Rumours about the Black Bloc 2
I dunno about umitigated disaster. I can think of no action that got so much mainstream media response in recent memory. Indeed, I even see Global News devoting air time to the "Peoples Inquiry".
The only way forward now is to maximize and attempt to exploit these mistakes made by the PTB in their policing responses etc - but as previously stated, the justice process for the arrestees will prove onerous, extremely taxing and will consume their attentions and those around them for quite a while. It's designed to do just that. As for the media attention - well we'll see how long it lasts.
Those are all creative and intersting marketting ideas for getting your name in the paper. Unfortunately they will threaten no ones power at all. In order to move power you have to threaten it. And at the end of the day, everything you are saying is about marketting, not about organizing a mass movement that threatens the power base of the powerful.
Rule Number 1) The purpose of a mass protest is not to market an idea through the media. It is to create an organizational point for mobilizing people and creating a sense of empowerment, aimed at shirking of the opressive sense of lonliness and isolation that results from aimless tasks such as blogging and individual acts of defiance. Our empowerement comes at the expense of theirs.
Why do you think they spent so much money trying to stamp out public protest, at the G20?
Rule Number 2) Malcolm X's maxim: "By any means necessary". This means no mode of public expression should be discounted, including some of those creative means you have just suggested. All means. Including mass protest.
They are in part about getting attention -- but not limited to that.
I also take issue with the idea that public protest threatened the state or power structure-- indeed I think it was a focal point to exhaust and co opt the protest in to a bilateral us-them focus where everyone against the government is represented by the burning of our collective property.
My point about the G20 protests is that I don't think we were empowered at all. I think the state was. That might be where and why we disagree on this.
I happen to hold out some hope for on-line organization as one way to create the organizational mass you speak of. I think there are other ways and a different type of protest needs to be considered for those events we know will attract this kind of violence-- if the organizers want a peaceful protest.
A sit-down vigil in an open area may make a better point than a street march and be less likely to attract the police. I just remain unconvinced that the only thing we can do is replicate the same failed style of street protest that has been ineffective every other time it has been used against this target (G8/20). I understood repeating failed tactics expecting a different result is considered insane. Why would people call for a violence free protest for the G20? We know that is not going to happen-- so if you want a violent protest then go ahead do it but if you don't then why hold one that you know will become violent?
As for the challenging of authority is there no other way we could achieve this? How threatened were they behind that wall? Perhaps they were happy that once again their opposition managed nothing imaginative and instead went down the same predictable course they long ago figured out how to manage to their advantage.
If all those who showed up actually did something else could we have achieved something? What if they had written to the media in other countries, what if they had all collectively boycotted a series of businesses for one week? What if they snowed certain organizations and politicians with an avalanche of communications that interrupted their ability to function?
What if we organized the mass protests in other cities once the police and all their equipment, and likely the Black Block was in Toronto? After all the Black Block can not be in many places at a time in numbers because in fact they are outnumbered by other incredibly. They could not disrupt several demonstrations being held on the same day-- and that might be one reason the anti-prorogation rallies had no such participation.
Tell me that Farah Miranda ever would have been interviewed on Global TV, had it not been for the G20 protest? Indeed, TCMN got nearly as much air time here as the official version.
The street protest will likely prove much less useful over the longer term than the lawsuits over civil rights violations that occurred all over the city.
I fear that the Black Bloc have the potential to become the Left's own blackshirts. We don't like to think of Left-wing authoritarianism as a genuine danger. This blindness to the Left's potential for authoritarianism has led us to be caught off guard again and again by protestors who use Black Bloc tactics. Ignoring them simply doesn't work; more to the point, it empowers what is becoming a worrisome police-black bloc-MSM cultural triumverate.
I find this paragraph fairly offensive. Of all the social groups and movements in Canada, it's some kids at anti-war/anti-g20 demonstrations-- who have never hurt anyone, may I remind you-- who are suddenly jackbooted fascists ready to brutalize the innocent?