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View Diary: Chris Hedges' Very Public Meltdown (144 comments)

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  •  Thanks for your input (1+ / 0-)
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    I don't agree, naturally, but you've made some points worth pondering.

    As for dehumanization and scapegoating -- which I see as the point of Hedges' broadside -- they are among the most dangerous rhetorical weapons he could use. He seemed to do it very carelessly and irresponsibly.

    I have countered falsehood with truth in my comments.

    Thanks again.

    Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

    by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:49:03 AM PST

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    •  I think you are over-reacting (1+ / 0-)
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      Which, of course, is just my opinion.

      Suggest you give it a couple of days and then re-read what he had to say. I don't think he's dehumanizing anyone. Quite to the contrary, he makes a rational case for non-violance and notes:

      The corporate state understands and welcomes the language of force. It can use the Black Bloc’s confrontational tactics and destruction of property to justify draconian forms of control and frighten the wider population away from supporting the Occupy movement. Once the Occupy movement is painted as a flag-burning, rock-throwing, angry mob we are finished. If we become isolated we can be crushed. The arrests last weekend in Oakland of more than 400 protesters, some of whom had thrown rocks, carried homemade shields and rolled barricades, are an indication of the scale of escalating repression and a failure to remain a unified, nonviolent opposition. Police pumped tear gas, flash-bang grenades and “less lethal” rounds into the crowds. Once protesters were in jail they were denied crucial medications, kept in overcrowded cells and pushed around. A march in New York called in solidarity with the Oakland protesters saw a few demonstrators imitate the Black Bloc tactics in Oakland, including throwing bottles at police and dumping garbage on the street. They chanted “Fuck the police” and “Racist, sexist, anti-gay / NYPD go away.”

      This is a struggle to win the hearts and minds of the wider public and those within the structures of power (including the police) who are possessed of a conscience. It is not a war. Nonviolent movements, on some level, embrace police brutality. The continuing attempt by the state to crush peaceful protesters who call for simple acts of justice delegitimizes the power elite. It prompts a passive population to respond. It brings some within the structures of power to our side and creates internal divisions that will lead to paralysis within the network of authority. Martin Luther King kept holding marches in Birmingham because he knew Public Safety Commissioner “Bull” Connor was a thug who would overreact.

      Emphasis mine.

      Well, who is Black Bloc? Some who self-identify as such do embrace violence and/or destructive tactics, train and plan for it, and have traveled from place to place to practice it, including Oakland. They have done so for years. One can agree or disagree with those tactics but suggesting they don't exist or cannot negatively influence events is nonsense. I think Hedges is quite clear about those he i taking to task by describing their behavior and is not lumping all anarchists or activists together by any means.

      Those not meeting his profile are assumed not to be the object of his criticism.

      And please note he is equally if not more critical of the police, whom as you correctly note, more often than not have been instigators or provocateurs.

      Do you think he makes any sense about this in the section quoted above?

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:22:39 AM PST

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      •  It's one of the places where he really (0+ / 0-)

        screws up because he doesn't really know what happened in Oakland, and I doubt he cares. He wants his Revolution cleaned up. Pronto!

        He sequencing is all wrong, cause/effect confused as hell, and he's trying to make believe the police were only responding to the "violence" of the crowd. And that somehow this has to do with Black Bloc.

        Not so.

        But he's hammering his point, and details just get in the way.

        Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

        by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:08:21 PM PST

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        •  What I saw (1+ / 0-)
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          was that OPD provoked the demonstrators with police violence and some of the demonstrators took the bait.

          Black Bloc culture, i.e. their look, thier slogans, thier insistance that we embrace Diversity of Tactics, that anything goes, projects a violent image that few of them ever act out.

          But the OPD is not stupid, Black Bloc tactics and culture have layed OO open to be manipulated, provoked, and then vilified as violent by MSM. People, even in the Occupy movement itself, belief this spin because thats the image that BB projected. The Black Panther Party made the same mistake and became easy game for CoIntelPro to destroy.

          Who left the door open at Oakland City Hall on the night of J28? We can guess the answer. We should have expected it and be disciplined enough not to take the bait.

        •  I think he knows what happened (0+ / 0-)

          But in any case, the problem I saw was the group (Black Bloc/whomever) who charged the police line with shields and chain link fencing in a wedge.

          This is prevocational behavior guaranteed to meet a response from police in riot gear, no?

          What were these people expecting, the cops to turn and run?

          Seriously, this sort of stuff plays directly into the hands of the crypto-facist OPD and does the movement harm. That was Hedges point.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:52:48 PM PST

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          •  You're fantasizing (2+ / 0-)
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            Brown Thrasher, Liberaltarian

            There has been no Black Bloc action in Oakland or anywhere else in Occupy since last November when there was a one off Black Bloc that was roundly and very forcefully criticized for harming OO and the Movement.

            There was no Black Bloc on J28.

            What you saw was something else entirely, and it was not what you think you saw.

            Not only are your details as inaccurate as are Hedges', your attributions of agency are as erroneous as his.

            Which makes these kinds of broad brush denunciations -- especially of actions that haven't happened and accusations of people who weren't there -- worthless.

            Many criticism could and should be leveled, but correct attribution makes a difference, as does accurate descriptions of events.

            Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

            by felix19 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 11:08:14 AM PST

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