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Media Analysis: What's a Black Bloc?

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Mainstream media outlets have reported extensively on the demonstrations and their participants in Toronto, but unfortunately, many of them have either shoddy editors or journalists who need to be to go back to school.

Many descriptions have been published of a Black Bloc action, a tactic by a group of protesters engaged in a militant action meant to disorientate and confuse police.  Sadly, the vast majority of these descriptions have been inaccurate.

The Black Bloc is NOT a group, but a tactic.  Membership varies based on different events or demonstrations while tactics (confronting police, property damage, breaking security barriers, etc.) vary based on membership.  While some organized groups will decide to use the tactic beforehand, others will simply show up and either try to join a group or act independent. 

Members of a Black Bloc action are NOT necessarily anarchists.  Communists, Social Democrats, Socialists, apolitical 18 year-olds who want to break things, agent provocateurs and a host of other political stripes may join a Black Bloc action.

Guilty Parties include:

Toronto Star

Our friends at the Star tried to make amends for previous infractions by getting it right post-June 27th.  Not sure whether or not a chastising Alternative Media Centre journalists gave a Toronto Star Investigations Reporter had anything to do with it.

However, the Star is still sporting a few black-(bloc)-eyes.  Examples include:

Picture of a person clad in Black: "Anarchists try to block photographers. They would later set a police car on fire at the intersection of King and Bay during a protest at the G20 summit in Toronto," and "Anarchist protesters march out of Queen's Park."

Journalists Amy Dempsey and Wendy Gillis also show some solid journalism skills: "This is the first time the anarchists have made a mass public appearance during G20 protest week. Most wear an all-black uniform of hooded sweatshirts, combat boots and bandanas tied over their faces. Only their eyes are exposed."

Globe and Mail

While the Star had a few discretions (a number of their journalists got it right) it pales in comparison to the half-assed journalism on display from our friends at the Globe and Mail.

"Vandalism a central part of anarchists’ tactics" reads one headline. Apparently the journalist or editor not fully understanding the info in their own story. "They bristle at the anarchist label" the author writes before equating the two - anarchism and black bloc'ers - as if they were the same thing.

Speaking of the Globe, the Media Centre is trying to figure out which cracker-jack box Marcus Gee got his journalism degree from.  Though we fault Gee generally for his dislike of protesters, we are baffled how he got a job with gems like, "Police showed considerable restraint at the beginning of the protests, holding back and defending the security perimeter as the “anarchist” protesters went on their rampage."

CBC and Guardian

Though we like to pick on the Globe, someone at the CBC needs a speech with headlines like: "Rex Murphy protests the presence of the destructive anarchist group, the Black Bloc."  Research before you speak, Rex.  The CBC at least described Black Bloc'ers as anarchist OR anti-capitalist types.
Finally, AMC journalist Jesse Rosenfeld needs to talk with his friends at the Guardian when they are writing things like:

"Many of those arrested had been staging peaceful protests, but trouble broke out on Saturday afternoon when a group of anarchists broke away from the main, non-violent protest by trade unions and other groups around the summit conference centre and began smashing the windows of banks and chain stores and torching police patrol cars in the shopping and financial districts."

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605 words


Yes! Anarchists!

The Black Bloc at the G20 protests were made up of a  majority of Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance 'members.'  'Anarchists' is therefore not an undeserved label.  If other groups joined in on the Black Bloc actions, it's their own loss, and a tragedy for each of their causes, but truth is that if you look at what was destroyed (banks, chain stores, Starbucks locations) and what was not (independent record stores, a family-operated dry-cleaner) the Anarchist agenda is quite visible.

If other Black Bloc-ers wanted to seperated the Black Bloc from the Anarchists, perhaps they shouldn't have acted like Anarchists.  Next time I recommend a dance routine.

No! Not just anarchists! Not a group!

"The Black Bloc at the G20 protests were made up of a  majority of Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance 'members.'"

I saw numerous members of the Black Bloc action who were not part of SOAR.  Many of them were anti-capitalist.  The tactic is not a group and there were other groups and individuals involved.


Black Bloc la Cité des Obscurs

real Black Bloc is there to make a veil and to contain servant of capitalism.

a black veil !!
real Black Bloc supporter block "authorities" when others need to save her ass.

real Black Bloc is anyone which wishes to oppose to capitalism while helping these brothers and sisters during a manifestation.

. . .

for me Black Bloc is Security Agency Movement against servant of capitalism.


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