Looking Squarely at Our Failures
When we jump to actions without planning, it damages future struggles. While all political protest is good and absolutely necessary, it's always important to keep in mind when we issue a statement it means we must follow through.
My failed hunger strike lasted for two days, and it can be seen as a need to re-develop a line that can be implemented successfully. We can't put a strike or any other political statement ahead of knowing what we're capable of.
By my failure I allowed the pigs to win. But you win some, you lose some, and ultimately you learn. One important factor is to define ourselves and what we stand for, and not sound off before the bullets are loaded.
My embarrassment hasn't led me to quit, only to re-strategize. Not in all circumstances are hunger strikes needed to achieve a successful point. All actions have consequences; even and most especially those that fail. A lesson I learned was, the louder you shout, the more our enemies will watch. I guess some can say that revolutionary culture develops when we learn from our failures. By using those things that don't work as lessons to learn from, these instances become pillars of resistance.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade raises an important point about learning from our failures as well as our successes. Many times our mistakes are the best source of learning we can get. But only if we sum up honestly, and not pretend things worked well when they did not. When we plan actions we need to lay the groundwork to gain supporters, if we need supporters. And if we don't think we need supporters we should ask ourselves what we hope to accomplish by acting alone, and what consequences we can expect. Each time we organize for an action we should have these discussions in advance, and then we should sum up and honestly criticize to determine what can be done better in the future.
It won't always be true that we need to hide our voices from our oppressors. Under different historical circumstances, when we have gained enough supporters and hold a significant amount of power ourselves, we need to be outspoken about our criticisms of our enemies. We encourage our comrades who are struggling with questions of when and how to take action to study the magazine MIM Theory 5: Diet for a Small Red Planet. We distribute it for $5 or equal work trade, and can also send you an accompanying study guide.