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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 261 - 270 of 316

Page 27 of 32

Anonymous

Golly gee willickers, peeps, what's your favor-ite issue?

Mine is the historical fact that it is YOUR Militaries that sucker-punch the life out of a great deal of humanity whenever it's time for YOU to dine on the fruits of their and YOUR murderous ways.

But lets consider YOUR issues, first.

Occupy that, yuppy.

Anonymous

That wasn't that clear. Are you talking to or at Occupy in the so-called 'western democracies'? The ones with the uniformed murderers who are willingly supported - their tax rolls prove it - by a majority of their respective publics with payments and averted eyes? That Occupy? As far as I can tell they just want their fucking money back from Bernie Madoff and Prez Fuckhead's '08 campaign.

Anonymous

Have they not tried to Occupy the homes of people being made homeless by the banks?
(P.S: On this issue, the final reel of Roger And Me is worth a look.)

Anonymous

I love how Adbusters uses this nice air brushed picture of an attractive blond donned in her black hoodie and don't-leave-home-without-it-bandana wrapped around her face like a bank robber. Its Vogue meets The Sex Pistols. How nice. If mainstream advertising uses misleading ads to make something more attractive than it actually is then Adbusters is right up there with The Gap.

Anonymous

Occupy Wall Street is controlled by CANVASS, which is controlled by Otpor, which is controlled by CIA

The only thing Occupy "revolutionaries" are supposed to do is a few feel-good/do-little activities to spin the people's wheels until the election is over or "fuck shit up" so the gov can reclassify protesting and use NDAA section 1021

They won't back great solutions like "The Saving American Democracy Amendment" (http://www.sanders.senate.gov/petition/?uid=f1c2660f-54b9-4193-86a4-ec2c39342c6c) and silence anyone who breathes a word on the bailout or central banks (even if they clearly do not support Ron Paul)

Anonymous

While there is evidence that CANVASS is controlled by Otpor, which is controlled by CIA , how much hard evidence that Occupy Wall Street is controlled by CANVASS?

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