Royal Bank firebombed in Ottawa - part 5

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Unionist
Royal Bank firebombed in Ottawa - part 5
Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:
Similar to the early Union movement, where they should have just stayed home instead of knocking heads and fists with company thugs and state police at the gates of their workplaces. They didn't of course, which is why peaceful collective negotiation over benefits can take place today.

I think you are confusing two things:

1. Resistance and struggle, which sometimes involves violence (notwithstanding adharden's point), and which takes place everywhere today - including in Canada. Including unionized workers. Including Aboriginal people. Including anti-globalization and environmental and all other kinds of movements. And all over the world. And sometimes means donning uniforms (or not) and carrying and using weapons and all kinds of other nasty things.

2. Some juvenile assholes (of any age) who torch a bank or blow up an oil pipeline.

Let me make it extremely clear:

I vote in favour of #1.

Those who commit #2 deserve contempt, isolation, deterrence, and punishment.

It's not impossible to transition from applauding the torching of a bank to applauding the downing of the Twin Towers. And yes, I knew some individuals who did that too. One struggles to understand their frustration and feeling of impotence. But one never ever shares it.

 

Tommy_Paine

By the way, Tommy (re your last post in the last thread), I agree with you. So let's make a sharp distinction between: (a) praise or condemn the burning of banks; vs. (b) state-organized miscarriages of justice and judicial persecution of activists. We can condemn the burning and support the judicial victims. But if they say "I did it" and want funds raised for them, tell them to go with out-stretched hands to those whose real interests they are serving - the shareholders and executives of the RBC and others of that ilk.

 

Oh, these guys are going to get a "fair trial"  just as fair as Louis Riel got, or Samuel Lount, or all those who got transported to Australia in the aftermath of the Upper and Lower Canada rebellions.  

And truth be known, the rebels of 1837 were kinda stupid tactically, even if their cause wasn't.

 

Some trials are more harshly fair than others, and let's make no mistake, these guys are on trial for the rest of their natural lives. 

 

One fact is in stone when it comes to our judicial system: Challenge an institution, public or private, and the law will come down on you like so many tons of bricks.  

 

These guys, remember, didn't in fact kill or hurt anyone-- mostly by design, and they got lucky nothing went wrong.   They didn't kill anyone like Micheal Bryant did.   And, their recklessness, if they did do it, is about on par with driving at a high rate of speed while drunk.  Like Rahim Jaffer.

But these guys will do twenty years when they are found guilty. 

And, they are going to be found guilty.  Whether they did it or not.

 

You cannot possibly overestimate the petty, vindictive and visciousness of our upper class when it comes to protecting their property and the institutions that keep the money and privelege flowing from us to them.

 

The tactical lesson in all this is that the only way to change things is to cost the decision makers money.  That's where they hurt, that's all they care about.

 

There are many legal ways to do this.  There are many illegal but non violent ways to do this.

Violent and illegal ways don't do this.

Unionist

Tommy_Paine wrote:
Violent and illegal ways don't do this.

Sometimes they do, Tommy. It depends on the times, the circumstances, the level of struggle, and most crucially - whether the means and tactics enjoy the support of the people.

I'm quite sure the resistance of South Africans and Vietnamese and of Afghans (today) was and is both violent and "illegal". So are a number of battles I personally have been involved in (although the "violence" may have been relatively minor). But what is crucial is the character of the struggle and its relation to the movement.

That's the crucial difference here. Individuals, acting alone, divorced from any real movement, and committing an act which all your workmates and neighbours abhor - especially the ones truly engaged in trying to change the world.

I'll say it again. The line of demarcation isn't whether it's violent or not, nor whether it's legal or not. It's whether it serves people's interests and whether it enjoys their support.

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
I think you are confusing two things: 

In a recent piece, Salutin discusses the fragmentation of the left.  An extract stood out for me as pertinent to this debate:

Quote:
The old centrepiece of socialism is either missing or under heavy, tentative reconstruction. (I'd put my money on an anarchist version.) Unions, once the left's backbone, are in serious decline precisely when most working people need a way to resist the power of an increasingly compact corporate sector.

I believe the confusion arises when we fail to comprehend the connectivities and purpose regarding the various levels of activism, failing to use whatever intensity that arises to achieve benefit from it.  The right on the other hand appear to clearly understand the concepts involved, with their appropriation of hillbilly sentiments to further political and economic objectives, which for them requires achieving power and furthering their agenda by any means overt and implied.  Given the violent history of the early union movements, the continuous struggle today against violent economic exploitation and corporate environmental exterminations everywhere, the difficulty I'm having concerns your belief that such defensive measures are well and good for others, but 'uncivilized' for ourselves because of our level of 'development.'  You'd have to honesty ask yourself why that is, once you've gained an awareness that all of these things are connected.

Tommy_Paine

 

I don't think we are dissagreeing, just speaking from different points in time.   My comments reflect the here and now. 

But yes, there are different times and contexts that would demand different tactics.

Unionist

SJ, I'm going to put this the way I would in my real life. Tommy understands exactly what I'm saying and is responding to that. You are debating with a construct of what I'm saying. I'm not interested in the slightest discussion as to whether the torching of an RBC branch was a potentially positive tactic in the (any) movement in Canada today. Perhaps you could find someone else who is less decided on that issue.

 

Slumberjack

Well, if it's 'sometimes'...as you say, sometimes where violent resistance, as difficult as it is to accept, becomes necessary, who gets to determine when?  A central committee?  Personally I don't see that we have any right to condemn what others feel is necessary and justified self defence.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

Well, if it's 'sometimes'...as you say, sometimes where violent resistance, as difficult as it is to accept, becomes necessary, who gets to determine when?  A central committee?  Personally I don't see that we have any right to condemn what others feel is necessary and justified self defence.

Well, you're entitled to your viewpoint. Where I draw the line is other societies (Aghanistan) or other sovereign peoples within my own country (e.g. FN people). I have never deigned to pass judgment on what they feel is necessary and justified self defence - as opposed to some here who, for example, spend years on the keyboard denouncing the "Taliban". Not me. I denounce the invaders and their puppets, call for us to do what we can and must (get the hell out), and never "advise" the Afghan people as to how to wage their struggle.

But when it comes to our country, our society, our struggle - I pass judgment all the time. In my union. In my community. In the movements where I militate. The reverse side of non-interference in other nations' struggle for liberation is total involvement and "interference" in our own.

There are actually real-live people who take the opposite stand. They bemoan (for example) the application of Sharia law in other countries and implicitly or explicitly support the kind intervention of superior westerners to save the women and children. In Canada, however, they take seriously the demands by some to have a dual legal system, under the guise of multicultural respect and freedom.

So - here in Canada - I give myself full rights to offer my opinion as to what is right and wrong as a tactic. It is not anyone's individual decision. When and if the struggle reaches a different level, and organized vandalism and destruction of symbols of capitalist authority enjoys the support of people, I'll be there. Today, I use the term "assholes" very deliberately. No quarter must be given to these dangerous, provocative, desperate, regressive actions. If tolerated, they will destroy any movement before it can grow.

 

Joey Ramone

Unionist wrote:

It is not anyone's individual decision. When and if the struggle reaches a different level, and organized vandalism and destruction of symbols of capitalist authority enjoys the support of people, I'll be there. Today, I use the term "assholes" very deliberately. No quarter must be given to these dangerous, provocative, desperate, regressive actions. If tolerated, they will destroy any movement before it can grow.

 

I totally agree with this.  I'm a hard working activist who has learned through years of experience that these juvenile, self-indulgent acts of violence must be thoroughly and unequivocally condemned.  We owe these assholes nothing but contempt for the harm they do to real activists.

SparkyOne

Joey Ramone wrote:

Unionist wrote:

It is not anyone's individual decision. When and if the struggle reaches a different level, and organized vandalism and destruction of symbols of capitalist authority enjoys the support of people, I'll be there. Today, I use the term "assholes" very deliberately. No quarter must be given to these dangerous, provocative, desperate, regressive actions. If tolerated, they will destroy any movement before it can grow.

 

I totally agree with this.  I'm a hard working activist who has learned through years of experience that these juvenile, self-indulgent acts of violence must be thoroughly and unequivocally condemned.  We owe these assholes nothing but contempt for the harm they do to real activists.

Me too. I was begining to think I was on a whole different level than everyone else but part 4 of these threads really made me happy. I'm glad most people are not painting these three as heroic.

 

 

Freedom 55 in the other thread (part 4) you wrote this

Quote:

I'll take the bait.

 

I do not assume that people are guilty just because the police and MSM say they are. So yes, if it's a choice between shunning someone who is charged with an offence, or standing by them to ensure they receive fair treatment from the legal system; I'll choose the latter, no matter the charge.

Does that mean if police officers or any of their ilk are accused of assault/brutality/wrong doing you will stand by them 100% assuming they are innocent until proven guilty too?

 

Stockholm made a great point in his #65 post.

Quote:
The infamous Air India bombing was originally only supposed to damage property and not kill anyone.

 

Would people be so quick to suppoprt the RBC firebombers if a homeless woman was inside when it went up?

Unionist

SparkyOne wrote:
I was begining to think I was on a whole different level than everyone else but part 4 of these threads really made me happy. I'm glad most people are not painting these three as heroic.

In fairness, SparkyOne, I and many others were condemning the asshole arson attack [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/royal-bank-canada-firebombed-ottaw... Day One[/url]. The only reason the discussion revived Friday is that they made some arrests.

Fortunately, you can search the internet and you will have a hard time finding one single activist of any reputation who will defend this horrendous act of provocation.

Oh, and Joey, thank you for your strong statement. Real activists, I've noticed, have no time to mince words when someone is trying to destroy the movement.

adharden

Glad you like the blog, Unionist.  Yes, people are upset that I have been critiquing my former student, who by the way, I must repeat I am not attempting to associate in any way with the firebombing folks.  Read his original rabble article to get a sense of the particular violent tactics he advocates - it's all out there, not a secret, neither was our acquaintance at my previous university... public rallies etc.  My job there, and his activism there, are not secret... but in response to privacy accusations/concerns raised on the earlier thread, just to be diligent, I've altered my blog....

Freedom 55

SparkyOne wrote:

Does that mean if police officers or any of their ilk are accused of assault/brutality/wrong doing you will stand by them 100% assuming they are innocent until proven guilty too?

 

 

I don't know any cops personally. No one's ever sent-out an appeal to any community I've been a part of, asking to ensure that a cop receives a fair hearing. That's the difference. If I did have a friend who was a cop, then perhaps I would, but I can't say with any certainty what I would do in this imagined scenario.

 

There is, of course, another key difference between the present situation and your hypothetical. Cops rarely get charged with anything, even when they should be; yet activists are frequently charged as a means of intimidation and harassment of individuals and the larger community.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Sorry, I haven't followed closely enough. What is the consensus? Were the accused (mis)led by provocateurs or don't we know yet?

Unionist

The consensus is that we know nothing whatsoever about the accused. They haven't filed a plea, nor in the less legal sense have they been heard to say "I did it" or "I didn't do it" yet. All we know is that some people are trying to solicit funds and support for them, saying it's going to be a "long trial". I find some people's predictive powers to be little short of biblically prophetic. The only way there can be a trial is with "not guilty" pleas.

Tommy_Paine

Well, if it's 'sometimes'...as you say, sometimes where violent resistance, as difficult as it is to accept, becomes necessary, who gets to determine when?  A central committee?  Personally I don't see that we have any right to condemn what others feel is necessary and justified self defence.

 

No, Slumberjack, it's the results that do the determining and condemning.  Now, this thing isn't technically over, but I don't see on the balance sheet where the firebombing of the RBC has been anything but negative so far, with positives difficult to see down the road, and none at hand.

 

I like to bring up the rebellions of 1837, and I do so to make people take a look at that time, and make connections to today.   

But a lot of that is looking at it through rose coloured glasses.   The results, short and long term, were pitiable.   It further entrenched the Family Compact system, which we still suffer under today.   Those that point to "democratic" reforms under Lord Elgin as something coming from the rebellion are mistaken: it came as a result of the viscious Tory reign of terror that got so out of hand, it frightened the home office in London.

And those so called "reforms" just codified the Family Compact process, and entrenched it even further.  We swim about in it like fish swim in water; it's all around us, but we are largely ignorant of its presence.

And the man who started it all, the firebrand newspaper owner who egged everyone on, pushed poor, untrained farmers to take pitchforks and old guns to face the killing machine of British Regulars made sure his ass was saved by skulking away across the boarder when the shit hit the fan, only to have his seed spawn one of the firmest members of Canada's Family Compact, Mackenzie King.

Total victory for the Tories.

Freedom 55

This has been out there for 3 weeks.

 

http://www2.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/news/story.html?id=3084994

 

I’m not linked to the firebomb attack, man who rented SUV says

Gary Dimmock , The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, May 28, 2010

OTTAWA - The man who rented the SUV believed to have been used as a getaway car in last week's firebombing of a Glebe bank says he's "absolutely not" linked to the attack.

The retired 58-year-old public servant also says that he knows nothing about the incident. He says he didn't loan the vehicle to anyone and, he added that if it had been stolen he would have reported it to police.

 

Unionist

Great, Freedom 55. Here's an un-named person protesting publicly, against his own lawyer's advice, that he was not connected in any way to this horrendous attack. I hope he's telling the truth, and I hope he is vindicated. If he needs support, he should get it, like the myriads of people in this country who have been accused of a crime they did not commit.

But let's try to keep that separate from glorifying the arson which this person says he didn't commit.

 

Buddy Kat

 

The whole thing is too self serving to me. First we have a fire bombing that causes no casualties done at 3 am in the morning. Its video taped and no sooner than you can say (G-8) the government is spending more than a billion on security, and using this incident as an excuse. They catch them days before the summit and find large mil style ammunition without the means to use it. With government agents now on the internet screaming terror over spilled milk..it just makes it even more suspicious.

 

If framing and breaking laws were illegal for police to do I would swallow it all hook line and sinker but because it’s not beneath them to actually frame and break laws. ..it creates a big question mark over anything that serves them. Now they have 3 marked activists that are probably going to out be of the picture...operation successful.

 

Given that they are allowed to do this agent provocateur crap …I would have to side with support for the so called activist fire bomber. If they did do the dirty deed I cannot fault them for sticking up for what has been done to people in the name of oil. When people feel strongly about an issue they will use their god given talent or expertise, whatever that may be to express their disgust. Some are good with the pen, some are good with artistic expression and some are good with the bomb, simple as that.

adharden

 

Unionist wrote:

When and if the struggle reaches a different level, and organized vandalism and destruction of symbols of capitalist authority enjoys the support of people, I'll be there.

How much support is enough for you to jump on the bandwagon? [this last bit is a counter-question from Cytizen H]

I lose track of comments, but Unionist's quote (as quoted by Cytizen H, thanks for drawing my attention to it) perhaps delineates my position from both Unionist's and Cytizen H's.  I think in bolshevik terms, I'd be a 'menshevik'.... someone committed to attempting to change the state through attempts at social reform, or working for a party that espoused seriously tinkering with capitalism or socially transforming it toward a democratic socialism.  I for one would not be out vandalizing and destroying, no matter how much broad-based support such a hypothetical movement would have... I would strongly disagree with Unionist in this, but agree with them when they write of the necessity for a broad-based movement, which is hampered by violent acts and tactics, which for me run all the way from smashing, hitting things/people, throwing stuff, and destroying to arson...

I believe in the creative potential of nonviolence... which, when sufficient momentum is built and not hampered by acts of violence, can help inspire people (In India perhaps the nonviolence had so much attention that it in fact overshadowed the violent resistance; in South Africa the international momentum weighed more heavily than violence used by SA fighters in my mind; and violent resistance has not been helping things in Israel-Palestine, where international co-ordination a la SA would doubtless help, along with the US having its head screwed on anywhere close to straight - but these three examples are hardly comparable to protesting for social transformation in NA/Europe, I simply allude to them as thought experiments..). 

Those who look down on nonviolence claim it is 'ineffective' - and the arguments around effectiveness are quite to the point.  I think that Cytizen H wants to believe that the firebombers had some kind of effectiveness, even if putting issues on the 'radar' - I completely disagree with this.  Even if the issues are 'out there', associated with the arson/firebombing, they're out there for all the wrong reasons, where the mainstream (or as a right-wing media commentator recently quipped, 'lamestream') corporate media are only too willing to help associate marginality and violence with legitimate concerns in social movements.  So, when the cameras and reporters inevitably turn to the violence at the upcoming G8/20, the public will be invited to associate violence with questioning/opposition to what the G8/20 represent.  I wonder at the possibilities of a unified nonviolent opposition, which would have so much more, even tremendous inspiration and force, as opposed to the fragmentary politics of some using violence, holding back and tarring the broader movement.  These questions are apart from the firebombers, though, at least in my mind.  We can only hope that nothing approaching that level of brazen violence will be on show at the G8/20, but I strongly suspect that it won't only be provocateurs inciting and doing violence next weekend.. which, I agree with Rovics (from the US), is heavily ironic.

Unionist

Adharden, I never advocated violence of any kind. I do, however, recognize that it happens and is sometimes justified. If your opposition to violence is absolute, then we must part ways, because I don't support victims offering their neck to the slaughter at the hands of imperialism and fascism and other violent forms of oppression. Having said that, nonviolent forms of resistance, civil disobedience, etc. are powerful and revolutionary tools when used appropriately. Individual acts of hoodlum violence, terror, etc. are counterproductive and frequently instigated by those against whom such violence is allegedly directed. The Reichstag fire is only one of the best-known examples.

 

NDPP

and 9/11 probably another..

Acceptable Parmeters Or the Dialectics of Resistance

http://arabwomanblues.blogspot.com/2010/06/acceptable-parameters-or-dial...

"It is not so much stripping you of your voice, it is not so much stripping you of your individuality, it is not only about censorship and acceptable frameworks, it goes beyond that...It is stripping in order to mold you into an ACCEPTABLE DISSIDENT..."

skdadl

Unionist wrote:

 If your opposition to violence is absolute, then we must part ways, because I don't support victims offering their neck to the slaughter at the hands of imperialism and fascism and other violent forms of oppression.

Sophie and Hans Scholl?

I agree, the White Rose didn't start the immediate uprising that Sophie imagined, but history is long, and over sixty years, those brave young people have had immense and increasing influence. (The words I bolded are the words that made me think of the Scholls, because that is literally how they died.)

adharden

Cytizen H wrote:
Hi adharden.

Just want to say. Although I disagree with you on a lot of things, I want to say that I absolutely support the kind of post you've just made. I think I've said this before, but I think it is great that you advocate for non-violence and I hope you continue to do it. As long as you do it without dragging other activists through the muck.
One thing in this post I'd like to comment on though:

adharden wrote:

Those who look down on nonviolence claim it is 'ineffective' - and the arguments around effectiveness are quite to the point.

I don't think this is incorrect. But just to be clear, "those who look down on nonviolence" are not the same as those who support DoT. DoT neccessitates a diversity, which includes non-violence.

Thanks Cytizen H for the kudos, though you already know my beef with diversity of tactics (there is a part 2 to that post in the link before these brackets) - the notion that in attempting to 'refuse to judge', one in fact tactitly supports or condones violent tactics which are accepted because they are part of the 'diversity'. In effect, it's impossible to 'refuse to judge', and yes, that involves some pointing of fingers at tactics, and when they're defended, at people, too - why I got into it with my former student...

Unionist

Skdadl, I agree with you, and that's far from the point I was trying to make. I was simply saying that violence is necessary and justified in given circumstances. I never said the nonviolence, by itself or as an adjunct, was powerless. I believe I said the opposite. And even when it comes to "victims offering their neck", that can be done violently as well as the way the Scholls did. Example: the heroic martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. They knew they had better chances of surviving by trying to escape than by standing and fighting. Does adharden support or oppose their violence? And the other examples I gave (Vietnam, Afghanistan)? These are not questions for this thread, but they are life and death questions on their own.

skdadl

Unionist: Ok. I'm with you otherwise all the way, except for where you slip in brief allusions to the national question, at which point we're kinda 50 per cent.  ;)

SparkyOne

Freedom 55 wrote:

 

I don't know any cops personally. No one's ever sent-out an appeal to any community I've been a part of, asking to ensure that a cop receives a fair hearing. That's the difference.

So guilty until proven innocent depends on who is accused. I don't mean to twist your words this is what it sounds like you are saying.

 

 

 

Cytizen H wrote:

 

 

NOBODY GOT HURT? Asking this question is like asking "would people support it if they had placed a giraffe in the bank?" They intended to hurt no one and no one got hurt. Banner drops have the potential to be dangerous, so do marches. There are a million reasons to criticize the firebombing withour resorting to hypotheticals.


My point is, "no one got hurt". So people like you are okay (to various degrees) with these actions.
If someone would have burned to death it would have been second degree murder but this was just a bank and since no one got hurt then it's not that big of a deal? They didn't mean to hurt anyone after all. Only what you don't consider is other younger more impressionable activists thinking this is acceptable behavior and next time someone decides to fire bomb something maybe just maybe the bank or starbucks won't be as empty.
How many drunk drivers that killed people do you figure meant to actually crash and kill people? This is like suggesting drinking and driving isn't that bad so long as no one gets hurt.

skdadl

It is predictable, not just hypothetical, that in most institutions -- both institutions one might like (hospitals) and institutions one might not like (banks) -- there will be workers present at any time during the night. That's when buildings get cleaned, eg.

Unionist

skdadl wrote:

Unionist: Ok. I'm with you otherwise all the way, except for where you slip in brief allusions to the national question, at which point we're kinda 50 per cent.  ;)

Half a loaf.

 

skdadl

Unionist wrote:

Half a loaf.

Quote:
Half a loaf, half a loaf, half a loaf onward

Into the Valley of Death rode the six hundred ...

Sorry. I got carried away for a moment there.

Unionist

... so did the six hundred...

Cueball Cueball's picture

unionist in last thread wrote:

cueball wrote:
I don't really give a fuck about bank property.

It's so interesting to learn about people's architectural tastes. One tries to teach one's children about the injustices of the world, the struggles of people here and every, how resistance is justified, how protest and action are constant, how the collective matters... I guess we should have added to that,"Oh, and it's ok to take down the evil Twin Towers, as long as you're pretty sure no one is in there, but hey, if someone gets hurt, shit happens, it's the revolution y'know, and all the boring old-fashioned means have failed."

Is that what I was talking about? Because I thought in the context of Vaudree's snipe about showing solidarity with abortion clinic bombers, I was pointing out that target selection also has an ethical value. In this case a bank is a "for profit" enterprise that does little else but act as conduit for making a small number of people wealthy, whereas an abortion clinic is for all intents and purposes a hospital serving the essential health needs of the public.

You may have noticed it but in war zone new reporting that often it is the case that reporters make special mention of attacks upon health care facilities. This is because the building itself has an "ethical" value because of what goes on inside of that building.

Now that I have explained this point, perhaps you can re-read your post and see why it

makes

no

sense.

In fact, I will assert that razing a bank to the ground, as long as no one is harmed, is probably of net benefit to society. Even though, in this case there is collateral political impact that probably makes it a net loss to society. Best case scenario would be if the bank were converted into an abortion clinic.

Freedom 55

SparkyOne wrote:

Freedom 55 wrote:

 

I don't know any cops personally. No one's ever sent-out an appeal to any community I've been a part of, asking to ensure that a cop receives a fair hearing. That's the difference.

So guilty until proven innocent depends on who is accused. I don't mean to twist your words this is what it sounds like you are saying.

 

 

No, that's not what I said at all. You are indeed twisting my words.

Cueball Cueball's picture

A cop will always get a fair hearing. Indeed if you are the former Attorney General of Ontario, the hearing can be dispensed with entirely.

SparkyOne

Cytizen H wrote:

Look. I am by no means calling these people heroes.


No one has came right out and said they are heros but that's the feeling I'm getting from some of you thats all.
Quote:

But I'm not going to shed any tears for RBC.

Do you know who is also not shedding any tears? RBC.
Quote:
Like I said, there are many really good reasons to criticize the firebombing. A lot of them have been argued very persuasively by several people above.
Yes it's being over done.
Quote:
But the "someone could have been hurt" argument, for me, holds no water. If you think property destruction in and of itself is wrong or bad, then fine. That is, of course, a valid position.

Your choice. Your not that worried because the bombers got lucky and no one was hurt. I know your story would be different if someone did. I just think it's liek drinking and driving. "Whats the big deal no one got hurt?"
Quote:
Your point about impressionable youth is well made. Although I think we'd have seen it by now.

What do you call facebook groups and people calling for the community to flood the court room and "support" the bombers? Okay, maybe I shouldn't have through youth in there. Just impressionable people.

NDPP

I find the hysterical discombobulations of some of the anti-bombers somewhat protracted and distinctly unpleasant. Let the filthy state do its own dirty work dispensing justice and loudly proclaiming just how beyond the pale these 'terrorists' are. I assure you the official lynchmob will handle everything quite to your liking without  cheerleading them on. There is something unseemly and unsettling about hearing battery chickens cluck 'they deserved it!' as the 'unruly' ones are taken to the chopper for pecking at the farmer.

Freedom 55

SparkyOne wrote:

What do you call facebook groups and people calling for the community to flood the court room and "support" the bombers?

A shameless lie. The lies and distortions in this thread are really getting disgusting. No matter how many times you are corrected, some of you insist on slandering people and misrepresenting the truth.

Michelle

Not sure if this has been posted already, but this is an excellent article.

Quote:

Suddenly – and without the slightest bit of input from activists working on these issues for months or years – a tiny group of individuals changed the whole dynamic of these movement-building projects. Suddenly, pressure has been taken off RBC and the Canadian state, and instead the pressure has been on activists to disassociate themselves from the FFFC attack. Suddenly, the authorities have been handed an all too convenient pretext to justify intensifying surveillance and repression directed against activists in general, and Indigenous activists in particular. Suddenly, radical activists who have been trying for months to reach out to working-class organizations to build an anti-corporate alliance against both RBC and the G8/G20 found their efforts undermined, given that most workers understandably recoil against the foolhardiness of firebombing a building in a residential neighbourhood.

Most activists have, with good reason, been outraged at this inept and self-defeating attempt at manufacturing a supposedly ‘militant’ media spectacle. Some activists, however, have been muted in their criticism. In some cases, they made a point of refusing to condemn FFFC at all. Why this hesitation? It seems clear that what is holding back some activists from speaking out against the arson tactic is that they remain committed to the doctrine of ‘diversity of tactics.’

Diversity of Tactics

In one sense, everyone on the activist Left favours a diversity of tactics. If all that anyone meant by diversity of tactics was that our movements should make room for a variety of approaches to organizing protest, with some opting for more militant and disruptive tactics, and some opting for more low-key and non-confrontational tactics, such as conventional marches or rallies, then who could object? But for most of the people who use this expression, the diversity of tactics doctrine has a very different meaning. In essence, what it means is that one sector of the activist Left, namely those who identify with the tactic of media-spectacle property-destruction, should receive a special exemption from public criticism by other activists, no matter how badly their choice of tactics undermines the organizing efforts of others on the Left. It seems clear that no radical activist would deny that when a social democratic politician, NGO activist, or union official does something foolish and short-sighted, which undermines months of movement-building work by other activists, it is perfectly legitimate for others to subject their actions to critical scrutiny, and to voice their criticisms and insist on accountability. But, in the name of ‘diversity of tactics,’ many people believe that certain kinds of self-styled ‘radicals’ should be exempted from this kind of criticism. The diversity of tactics idea is supposed to serve as a kind of “Get Out of Accountability for Free” card. Unfortunately, this doctrine of ‘anything goes’ threatens to leave the entire activist Left defenceless in the face of the irresponsible and politically disastrous tactical blunders of a handful of individuals.

(h/t Judy Rebick)

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

Not sure if this has been posted already, but this is an excellent article.

Laughing

It has actually been posted [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/royal-bank-firebombed-ottawa-part-... before[/url]! But it's worth a third posting.

 

adharden

Michelle wrote:

Not sure if this has been posted already, but this is an excellent article.

 

-absolutely - that hits the nail on the head, in my view - I hadn't seen it yet, thanks Michelle....

Slumberjack

I disagree with that article.  It's a summons to capitulation when you consider that everything gained is being systematically rolled back and beyond what they once were, and protests to that end are met with an outrageous appropriation of public funds that are intended to finance the beating of people in the street where required.  They've adjusted exceedingly well over the last few decades to public pressure and pacifist tactics.  It's long past time for an entirely different approach to the issues.  The left as we know it is part of the problem, because they give every indication of refusing to truly acknowledge the scope of what is confronting humanity whenever they speak of compromise and coexistence with it.

SparkyOne

Freedom 55 wrote:

SparkyOne wrote:

people calling for the community to flood the court room and "support" the bombers?


A shameless lie. The lies and distortions in this thread are really getting disgusting.

[Please forward to friends and allies]

Quote:

URGENT COURT SUPPORT NEEDED SATURDAY 9:00AM IN OTTAWA

Saturday, June 19th
9:00 a.m.
Courtroom #6, Ottawa Courthouse
Elgin @ Laurier
Ottawa

Three people arrested in relation to Ottawa RBC Firebombing 

On the morning of Friday, June 18th, 2010, three people were arrested in connection with the May 18th firebombing of an RBC branch in Ottawa. At least two of the people arrested were picked up by plainclothes officers. The police have been searching their homes. Plainclothes and uniformed officers were seen going inside their homes, and police cars were seen parked outside. It is not known what they are being charged with, although media outlets have indicated they will all be charged with arson related offenses.

Until we are able to confirm further details, we won't be releasing the names of the 3 arrestees. But the arrested individuals are all well known, dedicated public organizers committed to working for justice on a variety of issues. 

Please come out tomorrow morning to show your support for these three arrested individuals. We are concerned that the Crown may ask for highly restrictive bail conditions or attempt to prevent their release entirely. 

More updates will follow, as details emerge. Right now, the most tangible way you can support these individuals is to join us at:

9:00am
Saturday, June 19th, 
Elgin Courthouse (Elgin & Laurier)
Courtroom #6

 

 

What exactly am I distorting? What exactly is the shameless lie?

Is this article you posted NOT asking for people to fill up the court room and offer support for the fire bombers?

Papal Bull

You know, that firebomber could've done something creative. Vandalized the shit out of the bank, for instance. Posted up difficult to take off stickers, used some white glue and water and plastered the windows quick time. Set off a coloured smoke bomb in the ATM area.

 

But that person did not. That person potentially put the lives of workers at risk. There is no creativity in that, only stupidity. Violence is an absolute last resort. Violence is that precarious point between survival and...not-surviving. Using it 'liberally' (heh heh heh) discredits the application of force. It makes things less legit, more scummy...criminal without recourse to righteousness.

 

But as long as the never-lift-a-firebomb armchair revolutionaries are happy...hey! They only have what is best for people at heart! A martyr in a snuggie!

SparkyOne

Freedom 55, CitizenH. This is what I think is happening.

Some activists firebombed a bank. Because no one was hurt so some people think YAY heros! It's not even really a crime is it? It's just a bank. Easy to see them as a faceless evil entity.

Then it's we should support these brave activists, brave revolutionaries. Only surprisingly, lots of people say what the fuck? Are you serious you want us to support people who just threw a fire bomb? Then the theme changes a little.  Backs off. It's no longer support the activists but support citizens who are entangled in the corrupt justice system! We don't support what they did........ but we support anyone who is stuck in the legal system.......Yea that;s it. But then it's not even anyone and everyone, there are still clauses.

My little red herring, support a police officer accused of whatever? God no he's probably guilty anyways. and even if he isn't he's still guilty on some level.

Support Karla H? No of course not thats not even the same thing.  What about a black man accused of raping a white woman. I don't recall seeing public messages to flood the court room for support.

CitizenH you said you don't buy the "What if people were hurt" line? Well I don't buy the "we just wanna support someones rights" line. People are changing their tune after seeing the lack of support for standing behind these arsonists thats all.

Freedom 55

SparkyOne wrote:

Is this article you posted NOT asking for people to fill up the court room and offer support for the fire bombers?

 

 

No, it's a call-out to support the arrestees. If you can't grasp that this is more than just a question of semantics, then I don't see any point in trying to discuss this with you further.

Krystalline Kraus Krystalline Kraus's picture
Michelle

SparkyOne, I don't think the callout is asking for people to support "the bombers".  They're asking people to support the people being ACCUSED of doing the bombing.  I didn't see support for the bombing in that callout, nor did I see them say that the three people accused did the bombing.

If, god forbid, I were ever wrongfully accused of something like that, I would hope that my friends in the activist community would also come together to support me, help with my legal defence, and show up in court as moral support.

And I'm going to say something else that's a bit controversial, maybe.  If I were so misguided as to do something like that (not that I would - I'm firmly against violent tactics), or anything else illegal that has me arrested and up on charges, I might also be grateful for the support and love of my friends, and help navigating the legal system, even if they disapproved of what I did. 

There is more than one way to look at such a call-out, other than supporting the bombing, or supporting what "the bombers" (if they are the bombers) did.

Joey Ramone

I completely agree with Judy Rebick.  She speaks for me and lots of other activists in her excellent article.

Unionist

Michelle wrote:
If I were so misguided as to do something like that (not that I would - I'm firmly against violent tactics), or anything else illegal that has me arrested and up on charges, I might also be grateful for the support and love of my friends, and help navigating the legal system, even if they disapproved of what I did.

I would support you, Michelle, as a friend (well, cyberfriend anyway). But I would also very specifically and publicly condemn your action - not just because such an arson is legally or morally wrong, but because of destruction it can wreak on the movement and people's lives. That's the distinction that I wish both Freedom 55 and SparkyOne would comment upon.

 

Unionist

Joey Ramone wrote:

I completely agree with Judy Rebick.  She speaks for me and lots of other activists in her excellent article.

The article is actually by Steve D'Arcy and Syrah Canyon - Judy merely reprinted it and expressed her full support for it. Having said that, I agree with all four of you!

 

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