What if the black bloc have the right idea?

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Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
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?

Try paying attention would you?  The underlying context in this thread isn't about your dog or your local co-op.  And what difference does it make if someone is the sole proprietor of a Bell Mobility outlet, when Bell continues to implicate itself in the various manifestations of the the military industrial complex, and what it produces worldwide?

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
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? 

Historically, anything that seriously interrupted profit and production constituted an incentive toward change.  For example, if Starbucks insisted on using slave labour to harvest their coffee crops, but found they couldn't successfully market the product because their franchises were attracting sustained and profit draining vandalism as a result, chances are they might consider amending their labour practices.

We all know that outright slavery, wage slavery, dangerous working conditions, environmental laxity and what not are wrong, but we also know that trans-national corporations continue to dabble in such practices because the inhumanity of profit and use value extraction trumps all other concerns.  It is only when negative publicity could potentially make a dent in their profits do they throw up the facade of concern and oversight of their policies and purposeful neglect.  There have been many peaceful protests concerning such practices, both domestic and overseas outrages, but we still continue to hear about corporate excesses against human beings the world over.  The CEOs and officers of the companies behind these nefarious schemes are not innocent people, nor are the politicians and senior bureaucrats who facilitate such deals on behalf of their masters.  I don't know how much more of this stuff it will take to reanimate the social democratic corpse with the fact that a war machine has been produced all around us, with our assistance, which has been deployed to the four corners of the Earth.  And here we encounter people frothing about the threat of minor vandalism against corporations.

onlinediscountanvils

Quote:
the cops who donned masks and wielded rocks at Montebello (publicly exposed and neutralized by Brother David Coles black blockers, a.k.a. "assholes")

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Quebec had years of violent protest before it succeeded in electing progressive governments.  In BC not so much.  No mail boxes being bombed, no kidnappings and thus no activists arrested at night under the auspices of the War Measures Act although as in other parts of the country the Act was used to break in doors of criminals that the RCMP did not have enough evidence on to get a proper warrant by due process.

For your enlightenment in BC we have the CLC and the BC Fed representing the vast majority of union members.  I know that is not the case in your country.  From the outside it appears your union movement is far more progressive but I have no idea whether that is true or not.

Affiliates of those BC organizations started doing two tier agreements in the mid-1980's. I and many others worked hard to get the Socred government changed.  The BC Fed backed the NDP and it had the only meaningful say in redrafting the Labour Code in 1993.  However the union politics involved, given the divide in the BC Fed over the issue, meant that two tier agreements were never on the table to be banned. My union at the time fought hard inside the Fed to stop two tiered agreements but had no success. At the same time as the UFCW was selling out its young workers is when the neocons came after my union and other construction unions and unionized construction in the industrial sector went from 85% union to 15% union almost overnight. I remember those days well, that is our history. Me I sat on my ass for five years while I got a law degree to take on the Howe Street cabal.  So your suggestion for me to try to do something is quite frankly an insult whether you get that or not.

I am no fucking fool I and other union activists have been complaining about two tiers since they were introduced. I have told Jim Sinclair himself on numerous occasions how bad the policy is and how it was going to kill the trade union movement.  I have been saying it for years but in my province getting an NDP government to make changes to the Labour Code that the BC Fed is not calling for is not going to ever happen.  So thanks for suggesting that I spend my time in a useless effort that has zero change of success.

And yes Dave Cole is a very well respected gentleman and another person I know personally but please go back and review the footage from that event in your capital city and you will see it was the BB who not only outed the SQ but drove them to the front where a middle class white man could use his privilege to have them re-outed and forced to stand down. 

6079_Smith_W

@ SJ #251, 252

Well you're the one who made the distinction about targetting corporations because they are corporations.

And if you bust up a franchise it isn't the megacorp that really suffers, nor the consumers. They can go to the outlet across the street. It is the franchise owner.

...oh, and the people who work at that franchise, or maybe like to hang out and drink their coffee there.

 

And since you bring up Starbucks, they aren't my favourite place to drink coffee, but I do wonder why targetting them is a cause celebre at high-level international trade meetings.

Were they catering it? Did the Black Bloc-ers expect them to pass on protest messages scribbled on coffee napkins?

I don't like some of their practices, nor their proprietary nature, and I find their coffee overpriced and bitter. But on the other hand, contrary to the idea that they are slavedrivers, they are the largest buyer of fair trade coffee in the U.S. (10% of the world market). They pulled out of Israel in 2003, and if you do a bit of research you'll see that the popular image of them as the coffee division of the Illuminati is... mixed at best.

Which begs the quesiton of why people continue knocking their windows out - when they have responded to negotiation and other pressures. And if people continue to do so, how is there any incentive for them to continue to be responsive to the public?

No connection to the grievance. No result that will have any effect on the grievance. No clear objective to the action or conditions for its end. Seems to me like a glorified version of kicking that dog to make yourself feel better.

 

 

 

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAhDeompncQ]How did the Québec student movement win?[/url]

 

Every night march that I attended began with someone making an announcement to the assembly that this was a movement that respected a 'diversity of tactics'. These announcements always elicited a big cheer from the crowd. I never heard anyone object or try to debate this point when it was announced. Not even once.

6079_Smith_W

Slumberjack wrote:

However; as I see it, the rationale behind such violence is one of the key elements in our discussion, with the right, wrong or effectiveness of it being secondary.

That's a tidy little bit of rationalization.

So I'm allowed to commit pointless and horrific acts like shooting someone in the head or blowing up a school full of kids for the cause because I am fighting for freedom and justice. But if the other side tries to do the same thing to us they are the ultimate evil.

Yup. That sounds like like just about every warmonger and would-be revolutionary I have ever heard. As a matter of fact, it's especially handy when you have both sides using that same bloody logic, and asking for God's protection to boot.

Or am I assuming wrong here? Are there actually limits and rules to the game?

 

 

Slumberjack

Well, it seems that your production of strawmen in this thread has outpaced demand where it concerns the crow population.

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Which begs the quesiton of why people continue knocking their windows out - when they have responded to negotiation and other pressures. And if people continue to do so, how is there any incentive for them to continue to be responsive to the public? 

It's likely a result of the bandwagon effect.  In this case, if we classify vandalism as an act of violence, we could say that violence is difficult to arrest once it flares up.  However; as I see it, the rationale behind such violence is one of the key elements in our discussion, with the right, wrong or effectiveness of it being secondary.

6079_Smith_W

Well SJ, if I am resorting to examples that are at the more extreme end of the spectrum - though not unheard of - it's because all I have been getting in response is theory, and the line that everyone should be able to do their own thing - so long as it is on our side, anyway.

Sorry, but I think there might be a different reaction if we were talking about force, violence and intimidation against people and causes we support.

Besides, I don't think I am the first one to bring up death for the cause, so the horse is out of the barn already.

 

 

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Well SJ, if I am resorting to examples that are at the more extreme end of the spectrum - though not unheard of - it's because all I have been getting in response is theory, and the line that everyone should be able to do their own thing - so long as it is on our side, anyway.

"Their own thing" should be rationalized in relation to the struggle against tyranny, not as a mirror of the usual assortment of tyrannical predicates.

Quote:
Sorry, but I think there might be a different reaction if we were talking about force, violence and intimidation against people and causes we support.

Sure, because the causes we could support would be in a state of opposition to tyranny, while being mindful about not creating their own version of it.  Violence against them should rightfully be considered as another outrage.

Quote:
Besides, I don't think I am the first one to bring up death for the cause, so the horse is out of the barn already.

It doesn't necessarily imply that all of us have to run with that bone in our mouths.

6079_Smith_W

SJ, ask any member of the Tea Party, or the Army of God, or the Ayn Randians, or the Truthers and Birthers, or the U.S. militia movement and they'll also tell you they are fighting tyranny, just like you. Everybody has god on their side.

 

6079_Smith_W

I agree with what you are saying, sort of. I think there are some throughout the strata of society that take the time to educate themselves, and others who do not.

I'd also say that how much knowledge you get has less to do with what job you do and far more to do with  how much you are on the receiving end of society's abuse. I'd say someone who is targetted by the police and sees the inequalities of society is going to have fewer illusions about the system than someone who thinks everything runs because of some invisible hand, and that all you have to do is work hard. In that sense, I'd say the poor and the wealthy and those in between all have their own set of failings and strengths.

But even so, not everyone who sees that inequality is going to come up with the same solutions

Max Horkheimer Max Horkheimer's picture

Yell
Goddamn it people, get your acts together!

I feel that activists have to revisit their goals--that sense of a future society, and tell me that besides the economic equality and civil rights, protection of the environment and our health, that this entire sense of societal improvement must have education and the raising of public consciousness as ever-present traits in our society that must be forever at the top of the agenda.

I fail to see how violent and destructive behaviour in the face of discussion and eloquent debate and analysis should be seen as productive and not counter-productive to creating enlightening citizens. Violent behaviour at a protest distrupts the ability to frame discussion and debate. There are problems with mass assembly, notably what we commonly refer to as a protest, for the numerous ways in which intelligent communication both amongst the protesters and between protesters and those who don't agree with them like neoliberal pundits and mass media.

As if public assembly didn't have enough problems as it is without having to deal with violent car smashing or whatever. Besides this vandalism mostly, protesters already have to deal with another disruptive element within their own ranks, which is the loonie-lefty tomfoolery. The crazy spiritualism and hoola hoop dancing and clowns dressed up with cop hats on being all hokey and goofy--we on the left need to encourage people at protests to do more intelligent activities than just dance around and shout, for its creating some existential meaninglessness in some pockets through these roaming street marches. In my opinion there are numerous distractions to discussing substantive issues and the shrill screaming of banshees sometimes isn't helping when you try and show someone how cool a protest is by clicking on a YouTube link only to find the audio swamped with screeching yells from being pushed by an officer or just from the mouth of a protester at their own accord.

For example, in America currently Romney is being criticized for not having a real budget plan, and he should be ridiculed rightfully, but the same goes for all those others who want to veer off course into irrelevancies on the left with either loony behaviour or violent behaviour. We need to bring ideas back to mass gatherings, discussion, and that means that complicated matters like fiscal policy, banking regulation, budgets, slow growth in the economy and unemployment, etc, are going to have to be made a little less taboo for the regular layman by leftist academics and activists if we're going to have a serious chance of showing regular people that these ideas are within their reach and with them credible plans that our government can take to lead Canadians towards a more prosperous future.

Just saying, lets show more dignity and be more civil shall we?

Or, as the saying goes, were you raised in a barn?

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
SJ, ask any member of the Tea Party, or the Army of God, or the Ayn Randians, or the Truthers and Birthers, or the U.S. militia movement and they'll also tell you they are fighting tyranny, just like you. Everybody has god on their side. 

I believe its important to try and extract ourselves from all vicious circles that attempt to define what is proper about politics, but one of the first steps toward accomplishing this is to stop participating in the various fictions as you've described, and instead begin to participate in politics itself. Aristotle refered to a rule of equals in determining what it means to be a citizen, and in no sense can the tea party rank and file be described as the equal of their puppeteers. Such organizations are the result of tyranny in the same way that a leftist street rioter is, because neither of these elements originate from within a democracy, being the express result of anti-democratic agitation shadowed by counter-agitation, in essence a vicious reactionary cycle.

John Adams said that general knowledge was important in the maintenance of one's liberty, but the distribution of knowledge is manifestly unequal in our societies. Most people are only imparted with the requisite knowledge to allow them to take their place within the production processes of the economy, while others are able to benefit from the knowledge required to oversee production and manage the producers. The idea that there is a universal path whereby the workers will achieve status and equality with the managers of society through the diligence of their labour has to rank among the greatest swindles of all time. We can look to the US and see that the traditional management and beneficiary class remains quite wary about being displaced by equality. Inequality is seen and maintained as a earned right.

Most workers have no time to become as knowledgeable as the overseeing class in any event because much of their existence is spent chasing after bare economic survival, and thus all avenues toward equality are strewn with barriers. Politics is only found within the realm of equality, or in certain instances when people decide to appropriate a measure of equality. If equality doesn't exist, then there is no democracy but only a serf/owner relationship that has somehow, within the logic of such a confined arrangement, managed to evolve to the point where the serf actually believes they have freedom because they are provided the wherewithal to purchase or borrow on credit an extra loaf of bread, or what have you.

Slumberjack

In this country the fresh coat of Tremclad approach to Capitalism has already been attempted by the NDP.  The merchandise is just too far gone to be reclaimed by restoration.  Political activism as we know it is constantly revisiting goals, in order to better align them with the spent side of the trajectory we're on.  Being 'civil' and being 'productive' got us to this point, which is why for some, incivility and counter-productivity has such a nice ring to it.

6079_Smith_W

@ SJ #266

That would be the same NDP that managed to introduce universal healthcare, right?

By contrast, how successful were the Patrtiotes and Upper Canada rebels? The Fenians? anti-conscription rioters? Doukhobours? the FLQ? Direct Action? And the various groups responsible for bombing embassies, schools, bridges and wells,  attacking and murdering diplomats, publishers, doctors, miners, and others?

Onlinediscountanvils, it's not that different tactics aren't allowed depending on the circumstances (and again, I'm not the one arguing that there is only one way), but rather that it makes no sense to use violent tactics without first exhausting peaceful ones. And it also makes no sense to use violent tactics in a random fashion and without a clear objective. Doing it just to send a message is self-indungent and pointless, and a sure way to make sure everyone looks at the violence instead of what you are trying to say.

And as I said earlier, I presume you also have limits as to what you consider just,  fair and effective. Those limits are just a bit different than mine, although I think we might be more in alignment if we were talking about violence being used against things we support.

If you have enough people onside, violence and terrorism DOES work to a point. It has been used throughout our history against Native people, women, non-straights, visible minorities and non-Anglos, workers, and those who have sought to change society for the better. When you look at it from the receiving end, it is ugly. But it is no different, regardless of the cause.

Also, there is an elephant in the room here, and that is (correct me if I am wrong) that those arguing in favour of violent overthrow want to see a swift and complete change of the entire system.

It's not going to happen, at least not now, because the proper conditions do not exist here in Canada, there are not enough people who are desparate enough to take that kind of action. And frankly, I don't wish the kind of misery that it would take to get to that point. 

I think if you try to rush that kind of change you wind up with your great revolution going sideways, and no change at all.

 

 

 

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The NDP did not introduce universal health care in Canada not even in Saskatchewan.  The far more militant CCF did in Saskatchewan and the Liberals did at the national level. We have no ideological equivalent to the CCF in Canada anymore.

There is no real change available through our current political system which is what feeds anger and resentment among the marginalized in our society.The NDP offers a better deal on charge cards when people are starving in the streets and the unions offer young people a brave new world where they get less and less to ensure the older workers only take a little in cuts.

I hope for your sake that your personal circumstances do not get to the same point as the marginalized in our society.  The marginalized have it really good in Canada is a right wing mantra and like much MSM propaganda even on the left it has worked its way into the general discourse as some sort of revealed truth.

NDPP

Smith should try existing in the Dickensian conditions that the NDP wholeheartedly approved imposing on the poor in the last Ontario budget. I can assure you that people are quite 'desperate enough'...and breaking windows or faces may not be far away, like it or not. Pacifism is a privilege accorded only to those who can afford it.

6079_Smith_W

K,

I said that there are not enough people desperate enough, which near as I can tell is true. Wanting it to be different isn't going to change the way things are. Feel free to come up with some actual evidence to prove me wrong.

I have mentioned a few cases where people WERE desparate enough, but did not resort to the actions we are talking about here.

Also,  I suspect people who have the energy to organize education modules on how to be a provocateur and do a lot of pre-planning may not be all that desparate. From the actions that are being taken, I also have to question whether bettering their circumstances, or those of other people, or changing anything at all, is their first priority.

More importantly..  I do not wish for conditions to get more miserable just because some people are jonesing for regime change and they want it right now and don't care how they get it.

 

onlinediscountanvils

Max Horkheimer wrote:
As if public assembly didn't have enough problems as it is without having to deal with violent car smashing or whatever. Besides this vandalism mostly, protesters already have to deal with another disruptive element within their own ranks, which is the loonie-lefty tomfoolery. The crazy spiritualism and hoola hoop dancing and clowns dressed up with cop hats on being all hokey and goofy--we on the left need to encourage people at protests to do more intelligent activities than just dance around and shout, for its creating some existential meaninglessness in some pockets through these roaming street marches.

 

Disablist language aside, this goes back to my earlier point about invoking the mythical "ordinary people".

I've attended meetings in the lead-up to mass convergences where advocates for all of these approaches were more or less equally represented at the table. Some are convinced that to get ordinary people to come over to our side we need to make calm, thoughtful arguments. Others believe that if we just make our protests fun and zany ordinary people will see what a great time we're having and will want to join us as we offer a glimpse into how carefree we'll all be once we've built a better world. And then there are those who think that ordinary people will see the measured dialogue and the frivolity of the first two groups and wonder to themselves, 'if everything's as fucked as they say it is, where's the outrage? if the world is really burning, why are they having a parade?'.

Each of these groups is absolutely convinced that their approach is what will appeal to "ordinary people", and will get them to join us in our quest for a more just world. And in part, they're all right. There are ordinary people who will be swayed by even-tempered, rational dialogue. There are ordinary people who will be more open to joining us once they see that leftists are not the dour, unsmiling despots they thought we were. And there are ordinary people who will become inspired to join the struggle once they see that there are others who are willing to physically push back against the institutions and symbols of oppression in their communities. All of these approaches have their merits, as well as their liabilities. What seems so clearly to be the way to one person, will strike another as completely ridiculous. That's the reality we have to deal with. I don't think the answer is to try to excise any of these groups from our movements. First of all, I think it's impossible. But secondly, I think that ultimately they all have some value and are complementary to each other. Our diversity is a strength.

Our success depends on resolving the challenges of finding ways to coexist together instead of trying to stamp each other out.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Your suspicions about activists are just that.  You know nothing about them and you chose to presume the worst. But then I guess your vision is good because of your privileged perch.  The real anarchists involved and arrested before the G20 summit have been involved with and advocating in many areas but you chose to just ignore anything that doesn't fit your vile view of other activists.

When discussing this with you I often get this image of your response to any facts that are inconvenient to your view.

 

Anyways for others reading this thread here is what Mandy had to say about the right wing trope that their violence is the same as violence perpetrated by the KKK or other right wing groups.

Quote:

My point is that a few broken windows and burned police cars at a protest will not lead us down the path of the KKK. The KKK targeted black people with overt violence and terror, and this system targets them with institutionalized racism, which is just a more subtle form of violence. In fact this legal system is doing the work of the KKK more than any anti-G20 protester ever could. It’s very telling that the KKK was comprised in large part of wealthy businessmen and lawmakers – the kinds of people our society and our legal system hold up as the best of the best. Perhaps this is why in 1987 Weatherman Linda Evans was sentenced to 40 years for using false ID to get a firearm and harbouring a fugitive, despite the average sentence for that being 2 years. In the same year, a KKK leader named Don Black, who was planning an invasion of Dominica with a boatload of explosives and automatic weapons, was sentenced to 8 years, 5 of which were suspended, so that he ended up serving 3.

White supremacy is wrong, it’s violent and dangerous, whether it’s at the hands of a fringe group like the KKK or an accepted institution like the criminal justice system.

It’s not always what the “justice” system does that causes the problems, sometimes it’s what it doesn’t do. The courts simply do not consider systemic oppression and inequality.

https://conspiretoresist.wordpress.com/mandy-hiscocks-statement-to-the-c...

Mr. Pixel Mr. Pixel's picture

Finally, an intelligent (mostly) discussion on Rabble about an important issue. This debate has been going on since the 60s (when I began my career) with the same circular arguments.

These days I've found that it's the most important question on peoples' minds who are actively involved in seeking system change.

In the old days we became paralyzed by the lack of an alternative method, even while having a comprehensive vision of the future we wanted.

Today there is an alternative method of struggle which should be included in this discussion — Gene Sharp.

And while we're debating that, we can start working on a vision statement (see the Port Huron Statement as a model).

But the first question needs to be "Are your goals achievable by the NDP?"

If not, "Do you see violence as a way to win over large parts of the population?"

If not, "Are you prepared to step outside the electoral system and create a plan to achieve your vision?"

This is an important discussion that needs to be broadened. Perhaps some non-Leninists could propose a public discussion about this issue.

Venceremos!

Mr. Pixel Mr. Pixel's picture

Finally, an intelligent (mostly) discussion on Rabble about an important issue. This debate has been going on since the 60s (when I began my career) with the same circular arguments.

These days I've found that it's the most important question on peoples' minds who are actively involved in seeking system change.

In the old days we became paralyzed by the lack of an alternative method, even while having a comprehensive vision of the future we wanted.

Today there is an alternative method of struggle which should be included in this discussion — Gene Sharp.

And while we're debating that, we can start working on a vision statement (see the Port Huron Statement as a model).

But the first question needs to be "Are your goals achievable by the NDP?"

If not, "Do you see violence as a way to win over large parts of the population?"

If not, "Are you prepared to step outside the electoral system and create a plan to achieve your vision?"

This is an important discussion that needs to be broadened. Perhaps some non-Leninists could propose a public discussion about this issue.

Venceremos!

Mr. Pixel Mr. Pixel's picture

Apologies for the double post. Patience is not one of my strong points.

6079_Smith_W

@ Mr. Pixel

Good points. As I have said, I'm not ruling anything (or most things, anyway) out. My concern though is whether one takes a systematic approach, and evaluates the options - rather like the options you lay out.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ k

You could add that a few broken windows or a burned police car won't change anything for the better, but I guess that's beside the point.

More importantly, I guess the point is the end justifies the means? Or what makes something right or wrong is the cause, the income and race of the person committing the violence?

As I said already, in most of these conflicts you have people on all sides thinking they have the moral high ground or god backing them up in order to rationalize what they do.

The fact is a smashed up shop is still a smashed up shop, as is a destroyed car, and the outrage, fear, sadness and intimidation that many people feel seeing it.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Pixel wrote:

This is an important discussion that needs to be broadened. Perhaps some non-Leninists could propose a public discussion about this issue.

I don't think many Leninist's post on babble and in this thread I am not sure who you would think was one.  Of course there are a lot of NDP'ers who might be John Lenonists.

The Sharp inspired colour coded revolutions seem to all be aimed at ensuring that politicians who are willing to do the bidding of the NATO empire are "elected."  So far IMO they haven't produced much in the way of actual progress. In many places the US NGO's drive the agenda and the last thing this planet needs IMO is more Americans spouting their exceptionalism.  I would respect the movement more if I thought the the USA was a functioning democracy but clearly it is not so anything that tries to replicate that system is only going to help produce ruling satraps with a veneer of "democracy." 

In the day I much preferred the Yippies and the Black Panther's however Hayden was a powerful voice.  Like the BB however no matter what we think of his politics and his tactics he has had little effect in the last 30 years.  The 0.1% control more now than in 1962 and all rights and freedoms in the US are greatly diminished with the loss of habeas corpus and the legalization of targeted assassinations being the two most egregious illustrations. As well the NATO military security complex is engaged in wars on numerous fronts that make Vietnam look like a very short lived affair. 11 years and counting in Afghanistan just to name one of the places where the US is engaged in occupation and the war crimes that always happen in occupied areas.

If Hayden's brand of activism had any change of success you would think that it would have had some effect over the course of 50 years.

If you want to look at successful change artists then the Bolivarian movement is a good place to start.  The countries like Bolivia and Venezuela that have gone that route rather than the color coded route have produced significant change for the better.

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Your suspicions about activists are just that.  You know nothing about them and you chose to presume the worst. But then I guess your vision is good because of your privileged perch.  The real anarchists involved and arrested before the G20 summit have been involved with and advocating in many areas but you chose to just ignore anything that doesn't fit your vile view of other activists.

Am I though?

I'm just going by some of their own material. I don't think it would be cool for me to make direct links to some of this, but follow some of the links on this page and you will see this is a carefully - planned technical school:

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20120906170047237

Or check this out. The treatise by the Society for the Advancement of Criminal Science explains quite clearly, in their own words, what they are all about. A "monastic work" and "strategic antagonism" are a couple of the terms. And sorry, I'm not twisting their words or ignoring anything there.

http://burntbookmobile.wordpress.com/tag/black-bloc/

Or go online and find yourself a copy of Burning the Bridges they are Building - Anarchist Strategies Against the Police..

By the way, there's a chapter in there entitled "For the Attack: Subverting Submissive Protests". I guess there's just as much of a double standard around respect for diversity of tactics as there is for use of violence.

 

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:
I have asked repeatedly in this thread for any examples of violence and force producing lasting results.

How much time do you have? I noticed you thought about it and added several caveats afterward so as not to appear to have overlooked a number of important revolutions to overthrow brutal right wing dictatorships last century.

Ask Cubans how they miss Batista and his U.S.-backed mafia regime. And there they were, gone.As a result Cuban children are in school all day every day and not labouring under the tropical sun cutting cane for big sugar, like so many do in those countries just a few days drive from Texas. Cuban children have a right to see a doctor on a regular basis. Not so in those wonderful bastions of free market capitalism in Central America where children might share jail cells with adults, or have to rummage through medical waste and human excrement in landfill sites searching desperately for trinkets to sell.

Viva la Revolución!

6079_Smith_W

Fidel,

I made a few caveats Fidel, because I don't rule out the use of force. I Make them because I think many of those who play with violence don't realize that it is a tool that only works if you are prepared to escalate to the point of war.

If we had a situation here comparable to that in pre-revolutionary Cuba then obviously war would be on the table. And while it does change things, even an event like the U.S. Civil War didn't provide a lasting peace.

I also mentioned the important role targetted assassinations played in the campaign for Irish independence - as opposed to the romantic and symbolic act of the Easter uprising - something that was ultimately a pointless waste of life. So yes, I know that force can play some role in a greater struggle.

My point is that near as I can see the use of force in our society leans more toward the latter example. As in, there is no mass of people waiting to be inspired by smashed windows and rise up and overthrow the system. Sorry, it really is an ignorant waste.

I can't think of any examples - except those from the right wing - which did play a lasting role in our society. Aside from terror tactics by the Orange Lodge and other oppressive groups, any  change that has come after violence was made through peaceful means. The best it can do here is induce people to come to the table and talk.

And in the context of the black bloc, I don't see that happening at all.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I thought you would like this quote from the link you posted since it highlights your point. Undecided

6079 wrote:

Also,  I suspect people who have the energy to organize education modules on how to be a provocateur and do a lot of pre-planning may not be all that desparate. From the actions that are being taken, I also have to question whether bettering their circumstances, or those of other people, or changing anything at all, is their first priority.

Quote:

A great way for you and your group to deepen your knowledge of each other is to do a reading group together.  Not only is this helpful for expanding and deepening your own ideas about why you wish to destroy the current order, but you also learn important stuff about who is in your group. Someone who is an adrenaline junky just in it for the kicks will often have little interest in reading and discussing ideas.  This person is a liability because if they are motivated not by a desire to resist domination but only by a desire to get their pulse up, then the likelihood that they'll roll on you when the fun part is over and they're facing charges increases greatly. Often, but not always, an informant or provocateur will also have no interest in developing and expanding their analysis and will only be interested in pushing you to commit crimes.

6079_Smith_W

Hmm.

I can see how branding those who don't fall into lock step as counterrevolutionary makes your circle of enemies even tighter. Not sure how it actually produces results.

(and I suppose anyone reading that will realize they could get denounced as a "liability" if they deviate from the norm)

I have always thought it more healthy to bring in more perspectives, not fewer, and to respect limits. And again, it begs the question of this much-touted call for respecting diversity of tactics.

But of course, it's only a form of paranoia when the other guys do it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_Jn4gdwls8

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Well 6079 that video is the new babble low.  It has nothing to do with this subject and is exceedingly gross.

Congratulations on taking an decent discussion and shitting on it. Here is a video related to the one you posted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lscSKq3kzbo

6079_Smith_W

Hey, if I knew all it would take to get recognition there are limits to violence is a fake movie clip I would have posted it on the first page. I guess we can go back to ignoring the real thing now.

But sorry, if you don't catch the strain of arrogance, paranoia, intolerance of dissent and dehumanizing people in that quote of yours I'm not sure I can post any better illustration.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Like any one in this thread has said there are no limits on violence.  You must live in Saskatchewan because you seem to have an overabundance of straw.

Yup it furthers the debate when you post nasty videos and say that left wing activists are akin to fascists.   

6079_Smith_W

I don't know k. I have read enough times in this thread that anyone can do whatever form of protest they feel is appropriate - so long as they aren't the KKK and they are fighting for our cause.

At least twice I have mentioned extreme things like bombing, kidnapping, murder - all political acts that have been committed by the left here in Canada - and asked if people have limits with respect to violence and no one has responded.

But a little spritz of stage blood and a good camera angle? That's the worst thing we have ever seen on these pages.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

At least twice I have mentioned extreme things like bombing, kidnapping, murder - all political acts that have been committed by the left here in Canada - and asked if people have limits with respect to violence and no one has responded.

I for one didn't answer you because I thought your statements trying to draw parallels between breaking windows and murder to be absurd and deliberately provocative.  Hell of a logic system you have going there, throw out a ridiculous comparison and if no one bites it proves something about their positions without any of us actually stating it.

6079_Smith_W

Well I should remind you that the broader discussion here is about violent overthrow of the state, and again, that I am talking about acts that have happened here in Canada.

But in fact I did come at it from a discussion regarding less-violent tactics. No one arguing a contrary position seemed to want to recognize that there should be any limits. Where else do you proceed from there EXCEPT with a case which should be obvious.

And if you WERE reading  I can't guess why you thought it provocative. I prefaced the statement by saying I know that no one here condones murder.

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
No one arguing a contrary position seemed to want to recognize that there should be any limits.

I know its been a long discussion, but how do you account for the obvious gaps in your reading of what has come to light thus far?

Slumberjack

Mr. Pixel wrote:
 This debate has been going on since the 60s (when I began my career) with the same circular arguments.

Arguments mostly come from certain sectors with too much to lose.  For many others, the debate is over, and they've now moved on to contending with the evident before us.

Quote:
In the old days we became paralyzed by the lack of an alternative method, even while having a comprehensive vision of the future we wanted.

Welcome to the paralysis of the new days.

Quote:
Finally, an intelligent (mostly) discussion on Rabble about an important issue ..... Today there is an alternative method of struggle which should be included in this discussion — Gene Sharp.

LaughingLaughing

Quote:
But the first question needs to be "Are your goals achievable by the NDP?"

Here outside of the bubble, we're already well aware of the answer, and have been for some time.

Quote:
If not, "Do you see violence as a way to win over large parts of the population?"

"Why not?" is the question some appear to have on their minds, especially when considering that large parts of the population seem to have been won over to the existing order's daily violence.

Quote:
If not, "Are you prepared to step outside the electoral system and create a plan to achieve your vision?"

Step one in the process toward a new vision has already been undertaken by vast numbers of Canadians, around 8 million and counting who don't vote, while at the same time maintaining our own individual reasons.  Expanding from there toward an achievable vision will obviously take a little more convincing.

Quote:
This is an important discussion that needs to be broadened. Perhaps some non-Leninists could propose a public discussion about this issue.

As far as I know Leninists are not to be found among us.  Unless you're being pre-emptive?

Unionist

Let's ask Kaitlin to sponsor a non-Leninist reading group. I'm in!

 

6079_Smith_W

Slumberjack wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:
No one arguing a contrary position seemed to want to recognize that there should be any limits.

I know its been a long discussion, but how do you account for the obvious gaps in your reading of what has come to light thus far?

I can only guess at what you are referring to, and I am coming up blank.

The fact is that aside from getting shocked that I might suggest people are condoning murder (though I wasn't) , or that united use of force on the left isn't always that different than that on the right (and I DID say that), nobody arguing against me has even acknowledged that a tactic might sometimes go too far,, or cause great harm, or be completely misguided and ineffective.

No one has deviated from the position that people (OUR people, that is) should be allowed to do whatever they want to do in protest, presumably without any concern for the consequences.

"Why not?"

Though as we just read in the manual, if someone seems to be not quite with the program, or it they might not perform as required they become a "liability" and are to be treated with suspicion. No freedom to do whatever "resonates" for you there.

Again, we're talking about violent overthrow of the system. People have died in situations where the parties are trying their best to RESIST violence. Are we going to continue to have this conversation with complete blinders on and not talk about these things which people have done as part of resistence, and when they are appropriate and inappropriate?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Just a reminder that red-baiting is against babble policy. I'm more of a Harrisonist myself anyway.

onlinediscountanvils

Bestist

NDPP

Petrol Bombs Vs Teargas

http://rt.com/news/athens-greece-police-clash-706/

 

US Drones Kill Up to 80% Civilians - Pakistan

http://rt.com/news/pakistan-civilian-victims-drones-695/

 

'Appropriate' or 'inappropriate'?

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Yeah, I'd be interested to hear poeples' answers to that too (even though the situation is a bit different there than in Seattle).

More importantly, does anyone think a few burn victims is going to make those millionares run out and declare the property tax on their swimming pools?

Too bad for the fellow getting the skin grafts, though it's just a cop.

And as for your second piece, I am not sure what the point is. You know as well as I do that that area is a virtual war zone, and that deadly attacks are being made in protest. The thing is,  not all of that violence is being directed at the authorities.

 

 

onlinediscountanvils

NDPP wrote:
Third Anarchist Jailed for Refusing to Testify Before Secret Grand Jury

http://rt.com/usa/news/refusing-grand-jury-plante-196/

"A third self-described anarchist from the Pacific Northwest has been jailed by federal officials for refusing to speak before a secretive grand jury that the accused have called a politically-motivated modern-day witch hunt. Leah-Lynn Plante, a mid 20s anarchist from Washington, was  lead out of court by authorities  on Wednesday after refusing for a third time to answer questions forced on her by a grand jury..."

Statement by Leah Lynn Plante (and vid)

http://tidesofflame.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/we-are-made-of-star-stuff-s...

what some BBerss do when they're not smashing windows...what are you doing for the resistance?

 

Update: [url=http://freeleah.tumblr.com/post/33896448680/official-leah-has-been-relea... Has Been Released[/url] (Matt and Kteeo remain in prison.)

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:

At least twice I have mentioned extreme things like bombing, kidnapping, murder - all political acts that have been committed by the left here in Canada - and asked if people have limits with respect to violence and no one has responded.

I think that mustve been after the communist FLQ bombings in Montreal after which Soviet agent Lester B. Pearson recruited Trudeau and two other guys to fight separatism true to the Gladio form. ( red menace etc).

The 1970's called and they want their baloney sandwich back. lol!

6079_Smith_W

Not just that, Fidel. though I'm not surprised at your spinning your usual tale around that one.

The kidnapping aside, there have been plenty of politically-motivated bombings, attacks and murders in Canada.

But I do wonder what, if anything, it has to do with the topic (and no, it's not an invitation; it's a rhetorical point).

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