This reply to Hedges and defense of violence completely fails to persuade.
The primary argument seems to be that if you are not in Oakland and familiar with every detail you shalt not offer your advice. But knowing whether the person who smashed a window was wearing a mask or not hardly eliminates the possibility of usefully commenting on whether it helped or hurt to smash that window. The defense article describes violent clashes with police and concludes “No one can agree on who attacked first.” So, even being there results in important ignorance. But in a movement publicly and convincingly committed to nonviolence we would all know who attacked first. It would have to have been the police. In fact, there would be no “attacked first” but simply “attacked.” In a movement hollowed out by acceptance of “diversity of tactics” (as euphemism for violence) nobody could ever be sure, even if we had witnesses and videos. Quoting MLK in arguing against what he so persuasively denounced every day for years is a new low.