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Use of the blac bloc tactic in all situations is not useful
by Boots Riley repost
Monday Oct 8th, 2012 10:20 PM
10 hours ago
The use of the blac bloc tactic in all situations is not useful. As a matter of fact, in situations such as the one we have in Oakland, its repeated use has become counter-revolutionary.

Yesterday in Oakland was a good illustration of this, in which the blac bloc kids- besides busting up bank windows- also busted windows of parked cars and threw stuff at another car- to which the Black driver of said vehicle got out looking to fight the crowd.

Similarly, the crowd of folks at Somar were there for the end of Matthew Africa's memorial- DJs and artists, and generally a group of folks who collectively probably know everybody in Oakland- I'm not exactly sure what or if anything happened before I saw the scene, but folks poured out of the club en masse to protect it, yelling at the march and telling folks to go home.

If "the job of the revolutionary is to make the revolution seem irresistible", the use of blac bloc has been making a revolutionary movement pretty damn resistible in Oakland, CA.

When almost every conversation I have with folks from Oakland about Occupy Oakland, has the smashing of windows brought up as a reason people don't like that grouping, scientifically it means the tactic is not working. It doesn't matter that technically it's only smashing corporate windows. It matters that people don't want to join because of that. It's not about violence/non-violence. The truth is that it's not always corporate windows. I'm for certain tactics that would be classified as violent- even ones that have to do with fighting human beings. But what it's about is a tactic that is detrimental in this situation. I would like to win, thank you. Not just lose with style. A style that the people around you don't understand.

Many folks bring up Greece when debating these things. I've been to Athens. What I witnessed there was that the movement was tied in with the people. Most of those involved grew up in Athens, they also are part of militant campaigns that happen throughout the year, which the people support, moreover, they just know the people of the city of Athens. And, perhaps due to this situation, there are way more of them.

It's not due to lack of outreach that Saturday's "West Coast Anti-Capitalist March"- meaning, one that not only reached out to the whole west coast- was only able to draw 150-300 people. It's because it's not what the people care about- not framed in that way- and because others are either bored with the tactic or scared of being arrested because some kid breaks the window of some used car that probably costs less than their own Honda Civic. But, that was in SF. Most of the folks doing this don't know anyone from Oakland, and- I believe- don't plan on doing any sort of base building to find out where the pulse of the people actually are.

If you ask most people in East or West Oakland what their problems are- they'll say being broke is there number one problem. Campaigns that use militant mass movement tactics to achieve changes in that situation are ones that have a revolutionary potential.

I've talked to many a person in Occupy Oakland and even in some anarchist collectives who agree with me on this, but the idea is that to criticize this publicly is to make the movement look divided. But, the public non-critique of this has the effect of making the movement look monolithic, hegemonic and uninviting. Instead, people talk shit about each other behind their backs, split and divide into smaller and smaller affinity groups. All the while, not critiquing the counter-revolutionary bullshit that's making them irrelevant in the minds of the people they ostensibly want to organize.

Let's get this shit right and win.

(note by reposter - sorry for facebook link but that's where boots chooses to do his thing)

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by citizen of the world
Tuesday Oct 9th, 2012 2:45 AM
While Boots has every right to object to use of the black blok tactic in any way he pleases, and indeed many others do agree to differing extents, some of the points Boots has made are not useful in all situations. Playing devil's advocate to some of the preposterous and hypocritical thoughts stated here:

1) What exactly is the point of mentioning that these DJs probably know everyone in Oakland? Surely they don't in actuality. I never met Matthew Africa personally and I'm on my third decade as an Oakland resident. What are these DJs doing to substantially and effectively promote social and economic equality in Oakland, or are they just important people protesters should take extra care not to offend?

2) Are personal anecdotes of conversations really what counts as scientific these days? I know republicans hate science, education budgets are being cut, and there's a lot of anti-academia perspective going around in general, but still. There is something called the Scientific Method.

3) So, how long does one have to be a resident of Oakland before one can protest in Oakland? Does it require a birth certificate from Oakland? Do you have to know as many residents as a DJ or MC? Is there something of a popularity contest going on here? Probably the most widely read Oakland writer is Chip Johnson -- is his opinion more valid than that of 100 or 1000 or 10,000 protesters?

4) For those who are approved to protest in Oakland, is protesting in Hayward, Berkeley, or SF off limits? Are city borders arbitrary or meaningful? Should cities best be seen as isolated islands for protesters while corporations know no bounds? Should people who don't qualify to protest in Oakland have come to shut down the port in Oakland? Wouldn't that be a job solely for pre-approved Oaklanders? Or are the qualifications lower for happy-go-lucky, non-confrontational day marches?

5) Can you elaborate on when you think it would be appropriate to physically fight human beings as a revolutionary tactic as you say? In order to gain access to kick it in someone's big ass den, perhaps? Or to kill a CEO? But not to break the windows of their national banks or pop the tires of their Mercedes, right?

6) You probably noticed that almost everyone in Athens, Greece is of the same racial makeup and same ethnic persuasion. How would you propose using Greece as a model for rebellion in a more diverse and much larger America, and even much more diverse Oakland? If there is not widespread support from a homogeneous group all raised with the same outlook on life, does that mean vandalism and other lawbreaking are tactics to be completely avoided? Even with that homogeneity in Greece, does everyone in Athens agree with setting police stations on fire? Has it been an effective tactic in Greece in your opinion as far as preventing ongoing and intensifying austerity measures?

7) Can you be more specific about those mass militant tactics that will accomplish the goal of making people less broke in Oakland? Is it possible that glass might be broken and tires popped in such a scenario or is your vision of revolution much neater and cleaner than that?

8) Could your real objection to black blok militant tactics in Oakland be that they are not "mass" enough? If it was 10,000 people torching every national bank in Oakland in one night, shutting down the port for a month, would you be for that or against it, even if the other 300,000+ residents of Oakland, and quite possibly some DJs, were against it?

9) Love ya, Boots, but you are not the alpha or omega of protest in Oakland. Okay, that was not a question. Take care and be safe, sir. Have a great tour. Sincerely, all the best.

by it
Tuesday Oct 9th, 2012 8:28 AM
there is some validity to the commenter's point about protesters legitimacy in staging something in one city or another. There is also a common accusation by the TV media that protesters are 'all from out of town' during very large demonstrations like the G20 or WTO meetings, or political conventions (altho going to the RNC and DNC is going out of style). Certainly, we'd benefit by spreading things out a lot more. In fact, the almost repetitive protests in Oakland and two neighborhoods in San Francisco reflect the fact that they are easy for people to get to.But places like Sunnyvale have a lot of major military corporations which are a legitimate protest target, even to people who don't live in Sunnyvale. San Francisco's financial district is a west coast symbol as well. However, bank branches or a few Audi cars parked in Oakland are way down the rungs in terms of real power. Of course, getting out of oakland would result in more policing risk, because the security guards who do defend key sites would respond a lot more intensely to a protest at an actual strategic location
by brother of the revolution
Tuesday Oct 9th, 2012 9:24 AM
Yo, blac bloc supporters....I know you are mad, and ballsy and desperate....I know that these actions make you feel alive, I know they question the sacredness of private property...all these things are appreciated. But why do you pursue these tactics with little to no discernment? Why are you so fundamentally oriented this way? You act like a fundamentalist, who is easy to alienate. You make the movement look childish when you fight in small groups. Like a kid throwing a tantrum. This is an OK emotion, but not always the best tactic.

Yes, if 30,000 people lit the night up and thrashed the major banks than we would make progress. A message would get across.

But last weekend in SF when we broke one window and lost 20 comrades and recruited zero new ones WE LOST.

You are afraid to ask for help. To reach out to elders, to find allies that might not agree with all your ideas. This is a very immature stage of collaboration. Please, for the sake of the revolution take heed to other ideas and voices.

Thanks and solidarity,

Brother of the Revolution
by Boots Riley
Tuesday Oct 9th, 2012 10:13 AM
I did not say anything about having to live here for a certain amount of time- I said they mainly know other recent transplants. They don't know most of Oakland. There are whole areas in Oakland where they don't know one person- unless.

This is not true for many of us that grew up here. If you've been here for 10 years and your circle of friends are all folks who agree with you, dress like you, and only hang out at the ruby room or the Missouri lounge, then you're not doing your job as an organizer. This points to a stylistic and cultural preference- which is racialized- that is inherent in capitalist divisions. This is a hurdle that any revolutionary organizer has to get over.

Yes, these DJs could probably know most of Oakland, not necessarily Matthew Africa, but the DJs who were there. They throw parties and are social in circles that many activists aren't. However, some of them ARE activists. Many of them publicized the general strike not only on their facebook page, but by saying it over the mic at their parties the weekend before. The idea that there are whole sections of Oakland that we don't have to give a fuck about is disgraceful.

Well, my anecdotal convos aren't statistical evidence, but if an overwhelming amount of anecdotes are coming in from people who live in Oakland that say that people feel a certain way, and if whole groups of random people are saying that they don't want this ONE thing- then the smart organizer uses this as a way to test the temperature of the neighborhood. Mind you, I've worked with folks who still work with Occupy Oakland around things, but were very hesitant due to those tactics that they see as irrelevant to their needs or goals.

Nothing I said says I think I'm the alpha or omega of Oakland. If you're an organizer who's been here for years, it's your job to know 100s of people in Oakland. I know thousands and more know and trust me. I've known several hundred since high school. Some since elementary. People come up to me to tell me their ideas, hopes, aspirations. I've held back on this for a long time.

Again- does anyone disagree with the idea that no one tactic should be used in all situations. Is it possible that that particular blac bloc tactic is not useful in Oakland? Some are hostile to this idea and due to the critique will become more entrenched in doing what they're already doing it seems.
25 minutes ago · Like
by Max Crosby
Tuesday Oct 9th, 2012 1:09 PM
Sometimes a society gets the dissidents that it deserves...

Yeah but haven't the masses tried every tactic but the black bloc? We don't know yet if 30,000 people rioted, what would have took place on Nov. 2. But we do know what happens when 30,000 people sit around and sing kumbia and go home at the end of the day. If nothings changed by more of the same, I wouldn't blame the actions of the black bloc but I'd blame the inaction of the general OWS movement it self. I think the OWS movement sees black bloc not as a threat but a challenge to them in how far they are willing to go and it just goes to show that OWS is not willing to fight that hard yet.

You got to admit Boots, the people with in the general population are very much strangers to conflict when it comes to protesting against anything or taking real direct action where power is physically confronted. And I don't mean speaking your mind. I mean literally pushing a cop back and throwing shit back at them.

I'm not here for simple reforms that get turned over on their head by the system. I'm not here to make friends with the government or be nice to police who protect and serve a system of injustice and promote social inequality. I'm not here to bow to the wishes of the mass media and the masses whose thoughts and there for actions are dictated by the mass media.

It doesn't surprise me why so many people are against fighting back or why they just don't have it in them to struggle harder. I think peaceful protest at this stage in this day and age is a disservice to freedom and an abnormal reaction to all the systems bullshit whether it be police murder/violence or the perpetual violence inherent in the capitalist system. I see peace protest as impotent, not powerful. Maybe if the government was willing to listen and wasn't so determined on keeping everyone manipulated by war, fear and human desire, peace protest would make change but we've tried it a lot more times then we've tried violence. OWS has tried nothing but peace and violent police with homeland security cracked down anyway and no one fought back unless it was Oakland. Total waste of time if you weren't rioting.

Violence is only a normal reaction to oppression and we encourage it everywhere else but our own backyard when ever there is a repressive regime in place. American hypocrisy at its finist. We are not a normal nation of normal people who have normal reactions to state violence or systemic violence. We need to be violent. We deserve the right for being brainwashed by it making us think it is okay for the government to use it on everyone else but no one else to use it on the government. We deserve that right for having it taken away from us and it being used by the government on us. We are the victims. Not the other way around. Violence is a normal reaction to of a human being who no longer wants to live at the mercy of the system everywhere else but in America. That is the wrong reaction and it's been created by design through media manipulation. Conformity and peace protest is all apart of showing obedience and loyalty to your master and never stepping out of line. FUCK THAT SHIT! LETS BURN THIS WHOLE MUTHAFUCKER DOWN! We earned it.

Violence is a normal reaction to Wall Street capitalism and state security forces who dominate. Do we need another reason for violence before having the right to use it? What if the media said we'll never have the right to overthrow the government? Of course. So why wait for them to okay it when the police and government are the ones they work for and the ones they worship?

It is more courageous to risk everything than to stand back and operate with in the parameters of the law. If those limitations did anything thing to change the system, they would have been outlawed. Free speech doesn't do anything because if it made a difference it too would be outlawed. The only thing that makes a difference is action and when you have 30,000 people motivated by political, social and economic justice, things will start to turn around and chances are likely that you'll have a list of demands leaving us anarchists once again in the dark and by ourselves because we know that a life with community taking on the responsibility of the government would do much better. We don't need government because it will never serve right. It is inherently corrupt. I was never meant to help everyone. Only the rich. It is their tool. Not ours.

The only people with courage to use black bloc are a small portion of the population that doesn't make even 1%. That's a lot of cowards who feel that sustaining the illusion of peace is more important than shattering that illusion before burning it all to the ground. You're not gona have much to debate about when the economy collapses and you have nothing left.

Debating whether to use these tactics then will be viewed by everyone who lost their privilege as a waste of time. and everyone will be pushing the other way rather than this way for peace and calm. The level of frustration and desperation is what determines ones actions. It is not intelligence that drives OWS. It is uncertainty, fear, panic, burdon and loss. The only ones who stay focused and awake behind the wheel are the activists who been in it from the start and assert themselves when ever a new movement is born that gives them the chance to confront the system once again.

And by privilege I mean those who have not been impoverished by the financial crisis or held back and held down by the crisis of capitalism in general. No there won't be no more debate when everyone loses their homes to foreclosure in one full sweep. There won't be any argument about black bloc when everyone has lost their job. "When you have lost everything and have nothing left to lose, you lose it." And everyone has a different way of dealing with it. Some people will commit suicide. Some people will rob a bank. Some people will sell their bodies. Some people will sell drugs and wind up in jail/prison. Some people will choose insurrection. I prefer the later.

What will you prefer when presented with the coming inevitable?
by Anarchist
Tuesday Oct 9th, 2012 2:07 PM
"I was never meant to help everyone. Only the rich. It is their tool. Not ours." Meant to say "IT" not "I". LOOOOOOL! :)

Sorry folks. My grammar and typing is not always the best.
by zig zag
Tuesday Oct 9th, 2012 3:16 PM
From my understanding of Greece, since the early 1980s anarchists were carrying out militant attacks during protests, rioting, molotovs, etc as well as organizing assemblies and occupations. They were demonized by the media, the state, cops, etc. and were not popular nor supported by large numbers. They kept doing it. When the rebellion occurred in 2008-09, thousands of people took to the streets and replicated the same tactics of rioting, autonomous assemblies, occupations, etc. Now, due to the economic decline, Greece is nearly in a state of insurrection. People need to see an example of militant resistance in order for it to broaden when conditions are right. As for blacks in Oakland, ya parts of it are a ghetto, but just like many Native peoples and other colonized peoples in N America they are not immune from materialism, consumerism, and apathy. That is what is counter-revolutionary.
by Anarchist
Tuesday Oct 9th, 2012 3:38 PM
Setting the stage for an insurrection in the Bay Area let alone in America has got to be the most difficult task to have ever imagined. Accomplishing every other goal in life is a cake walk compared to rallying people in an attempt to overthrow the Wall Street U.S. government gang.

I've got to hand it to the elites for putting together their excellent propaganda network of social control that has everybody fearing violence and the prospect of freedom that comes from total liberation/social war. But they have no problem with their government using violence to defend them from the terrorist attacks of 911 and other attacks, all of which were totally self-inflicted. What a backwards Nation we live in.
by Daniel Borgstrom
Tuesday Oct 9th, 2012 6:24 PM
Shutting down the Port of Oakland and the West Cost ports were effective actions. So were a whole lot of smaller actions, too numerous to list.

But this window-smashing is NOT the sort of thing that builds our movement.

by What 30,000 rioters?
Tuesday Oct 9th, 2012 6:42 PM
Serious question to "Anarchist" and his inquiry of "Yeah but haven't the masses tried every tactic but the black bloc? We don't know yet if 30,000 people rioted".

My position being: there are nowhere near that that support your politics or tactics. That you are fantasizing that reality. That this effectively shows that you are in a distinct minority, and that there aren't in fact 30,000 people, hell, I'll even propose 3,000..who agree with your tactics.

I'm honestly curious if you consider this as a real possibility. That your politics and tactics aren't endorsed or supported by any but a scant minority?
by Really?
Tuesday Oct 9th, 2012 10:48 PM
Who cares if lots of people agree or disagree? I thought we were supposed to do what we think is right, despite what a majority with oppressive politics thinks. Do you think Nat Turner was wrong just because most people didn't support his rebellion? Vesey? Brown? Are we to wait until moderates come to support our ideas and tactics to be true to them? Are we to decide our actions based on those who are more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefer a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly say: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believe they can set the timetable for another’s freedom?

We fight because it's our lives we are trying to save...that is the lodestar.
by Konsider
Wednesday Oct 10th, 2012 12:38 AM
I've had many discussions on this subject, most of them with me debating on behalf of blac bloc, and I totally support a diversity of tactics, but as regards how blac bloc tactics have been applied lately in Oakland, I feel they've been mostly idiotic grandstanding spectacle.
by @poc
Wednesday Oct 10th, 2012 1:14 AM
i want to offer a few things for context, lets keep the convo open (if not on this thread, hopefully in real life).

first off a nod to down artists, djs, rappers, for inspiration that prepares us for and holds us through the struggle.

@ boots while i share some of your concerns regarding the effectiveness of the bb tactic here in the town where i was born. i have to let you know that your timing on this article is shit. dont expect a lot of the folks you want to hear you to hear you on this one. you seem to have pulled a pretty bad ryan harvey. in 2010 after the confrontational G20 protests in Pittsburgh ryan harvey opportunistically published an article that seemed to wag the finger at every bb anarchist everywhere for being "addicted to rioting." The problem was that he seemed to have written that piece about some other incident, because most comrades who were there at the G20 thought it went down legit. So while it was fine to pose the question "are we addicted to rioting?" it was not done in a way that was consistent with peoples experience and thus largely ignored by its target audience.

on timing: last winter in particular i shared your concerns about people acting out their euro-riot fantasies in oakland, and i hit up you and others to discuss this trend. When you didn't hit me back, i figured you were busy organizing. Now I wonder if it wasn't because i'm not a well known activist dj. here i want to point out that i agree with you that there will be times that violence against human beings is appropriate, in self defense. One example of those times is if an activist dj wants to fight a crowd for smashing on his or her or any beamer or benzo, it is appropriate for the crowd to defend themselves and smash on the dj. dont expect people to give a shit that some dj is revolutionary chic enough to stay in style and make announcements about popular struggle more than they give a shit about staying out of jail when some hero wants to jeopardize the safety that the black bloc affords them.

in sum, from what i saw and heard, last sunday went off solid, and folks are juiced. As ever I agree that people should keep talking strategy and tactics ie when to form a bb and when not to, and definitely shouldn't think that because this time went off with ease that they can keep doing the same thing over and over, or should want to. right now in oakland there is a need to evolve tactically, so lets do so and at the same time celebrate when we take out our rage in the streets how we see fit and all walk away with no arrests from a powerful memorial, not for our dj friend (no dis just making a parallel), but for thousands of casualties of war.

by Anarchist
Wednesday Oct 10th, 2012 2:41 AM
There is one thing I agree with Boots about. I think attacking parked cars is waay off target. Cop cars and bank windows on the other hand would be a bulls eye. Hell with enough cells working together to form one solid mass we could probably get away with burning down at least one bank before moving on to the next target. That level of aggression would send a shock-wave through out the entire West Coast if not the whole United States and would set a new record for black bloc. It would strike fear and terror into the hearts and minds of every CEO and banker thug because it would show them that the peasants are no longer under police control. That breakdown of order and obedience is essential to starting any revolution. Bankers are NOT afraid of people with bullhorns and microphones. They're afraid of people with a TORCHES & LIGHTERS! :)

Hell even the world would support us in our attempt to overthrow the government if we ever tried or came close. No one likes the United States. People would hate us here but people would love us everywhere else. Fuck America.
by .c
Wednesday Oct 10th, 2012 7:57 AM
but @, physical bank branches are just symbolic customer service spots, which banks are often closing down anyway in order to save on costs. TThe money isn't in the form of gold bullion in the back room, but rather money is largely in the form of electronic transactions (registered on a computer system that frequently records backup copies). Financial speculators can route money across borders very easily, and can exchange stocks several times per day with it. And the bank staff can increasingly telecommute and be located anywhere. The lack of legal enforcement (and the inability of people to physically obstruct finance) is what allowed the real estate bubble to take place. And unfortunately, the risk resulting from this behavior couldn't be confined to the speculators.
At the same time, in order for wealth to be extracted from workers and physical resources, workers have to be allowed to keep working, and there needs to be demand, with customers who have enough money to buy whatever they're selling. Much of this commerce still is required to take place in the physical world
by People
Wednesday Oct 10th, 2012 4:32 PM
Anarchist wrote:
"That breakdown of order and obedience is essential to starting any revolution."

Starting a revolution is different from winning. In Egypt, they failed. The Muslim Brotherhood, a reactionary right-wing group, is now in control. If there was a revolution in the US right now, it plays in to the hands of the right-wing, who happens to have all the guns. It plays into the neo-Nazis who also want a race war or a "revolution". The fascists would want to promote diversity of tactics and get the "left" into starting a premature revolution so the fascists can win.

Anarchist wrote:
"Bankers are NOT afraid of people with bullhorns and microphones."

Yes they are, many people have had their homes saved by folks like ACCE. The idea that rocks and torches are the only solution is stupid.
by People
Wednesday Oct 10th, 2012 5:19 PM
Anarchist wrote:
"Hell with enough cells working together to form one solid mass we could probably get away with burning down at least one bank before moving on to the next target. That level of aggression would send a shock-wave through out the entire West Coast if not the whole United States and would set a new record for black bloc."

^^Shit that agent provocatuers write^^ It's called "provocation". It calls for violent actions which gives the authorities reason to clamp down hard like they want. Organizers like "Anarchist" is doing "their" work.

Just look what happened in the 60s. People from the SDS got "radicalized" and became the Weathermen with bombs. That gave the FBI all the reason to clamp down and end what could've been a successful revolution. That's how the 60s failed and that's how Occupy failed. The difference is that the 60s civil rights movement took "them" years to dismantle. With "their" prior experience, it only took "them" MONTHS to dismantle Occupy.

by Anarchist
Wednesday Oct 10th, 2012 5:34 PM
No one here is justifying a police crackdown but you sir. I can see you need more time to rethink your respect for authority. It takes time to reject well established legitimacy of the police state unless you believe every revolution through out history must have been the work of agent provocateurs working for some New World Order Illuminati conspiracy. Now that's fucking crazy. Only people like Alex Jones would have you believing that crap. He just want's you to buy his DVD's. Don't be an idiot.

With out banks, people couldn't do business. Drive out the banks, drive out capitalism. That is war.

by Anarchist
Wednesday Oct 10th, 2012 6:55 PM
You're going to come to the same conclusion that revolt or diversity of tactics is the only strategy left. We've tried everything else. Why are you holding on to one tactic that everyone tries that never works and fails all the time to kill the system?

I'm trying to help you so you don't have to learn on your own and make the same mistakes and come to the same conclusions later on in life. That just wastes a lot of time. The world can't wait much longer. Everyone else gets it but the United States which is why rebellion everywhere else is viewed as "GOOD" but still viewed as "BAD" for the United States.

Breaking from strict obedience and loyalty to government is the first step to starting any revolution because you can't revolt when all it takes is an iron fist to slam down on you to put you back into total submission. The revolution is essential to tearing down any empire for if there is no revolt to take down the empire, the empire lives on. This is why rejecting the legitimacy of the state is so essential to winning the revolution. You got to be solid in your beliefs. You got to show some conviction. And you have to actually mean it when you say REVOLUTION and not use it to be meaning something else like reform. Ewwww.

Politicians and CEO's are not going to listen to a bunch of people waving signs, flags, bullhorns, microphones with a stupid police escorting a march. The people in charge only care about one thing and that's profit and unless you disrupt that process, you aren't going to get in their way and stop their mega operation. You can shame them all you want. It isn't going to make a difference.

"In Egypt, they failed. The Muslim Brotherhood, a reactionary right-wing group, is now in control. If there was a revolution in the US right now, it plays in to the hands of the right-wing, who happens to have all the guns. It plays into the neo-Nazis who also want a race war or a "revolution". The fascists would want to promote diversity of tactics and get the "left" into starting a premature revolution so the fascists can win."

SO START STOCK PILING! Oakland has enough guns. We're armed too. which just goes to show your statement can be easily taken apart once you look at how fragile the argument is. Especially since fascists were grossly outnumbered at the Capital building seen running into the parking garage by OCCUPY OAKLAND BLACK BLOC ANARCHISTS. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! If there was a revolution headed by real radicals on the left, the (right) would run screaming like banshees.

The success of ACCE should not be used to pat it self on the back and used as an attack on BLACK BLOC tactics. Your work may be noble but by it self would be like trying to put out a house fire with a squirt gun. At least the Black Bloc in Europe demonstrate what could happen if everybody decided to revolt the same way around the world. Civilization would collapse. We would be living in a free society by now. We're just wasting precious time because we're too comfortable to fight for total freedom. Both tactics used alone fall short to end financial enslavement because they are unwilling to use each other to reach maximum efficiency with the same goal. If nobody is developing a strategy of how to physically remove the banking system by force and some people believe removing it isn't necessary to changing things then we are never going to get anywhere because the banks will not negotiate with us to leave on their own or improve to fit a more ethical business model.

"Diversity of tactics" aka Saint Paul Principles" is a great way to beat back the beast. Only problem is we have too many divisions in our movement. As one commentator put it, "We are a heterogeneous nation" so much that it works against us I may add. Trying to use one tactic alone is like trying to gum patch a hole the size of Oakland. It is a futile attempt to address the bigger picture and save the world. Fear tells all prisoners in jail to act calm accordingly and everything will be fine. Common sense tells them to unite and overpower guards and escape to freedom but people listen to fear rather than organize for high level risk actions. The same behavior applies on the outs. Fear is the second tool of control beside privilege and class segregation. Call it factually incorrect if it makes your life easier to cope with.

And by the way, it's TORCHES AND LIGHTERS, not "TORCHES & ROCKS".

I'm pretty sure if everybody looked up the meaning of "DIVERSITY OF TACTICS" and moved all their activity underground away from the public eye, that people with serious convictions would hop on the train because they feel safe to do things that are highly illegal but necessary to win and we can't operate (fully) with a nosy FBI all over the internet.

Dealing with the police state at home would bring the war home and end U.S. hegemony world wide.
American bases from around the world would slowly start to scale back and eventually shut down because troops would be needed to police rebellious Americans rather than rebellious Arabs. I think the nay sayers just aren't ready to build a movement that is willing to go all the way and push things over the edge. I'm talking about going underground.

I'm all for using every tactic on the table but we got to admit, the rejection of direct action/insurrection as a key element to creating social change is just the refusal to let go of American privilege under capitalism. Let's stop denying it and come out into the open what about what our true motives are since we all seem to have different goals motivating us. Not everybody is here for insurrection. Some people just want reform. Admit it.

Common sense says if everyone revolted we would be free, but people prefer their attachments to substances over freedom and it's easier to live in a perpetuate state of fear than challenging authority that keeps it all together. It's easier not to move a muscle. Attachments to cell phones, ipods, black berries, lap tops, cars, tv entertainment and the everyday normality and attitudes that make Wall Street capitalism a real possibility is killing us all. We could really end it if we really wanted to but I just don't see that go lucky Greek style enthusiasm. Money makes the world go round and no one is interested in removing that from their lives. Are you willing to abandon and dismantle that framework TOTALLY so we can be free? Are you willing to go all the way or half the way? I think we're fighting different battles.

Can't really say the BLACK BLOC isn't working when the Occupy movement still refuses to even try it 1 once. What's funny is they're still proposing the same obedient tactics that can only reek of reformist tendencies. "Oh, let's blame it all on the BLACK BLOC. The police had nothing to do with it. It was the anarchists."

If we're not going to bring our tactics together because we share different goals for the future, WE HAVE A SERIOUS SERIOUS PROBLEM!
by Gertrud
Wednesday Oct 10th, 2012 7:42 PM
well - there is a long history of nonviolent civil disobedience, which often involves a procedure of taking a minor, symbolic illegal action such as blocking a gateway or street, or nonviolently participating in a banned activity, getting arrested deliberately, and then trying to make the most of the media coverage. But there are other radical events that should be almost entirely legal, which are only made radical by the content of the signs, slogans, or perhaps the site along the march route or lack of a march permit. If the police sergeant decide that they're going to illegitimately start disrupting such an action and arresting people when civil disobedience was never part of the strategy - it isn't a given that the ethical thing is to submit to it, out of a sense of solidarity. It sort of depends on the specific situation.
by ex-Oaklander
Thursday Oct 11th, 2012 6:29 AM
"Violence is a normal reaction to Wall Street capitalism and state security forces who dominate."

Actually, it is abnormal. If it was normal, a lot more people would be reacting in this manner. But they are not. The question is why? The answer is not what you think it is. In other words, we are not as dumb as you think we are. Once you get over that hump, there might be a chance of some change in this country. Not the revolution you hope and yearn for, but some actual improvement in folks' everyday lives. Have a nice day.
by Daniel
Thursday Oct 11th, 2012 9:31 AM
Unfortunately, violence is a very normal response to oppression, joblessness, etc. Just look at how domestic violence goes up when workers lose their jobs, for example. It does drive people up the wall, makes people want to smash a window. -- However, that does NOT make window smashing a good way to organize

by former Oaklander
Thursday Oct 11th, 2012 9:37 AM
Not at all. Actually, the economy has been doing rather poorly and there was very little increase in criminality over the past few years. The linkage between poverty and criminality is not causal, at best it is corollary. This is especially the case when you look at the historical development of the U.S. over time. Extremely poor communities in early 20th century NYC for example (with much lower standards of living then today) did not have the same rates of criminality that one finds in exact same neighborhoods today. I am not going to refer to specific groups as I do not want anyone to pull the race/ethnicity/religion card. But the data is there for anyone to see for themselves. Poverty is part of the equation but is not nearly the most important element.
by Anarchist
Thursday Oct 11th, 2012 1:21 PM
America has highest rate of incarceration which is promoted by poverty and everyday struggle to get by because capitalism makes life hard for everybody.

You want a reason why you don't revolt? WHITE PRIVILEGE!
by Anarchist
Thursday Oct 11th, 2012 1:54 PM

None of these things have prevented me from destroying what needs to be destroyed because I'm not guilty of any of the above. That about sums it up.
by Joost van Steenis
(downwithelite [at] Friday Oct 12th, 2012 12:44 AM
I do not always agree with black block tactics but I do certainly not agree with all these "peaceful" demonstrations that do not have any success. It is suspicious that some people agitate against the black block but that they never say anything against these gatherings that are restricted to venting the own dissatisfaction but do not change anything. I prefer direct pressure on leading people who make our world uninhabitable. And when you want change some violence will always be needed, you can not make an omelette without breaking some eggs. See also
by Matt
Friday Oct 12th, 2012 9:24 AM
What has people who engage in Black Bloc actions achieved? They have done nothing but alienate the vast majority of people. Their proponents claim it somehow inspires but the fact remains that people participating in Occupy has dwindled following the 60s trajectory. It's the same failed tactics of the 60s.... radicalization and alienation of the mainstream which decimated the numbers of people participating. You can't call for radical action with small numbers. It's the same failed strategy of groups like the RCP except cloaked in a black facade.

Looking at the self-righteous posts of "Anarchist" tells me their tactics are wrong and most likely is part of an intelligence front designed to keep numbers down.
by JVS
Friday Oct 12th, 2012 9:33 AM
Speaking of Alex Jones, Google: "joost van steenis" "alex jones". You have right-winger thinly disguised as leftists trying to promote an armed insurrection. Note how it fits nicely with "black bloc" tactics. When you enegage in violent acts with small numbers, you lose. "They" want you to lose.
by Joost van Steenis
Friday Oct 12th, 2012 1:18 PM
The numbers of Occupy are anyhow small so you should wonder if any tactic of Occupy alienates people. Some people say the 99% are sheeples. I do not agree, they are waiting for the right targets and tactics to join the struggle. Attacking parts of the active people does not solve anytjhing. The struggle against the 1% (you hardly hear the term 1% in Occupy anymore) is not left or right (you could say that the word left alienates people :-). It is a struggle of oppressed people against oppressors. Some violence will be included in that struggle. But the last 25 years movements hardly existed and they did not achieve anything, the wealth gap is still increasing. Occupy began marvelous by giving attention to the 1% but nothing is learned from the failures of the last 25 years. Matt, please study history, the reason that movements in the sixties died out had nothing to do with violence. It was not a point of discussion (Facts from my personal European experience)
by Anarchist
Friday Oct 12th, 2012 3:49 PM
I keep telling you. Put down the Alex Jones DVD's and pick up a book. Do some research on black bloc. What it is? Its origin? History? and why it was needed?

Again stop with the conspiracy theory crap. Nobody likes to hear about it. Once we allow that to happen everything gets flooded with "911 was an inside job" and "black helicopters are everywhere". I'm tired of all that. There's no point in theorizing everything that exists or every event where life and property get destroyed my be the work of the criminal element in government because there is no criminal element with in the government. The government is bad in every aspect and we don't need it and not all destruction is the work of the government because they are not the only ones capable of using force and to say they are the only ones capable of violence is to strengthen them and there for weaken us. Maybe that's your goal. I don't know your motive.

The community can govern it self and do a much better job at it. Police are not needed. They are never there to prevent crime anyway. Try waiting for a cop to show up after dialing 911. The person breaking into your home will have already left after entry. I'll protect my self. Don't need police and if we didn't live in a class based society, the barriers between poor and middle class neighborhoods would melt away and all of us would have equal status and the 2 would no longer be at war with one another. Can't really have that kind of unity with capitalism existing keeping us apart and the cops getting in our way in every attempt to sabotage financial power houses i.e. the banks. The banks would burn to the ground if the "police" and "goody two shoes" stayed the fuck out of the way. You think you're protecting good when you're really protecting evil crooks and serial killers. You don't know what the fuck you're doing or why were here because you don't know why you're here or you have another agenda. It's that fucking simple.

Please get a clue as to what is going on. There is not some grand scheme behind events that occur. Just get that out of your head. The only grand scheme that people are behind is going to work everyday to keep Wall Street open for business and black bloc just gets in the way of everyone trying to hold this society together. This society is fucked up. Why are you defending it. Just let it fucking burn already.

Saying BLOCK BLOC doesn't work is being totally disingenuous to everyone on here and yourself. BLACK BLOC is not a form of protest. GET THAT THROUGH YOUR SKULL! BLACK BLOC IN BAY AREA IS AN ACT OF WAR AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT/ESTABLISHMENT. NOT A CRY FOR HELP TO THE GOVERNMENT! The majority of people protesting have not crossed that boundary from beggar to saboteur. We would be free today if everybody crossed that line but everybody seems to have a different idea of what freedom is and some people hold their privilege under capitalism as their top priority and aren't willing to give up their status. That is why they obey. Either that or they've been taught to conform their whole lives and have never stepped out of line and are afraid to take the risk. Lets be fucking honest around here. I'm tired of fake people coming on here building straw men. Might as well stroke the governments vessel while you're at it.

The majority of people committed to peace are nothing but a bunch of reformists middle class people who have enough wealth, time and success to just wait it out with patience no matter how long the government makes them wait so long as they have their middle class status, waiting should not be a problem for them because they are not in an uncomfortable position so they can relax. Nice comfortable pillow at home waiting. No hurry. We don't need to revolt now. Let's put it off at the last minute. The situation isn't critical enough to demand we take action yet. We can wait till the oceans dry and the sky turns black.

The only other conspiracy I can think of is a group of people working for the police as negotiators of the system to try and calm everybody down. We wouldn't want to upset everybody watching the news. Best to turn everyone watching the news against them selves by calling the cops hero's and anyone challenging them is otherwise. Easy to believe when you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. If it means infiltrating black bloc with peace police to hold the system together, so be it. The whole point is to dampen down the revolution and to maintain an image that people don't want things to change bad enough to take these kind of matters into their own hands because deep down inside they are really happy with things but just want a few changes here and there and not throw out the whole thing like the anarchists. So you see we are not alienating anything. We weren't the same as you from the beginning before we threw a brick and we're not the same now. GET IT? GOT IT? GOOD?

You want to give the system a chance and you won't admit that. Most really just want the system to stay. Most people who black bloc don't want that. That is the difference between us and you. We just have different goals, different concepts of freedom and we're not trying to make the system better. We're not trying to make things better. We're here to make life difficult because we want the system to fall. If that's a conspiracy to you then I guess I consider my self guilty. Guilty as charged.
by Non-temper-tantrum-person
Friday Oct 12th, 2012 10:14 PM
April 30th in San Francisco's Mission District: What could have been a perfectly useful episode of mass property destruction in opposition to the galloping gentrification of the city's once-overwhelmingly working class Mission District contributes absolutely nothing on this score -- Zilch! Zip! Zed! Zero! Ningun! Nada! -- as this event decomposes, after the fact, into an adolescent nocturnal emission of totally forgetible irrelevance.

Having nothing to say, they say nothing at all, and thus make a hunter-gatherer-style gift of the propaganda initiative to the capitalist class. With this, the mysterious implacable masked window-breakers reveal themselves to be Attention-Deficit-Disorder sufferers, who do what they do solely to reinforce juvenile subcultural delusions of grandeur and, as loyal products of the core ethos of American-style consumer capitalism, to keep themselves entertained.

Later defining themselves as "anti-civilization," this event's apparent authors heroically accomplish their abject failure with regard to April 30th by abolishing the use of language in fact if not in theory.

Sept. 21 - Sept. 22: Once again in San Francisco's Mission District: Offering themselves an opportunity to redeem their abject social-ineptitude motivated failure in relation to the April 30th events, the masked entertainment-seekers generously refrain from doing so.

Two nights of minor-league acting-out take place, and leave not a single window demolished on any of eight obvious worthy targets along what 'Vanity Fair' recently described as the hippest corridor in America, Valencia Street.

Oct. 6th: Always exploring new frontiers in self-indulgent esoteric ridiculousness, our smashy-smashy guys stage yet another event, unintelligible to anybody other than their fellow multiple-hours-a-day-on-Facebook "anti-colonialists," demanding that evil Whitey self-evict from the Western Hemisphere after 510 years of unrighteous occupation -- give Tenochtitlan back to the Aztecs, NOW!

This episode succeeds only in getting a flock of hapless youth beaten by cops, collared and now facing multiple felony charges.

No critical reflection on the practical and theoretical dead-end of these entertainment events results. Instead they offer mighty sheep-bleating about how 'The Man' is down-pressing them...

As Max Crosby said in his article about the abject failure that happened with April 30th, a society gets the dissidents it deserves...
Dude, seriously, you sound like one of those privileged elitist college grad students. Hell of a bore and a turn off. Communicate normal like an everyday person. You don't have to act all robotic to get a message across. Just talk like this. It's a lot smoother. Like an ever flowing stream.

As for sending a message. A lot of people who choose black bloc have given up on discussion and have already moved on to the next level of activism. It's called direct action and the people who engage in it are not really the organizational type. They are more into spontaneous action with out organization. Post a CALL OUT FOR BLACK BLOC on indybay and pray that people show up. Not really the way I do things.

I don't agree with the dis-organizational aspect of black bloc since I'm a very methodical person. Black Bloc in the Bay Area is not being executed the way I prefer it. And I don't think window bashing goes far enough to hurt the usual suspects that we are supposedly after. My preferable weapon of choice would be arson and with 100's of cell facilitators working together to form black bloc clusters like the Europeans and the know how to roll pretty deep. They got that organizational shit down pretty hardcore. Bay Area anarchists aren't ready for that yet I guess.

I can't really fault them for it though. At least they're trying. They just go about it a different way. We're not European I guess. We don't think like it. Well, I can of do but 1 person? that doesn't do very much.
by one more question
Monday Oct 15th, 2012 2:21 PM
Do the masked folks in the brand new The Coup video who drag Daddy Warbucks to the guillotine to execute him oppose breaking his bank windows?

hmmmmm, puzzling
by Freedom Fighter
Friday Oct 19th, 2012 12:15 AM
Don't use the word "arson". It is a term of the law. It means the CRIME of setting fires. While we do know that if people burn down banks or corporate businesses or police stations they are committing no crime, but doing a service to the people of the world, the 99%.

I find it interesting that people who are supportive of theo-rhetorical revolutions and revolutions in other countries, are scared of it happening here. It's almost like they want to be "safe" at home. Well for Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin and for the people of Malta and Bangladesh where the climate change is already hitting, there is no safety. The emergency is happening and we need to do whatever is possible to stop capitalism, and those who support it.

And yes, we must be smart and not stupid. It's stupid to attack credit unions, the bus system's customer service office, and supportive (even a little bit supportive) DJ's. It's wrong in and of itself, and it makes the movement look like thugs who don't think, not freedom fighters. And if we're doing something in front of the police, have the numbers to fight them so we don't lose more people to the "criminal justice system".