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We're working to be free from oppression, free from the state, free from a society and culture of fear. We cannot do so without each other, without the love and frindship that has banded us together. It has been said that flaws are the welds of perfection, and on the macro level I'd say that disagreement is the bond of democracy.

Consensus is achieved not through an easy process of getting everyone on the same page, but through the difficult acknoledgement that we will sometimes fundamentally disagree. And we must also acknoledge the need for dissent and dissensus as a decision making tool.

Given this, I'd like to talk about the BlackBloc, which until recently I was very opposed to. Not everyone agrees on tactics, or strategies or goals or visions, but that's alright. The fact that the Black Bloc contingent has survived and even managed to gain popularity in Chicago means they're doing something right. I didn't see any property damage in person in Chicago.

What I did see was leaderless horizontal charismatic organizing with a purpose, protecting the protest. And that's where blackbloc succeeds, in sticking with the movement, protecting it, and sometimes diverting attention. Given the events in Chicago, I'd say that we have to acknowledge that the Blackbloc element lends our demonstrations an ominous feel and can make some uncomfortable, but when push comes to shove, they empower us. The Blackbloc is the organic underbelly of this rising peaceful movement, and we need each other because our goals are the same.

The Blackbloc element scares the powerful, because average citizens are collectively organizing to express not just a mild dissatisfaction but sometimes rage, soemtimes love, sometimes a desire to protect each other. Bloc culture varies from demonstration to demonstration, but it's that very elusiveness that makes it invaluable.

When I think Blackbloc from here on out, I'll always remember Woodie Guthrie's quote: This Machine Kills Fascists.

Blackbloc does just that, it undermines authoritarian control of the occupy movement's demonstrations and brings a spontaneity that we need. Many of us have become drawn together in solidarity and while that's a good thing, some of us fall into roles predetermined by social stature etc. whereas the Blackbloc undoes this by bringing an element of the unknown into our street demonstrations. I personally am grateful to all the BlackBloc protesters who joined us in Chicago to protect us from police who weilded batons and clubs against mostly women.

BlackBloc allows us the room to question ourselves and interact with our own movement in a way that creates a sense of otherness from within, allowing voices from both sides to shape a new discussion and a new way forward that isn't colonized or appropriated by one ideology or another.

Black Bloc Kills ideological, physical and organizational fascism when done correctly, because it's a tactic. And it's working.

In any case, back to the big picture:

We've lit a match under complacency and are now waiting for the revolt to combust into a new democratic freedom.

We have every reason to keep fighting rather than back down, but in terms of organizing, we cannot rely on cultural spontaneity as we did before. We cannot count on encampment as a tactic. We must now rely on entrenched and visionary organzing that works to empower the people and unite them in the struggle. All over the world, people are working towards a society that is sustainable, that respects human rights, that privileges human decency, towars a society where inequality is a thing of the past and rights are granted to all. Our planet can sustain us, if we stop competing and work together.

Competition may be good to drive up profit margins, but it's not what's best for society. Our current models of social structure serve and benefit very few people, and at the same time remove from them slowly the tools and resources they currently benefit from. They may not feel the pinch immediately, but as the poorest and the least suffer, eventually, so go the rich.

We are all in this together, from anarchists, to #blackblock to #Antifa, to first time activists we're all fighting the #IronHeel of austerity and surveillance. We cannot oppose fascism, racism, class inequality, war, violence, greed, corruption and all the other evils in the world alone.

In fact, we cannot combat them all together either, but we must try, and work to expand the consciousness of our brothers and sisters, so that we may all one day come together and fight for what is right. I do not currently speak of an easy struggle, one where we might get out alive and enjoy the fruits of our labor. If there is anything we can learn from our past history since September, it is that we are tragic heroines and heroes. We are not the accepted and lauded saviours, we are the marginalized whistleblowers.

We are those who dare to have a conscience when bravery has become inconvenient, and truth has become laughable. We live in a world where people desire plausible deniability and uninvolved detached spectating more than they dare to rise to the occasion.

We, the black bloc, the occupiers, the anarchists, the activists, the anti-eviction campaigns, the anti-racist action people, the humans, more than any other label one may choose are those who dare to stand with humanity against machine hearts, and machine minds, the endless churning of the war machine, these machine people who operate wars without consequence, and terrorize without answer.

We have risen to decolonize not just a country, but the planet, we're calling for an end to the banker occupation, and the military occupations, we're calling for an end to government authority against the sovereignty of individual ctizens. As the police mobilize against us, we should be bold in our courage. Our concerted efforts are making a difference. The powerful mention us in profit losses, the weak look to each other for strength, and across the world, there are cries of Solidarty. Amsterdam, New York City,  Chicago, Athens, Sydney, Perth, Berlin, Rome, Taipei, Los Angeles, Tulsa, St. Louis, Rio De Janeiro, Mexico City, Montreal, and many other cities have one thing in common: The courage to imagine a better world.

To my American readers: Changing the national dialogue is indeed important, and we've done that, but so much more: We've changed interpersonal dynamics of solidarity in this country. Before the populist surge known as Occupy Wall Street, Americans were crushed under a class war not of their choosing. Before Occupy, this country had a very disorganized and innocuous Left, but since September, we've organized across agendas to come together.

Americans had no activist networks on this level, and to be sure much of it is a fad, there will be losses, already we have seen and experienced losses in our numbers. However, we've created a real culture that values ideas above the insular nature of the nuclear family, and we've begun to mobilize a cuture that values and empowers the poor. From Anti-Eviction to Anti-Racist Action, to Occupy Our Homes to Saving Clinics and Schools, our occupations nationwide are putting up a fight, and even winning.

We are currently rewriting the American dream to include neighbors, comrades, and those we disagree with, and that's far more important than whether people talk a bit differently in mainstream media. To build the strong interpersonal connections we can continue from is far more essential than whether we have changed the focus for a few minutes on national news.

Changing the dialogue is important, but changing the way we practice real physical acts of solidarity is the largest benefit of Occupy Wall Street. Occupy has changed my world and made me consicious of my need to stand with others, to stand together against the powerful. I am an amateur activist and writer, no one pays me to do what I do, I just do it, and I feel obligated because I believe in our planet, and our species, because I want a better world for our children, and their children. Occupy has reimagined American activism into a real threat to power, and that my friends is essential to any revolutionary activity.

Do not live in fear, and do not forget each other, the state would create a narrative of isolation, the best response is to band together, and Occupy did that for us, it brought us together, out of our individualized depressions and despairs and into a collective fight against the class war. We are strong individually, each of us has merit as a sovereign individual human with mind, heart, memories, emotions, etc. but we are stronger when we share our experiences, stories and histories. We are working to create a multi-generational mutual culture that embraces all, and it will take work and time.

We can recreate a society that serves the people, but we will have to be strong & not forget that revolution is not an armed struggle; in this society, revolution is a series of bold changes that allow us to resist the state together, oppose intimidation and work for a future we can share. We must create a culture of self-sovereignty, of resistance to anything but myself and my neighbors as the final arbiters. Re-localize your purchases, your affairs, your disputes, and globalize your learning, your interactions, your culture.

They can bring their drones, and their DHS v&'s and their surveillance, but we have each other, and that's the most important. Fear not, be bold, and serve your neighbors, move into your communities, occupy a new friendship, build solidarity, listen with the heart. Through the heart, compassion is born, solidarity made manifest, and change made actual. As we join hands & masks & hearts, remember, solidarity means the enemy of your brothers and sisters fear your waking.

Originally posted to er0tikka on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If You Think Guthrie and Black Bloc You (17+ / 0-)

    aren't thinking at all. It just feels like thinking to you.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:54:15 PM PDT

    •  Right, Gooserock (6+ / 0-)

      This was a reference the machine he used, his guitar.

      Well, I been around the world, and I've been in the Washington Zoo. And in all my travels, as the facts unravel, I've found this to be true.... ...they don't give a f^ck about anybody else

      by Zwoof on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:58:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fully aware... (0+ / 0-)

        As a Guthrie fan I'm fully aware. I'm not advocating violence, and neither would Guthrie, I am however an advocate of revolutionary tactics that work, and the Blackbloc works.

        •  "Blackbloc works" (15+ / 0-)

          It works pretty well if the goal is undermining public support and delegitimizing a movement.  Is that the goal?

          "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

          by Triscula on Mon May 28, 2012 at 05:56:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No. (0+ / 0-)

            That's not the goal. The goal is on the street, that protesters have a defensive barrier against brutal police tactics. I saw police uninstigated hit unmasked smaller women.

            Time and again BlackBloc will be a constant source of dissensus among demonstrators and activists, but it makes for a more dynamic democracy where we remember that dissent is just as valuable as consent in decision making.

            •  What is a "defensive barrier"? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rcnewton

              And why is the BlackBloc "a constant source of dissensus among demonstrators and activists"?

              •  Black Bloc (0+ / 0-)

                took to the front lines creating a buffer between the non-masked protesters and the police. That's how blackbloc should work.

                BB creates tension across the movement either for or against, but the existence of a BB and the dialogue it creates across the movement shows whether we can really and truly foster a new society from the structures we're attempting to build or whether we'll be just another passing generation too squeamish to really push forward into a restructured order for things.

                •  What I saw in the pictures (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rcnewton

                  were cowards in masks blowing cigarette smoke in police officers' faces, and breaking sticks over a cops head after having his helmet knocked off.

                  The only dialogue that is created the dialogue of violence and completely hijacks the message the peaceful protesters wanted to convey:

                  Carl Gibson/HuffingtonPost:

                  The highlight of the historic NATO summit protests in Chicago last weekend was when Veterans for Peace, joined by their families, threw their war medals in the direction of McCormick Place, where NATO generals were meeting, to denounce the senseless violence they committed to earn their medals. The veterans also delivered a flag to the mother of a soldier who committed suicide. An Afghan woman tearfully denounced the war that took the lives of family members. The ceremony was powerful and emotionally-gripping, and showed that members of the military being sent overseas to risk their lives so the 0.1 percent in the military-industrial complex could profit from wasteful contracts and resource exploitation. And it would have been the media's top story and the topic of everyone's conversations if you didn't have to act like a selfish bunch of clowns.

                  According to those who were there, you disrespected the veterans by chanting through the Veterans for Peace's call for a moment of silence for lives lost overseas. By starting confrontations with riot police during the ceremony, you deprived veterans and their families their moment of justice for your own selfish need to have all the attention. You didn't stop war, end capitalism, or even get close to the NATO summit. All you did was attract more riot police to an otherwise peaceful event, leading to kettlings, beatings and arrests. Way to go.

        •  In all of your diary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rcnewton

          I'm not seeing any specifics about "revolutionary tactics that work".

          •  Protection (0+ / 0-)

            Protection is a tactic that works. I doubt the police would have kept their peace no matter who was there. I saw unprovoked attacks, but in any case what's working?

            Unity was tight in Chicago, we were effective, and brilliant and cohesive. We were able to at several points out maneuver the cops and really take the streets effectively, we had a ton of positive response from average citizens in the city, and lots of people hated NATO with us.

            So, as far as spreading a meme and carrying out an idea, it's working. What BB has to do with that is simply defensive ground maneuvers. End of story.

    •  Guthrie did not condone violence (12+ / 0-)

      His machine quote was metaphorical. Guitars don't kill.

      Well, I been around the world, and I've been in the Washington Zoo. And in all my travels, as the facts unravel, I've found this to be true.... ...they don't give a f^ck about anybody else

      by Zwoof on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:27:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ugh. black bloc does not equal violence. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aigeanta, efraker

        I wish we would put that myth to bed.

        •  Really? (10+ / 0-)
          But a “Black Bloc” of about 100 anarchists wanted something else. The group, which chanted “What do we want? Dead cops!” as it left Grant Park at 2 p.m., surged to the front of the protest crowd and tried to break through the imposing line of Chicago cops in riot gear blocking its path.

          Then, in a scene Chicagoans feared ever since the city learned it would host the NATO Summit, the two sides violently clashed on live TV, with police nightsticks flailing and protesters unleashing a volley of sticks, bottles and at least one rock.

          Source 1

          Source 2

          Well, I been around the world, and I've been in the Washington Zoo. And in all my travels, as the facts unravel, I've found this to be true.... ...they don't give a f^ck about anybody else

          by Zwoof on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:34:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Agathena, efraker

            you can cite isolated incidents, and that's to be acknowledged, but overall the Bloc didn't engage in violence. I'm not condoning those that did. I had never done blackbloc until after Chicago, and we had an intense experience in STL where some infiltrators enraged the crowd, scared the police and got a bunch of protesters leaving a park arrested.

            I had serious issues with Blackbloc until Chicago when I saw a new culture emerge from various cities. There were some crazies and blood thirsty gutter punks, but most of the poeple I saw quickly distanced themselves from those assholes and moved on.

            This entire article advocates blackbloc as a defensive maneuver.

            •  erotikka, after sleeping on this, (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Simian, fcvaguy, annecros, rcnewton

              I feel even stronger this morning that Black Bloc is counter productive and dangerous.

              As you say, "There were some crazies and blood thirsty gutter punks," that you and "most of the people" distanced yourself from, but the problem is that the other people and the cops were not as observant as you.

              The police responded as they always do, with violence. The unwary peaceful protesters who did not recognize the hooligans in your midst, were punished.

              Meteor Blades is right, "one of the people who came expecting peaceful is going to wind up dead or maimed because some folks decided to force the rest of the protesters to accept their tactics."

              I realize that the BB is trendy, and at this time urge you to think things through before MBs prediction comes true.

              Now, I don't know any thing about your history, but let me tell you about mine. I was teargassed and chased through the streets of Louisville, Kentucky when I marched with MLK.

              I was at a protest at Kent State's sister university in Bowling Green, Ohio when the National Guard shot demonstrators after an agent provocateur provoked the Guard.

              While in the Army I and others refused to accept duty when assigned to block an anti-war demonstration in Southern Alabama. We were issued live ammo for this action.

              Meteor Blades' experience exceeds mine by far. I suggest you take a lesson from history.

              Well, I been around the world, and I've been in the Washington Zoo. And in all my travels, as the facts unravel, I've found this to be true.... ...they don't give a f^ck about anybody else

              by Zwoof on Mon May 28, 2012 at 09:51:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  so.... who isn't violent? Our country was (0+ / 0-)

                founded on violence. We are perpetually at war. I can't think of any group that doesn't haven't members who would become violent in a conflict.

                Black bloc is not inherently violent. As with any group, there may be some who bring their own violent tendencies to it.

                •  I would agree with you, but (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fcvaguy, rcnewton

                  then we would both be wrong.

                  Tell me, is there an effort in BB to weed out the "few bad apples"?

                  Well, I been around the world, and I've been in the Washington Zoo. And in all my travels, as the facts unravel, I've found this to be true.... ...they don't give a f^ck about anybody else

                  by Zwoof on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:56:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  there was (0+ / 0-)

                    in Chicago, the Blocs I saw were very careful about collective non-violence and a focus on protecting others. There were a few much smaller groups of 3-5 that engaged in tearing down pro-NATO banners, but overall, the bloc was disciplined and held it together, protecting women, smaller guys and jouirnalists from the cops.

                    I've seen a ton of gratitude out of Chicago, and I think it's noteworthy and worth paying attention to as our movements develop.

                •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

                  BlackBloc isn't inherently violent, neither is anything or anyone else.

                  A person's choice to violence lies in their actions, their choices, not their dress code.

                •  "so.... who isn't violent?" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rcnewton

                  UGH

                  I'd venture to say that most Kossacks are not violent. And, my guess would be a lot better than yours claiming black bloc = violence is a myth.

                  •  Most Kossacks leave their violence (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    UnaSpenser

                    for other to do in their place.  Where do you think the stuff your computer, and mine, came from?  Do you really think violence wasn't involved?  You may not personally attack workers anywhere, you just pay others to do it for you.

                    And that's setting aside the support for war here.  War is also violent, though the way some folks here talk about it you wouldn't know it.

                    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                    by AoT on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:44:44 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  In reply: (0+ / 0-)

                Zwoof, you said: Meteor Blades is right, "one of the people who came expecting peaceful is going to wind up dead or maimed because some folks decided to force the rest of the protesters to accept their tactics."

                I'm not asserting that BB is flawless or without danger, if you carefully read my actual position on the matter, it's not a carte blanche endorsement of BB. It is however grateful, and measured.

                I've been the victim of BB provocateurs, I was arrested in St. Louis when 6-8 men no one ever saw again at the entire Occupy the Midwest conference snuck into the crowd and helped them chase police officers out of the park.

                We were arrested because of their aggravated nature, and to be honest, the police came ready to beat protesters, violent or otherwise, I saw several cops brandishing clubs and jumping up and down excitedly, with rage and fury on their faces.

                I know how bad a black bloc can go. I saw several young men in that crowd singled out and beaten for no reason. Some were in bloc, some were not. However, just because there are bad incidents doesn't convince me that the bloc is useless.

                Black Bloc as a defense is all I'm endorsing. Take it or leave it.

            •  They are far more than isolated (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rcnewton

              In fact, they are commonplace. Seattle - Starbucks? Old Navy? Whole Foods?

          •  Zwoof... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Zwoof, OIL GUY, fcvaguy, rcnewton

            You'll have an easier time reconciling this if you a) redefine "violence" to suit the agenda and b) neuter "violence" by subsuming it to a "tactic." Here endeth the snark.

            Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

            by angry marmot on Mon May 28, 2012 at 08:04:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  what does it equal? n/t (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zwoof, IndieGuy, Smoh, rcnewton, sviscusi, fcvaguy

          "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:39:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, you keep trying, but they won't cooperate.nt (0+ / 0-)
        •  You've got a long way to go (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rcnewton

          to convince people black bloc tactics aren't heavily rooted in violence. And you're not going to do it by dismissively calling it a myth.

      •  The hell he didn't (0+ / 0-)

        He outspokenly supported fighting Nazis.  And fighting the police in self-defense.  The ignorance is astounding.  Next you're going to say Emma Goldman didn't support violence, or George Washington.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:39:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  well... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agathena, efraker

      you're entitled to your opinion and I to mine, but the Bloc I saw in Chicago was defensive, organized and supportive, not distracting or aggressive.

      •  Why do you think you can separate out the (9+ / 0-)

        "isolated incidents" "crazies" and "blood thirsty gutter punks"?  Why do you get to call them "infiltrators"?  There has to be some ownership of the people you draw into your group and who act under the auspices of your flag.  And in the end how can you claim an "overall" victory when those very people have diminished the effectiveness of the people who do take a responsible part in peaceful protest?  In by my opinion BB just refuses to accept responsibility for the problems they cause real protestors and takes credit for the parts they want to. It is an immature and socially irresponsible practice.

        “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

        by stellaluna on Mon May 28, 2012 at 04:12:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am a sovereign individual (0+ / 0-)

          I don't have to own anything.

          I accept my actions, which are non-violent.

          There isn't one Occupy flag, and pretending there is, is ridiculous. We have to undo the myth of homogenization and unity, where we have difference and dissensus.

          I can claim overall victory for the street demonstrations in Chicago because I saw the BB defend us, journalists, streamers, etc.

          BB can be a self-involved ego-fest, I'm not denying that, I'm not denying that sometimes it's a means to shirk responsibility, but that doesn't mean that when it's tactically used correctly, it's a bad thing.

          I'm not advocating a carte blanche BB, but a very specific style, and most of my readers seem to not get that, and that's frustrating.

          •  That is because it does so much damage to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rcnewton

            groups that don't deserve it.  And you have confused the concept of ownership of things with ownership of personal actions. Black Bloc won't take ownership of the grief they cause and try to obfuscate that grief through circular logic about diversity and individualism. But the fact is that Black Bloc is entirely parasitic in nature. The "good" that you see from black bloc actors could all be done without the selfish adherence to the bad. But it never is. So like any parasite, they destroy the host. Just because individually they may be good people capable of doing good things doesn't mean that the group and the concept is good.

            As far as a particular style that is where you have fallen into the myth of Black Bloc.. That is, that you can choose only the parts you like and pretend the other parts don't involve you. When you promote Black Bloc you promote the whole. To do otherwise is avoid your own personal responsibility. If you don't adhere to the whole thing then find or start something that you do completely believe in.

            “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

            by stellaluna on Mon May 28, 2012 at 03:42:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Black Bloc (0+ / 0-)
              As far as a particular style that is where you have fallen into the myth of Black Bloc.. That is, that you can choose only the parts you like and pretend the other parts don't involve you. When you promote Black Bloc you promote the whole. To do otherwise is avoid your own personal responsibility. If you don't adhere to the whole thing then find or start something that you do completely believe in.
              I advocate blackbloc as a defensive tactic, and I think it works. It's not about the whole or the parts, just because I appreciate the value of something doesn't mean I automatically check every box just because. Imposing party line logic onto my choices as an individual doesn't actually react to what I'm saying, but picking and choosing what to react to. Notice msot people haven't even commented on the second part of the article.
              •  That's because the two cant be read separately. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rcnewton

                And I appreciate what you seem to be trying to do which is to find something commendable about a group that you didn't realize previously. But you can't separate out the good things about Black Bloc from the bad. The fact is that the bad does so much damage it overrides the good.  I don't doubt that some of the Black Bloc folk you met were honorable and brave. But the fact is that when we are dealing with movements that purport to speak for a group of people all of the actions matter. Not just the good ones. Those people should disassociate themselves from Black Bloc if they don't approve of the tactics. If they are committed to peaceful change there is a place for them. They let the violent members diminish their own message and presence.

                “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

                by stellaluna on Mon May 28, 2012 at 06:20:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure about that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rcnewton

        I saw a video of cowards in masks hitting a bare-headed cop over the head with a stick from behind his back after someone else had knocked his helmet off. Is that a "defensive tactic"?

        If so, when the police respond in kind and start cracking people with batons, to include the non-violent protesters, is that defensive violence or offensive violence?

    •  My thoughts exactly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy

      Misguided at best, Dangerous at the worst. Either way, there is no room for black bloc tactics in the democratic party.

      In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress. -John Adams

      by rcnewton on Mon May 28, 2012 at 07:39:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I liked this diary. (6+ / 0-)

    I thought it was empowering in the face of a lot of encroaching fascism. Kinda doubt most of your first commenters actually read it.

  •  list of ways black bloc has changed the US for the (22+ / 0-)

    better is slightly shorter than the number of Presidents named Woodrow Wilson.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:21:40 PM PDT

  •  I know you're writing in English... (15+ / 0-)
    Black Bloc Kills ideological, physical and organizational fascism when done correctly, because it's a tactic. And it's working.
    ...but there's not a single thing in those two sentences that I understand.  Okay, one thing: black bloc is a tactic, sure.  How does it "kill" fascism?  For that matter, what is the "ideological, physical organizational fascism" that it "kills"?  And by any yardstick, how is it "working", and how is whatever you're measuring attributable to black bloc?

    I'm not trying to be snarky here: I just really don't get this.  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:58:47 PM PDT

    •  The imaginary rulers in the BlackOps head tremble (14+ / 0-)

      and quake with fear as your niece gets terrified after her car windows are broken.

      The 1% actually pause for a second before ordering another bottle of the rarest wine, as they laugh to themselves, and remember to order 12 more sound-cannons.

      Bam! Fascism defeated, broken, and blubbering under the fierce hammer of the Vanguard.


      The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

      by Jim P on Sun May 27, 2012 at 11:41:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Experience in Chicago... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico

      I saw horizontalism, and that the bloc challenged the occupation and CANG8 to not entrench itself in one or another method of doing things, because of the bloc, things changed up quite a bit and sure there were frustrations, miscommunications and everything else along the way, but also, there were small victories.

      Ideological fascism: fascism as idea. The BB challenges the police state by showing a presence of resistance, and gives the protesters and demonstrators a vanguard defensive unit, as well as a front line. Also, it shows that the culture of resistance isn't just to be rolled over in the coming elections.

      Physical: i was here using fascism to decribe the actual physical use of force by police to dissuade protesters, journalists and women from remining with the demonstrations. I saw many a blackbloc dress code protester get involved to take a beating for someone else, and that's admirable.

      Organizational: Bloc reintroduces dynamic horizontalism into the picture, where occupy or other organizations may get accustomed to leaders, point persons, etc. Bloc allows for horizontal decision making on the fly, and showed me a real democratic commitment, when they were mobilized. I overheard quite a few conversations by those in bloc, and they cared for each other and the demonstrators around them.

      •  Thanks for the detailed response... I'm not sure (4+ / 0-)

        that I understand the gist, though: is "black bloc" a tactic of defensive absorption of violence?  Because that would be fine, but I guess I don't get how that translates into a different strategy than what protestors are normally doing, insofar as, should the standoff lead to violence, they're usually on the receiving end.  What makes black bloc defense different from "protesters getting beaten with police clubs"?  Also, isn't the negative side of dynamic horizontalism a lack of sustained focus and strategy?  Is the resistance to point people just an ideological opposition to leadership, which is itself problematically narrow narrow?

        What are some of the small victories you saw?

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:20:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  They force people unwillingly into confrontation. (23+ / 0-)

    Fuck that.

    I've been a protest organizer and a legal observer, and there has always been a pretty direct correlation between a Black Bloc presence and property destruction or police violence. The result tends to be peaceful protesters getting screwed over.

    I'm glad your experience in Chicago didn't bear out what I've encountered at every march I've ever been to with the B.B. in attendance, but from my first demonstration in DC (the Saturday after "Shock and Awe" began, when they tore down barricades in LaFayette Park to force mounted police to clear the area) to my most recent one (where a B.B.er put a hammer through a plate glass window), they've never been a welcome sight.

    And this is, I think, the part that you need to really understand: the way Black Bloc operates is to force the rest of the demonstrators to accept their tactics, by acting in such a way that compels suppression against everyone there. And in an environment with a lot of tired, grumpy people with guns, that's a really bad idea. The Black Bloc robs the other demonstrators of their opportunity to determine whether the character of the protest will be peaceful or confrontational. Some group can spend months arranging to hold a protest rally or march, obtain the necessary permits, declare a parade route, and make arrangements for legal observers and speakers. Then some kids in bandanas show up and turn a peaceful rally into a standoff. It doesn't matter if the crowd came with the expectation of peace. They don't get to choose the sort of rally they wish to have: the bloc makes that decision for them. That shouldn't be encouraged. That's a dick move, period.

    "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

    by JR on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:19:43 AM PDT

    •  And, one of these days, sooner than later... (22+ / 0-)

      ...one of the people who came expecting peaceful is going to wind up dead or maimed because some folks decided to force the rest of the protesters to accept their tactics. If the blackbloc were purely self defense, I'd view them in a whole different light. But they are not and their actions are the perfect screen for infiltrators to do things that will undermine the movement. The blackbloc in many cases might as well be working for the 1%.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon May 28, 2012 at 03:37:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. The most offensive part of these tactics (6+ / 0-)

        is the unwillingness of BB to respect the rights of peaceful protestors to have the protest they organized, they funded, they promoted and in which they are at risk. It is somewhat ironic that BB, (a militant group that resorts to violence against the wishes of the people for their own selfish goals) feels they are needed to fight fascism.

        “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

        by stellaluna on Mon May 28, 2012 at 04:26:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Do we know that some of them haven't (13+ / 0-)

        been hired by the 1%?

        I was in Europe in the eighties when these "blackbloc" tactics were employed there, and achieved little.

        That was Europe, in the eighties. The rest of us activists viewed Blackbloc tactics pretty much from a "no harm, no foul" perspective: that is, we didn't see that they did any damage to our cause, and just tried to make sure we didn't get caught up in their shenanigans.

        But this is the US in the 21st century: every time I hear the word "anarchist", I think, "Surely you mean anachronism, right?"

        I'm not going to go into great detail, but what it feels like to me is that a lot of young, inexperienced activists who are frustrated with the whole system and seeking a complete paradigm shift are "falling for" this tactic.

        Personally, I didn't have any strong opinion one way or the other about the Blackbloc, but they seriously lost me at "What do we want? Dead cops!"

        No, I don't want dead cops. I want educated cops. Conscientious cops. "Clean" cops. Cops who don't participate in brutality, racial profiling, racist/sexist/fascist SHIT.

        I. Don't.Want.Dead.Cops. Period.

        I share the desire for a complete paradigm shift, but this is not the way to get it. The way to get it is to live your life NOW according to the paradigm you want--and believe me, in this dog-eat-dog predatory capitalist environment, that's going to cost you. In many ways. And on a daily basis.

        These
        are the principles I try to put in practice every day of my life. And, most of the time, I succeed--at a cost, definitely at a cost. But in so doing, it forces many people I encounter/have dealings with, to change their practices...or at least to think about the principles underlying their actions and thought.

        Sorry, but I just don't think the call for "dead cops now" is going to have the same appeal.

      •  Can you articulate why Dem Party is so violent? (0+ / 0-)

        Meteor, I think what's pushed me so far away from the more mainstream position I had when I joined this site many years ago is that the Democratic Party embraces policy and finance proposals dedicated to continuously spreading violence throughout the world. Many, many people are ending up dead because this obsession with violence has become normalized in the Democratic Party's rhetorical milieu.

        I know you're a grizzled veteran of the interwebs, Dkos & all, so would you will be willing to articulate in a long-form article how you can tolerate engaging with this Party that has almost an occult devotion to a global, unending campaign of violence? Who can tolerate participating in a group which is building killer robots with borrowed tax dollars obtained at the threatened point of a gun?

        The whole thing is almost unspeakably terrifying, it is the Abyss which I used to think was mainly the realm of revenge-crazed Republicans.

        Many, many people who sort-of expected peace from America under the Democrats are turning up dead every day. No anarchist fires cruise missiles or covers for criminal bankers with the kind of sick grin we see on, say, Sen. Schumer's face. What are we supposed to do about this hellish quality infesting everything?? I know you're a well intentioned person so it would be great to get a sturdy answer to The Violent Democrats Question circulated properly on this venerable site. (10 yrs! dang!)

        --
        Hongpong.com- Getting that special Babylon feeling

        by HongPong on Tue May 29, 2012 at 12:32:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Antifa at least fights actual fascists and not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy

    cops.

  •  I believe the black bloc is a cop tactic (6+ / 0-)

    worldwide. There are some non-cops involved but overall, in my opinion, the whole point is to turn off the average citizen.

    Any revolution must have the support of the general public. Thus, any action that repels the public is anti-revolutionary. It's in the interests of those in power to do exactly what "the black bloc" does.

  •  The beauty of BB is that they don't really have (12+ / 0-)

    to adhere to any set of principles. They don't have to set goals or have (oh horrors) rules or definitions. So they can espouse the sort of verbal cupcake you have here without taking any responsibility for the actual results. In diary after diary, article after article about BB you have the defenders come in and say "that's not what it stands for" or "that wasn't the purpose" or "this isn't sanctioned or that is". By not having to operate with the same integrity as the groups they infiltrate and diminish they are able to avoid any responsibility. How many times do we hear  "agent provocatuer" when the criticism gets too strong. It's an easy out when your people wear masks, don't have community guidelines and certainly don't have member lists. And it is definitely easy to claim victory when you don't have any stated goal in the first place. You can just cherry pick any good result, ignore the rest and declare victory.  No matter what, there is nothing about the views in this diary that seem to have anything to do with electing any kind of democrat-- or progressive for that matter and I don't think it should have a place here. As usual with BB tactics, it can only hurt the real messaging and real goals of this site.

    “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

    by stellaluna on Mon May 28, 2012 at 04:02:58 AM PDT

  •  Gee, Toto, I guesss we're not in the....... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, rcnewton, OIL GUY, fcvaguy

    ....Democratic Party any more.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Mon May 28, 2012 at 05:30:42 AM PDT

  •  Fuck Black Bloc, fuck their tactics... (8+ / 0-)

    ...and fuck anybody who supports them or their tactics.

    If your goal is to destroy Occupy, Black Bloc is the way to do it.

    "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.." - John F. Kennedy: Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961. We are the 99%.

    by IndieGuy on Mon May 28, 2012 at 07:17:12 AM PDT

  •  If you are brave enough to post your observations, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    efraker

    I'll be brave enough to say thank you.

    Like you, I'm against violent tactics. When the BB tactic was getting attention in the Oakland protest, I did a little research about the movement (or tactic? I'm still confused). I can't recall the video to supply it here but I watched a meeting (via online) between dedicated  peaceful activists and the people who also want to use BB tactic in the Occupy movement.  A young woman was quite compelling in her argument for embracing the protesters that also used BB tactics when they felt it is needed. It challenged my thinking about Occupy later working with the people using BB tactics.

    My thoughts.

    BB tactics are not going away. Working together makes sense in that when the people who want to use these tactics are better informed about the peaceful protester's concerns and maybe the tactic can actually protect protesters and the movement. I think breaking a window to prevent a protester from getting a broken skull is appropriate. The value of a person's skull is more important than private property. The violence coming from the police have been repeatedly used against the Occupy movement basically unchecked. If protesters do not get some sort of protection than the peaceful protesting tactic will fail yet again.

    On the other hand, I have seen via streaming, a group of people trash a business and promptly returned into the crowd of protesters for what I assume anonymity purposes. In my mind this tactic is not protecting the peaceful protesters. The very least these people are setting up the peaceful protesters for criticism that they do not deserve or even worse is setting up the death of a innocent person. This makes me furious. Is this a BB tactic or provocateurs on the loose? The very nature of the BB philosophy makes it murky to ever know.

    I'm still holding out before I make any hard fast judgements. I need a better understanding about the tactic in its purest form. The rogues who are just being punks and putting others in danger need to be shamed to oblivion.

    Thank you er0tikka for challenging us with your observations. I think it is very unwise for folks to make judgements from what is seen through the MSM spin and IMO your diary should be received better on this site.

    •  Oh, so now it is claimed that it is not BB (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OIL GUY, fcvaguy, rcnewton

      but agent provocateurs acting violently. You say this in a paragraph after you point out that you saw "a group of people trash a business and promptly returned into the crowd of protesters for what I assume anonymity purposes."

      In other words, wolves in wolves clothing are the bad guys while the authentic BB people are there to 'protect' protesters from police retaliation from the actions of the false black bloc posers.

      Is that what you are saying? I'm trying to follow your reasoning but I end up going around in circles.

      Well, I been around the world, and I've been in the Washington Zoo. And in all my travels, as the facts unravel, I've found this to be true.... ...they don't give a f^ck about anybody else

      by Zwoof on Mon May 28, 2012 at 09:03:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You make my point much more clearly. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rcnewton

        Supporters of Black Bloc get to choose the rules and adopt the outcomes they like. If it was a good thing then it was Black Bloc. If it was a bad thing it was a rogue or infiltrator. Or not sanctioned (though there is no sanctioning board).  So they are free to anonymously do whatever they want and then deny the parts that make them look bad. It is the perfect organization if you don't believe in taking responsibility for your actions.  And if someone points out the systemic damage your actions do to the movement you are sucking off of you just accuse them of being sell outs who don't appreciate diversity of tactics. Get people to focus on the unfairness of the 1% so no one notices that Black Bloc is the tool of the 1%.

        “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

        by stellaluna on Mon May 28, 2012 at 04:08:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tactics (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not willing to shirk responsibility, but when I organize with the bloc, we respect each other. I've never accused someone of being a sell out for not liking blackbloc tactics. Until Chicago, I didn't really have a positive opinion about the BB.

          I think that demonstrations in the streets are important, but not even the best or most effective method for improving the current systems we find ourselves in.

          But that's off topic.

      •  I don't support violence nor all of the BB tactics (0+ / 0-)

        I do not know who those destructive people were. They could have been BB, punks, or BB posers. I pointed out if it was BB tactics then they are not protecting protesters rather putting them in harms way.

        I wanted to reply to the diarist that I am open minded enough to consider that some BB tactics could have a purpose in the protest/Occupy movement opposed to the harsh blanket responses from the earlier responders.

        My thoughts may not seem clear. Probably for the reason that I really don't know much about it other than a few hours online watching conversations/debates within the Occupy movement and of course the biased media's take on it.

        I'll just leave it at that. I'm not interested in taking a position one way or another. I'm here to listen and respect the diarist's personal observation with an open mind. Direct your anger somewhere else please.

        •  Appreciated, (0+ / 0-)

          very much appreciated. I think my intention was to begin the discussion of how anonymity and fluid organizing can help us retain the radical element, and yet move forward together as a movement. Whether the peaceful like it or not, people will bloc up to protect their identities for various reasons, I think our questions should be about how that tactic could be used for our future.

          I think I clearly advocated a defensive blackbloc that protects people, demonstrators and everyone else.

          Thing is, in Chicago, police were not just attacking blackbloc, they indiscriminately attacked women, and smaller participants, as well as journalists.

  •  The average person sees video of windows smashed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zwoof, annecros, rcnewton

    and all they think is that these guys are enemies.  It makes it all the easier for conservatives to make everybody on the left appear to be enemies.  It is all too easy for the black bloc to live in their own little fantasy world and lose contact with the average person. I saw that with some of the New Left in the 60s, and I see that now.  Read the book Nixonland to see that things did not work out so well for the New Left in the 60s.

    The average person, who all too often votes for the conservatives, needs to be educated.  The Occupy movement made a start to making the average person aware that there might be something he needed to learn about what is happening to our society.  But black bloc tactics stop that education in its tracks.  The average person does not see how his economic problems are being addressed by window smashing.  All he sees is vandalism.  If you can't figure out that most people hate and fear vandalism and want strong action to stop it,then you have lost contact with the people.

    If most people do not understand the problems with the conservative movement, then violence from the left will not help them.  If the day comes when most people do understand how the conservative movement is damaging America, it is still possible for real change to happen without violence.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Mon May 28, 2012 at 09:22:35 AM PDT

  •  I've got the solution, people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fcvaguy, rcnewton

    We need another color bloc, let's say white to signify opposition to black. The White Bloc encircles the Black Bloc to isolate them from the OWS non-violent protesters and video any acts of violence.

    When the White Bloc determines that the Black Bloc is counter productive, they can rush in a pull the masks of off the cowards who are afraid to show their faces, exposing them as either agent provocateurs or hooligans.

    Of course this would require a third party group, the Gray Bloc, to insure that the White Bloc.......

    Meanwhile, the cops (Blue Bloc) just beat the shit out of everyone.

    Problem. Solved.

    Well, I been around the world, and I've been in the Washington Zoo. And in all my travels, as the facts unravel, I've found this to be true.... ...they don't give a f^ck about anybody else

    by Zwoof on Mon May 28, 2012 at 09:27:40 AM PDT

  •  The cops need black bloc they don't fear them (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zwoof, stellaluna, rcnewton

    That's the main myth black bloc supporters misunderstand. The BB doesn't strike fear into the police, the police use BB as their excuse to crack down on the protests. That's why infiltrators always are BB impersonaters. If there was no BB the police would have to invent them, they love the BB.

    Just think, if the BB wasn't there protestors would attract the middle class who won't participate if they see the threat of violence. Then the movement would spread across the nation and be impossible to stop. But with the BB the cops can say they pose a threat and attack them. They can divide the movement and leave only the radical fringe. The BB are the cops best friends.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Mon May 28, 2012 at 10:04:00 AM PDT

    •  Those aren't (0+ / 0-)
      Just think, if the BB wasn't there protestors would attract the middle class who won't participate if they see the threat of violence.
      Those aren't the sorts of people you want to rey on when thigns get heavy. The threat of violence isn't just a speculative matter of dress code, given the Pre-NATO raids etc. they're a definite state of reality in terms of the government reaction to our movement. accept it.
      •  Exactly. Those aren't the people you want to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rcnewton

        rely in if your goal is violent conflict with authority. But if your goal is fairness in the distribution of wealth, fairness in dealing with other countries in armed conflicts, economic and world justice then those are exactly the people you want. And by scaring them off you damage the movement. If Black Bloc wants to fight authority then they need to do it and stop destroying the good work of people who are trying to change things using the tool of protest. The conflict in protest isn't the goal. At least for everyone except Black Bloc participants.  Which is why Black Bloc should not be welcome.

        “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

        by stellaluna on Mon May 28, 2012 at 04:13:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My goal (0+ / 0-)

          is not conflict with authority, in fact I don't rely on protest as a primary means of social change. Visionary organizing is far more effective, but Blackbloc has a place in our agenda for creating a general culture of resistance towards authority, which is necessary as we begin to work towards a better culture and society.

          Conflict in protest is spectacle and it takes away from speech as the ends of political assembly, so no, I don't delight in violence, but again if you read MY article and what I AM advocating, what you'll notice is that when assembly is simply for demonstration the Bloc has great tactical uses and I appreciate and endorse that as an individual. I didn't ask anyone to agree. I just stated my opinion.

          Bloc has uses, protesting has uses, together they work on different means and ends.

          I do not deny that the bloc can be parasitic when someone is calling for peaceful demonstration, or when plans are one thing and something else happens. I'm not saying the bloc is unchaotic.

          What I am saying is that a general write off of blackbloc isn't necessary, and should be included in the activist toolkit for continuing to organize across cities.

          •  I respect that. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rcnewton

            But I think the Bloc activists you know and admire would be better served if they had a clearer role. Or if the violent means were condemned. Everyone with good intentions, even non-violent Bloc members are hurt by the actions of the few. If Black Bloc would disassociate from the vandalism and violence and make it clear it isn't tolerated then their role as defenders and enablers would be more credible and much more welcome.

            “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

            by stellaluna on Mon May 28, 2012 at 06:25:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  no, blackbloc has no place in Occupy (0+ / 0-)

            Not as a tactic or as an integeral part of the movement, it's way too soon for that to work in any way. At least not for a long time and much more organizing. The 'tactic' you think is needed isn't needed at all. If Occupy had first organized within the masses and had the trust of the people perhaps then using them as a buffer might be a good tactic. But to begin a movement which you desire the middle class to join things like BB are a hinderance and play directly into the hand of you enemies.

            A month or so ago I wrote here about the long community organizing and trust it took my organization, The American Indian Movement, to gain the backing and trust of my people. You and BB can't expect to earn that type of trust in a few months nor can you expect the masses of middle class Americans to join you if you don't do the basic organizing before any "heavy" actions take place.

            In fact that type of thinking means Occupy will not be able to appeal to the 99% and it will die a quick death.

            America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

            by cacamp on Mon May 28, 2012 at 09:40:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  why should "thing get heavy"? (0+ / 0-)

        I've done plenty of resistance work including fighting the government with guns and doing time for it in Americas toughest joints. So I know what happens when things get heavy. Been there done that.

        What I'm trying to tell you is that the middle class isn't into "heavy" and if that's the plan they'll never join your 'movement' if that's what it is.

        Occupy will die on the vine if it lets people who want things to "get heavy" have their way. So your whole thesis is bogus to begin with, it makes me laugh when your type thinks they're talking real resistance when they talk about kids who break windows. Get real and face the truth, which is you guys don't have clue.

        America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

        by cacamp on Mon May 28, 2012 at 09:25:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  With their cowardly insistence on masks and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rcnewton, cacamp

      identifying attire the police are indebted to black bloc for making it so easy. Only the very politically naive or selfish adherents to violence don't recognize that. Without black bloc actions or past actions the police would have to be more careful about their own violence. That of course is why they infiltrate. Can you imagine a easier group to infiltrate than one that has no leaders, no organization, no loyalty to any one group and insists on anonymity?  Real political and social groups who rely on violent tactics would be appalled.

      “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

      by stellaluna on Mon May 28, 2012 at 03:31:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think the diarist is a troll... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HongPong

    ...or if they are they took a lot of time and effort to construct a back-story from the Twitter and fund-raising links in their profile.

    That said, BB is and always will be an anarchist tactic because it is predicated upon the idea that the state doesn't have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force.

    DK is for people who have chosen sides - the Democratic party. Political partisans can't support anarchists outside of opportunism or hypocrisy, and anarchists who've read their history should be smart enough to not support political partisans.

    "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

    by efraker on Mon May 28, 2012 at 11:22:51 AM PDT

    •  I'm not a democrat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      efraker, HongPong

      at all. I'm an anarchist. I just use Dkos because i like it.

      •  We benefit from a diversity of voices (0+ / 0-)

        That said, if you keep diary'ing (and I hope you do), you may hear a lot "this website is about electing more and better Democratic politicians", especially in the run-up to November.

        One thing I've noticed past anarchist (and Green, and Libertarian...) diarists have done is to include a paragraph at the end of their diaries that sums up how they think their proposals and observations could benefit Democratic politicians.

        You might want to self-identify as an anarchist, and let people know where you're coming from. If someone calls you a "concern troll", just ignore them. If you're sincere, it'll show through your comments and diaries, and is the only way to truly vindicate yourself.

        "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

        by efraker on Mon May 28, 2012 at 05:51:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          efraker, HongPong

          Seriously. Thank you, for respecting my voice, my thoughts and opinions, even if you disagree.

          I dunno about that last paragraph thing, but it's worth looking into, because i'm about a robust public dialogue.

          It's much appreciated advice.

          Again, Thanks.

          •  I normally wouldn't give you advice... (0+ / 0-)

            ...because you're a better writer than I am, and you don't need any on that front. But they say you've got to tailor your message to your audience and all that.

            "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

            by efraker on Mon May 28, 2012 at 10:45:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  You really have a grand vision. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rcnewton

    But how many protestors were at NATO?

    10,000, tops?

    Once you start regularly attracting more people than a baseball game, I'll pay attention.

    "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

    by Bush Bites on Mon May 28, 2012 at 12:28:15 PM PDT

  •  My Main point was: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HongPong
    We can recreate a society that serves the people, but we will have to be strong & not forget that revolution is not an armed struggle; in this society, revolution is a series of bold changes that allow us to resist the state together, oppose intimidation and work for a future we can share.
    Funny how almost all the trolls missed that in their responses. Read carefully, I'm a nuanced writer, you can't just skim my work for easy targets.
  •  thanx 4 pushing radicalism vs violent D/R parties (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    er0tikka

    Unfortunately most Democratic partisans don't want to acknowledge that it's actually their group, along with the Republicans, who are totally bent on flooding the world with violence. Sure, it's usually delegated violence and/or latent violence, (i.e. pay the war tax or we use guns to get you into jail) but it is a philosophy of essentially violence without end. The Democrats are even bigger fans of filling the world with killer Terminator robots than the damn Republicans!

    I have helped document one case in particular at the G20 Pittsburgh (known as Epic Undercover Police Fail) where police provocateurs tried to dress as black bloc and got flushed out. So I know this happens occasionally & is worth considering.

    If you can consider that the basic kernel of the black bloc is anonymity, (as opposed to mode of confrontation X or Y) its important to realize that schemas like Intelligence Led Policing and Community Oriented Policing strategies are basically used to favor corporate interests by developing network maps of activists to neutralize through the instruments of the legal system. (as well as extralegal vigilante & corporate security systems, anti-agitator background checking etc.) If you want to avoid gangstalking by this system, anonymity is one strategy to pursue.

    While we might find decent people among their ranks, the two parties are bent on imposing as much unchecked financial crime and violence on society as they can get away with. No anarchist launched any cruise missiles, no anarchist covered for bankers running fraudulent mortgages & securities. A broken window or a bit of the 'smashy smashy' as Lisa Fithian calls it, but nothing approaching the scale of a fraudulent mortgage.

    Other debates about whether radical techniques divert attention & create spectacles which undermine other activist groups goals should be had, but the scale of violence which the Parties party on about vastly blows away anything I've ever heard of on the radical activist side.

    --
    Hongpong.com- Getting that special Babylon feeling

    by HongPong on Tue May 29, 2012 at 12:21:17 AM PDT

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