Black Bloc; enemy of OWS?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jeff Jacobsen, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Jeff Jacobsen Member

    "Black Bloc adherents detest those of us on the organized left and seek, quite consciously, to take away our tools of empowerment. They confuse acts of petty vandalism and a repellent cynicism with revolution. The real enemies, they argue, are not the corporate capitalists, but their collaborators among the unions, workers’ movements, radical intellectuals, environmental activists and populist movements such as the Zapatistas. Any group that seeks to rebuild social structures, especially through nonviolent acts of civil disobedience, rather than physically destroy, becomes, in the eyes of Black Bloc anarchists, the enemy. Black Bloc anarchists spend most of their fury not on the architects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or globalism, but on those, such as the Zapatistas, who respond to the problem. It is a grotesque inversion of value systems."
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  2. anonymous612 Member

    This is what happens when your protest message consists of "Hey, everyone show up, doesn't matter what you're protesting, we're totally down with it!"
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  3. fallingspider Member

    I think the problems with Black Bloc would happen regardless of what the OWS message was. We're having a lot of problems with Black Bloc and the generic anarchists here in Portland, these people have connected chaos and destruction with activism and protesting. The OWS message isn't so convoluted to confuse people as to the stance on violence and destruction, which leaves little room for this kind of behavior beyond intentional sabotage.
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  4. demarquis Member

    If they are deliberately sabotaging the possibility of non-violent protest, then they become the enemy.
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  5. another point of view:

    While individual members of the bloc have indeed done damage to multinational banks and other predatory business, Hedges, like many members of the mainstream media establishment, ignores the fact that strategic property damage is part and parcel of a long history of nonviolent struggle. From the Suffragettes attempting to gain the right to vote, to environmental activists protecting the rights of nature, property damages inflicts financial costs upon entities that only care about their bottom dollar. Martin Luther King Jr. had this to say about the struggle for human rights against the corrupt system of his time:

    “I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

    Anarchists don’t oppose nonviolent methods of organizing. Hedges is engaging in binary thinking that has him convinced that participants in the black bloc don’t do anything else. He ignores years of alternative structures like Food Not Bombs, hundreds of Infoshops that provide literature, bike collectives, food cooperatives, and groups that provide services for marginalized groups. Anarchists, like many others, believe in a diversity of tactics. It is this diversity that is our strength. We cannot allow slander and fear to separate us; sectarianism is the real cancer of Occupy.The enemies that we face – fascism, authoritarianism, militarism, and the like – are legion in their attacks; our response should be equally multifaceted.

    As supposed proof of his misinformed statements he cites a single article in the defunct Green Anarchy magazine which was somewhat critical of the Zapatistas. That might be fair if that one article from Green Anarchy surmised the whole of the anarchist position, but it doesn't. Nevermind the fact that the Zapatistas should not be beyond criticism, it was one article in a publication that presented an incredible amount of content on a wide range of subjects. To use this one particular article to discredit the entire movement of anarchist militancy is, plain and simple, an intellectually dishonest straw man.
  6. demarquis Member

    I'm not an expert on either Hedges, or the history of non-violent protest, but I will say this-

    Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up."

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  7. lulzgasm Member

    I'm actually starting to agree with you.
    I guess miracles can happen.
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  8. lulzgasm Member

    Yep. That's what BlackBloc was created for. I learned from a Greek fella that they did a damn fine job of that in Greece.

    Edit: that's not to say that everyone in BlackBloc are bad, or in on the Agent Sabateuring. The real world, alas, is never that black and white.
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  9. Anonymous Member

    They screwed up Seattle, too. Maybe it was the Portland contingent.
  10. Anonymous Member

    Black Blocing is a tactic, not a group. Anyone can put on black and be part of it. It is a response to riot police and heavy handed police tactics.
  11. salumi Member

    Since I read Hedges' piece on truthdig, I've been considering this. One Occupier told me that he was glad BB was involved because when the heat came down, they would take the brunt of the burn. On the other hand, the BB tactic does run against the message of peace and love that is vital to OWS. Interesting topic, I hope more people discuss it here. I would like moar.
  12. Anonymous Member

    That's exactly what they are doing, and what they have always done.

    It's fascism dressed up as anarchism.
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  13. fallingspider Member

    They've shown up to every protest I've heard of and tried to start shit, it's why I'm extremely cautious about actually attending protests here. In 2010 we had a string of police caused deaths, and a lot of anger towards the police. At one point they decided to do a march against police brutality which pretty much turned into a running battle between police and protesters trying to push each other around. Luckily it didn't turn violent though I think there were a couple of minor injuries, something about using a horse as a baracade and the horse either stepped on or kicked a protester.

    After the Occupy Portland got kicked out of the parks they decided to do a huge protest about it, and were raging outside the building I work in for over an hour. Now mind you there's a small Wells Fargo branch office in the lobby of the building but the building belongs to the insurance company I work for. The damage they were causing was not going to affect Wells Fargo at all, but rather a company that had nothing to do what they were protesting, beyond the fact that they disrupted business for about 3 or 4 companies that were completely unrelated. Now mind you the groups that actually were from occupy wanted to just quietly sit in the bank to disrupt their business, do their civil disobedience thing and move on. However the anarchist groups basically got the building shut down, we had cops in full riot gear in the lobby as the protesters were pushing on the windows trying to get inside. Down town Portland looked like a war zone thanks to them; and it was all completely unnecessary.

    Then again on Monday, a solidarity march against police brutality turned violent because of the anarchists throwing rocks through RANDOM windows. Their targets weren't even related to the protests, or they'd throw rocks at the cops and melt into the crowd while the people in the front got the shit beaten out of them by the cops. They've done this at every encounter with the police, but it was apparently very marked at this one. It's been my fear since the start that the anarchists would hijack this and unless occupy can get their act together I think they have.
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  14. DeathHamster Member

    And if there's no riot police and heavy handed police tactics, cause trouble to create it.

    The groups using Black Bloc tactics never go out and cause trouble all by themselves. They find a large mainly peaceful protest to latch on to, and melt back into afterward.

    Peaceful protests need tactics and the will to make it hard for these parasites to attach themselves.
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  15. Jeff Jacobsen Member

    Two thing that could be done is 1) move away from the Black Bloc group during a protest, 2) yell "shame!" and point at them. Do things that precisely show that the vandals and violent are NOT a part of your group. Also, it might not help, but try to talk to the nuts ahead of time and tell them they're not wanted.
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  16. demarquis Member

    They remind me for some reason of these guys:

    From Buford: "...This is, if you like, the answer to the hundred-dollar question: why do young males riot every Saturday? They do it for the same reason that another generation drank too much, or smoked dope, or took hallucinogenic drugs, or behaved badly or rebelliously. Violence is their antisocial kick..."
  17. DeathHamster Member


    Black Bloc tactics involve causing trouble and then melting away. They expect the Occupiers to take the burn for them!
  18. DeathHamster Member

    Four years ago, the proposed Anonymous tactic against infiltrating troublemakers was for all the peaceful protestors to sit down and point at them. If that could be done, it would make it very hard for them to melt back into the larger group.
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  19. I just can't see anyone defending these tactics(BB). I'm all for doing whatever is necessary but within reason. I don't think pointing at them and sitting down will work...for very long. Sounds like the best plan for now though.
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  20. demarquis Member

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  21. adhocrat Member

    do people really use that Marxist rhetoric nowadays? It sounds so out of date and pointless, like I'm back 40 years ago in college listening to my professors laying the socialism on thick.

    and is 'militant action' a euphemism for violence?
    If so, then fuck him and anyone who follows him.
    If not, what does it mean, exactly?
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  22. demarquis Member

    Could you be more specific?

    I am finding it interesting that, by and large, anon people aren't supporting BB'ers.
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  23. adhocrat Member

    Hard to support something that has no principles.

    also, what does "I'm an anarchist" mean when Graeber says it? As near as I can tell, he's a socialist, which is the antithesis of an anarchist, unless by 'anarchist' he means the end result when the state 'withers away'.
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  24. DeathHamster Member

    Bullshit. In the Toronto G20, when the Black Bloc'ers went into huddles to ditch their black hoodies and bandanas (and blend in with the non-violent protestors), protestors nearby with cameras were threatened and attacked.
    Somehow I doubt that peculiar definition of non-violence was agreed to by anyone else.
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  25. DeathHamster Member

    Failure to understand the new change that cameras everywhere and YouTube make, that bypasses traditional media.
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  26. And tactics, and strategies!
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  27. Anonymous Member

    Love the Occupy - but hate the anarcho-fascists. Photograph them, videotape them, dox them, because the only people who behave like that are cops and assholes, and BOTH need to be removed from the Occupy movement before it just becomes another useless 1970's hippy vs fascist mess.

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  28. lulzgasm Member

    They're GenXers?
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  29. demarquis Member

    They are everyone...
  30. lulzgasm Member

    I thought Anonymous was everyone.
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  31. demarquis Member

    They're the little red devils that sit on everyone's shoulder
  32. Zoom Member

    No one is everyone.
  33. Anonymous Member

    There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. Consequently, it wound up that Nobody told Anybody, so Everybody blamed Somebody.
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  34. demarquis Member

    Everybody is a moron.
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  35. Jeff Jacobsen Member

    This article claims that the Black Bloc in Canada is actually the cops trying to entice others to riot, I guess. I don't really understand what advantage the cops would have from starting a riot themselves, but whatever. It's a good assumption that the cops and anarchists (or whomever) don't shop at the same shoe store.
  36. DeathHamster Member

    The incident was in Montebello in Quebec in 2007, not the Toronto G20 summit. And there's no proof that the 2007 undercover cops were trying to incite others.

    Why wouldn't anarchists buy military/police boots at a surplus store? They're tough, a good price and just what you need in a riot situation. Best of all, afterward you can claim everyone smashing stuff were police.
  37. cujoman123 Member

    I would suggest handing the BB to the police if they start shit. BBs throwing rocks at random windows? pick them up and give them to any officers that are in sight. of course this is if the world was perfect and gum drops fell from the sky.
  38. I agree. It is necessary when the police start busting heads and making arrests on peaceful protesters. But it is not needed at every single protest.
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  39. MisterSir Member

    Black bloc is why we can't have nice things
  40. BlackUnicorn Member

    I don't see how the black bloc helps, when acts of violence and destruction against private property is what a government authority wants (aka the riots in London,etc allowed the government to increase its powers and attack unions more easily and vice versa), and embitters otherwise sympathetic shop owners and members of the general public. :confused:
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