I notice in the commentary about the Millbank riot from Greens, there is not a clear re-statement of our commitment to non-violence.
The anger of the students is totally and fully understandable, but violence against people - which includes the police - is unacceptable for Greens. One Green commentator termed the dropping of the fire extinguisher as "inappropriate". "Inappropriate" is inappropriate here. It was hopefully just a totally mindless act, done in the heat of the moment; I say hopefully, because if it was not mindless, it was an act of attempted murder.
Here are the Greens' principles on violence.
PFSS : (sorry, cannot find an open link to our policies, this is from my version of the PFSS, downloaded from the members' site)
PB0001/7: 7.We look for non-violent solutions to conflict situations, which take into account the interests of minorities and future generations in order to achieve lasting settlements.
And from the 10 key values of the US Green party: We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.
And from the Global Greens Charter: 9.6 Will help strengthen existing peace programs and forge new programs that address all aspects of building a culture of peace. Programs will include analysis of the roots of violence, including inter-familial violence, and the issue of mutual respect between genders; and support training in non-violent conflict resolution at all levels.
In demonstrations, it is important for us to engage the police in friendly dialogue, as far as possible. The police are vital. They are disaffected themselves, or will be when the cuts start to hit them. Governments change when they discover that the police and the Army are not prepared to obey orders to attack their demonstrating fellow citizens.
Sorry to be a wet blanket, but non-violence is an important historic Green value, and we must uphold these values, especially in uncertain times.