Adbusters

Battle for the Soul of Occupy

Round 7 - The Black Bloc Anarchist Turn.

KARNEY HATCH

Occupy’s May Day General Strike was a surprising and bold success for the visceral side of the movement. While most of Occupy put its energy into building coalitions with “legacy progressive groups”, labor unions and immigrant rights organizations, these efforts did not yield the anticipated results. In New York, for example, despite amassing a coalition of over a hundred organizations and rallying a crowd of more than 30,000, occupiers were thwarted in their attempts to shut down banks or re-occupy Wall Street. And some Zuccottis have complained that union representatives actively blocked an attempt to lead the crowd toward direct action at the end of the night. Meanwhile in Seattle, Oakland, San Francisco, New Orleans and elsewhere, anarchists using Black Bloc tactics stole the show.

On websites and forums, anarchists are rejoicing the spectacular showing of Black Bloc. “American anarchists haven’t experienced this much positive public attention since the euphoria and aftermath of N30 in Seattle,” writes one commentator. For many, the Black Bloc represents a tactical innovation that suggests the future of Occupy. “Occupy is dead, long live the Black Bloc,” writes another. An anarchist in New Orleans described how the status quo was unprepared for their tactics: “the Anti-Capitalism march caught the police off-guard and has the media dumb-founded. A full 24-hours later the Times Picayune has said nothing about the Anti-Capitalist March, only making mention of the permitted march that happened earlier in the day.”

In Oakland, the Black Bloc, which made up a large portion of the May Day General Strike, displayed a coordinated tactical philosophy – including the de-arresting of comrades, throwing eggs filled with paint, using homemade smoke-creating incendiaries to confuse police, and the rejection of media – that suggests prior planning, ongoing innovation and increasing sophistication. And Black Bloc tactics are just one aspect of the overall rejuvenation of anarchism that is happening right now including the increase of infoshops (there are two near Occupy Oakland: The Holdout and The Longhaul); the creation of bottom-up solidarity networks to replace top-down unions; providing free food on the model of Food Not Bombs; offering a compelling DIY aesthetic.

Anarchist occupiers are energized and their visceral tactics are attracting members. Now, the power of the Black Bloc is growing within Occupy and pushing the movement in unexpected directions.

Round 7 goes to the Black Bloc – now let’s see what we can do for the rest of May!

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316 comments on the article “Battle for the Soul of Occupy”

Displaying 231 - 240 of 316

Page 24 of 32

nabarreria

i am not insulting, i am saying that what the guy is saying doesn't make any sense and is probably trolling as if you read the article never advocates for violence, you should write to him not to me as he is the one is the way of the debate disqualifying the one that is introduce it, adbusters

Anonymous

Sorry if I mis-understood your point - but have there not been a few needless and insulting comments out there?

While the article might not advocate violence, the way it was worded, the mention of Black Block Tactic and some replies, have given the impression that it did agree with violent protest.

Anonymous

If that is how you really feel, then email [email protected]

Nonviolent Anarchist

Thank you for your kind response

I respect Adbusters and have long supported it. I still support it. I am sincere in my words, and for now I won't quit; as I said, I'm eager to see how your publication evolves and if this blackblock article becomes a turning point in your line of thought so far, or not. I'll be waiting to know if you intend to promote violence in the middle-term or remain faithful to what I had understood were your core values. There has been a lot of panic below these lines and I wonder whether it will turn out to be justified or not

Solidarity, comrades

Anonymous

Allowing the Black Bloc to become the face of this movement is like dousing ourselves with gasoline and giving the 1% a book of matches......

They WANT to make us look unreasonable to portray us as "extremists" and the Black Bloc thugs and hooligans do more to damage our movement than the 1% could even dream of doing on their own.

At least Adbusters is finally coming clean with their bait-n-switch strategy. They knew that if the first 300 protestors on Wall St back in September had been wearing black and throwing rocks and bottles that we wouldn't even be having this conversation right now. So, they decided to make it more "mainstream" in the hopes that as the state fought back the general public could be convinced to engage in ever more radical tactics--thus the "diversity of tactics" Trojan horse slipped into nearly every US GA via the St. Paul Principles.

Face it, Anarchists represent an extreme minority, maybe 1-2% of the population. Insurrectionist Anarchits, those that want to use violence and property destruction to bring down the state, represent the fringe of the Anarchists. If you seriously think that a philosophy and tactics that are embraced by an extremely small minority are actually going to be embraced and adopted by the 99%, then you are delusional. 99% of the 99% don't want what you're selling, maybe this explains why you're always so angry and militant?

Anonymous

ummm, anarchists are an extreme minority, so are leftists in general. if you let small numbers paralyze you, you may as well give up. also the numbers game is stupid. yeah, we've got 200 people and you have 1000. so fucking what? either group is miniscule compared to the general popluation.

fact is, a small number of activists using the greatest variety of tactics have obviously been more effective than masses of people who limit themselves in every possible way. and guess what: the 99% aren't stupid. when they watch our tactics work consistantly, while yours fail consistantly, they will join in.

also, you admit that a diversity of tactics was democratically accepted by nearly every GA. sooo, maybe your the whiny angry minority here?

Anonymous

More effective at what exactly? What gains have been made through Black Bloc tactics? I mean other than the graffiti and broken glass.

Anonymous

BLACK BLOC TACTICS WILL NOT WORK, at this stage and without the the support of the people. It really is that simple.

Anonymous

@"Allowing the Black Bloc to become the face of this movement is like dousing ourselves with gasoline and giving the 1% a book of matches......

They WANT to make us look unreasonable to portray us as "extremists" and the Black Bloc thugs and hooligans do more to damage our movement than the 1% could even dream of doing on their own.

At least Adbusters is finally coming clean with their bait-n-switch strategy. They knew that if the first 300 protestors on Wall St back in September had been wearing black and throwing rocks and bottles that we wouldn't even be having this conversation right now. So, they decided to make it more "mainstream" in the hopes that as the state fought back the general public could be convinced to engage in ever more radical tactics--thus the "diversity of tactics" Trojan horse slipped into nearly every US GA via the St. Paul Principles."

EXACTLY!!! This is why I laugh every time I hear Chris Hedges call it a "mainstream" movement. He totally didn't understand what was behind the movement and the fringe forces driving it.

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