Horrified at threats of lateral violence present on babble

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bineshii
Horrified at threats of lateral violence present on babble

Horrified.

Ripping off people's masks, gang attacking people for wearing masks, hitting people wearing masks in the head with marbles, citizen's arresting people for wearing masks. These are all quotes from a thread on this site.

I've been involved in some heated and personal debates on this subject, but this is vile.

So if I'm a single parent on welfare and I don't want my welfare worker to see me at a protest and cut me off for not looking for work that day -but I want to go to the protest so I wear a mask, I'm at risk of getting tackled by a gang of ‘pacifist thugs' and turned over to the police?

If I'm an immigrant worker an I don't want the immigration officer reviewing my case to see me on the news and put a permanent mark on my and all my relatives records, but I want to go to the protest so I wear a mask, I'm at risk of being attacked, having the mask ripped off my face and forcefully paraded in front of every camera around before being handed over to the police.

If I'm a union member and my union didn't sanction this protest or picket, but I wanted to go support anyway, so I wear a mask, I'm at risk of being attacked by my own union brothers and sisters?

So I'm at a protest and I don't wear a mask because I'm terrified of being attacked by peace police, then I get on the nightly news and my boss sees it and the next week I'm fired.

There are lots of reasons to wear masks. This violent anti-mask attitude puts people at risk of serious consequences of political dissent -in addition to actually assaulting people for what amounts to a piece clothing.

 

Issues Pages: 
absentia

Do you see in there what's even more horrifying?

A society so fearful it that its members approve of violating personal liberty and privacy (somebody else's, of course), and even betrayal of allies (possible, probable, sometime, ex- allies?) in the hope of protecting themselves from the same treatments at the hands of even bigger, meaner bullies.  

A society so intolerant of political expression that entire categories of citizen feel the need to hide their identities when they participate in public demonstrations - because several other categories of citizens have the right and power to punish people for participating.

Why are we still calling this a democracy?

Unionist

bineshii wrote:

There are lots of reasons to wear masks.

Hi there - welcome to babble!

With great respect, all your examples (single welfare parents, immigrant workers, union members) are utterly and totally ridiculous, concocted, and never happen in real life.

Quote:
This violent anti-mask attitude puts people at risk of serious consequences of political dissent -in addition to actually assaulting people for what amounts to a piece clothing.

That's another rather extreme misreading of whatever thread you happen to be talking about. Some people here (including me) have said that we should organize protests in a disciplined, coordinated, consultative manner - and if anyone (masked or otherwise) breaks away and commits actions which jeopardize the protesters, we should deal with them extremely firmly ourselves.

Whether they are masked or not makes no difference. It is their ACTIONS which matter.

So I strongly advise you to either support your exaggerated claims by providing some in-context quotes from babblers, or else sit back and examine why you feel the need to erect such a huge straw man in the defence of the alleged human right to wear masks.

Erik Redburn

Ya, really.  But if it helps, I personally do *not* support "hunting down" anything "like rabbits"...including rabbits.  That other heading was, I assume, merely an overly-exuberant expression. 

I do support some sign of self discipline, however, and "allies" who have some end in mind beyond venting a spleen on meaningless targets.  At some expense to others who aren't wearing masks. 

 

Slumberjack

Anonymity is a sound tactical decision on the part of an insurgent. The secret elements of national security services use telescoping camera equipment to capture images and compare them against existing databases such as driver licence photos or other government IDs to determine the identities and addresses of individuals. In the event of a national emergency where wholesale rights are suspended, the information collected and stored from these intelligence collection operations is consulted, to where it becomes a simple matter of having the army drive around in trucks to gather up the malcontents.  I believe that anyone who chafes at this very basic measure of self defence plays a little too comfortably into the hands of the corporate security apparatus, providing cover for their operations against citizens who feel their objections are best presented through various levels of intensity on the street.

Croghan27

Anonymity is a sound tactical decision on the part of an insurgent. The secret elements of national security services use telescoping camera equipment to capture images and compare them against existing databases such as driver licence photos or other government IDs to determine the identities and addresses of individuals.

 

More than the distasteful minions of national security, SlumberJ.

In the late 1980s/early 1990s Alberta Pacific found a stretch of (almost) pristine Athabasca River and decided to do something about it - build a pulp mill. Given their horrid reputation at the mill in BC, environmentalist were shocked. David Schindler campaigned against it, David Suzuki editorialized against it and rallies were held.

At that time some thugs in the town of Athabasca took matters into their own hands would would happily and merrily lay a beating on anyone against the mill. (Special treatment given to the fellow that gave Klein the bird.) When someone complained that the police were being violent they, truthfully, said it was not them - even as they watched it happen. It was these private thugs.

A friend of the town of Athabasca did go to several demonstrations against the mill - wearing a mask so the company thugs (paid or volunteer) could not identify him.

Since then I have had a lot of sympathy for anyone wearing a mask or face covering at any public event.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

Anonymity is a sound tactical decision on the part of an insurgent.

Sure, especially when you are acting alone and have zero mass support or even acquiescence in your tactics. Or perhaps, when thousands and millions rise up, you would have them all masked as well? Why not? Maybe we should mask our workers on the picket lines - otherwise, horror of horrors, the all-powerful enemy boss may figure out who the ringleaders are!!!???!!! And then we're dead meat!!!

Anonymity, in a demonstration of tens of thousands, is a tactic of desperation. It is a loud statement that you do not enjoy the support of those masses. That you are hiding your face, not from the state, but from the people. That's why immigrant workers, union members, and single parents on welfare don't cover their faces when they take to the streets.

lagatta

I'm on so many fichiers and files by now that what slumberjack says is a moot point, but croghan's example is more telling.

cruisin_turtle

Good points Unionist.  There might be cases where wearing a mask while protesting say against your employer is understandable but not when you are participating in a legally authorised rally concerning global politics or wars.  It's clear that the agent provocateurs were using masks to start a riot and incite violence. They did not succeed in inciting a riot - a riot never happened, but there were individual incidents of violent vandalism and those involved must be prosecuted.   Not only for the material damages they caused but also for tarnishing the reputation of the entire legal march. 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
Sure, especially when you are acting alone and have zero mass support...

I'm not sure if the cheering crowds that were on hand to witness the sight of burnt out cop cars being towed away is indicative of zero support, staged event or not.  It may very well be a sign that not every joyous event that stirs the soul can be entirely straightjacketed by those who attempt to appropriate and define what constitutes mass opinion.

Slumberjack

cruisin_turtle wrote:
There might be cases where wearing a mask while protesting say against your employer is understandable but not when you are participating in a legally authorised rally concerning global politics or wars. 

When people restrict themselves to rallying against politics and wars, by coming out to events that are legally sanctioned by the very same forces conducting the filthy politics and wars, I'm afraid there's very little that could be said to help those people understand what it is they are actually doing.

cruisin_turtle

@Slumberjack: people are free to limit their participation to legally authorised protests or to not participate in protests at all.  Please don't try to impose your values on others.

Slumberjack

I find the politics of nothingness and resignation, and the uninterrupted counsel that flows from it, that which coincidentally has the effect of dovetailing seamlessly with power apparatus directives, to be far more problematic and imposing than anything I might comment on.

contrarianna

Who are the "minions" when the only difference between agent provocteurs and vandal "protesters" is that one group get paid for their work and are usually members of a (police) union?

I'm surprised at the support here for scab volunteer labour. After all, with the masks  you can't be absolutely sure they are all police union workers.

Slumberjack

contrarianna wrote:
I'm surprised at the support here for scab volunteer labour. After all, with the masks  you can't be absolutely sure they are all union workers.

I'm not surprised actually, to find more opinions being voiced in support of the herd mentality approach as it pertains to social change.  The slow scenic passage to oblivion tends to have more appeal for those who prefer the normality of the times over the disruptive inconvienience of insurrection and revolt.  Trouble is, you can't expect that everyone will do as they're told, just as you couldn't expect everyone to have the same definition of what constitutes scabbing on behalf of the bosses.

skdadl

While I share Unionist's principled convictions about mass support, I very much fear giving the authorities any (further) excuse at all to criminalize modes of dress. I'm sure that many of them would be only too happy to do that, and for reasons none of us would agree with.

I think it is not illegal in Ontario to cover your face, yes/no? On those grounds, Blair should be challenged for the way that his officers targeted anyone who was, eg, wearing a bandana or carrying goggles or a gas mask in a backpack. Are bandanas illegal? Are goggles illegal? Are gas masks illegal? If not, it is none of Blair's forking business why people might have them.

The people of Ontario shouldn't have to pass an exam administered by McGuinty and Blair before they walk out their front doors at any time of day.

Unionist

skdadl wrote:

While I share Unionist's principled convictions about mass support, I very much fear giving the authorities any (further) excuse at all to criminalize modes of dress. I'm sure that many of them would be only too happy to do that, and for reasons none of us would agree with.

 

The OP is a diversion based on distortion of the truth. We should not feed into it. No one on babble ever suggested criminalizing the wearing of masks during demos or anywhere else. There has, however, been a lively debate as to whether bank-bombing, car-burning, window smashing juvenile assholes and/or police provocateurs should be tolerated anywhere near healthy mass movements, and what is the best way to deal with them. The opening poster, however, has morphed this into a slanderous accusation that babblers have advocated violence against masked protesters. That's bullshit, and I would like, once again, to call the opening poster on that bullshit.

 

Slumberjack

Do you really believe that holding to ones principles is going to work in the long run against those who are utterly unprincipled?  Can you not understand the context of principles vs what has occurred in the long run of the past 30 years?

6079_Smith_W

First of all, I should point out that most of us here (including me) are posting under handles- not our complete names, so those of us who do so already use that shield of anonymity.

WRT anonymity in protest, I can see the need for masking in some cases in which a specific person feels threatened. The rural Alberta case is a good example. On the other hand it is not as strong a statement as showing your face publicly in opposition.

I was at an anti-racism demo some years back with a friend of mine in Germany (a country where masking and face-painting is illegal, and where they nevertheless have a much higher level of protest than here in Canada). She was more concerned that neo-Nazis would identify her because she had an artificial leg and attack her at some later time, than she was of the authorities.

I don't want to make presumptions about people who choose to wear masks, but when you have what seems to be a group of people who wear masks as part of their uniform, and who have a similar set of tactics (which includes proterty damage) , it begs the question of what the purpose of that mask is - is it really worn as a matter of personal choice because a person has special reason to feel threatened, or is it just part of a standard superhero costume worn to carry out specific actions?

 

skdadl

SJ, I don't know whether you were addressing me, but I certainly can understand your frustration. You should hear the speeches I make at my monitor several times every day.

The trouble is, I know something about history in the long term, social history, and what I know is that it takes numbers. You want change, you get (or suddenly find) one million people in Nathan Phillips Square or at Queen't Park. Kettle that, McGuinty and Blair.

It matters that we remain principled and also that we have pure hearts, SJ. I hears ya. But it won't happen just because we wish harder. The work is long and slow and often sad. Or angry. But it takes numbers.

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
The OP is a diversion based on distortion of the truth. We should not feed into it. 

Well yes, I've completely passed over the intent of the thread in order to use the platform as yet another opportunity to impose my values.

Unionist

So just out of simple curiosity - is there anyone here (or anyone on babble) who thinks it should be unlawful to cover one's face during protests?

Or is it much more fun to create straw men and then hunt them down like rabbits?

 

Slumberjack

skdadl wrote:
But it won't happen just because we wish harder. 

This is precisely what a million people standing around peacefully constitutes in this age skdadl, without some other dynamic at work to worry the oppressor.

skdadl

Unionist wrote:

So just out of simple curiosity - is there anyone here (or anyone on babble) who thinks it should be unlawful to cover one's face during protests?

Or is it much more fun to create straw men and then hunt them down like rabbits?

Unionist, to be fair, I thought that it was sometimes unclear on that first thread what people intended by unmasking provocateurs -- hand them over to teh cops or deal with them ourselves? I realize that you have never argued the former, but I wasn't sure that some other people weren't. I think that people need to be given a chance to think this through.

I have wild rabbits. Anyone comes here and tries to hunt them down, he'll have me to deal with. I may be a little old lady, but I can has pitchfork.

skdadl

Slumberjack wrote:

skdadl wrote:
But it won't happen just because we wish harder. 

This is precisely what a million people standing around peacefully constitutes in this age skdadl, without some other dynamic at work to worry the oppressor.

We may have another dynamic at work, SJ. Economic collapse.

I have to tell you, I am not looking forward to this. I wish we could have justice and equality without it. Revolutions are very hard on people.

Unionist

skdadl wrote:

Unionist, to be fair, I thought that it was sometimes unclear on that first thread what people intended by unmasking provocateurs -- hand them over to teh cops or deal with them ourselves?

Skdadl - really - please re-read the OP. It is about people who are masked - nothing else. Now, I asked for a link to anyone saying people wearing masks should be unmasked by force or handed over to the cops. I haven't seen one yet. So it's a diversion.

On the other hand, let's forget about masks for a moment, and say that we're having a nice demonstration, when suddenly one of the (unmasked) demonstrators calls over some media person with cameras, and starts setting fire to trash bins, breaking windows of shops, and torching empty cars (any old cars) - but not hurting anyone. Pretend you're an organizer of that demo - or just a participant. What would you do?

I'll tell you what I would do. Anything reasonably necessary to stop the asshole. That could absolutely include, after a warning, turning the asshole over to the cops.

Slumberjack

It's most likely inevitable skdadl, and in that scenario if it should come to pass, there'll be little room for reminiscing over the halcyon days of principle. We'll find our available time taken up with more immediate concerns, such as hiding.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

So just out of simple curiosity - is there anyone here (or anyone on babble) who thinks it should be unlawful to cover one's face during protests?

Or is it much more fun to create straw men and then hunt them down like rabbits?

 

I think I made it clear that I don't think it should be unlawful. I do however know that bans on anonymity  have not stoppad a nuch higher level of political engagement and protest in Germany.

On the other hand, England has a new "anti-terrorism" law which prevents photographing police. So they seem to want to play the anonymity game as well:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7888301.stm

absentia

Unionist wrote:

So just out of simple curiosity - is there anyone here (or anyone on babble) who thinks it should be unlawful to cover one's face during protests?

Or is it much more fun to create straw men and then hunt them down like rabbits?

 

Are those really the only two choices?

What if everybody - all five thousand demonstrators - wore masks? Wouldn't have to be black; could be all colours, maybe even representing one's hockey team, school, garden club or coalition. That might put the wind up some powers . Can't arrest everyone who owns a mask, red jacket, rainbow jeans or whatever: thus, no excuse for arrests.

Seriously, making action - provable criminal action - the only cause for arrest is a better strategy than suspicion and speculation about the motives of the person marching next to one. There will be some bad behaviour; it's impossible to prevent.

contrarianna

Slumberjack wrote:

contrarianna wrote:
I'm surprised at the support here for scab volunteer labour. After all, with the masks  you can't be absolutely sure they are all union workers.

I'm not surprised actually, to find more opinions being voiced in support of the herd mentality approach as it pertains to social change.  The slow scenic passage to oblivion tends to have more appeal for those who prefer the normality of the times over the disruptive inconvienience of insurrection and revolt....

The words "insurrection" and "revolt" have a different resonance and reception in a "managed democracy" such as Canada than in a more overtly totalitarian state.

And aside from the notion, sui generis, of "permanent revolution" or "permanent warfare" such as some followers of Trotsky (and his converts to neoconservativism) have, the tokenistic destruction of property is presumably a means to a political end.

The Harper government and the security state developers of Canada have a relatively clear end in mind in the use of agent provocateurs:

1) Justify the savage repression of ANY dissent and obliterate the reasons for that dissent.
2) Through the ever-willing complicit corporate media make sure the main of the public sides with ever expanding repressive action, by eliciting fear and anger through showcasing "terrorist mindless violence".

Indistinguishable actions, regardless of who is doing (provocateurs or "protesters") will elicit the same political effects.  In the case of very differing goals for indistinguishably actions, one of the proposed outcomes must be very mistaken.

My bet is that incipient security state actually knows what it is doing in the use of agent provocateurs. The supporters of "diversity of actions"--not so much.

 

Freedom 55

Quote:

That's why immigrant workers, union members, and single parents on welfare don't cover their faces when they take to the streets.

 

That's a lie.

Slumberjack

contrarianna wrote:
The words "insurrection" and "revolt" have a different resonance and reception in a "managed democracy" such as Canada than in a more overtly totalitarian state.

I know its bad form, but I just couldn't stifle a laugh at this statement against the backdrop of the past two weeks alone. Isn't it a little reactionary to base ones actions, or lack thereof, on what the state will manufacture on its own for the purpose of justifying its aggression, regardless of any provocation that may confront it?

Every time the corporate state is compelled to reveal its iron jaws to our polite society, each instance should be seen as an opportunity to reveal that which already exists but remains hidden until their hand is forced. So yes, our circumstances are certainly quite unlike other regions as you suggest, or even within this country for select communities, where totalitarian fangs are unrelentingly bared against the unfortunate population.  Apparently we have more to lose than 'them.'  Solidarity has its own lines in the sand after all, so long as we're standing on our side.

skdadl

You're a lovely writer, SJ. Just thought I'd say that. Discipline is good, though. Hard, but good.

Unionist

Freedom 55 wrote:

Quote:

That's why immigrant workers, union members, and single parents on welfare don't cover their faces when they take to the streets.

 

That's a lie.

I don't mean that none of the Black Bloc fall in the above categories, in case you had trouble deciphering my sentence. I meant that immigrant workers and union members and single parents on welfare don't wear masks in order to avoid reprisal from the authorities, or their union, because of their status. That's the idiotic claim that was made above. Yes, of course, a union member that decides to join in on Black Bloc tactics will wear a mask, but not because of being a union member. Hope that clarifies my meaning.

And by the way, just because you happen to defend the window smashing and car burning, and I don't, doesn't mean you have to use words like "lie". Maybe I'm just mistaken. Maybe I have a wrong belief. A "lie" is something quite different. If you have some evidence to bear or other opinion to bring forward, do so. But don't tell me union members wear masks because of fear of retaliation. And I don't mean one guy once in Alberta somewhere, thanks very much.

Freedom 55

Unionist wrote:

Freedom 55 wrote:

Quote:

That's why immigrant workers, union members, and single parents on welfare don't cover their faces when they take to the streets.

 

That's a lie.

I don't mean that none of the Black Bloc fall in the above categories, in case you had trouble deciphering my sentence. I meant that immigrant workers and union members and single parents on welfare don't wear masks in order to avoid reprisal from the authorities, or their union, because of their status.

 

I understood just fine, but you're wrong. I don't know about union members fearing reprisals from their bosses or their union leaders, but for immigrant workers and people on social assistance, I can assure you that they/we certainly do. And I'm not talking about in black blocs or smashy-smashy actions where people conceal their identity to shield themselves from the consequences of their actions. I'm talking about people masking up to prevent the state from going after them for simply speaking-out and taking a stand.

Freedom 55

Unionist wrote:

just because you happen to defend the window smashing and car burning

 

Show me a quote, please.

contrarianna

Slumberjack wrote:

contrarianna wrote:
The words "insurrection" and "revolt" have a different resonance and reception in a "managed democracy" such as Canada than in a more overtly totalitarian state.

I know its bad form, but I just couldn't stifle a laugh at this statement against the backdrop of the past two weeks alone. ....

More laughable is to naively do the work of agent provocateurs (without pay to boot!) and imagine one is being "revolutionary" in some tiny coterie dream world that exists oblivious to operations of the propaganda system.

Unionist

Freedom 55 wrote:
I don't know about union members fearing reprisals from their bosses or their union leaders,

That's correct, you don't know. In fact, the opening post suggested that unions take reprisal against members who attend events not sanctioned by the union. That kind of anti-union slanderous propaganda, besides being a filthy lie, is prohibited by babble policy.

Quote:
... but for immigrant workers and people on social assistance, I can assure you that they/we certainly do.

Yes, I'm not a fool, and I understand that non-citizen workers fear reprisals (not "immigrant workers" - why would they be more afraid than any others???). As for people on social assistance, you'll have to explain to me how being seen in a protest would lead to getting cut off. I'm not saying it hasn't happened, but surely if it has, it needs to be publicized and fought. It's news to me.

But this isn't about fearing reprisals. This is about people who wear masks (and people who don't) because they plan to carry out vandalism in the course of the actual protest. To compare such people with those who fear reprisals because of their status, or simply because they stand up and speak their minds and demonstrate, is very profoundly insulting. It is exactly the kind of identification ("protesters = criminals, vandals, property-destroyers") that the state would like to make and does make daily. It is one of the key reasons why we must organize to isolate and neutralize the vandals, whether they are masked or not.

Quote:
I'm talking about people masking up to prevent the state from going after them for simply speaking-out and taking a stand.

I fully agree with you. Anyone who wears a mask for fear of such reprisal has my support. But to suggest that wearing masks in such situations is widespread - or that it is in any way analogous to the smashers and burners - is factually false and deeply defamatory.

Unionist

Freedom 55 wrote:

Unionist wrote:

just because you happen to defend the window smashing and car burning

 

Show me a quote, please.

Not interested in pursuing this discussion, which began with your posts about the bank-burning. You figure it out.

Cueball Cueball's picture

lagatta wrote:
I'm on so many fichiers and files by now that what slumberjack says is a moot point, but croghan's example is more telling.

Indeed, aside from intimidating the general public the mass arrest in Toronto recently probably had as much to do with creating a good list.

Freedom 55

Unionist wrote:

Freedom 55 wrote:

Unionist wrote:

just because you happen to defend the window smashing and car burning

 

Show me a quote, please.

Not interested in pursuing this discussion, which began with your posts about the bank-burning. You figure it out.

 

I don't give a fuck what you're not interested in. If you're not interested, don't put words in my mouth. You cant back your statement up, so you're a liar.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Yes, indeed, the issue should be dropped or quotes provided. Instigating counseling and "conspiracy to commit mischief" charges against people were in part based on surveillance of internet chat forums, as is clear based on Chief Blair's statements to the press. So, in my opinion accusations of this sort should be corroborated or dropped.

How about we stick to the topic, and everyone can speak for themselves?

Unionist

Cueball wrote:

Yes, indeed, the issue should be dropped or quotes provided.

Freedom 55 has called the opposition to the Black Bloc vandalism in G20 "an internecine war within the Left" [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/activism/debate-protest-tactics-part-2#comment-1.... I take that as support for those tactics. Freedom 55 has been very coy in dealing with this, but the views expressed are very clear [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/cbc-ban-summit-agents-provocateurs... and [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/introductions/debate-protest-tactics-what-works-... and [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/legitimate-and-illegitimate-protes... and [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/legitimate-and-illegitimate-protes... and [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/activism/debate-protest-tactics-part-2#comment-1..., besides many others, beginning with the RBC arson attack.

Don't get me wrong. Freedom 55 is entitled to those views and to present them and defend them. But it would be better to do so openly, instead of using so many posts to say "you're lying" and "you don't understand me" and "you're twisting my words". Let me know if you require all the specific references.

Cueball Cueball's picture

All, I see is you derailing this thread with some assertions about what Freedom55 thinks and believes. The attack is basically ad hominem in the context of this thread, and you are bringing in a previous discussion to derail this thread. If you really want to persist in this interrogation you should add quotes to those links, as opposed asserting the fact that they support your conclusions.

Saying that a debate on tactics is "an internecine war within the Left" does not indicate support for either side, it simply asserts that there is an debate. You however, are asserting your reading that this statement amounts to support of those tactics, as a fact, and as I tried to point out, your reading, may have legal implications.

On that basis, I am asking you to find a statement by Freedom55 where he/she says they support those tactics, as opposed to inferring that they do.

ennir

bineshii wrote:

Horrified.

Ripping off people's masks, gang attacking people for wearing masks, hitting people wearing masks in the head with marbles, citizen's arresting people for wearing masks. These are all quotes from a thread on this site.

I've been involved in some heated and personal debates on this subject, but this is vile.

......

 

 

I don't read all the threads and know it is possible that I miss things that are said, I would have appreciated your linking to threads where those specific things were said.  I recall nothing about marbles nor any support for ripping off masks.  I also wonder about your motivation for starting this thread since you have not participated in it.

While there may be reasons for masks at different times the reality is the black bloc serve only the interests of those who would oppress us and we should do everything we can to make that clear to them.  My suggestion would be that the black bloc NEVER be allowed into the midst of peaceful protesters again, if they want to act independently then that is there choice.

I've been protesting for forty years and I have observed a pattern, young men and women are easy to draw into violence, they don't know their history and they believe they are inventing a new world while being suckered into reinforcing the old.  It is a predictable pattern, and the reality is that by the time these young folks are in their thirties they will have children and their days of protest will largely be gone, as someone said they are not taking their four year old to what happened in Toronto.  Thus another generation is lost to reacting to the oppression rather than stepping away from it (and I am not talking about going back to the land although some might) and using their life's energy to create something entirely new.

 

 

Slumberjack

ennir wrote:
My suggestion would be that the black bloc NEVER be allowed into the midst of peaceful protesters again, if they want to act independently then that is there choice.

Have you given any thought to the notion that it was the peaceful protesters who were raining on the black bloc parade?  Perhaps they'll disallow pacifists in their midst the next time around.  See how they'll like it then.

ennir

How many were peaceful protesters?  How many were black bloc?  I think it is pretty clear who needs who.  lol

Slumberjack

One can only hope not for long.

bineshii

Here are some quotes from the "A Debate on Protest Tactics. What works, what doesn't"

Buddy Kat
“The solution is too demask and possibly sling shot the heads of masked people with marbles. At least the infiltarator will be identified by the big bump on their head.”

Fifi
Since it's clear that the police disguise themselves as "Black Bloc Anarchists" (don't you love a recognizable brand and premade identity complete with uniform?) to start violence then anyone starting violence should be viewed with suspicion and stopped, unmasked and documented by protestors.

Bacchus
“I like the idea of no protesters at all or entirely peaceful ones who hand over to the police (while filming it) ANYONE who does a violent/vandalistic act. Um officers, we handed over ten guys who started throwing shit and breaking windows. Did you charge them all? Yes who are they? no why not?”

Green Grouch
“And should we need to give a reason for banadana yanking, it's clear: you cover your face, we assume you're a cop. Montebello proved the need to think like this and I think it's a great way to shut down the self righteous bullshit we get from some of the masked wonders who actually aren't cops. I can see doing this in the moment because I can trust my own eyes and (more importantly) those of my affinity group. It would need to be done in a group, though, and I for one would want some intervention training.”

Unionist
“There are no "good protesters vs. bad protesters". There are only protesters. Then, there are police agents, provocateurs, and common vandals - very very few of them - who must be isolated and controlled so that our struggle can succeed. Either we crush the provocations, or the provocations will be used as a pretext to crush us. If you don't condemn the assholes, masses of people will (correctly) conclude that they speak and act for you. This isn't rocket science.
And I strongly suggest that everyone call them "assholes" or similar terms of abuse. That way, the few real people tempted to join in the "fun" will be discouraged by peer pressure.”

Unionist

Nice try, bineshii. You found one bizarre comments about masks (from Green Grouch) - one bad-taste joke (from Buddy Kat) - and the rest were about assholes committing vandalism. I stand by my comment which you quoted above, which, you will notice, has nothing to do with masks or no masks.

If you want to say: "It's horrible that people are calling for copcar burners and window smashers to be neutralized or handed over to the police" - say so. Don't hide behind the mask.

 

bineshii

I started reading the "A Debate on Protest Tactics. What works, What Doesn't" thread because I figured the rabble crowd is different from my usual internet clicking ground, and wanted to check it out. While there is lots of food for thought, there was also an overwhelming sense of hostility based on the fear of agent provocateurs -this fear justifying behaviour that is -to me anyway- scary. From the most extreme case of slingshotting people with marbles and then identifying them by their wounds, to unionists [that's her name] command to stop even thinking of these potential provocateurs as human beings and define them mentally only as derogatory objects worthy of abuse.

I wouldn't say that these sorts of comments are held universally by other people on this forum, in fact many people openly objected to violent action against mask wearers or even vandals and rioters, but this violence is couched in a wider tendency of provocateur fear. Provocateurs are seen around every corner, provocateurs who want to destroy and harm innocent victims. And the evidence this fear is based on is largely fallacious.

According to this provocateur fear, agent provocateurs and vandals are the problem, but anyone in black, black block or wearing a mask is either a potential provocateur/vandal or is providing cover for them. Which seems to give license to indiscriminately attack anyone who appears suspicious or associated with someone who appears suspicious.

Lots of people wear masks for lots of reasons. The examples I gave are composites of real life situations, that have had real life consequences. Why did I use composites -because something told me to change the stories a bit to protect the identities of the people involved, and also because I have encountered far more instances that that list but condensed it for space. You can believe it or not, it's your choice.

 

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