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The Black Bloc fucked us

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
The Black Bloc fucked us

I'm just going to say it because I need to get it off my chest. I'm really disappointed with their conduct Saturday. I'm angry and disappointed. I'm just at a loss as to how we can realistically continue to defend these tactics after I observed them for my self.

Some points,

The violence of this Black Bloc wasn't just directed towards property. People were attacked and endangered through their recklessness during Saturday's march. I personally was threatened and attacked by black bloc members because i had a camera. I saw black block members attack several other photographers for myself.  I also came very close to getting a rock in the head that was headed for a window. On other occasions I saw bloc members smash windows with bystanders on the other side of the windowpane. Not to mention the attacks against police that I witnessed.  Putting aside for a moment the argument that attacks against property are not violence, attacks against people certainly are violence and their reprehensible.   

Whether the police felt their crackdown was a necessity after the black bloc action or the action was the excuse the police needed to start it, the Black Bloc action by 75-100 individuals was the event that lead to 10 000 of our allies facing police violence and 900 of them being arrested. A small cadre changed the entire dynamic of the convergence and its relationship with the police. After Saturday's Bloc march, no space in Toronto was safe for dissent. Sometimes I wonder if some people who use these tactics aren't hoping for a violent response against their allies just to prove a point about the violence of the state... The Bloc's also made the actions of police acceptable in the eyes of the wider public. This Bloc's actions essentially justified the $1 billion in security costs, the fence, the secret law and the mass arrests in the public opinion.   

Respect for diversity of tactics does not excuse activists from being accountable for their actions, but that is how it is treated by members of the black bloc.  We lose credibility as a whole to our audience when property destruction and violence occur, these tactics endanger others who choose not to use them (directly and afterwords when police react to them), when these negative effects are felt, members of the Black Bloc are long gone after essentially using the rest of us as human shields... I believe to an extent that this indifference to the damage Bloc tactics do to our movement comes from vastly different priorities: confronting the state's authority vs. putting a message out to a wider audience. The members of this Bloc put their priorities ahead of the priorities of the majority of people at this convergence.

Respect for diversity of tactics is a two-way street. Members of the black bloc generally harbour a disrespect for activists who do not use such risky tactics, often viewing other more peaceful activists as less committed.

Last week we saw a week's worth of peaceful protests that we're getting good media attention completely overshadowed by the story of Saturday's smash and grab. 
We saw the same thing play out on a smaller scale during the Olympics convergence: numerous actions in the lead-up getting wide media attention until the window at the Bay came down. Then the story was about the Black Bloc and the messages that others worked so hard to get out were lost and forgotten.

What gets me, what REALLY gets me, is that as a movement, WE RECOGNISE that these tactics discredit and marginalise us as a whole, to the extent of trying to blame them on "agent provocateurs", Police plants, or "a tiny minority". Yet we continue to welcome those who use these tactics because of a pressure to respect the diversity of tactics. Some groups such as labour are smart enough to distance themselves, grass-roots groups generally are not.   

Sorry, The Black Bloc Fucked us last Saturday. I can't sit on the fence about it any longer.


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Comments

thanks!

 I am glad more people are speaking out about the Black Bloc tactic, the more people who speak out the less supporters of the Black Bloc tactic can bully people in the movement.

This post is delusional

This opinion piece rests on the belief that polite protests accomplish anything.

1) Political and business leaders do not care about polite protests, demonstrations, petitions, witty signs, etc.

2) Regular people across Canada do not care about polite protests, demonstrations, petitions, witty signs, etc.

If you are well-behaved (according to how the gov't, police etc. want you to behave) you do not reach any more people's hearts and minds, and you certainly do not change public policy, or threaten the power of the rich and powerful.

Case in point: try and see how many people even know about the G20 People's Summit that happened in Toronto the weekend before the G20. Almost no one even knows it happened. The media barely covered it. People always complain that the Black Bloc takes attention away from the 'good protestors,' but the media doesn't cover the well-behaved stuff anyway.

I was there amid the vandalism and burning cop cars, and there were literally thousands of people around me. Often when a window would shatter, the street would erupt in cheers - not from Black Bloc people, but all sorts of people. The point I'm making is that there may be people who are turned on to a polite protest, but I would attest to there also being a number of people turned onto a destructive protest.

the ppoint 2, is clear

the ppoint 2, is clear demagogy and generalizatiom

You can't argue with your

You can't argue with your points, but i don't believe that they actually support the use of the black bloc tactic either.  Political and business leaders might care more about direct action tactics, but in my opinion, the use of them encourages them to ramp up policing to solve the problem, rather than actually address the issues that have people protesting in the first place.  The same is (imo) true about the apathetic.  When they see violence they don't understand, they don't ask why those people are being violent, they ask for the police to stop it.

I also don't believe that citing people cheering when window are broken means that they support your cause, i think it's much more likely to mean they support the spectacle.

I, personally, think that the battle will only be won with hearts and minds, and i don't believe that the black bloc isn't winning them.

bad timing?

I share many of the same criticisms. But let's put off having this discussion until everyone is freed. And then let's have it respectfully but without holding back. Allies have a responsibility to speak up when they think one of their own is using a tactic that is counterproductive. Anyone interested in this debate should be working to create appropriate spaces to have it in. Not sure this blog is the right place and this is not the right time.

solidarity eh...

the fact that the media ignored 5 days of action before the saturday (other than when radical organizers were involved), then 25000 at a marches, demos, actions, and rallies on saturday and sunday is not the fault of the black bloc. 

i would respond to this more, but a good number of my friends are still in jail. resistance to us is not something we do for a few days a year.

i also trust that this will be dealt with appropriately. my first reaction was to take it down... as i said such devisive writings would not be tolerated.  i would rather though, you simply get your journo-blogo-libearli identity attacked.

go fuck yourself Mike McGregor,  its not the anarchists fault the pacifist and anti-war movements are into non-violent suicide.

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/dan-kellar/4021

 

The idea that you were put at

The idea that you were put at more risk because of vandalism does not appear very well thought out. If there were nobody smashing and burning on Saturday, you assume the police would have been nicer to everyone. But I ask - would peaceful protests make a difference in the world? If thousands of people had been allowed to sit all day at Queen's Park, would the media be talking about it around the world? I think we both know the answer would be No.

I am a history student, and when I look at every social justice movement, I see people winning when they put fear into the ruling class. This weekend, fear was put into the ruling class, and they have been shamed on a world scale. I see this as a very good thing.

For example, the Suffragettes helped win women the right to vote by not just breaking windows, but bombing politicians homes and attacking them in the streets.

Take the resistance to apartheid in South Africa and Nelson Mandela, resistance to colonialism here on Turtle Island, resistance to the oil industry in Nigeria, resistance to capitalism and the state in Greece, resistance to government in Thailand, and on and on and on: we see guerrilla warfare, confrontation, violence.

I'm not trying to romanticize this or take it lightly. I'm just pointing out that an analysis of history shows that being well-behaved does not advance us, because we are dealing with psychopaths. We are dealing with psychopaths.

------------------

It needs to be pointed out that two very huge successes were won this weekend:

1) Canada's image was tarnished on a world scale - all over the world news, the headlines were "G20 in Canada" with a pictures of burning cop cars. This shows to people all over the world that people are pissed off and fed up in Canada, and it shows to the powerful across the world that Canada cannot contain it's angry residents, indeed it shows that Canada has angry residents, and all is not well in this otherwise 'peaceful' nation.

2) The police were dealt serious public relations blows. These are the people who rape and murder, abuse and exploit, manipulate and lie, who put people in cages all the time. It is about time they were outwitted and embarrassed.

Q. What profession has the highest rate of rape among it's employees?
A. Police.

People have an infinite list of reasons why they hate the cops, and my heart is warmed that people fucked them over this weekend.

One more thing: Thank you Black bloc, thank you thank you thank you, you made my weekend. Saturday was one of the best days of my life.

Black (bloc) Shirt success story

"you assume the police would have been nicer to everyone." We had a 'peaceful protest' against bringing the olympic torch to Commercial Drive here in Vancouver, that not only succeeded but got substantial local media coverage. And the Police behaved theselves because it ws specified as one where the 'diversity of tactics' that the Blackshirts use as their protective cover was not welcome. "But I ask - would peaceful protests make a difference in the world?" Maybe yes, maybe no. we will never know now thanks to the actions of the Blackshirts. But we do know that without the actions of the Blackshirts, any excessive use of force by the police would have been met with a greater protest - as history shows. And that is precisely why they were hired to do what they did. There is NO analogy to be made between cops - in black shirts - breaking a few windows and the heroic efforts of people in South Africa or Thailand, where resistance was done BY THE PEOPLE not by police (and a few naive people following police orders) claiming that they were inspiring 'fear' in the ruling class by doing a few thousand dollars damage as an 'inspirational act'. The only fear they inspired was in precisely the people they intended - the pensioners, the aboriginal people, the imigrant communities, etc., who saw how the 'regular police' got away with brutalizing their people because of the excuse provied by the Blackshirts. That was the 'success' of the Blacksirt actions - fewer people will show up next time. Exactly why the ruling class hired them! You should go back to school and learn about how change actually happens! Student of history, indeed - without bothering to read any!

Um, speaking of revisionist history...

Were you even there on commercial drive when the torch was blocked? There was a mass participation by anarchists & bb.

http://vancouvermediacoop.blip.tv/file/3212435/

Nice try though.

Ghandi used peaceful passive

Ghandi used peaceful passive protest and resistance and freed a whole nation.

errors:

human shields --the action on the 26th was widely known as a direct action march. it was deliberately separated from the other marches so as not to disturb the other more 'family friendly' marches. this is common in convergences -green zones and red zones. it is not the fault of the black block or any other more aggressive activist that the police refuse to respect this differentiation and choose to attack the 'green' areas. it is the same as the army attacking civilians --people who are non combatants and are thus extra vulnerable to attack.

While the severity of the situation is hardly comparable, the sentiment is the same in places like Palestine where the Israeli government justifies blowing up civilian homes and entire neighbourhoods because they are harbouring militants. This is a common military strategy. It can also be seen in North American society with the extreme reaction to terrorism in the last ten years. Attacks on civil rights on all levels are justified because of the threat of terrorism.

What does it mean to "justify" your actions ...to make up an excuse to do something wrong, to hurt people,  based on an unrelated event. is that act not reprehensible in and of itself?

look into resistance movements anywhere in the world and you will find that the state uses this tactic to disrupt resistance movements. it is absolutely not unique to Toronto for police to attack non combatants to punish them and to terrify them. "failure to disassociate" is now a criminal offence in Canada. This is what should disturb you and other law abiding citizens more than any broken window.

The intent of attacking people who were not engaged in the direct action march is to get the wider movement to police itself and do the job of police -attacking militants, turning them in, informing on them, isolating them, lying and spreading disinformation about them.

Your article and your anger are based on incorrect information: organizers of the convergence went out of their way to avoid conflict between direct action and peaceful protester by separating events. The black block did not use anyone as 'human shields' -the police used peaceful protesters as their whipping boy to extract petty revenge and intimidate and terrorize people. You also lack any global or historical perspective on resistance and repression: this character assassination of militants along with persecuting the wider movement is all too common.

You would do well not to just get off the fence, but while you're out and about in the world, you might try going to the library and look up resistance movements world wide. start with Guatemala -where thousands and thousands of people where disappeared, tortured, killed, imprisoned, because of resistance there -entire Mayan villages were massacred. The U.S. government 'justified' this horror because of a so called communist revolution.

There's nothing wrong with critisism -but there is something vulgar about deliberately spreading lies and disinfomration.

I totally agree.

 I said the exact same thing in response to this article:

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/dan-kellar/4021#comment-5190

but I doubt they'll allow it to be put up...

" You failed to mention whether your movement/members were the ones who organized the destruction/vandalism downtown. I remember seeing a story on CBC of a certain individual from that g8/g20 song saying that he thinks property damage is okay. If that is really what certain people believe, why hide your faces? You forgot to mention that the vandals, for the most part, left the peaceful protesters to take the beating. If you organized this than I don't understand what message you were trying to convey. You popularized the media, made a lot of people watching cheer for the police to fight back (although most changed their minds after seeing the violent police response), you attacked corporations that can replace all that you damaged without even putting a dent in their funds, and you justified the billion dollar security budget. Oh and the Ontario government had to pay for many of these shops to be repaired, the ones that were local businesses. There are much better things the provincial government should be spending money on, but we can't just leave these private business owners out in the cold.

Most people I have spoken with think these vandals deserve punishment/jail time, as do certain violent officers. Their were mistakes made on both sides. There are good cops and bad cops, just like their are good activists and bad activists. The fact that faces were hidden PROVES they knew it was wrong.

I will continue to speak out for the real victims, those who did nothing but were arrested, but unless your group can prove they did not provoke this than you will get no respect or sympathy from me. "

vancouver-anonymous

I agree with many of the above notes that now is not the time to engage in this debate, particularly when so many of our allies are still in jail. For now, let's remind ourselves of what Frederick Douglas said 150 years ago.

"Those who profess to favor freedom, yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."-Frederick Douglas

I stand in solidarity with the black bloc.

re: vancouver anonymous

Yours is typical fundamentalist thinking. War is inevitable, violent struggle is forever. Why can't you get it that the "white block" protesters are pioneering a new kind of social change. Change for once without bloodshed as Gobachev said on the eve of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Ghandi's methods were an innovation in social change. In a modern world full of nuclear weapons and handguns, mob violence is obsolete. History teaches a false lesson. Wake up to 2010.

Historical White-Washing

 Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

Frederick Douglass, 1857
 
Would you condemn the smashing of windows by the suffragettes while you're at it?

I stand in solidarity with intelligent protest

Not vandalism for vandalism's sake, with the door wide open for police infiltration. I'm sorry to say, the Black Bloc got played by the cops and by Harper.

Let's have this discussion when cooler heads prevail...

 I share many critiques voiced by the author of this piece, but think its far too early.  Labour has made a mistake by distancing itself to the extent it has.  I think that what we need to do is to focus on freeing political prisoners.  Then we can question tactics - which certainly need questioning.

But telling people to go fuck themselves is certainly not helpful either, nor is simply saying "I stand with the Black Bloc" since there is no organized Black Bloc - its a tactic, not an organization.

The Black Block-Heads Strike Again!!!

 

I completely agree with article and even the point about police provocateurs as an excuse. Unfortunately provocateurs do exist, this is a well know fact. And the police, as can be seen on all the videos circulating, just stood by and watched the mayhem, and only began their pogrom of brutality once the black block had changed out of their black clothes, and dispersed into the peaceful demonstration. This is simply a case of a bunch of anti-establishment minded people letting their emotions blind themselves to the fact that they are being used by the police. This has obviously become an effective police tactic.

People who use black block tactics are simple weekend and fair weather activists. I wouldn't even call them activists. People like this have simply jumped the gun, and assumed that voting, letter writing, lobbying, petitioning, calling your representatives, educating the public, demonstrating, and non-violent civil disobedience do nothing. I have been activists for almost twenty years, and I can tell you that you black block-heads are completely wrong, and that your actions will back-fire. I have effectively and non-violently succeeded, along with hundreds and thousands of others in the communities where I live, to essentially force our local governments to create local parks, green spaces, and to stop the building incinerators. The Canadian public can take the credit for pressuring our government to not join the U.S. in the war in Iraq after 9/11. You can't just sit on your asses all week, wine and bitch about how bad the government is, and then go and break some windows on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Activism that strives to create a more participatory society is hard, grueling work, it requires hours of research, letter writing, meeting with officials, spear heading boycotts, and the work does not end once everyone gets arrested.

I know people in their eighties who've been doing this since before you little shits were born. They are right pissed off, let me tell you. These are people who have not only sacrificed thousands of hour volunteering, capacity building, and writing to and meeting with officials, and attending public hearings, some of them have sacrificed their personal freedom participating in well organized *non-violent* civil disobedience. I'm not eighty years old, but I am one of these people, and I am personally offended that anyone would have the audacity to suggest that I've wasted my time and energy. No, never mind, I'm not offended, because I have seen the fruits of my labors. And they have been infinitely more plentiful then the rotten apples these "black block" heads have been picking. Defending democracy and freedom is hard work, it's a life long endeavor, and setting cop cars on fire isn't going to accomplish anything.

Nae, it will accomplish something very important indeed: the media has now portrayed all activists and protesters as what they call "thugs. We are now all perceived as thugs, sociopaths and charlatans. Come on, block-heads, just turn the god-damn TV on...oh yeah, you don't "believe" in watching TV. That's to bad, because you are correct in assuming the black block tactics got the most attention, but what you consistently fail to mention, is what kind of attention, and how non-activists and Canadians who generally don't get politically involved think about activists and protesters. I live in a typical Canadian suburb...and here's a generalization of what many average working class Canadians are saying here:
We must allow the police to suspend our rights in order to deal with this "black block" threat, and we should allow the police to do what ever it takes to get rid of these dangerous "activist" types.

So thank you, black block heads, thank you so much for helping to usher in the police state, which Canadians will voluntarily allow, all the while continuing the tradition of Canadian political apathy.

 

take a deep breath and chill

take a deep breath and chill out. the victims of police repression are not the instigators of police violence - THE POLICE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN VIOLENCE. 'you broke the rules and that's why we got beat up' logic doesn't really fly with me, man. 

 

btw, maybe we're not all interested in just creating reforms to a shitty situation to make it slightly less shitty... this debate between militant and non-militant actions goes deeper than just a question of tactics - there is often a huge discrepancy in terms of vision. 

The Block-Heads Strike Again!!!

I completely agree with article and even the point about police provocateurs as an excuse. Unfortunately provocateurs do exist, this is a well know fact. And the police, as can be seen on all the videos circulating, just stood by and watched the mayhem, and only began their pogrom of brutality once the black block had changed out of their black clothes, and dispersed into the peaceful demonstration. This is simply a case of a bunch of anti-establishment minded people letting their emotions blind themselves to the fact that they are being used by the police. This has obviously become an effective police tactic.

People who use black block tactics are simple weekend and fair weather activists. I wouldn't even call them activists. People like this have simply jumped the gun, and assumed that voting, letter writing, lobbying, petitioning, calling your representatives, educating the public, demonstrating, and non-violent civil disobedience do nothing. I have been activists for almost twenty years, and I can tell you that you black block-heads are completely wrong, and that your actions will back-fire. I have effectively and non-violently succeeded, along with hundreds and thousands of others in the communities where I live, to essentially force our local governments to create local parks, green spaces, and to stop the building incinerators. The Canadian public can take the credit for pressuring our government to not join the U.S. in the war in Iraq after 9/11. You can't just sit on your asses all week, wine and bitch about how bad the government is, and then go and break some windows on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Activism that strives to create a more participatory society is hard, grueling work, it requires hours of research, letter writing, meeting with officials, spear heading boycotts, and the work does not end once everyone gets arrested.

I know people in their eighties who've been doing this since before you little shits were born. They are right pissed off, let me tell you. These are people who have not only sacrificed thousands of hour volunteering, capacity building, and writing to and meeting with officials, and attending public hearings, some of them have sacrificed their personal freedom participating in well organized *non-violent* civil disobedience. I'm not eighty years old, but I am one of these people, and I am personally offended that anyone would have the audacity to suggest that I've wasted my time and energy. No, never mind, I'm not offended, because I have seen the fruits of my labors. And they have been infinitely more plentiful then the rotten apples these "black block" heads have been picking. Defending democracy and freedom is hard work, it's a life long endeavor, and setting cop cars on fire isn't going to accomplish anything.

Nae, it will accomplish something very important indeed: the media has now portrayed all activists and protesters as what they call "thugs. We are now all perceived as thugs, sociopaths and charlatans. Come on, block-heads, just turn the god-damn TV on...oh yeah, you don't "believe" in watching TV. That's to bad, because you are correct in assuming the black block tactics got the most attention, but what you consistently fail to mention, is what kind of attention, and how non-activists and Canadians who generally don't get politically involved think about activists and protesters. I live in a typical Canadian suburb...and here's a generalization of what many average working class Canadians are saying here:
We must allow the police to suspend our rights in order to deal with this "black block" threat, and we should allow the police to do what ever it takes to get rid of these dangerous "activist" types.

So thank you, black block heads, thank you so much for helping to usher in the police state, which Canadians will voluntarily allow, all the while continuing the tradition of Canadian political apathy.

Now IS the time.

 This issue is fresh on everyones minds and I don't think we should avoid debate just because certain individuals are in jail. If they want to destroy things, why don't they destroy their own things? Oh, I know, because that would hurt them! It's against the law to destroy other peoples property + possessions and to ATTACK human beings (which many can PROVE the black bloc did). This is why they are in jail. If you don't like it, don't do things that will put you there. You can't cry when you were the ones doing the damage, although I do not deny the cops did damage as well. The only ones who should truly be helped are those peaceful protesters who got arrested because of your group.

There are so many other reasons why what a certain group did was wrong:

 

A- Changed out of black clothes and either scattered or fled, leaving peaceful protesters to suffer. Many are questioning whether your movement did so just to try and get others to dislike the police and government.

B- It popularized the media, more people were tuning in to their tv sets. I know I was for about 3 days. CP24 had the highest amount of viewers they've had.

C- You made a lot of people cry out for action AGAINST your group because you attacked PEOPLE as well, not just property. There are many accounts of this recorded.

D- You destroyed private business owners property. The federal government would not fund this so the province had to pay it. The provincial government doesn't need to drain more funds, especially since it was the federal governments issue.

E- You attacked chain stores where repairing the store doesn't even put a dent in their wallets.

F- You justified the security budget. They might even spend MORE next time. If the protests went peacefully they would have been questioned about the budget. They might then spend less in the future.

Most people would agree with me that what your group did was WRONG. The majority of our society wants your group punished. 

I don't understand why you do not move out of the cities and go somewhere where you can live the way you desire...without government, rules, laws, corporations (which are popular because the most amount of people buy their products), colonization, etc. If this is truly what you want and obviously not what most others want, this should make sense. You can't force other people who don't agree with you to abide by your rules and follow your beliefs.

 

WE NEED TO HAVE THIS DEBATE BUT IN A RESPECTFUL & COMRADELY WAY!

ok??

With comrades such as the

With comrades such as the so-called Black-Bloc, who needs enemies! The Black-Bloc is not interested in intelligent, civilized, cogent argument, only their own propoganda and violence. Even though some of the Black-Bloc were most probably police, the other, "genuine", Black-Bloc could have demonstrated peacefully and intervened against the violent Black-Bloc provocateurs to prevent their property damage. Instead, they and the police were comrades collaborating to achieve their own, separate, agendas. The police won.

Great article and great timing

Great timing. If we can't debate because of "respect for a diversity of tactics" in the lead up to summits, we should at least be able to do so in the aftermath, especially when such tactics played into the hand of the police to incarcerate 1000 people most of whom had nothing to do with these tactics. And we can have these debates at the same time as we work to free political prisoners. Those crapping on labour for distancing themselves from property damage haven't noticed that unions make up almost half of the main endorsers of next saturday's rally for civil liberties in Toronto. 

And great article. Contrary to the negative responses

1) the state is not afraid of the black bloc, they infiltrate it (as SPP footage famously shows) and depend on it to justify their violence. Before the summit 70% of Canadians thought the $1 billion security was a waste of money, and afterwards 70% of Canadians agree with the police actions. Thanks Black Bloc. Being given free reign by the police (on orders not to arrest them) to vandalize over 25 blocks (creating more work for minimum wage workers to clean up in the morning), and having those actions plastered all over the corporate press, should make people ask which side their tactics are strengthening (hint: not ours).

2) a self-appointed minority who use individual action on behalf of the majority is not radical, it is conservative and elitist. It's not a debate of well-behaved vs violent, it's a debate of mass action vs the actions of a few. What worried Harper was that despite months of fear-mongering, a women's contingent denouncing his maternal health plan, joined striking Inco workers with the banner "corporate greed is terrorism" (so much for well-behaved labour) to lead more than 25,000 students, environmentalists, anti-war activists, and other social justice campaigners through the streets. These united mass movements won Medicare and abortion rights, kept Canadian troops out of Iraq, and are required to free political prisoners and fire Blair. And it's mass strikes that brought down apartheid are are resisting austerity in Greece, not a handful of infiltrated brick-throwers.

We need to continue building mass movements. All out July 10 to defend civil liberties.

Separate actions?

...it was deliberately separated from the other marches so as not to disturb the other more 'family friendly' marches. this is common in convergences -green zones and red zones. it is not the fault of the black block or any other more aggressive activist that the police refuse to respect this differentiation and choose to attack the 'green' areas. 

If that's the case, why did they go back to the hated "protest pen" (SOAR's words) at Queen's Park to unmask and disperse among protestors who did not join them? While the TCM had assured people at Popular Summit planning meeting in the winter that the march would be "green", SOAR made it clear in May the deal was off. They were very open about their plan to use the march as a springboard and to split the march. Here's some of what they had to say. 

we will form an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist presence to walk in solidarity with the big People First march, before continuing on towards the fence to confront the police state and Toronto's corporate culture.

From an e-mail I received:

When the People First march turns back, we invite you all to continue on with us...

That doesn't sound like a "separate" action. If the events were indeed "separate", we could agree to disagree about the effectiveness of BB tactics. But they weren't and that was so obviously deliberate. At least be honest about how things shook down. That is the reason there is such a backlash from other activists. The whole thing reeked of dishonesty from the start. Please don't rewrite history to shift all responsibility away from the BB. 

The point of this rant is that in my view, the only way we're going to effect social change is by building mass movements. Yes they need to be militant. Yes they need to be more creative and explore new tactics. Yes some of the leadership has become stale and tired if not collaborationist at times. Yes we're running out of time as the world goes to hell in a handbasket. But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. That's a sure fire recipe for shrinking and only talking among ourselves. 

 

Separate actions?

...it was deliberately separated from the other marches so as not to disturb the other more 'family friendly' marches. this is common in convergences -green zones and red zones. it is not the fault of the black block or any other more aggressive activist that the police refuse to respect this differentiation and choose to attack the 'green' areas. 

If that's the case, why did they go back to the hated "protest pen" (SOAR's words) at Queen's Park to unmask and disperse among protestors who did not join them? While the TCM had assured people at Popular Summit planning meeting in the winter that the march would be "green", SOAR made it clear in May the deal was off. They were very open about their plan to use the march as a springboard and to split the march. Here's some of what they had to say. 

we will form an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist presence to walk in solidarity with the big People First march, before continuing on towards the fence to confront the police state and Toronto's corporate culture.

From an e-mail I received:

When the People First march turns back, we invite you all to continue on with us...

That doesn't sound like a "separate" action. If the events were indeed "separate", we could agree to disagree about the effectiveness of BB tactics. But they weren't and that was so obviously deliberate. At least be honest about how things shook down. That is the reason there is such a backlash from other activists. The whole thing reeked of dishonesty from the start. Please don't rewrite history to shift all responsibility away from the BB. 

The point of this rant is that in my view, the only way we're going to effect social change is by building mass movements. Yes they need to be militant. Yes they need to be more creative and explore new tactics. Yes some of the leadership has become stale and tired if not collaborationist at times. Yes we're running out of time as the world goes to hell in a handbasket. But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. That's a sure fire recipe for shrinking and only talking among ourselves. 

 

Black Bloc = Police

I am constantly dumbfounded that the black bloc supporters fail to recognize that they are doing  the work that the police pay their agents provocateurs to do for free. These actions are destructive to the movement. They may have drawn more media attention, but certainly not to the actual issues that people had taken to the streets to address. The only thing that Canadians saw when they turned on their TVs were a bunch of street thugs randomly vandalising everything from big corporate stores to mom and pop shops.

Please stop insisting that other activists support 'diversity of tactics.' Black bloc tactics necessarily negate peaceful tactics, so we know that this phrase only implies support for property destruction. We need to win over the hearts and minds of average Canadians. A recent poll shows that the actions of the black bloc did exactly the opposite: 73% of Torontonians and 66% of Canadians think that police actions at the G20 were justified (http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/830832--most-th...). Note that it is Torontonians (those who would have been more likely to witness the excessive use of force by police who support that excessive use of force)

Shame on those of you who are suggesting that we set aside criticism. This is exactly what we should be talking about right now.

  "WE NEED TO HAVE THIS

 

"WE NEED TO HAVE THIS DEBATE BUT IN A RESPECTFUL & COMRADELY WAY!

ok??"

 

Hey, guess what, I'm upset and pissed off, and I'm going to let you know about it no matter how much you don't like it. At least I can do it on the internet, instead of running around and breaking other people’s things.

The people who were allowed by the cops to run around and break things during the summit, then joined the peaceful protesters, after changing out of their black uniforms, are not my comrades. They're idiots, every one of them. They crossed a line, over stepped everyone’s boundaries, which was a show of utter disrespect to the communities that were represented at these protests, and now it is time for these communities to assert their boundaries. And don't give me no flowery, peace and love, tolerate everyone doing anything bull shit. "Anything" is not cool and o.k. by me, and I won't back down about this.

If the G20 ever comes to Vancouver, I will initially help to organize work-shops on non-violent civil disobedience, and how to organize *effective* direct actions. If, after this effort, I see block-heads trying to pull this shit again, me and my friends will be ready with  zap straps. I've reviewed the Criminal Code in regards to citizen’s arrest, and we are all within our rights to apprehend, arrest and hand over anyone participating in acts of violence against person and/or property.

This will effectively prevent the media's stereotyping of activists as thugs, stop block-heads from hurting people, and stop them from rejoining the peaceful protests, and may help us to locate and identify police provocateurs. We now know that police will stand by and watch block-heads as they wreak havoc, and wait until they disperse into the other protests. If the police aren't going to stop you, as a part of their justification for pogrom, then someone else must.

 

 

With comrades such as the

With comrades such as the so-called Black-Bloc, who needs enemies! The Black-Bloc is not interested in intelligent, civilized, cogent argument, only their own propoganda and violence. Even though some of the Black-Bloc were most probably police, the other, "genuine", Black-Bloc could have demonstrated peacefully and intervened against the violent Black-Bloc provocateurs to prevent their property damage. Instead, they and the police were comrades collaborating to achieve their own, separate, agendas. The police won.

continuing the conversation

 This is an interesting discussion, and one worth having. 

I am not an absolute pacifist but I would be hard-pressed to consider any kind of violence worth-while. It would have to be thoughtful and mature and productive and that's not what I saw at the G20 on Saturday. 

There are so many unintended consequences to violence. In a setting like the G20, I am not too hurt by broken windows at Starbucks, but independent businesses got their windows smashed as well (Fran's on College for instance). Customers inside the businesses were terrified.  If you're concerned with changing hearts and mind- In the eyes of the regular person, a window-smashing movement has no validity. It seems like immature vandalism. A "collateral damage" justification?- it's the same logic you hear from people who wage wars. Of course, that was not violence like a war, but it's the same logic- full of hubris and void of humility and respect for others. It's a slippery slope. 

Yes, Harper was scared. He was threatened by the political fallout from all the money he was spending. After the pictures of vandalism on the news, that problem went away. No one is talking about fake lake anymore. He's not scared of 50 or 100 people rioting.  

I have a problem with trying to cause positive change through causing fear. It's a hard task, but anger has to be channel positively. I was inspired, for example, by the group of Tibetan protesters, many of them old ladies. They marched and held signs and yelled and you could feel their pain and you could see their dignity. It was touching. 

When non-violent people are written off as "asleep" it reminds me of evangelical church, where the leaders think they have all the answers and have no problem writing off people who think differently. So arrogant. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

people just keep reposting

people just keep reposting their commenets when they get ignored the first time.  they are ignored kuz they are stupid, no need to repost, we all read it, it is just stupid.

 

if the police were in the black bloc then cool, they were acting in solidarity with a group of people who wanted to smash shit kuz their words (and years of mastabotory marching) are making no difference.  they helped highlight the rage felt by other members of our society, they helped create temporary disorder in our hedgemonic system.  while the police in the black bloc wanted this disorder to  lead to prison, others want this disorder to spread to the everyday and lead to freedom.  the short term goal of disorder is shared, the tactic to get that disorder is shared. 

it is the long term goal that differes, some want facism and others want freedom.  which side will you be on?

 

 

James78, please ID yourself

James78, please ID yourself to your community in vancouver so people know who will be a willing collaborator with the state before they start organizing with you.  if all other collaborators and infiltrators could to this as well, i know a lot of people would appreciate it.

 

hey i got an idea... lets take a resistance ideology from a different continent and culture and apply it dogmatically here even though our christian/euro culture is based on domination where the culture that this tactic emerged from is based on a culture of co-existance and respect...

 

oh wait that already been done, and it failed horribly as can be evidenced by the continuing wars in iraq and afganistan.  

pull your ass out of your heads nvda folks, we live in a culture of violence and we are not all farmers in india.  most people here do not respect each other or have a connection to the land. 

Gandhi taking people into violent confrontations was to create disorder in the dominant system.  getting your ass beaten by cops created disorder in our system, but now those who got beaten are justifiying the dominant narrative instead of the on the ground experience of getting beaten for dissenting the current socio-ecnomic system.

Anarchy is Not Disorder

Anarchy is all to often confused with chaos, disorder, and nihilism. The root words of anarchy are 'an' meaning no, and 'archy' meaning hierarchy. Anarchy means no top down hierarchy, NOT disorder, and not chaos.  An absence of top down management has nothing to do with inciting fear in people who don't have the same political views as you. It means grass roots, bottom-up organization. With an emphasis on *organization*. Order and organization do not equal oppression, or a lack of freedom. If order were somehow unnatural than how can you explain how organized and complex biological life is? Their are no real hierarchies in ecology or biology, only perceived power structures, the ones we create in our heads, and project on to the world. If you perceive a window as a power structure, and vent all your emotional energy onto that window, then that's your choice. Unfortunately, that could have been emotional energy you could have used to fuel more constructive, well organized, grassroots level activity, the kind of subtle, behind the curtains, community building activity that truly leads to the dismantling of oppressive hierarchies. The kind of work that attracts non-activists into our movements, instead of repelling them.

Gandhi himself said he did not rule out the use of violence, he simply saw it as an absolute last resort, as a form of self defense when no other options are left. As far as I can see, we have plenty of options left. You are right, we are not farmers in India, and yet farmers in India were able to accomplish more than any of you vandals ever have., and they never ran around breaking windows and tipping mail boxes over.

Society is an extension of nature, and all things in nature are non-linear and recursive. If we attempt to create communities and societies by initially using violence, then this will lead to systemic, recursive violence. In short, we will only be recreating this war, hate and greed plagued society for future generations. Example: the United States of America. This country was founded on so many high ideals, as well as the need to create their own currency system, and yet it was ushered in with gun shots and cannon balls. And look at the U.S., now.

No one has bothered to try and refute my point that my fellow activists and I have been more effective then the black-bloc people in achieving their goals. I've been a volunteer organizer for Car Free Days in Vancouver, a member of the Work Less Party and a volunteer/participant for the Vancouver Critical Mass and the Naked Bike Rides. The Work Less Party successfully bumped the NPA, we actually came in third place in the last civic election, which was a big surprise for all of us. I honestly don't know what we would do if we had members of our party elected, but it could become a reality, and we have many, many ideas that most city councilors think are absolutely crazy. As well, a number of my friends have successfully pressured our city council into building bike lanes, and now the city will be installing bike rental stations, like they have all over Europe. In my home town, a small group of older activists, who were the first people I ever worked with, just managed to get the city council to stop the construction of incinerators in Port Moody. If a larger number of people were making the same kind of effort, think of how easy it would be to transform this society into the one we all want? And no windows would have to be broken. How can we possibly get people to get excited about joining in the action, if they are scared, frightened, or anger at us?

As for reposting, yes, I did repost, because I'm technologically inept, and kept on reposting my previous posts when I didn’t see them being posted. I repeat, I made a booboo, but this website does not have a delete function, which is why I signed up for a membership, so I can fix any errors. Please, don't break my windows, I swear, it was an accident!!!

"A willing collaborator with the state" Cute. And if you actually manage to destroy this evil state, the very state that is empowered by popular political apathy, and ineffective groups of violent thugs (the police and the black-bloc) then what would you replace it with? Another state? Certainly, if their is no state, or any kind of system in place, this would be a state of disorder, but it would not be anarchy, for the reason I described above. By the way, if it weren't for the "evil state" you wouldn't have the internet with which to post your well thought out comments. I'd suggest, if you don't like "the state", and it's "collaborators", that you stop using the phone, the internet, electricity and plumbing. Evil plumbing! Just remember, the next time you sit on the can, you are essentially collaborating with the state by using city sewage systems. As for identifying myself, no problem, my name is James Ashcroft Reinert. I live in Vancouver. I frequent Commercial Drive. My e-mail is smartplantguy at gmail dot com. If you're in town, lets get a coffee some time, and hang out. What do you say??? Oh, wait, you can't e-mail me, using corporate and state run phone lines would be collaborating with the "enemy." Oh well!

Let me make this clear: a lot of people, including myself, don't want the society a lot of you people want, those of you who resort to violence. I, personally, do not want to live in a society where personal or property violence is o.k., as long as it further a political agenda.

When it comes down to it, the bad guys are always guided by emotions and motivated by intellect, where as the good guys are motivated by feeling and guided by intellect. It really is that simple. So which are you going to be?

Thanks to these black-block tactics, there's a lot of frightened and scared Canadians who now think all activists are bad. Hate is rooted in fear, If want less hate, we should not be trying instill fear in the general public. Now, the real activists have to take on the dirty job of cleaning up your mess and trying to win these poor people over, in order to *gain their support.*

Do you understand? We need supporters. We need a popular movement, not an unpopular movement. Think about it.

 

responses to some criticisms.

I'm now regretting leaving the CLAC out of this piece. As far as I'm concerned, they were just as responsible and (ironically) reckless...

@Toronto Anonymous "This post is delusional"
http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/mike-mcgregor/4019#comment-5183

It's not that the general public does not care about peaceful protests, more that they don't care as much as you think they should. However, there are people who are on the fence about the issues that matter to us who can be drawn in by non-violent protests and direct actions. The problem is, that they, and many others are more apt to be driven away from our causes by the sort of property destruction we saw on Saturday. We can either bring people in, albeit slower than we would like, or the Bloc can turn a huge majority of our intended audience against us with an evening of smashing everything in sight (to the extent that public opinion swings towards rooting for the cops to crack our collective heads).

@ Dan Keller "Solidarity Eh?"
http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/mike-mcgregor/4019#comment-5185

Did you even look at a paper or watch the news it the lead up? In the weeks leading up to Saturday's smash-n-grab, media reports, editorials, letters to the editor and even most of the conversations I heard in Toronto while I was there centred around the ridiculous amount of money being spent on security. When the story broke of the application of the Public Works Protection Act, people (the wider population, not just us) were outraged and the media reflected this. As a week of peaceful protests unfolded and got some great coverage for their causes, public opinion was really questioning the police state that had emerged in Toronto.

But the Bloc had to put its agenda ahead of everyone else's and tear it up down Young St. Instantly justifying in the public's eyes the huge sums spent on security, the suspension of civil liberties and creating an environment where Toronto police could round up a thousand people and throw them in cages while brutalising thousands more without any fear of public backlash. And to what ends? did they finally touch off their revolution that's over 100 years late? Did they put a dent the profits of "corporations" they hit? Did they bring an understanding of anarchist ideals to a wider audience? Or did they just blow off steam and inflate their sense of self-importance and re-affirm their more-radical-than-thou attitude?

And that's my key point. The Bloc completely overshadowed all the hard work and passion that people poured into this convergence before Saturday's riot, and in doing so completely turned public opinion against our movement in the way it ALWAYS turns after Bloc actions and left the rest of us vulnerable to the police reaction that ALWAYS follows bloc actions. And as usual, as the Bloc's allies question Bloc tactics, the people who use them beat their chests, try to convince us that these criticisms betray a lack of solidarity and demand a respect that they can't be bothered to show the rest of the movement and their so called allies.

@Toronto Anonymous "take a deep breath and chill"
http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/mike-mcgregor/4019#comment-5234

True, the Police did fuck us. I don't think any one is arguing that they didn't.

But in this case, as in many previous cases, the Bloc did a very effective job of facilitating the police violence that followed. In one hour, the Bloc's actions completely shifted public opinion in favour the billion dollars of security measures in place, blunted the criticisms around this secret law covering the perimeter, painted the entire convergence as a violent mob and more than justified the heavy-handed reaction by police in the public's eyes. The Bloc's actions created an environment where the Police could use over-the-top violence with impunity and without the fear of facing public outrage over whatever brutality and disregard civil-liberties ensued.

True, there is clearly huge discrepancy in terms of vision. But as I stated above the Bloc put their vision ahead of everyone else's.

@Toronto Anonymous "The idea that you were put a"
http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/mike-mcgregor/4019#comment-5186

No, my assertion that people participating in larger convergence were put at more risk by the Bloc's actions goes back to my point that The Bloc's actions created an environment where the Police could use whatever violence they could muster and round up a thousand people without any fear of public outrage at their methods. The Police brass aren't stupid, they aren't going to put their own asses in the sling just to round up bodies.

As for your historical examples, there's really no comparison here. First, we are no where near a tipping point in public opinion where these sorts of tactics are of any benefit. These tactics might be effective if they were backed by mass popular support. But the reality is that the left is small, weak and fractured. The tactics used by the Black Bloc, whether they're right or wrong, confuse and alienate people. We need to bring people in, not turn them away by providing reasons to not want to be associated with left politics. It's lunacy to believe that there is a silent majority out there quietly approving of and being inspired by a bunch of kids breaking windows. Second, in the movements you cite, these sorts of tactics worked towards some sort of clear and achievable ends. Can anyone tell me what these actions accomplish or aim to accomplish? Or is it just to blow off steam and to have a cool story when they go back to there dorm rooms and bro-it-up with their buddies about the weekend?

@bineshii "errors:"
http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/mike-mcgregor/4019#comment-5189

The Bloc and CLAC used the labour march as cover when it first tired to break through the police line at Queen and John. This was before it broke off to head south. when that failed, the Bloc and CLAC continued to use the labour march as cover until it hit Queen and Spadina and made it's second attempt to head south where it ran into another police line before doubling back east along Queen and finally separating itself from the Labour march. After it's tear up young street, the Bloc once again used the crowd as cover while they changed out of their clothes and blending back into the crowd. If that's not using one's allies as human shields, I don't know what is...

And again it comes back to their actions facilitating an environment where public opinion provides the police the opportunity to comedown on everyone without any real fear of public outrage. We saw the Bloc take it upon themselves to up the ante for everyone involved with this convergence. If equality and participatory decision making is a basic fundamental of (almost?) every thread of anarchism, where does the bloc and CLAC get off ratcheting up the conflict for everyone else? To quote a response to this piece on another site: "Such a small minority should not feel entitled to up the ante on behalf of everyone. When the cop cars start burning and windows are being smashed, the police don't just react against the agitators. Other activists, journalists, local people who have nothing to do with the protest: everyone feels the wrath of the police. But were they consulted by the Black Bloc? In all the stories I have yet to hear one about a spontaneous general meeting where everyone got their say on whether now was a good time to escalate tactics. The Black Bloc acted on behalf of the larger group, and everyone else reaped the consequences along with them" .

That's it for now...

quick excerpt from a Star editorial

From 'Walkom: The G20 summit’s grim lessons for civil liberties' by Thomas Walkom

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/831443--walkom-...

"The federal government transformed the city’s downtown into a no-go zone. The provincial government secretly passed new regulations to give police extraordinary search and seizure powers and then, when citizens found out, pretended that it hadn’t. The police used their authority to prevent breaches of the peace as an excuse to jail citizens who were committing no crimes

The second is that most people don’t care. Polls show that more than 70 per cent of Torontonians approve of these abuses.

For that we can thank the small group of rioters who burned police cars and smashed store windows last Saturday. The logic behind those actions (and yes there is a logic) flows from the theory that capitalism is based on violence, albeit violence that is usually veiled. By provoking the state, this intrinsic violence will be revealed, thereby radicalizing the population against both capitalism and the state.

The problem with this theory, as the Red Brigades and other left-wing terrorists found in the 1970s, is that such provocations drive the general population to authoritarianism, not revolution.

Faced with a choice between order and civil liberties, people almost invariably choose order. Think the Nazis in 1930s Germany; think the PATRIOT Act in post 9/11 America.

In last weekend’s brouhaha, governments and the so-called anarchists fed on and supported one another. By threatening to disrupt the summit, the anarchists ensured that the fence would be built. By building the fence, the government ensured that the anarchists would try to attack it. Each side kept upping the ante until the events of last weekend became almost inevitable."

if you want the star, read the star

here you're going to get something else!

Is it possible that the

Is it possible that the Black-Bloc's true intention is to cause governments to bankrupt their treasuries through outrageous spending on security. It worked to end the Cold War, the arms race virtually bankrupted the Soviet Union into capitulation and disintegration. Looks like Harper was dumb enough to take the hook and most people are even dumber in accepting it.

Mike, that was a well thought

Mike, that was a well thought out response, with good historical references. I'll definately refer to your examples in the future.

Reaper, I hope you're a biollionare, because it's going to take a rediculous amount of money to bankrupt the government. Keep in mind that you aren't really bankrupting the government, you're just bankrupting Canadians out of tax dollars that we really need to start spending on more important things, like day care, education and health care. It's a nice theory, but it remains to be seen how it could work out in practice.

Keep in mind, if that ever did work (which it wouldn't) that our tax money pays the police. The more police they hire, and pay, the more police are able to spend, consume, and maintain the velocity of money and contribute to "growing the economy". In turn, their spending will lead to more investment in corporate consolidation, and mass production, and in the end, more consumerism. Essentially, by attempting to "smash the state" you're just fostering economic activity via police as consumers and tax payers, as well as helping to solidify the "evil state's" justification for suspending all of our rights, and waging war on dissenting communities.

James, The police state as

James, The police state as the economic engine? Police don't generate income, they consume it voraciously. "Toronto Police Services (policing):
 Overall, the budget is $954 million, which makes it the largest operating expense within the Toronto municipal budget.
 Toronto Police report a 10% reduction in the seven major crime indicators in 2009 over 2008, yet the police budget calls for an increase of 3.8% - or $35 million."
http://www.recession-relief-coalition.org/resources/Toronto%E2%80%99s%20...

http://www.toronto.ca/budget2010/pdf/cap2010_analystnotes_torontopolice.pdf

That's what the Black-Bloc's vandalism is helping to accomplish, the bankruptcy of Toronto through increased spending on police services.

Yes, tax payers money which

Yes, tax payers money which ends up *in someone elses pocket*. You've proven my point exactly, albiet one correction: I didn't mean so much that it will "grow the economy", but it will be profitable for someone. So thank you for provong my point.

If everyone is obviously repulsed by black block tactics, you're going to have to find some very ingenious way of getting all these pissed off tax payers to join in on something that is going take money out of their pockets. In order for your theory to work, you will need thousands, if not millions of people participating in extremely violent vandalism. The black-bloc only represented about 2% of the total number of protesters for the G20 summit. How to you propose to pull this off?

As far as police earning money goes, it's keeping money in circulation, and as so long as the corporations who produce the majority of our products are selling products to police cum consumers, they inevitably still have the mandate to make a profit from those transactions. That's money from us, the tax payers, and into the coffers of multi-national corporations via the police/consumer. Thus, massive tax payer backed security expenditures will inevitably be profitable for someone, and most likely not the general Canadian tax payer.

Can you please explain exactly how fifty to a hundred vandals, breaking windoes once a year, are going to bankrupt the RCMP when they have billions of dollars in tax payers money at their disposal, all the while garnering the growing opposition of tax payers to your tactics, including myself?

James, your comment, " In

James, your comment, " In order for your theory to work, you will need thousands, if not millions of people participating in extremely violent vandalism. The black-bloc only represented about 2% of the total number of protesters for the G20 summit. How to you propose to pull this off?", ignores the fact that just the threat of violence by anyone at the G8 and G20 was strong enough to enable the federal government to spend over $1.2 Billion of the People's money. The so-called Black-Bloc's vandalism went according to plan, it changed the majority of the public's mind from questioning that expenditure to supporting it. I am certain the police infiltrated the Black-Bloc in order to gaurantee violence and vandalism if the bonafide Black-Bloc didn't in order to achieve that result. There isn't a growing opposition of tax payers, yet, to the ever-increasing expenditure of taxes on "security", read this letter posted on the Toronto Police Services website: http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=art...

As well, I didn't state that the RCMP would be bankrupted, far from it, they, the military, and other police forces are supported handsomely at the expense of everything else that money could and should be used for such as education, health care, and other social programs which sustain a modern and healthy society. Spending an ever increasing percentage of the government's budget on police is not economically viable long-term, it isn't a productive use of money, it is too narrowly focused and primarily benefits a small percentage of the population, police and the businesses which cater to the police (Tim Horton's ;-) ) and related public institutions such the courts, jails, prisons, and lawyers.

I don't understand why you think that it is my tactic to financially bankrupt society through ever-increasing expenditure of taxes, and the consequent ever-increasing tax burden required for it, to expand and support the police. I stated an hypothesis, not a fact, about one of the possible motivations of the Black-bloc to help cause an unsustainable ever-increasing expenditure of governments' budgets on security, but that hypothesis may become reality, as it has elsewhere which resulted in the collapse of society.

Circles

Reaper, I can see you're not reading my comments very closely, which means this debate is going in circles. I'm out.

 

Please, be my guest and have the last word...

I did read your comments very

I did read your comments very closely, you just don't like being called-out on your comments and corrected.

also: "i also trust that

also:

"i also trust that this will be dealt with appropriately. my first reaction was to take it down"

-and-

"go fuck yourself Mike McGregor,  its not the anarchists fault the pacifist and anti-war movements are into non-violent suicide."  

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/mike-mcgregor/4019#comment-5185

 

That really sums up the attitude of people using bloc tactics towards people and groups using methods on other end of the diversity of tactics spectrum.

Solidarity, eh? 

From what I've read in the

From what I've read in the various 'It's my way or the highway' type postings by the so-called "Anarchists" and Black-Bloc members and supporters, if they achieved their world it would be worse than the one we're living in.

just so you all know, you are

just so you all know, you are not in private, having a conversation in your living room or at some party. anyone can read this. you might think you are being clever with those nasty little digs here and there and taking the hard line slam dunking that point right home,  but really, you are just coming off as rude and arrogant. --and i'm not just talking about swearing, it's the attitude of intolerance.

It might be interesting to remember that sometimes people who live outside of the world of political activism visit these sites because they are sick of listening to all the b.s. on the corporate news and heard of this thing called 'independant media' so they stop by to check it out. and this is what they find? abrasive, mean spirited people.

would you talk like this on a crowded bus? or in a classroom, or where you work, or at a dinner table? in front of your kids, or your grandparents?

you are not on the streets right now involved in some heated altercation. you are sitting in front of your computer, probably in a comfy chair maybe with your lovely cat or dog nearby. is this really the place to take out your frustrations? there's plenty of opportunities to vent your spleen with blogger or wordpress, this isn't a private blog site, it's a public news and communications service, it's supposed to facilitate dialogue.

so what is the point of being so mean? it makes it impossible to actually participate in or even read through the comments -because in order to sift through everything there is so much nastiness it's hardly worth the effort to get to the place where there is productive dialogue going on.

it really takes the charm out of open communication and public debate when so many people seem only interested in blowing their own horns and stonewalling anyone who disagrees or has other, perhaps, conflicting information.

 

 

It is an interesting choice

It is an interesting choice of words, the bloc "using other protestors as human shields". There is a regime that frequently makes use of this line, the Israeli Government, in reference to Palestinian militants. I'm not sure how useful it is to parrot the rhetoric of a brutal regime carrying out a dehumanizing occupation in the middle east.

People may have differences in opinion on tactics, and what is effective and what is not, but perhaps we can agree that using the rhetoric of those who promote colonization in a movement building context isn't beneficial?

Many stones get thrown back and forth in the state-perpetuated divide of violent activists, and non-violent activists, also rhetoric authored by the state. So much so, that some activists have chosen to cooperate with the police in investigations of the "bad, violent activists". Cooperate with the same police that sexually assaulted underage girls at the detention center. The same police that exposed the sort of police brutality experienced by communities of colour everyday, onto white people for a brief period over the summit.

Maybe the "bad protesters" aren't your allies, but they're certainly not worse enemies then the state.

Can we at least agree, not to parrot state initiated rhetoric and to further not help state-sanctioned rapists put our friends in jail, whether or not they threw a brick? It makes for a poor dialog when people are afraid to talk for fear of outing themselves.

What epithet would you choose?

To repeat my pervious response,

The Bloc and CLAC used the labour march as cover when it first tired to break through the police line at Queen and John. This was before it broke off to head south.  When that failed, the Bloc and CLAC continued to use the labour march as cover until it hit Queen and Spadina and made its second attempt to head south where it ran into another police line before doubling back east along Queen and finally separating itself from the Labour march. After its tear up young street, the Bloc once again used the crowd as cover while they changed out of their clothes and blended into the crowd to disperse. After they dispersed it was the rest of the protesters at Queen's Park who were left deal with the cops ketteling everyone in hopes of catching some of the bloc in the wide net they were casting.

What epithet would you use to describe the way the bloc used the crowd? Meat-shields? Cannon fodder?

Once More around the Bloc

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