From: Languages of the Unheard
“Armed struggle” refers to intentionally using armed force to kill or injure people. Some groups, like Direct Action in Canada, injured people accidentally, but did not target them intentionally, and do not come under this category, nor do groups who advocated armed self-defence, but not the tactical use of armed attacks as part of a political or military strategy. In this sense, armed struggle should not be taken literally, to mean “struggling while armed,” but rather as a technical term referring to the tactical use of armed force to threaten or kill people. This final chapter considers armed struggle as a style of militancy, confronting the difficult question: When, if ever, should militants engage in armed force?
Stephen D’Arcy is an associate professor of philosophy at Huron University College, Western University. A long-time social activist and protest organizer, he teaches and writes about democratic theory and practical ethics.