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So recent events have raised certain issues which I think it is important to examine in a broader context.
States most generally, it is a question of when use of force is justified, and what kind of force, etc. With a specific focus on civil activism, though I think the question goes beyond even that.
So I'm just going to come out an say. I think people who tout non-violent protest as the be-all-end-all of activism are dillusionally naive. What is always brought up are MLK and Ghandi and all that jazz. However, even if we credit the idea that pure non-violent protest was the deciding factor in those cases, that is at most a testament to modern liberal democracy, and not a statement about the effectiveness of such protest in general. That we have institutions were changing the mind of the public allows for non-violent means of conflict resolution in spite of all of the other faults in our government simply proves that "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried."
But most of the time, ideals and convictions mean absolutely nothing if you don't have the force, and will to use it, to back them up. And I think that human dignity demands that things which are wrong be resisted. And resistance requires the use of force. Not using force just means they get what they want.
But enough about theory, lets say something about what type of force is used:
I think the distinction between "lethal" and "non-lethal" force is a red herring. Just because a rubber bullet is statistically less likely to kill you than a real bullet, does not mean it is impossible. So even using that is already a lethal threat, and using it indicates you are prepared to kill people. As such, there's really no "escalation" possible from there. One side has made it clear it is prepared to injure, maim, and kill people to get what it wants. Now the other side needs to decide if it is prepared to do the same to prevent that.
While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.