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No, "dressing in black" is not like a gender, racial, or sexual identity, and is not/should not be protected.

No, "wearing a mask" is a big deal, and if you don't want people to be intimidated by you wearing the mask, or making assumptions about the wearer, there better be some gas/smoke around.

Yes, smashing windows, using blunt instruments to destroy things, kicking fences, etc is "violent".

No, spray paint vandalism isn't violent. Yes, doing it will give a bad name to all protestors that you're intermingling with, and like the very right gentleman at about 7:55 in says:

"Not do dumbass shit that's gonna get everybody gassed and shot the fuck up."

These Black Bloc'ers are not everyday people just pushed to the edge...they are destructive and violent and provocating individuals, and would be so regardless of our society structure or government. Offer them no quarter, no excuse.

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Comment Preferences

  •  fucking scumbags nt (4+ / 0-)

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:06:53 AM PST

  •  They are not very effective (7+ / 0-)

    if property destruction is their goal.

    I've done more damage to vinyl fences falling on them.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:09:05 AM PST

    •  I think the goal is evoking emotion and fear (4+ / 0-)

      more than sufficiently fucking shit up.

      Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:15:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually "they" are extremely effective (0+ / 0-)

      Black Bloc is a tactic, not a group.  And it's been around since the 1980s in Germany and other European nations when it was used against the Soviets.  It has been very effective and gotten good results.

      The difference is that since the original labor movement died, Americans have gone strictly non violence no matter how urgent the crisis, we are quick to submit and quick to bow to the state.  That's not the case in other nations where Black Bloc tactics have been extremely effective.

      The thing is not all Americans are completely against these things, many still have the old fire in the bellies, just not as much.  So Black Bloc tactics are still used in some cases.  In any sort of mass protest you'll find people willing to employ the tactics after a certain point, and you can't really stop it.

      Protests work inherently by making the situation suck enough for those to around it to give in for the sake of having it stop.  Black Bloc just takes this a bit farther along with dress codes and tactic making it hard to be identified.

      This isn't new and it's been historically pretty effective.

      "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

      by overclocking on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:20:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Effective at what? Are there examples of (4+ / 0-)

        modern revolutions using black bloc tactics that have been successful?

      •  got plenty of fire in my belly (6+ / 0-)

        try me

        but don't ask me to do stupid shit like breaking windows and tearing down fences and spray-painting buildings and throwing grocery carts around. What the hell.  If you're gonna fight, fight for what's worth it, not this teenaged hoodlum shit.

        One difference between me and Black Bloc is that I value people's lives and health very high, so if I'm going to do something violent it's gonna be for a reason that counts.

        Another difference is that I believe that non-violence is the best tactic possible for this movement at this time.  The opposition is prepared for violence, and they have a lot more and better guns than we do.  One of the things that has frustrated them over the last month and a half is the fact that Occupy wouldn't act violently.  They know what to do if we become violent, just like they know what to do if we nominate a "leader." It fits their narrative--and guess what, they've been expecting this, and some of them actually want it.  I would bet you my bank account that there are people out there on the Right just salivating at the thought of bringing Blackwater/Xe or similar repugnant assholes in to quell a "disturbance."

        and once they decide they have enough of an excuse, god knows what they'll justify in the name of putting down the Occupy movement's supposed violence.

        This is not a winning tactic here and now.  Even if it were, I would need a hell of a lot more incentive to put my fellow human beings at risk--risking getting people gassed and shot for what?  the chance to throw a chair through a window?

        No.  These particular Black Bloc-ers are just f**kers.

        Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:52:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very true (6+ / 0-)
          One of the things that has frustrated them over the last month and a half is the fact that Occupy wouldn't act violently.

          The almost total lack of violence generated by OWS totally fucks with the approved narrative.

          Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

          by milkbone on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:02:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly! (3+ / 0-)

            In DC, the police are using the perception of violence as an excuse to crack down on the #OccupyDC protesters.

            "While the Occupy DC movement has been here since October 6, 2011 and the Metropolitan Police Department supports an individual’s right to assemble, we do not condone nor will we tolerate violence or aggression. Prior demonstrations had been peaceful. However, the aggressive nature of Friday’s demonstration prompted the Metropolitan Police Department to adjust tactics as needed to ensure safety."
            ...........
            "Five people that we are aware of were injured. That is no longer a peaceful protest. Demonstrators have become increasingly confrontational and violent toward uninvolved bystanders and motorists. "

            All of this is "backed-up" by videos, which is "shocking because they are heavily edited and released by conservative groups".  Big surprise.

            More infuriatingly, the violence directed towards protesters is being completely ignored - which I have witnessed myself, and further evidenced, at the end of the police press release, by a request for any information about the car that hit protesters.  An incident that was caught on camera, with a police response, and in which they let the driver go without even issuing a ticket.

            The 99% does not need or want to give the 1% the cover they need to call out the stormtroopers.  Violence is not what is happening at #OccupyDC, and I was welcomed, with open arms, with an explanation and invitation to participate, even though, at the time, did not appear to be a "typical" protester.

            The black bloc is not doing the movement any favors.  Period.

            "Especially since being deemed "no longer a peaceful protest" has translated into (from the reports I'm getting) more cops at McPherson Square with their batons out."

            "I want a president that can make a difference, not a deal." -KHK

            by Bcre8ve on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:56:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I want to revise this statement, though (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Renee, Catte Nappe

          after hearing what JustJennifer has to say, it's not clear that Black Bloc (which apparently isn't a group but a tactic) is responsible for any of this.  

          So rather than applying my above statement to "Black Bloc" just take it as applying to "whoever those assholes were that f**ked up the Nov 2nd awesome general strike and port shutdown."

          Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:48:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Mass Movements Don't Need Terrorist Tactics. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SouthernLiberalinMD

          When you have a sufficiently large number of people who are taking to the streets because they are enraged by the ruling class's exploitation, as is happening right now, violence on the part of protestors is totally unnecessary and welcomed with open arms ( if not open check-books) by the ruling class to justify its use of serious violence against the movement. Breaking windows and setting off fires is counter-productive to real revolutionary change.

          Petty, individualistic violence has never changed anyone's life for the better, it is a childish waste of time, if not an outright counter-revolutionary weapon used to sabotage a growing movement and justify serious repression.  The spoiled brats who seek a quick adrenaline rush from breaking a window need to be shunned and excluded by the masses of people who are demanding serious change.

          Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

          by Justina on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 08:16:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  "This is Occupy, not Destroy" (8+ / 0-)

    Indeed.

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:09:11 AM PST

  •  I see little difference (6+ / 0-)

    between them and the criminals of the 1%. Both groups have no problem turning everything around them to shit, as long as they get something out of it. With the 1%, they gain wealth and power. The Black Bloc punks get to experience the thrill of vandalism and terrorizing people aruond them. Same mentality.

    I've heard that a lot of them are skinheads. I hope all of the people here defending their actions realize that.

    R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
    October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

    by SwedishJewfish on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:15:04 AM PST

  •  Unfortunate. If they are anarchists, then their (6+ / 0-)

    tactics are clearly unwanted, not necessary, and hurtful to the movement.  If they're agent provocatuers, then that needs to be uncovered.  I could say ban the masks, but that doesn't fit with the freedom of the movement.  I don't understand some of these actions if those involved aren't agents.  I commend the brother for trying to stop it.  

  •  The difficulty is that nobody (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, katiec, Bcre8ve, tardis10

    has come up with any real information or evidence about who these people are. There has been no shortage of speculation, but no evidence. Therefore it is impossible to establish anything about their purpose and intent. All we can say is that the behavior is unacceptable and counterproductive.  

  •  Anarchist graffiti was all over the playground (3+ / 0-)

    where I took my daughter yesterday...along with a tag that said "Occupy Everything Everywhere". Along with other forms of graffiti, to be fair, but I'm sick and tired of people defending it as free speech or whatever horseshit. No, graffiti is not "violence" but it makes communities where people live and work and raise children look ugly. For gods sake, if you are going to tag something, hit up a mansion. They can hire someone to paint over it. You do this crap in the middle of an already broke city, they don't even bother cleaning it up half the time and it becomes just one more thing that takes away from the quality of life of people who don't have much to begin with.

    R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
    October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

    by SwedishJewfish on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:24:26 AM PST

    •  That same logic applies to the occupy camps (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Renee

      Just pointing that one out.  

      "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

      by overclocking on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:30:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure it does (0+ / 0-)

        and I am not blaming Occupy, but the faction within it that is doing this crap, and those who excuse it. Most of the ones who excuse it seem to do so from their computers- It seems like there is serious outspoken opposition to it within the camps themselves.

        R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
        October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

        by SwedishJewfish on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:33:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm saying (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Renee

          That tent camps are just as obnoxious, just as much of a pain, and worse bring sanitary problems into it.  I'd rather deal with errant spray paint myself.

          "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

          by overclocking on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:41:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see what you are saying (0+ / 0-)

            I agree, which is why I would prefer to see the hub of the occupation move back to NYC. I think the effectiveness of camping out as a tactic has run it's course, at least as far as the satellite occupations are concerned. It seems to be turning people against the movement.

            R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
            October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

            by SwedishJewfish on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:49:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't agree. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Karl Rover, evergreen2, Bcre8ve, Renee

              Are you getting this from the mainstream press, SJ?  Because that's the narrative they seem to be running at the moment. "People getting really sick of Occupations" "Occupations turning on each other" "Occupations turning on themselves"  "Occupations undermining business and daily life" etc etc.

              Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:55:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Unfortunately no... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Caipirinha, Catte Nappe

                I'm getting this feedback from people I know- friends on Facebook, relatives, I find a way to bring this up in just about every conversation because I want to get perspective. One person who's opinion I take very seriously is my sister- she's a really good bellweather for things like this. She was supportive and excited about OWS in the beginning but then they started occupying in her town, and she says it's really getting out of hand, it's an eyesore, she can't go to the park to walk her dogs anymore (she did at first, but now she doesn't feel safe) there is vandalism and people partying there all the time. She's really soured on it. So has everyone I know outside of Daily Kos, to be perfectly honest.

                I know it's also a meme in the media right now, but that doesn't mean there isn't a grain of truth to it...it is kind of to be expected that a movement like this (open to all, and based on anarchist principals) would attract some of the more unsavory elements along with all of the amazing people there. Unfortunately, the unsavory ones will always dominate the landscape.

                R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
                October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

                by SwedishJewfish on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:10:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Truth is an eyesore, that's kind of the point... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  evergreen2, Bcre8ve, Renee

                  OWS is not supposed to help you enjoy your latte its supposed to help you recognize there is something deeply wrong in your world.

                  Get uncomfortable, you should be.

                  •  Which goes into dirty fucking hippies (0+ / 0-)

                    Agree with the message, hate the people.  Living in Washington DC, I've grown to hate protestors with a passion.  Even more so than Christians that knock on your door.

                    "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

                    by overclocking on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:24:34 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  My little sister (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Caipirinha

                    does not need any help in recognizing that there is something wrong with her world. Like the majority of people in this country, she is already painfully aware of that. She lives it every day. She's not sipping lattes, she's working 2 jobs and drowning in debt to get a degree that will offer her no financial security. She does not need to be convinced of anything.  

                    When this started, people broadly supported it because it was OCCUPY WALL STREET. Because they DO know that they have been screwed over, and they were grateful to see people out there fighting back. Then, almost as soon as that idea started gaining momentum, we shifted over to the local occupations. Now people are not only feeling under attack from some of the unsavory elements that these encampments attract, they are also wondering why the hell people are protesting in their little public square in the first place. Podunk Mississippi didn't destroy the world economy, Wall Street did. So why are we wasting our time and energy in places that are not the real target?

                    It was a tactical error to move these protests local. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it's not working. Time to change tactics, the sooner the better.

                    R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
                    October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

                    by SwedishJewfish on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:42:21 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  We're "wasting time" locally (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      evergreen2, Renee

                      because a lot of the 99% don't have the money to get to NYC.

                      And also because, frankly, it's the local nature of these protests that challenges the status quo.

                      Occupy NYC is one thing, but Occupy Missoula or Occupy Boise ID is something quite different.

                      Look, why can't the protesters and the non-protesters talk to each other?  If the protesters are doing something that's truly troubling to them, then let's talk.

                      Schedule a town hall.  Give people a chance to speak.  See what happens.

                      Suggest that to your sister.  

                      Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

                      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:52:14 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think you are misunderstanding (0+ / 0-)

                        what I'm suggesting we do...I'm not saying everyone pack up your tents and go home, call the whole thing off. I'm saying end the occupation part of the protest at the sattelite camps. Hold on to Zucotti park, and all of the die hards can stay there and put their energy into that. At the local level, keep holding GA's. Hold them in the park even. Continue doing peaceful civil disobedience- Occupy foreclosed buildings, Occupy big banks in the area. Just don't live in the park.

                        Consider that most of the crime and vandalism happens at night-if you end the practice of having people staying there overnight, you will have much fewer headaches and less bad press.

                        R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
                        October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

                        by SwedishJewfish on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 12:00:48 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  you're saying end the occupations everywhere (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Renee, Justina

                          but Zucotti Park, and I'm saying I think that's a seriously bad idea.

                          Let's have people in the other cities talk to each other about what's causing problems and try to work it out.

                          And as for bad press:  shut down everything but Zucotti Park and the MSM immediately tells the world that the Occupy movement is over and only a few weird hippy hangers-on are still stubbornly holding onto the mothership.

                          And most people will believe it.

                          Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

                          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 12:10:17 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                •  OK, but my partner Kate (0+ / 0-)

                  said that her sister has gotten into the Occupy movement (and this is not a political person!) and has started organizing large numbers of people to help feed OccupyBoston.

                  What I'm trying to say here is that anecdotal evidence, while not meaningless, is, well, anecdotal.

                  Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 05:40:19 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  This morning a KPFA host was DEFENDING (6+ / 0-)

    the vandalism! Can you believe that sh*t. I had to change the station to avoid crashing my car. Anyways his excuse was the standard line "insurance will cover it anyways". Say WHAT?????This idiot doesn't understand that every insurance policy has a deductible. That means the business owner has to pony up the first $X dollars, before the insurance kicks in. If you want your insurance premium to be low then the deductible will be high. In any event it's generally above $1000. AND, just like your car insurance- the more times you claim, the higher your premium becomes.

    I propose the Black Bloc themselves buy insurance. That way when they break something, the victim can claim against the Black Bloc's insurance and charge the deductible to the Black Bloc. Now that would be fair.

    •  Not to mention (0+ / 0-)

      if you make too many claims insurance companies will refuse to cover you.

    •  Seriously??? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caipirinha

      Is KPFA a liberal station? Who was the host?

      What the fuck is wrong with people? Do they have to live in these neighborhoods? It's not cute!

      R.I.P. Troy Anthony Davis
      October 9, 1968 - September 21, 2011

      by SwedishJewfish on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:51:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  KPFA= the local Berkeley Pacifica station (0+ / 0-)

        Now they have done an extensive job (very extensive) of covering the OWS despite their continual financial crisis. So we got to give credit where credit is due. But this dude who was on just before 9am this morning was just outrageous.  He was talking about the vandalism as some kind of acceptable collateral damage ("if a few windows get broken, so be it") for the glorious revolution.

  •  Black Bloc - Enemy of Democracy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SwedishJewfish, Caipirinha

    Go home children, go home.

  •  fucking asinine behavior (4+ / 0-)

    worthy of a certain kind of irritable angsty 14-year-old, but not of anybody who's serious.

    Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:35:21 AM PST

  •  i love the guy at 3:53 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton

    I want him for President.  can we have that?

    Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:37:40 AM PST

  •  There shouild be only one argument (3+ / 0-)

    Tangling them up they way they are coming down in some of these diaries makes it difficult to sort out the issues. If the premise is "anarchists=black bloc=vandalism" then we do get the defensive reaction about "all anarchists aren't like that", or "black bloc participants aren't all violent, and it's not a group anyway".  The debate that has to be had, I'm seeing it go on in the cracks, despite the muddiness with anarchists/black block,  involves one key point.

    Is vandalism (breaking windows, spray painting, setting fires) an acceptable tactic?

    I don't care whether you call it violence or not. Go ahead and be disingenous enough to say "I don't endorse violence, but spray painting a store front isn't violence". The question is - do you think painting the store is an acceptable tactic, and if so why.

    I don't care if the window breaking was done by anarchists, black blockers, provocateurs or agents provocateur (well I do, particularly in the latter case); but the fact remains that it really disturbs me that some people either think such behavior is OK in general, or at least "forgiveable" if it was deliberately done by anarchists/black blockers.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:41:12 AM PST

  •  oh boy you spray painted a window (7+ / 0-)

    and threw a grocery cart into the side of a building

    really tough

    stupid motherf%$kers, why don't you try repossessing an abandoned factory and getting it running, or taking back a foreclosed-on neighborhood FOR REAL and not for a stunt.

    Do something hard, and then maybe you'll get a name for being a tough guy. Anybody can f**king throw paint and a building or a chair through a window.

    Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:42:52 AM PST

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