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Two Anarchists in Conversation: Lopez and Rancourt propose "another sedition"

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Stimulator screen shot from submedia.tv
Stimulator screen shot from submedia.tv

This is a 26 minute sound clip from a one-hour radio interview in which Franklin Lopez (The Stimulator) and Denis Rancourt (Activist Teacher) discuss activism, direct action, diversity of tactics, and the heart of the Black Bloc:::

In the first part of the clip Lopez gives a detailed account of how Black Bloc violence occurred at G20-Toronto - he was there and followed it all with his camera.

Lopez rejects the conspiracy theory of progressives wherein the cops let the Black Bloc do its thing, used the Black Bloc, abandoned a decoy car for them, etc. He has a quite different account supported by video evidence.

Then the two exchange about the mindfuck that prevents progressives from seeing direct action as the effective tool that it is, as the essential component for change without which all is just a master smoke screen of guilt eliviation.

Here is the 26-minute sound clip: SOUND CLIP AT ARCHIVE.ORG

The full one-hour radio interview is at The Train, CHUO 89.1 FM.


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167 words

Comments

but...

Lopez ridicules people who are looking at videos to try to identify specific types of socks that will show black bloc people are actually police undercovers ... but there was one video that showed a group of plainclothes people, including one 'blacked up', who run behind police lines before the police close ranks and you can no longer see those people (this is the 'scary lady' video, a plainclothes woman threatening the camera person with a baton, if i remember correctly) ... so anyways there's proof that at least one police undercover was among the black bloc ... and if one was caught on camera, who knows how many others there were

 

Rancourt claims that smashing a store window deals a huge blow to the corporation, in cost and negative imaging and ...

does he remember the G20 protest in Ottawa in Nov 2001?

it was notorious for a smashed McDonald's window (the one on Bank St right by parliament, if I recall correctly) ... did it really hurt McDonald's? i was in there the other day, the lineup was out the door and onto the street ... they are still in business, i am sure they are still hugely profitable, and i don't think it really affected them at all ... the protest, on the other hand, was severly impacted by this one broken window. it became the focus of pretty much all the media coverage. did the rest of the protesters like the fact that the issues they were there for (of which McDonald's was a pretty small/insignificant part) were sidelined b/c the media focused on a broken window? i know people in the protest who have their suspicions that the window breaker was in fact a provocateur, who no one knew and who slipped away ... the fact is, that type of action is unaccountable to the rest of the (thousands) of people who gathered there to hold the protest, and who chose different tactics ... and as i stated at the start of this paragraph, i don't think it hurt McDonald's too much, so i question Rancourt's assertion that it is the model of activism that we should be aspiring to

Where's the proof?

Hey Greg, thanks for your comments. I rely on video and photographic evidence to provide proof of events not to wildly speculate on them. What I was talking about on the radio was the widespread speculation (and sometimes assertions) by many on web: That some people must have been agents of the state. The "proof" these folks offered were photos and videos of people wearing different colour socks, expensive jackets and even combat boots. These statement were propagated by conspiracy theorists like those who populate Global Research and "leftist" publications like Rabble, offering no proof to verify their statements. Their main argument to support this was the now famous Montebello incident.

I know that there were agents of the state operating within the G20 protests. But people have to be careful when they start calling people cops publicly, when their only evidence is the outward appearance of the persons. The consequences of this type of irresponsible behaviour are very real. I reported on one of these cases, when a man was identified as a cop by many leftists on numerous forums on the web. Leftist columnist Antonia Zerbisias went as far as leading the police to the "evidence" of this "provocateur." This lead to the arrest of man who was not a cop.

It's also not productive for people to push these theories, when their main motivations is to be right or to push their brand of politics. The main point I've been trying to make is that, weather you like or not, the "Get off the fence" contingent thwarted the one billion dollar security apparatus, and all the evidence available, independent and corporate, prove that.

But our "allies" of the social democrat flavour side and even some anarchists of the "platformist" persuasion can't just let the militants have their victory. And with knee jerk speed, rushed to the media and to the web to promote their baseless statements and denouncements. This is disheartening because people not only worked hard to organize that action, but more importantly they risked their freedom for something they truly believe in. I want to loudly salute them and recognize their efforts, but I've yet to see others on the left do this. Instead they shit on their work, or attribute their success as co-option by the state, and in some cases call for their arrests. With allies like these... well you know the rest.

 

on smashing windows...

Just to clarify, my claim is not that a broken window on its own can bring down MacDonalds. My claim is that a single broken window, arising from a simple physical act that costs nothing (outside the risk), costs the corporation greatly disproportionately more than the pure physical damage of the window. In that sense, it is a highly effective action where an individual wields significant power in terms of economic damage.

It is a simple tactic with high economic leverage.

This is why power cannot allow it to catch on. This is one reason why disproportionate resources are expended to prosecute window breakers.

This is also true of arson (as in "we set shit on fire") but with arson the risk of physically hurting people is sometimes greater.

When mobs trash things, power pays attention. That is the leverage against power. That and the threat or perceived probability of rebellion. Inter-class self-image pressures can also work to some extent I think: http://activistteacher.blogspot.com/2010/06/psycho-biological-basis-for-image.html

See my articles about all this... or not.

For example:

http://activistteacher.blogspot.com/2010/07/g20-toronto-property-damage-is-good.html

"a single broken window,

"a single broken window, arising from a simple physical act that costs nothing (outside the risk), costs the corporation greatly disproportionately more than the pure physical damage of the window."

 

This is a claim that thousands of demonstrators who are affected by the aftermath of such an act would probably disagree with after the consequences start to ripple outwards.

Sometimes I wonder if Black Bloc tactics are in fact meant to simply provoke a reaction from the state with the aim of forcing everyone else's back to the wall so they have to choose between fight or flight (or arrests).

affected by the aftermath

Dear anonymous affected sympathizer,

If we do nothing for fear of a backlash that may affect others then we do nothing. Either we stand together against the common oppressor or we stand on opposite sides of the resistance-obedience divide.

What evidence do you have that peaceful expression of opinion, without physical leverage, gets results in this plutocracy?

Also, the simple truth that "a single broken window, arising from a simple physical act that costs nothing (outside the risk), costs the corporation greatly disproportionately more than the pure physical damage of the window" is not changed by the fact that many disagree with this tactic, for whatever reason they disagree. Indeed, the suppression of other activists is an added component to the cost incurred by the system... (logic).

 

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