What if the black bloc have the right idea?

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kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079 Why do you think it is that many people on this site on a regular basis say they find your posts obtuse at best?  If many people can't figure out what you mean I suggest you start looking in thy mirror instead of going hunting.

 

onlinediscountanvils

6079_Smith_W wrote:
If you can't figure out what I was talking about I suggest you move on to something else, because that dog don't hunt.

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And regarding NDPP's post #151, I don't absolve the government for stomping on peoples' rights and attacking them, but really what is the purpose of vandalism, sabotage, bombing and other violent acts?

 

You're the one who said this was "regarding NDPP's post #151".

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Hopefully you have that all straight now, but if is really a big deal you can call a moderator and see if I have said anything misleading or out of line.

Undecided

Yup we talk about the BB and out of nowhere you bring up an obscure reference to a hundred year old event that you don't seem to know very much about.

Can't for the live of me understand why anyone could get confused,

6079_Smith_W

Yes, onlinediscountanvils

NDPP posted a liink about the state going on a witch hunt.

I replied (in reference to his post)  that it was not the first time, nor even the worst case of innocent people being caught up in a crackdown. That was probably the 1919 red scare which followed numerous events, the most shocking being a series of mail bombings.

Not wanting to be accused of defending the crackdown, I pointed out that I felt the state was reponsible for these abuses, regardless of the provocation.

(and it is kind of funny that I find myself accused for trying to be careful, and making that distinction)

My point about the purpose of violence? That's my own observation. We are allowed to make our own observations here, no?

Perhaps it is confusing because it's all in one sentence. But if you read it carefully it is definitely two related, but distinct ideas.

Hopefully you have that all straight now, but if is really a big deal you can call a moderator and see if I have said anything misleading or out of line.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist you need to read 6079 posts.  It was not the BB that caused the police to launch those wholesale attacks in this century it was actually the reds in 1919.  So please blame the source of the problem cause from where I sit the police have been carrying out violent and oppressive measures against activists for the better part of a hundred years long before the people you love to vivify were ever born.

My wife who is from the Island reminded me that in the 1912 to 1914 strike in Cumberland they mounted cannon on the streets.  The idea that the BB cause police violence is ridiculous in my view. 

 

6079_Smith_W

Actually k, the first event I brought up was was over 150 years ago - firebombing parliament - perpetrated by a bunch of racist anglos. And I and others have mentioned a few indcidents  throughout this thread that were even older than that

It's hardly obscure, and it is hardly irrelevant, unless for some reason you don't want to pay attention to any of the lessons of history.

Nobody seemed to get all bent out of shape about that, or confused that I was somehow accusing the black bloc of things they didn't do.

6079_Smith_W

Thanks for the support U, though I don't think the thread is embarrassing.

After all, if people aren't painting this romantic and heroic picture of street violence here, you can bet they are doing it somewhere else.

I don't have any problem challenging it.

 

ArghMonkey ArghMonkey's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Nothing like a riot to attract a crowd.  Pushing toward 4000 thread views after 10 days.

 

Its clearly a subject thats on many peoples minds, glad to see some on the left are starting to consider the bigger implications of our being ineffective.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 

After all, if people aren't painting this romantic and heroic picture of street violence here, you can bet they are doing it somewhere else.

I don't have any problem challenging it.

 

See, as I've been saying from the start (though I took a break when certain individuals started attacking me personally), I have no problem with street violence. I have been involved in it myself, and at times it is necessary. But violent or not, actions which are hated by ordinary people and carried out in isolation from them are to be condemned.

Shall I repeat that this isn't about violence vs. non-violence?

Having said that, I'm rather discouraged at the harassment and cross-examination of 6079 here. But if he can take it and carry on, that's fine. It would just be so much better if babblers could deal with each other's views rather than each other's presumed styles, personalities, etc.

 

onlinediscountanvils

Unionist wrote:
It would just be so much better if babblers could deal with each other's views rather than each other's presumed styles, personalities, etc.

 

Yes, it would be.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

I have no problem with street violence. I have been involved in it myself, and at times it is necessary.

I hear what you are saying, and in principle I agree. It's not about violence or non-violence in absolute terms. Of course there are times when people have little choice but to resort to violence. But ultimately violence is never a solution.

Just thinking of the the events from the easter uprising, when a small band of people expected an entire country to rise up with them and were sorely disappointed, to the effective guerilla war directed by Michael Collins, which resulted in negotiations with the British and a partitioned Ireland, and a further civil war which produced virtually nothing (other than death and bitterness) that the negotiations hadn't already settled.

I've been pretty clear from the beginning that my problem is when offensive violence is the only tactic one cares to use - this symbolic violence in particular.

And I think this idea that there are no other options is just a callous swindle.

onlinediscountanvils

6079_Smith_W wrote:
We are allowed to make our own observations here, no?

Yes, just as others are allowed to disagree with you.

 

ETA:

6079_Smith_W wrote:
you can call a moderator and see if I have said anything misleading or out of line.

Not sure why you would say this, but if someone's been flagging your posts, it hasn't been me.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And I think this idea that there are no other options is just a callous swindle.

Whose idea is that?  No one in this thread has said there are no other options.  Where do you get this stuff from?

I and others have tried to tell you that the BB is not a one trick pony but you seem to believe you can define people you have never meet and know nothing about.  They are not straw people no matter how you like to portray them as ONE DIMENSIONAL cartoon characters.  Your use of the strawman is a callous disregard for the people trying to have a conversion with you.  No matter what people say to you you just go back to the same thing time and again.  There is never any dialogue it seems only a willfully blind man ranting out his own twisted version of people he doesn't know.

6079_Smith_W

@ onlinediscountanvils

Yes, and I also think it's sad that more people aren't aware of how they work against themselves with their decisions.

I just think that the notion of solidarity as one unified group with one single purpose is an illusion - overseas just as much as here. And I also think that kind of movement is inherently unstable and dangerous - and relies on people giving up their ability to think and question.  So it's not surprising that the establishment and the right wing are far better at it than the left.

I think real solidarity is more subtle, more diffuse, more conflicted, and more effective than these popular images.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Whose idea is that?  No one in this thread has said there are no other options.  Where do you get this stuff from?

I have pointed out the answer to that question numerous times already. If you are sincerely interested, go back and find it yourself.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

At 216 posts you tell me to read all of them to find a needle in your piles of straw.  I note that you regularly post numbers to what you say.  I thus presume you have no answer and are just being a ___________. 

Have a good night.

6079_Smith_W

Um., no. I'm just getting a little tired of being expected to bark on command something I have repeated at least five times (I stopped counting there)..

I have said this directly to you at least once, and you didn't question it.

I know you can follow and make reasonable arguments when you want to, so I can only assume you aren't asking that question in good faith. Sorry; unless you want to send me an email money transfer for my time ($25 plus GST) you can do you own research on this and keep track of the conversation yourself.

But to move this discussion forward a little bit, and not make it all about us...

I was musing a bit about what window-breakers expect in the way of a reaction - assuming it is to actually educate people, and promote social change and not just to get a reaction from the police, or because they just get a rush out of it and feel big.

 Plus... I read that thing about shattering the spell cast by capitalism or whatever it was.That thing I posted upthread

If I was in one of those coffeeshops or stores with my kids and suddenly glass was all over the place - in our hair and clothes, and whatever we were doing at the moment was interrupted by this attack that might have seriously injured us.

What sort of reaction do you think these agents of social change might expect from me? That I'd have some sort of epiphany, and that the scales of capitalism would fall from my eyes and I'd get down on my knees and thank them for shattering the illusions that have kept me enslaved, and tell my kids what a fine example they were? Maybe I'd give them my address so they could come around and burn my house down so I'd truly be free?

I mean, they must think something like that, right? That at least some people seeing their actions see it as a good thing and might be moved to join the cause. Othewise, why do it?

 

 

 

Slumberjack

Saint UnionistInnocent wrote:
 See, as I've been saying from the start (though I took a break when certain individuals started attacking me personally) .... It would just be so much better if babblers could deal with each other's views rather than each other's presumed styles, personalities, etc. 

Unionist wrote:
Sending masked hooligans into the streets to destroy property? These are the assholes who, if not in the pay of the police, are foolishly providing free labour to the enemy.
 

Unionist wrote:
The problem with the black bloc and similar hoodlums is that people are too nice. They hate the vandalism and cowardice of hiding your face, but they don't simply say, "listen, if you try this shit in our actions, you will understand the meaning of targeted violence".

Unionist wrote:
These are provocateurs, whether or not they are intelligent enough to grasp that fact. The really intelligent ones will at least put in an invoices for services rendered. The dummies do it for free.

Unionist wrote:
The problem with black blocs et al is not violence. It is putting their arrogant little peacock selves apart from and above the ordinary folk…
 

Unionist wrote:
The cowardly masked vandals have no monopoly on violence. They wouldn't know real violence if it hit them in the face. So to speak.

Unionist wrote:
Within a very few weeks, the G20 witnessed more provocations by vandals, and more use of these isolated acts of stupidity and/or paid provocation to launch wholesale attacks on thousands of activists.

Laughing

Slumberjack

It's about the violence associated with western imperialism, violence against the planet, on the streets, intensified many times over against innocent people everywhere using the latest in vicious technologies, but which remains largely unhindered at its point of origin where we live. No one can say with confidence that this is what motivates brick throwers and window smashers in every instance, but I don't really care at this point. People will say, well, these are mostly privileged white people getting their point across in a typically consistent manner with the violence and destruction they say they're fighting against, and that the truly oppressed in this society know better than anyone from experience that it doesn't work like that, without considering that the people represented here, in oppression, have been historically abandoned to the violence of the police whenever they've been implicated with violent protest, the Black Panthers for example. I believe its true that certain lessons were drawn about who receives leniency in this society and who doesn't, notwithstanding the hardening of the security posture towards everyone over the last decade alone.  I think Smith is right about having grown weary about being expected to bark on command, especially when the command never arrives.  It seems people complain the most when symbolic gestures are taken against banks and corporate franchises, while isolating the acts from the general frustration with the inertia of a middle class, who are under siege themselves, but for whom conditions are not nearly so bad comparatively speaking. 

All of this seems to point to the need for a complete re-working of Marx's definition of the working class, about how life as we know it revolves around working on behalf of consumerist societies, and about how fatal it is for worker movements in particular to be continually striving to achieve the next rung up, or at least the status quo when threatened within the workerist fable as presented to us by the corporate dominion.  Because you just know in thinking about it that something has gone horribly askew when the worker and the police begin to share similar thought patterns.

Unionist

The sincerest form of flattery. Thank you, Slumberjack.

Slumberjack

Obviously we go back aways on this particular issue Unionist.  It's in that spirit.  I don't really care to place much emphasis on minor vandalism because at the core, it doesn't compare at all to the larger problems and struggles.  It has no impact by itself, because the police would invent it if it simply went away on its own, as they do anyway.  Criticizing it, or condemning the various police skits that try and mimic it as rationale for repressive tactics is pointless imo.  One form of expression is a result of frustration, hooliganism, smash the state reasoning, what have you, while the official forms of violence are part of the general cadence that receives its marching orders from the corporate state.  Each to its own nature.

6079_Smith_W

I don't want to misread, but if I get your drift you don't really understand the violence either, SJ, nor do you think it serves much purpose. Am I right?

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
I have no problem with street violence. I have been involved in it myself, and at times it is necessary. But violent or not, actions which are hated by ordinary people and carried out in isolation from them are to be condemned.

Most ordinary people get their take on things from the evening news or from somewhere along the 24/7 corporate news cycle.  I contend that as a result, most ordinary people don't have two clues of their own to rub together as to what should or shouldn't be condemned.  It's not a particularly good measure.  Ordinary people prefer to isolate themselves from reality for the most part because reality is too disturbing.  Instead; reality television, cell phones, pop culture, vices, addictions, etc; all constitute acceptable distractions from reality.  For people who find their reality unbearable, there's the police and various collaborating elements of society, mental health outfits, the prison industry, widespread condemnation by certain groups for stirring up their version of reality, etc, and ultimately outright annihilation if they become too much of a nuisance.

Slumberjack

I'd like to hear from Statica/K.K, or from the Toronto G20 anarchists when they get out of prison.

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
I don't want to misread, but if I get your drift you don't really understand the violence either, SJ, nor do you think it serves much purpose. Am I right? 

Not entirely.  Violence that emanates from the respective elements contained within today's social contestation is quite understandable.  It's understandable when people become frustrated, as well as when the system decides to clamp down in order to demonstrate that it is still control of any given situation, or when profit is at stake.  It's true however that I see violence around mass protests as serving little purpose, other than to remind institutions who need little reminder, such as banks and corporate franchises, etc, that not everyone is a happy customer.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
I and others have tried to tell you that the BB is not a one trick pony but you seem to believe you can define people you have never meet and know nothing about.

Have you met any police officers? A common response to people who point out some of the things the police do is to say, "well, you don't know any police officers, I do, and the police officers I know are good people, so you don't know what you're talking about."

Unionist

Kropotkin doesn't seem to hear (or respond to) the point of view of one of the other sides in this debate - namely, that it is IRRELEVANT whether the perpetrators of masked isolated vandalism/arson/violence are nice, evil, smart, painfully stupid, paid, unpaid, involved in soup kitchens in their spare time, leaders of big movements somewhere... It's their ACTIONS which are under criticism here. Actions which are isolated from and loathed by "ordinary people" - no, Slumberjack, not "ordinary people" who sit in armchairs and type right-wing comments in the National Post - rather, "ordinary people" who are marching in the streets, launching strike actions and occupations, or watching and considering getting involved, but then seeing these cowardly goons anonymously torching cop cars and never getting caught, while hundreds of "ordinary people" get kettled, roughed up, detained, fined, or blessed with criminal records.

These are the actions of the state and the police. Who the actors are is utterly irrelevant. And the only solution is for the "ordinary people" to do what began to happen during our student strike - namely, surround the cowards, loudly condemned them, block them from tossing rocks, etc. It was a pleasure to behold. "Diversity of tactics" fell victim to the monolithicity of the movement. In the union movement, we've throttled the provocateurs for many years, having had lots of provocateurs to practise on. We need much much more of that, in all our movements.

 

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

I'd like to hear from Statica/K.K, or from the Toronto G20 anarchists when they get out of prison.

My pleasure - from May 2010 [my emphasis]:

Statica / Krystalline Kraus, in her rabble blog, wrote:

It would be irresponsible for the activist community to simply ignore this kind of behaviour as if a fire bombing can be compared to a three year old throwing a tantrum in a shopping mall. There is now blood in the water, and this is a reality the activist community has to face. The group FFFC - Ottawa has promised in their manifesto that more attacks will follow leading up the G8/G20 protests in June 2010.

Whether this occurs or not, what kind of legitimacy does the activist community have if a second fire bombing occurs and no one stepped up firm and bold to denounce the first one; make clear to all that direct action does not include terrorism, that the communities whom this group claims to represent don't under any terms want this kind of solidarity and support.

As the saying goes, "evil prevails when good people do nothing." And if that is the standard that the activist community holds to the capitalist class, then that must also be the standard we hold in our own hearts when we deal with each other

Then, on babble itself:

Krystalline Kraus wrote:

I frankly don't see where this confusion around Diversity of Tactics is coming from. The mechanics of Diversity of Tactics must exist in an environment where there is accountability. Diversity of Tactics has never meant "anything goes", as if an activist can act as a lone wolf and participate in any action without then being held accountable for what they have done.

 In this case, whomever was involved in the FFFC bank firebombing should be held accountable by the two stakeholder groups it claims to represent: the activist community and the First Nations communities.

 Please stop me right now if I have missed this, but please show me one First Nations group or community or First Nations solidarity group or community who has come forward and said: 1: it was consulted by the FFFC prior to the bombing 2: it supports and backs the FFFC in its RBC bank bombing, is happy with the actions of the FFFC and wants the group to follow through with its manifesto's promise of continuing on this course of action.

Here were some of the replies (just to refresh your memories):

Slumberjack wrote:
It would probably be better if you stopped yourself from repeating this line of argument.  No one is responsible for anything in this instance, except for those who carried it out.  Others who wish to voice an opinion on the matter are free to volunteer one, or not.  Communities are not accountable for the actions of a few individuals who decide amongst themselves to undertake a controversial course of action.  Perhaps you feel, as your reasoning suggests, that Muslims haven't been vocal enough either on the issue of violent acts committed by various groups that invoke Islam as their motivation.

and

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Well spoken by a nice woman of privilege.  Appropriating the aboriginal voice is apparently okay for you but I find it rather distressing that you would think this is a argument of solidarity. 

I will in the future need to ask you if you have heard of any one who agrees with my action and that is to the determining factor in whether the action is legitimate or not.  I am in awe of your knowledge of all the activist FN's groups and their views on issues.  That must be quite the burden to carry around for a nice red head.

The current so-called "discussion" is as counterproductive as the previous one. This thread was opened by someone who says (paraphrase) we should stop being Mr. Nice Guy and just overthrow the fucking state. It has never progressed beyond that point. Those who think that the main obstacle standing in the path of the revolution is our reluctance to don masks and lift up rocks, are not going to make much of a contribution, whether on the ideological or the organizational plane.

 

onlinediscountanvils

Unionist wrote:
"ordinary people" who are marching in the streets, launching strike actions and occupations

 

There are plenty of "ordinary people" who have nothing but contempt for those tactics. And there are plenty of "ordinary people" who yawn at the self-righteous arbiters of what types resistance are and aren't permissible, and wait for their actions to match their rhetoric.

The truth is there is no monolithic "ordianry people". Some forms of resistance resonate with some people while not with others, and vice versa.

6079_Smith_W

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

The truth is there is no monolithic "ordianry people". Some forms of resistance resonate with some people while not with others, and vice versa.

For that matter, kidnapping and assassination resonates with some people.

I'm going to take a stab in the dark and guess that you think those acts, and even firebombing abortion clinics crosses a line beyond legitimate protest, right?

How do you square that with your laissez-faire approach? 

 

 

 

Slumberjack

Quote:
The mechanics of Diversity of Tactics must exist in an environment where there is accountability.

It can't exist at all if accountability means someone's name and address in a police notebook.  Accountability is the same thing as a duly annotated protest permit.

Unionist wrote:
The current so-called "discussion" is as counterproductive as the previous one. This thread was opened by someone who says (paraphrase) we should stop being Mr. Nice Guy and just overthrow the fucking state. It has never progressed beyond that point. Those who think that the main obstacle standing in the path of the revolution is our reluctance to don masks and lift up rocks, are not going to make much of a contribution, whether on the ideological or the organizational plane. 

To paraphrase Jacques Rancière:

Quote:
The “nothing" here is not a deconstructed emptiness, but rather an "everything" that should never be described without an expletive. Smile

According to him, the original wrong occurs when we hear the roaring of the masses in place of people speaking, which has bearing upon the subject of this thread.

To a question regarding the effect of policing on established social bodies...

Quote:
But doesn't it sometimes seem that in our times "police" might describe instead the forces that demand and facilitate constant circulation, that promote the efficiency of a boundary crossing that no longer produces problems for the existing order? A circulation where nothing really moves? 

he responds...

Quote:
The police define the configuration of the visible, the thinkable, and the possible through a systematic production of the given, not through spectacular strategies of control and repression. Which also means that policing is exerted through all sorts of channels in the social body as well as through the managerial organisms of the state and the market.

Fidel

Unionist wrote:
Within a very few weeks, the G20 witnessed more provocations by vandals, and more use of these isolated acts of stupidity and/or paid provocation to launch wholesale attacks on thousands of activists.

This is not about violence vs. non-violence. It is about actions being decided democratically and carried out with the support of the people.

I didn't support army snipers perched on rooftops in Toronto. That was hypocrisy whereas democracy, by and large, was well represented there in the streets.

And if anyone's wondering,  we shouldn't acquiesce to false flag terror, either. We can certainly decide not to burn cop cars or smash windows, and I think we can also be vigilant that our comrades are not unfairly blamed for what the idiots in disguise and whatever terrorist acts they've been hired to perpetrate against civilians and public property. I trust most of us - it's the other side that's sometimes highly unpredictable and especially so wihen weak and ineffective politicians like the Harpers are there in name only and following orders from Warshington like the lap dogs that they are.

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kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Saint UnionistInnocent wrote:
 See, as I've been saying from the start (though I took a break when certain individuals started attacking me personally) .... It would just be so much better if babblers could deal with each other's views rather than each other's presumed styles, personalities, etc. 

Unionist wrote:
Sending masked hooligans into the streets to destroy property? These are the assholes who, if not in the pay of the police, are foolishly providing free labour to the enemy.
 

Unionist wrote:
The problem with the black bloc and similar hoodlums is that people are too nice. They hate the vandalism and cowardice of hiding your face, but they don't simply say, "listen, if you try this shit in our actions, you will understand the meaning of targeted violence".

Unionist wrote:
These are provocateurs, whether or not they are intelligent enough to grasp that fact. The really intelligent ones will at least put in an invoices for services rendered. The dummies do it for free.

Unionist wrote:
The problem with black blocs et al is not violence. It is putting their arrogant little peacock selves apart from and above the ordinary folk…
 

Unionist wrote:
The cowardly masked vandals have no monopoly on violence. They wouldn't know real violence if it hit them in the face. So to speak.

Unionist wrote:
Within a very few weeks, the G20 witnessed more provocations by vandals, and more use of these isolated acts of stupidity and/or paid provocation to launch wholesale attacks on thousands of activists.

Laughing

Thanks SJ.  Everyone of those quotes contains nasty personal insults that I am not allowed to say about imperialist minded posters on this forum. If someone comes on this site and supports the bombing of Libya we have to be nice to them and not engage in personal insults.

Unionist the problem is that unfortunately the trade union movement that belongs to both you and me and all of our friends who have worked for decades has been selling out the young people with two tier agreements that are now the the norm even in mining and auto making.  You proudly strut your stuff wearing your "union thug" coloured matched clothing while vilifying anyone who is pissed of at a world that gives them the scraps and people like you a nice contented middle class existence.

If you stop the demonizing and just talked about efficiency of tactics you would find that there is a large consensus here. From what I see from the outside in Quebec it was not old farts like you or me who led the parade. As well I have never seen the union movement in this country use the consensus style of leadership that CLASSE employed. The trade union idea of solidarity is one that expects "good" members to follow the leaders of the union "movement."  That might have been alright before there was a two tier system but frankly why would any young person in this country want to listen to people who would sell out their children in a desperate effort to hang on to their own financial security.  As a trade union activist I am ashamed of the trade union movement these days and find it disgusting to have people like you lecture youth with no prospects about proper solidarity.  You are effectively shouting do not rock the boat so the top tier union members don't get their lives disturbed by the stupid youth who just don't understand anything.

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

If you stop the demonizing and just talked about efficiency of tactics you would find that there is a large consensus here.

Now that's a refreshing idea. Maybe you'll manage better than I have on that point.

I have asked repeatedly in this thread for any examples of violence and force producing lasting results.

I have only heard one, which was part of a much larger campaign - by British suffragettes. And I added to that the destruction of booze by temperance campaigners

Beyond that, I can think of a few, but almost  all were committed by the right wing against reformers and the public, or took place in a virtual state of war.

And in this thread, other than that one response, there has been a stony silence on the question of effectiveness of these tactics. All we have are empty claims based on the false assumption that nothing else works, therefore we must resort to this.

Violence does not solve problems. The best that can be said is that sometimes it drives parties to the point where they are willing to talk. More often, it drives them to harden their position and strike back.

And as I said, I think this is the desired effect for many who commit these acts, assuming that they think at all about the results of their actions.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The problem is 6079 that history is not compartmentalized in the manner you are presenting.  Most if not all progress in our societies occurred in the context of both masses of people willing to stand together and a small group willing to go further than standing silently while the police beat them for their insolence. 

The either or you present is a false dichotomy not history.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Thanks SJ.  Everyone of those quotes contains nasty personal insults that I am not allowed to say about imperialist minded posters on this forum. If someone comes on this site and supports the bombing of Libya we have to be nice to them and not engage in personal insults.

You think when I call window-smashing car-torching masked individuals "assholes", this is a "personal attack"? When's your birthday, kroppie - I'm sending you a dictionary. Free gratis.

Quote:
Unionist the problem is that unfortunately the trade union movement that belongs to both you and me and all of our friends who have worked for decades has been selling out the young people with two tier agreements that are now the the norm even in mining and auto making.  You proudly strut your stuff wearing your "union thug" coloured matched clothing while vilifying anyone who is pissed of at a world that gives them the scraps and people like you a nice contented middle class existence.

"People like you"? That's a personal attack. However, I don't mind - because it's so stupid. I don't tolerate 2-tier agreements. I condemn them publicly. That's not all. In Québec, it is ILLEGAL to sign a collective agreement where new employees performing the same work are paid less than existing employees. Instead of repeating this trope over and over and over again, why not fight to have such legislation adopted in your province?

Quote:
As a trade union activist I am ashamed of the trade union movement these days and find it disgusting to have people like you lecture youth with no prospects about proper solidarity. 

"People like you"? You've never met anyone like me. You should be so lucky. And I'm lecturing "YOUTH"?? I love the youth. The youth are mobilizing to eradicate the assholes, vandals, provocateurs, and terrorists from their ranks. If you have any personal contacts among that category, I suggest you warn them to watch out. Mind you, they're very skillful at running away after doing their dirty work, so perhaps a warning would be redundant.

Quote:
You are effectively shouting do not rock the boat so the top tier union members don't get their lives disturbed by the stupid youth who just don't understand anything.

Umm, no, I want the youth to WIN. Diversity of tactics is a guarantee of defeat. There is no consensus here. There is only frustration and impotence, on one side, as opposed to a spirit of always looking forward and organizing for victory.

 

Unionist

Has it already been 2 1/2 years since we heard some babblers trying earnestly to defend the fire-bombing of a Royal Bank branch in Ottawa?

Reference: [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/royal-bank-canada-firebombed-ottaw... #1[/url] and [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/royal-bank-canada-firebombed-ottaw... #2[/url] and [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/royal-bank-firebombed-ottawa-part-... #3[/url].

Putting on a mask to smash a window, torch a cop car, fire-bomb a bank... we're not supposed to criticize that, because we don't know the "motives" of the hooligans, nor their racial background, nor the number of food banks they selflessly work at, nor a host of other irrelevant issues. And to condemn these creeps means we have to somehow defend "nonviolence" or "pacifism"?

This thread is just as embarrassing and diversionary as were the RBC ones. Here's what I said in May 2010 - it seems just as appropriate here:

Unionist wrote:
This thread is embarrassing. The notion that individual acts of terror are going to accomplish anything in this country (or anywhere for that matter) is the hallmark of those who are totally divorced from any mass movement. People hate these kinds of actions. They are guaranteed, if not actually designed, to discredit and forestall any advance in our struggle. This is like listening to a hifalutin moralistic discussion as to whether Roger Warren was right to go kill the scabs. I don't know who firebombed the bank. But whether it was agents provocateurs, or some individuals acting out of desperation at being unable to win people over to their struggle, such actions must be unconditionally condemned by anyone who fancies themselves progressive.

Within a very few weeks, the G20 witnessed more provocations by vandals, and more use of these isolated acts of stupidity and/or paid provocation to launch wholesale attacks on thousands of activists.

This is not about violence vs. non-violence. It is about actions being decided democratically and carried out with the support of the people.

 

6079_Smith_W

But k, I am not the one who is claiming there is only one option here, and I haven't said anything about this being an "either-or" situation.

My point is that the tactic as it is being used (that is - being presented as the only way, and without any consideration for other options) doesn't accomplish anything productive.

And you're welcome to use something other than theory - like, say, a few practical examples - to point out why you think I am compartmentalizing things wrong.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Well Unionist maybe you should stick to the politics of your country and not presume that bit is all that relevant to BC where I live.  I don't know any BB people from Quebec and cannot speak to who they are because they live in a different nation that you and others from that nation are constantly telling me I cannot understand because I am not from your nation.  You however seem to think that your understanding of Quebec makes you an expert on other nations and their activist movements as well.

As for telling me that, "Instead of repeating this trope over and over and over again, why not fight to have such legislation adopted in your province?" I just have to say keep your self righteous crap to yourself.  You not only feel empowered enough to vilify the BB from my nation , people you don't know, but also to dismiss my activism over the course of 40 years. I guess you are real thing and the rest of us are just pieces of shit.  Thanks for your solidarity brother.  

onlinediscountanvils

6079_Smith_W wrote:
All we have are empty claims based on the false assumption that nothing else works, therefore we must resort to this.

 

This is simply not true. Nobody is telling you that you must go out and smash windows. I don't do that myself, so how could I possibly insist that others "must" engage in those tactics.

The reason why there are few examples of strictly aggressive tactics having achieved significant social gains is the same reason why there are few examples of strictly non-aggressive tactics having achieved significant social gains. Most struggles have had elements of both, so those victories are shared, regardless of how much you may want to privilege one group of tactics over another.

Like kropotkin said, you've set up this false dichotomy, and then seem frustrated that people are not buying into it.

6079_Smith_W

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

The reason why there are few examples of strictly aggressive tactics having achieved significant social gains...

Like what?

(edit)

How many times do I need to repeat that I recognize that people will use violence sometimes. WHat makes no sense however, is the notion that it is the only way, and that is how the tactic is being applied.

But don't listen to me. Just look at how effective these political vandalism  tactics, used against irrelevant targets like retail franchises - are. If there is a message there is anyone getting it?

 

6079_Smith_W

So until my boss gives me a raise I can keep kicking my dog to take out my frustrations, just to demonstrate that I have some power too?

 

Slumberjack

Is your dog a corporate institution?

onlinediscountanvils

6079_Smith_W wrote:
I recognize that people will use violence sometimes. WHat makes no sense however, is the notion that it is the only way

Awesome! I'm not sure anyone in this thread disagrees with that. Glad we've cleared that up. Violence... not the only way. Everyone cool with that? Great!

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Well Unionist maybe you should stick to the politics of your country and not presume that bit is all that relevant to BC where I live.

No clue what you're on about. You go on and on about evil unions attacking the youth with 2-tier contracts. All I said was, we've banned that - why not give it a try? I will support your efforts. I'm not familiar with 2-tier contracts in B.C. Are there any?

Quote:
You however seem to think that your understanding of Quebec makes you an expert on other nations and their activist movements as well.

Not at all. I have a lot of experience with the labour movement and the (broadly speaking) peace movement. I have also witnessed the damage done to popular movements by provocateurs. It is in that respect that I have condemned the creeps who torched the RBC branch in Ottawa, who smashed a couple of windows and torched a cop car at the Toronto G20 protest, and who tried to sabotage some of the student protests. I could add - the asshole who murdered scabs at Giant Mine - the cops who donned masks and wielded rocks at Montebello (publicly exposed and neutralized by Brother David Coles, president of the CEP) - and other non-public instances I can't name. I have zero knowledge or experience of any such tactics utilized in B.C. I marvel at how you read such things into my comments.

Quote:
You not only feel empowered enough to vilify the BB from my nation , people you don't know, but also to dismiss my activism over the course of 40 years. I guess you are real thing and the rest of us are just pieces of shit.  Thanks for your solidarity brother.  

You seem determined to be the target of a personal attack. You will never have that pleasure from me. You are my ally and brother - in the truest sense. If you can't stand my telling the truth about pseudo-radical saboteurs of our common struggle, we'll just have to talk to each other some more. If you expect me to speak in more polite terms about those assholes who warm the hearts of the police and the mainstream media and the Jean Charests and Stephen Harpers of this world... you'll have to really really hone up your debating skills. I'm not there yet.

 

6079_Smith_W

Slumberjack wrote:

Is your dog a corporate institution?

The non-profit music festival I volunteer for is a corporation, as is our local food co-op.

We might as well be talking about my dog for all the sense that distinction makes.

And do you think those brick chuckers asked to see the owner of every franchise to see if they were incorporated, or just a sole proprietor, before they did the windows in?

Slumberjack

I am unwilling to demonize justifiable violence directed against state and corporate institutions by individuals or groups, nor to lend a shred of credibility to the state's self declared monopoly on violence, when power has never willingly demonstrated a committment to a moratorium on it's own violence.  Whether anti-corporate violence is effective or not is beside the point.  Social organizations who find themselves quagmired in a grey zone of their own devising' between the possessors and the dispossessed should once and for all come to terms with this position and make their choices accordingly - shit, get off the pot, or get out of the way.

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