Over at Corrente they are talking about the possibility of violent uprising when you have large groups of angry young men. You should all go read the comments, they are very illuminating.
When you've done that- read the follow up.
I've actually read a lot about this stuff, being that my 8 year old pretty princess dream involved both a tiara and a bandolier of bullets. So here's my 5 cents.
1) Angry young men are good at destruction, but no so good at the reconstruction. They can be a useful tool, but you better have a pretty damn short leash or everyone gets the guillotine.
2) When women get involved, there is always a back up force, if you will, when the menfolk (inevitably) all get arrested. This is how the Irish Revolution was able to carry on after everyone at the Dublin Post office got arrested and most were summarily executed. Their wives, sisters, etc, continued recruiting, organizing and gun running.
3) Progressives should never ever ever make a pact with slightly less heinous neolibs to form a revolution. It will not work. Period. Back to the irish- if you ever need some inspiration go read about James Connolly.He was a socialist and a republican (in the Irish sense, which means a democrat). He was executed after the Easter Rising without a trial. There were those in the revolution who just wanted England out but were otherwise okay with the abject poverty of their fellow citizens, and there were those who wanted England out and for Ireland to be not just free but fair. Connolly and his ilk were of the latter breed.
England, not wanting to lose their financial interests in Ireland, gave the neolibs a choice, sell out the the socialists and Northern Ireland, and well let you go. Eammon De Velara saw which way the wind was blowing and set up Michael Collins to make the devil's deal, which led to civil war between the socialists and those against partition, and the neo lib, pro treaty people.
It's 88 years later. Northern Ireland is still British, and while Ireland has a better social system than the US, it ain't no Sweden. I think it might even have a worse social system than England, which is why Northern Catholics stayed put. They got more money on the dole there than they would in the republic.
We cannot, whether it is in elections or revolutions, muddy justice by allying ourselves with those who would throw us under the bus. It never works.
4) The best non-violent protest are those with a purpose. Sit in and marches are all lovely ways of meeting like minded people, but real change only comes from real disobedience that proves the ridiculousness of the current system of law. Think about Ghandi walking to the sea to make salt, or Rosa parks taking a seat on a bus. Protests should be pragmatic. This is why I am in awe of the people who can afford to pay their upside down mortgages but are choosing to default anyways. And priests who advise their poor hungry congregants to steal from megastores. Protest must be pragmatic. It should produce an image in the minds of the watchers that strikes the very core of justice. They should see it and go "why the fuck would anyone be against (whatever activity you are attempting)".
5) When revolutions happen, the people with the guns win before the people with the ideas get a chance to get started. Seriously folks. Take a look around. It's the fricken teabaggers who are going too blow violently first. Do you really want them to be the ones running the country? Then perhaps we need to do more than just talk about things. Am I saying we should all go out and arm ourselves? Well I'll leave that to each of you individually. But it might be a really good time to remind those in power that our way will cost them dollars and power , but the teabaggers way will cost them their heads.
6) OMG- are we really talking about this? I mean not in an abstract "I wish" kind of way but in the "it's just a matter of time till someone forms a militia kind of way. Peeps, I am thinking the Chinese proverb, may you live in interesting times.