On Legitimate and Illegitimate Protest

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kropotkin1951

FIFi  "They blah they blah they blah blah"

What are your believes? Stop telling us what you think someone else you have never met believes and thinks. It is tedious.

cruisin_turtle

Remind, I'm all for uniting the left and for making personal sacrifices to achieve that.  If your last comment was meant for me with regard to previous discussions I'd like to explain my thoughts about the police.  We pay for them and pay very well.  Their slogan is to serve and protect.  And society needs their services.  Therefore I'm not for the anti-police line of thinking.  Instead I think we should call them up on their actions when they fall short and we should work and lobby to get some reforms.  But if we witness a crime, don't you think we should help them apprehend the criminal?  Would you rather a murder case goes unsolved so that we don't rat on our neighbours?  I don't understand the logic behind this!

Freedom 55

Daedalus wrote:

Where did I say that the cause of the Left's failures in recent decades was the BBs? Simple, I didn't. I was responding to someone who insisted that BB tactics were the way to success, and noted that the era of the BB has actually been profoundly unsuccesful. I didn't say it was caused by the BB - merely that BBs obviously did nothing at all to enhance success.

 

You implied that there's a correlation between the retreats and defeats of the Left over the last 25 years, and the emergence of black blocs during that same time, despite referring to them as "marginal". My point is that if you're going to dismiss such a marginal tactic because it's failed to deliver the desired results, there's a host of other tactics which have been even greater failures because not only have they failed to deliver, but they've been tried ad nauseum.

I can't find anywhere in this thread where Slumberjack insisted black bloc tactics are the way to success, so I'm not sure where you got that from.

kropotkin1951

cruisin_turtle wrote:

Remind, I'm all for uniting the left and for making personal sacrifices to achieve that.  If your last comment was meant for me with regard to previous discussions I'd like to explain my thoughts about the police.  We pay for them and pay very well.  Their slogan is to serve and protect.  And society needs their services.  Therefore I'm not for the anti-police line of thinking.  Instead I think we should call them up on their actions when they fall short and we should work and lobby to get some reforms.  But if we witness a crime, don't you think we should help them apprehend the criminal?  Would you rather a murder case goes unsolved so that we don't rat on our neighbours?  I don't understand the logic behind this!

The question is not whether anyone would disagree with stopping physical violence against another human.  That is the easy case.  Lets try say tax evasion is that something we should report?  How about if you think your neighbour goes to mosque and you think he looks shifty?  Or maybe a guy that pissed you off has a medical reason to grow pot but you know he is growing more than his allotment. Should he be turned in or is it only protesters that get the special treatment?  Because it is not murder we are talking about here it is over the top protesting.

We pay other citizens to be peace officers.  Their main job is to keep the peace so for me the biggest problem is when they become violent.  When they attack unarmed and peaceful people in the streets of my country I want their behaviour looked into.  We pay their salaries so they need to be held accountable to us for their abuse of power and violence against citizens exercising their rights to freedom of expression.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Polunatic2 wrote:

@c_t

You make some valid points about protest rallies/marches. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the police were responsible for the BB tactics. 

The ineffectiveness of one form of tactics doesn't necessarily make another form effective in and of itself. Any tactic should be empowering for those participating. I share the frustration with the way some rallies are organized. How do we make them more empowering and effective? 

When you get the answer to that you will have your revolution.  

I think if we are going to have a debate about tactics we should look to see what has been tried and what the outcome was. So far i have been involved in many peaceful union lead marches and protests against cut backs and more cut backs and you know the cutbacks just keep on coming. Does any one really think that a large peaceful protest will change anything in Canadian politics?  

For those of you who want to right me of as a defeatist I say since I have actually gone to marches and rallies for decades I have earned the right to say they don't work.  But I will still go because I at least get to say I stood up for my beliefs because the beliefs themselves are worth fighting for.

When over 50,000 people protested (peacefully with no black bloc presence) on the lawns in front of the BC legislature one of the Cabinet Ministers looked out at the citizens and in front of reporters dismissed the tens of thousands as Union Thugs. That was almost ten years ago and he is still one of the main players in cabinet.

I don't think any number of protesters will change any policy of Harper's or any of the provincial governments. Been there done that and was ignored.  Oh and by the way the only way that it appears the BC Liberals are in danger is from a populist anti-tax revolt not the progressive movements protests or the BC Feds fight back campaigns. 

 

You are incorrect. Protests helped to stop the WTO. But the purpose of protests is not to change government policy because you held a sign in the street. The purpose of protests, and why media, police and politicians believe they have to marginalize and attack protests, is because when you see someone who looks like you disagreeing with government policy, it can influence you to associate with the cause of the protest, It is the bandwagon effect that so frightens the authorities. Not the signs.

kropotkin1951

Protests helped stop the WTO from doing what? Did I miss something in the news?  I know they still exist so did they lose their power?  Could you tell me which rallies and marches were responsible for the demise of the WTO or the lose of power or whatever ir was that we stopped.

http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/whatis_e.htm

No Yards No Yards's picture

I posted this link in another thread, but since it is about the law in Canada as it relates to street protests it may be of some value in this thread as well.

http://lawiscool.com/2010/07/04/the-law-of-street-protest-in-canada/

I'm not so concerned/convinced either way as to the value or lack there of of the BB to "the cause" ... if we ever found a way to prevent all BBers and BB impersonators from attending a protest, the police would find another "legal" way to make us look bad ... they have the laws and the manipulation of the laws on their side ... with the current laws as they stand, there is no need for a BB in order for the police to attack, search, detain, and arrest protesters ... maybe having the BB makes for easier PR for the police, but generally, your average citizen will look at a cop abusing a protesters rights as acceptable ... they don't really care a whole lot about rights that they believe will never be taken from them ... hell, I heard on the radio a few hours ago that 80% or more of Torontonians believe the police did a good job at the protests.

 

If the people don't care, then the only chances we have are: politically lobbying for changes to the law so that police abuse at protests HAS to be taken seriously; forget the whole thing and give up the protests; fool yourself into thinking that you are doing something by "status quo" protesting and getting a bad name for it; or if none of that then coming to the conclusion that the BB has the right idea, and that the only way to move forward is through a real and violent uprising (not promoting or condoning it, just looking at the practicality looking at some of the possibilities.)

remind remind's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The question is not whether anyone would disagree with stopping physical violence against another human.  That is the easy case.  Lets try say tax evasion is that something we should report?  How about if you think your neighbour goes to mosque and you think he looks shifty?  Or maybe a guy that pissed you off has a medical reason to grow pot but you know he is growing more than his allotment. Should he be turned in or is it only protesters that get the special treatment?  Because it is not murder we are talking about here it is over the top protesting.

We pay other citizens to be peace officers.  Their main job is to keep the peace so for me the biggest problem is when they become violent.  When they attack unarmed and peaceful people in the streets of my country I want their behaviour looked into.  We pay their salaries so they need to be held accountable to us for their abuse of power and violence against citizens exercising their rights to freedom of expression.

Thank you exactly.....almost what I would have responded.

kropotkin1951

Thanks for the link No Yards. I consider one of our great cultural myths to be the myths around the right to protest or strike.  We have few legal recourses for protest and any that are effective become illegal with the wave of a magic court injunction.  

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Freedom 55 wrote:
You implied that there's a correlation between the retreats and defeats of the Left over the last 25 years, and the emergence of black blocs during that same time, despite referring to them as "marginal".

No it was not in the least implied. What was implied was that there was a correlation between BB tactics and success which I refuted by showing success has been decidedly lacking during the BB period. I didn't make the correlation, I pointed out the fallacy of the correlation.

Quote:
I can't find anywhere in this thread where Slumberjack insisted black bloc tactics are the way to success, so I'm not sure where you got that from.

Slumberjack insisted that "peaceful activism" has achieved nothing (lol), as a defence of BB tactics. That implies that BB tactics are a more succesful alternative, or at the least, an untested alternative which might be succesful. The simple fact is that they have been around for a quarter-century and have utterly zero successes to their name, while peaceful activism in fact has quite a few. It hasn't defeated capitalism or even come close, but it does have many many important gains under its belt.

Likening BB tactics - some kids smashing the windows of immigrant's shops and attacking protestors and journalists - to armed struggle is patently absurd. It can only stand on its own merits and achievements - and it has absolutely none to show.

shawnsage

I posted an article on this subject in the current events section.  The moderator suggested it'd be more appropriate here.  She's probably right.  Here it is...

 

Bloc Must Be Blocked

In the aftermath of Police State Weekend - the G20 Summit in Toronto - it is hard to find much hopefulness after seeing such a stark display of totalitarianism in one of the most inclusive, multicultural, and cosmopolitan cities in the world.  The weekend gained the dubious distinction as the largest mass arrest in Canadian history; where police arrested, and often beat, hundreds of protesters and bystanders who did not violate a single Canadian law, holding them for hours in squalid conditions at the former Toronto Film Studios ('Toronto Guantanamo'), and then releasing most without any charge.   Then, making matters worse, these criminal actions by the police received not criticism but praise from the three levels of government, with calls for a public inquiry falling on deaf ears. 

In my entire life living in Toronto, it was the worst few days I have witnessed.  The will of citizens in a democratic country suppressed by a police force not doing its job to uphold public safety, but rather making the public less safe by being primarily focused on undermining the protests.   Leaders hidden behind an ominous fence treating democracy like a trifling nuisance in the way of their serious business; with armed thugs 'protecting' them from the people they are supposed to be working for.

Yes, many hard lessons were learned from Police State Weekend, but it is hard to find hope or positivity in them.  There is one important lesson, though, that could be of great value to the activist community if it takes it to heart (which evidence suggests it has not).  The people engaging in these Black Bloc tactics are as much enemies to the causes of global justice, equality and environmental responsibility as the giant multinational corporations; and the politicians and police that defend their interests.

You only have to look at the recent Toronto Star poll saying that 70% of residents think the police force's actions were justified for proof.   While this certainly would seem insane to anyone who attended any of the protests, followed the coverage via sources like rabble.ca (which was by far the best) or watched any the disturbing videos on You Tube, when you look at the coverage in the mainstream media - especially television news - it's not surprising.  The coverage quickly degenerated into all smashed windows and burning cop cars.  The mainstream media's shameful coverage of the protests can be summed up in Peter Mansbridge's words to a reporter at a protest I caught on CBC on the Sunday.  "We'll get back to this story if there's a reason to do so.  If it's more than just tough talk."  In other words, it's only newsworthy if somebody breaks some shit - what was said at the protest and what they are actually protesting is deemed unworthy of coverage.

The vandalism of the Black Bloc makes possible this unfair, one-sided coverage that effectively silences the voices of dissent on the media stage.  The average uninformed person watching the action from their suburban living room heard next to nothing about why people were protesting and the alternatives to the status quo they were promoting, but instead got images of burning cars and bandana cloaked vandals running on a loop.  Without the peaceful protests getting shown on the news and being heard by that average uninformed person, the protesters are just preaching to the converted - other protesters who already share the same views.  And, as long as the message does not get out to the masses, there is never going to be the great egalitarian change all these fine people are working so hard to achieve. 

Of course, the Black Bloc are not solely to blame for this misrepresentation by the media that has resulted in 70% of Torontonians erroneously siding with the police.  The way the cop cars were abandoned as bait and the Black Bloc were left free to rampage for over an hour by the police suggests a sneaky public relations ploy to justify the massive security budget and the heavy handed tactics.   The mainstream media then, with equal voracity, took the bait and made these few incidents of vandalism the whole story; playing right into the hands of whoever was behind this tactical PR move. 

The difference with the Black Bloc, however, is the protest movement has far more power to exert influence on their behaviour than they have with the police and the media.  There could be a clear articulation of how damaging and counterproductive to the aims of the movement these actions are, and an accompanying public shaming.   And, more effectively, there could be groups working in protests to stop the actions of the Black Bloc; citizens doing the job that the police refuse to do.  Perhaps they could be the 'White Bloc,' pacifists in white (no covered faces, of course!  Don't wanna be confused with certain other white clad folks with covered faces...) keeping the protests peaceful. 

This would not be likely to result in violent in-fighting among protesters.  The so-called anarchists doing the Bloc thing are not truly violent people, just misguided ones.  Merely walking in front of them and blocking them from committing their acts of vandalism would do the job.  It really would not be as much of a risk to one's self as you might think.  'Blocking the Bloc' would be a walk in the park compared to dealing with a police force that engages in violence against actual human beings, not merely store windows and abandoned cop cars.  If you're gutsy enough to risk an arrest and beating at a G20 protest, taking on the Bloc would be relatively inconsequential.

With such a concerted effort, the Black Bloc could be effectively neutralized by mobilized activists and in that event, without the Bloc's vandalism, what would be left for the media to report?  For lack of more sensational material, the media would be forced to report on the substance of the protests.  Without footage of smashed windows and burning cop cars, they'd have to air speeches at the protests and interviews with activists; engaging in a dialogue on the real issues rather than acting as purveyors of vandal porn.  They'd also be forced to confront the question - if a bunch of hippy pacifist protesters could stop the Bloc, why couldn't the heavily armed police?

Currently, though, the activist community shows no signs of any such concerted effort.  The stock answer by the average peaceful G20 protester is to condemn the vandalism, say that the vast majority of protests were peaceful, and quite rightly, point out that the violence of the Black Bloc vandalism tactics are insignificant in comparison to the violence meted out by corporate states.   

This argument will obviously resonate with like-minded, politically and socially engaged citizens, but it is not enough to sway the unengaged majority.   It has not swayed 70% of Torontonians, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.  While I would never dispute the value and necessity of these protests, it is of greater importance for the messages of these protests to connect with the majority.  As long as the Black Bloc are allowed to dominate the media coverage, this is never going to happen.

And, if there are any Black Bloc fools reading this right now, you may as well go join the Conservative Party of Canada.  Your actions during Police State Weekend did more to help the causes of Stephen Harper than for any of the causes you purport to be fighting for. 

And, why the fuck would you smash the windows of small businesses?  Way to stick it to the man by making struggling immigrant entrepreneurs pay a couple of grand to repair the windows you smashed, you moron.

Freedom 55

Daedalus wrote:

What was implied was that there was a correlation between BB tactics and success

 

I've now read the original quote dozens of times, and I still don't see how you got that from this: "Peaceful activism had its time in the sun, but has failed miserably as a force for change against an unmoveable enemy bereft of conscience or decency. The repetitive counsel for more of the same is an echo which originates from countless defeats."

 

Daedalus wrote:

Slumberjack insisted that "peaceful activism" has achieved nothing

 

Again, this is not what was actually said in the quote that you cited. Pointing to "countless defeats" is not the same as saying that nothing has been achieved through "peaceful activism".

 

Daedalus wrote:

[...]as a defence of BB tactics

 

...only if you buy into this false dichotomy. Again, there was no reference to black blocs in Slumberjack's post.

 

Daedalus wrote:

That implies that BB tactics are a more succesful alternative, or at the least, an untested alternative which might be succesful. The simple fact is that they have been around for a quarter-century and have utterly zero successes to their name, while peaceful activism in fact has quite a few. It hasn't defeated capitalism or even come close, but it does have many many important gains under its belt.

 

I think it's disingenuous to uphold the utility of your preferred tactics by claiming successes achieved over the span of 100 years, while completely dismissing another tactic - which has only been used marginally in recent years - for it's perceived failures. The reality is that during the period when North American radicals have been experimenting with black blocs, all the other protest tactics have still been used (and to a much greater extent than black blocs), and we don't have a lot to show for any of it. If the Left has endured a series of defeats during those years, the 'legitimate' forms of protest have to wear those defeats at least as much as the 'illegitimate' ones.

Glorified Ape

I agree with shawn - the BB did more of a disservice to the peaceful protesters (and their own cause - if they really have one beyond mindless vandalism).  The security bill was ridiculous and would have been extremely difficult to justify had everything gone peacefully. Why they even insisted on having it in the heart of downtown Toronto escapes me.  The CNE strikes me as a more reasonable, and easily/cheaply controlled, venue. 

Of course, a few black-clad juvenile half-wits claiming "non-violence" while they violently destroy property have effectively distracted the general population from everything and lent superficial legitimacy to the security bill.

I would have liked to see a few BB heads caved in (by fellow protesters or the police) to send the right message. If they're willing to employ violence, let them experience a little and see how willing they'd be the next time.  As it is, the police showed FAR too much restraint against the BB and seem to have focused their efforts in the wrong place.  

Cueball Cueball's picture

The BB, (whoever they are) are irrelevant. This is a silly topic of discussion. What is relevant is that the actions of a few people in no way warrant the removal of basic civil liberties and rights of Canadians, as whole through the implimentation of ad hoc adminstrative measures put in the hands of police. What happened in Toronto on the weekend of the G20 was Martial Law. Very simple.

If such a measure can be implimented for a short duration of time at the whim of the government, it can be implimented at any time and at any place. Effectively, allowing this to stand means that martial law exists in Canada at all times, and at any place.

 

Slumberjack

Daedalus wrote:
Slumberjack insisted that "peaceful activism" has achieved nothing (lol), as a defence of BB tactics. That implies that BB tactics are a more succesful alternative, or at the least, an untested alternative which might be succesful. The simple fact is that they have been around for a quarter-century and have utterly zero successes to their name, while peaceful activism in fact has quite a few. It hasn't defeated capitalism or even come close, but it does have many many important gains under its belt.

It had its day is what I said.  The power apparatus has adjusted over time, to where even a few placard bearing citizens raising their voices in a confined protest zone are seen as a threat to the system, if only to justify the imposition of ever increasing measures which ensures total security for the corporate class.  I'm of the opinion that when you directly confront power on its own terms within designated zones, either through BB tactics or through peaceful street protests, at this juncture you've already ensured your own defeat before a single slogan is uttered, or a brick is thrown.

On the other hand, BB tactics are a rarity in comparison with peaceful mass street movements, a few individuals here or there stepping out of line, causing as much trouble for others as for themselves.  To make any impression at all, it would need to be more widespread, to the point where everyone on the street takes up with similar intensity.

Unionist

Frustrated Mess wrote:
But the purpose of protests is not to change government policy because you held a sign in the street. The purpose of protests, and why media, police and politicians believe they have to marginalize and attack protests, is because when you see someone who looks like you disagreeing with government policy, it can influence you to associate with the cause of the protest, It is the bandwagon effect that so frightens the authorities. Not the signs.

Worth repeating - often. That's why juvenile vandalism and police provocation are so dangerous. They discourage the great mass from climbing on board.

writer writer's picture

One of the people who stumbled onto a group of demonstrators singing Give Peace a Chance commented about how it was a cliche of a protest. But there, at that moment, he *felt* it. He wasn't at home watching riot cops bearing down on peaceful people. He *felt* it. And he found himself singing, and almost giddy with the experience.

And then the cops came in.

writer writer's picture

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/832490--activist-surrenders-to-f... surrenders to face G20 charges[/url]

Quote:

Social justice activist Jaggi Singh surrendered to Toronto police early Tuesday morning to comply with a warrant following June’s G20 protests.

The Montreal-based community organizer faces several counts of criminal conspiracy, including alleged conspiracies to commit mischief to property, assault police, and obstruct justice.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Cueball wrote:
If such a measure can be implimented for a short duration of time at the whim of the government, it can be implimented at any time and at any place. Effectively, allowing this to stand means that martial law exists in Canada at all times, and at any place.

Brilliantly said.

Slumberjack

writer wrote:
Also agree very strongly with Cueball's post.

Well and good, but what would be the remedy against fascist zones appearing whereever they please?  More protests in approved zones, similar to the revolving door approach?  Except for this sort of revolving door, peaceful or no, one comes out the other end more bloodied and worst for wear than the previous go around.  How many police beatings does it take before one decides to no longer permit it to occur, and at what cost?

writer writer's picture

I would also add the protests give you the power of the collective. I mean that quite literally. And I think that power only grows stronger as our culture becomes more compartmentalized. There is nothing like the energy of a group of people bonded together in the streets. Nothing. And there is nothing like having that feeling for the first time. Which a lot of people experienced here in Toronto. (Even if they weren't out protesting, just out for the day.)

The administrators have good reason to be afraid of its life-changing implications. The administrators have good reason to try to nip it in the bud, to convert empowerment into fear.

Also agree very strongly with Cueball's post.

kropotkin1951

Glorified Ape wrote:

I would have liked to see a few BB heads caved in (by fellow protesters or the police) to send the right message. If they're willing to employ violence, let them experience a little and see how willing they'd be the next time.  As it is, the police showed FAR too much restraint against the BB and seem to have focused their efforts in the wrong place.  

Fuck off asshole.  You think this is the right place to call for violence against protesters for destroying property. Lets not punish police for violence instead progressives everywhere should bash in the heads of the bb for them so they don't have to sully their hands.  

The rest of this board should realize the vilification of the misguided youth we are calling the bb is going to lead to their deaths.  Keep it up come on lets tell the police that even lefties think it is all right to cave in the heads of anarchists. That is a straight line correlation.  Dehumanize a group and they become vulnerable to police oppression. Glorified Ape you are an oppressor not a progressive.

So go ahead ban me for getting personal when someone on this board calls for protesters to be beaten. Broken arms, threats of rape, degrading conditions those are the hallmarks of the police restraint.  

I can't believe the people on this board who are flogging this red herring day after day.  The black bloc are not the problem. The police state we live in is the problem.  But lets have a babble cheer.  Hey Hey Hey Ho the Black Bloc Should Go to Jail.  Or maybe as we kick and beat young activists to the tune of Singing in the Rain we can start a chant of, This is What Democracy Looks Like. 

Sean in Ottawa

Please stop using abusive language against other posters even if so far you are getting away with it. Simply calling for yourself to get banned does not make it better. I don't get why the Mods have not dealt with this yet but you can't keep abusing people who post here no matter how much you might disagree with them.

I don't happen to agree with the post you object to but the dialogue here really falls apart when one poster figures they can just call whomever they disagree with whatever they like.

And if you keep this up I do hope you get turfed. It is damaging to this place for people to see those who choose to express an opinion be treated the way you have been treating people the last couple days. Although I would prefer that you just agree to disagree without being so abusive, what you call one person does not just affect that person-- everyone else has to consider that you might turn on them as well. It sets up a disrespectful, unsafe and unfriendly environment.

The Mods perhaps should discuss just what kind of an environment they want to tolerate here because more people will start using language like this if you get away with it and more people who would like to post an opinion without abuse may refrain.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

First of all, Glorified Ape, advocating violence against any group of people is not allowed on babble. Keep your barbaric fantasies to yourself, please.

Second of all, kropotkin, you need to dial down your hostility on this thread and elsewhere on babble. Someone disagreeing with you does not give you licence to purge any pejoratives or aggression you have pent up. That means "fuck you, asshole" and other nuggets you've been throwing around here lately. Cool?

Finally, Sean, if you see something that offends you, report it. Just because someone verges into untoward behaviour, it does not necessitate some existential dilemma or philosophical meta-conversation about babble and the left in general. Report it and be patient. Seeing the word "fuck" is not the end of the world. I use it myself sometimes. In fact, I just did.

Sean in Ottawa

It is not existential. It is not about the left in general. It is about the lack of any effective moderation in the mods in this place which is increasingly becoming a farce. I did already what you said. What I was asked to do. Yesterday.

Kropotkin replied that reporting was "crying to Mom". But of course there was no reply from the mod who closed the thread with the very next post!

I reported a personal attack. It has been ignored. 21 hours not patient enough? I also reported another attack against another person also yesterday. All from someone who had received a warning a couple hours before.

So how long is reasonable to report a personal attack before the person gets at best the metaphorical tap on the wrist response? How many warnings do you give to people like Kropotkin before you grant his wish since he has been going over the line steadily daring you to ban him? How many times can people use the word Fuck not in general but addressed at someone else before you ban? How many warnings after saying that I expect to be banned -- advertising that I know it is not ok, that I know better? Is that what this place has come to?

Why don't you stop pretending that there is moderation here and just say it is a free for all then people can give what they take and I can just say Fuck right off right back? Are you cool with that? Can I just tell him what I think about him using the same language he does? I'd be ok with that too actually-- the real problem is the pretense that this behavior is not tolerated when it is -- even from people who repeatedly say they know they ought to be banned for this.

Three personal attacks on three different people from the same person reported to the mods in 24 hours and that is only good enough for a tap on the wrist. How many is too many? What does the tap on the wrist mean-- will you ban at 5 attacks? 50? 500? If you don't like the poster? Maybe if you don't agree with him? So maybe if someone is a rude shit its ok as long as the mod agrees with their POV?

And "Massa may I go now" is not considered offensive here (at least on a couple levels)?

And to make things more exciting -- when someone goes over the line you show "moderation" by criticizing the people who complained to you. Yep, you tell us to complain but criticize the person who is complaining-- for complaining.

As for the word fuck-- saying fuck was never the point-- it was the personal directed attacks -- saying fuck off asshole to someone who comes here to share an opinion is not the same as saying holy fuck-- or this thing that happened is fucking shit -- or is that all the same to you? I'd like to credit you with understanding the difference between the two except that would mean that your comment about me being intolerant to the word fuck was disingenuous on your part wouldn't it? So please let's hear how many personal attacks does it take to get your interest? And stop telling me to report  something when I did that yesterday. And revise the rules about what is tolerated so we can all play by the same rules--

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

That's a long post for a non-existential comment, Sean.

I'm sorry you feel the way that you do. I'm sorry you feel the need to see punitive actions taken before you feel your complaint has been addressed. Perhaps we did not see your complaint yesterday as you saw it. I'm sorry that affected you in such a way that you needed to see some sort of response in a thread long closed. I suppose that's why you entered this thread to complain about a personal attack which had nothing to do with you. It would be nice if babblers were concerned more with getting on with it than seeing retribution, but frequently that does not seem the case. I don't know why you think I have some sort of soft spot for kropotkin--we're not known to be close, shall we say. I really am sorry that you feel so maligned, Sean. But I don't really see how I can fix that. Please take this discussion to PMs if you want more clarification. Or email me or Maysie.

Unionist

Trying to improve on Cueball and writer's posts above...

Trying to be more eloquent...

Failing...

Adding my voice to the power of the collective.

Give People a Chance!

 

Slumberjack

Personally I don't feel we're given enough latitude for profanity.  I'd prefer to see more of it on a regular basis, and soon.  Besides, there's far more be concerned about in this thread, and in others dealing with firebombings and G20.  You know who you are. Wink

Sean in Ottawa

Catchfire, I have no idea how the mods felt about the complaint I made because you did not to respond to it-- even to say sure, racist tinged personal comments and calling posters assholes is fine.

"Thread long closed" Are you taking communications advice from the federal government? This was the thread closed yesterday right after a personal attack. Yesterday is long ago to you? My complaint was in minutes-- So how quick should I be? I guess the complaint has to be within 5 seconds but then can be ignored for a day?

And no, I entered this thread because I was interested in the topic. I saw the comment and thought that since the mods could not be bothered to respond to personal attacks the person attacked might appreciate someone else noticing that it breached rabble policy in as much as we even care about rabble policy anymore. I'd prefer this than to see more people leave because they can't take the bullshit that the mods seem fine with.

Anyway nice to see you dance around what I said for sarcastic angles and things you can misrepresent while ignoring everything substantive like the fact that a person is free to make personal attacks on rabble with not even a specific warning. Saying that's not nice ought to do it for a person who knows and keeps saying that what he is doing should get him banned.

Your sarcastic attacks on people doing exactly what you ask them to do really makes clear what you refuse to say directly: People should complain if they don't and not complain if they do and the mods can ignore the rabble policies unless they feel like doing something. And you can say whatever you like unless you direct it to the wrong person or you are the wrong person -- or is it just arbitrary?

Frankly after your last sarcastic pile, I feel that I want to reach for the F word to respond to you just to see where you want to draw the line with me. Nevermind that the personal attack I complained about stank of racism as well

So your sarcasm aside-- what are the rules anyway here because they sure are not this anymore?

"You agree to avoid personal insults, attacks and mischievous antagonism (otherwise known as "trolling"). You will not post material that is inaccurate, abusive, hateful, harassing, obscene, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy or otherwise violative of any law. You understand that racist, sexist, homophobic, classist (e.g. poor-bashing) and other excluding language is not appropriate on babble. This policy applies to both public and private messages."

6079_Smith_W

*sigh* 

Some messages are actually better sent privately, particularly when it involves a beef with a moderator.

The fact we are off-topic aside, I think they run a pretty tight ship, and it is always a thankless and difficult job. I have seen places which are much worse.

Slumberjack

I've concluded that there must be a separate queue for moderating complaints.  Frankly Sean, you'll just have to wait your turn like the rest of us.  I'm still waiting for a response surrounding issues circa 2002, and I'll be damned at this point to give up my spot to a johnny come lately.

kropotkin1951

You know Sean if I had said; "I think Sean that the next time the police riot if you are there then you should have your head beat in" you would have been over the top in anger at me and writing to the mods every two minutes.   That is what the person up thread said about anarchists. So it appears you think that calling for physical violence against other protesters is not bothersome but calling the person who is calling for physical assaults an asshole is beyond the pale.  

You represent the NDP very well.

Sean in Ottawa

K- You suggested I was a akin to a slave owner just because I disagreed with you. I think the reference to something as offensive as that when there had been no racist or racial overtones to any part of the conversation was a personal attack using oppressive language but in the new Rabble we are alll okay with that apparently aren't we? That was not your first or last personal hit of the day either.

I guess part of the problem was I was remembering some of the most moving threads I have seen here about how not welcoming this place is from people posting in the anti-racism forum and I considered your approach to be a fine example of why they bid farewell. I can't imagine exactly what someone fighting racism in a supposedly progressive place would feel to see you use a reference to slavery simply to attack someone you did not agree with. I am sure it would make them feel like this is the place to be. That the moderator, after clearly having seen the issue is sarcastic about not considering it important must be really special.

Catchfire-- you speak so eloquently about how the only one of these offending statements that was my business was the one addressed directly to me. However, that is not exactly a progressive view of this. Perhaps you could read up a little on third party harassment and consider what your choices in what is acceptable here mean not just to the people in the conflict but to others.

6079_smith-- actually I tried that. No reply. As for the job being so difficult-- I agree it can be but just how many complaints do they get in a day of offensive posts/attacks? So many that a day later they can't get around to replying? And when they do read them to consider them not worthy of comment? No it was not just about looking for punishment-- it was also a request for the Mod to acknowledge that there was a problem with that kind of language or the use of a horrific history to make a personal attack.

This was not about the mods not reading or noticing a thread-- this is about after lecturing me about how important it was to flag offensive posts only a couple weeks ago to then ignore them for a day when the issues include personal attack on three different people and the use of oppressive language and then when they could not be ignored to dismiss the complaint with an attack on the complainer.

If you don't want to be a mod -- is someone forcing you to be one? I don't consider it necessary to feel sorry for how hard it is to be a moderator so much as to excuse being dismissive about behavior that is supposed to be against the policy of this place. If you are to be a moderator, then what's wrong with reading the flagged posts if nothing else and replying with even one word to them -- agree or disagree? But then the part following the realization of what went on to then attack me for complaining -- sorry I don't feel any reason to be polite about that.

It was the mod's decision to debate this with me in open thread. I too can receive a PM in reply to the flagged post. I would have managed it in PM if the mod had replied to the complaint without dismissing it as not even worthy of response.

As for your last point Kopotkin -- your baiting tactic aside, I did not support the post you had trouble with. I just objected to you calling a poster a fucking asshole and I objected to what you said to me because I think that drives people away from here that I would rather talk to and it encourages people like you who think it is more interesting to curse at the people you disagree with.

However, this whole debate is becoming in one way somewhat self regulating because I give a whole lot less of a shit about this place and the atmosphere here now than I did 24 hours ago. So now I feel I wasted some energy here trying to push for this place to retain a civility that clearly the moderator o that thread at least didn't care about.

Anyway, I took a break from this place a couple weeks ago and that was more enjoyable as tempting as it can be to discuss public issues than actually being here.

 

shawnsage

The rest of this board should realize the vilification of the misguided youth we are calling the bb is going to lead to their deaths.  Keep it up come on lets tell the police that even lefties think it is all right to cave in the heads of anarchists. That is a straight line correlation.  Dehumanize a group and they become vulnerable to police oppression. Glorified Ape you are an oppressor not a progressive.

So go ahead ban me for getting personal when someone on this board calls for protesters to be beaten. Broken arms, threats of rape, degrading conditions those are the hallmarks of the police restraint.  

I can't believe the people on this board who are flogging this red herring day after day.  The black bloc are not the problem. The police state we live in is the problem.  But lets have a babble cheer.  Hey Hey Hey Ho the Black Bloc Should Go to Jail.  Or maybe as we kick and beat young activists to the tune of Singing in the Rain we can start a chant of, This is What Democracy Looks Like. 

A poll just came out today saying that a majority of Canadians and GTA residents think the Black Blockers should be charged under the terrorist laws.  A previous poll says 70% of Torontonians think the police actions were justified.  Protests are all about public relations.  These poll numbers make it clear that the G20 protests were a PR disaster. 

The primary reasons for this failure are the actions of the Black Bloc and the disproportionate coverage these actions got in the mainstream media.  As I stated in my article above, the Black Bloc is as much an enemy to progressive causes as Stephen Harper and I'll say it again...they might as well join the Conservative Party of Canada.  No, their heads should not be 'caved in,' but they need to be stopped through passive measures and appeals to reason.  They are making it too easy for the mainstream media to dismiss the protest movement. 

And, anybody out there who thinks peaceful protests are proven failures and that violent protests are now the only logical answer, please answer these three questions: 

- How are a buncha kids armed with lighters and whatever debris they can find on the street going to overthrow a corporate regime protected by the greatest militiary might in history? 

- If the answer is they can not, shouldn't the focus be on winning the hearts and minds of the general population?

- If the answer to the above is yes, have the Black Bloc been helpful or detrimental in winning the hearts and minds of the general population?

shawnsage

Looks like I didn't quote kropotikin1951 properly...big letters are his/her quote, small letters are my post...

I'm still a newbie on here...

Cueball Cueball's picture

My answer to that is that the Black Bloc are answerable only to themselves. The questions that the police are answerable for are why they did not apprehend them while they were engaging in their protest. Pretending that somehow other demonstrators had anything to do with the actions of the Black Bloc, or could control them is a compltete distraction. Spending so much time on the issue of the BB is only contributing to the mainstream media charachterization of the events that unfolded.

What is important is the apparent inability of the police to deal with public disorder, and their attack upon the civil liberties of Torontonians, apparently in revenge for being shown to be completely incompetent at pursuing their sworn duties.

Seriously, if the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup are the police going to stand around watching while druken fans smash up Yonge Street? By the same token, are they then going to round up anyone wearing a Maple Leafs jersey the next day, because they deem them to be complicit?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

 

And "Massa may I go now" is not considered offensive here (at least on a couple levels)?

 

 

 

I never saw the post SinO but if this indeed went without a warning, I'm very disappointed.  On the other hand, I supported kropotkin calling that goof a you know what for advocating the beating of heads. In that instance kropotkin was responding to a much more grievous post.  I think the mods do the best they can and I wouldn't want to have to do it.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Oh and like cue keeps repeating, we need to FOCUS.

 

Thanks Cueball for being around again.

Sean in Ottawa

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

And "Massa may I go now" is not considered offensive here (at least on a couple levels)?

 

I never saw the post SinO but if this indeed went without a warning, I'm very disappointed.  On the other hand, I supported kropotkin calling that goof a you know what for advocating the beating of heads. In that instance kropotkin was responding to a much more grievous post.  I think the mods do the best they can and I wouldn't want to have to do it.

exact quote:

"Yes sir massa sir.  Can I go now?" Post 104 of

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/bring-harper-down-over-det...

That's why this reply (there was no PM in reply to my flagging as offensive that post) had me upset:

"Perhaps we did not see your complaint yesterday as you saw it." (Post 76 above.)

Considering this has not been the first time I have found that I cannot see eye to eye with the mods on what I think is abusive and in this case offensive on other levels, and this complaint was met with sarcasm rather than concern,

I can't see how a place that thinks such an openly offensive comment would be ok could be a place I want to invest my time in.

I do believe in political action. I cannot possibly justify my association and support of this place in the light of this kind of moderating.

I liked this place but I am ashamed to have been associated with a place that thinks that comment is even possibly ok. We all have to draw the line somewhere.

I admit that the comment is so offensive to me that I was looking for some consequence and having recieved the sarcastic comment from Catchfire in this thread, I need to draw the line here. If we accept this kind of language as ok we are part of the problem we say we are fighting.

I can't possibly post here on any other topic so long as Catchfire thinks openly racist attacks of a disgusting racist nature are just fine by rabble.

Kropotkin extended the baiting from me to all people who support the NDP in post 82 above. Frankly I don't recognize this place and I don't like it anymore and in this context I don't have anything further that is polite to say about it, this moderator and this poster.

Any others who support the NDP, you can deal with post 82 if you like but I feel like I wading in 3 feet of bullshit. As well you can decide what you think of being in a place that thinks the above comment is fair ball.

I really need to be out of here. The place is so damn addictive but when standards get so low that the mods effectively approve this kind of shit without even a concern, its time to hope that some other forum can take the place of this one.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Sean, you are a very valuable member of this community and have an awful lot of valuable insight to contribute. Indeed, you have already contributed a great deal of unique analysis and perspective. But I think you are putting far too much pressure on an offensive comment by kropotkin on a long thread that the moderating staff clearly decided was easier to end for length rather than engaging in a protracted disciplining campaign against someone who knows better. At any rate, the babbler you feel deserves chastisement or worse was indeed chastised. I don't know why that is not enough for you. But I can say that we consider the matter closed, and I wish you would let it go. If there's something I or the other mods are missing (I'm not sure why you're singling me out) then by all means, contact us by PM. Certainly, let the matter go in this thread, as it is determinedly off topic. I won't respond again in this thread. This is clearly a personal issue with you and should be conducted privately. Please respect that and those who wish to pursue the topic at hand.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Please step away SeaninOttawa but trust me, I HEAR you.  There has been a lot more activity of late and it's been a lot more heated.   

Don't leave dude, take a break but not for long.  ;)   I love reading your posts and I'm sure many other lurkers do too.  There seems to be an attempt lately to get babblers worked up.  I'm trying to stay calm.

 

Take care my friend.

 

And we must keep FOCUS on what Cueball and others have stated

 

eta:  oops, crosspost with Catchfire.  Sorry for the thread drift.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Sean, I've reopened this thread and have addressed the offensive words.

My apologies for not responding earlier.

No Yards No Yards's picture

Anyone know what this (Crimethinc) is? http://crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/toronto2.php ... an interesting potential overview of anarchists "organizational" methods ... links to other anarchists (and other more conventional) groups.

 

No Yards No Yards's picture
Freedom 55

No Yards wrote:

Anyone know what this (Crimethinc) is? http://crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/toronto2.php ... an interesting potential overview of anarchists "organizational" methods ... links to other anarchists (and other more conventional) groups.

 

 

Thanks for finding and posting this. That was a very interesting read.

 

I'm not entirely sure how to describe CrimethInc. They can be hard to pigeonhole. I'd describe them as a very loose Situationist-influenced anarchist collective. They're prolific propagandists, having published numerous books, zines, journals, a film anthology, and music albums.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Thanks for that analysis F55.  I can't click on all the links.

Caissa

re. use of "flag as offensive" feature. When I use it I am not looking for retribution (term used by Catchfire upthread although I'm not sure he meant it), I'm looking for justice.

Fifi

Sweet! Someone just channeled Sarah Palin because I used the word "retarded". Now that's the kind of PC crap that I've come to expect and find hilarious from those who promote AnarchyTM who try to shut down any perspective other than their own that doesn't please them or to try to censor others. This is yet again another area where the insane ideological Left and insanely ideological AnarchistsTM converge with right wing fascism...politics is like a circle where those on the extreme edges are more alike than they are different. Religious fundamentalists from the right wing are no different that new age fundies from the left (and both promote unreality based thinking and are anti-science or pro-pseudoscience), same goes for the political left and right that meet at fascism at their extreme (while both claiming to be freedom fighters, of course, they just don't want freedom for anyone but themselves and view anyone not falling in line as sheeple/less than human/etc).

 

So, I'll say that it's probably unfair to compare your child who has a mental disability and is intellectually handicapped to one of the idiots being used by police to create the spectacle of violence for public consumption and diverting attention from what happened to peaceful protesters.

 

I in no way condone the arrests of anyone - particularly organizers that were arrested before they did anything (which is who are still being held, it's not actually any anarchist organizers or community oriented people who were setting police cars alight because they were already being held by the police). The riot kiddies/cops dressed as AnarchistsTM did these people a disservice too since it's the organizers that will be ultimately be held responsible - at least in the public eye. Let's be clear here - it WASN'T any anarchist organizers or people involved with  community organizing that set things on fire or broke windows because they has already all been detained. So who are you actually defending when you defend the AnarchistsTM that did this shit on the streets? Not any of the anarchists that are involved in constructive actions all year round, they'd all been taken off the streets already (and they weren't organizing violence anyway - or so I've heard through friends of those still being detained).

The other thing that no one here has considered is what this police exercise was meant to do strategically (or how idiotic it is to propose going to war and not even  understanding strategy!). The exercise was meant to scare the general population into submission and avoidance of even peaceful protest - to get us all used to this kind of militaristic presence and to self censor or to be reactive (instead of active) so any resistence is easy to see and quash. The other object was to train the police force to treat people in this way. Sure some cops are total power tripping nutbags, so are some activists - we live in a society that promotes narcissism and the idea that it's quite acceptable to feel entitled to use any means necessary to attain one's personal objectives and to use others as objects to fulfill one's personal desires (rather than fellow humans). Empathy is the antidote to narcissism, not more narcissism. Like it or not, cops are also human beings and, like soldiers, they need to be trained to see all citizens as the Other so that they can do horrible things to them (it's also why they give them anonymity via riot gear and no badge numbers, or by going undercover). It's also why we dehumanize cops (not that they don't do a good job themselves already) so we can justify doing or advocating violence against them. As long as you're doing the same thing as the people you hate, you are being the people you hate. Freedom isn't being in reaction to others, it's choosing action instead of being defined by others actions (or the cycles of reaction that violent conflict almost always is).

writer writer's picture

Quote:

As long as you're doing the same thing as the people you hate, you are being the people you hate.

Like using minimizing, marginalizing language that denigrates a whole category of people, then refusing to apologize for it, using the opportunity to slam more people instead, blaming and ridiculing them for being oversensitive?

Fifi

And I'm not trying to dehumanize the riot kiddies and other people who broke stuff (though they obviously took steps to dehumanize themselves in the same way the police force does - by being anonymous and hiding their faces, a strategy that's very useful when fighting Scientologists and in some other instances when one is being subversive but which is counterproductive when you're trying to get people to understand the human cost and empathize with the other victims of our current political system, or to see themselves in the protesters and understand that the repressive tactics could equally be used against them because the protesters are "just people like them"). Quite the opposite, I think it's important to put faces and names to people - including those who use anonymity or "the group" to justify doing shitty things to other people, be they cops or those who claim to be activists - because this is what humanizes us to each other. Sure it's much easier to shut down cognitive dissonance if you engage in binary and black/white (or good/evil for those who see things via the lens of religion) rather than actually allowing for the complexity of reality and being human. However, then you're trapped by the same kind of mental prison as those you hate are. Your very thoughts aren't free anymore, they're trapped in a binary prison that purely about reaction and never about conscious action. And this makes it very, very easy to predict what you will do and to manipulate you because, despite the claims to Direct Action, you're simply reacting and your actions are being determined by others (as well as your feelings and thoughts being manipulated too). Small "a" anarchists know this, they can think rhizomatically and can see third options rather than being trapped in binary reaction. And that's why the truly dangerous anarchists who do actually act were scooped up before the protests and only the AnarchistsTM who were either plants or known to be reactionary were left to play their pre-arranged role in this spectacle created to justify amping up police and military spending in Canada (because it's really about the money at the end of the day and creating a market for Halliburton and Blackwater here).

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