramilitary actions of the police are answered through paramilitary means. The Establishment, however, the “gentlemen at the top” – to use Rudi’s words – in the parties, governments, and associations have to comprehend that there is only one means by which to create lasting “peace and order,” namely, by expropriating Springer. The fun is over. “Protest is when I say I don’t like this and that. Resistance is when I see to it that things that I don’t like no longer occur.”

Source: Ulrike Marie Meinhof, “Vom Protest zum Widerstand” [“From Protest to Resistance”], konkret, no. 5 (May 1968), p. 5.

first page < previous   |   next > last page