Peaceful aggression

It is the merit of youth to try out and get away with new things. The peace movements of the 60s and 70s have had their origin in peaceful actions or sit-ins that managed to raise awareness of aggressive foreign policies of the U.S. and allies. The aim of peaceful meeting was to have an impact on government policies by not being aggressive towards anybody. The political force stems from the power of peaceful persuasion by not forcing persons of other opinions. We are many and we think differently.
The climate activists of 2023 have chosen a different route before abolishing their so-called peaceful activism. This form of protest consists in reaching media attention by blocking road circulation at critical intersections. It turned out to be perceived as an aggression for many persons much unlike the peaceful actions from decades before, which were also sit-ins, but in areas with no or little traffic.
Similar to the distinction in freedom from violence versus freedom to do something. The notion of aggression has 2 orientations. Not being aggressive towards somebody or something could be understood as peaceful aggression if the activity or non-activity has an effect on other persons as if they suffered a form of aggression. In the eyes of the spectator the peaceful road blocks may have a violent impact. Reactions might follow accordingly in a spiral of violence rather than the proclaimed peaceful impact. There is, therefore, a fundamental difference between the peaceful peace movements and the “peaceful aggression” of many of the climate activists blocking roads. Rather than spreading peace, the outcome is a rather violent reaction against perceived unacceptable hindrance to do something.
To meet in a church in the presence of priests (2023-9-23, 12 apostles in Berlin-Tiergarten) does not change the thrust of the campaign, which I coin as peaceful aggression. Therein lies the eventual failure to reach more popular support for the cause and the action of the self-proclaimed “last generation”. In ratcheting up the spiral of aggression, the movement contributed to the rising frustration of persons with no or only very difficult alternatives to their means of transportation. Aggressive opponents of the movement received undue media attention and, probably, hardened the opposition to the climate cause.
In analogy to cold versus hot war, we have entered a period with peaceful aggression versus aggressive aggression. Difficult times for peaceful peace movements.