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Janus-faced Social Movements: Factors that Influence the Choice of Non-violent over Violent Tactics in Political Movements
Unformatted Document Text:  including: a free breakfast program, the liberation school, pest and plumbing services sickle cell anemia testing and free clinic and ambulance services, etc (Jones and Jefferies 1998). Each of the three movements covered so far can be said to have gained momentum and prominence due to charismatic leadership and the Panther party is no different. This leadership also stunted development and support for the panthers eventually discrediting and disorganizing the movement as a whole. There are two further causes for the early disintegration of the Panther party. The first is the role of government infiltration and deterrence. The latter is internal fissures— brought about in part by the first and in part by internal fissures caused by a problematic leadership group. The disintegration of the Panthers in this second sense is then directly linked to the notorious self-destructive behavior by particular leaders, forming a negative public image of the movement (Booker 1998). This, in turn conditioned a weakening in organizational discipline and condoned equally destructive behavior by criminal elements within the movement (Booker 1998). i. Support Much of Panther support was gleaned by two processes. First, the social services they provided to the communities were instrumental in building local support networks and gaining new recruits. Second, of the movements discussed in this work, this organization had the most consistent media coverage, gaining the Panthers a good deal of publicity, especially from showy shootouts with police forces. The latter of these two processes had a polarizing effect on supporters, meaning that unlike non-violent social services which are generally perceived as positive, there was a more radically divided mixed opinion on their militant behaviors. Further, the establishment firmly disproved of their militancy so while Panther prestige and recruitment might increase with black populations as well as radical white movements, their collusion with established power was unlikely. 29

Authors: Graham, Leah.
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including: a free breakfast program, the liberation school, pest and plumbing services sickle cell
anemia testing and free clinic and ambulance services, etc (Jones and Jefferies 1998).
Each of the three movements covered so far can be said to have gained momentum and
prominence due to charismatic leadership and the Panther party is no different. This leadership also
stunted development and support for the panthers eventually discrediting and disorganizing the
movement as a whole. There are two further causes for the early disintegration of the Panther party.
The first is the role of government infiltration and deterrence. The latter is internal fissures—
brought about in part by the first and in part by internal fissures caused by a problematic leadership
group. The disintegration of the Panthers in this second sense is then directly linked to the
notorious self-destructive behavior by particular leaders, forming a negative public image of the
movement (Booker 1998). This, in turn conditioned a weakening in organizational discipline and
condoned equally destructive behavior by criminal elements within the movement (Booker 1998).
i. Support
Much of Panther support was gleaned by two processes. First, the social services they
provided to the communities were instrumental in building local support networks and gaining new
recruits. Second, of the movements discussed in this work, this organization had the most
consistent media coverage, gaining the Panthers a good deal of publicity, especially from showy
shootouts with police forces. The latter of these two processes had a polarizing effect on
supporters, meaning that unlike non-violent social services which are generally perceived as
positive, there was a more radically divided mixed opinion on their militant behaviors. Further, the
establishment firmly disproved of their militancy so while Panther prestige and recruitment might
increase with black populations as well as radical white movements, their collusion with established
power was unlikely.
29


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