Thanks for putting this up. I feel like piling on the black bloc now and getting them out of the occupy movement. They have done far more harm than good.
I was on the city liaison team for Occupy LA (hated by the black bloc) and helped to negotiate the arrangement by under which we were able to have a peaceful, legal encampment for 2 months on city hall park and get a resolution of support from the city council. The black bloc was always opposed to any such negotiation and arrangement, but that didn’t stop them from moving in once it had been obtained.
That first night, Oct. 1st, the city wanted us to move the tents to the sidewalk between 10:30p and 6:00a to comply with park laws. Since our forces were still limited, the GA voted to comply for now. It was a tactical decision. I said at the time that once we had a couple hundred tents we could do differently and we did. The black bloc disagreed. It was a question of “principle.” Please preserve us from such “principles.” When security insisted, they tried to have security disbanded, saying we didn’t need “police” in the movement. Later they refused to move their tents to make room for a farmer’s market that happened every Thursday on city hall park. Still the city was accommodating, moving the farmers market across the street for 7 weeks even though the vendors complained they were losing money. (Are farmer’s market vendors a part of the 1%?)
I tried to teach these young “radicals”, using the experience of “legal” Marxist in Russia, that such compromise and the peace it allowed with the city would allow for a tremendous growth of Occupy LA in a very short time, and it did. Within the first month we had over 400 tents, 500 occupiers staying over night, many more during the day and the largest encampment in the country.
If the black bloc had had their way, there never would have been a legal encampment in Los Angeles, because they certainly weren’t going talk to police or city official to make it happen. If they had their way that first night, it most likely would have been scuttled that 1st night. I told them that first night. “You want to keep your tents on the grass? You want to make park laws the issue? Diversity of tactics? Fine! Los Angeles has many fine parks. You want to do that just pick another park and you’ll have our blessing.” They didn’t go anywhere.
Why? Because they are a parasite. They are a cancer. They need a host to survive and that host today is the occupy movement. Before the encampment and the city liaison team was undermined and overthrown by their continuous assaults, the city’s time table did have us entirely off of city park property until Jan. 31. That was the city’s time table, still open to negotiation.
I have written much more on the eviction of Occupy LA and the role of these “radicals” in “helping us out.”
1 of 5 essays on the eviction: Did 1st Amendment protect OLA encampment @ City Hall Park?
2 of 5 essays: Was DHS behind the eviction of Occupy LA?
3 of 5 essays: What’s the real reason Villaraigosa kicked us out?
4 of 5 essays on the eviction: The Demonization of Mario
5 of 5 essays: How Occupy LA got itself evicted
Comment by Clay Claiborne (@clayclai) — February 8, 2012 @ 12:21 am
Better than even money cops are the movers in this bb. Typical of their tactics.
Comment by Eustacius — February 8, 2012 @ 1:17 am
bunch of fucking hypocrites
Comment by Hank — February 8, 2012 @ 3:13 am
I’m glad to see Anonymous saying this, but I gotta ask: How can we really know that when “Anonymous” says something, that it’s the Anonymous? And not just some random Anonymous who’s figured out how to imitate the “legitimate” Anonymous?
Comment by David — February 8, 2012 @ 3:14 am
Comment by purple — February 8, 2012 @ 4:10 am
Anonymous is basically Black Bloc of the internet. Breaking windows doesn’t hurt the system? Okay, well, neither does DDoS’ing websites.
And David, there is no “legitimate” Anonymous. Anyone who cares to take up the mantle of Anonymous “is” Anonymous. Which is another way that Anonymous and Black Bloc is similar. Note the fact that both Anonymous and Black Bloc make a point to operate under anonymity. They wear masks in public. They engage in pretentious posturing. The only thing that differentiates between the two is that Anonymous uses technology rather than brick-throwing, which gives them the advantage of actually being useful sometimes, when the more skilled and capable Anonymous get to work. But most of the time it’s just stupid fourteen year olds DDoS’ing websites.
Comment by Hank — February 8, 2012 @ 4:12 am
Weirdsville. I get the feeling at the moment that I’m part of someone else’s video game.
Comment by RED DAVE — February 8, 2012 @ 4:18 am
Well, go suck cop dick if you agree with that. If you want to be a revolutionary, act the fuck like it. Black Bloc was around before Occupy and while be around long after.
Comment by Mikhail Rodsky — February 8, 2012 @ 7:00 am
“Well, go suck cop dick if you agree with that.” Can anyone say, “hypermasculinity”?
Comment by Bob Allen — February 8, 2012 @ 11:07 am
hypermasculinity? lol, for the cop getting his dick sucked or the person sucking the dick?
Comment by brian — February 8, 2012 @ 2:13 pm
It was well spoken until it turned to chest thumping,
“Consider this an act of diplomacy before we start doxing your asses all over the internet and paying special attention to personally ruining your lives. You have a choice, abandon your pathetic ineffective and counter productive tactics and join us, or step aside, or risk the wrath of legion. [...]”
“[...]If you travel like a gang and attempt to intimidate Occupy we will get all up in your base finding all your secrets and wiping out your dudes. We are everywhere, we are hidden in plain sight, we will follow in the shadows, we will circle you like wolves, and if you slip, we will devour you without mercy. You will not know friend from foe, and once injected into the hate machine, we will periodically reintroduce you to it. You will not know peace again for a very long time.”
Suggesting the black bloc be targeted (violently?) by the movement is a waste of energy. Black bloc tactics can likely most effectively be dealt with by ignoring it and letting it turn back on its self through “Lifestylism” and “hyperpurity” as suggested in the Chris Hedges “The Cancer in Occupy” article. It should simply be exposed (like this blog!) and isolated through democratic means of the larger movement and handled no differently than any other provocateur or anti-democratic tactic in a mass movement. These youth need to be given an opportunity to reform their thinking and rejoin the movement.
Comment by aaron — February 8, 2012 @ 2:41 pm
Black Bloc may have been around before Occupy, but the only time you see them is when someone else (who isn’t hiding behind a mask) has the balls and initiative to take political protest to the streets.
Comment by David — February 8, 2012 @ 4:00 pm
Comment by Tom Cod — February 8, 2012 @ 4:30 pm
Hey, Mikhail Rodsky, what you knuckleheads don’t see is how you are all getting royally effed in the arse by the cops. If that is what you enjoy (getting beat up by the cops over and over again) then be our guest and do it on your own time, not ours.
More advice: Don’t waste your time posting here or similar sites. We’ve all had long experience with your kind of pseudo-”revolutionary”, self-preening antics to know that that in your mind, this is all about You. Not the masses who are the real victims of the capitalist crisis.
We are NOT INTERESTED IN A RERUN OF THE 60S AND 70S, just because you weren’t around to live through the “glory days”.
Comment by Matt — February 8, 2012 @ 6:34 pm
Hank, I do not claim to be an expert on Anonymous or Black Bloc, but from what I’ve seen, the “legitimate” Anonymous is selective in targeting sources of real power, and they/it have also gone on record in support of Occupy; Black Bloc shows up only when there’s a crowd of considerably braver and vastly more principled souls big enough to lose themselves in so they can throw rocks and set shit on fire. By their actions, they clearly are not supporting or helping Occupy. To suggest that they’re similar is like saying Rush Limbaugh is “similar” to Mumia Abi-Jamal because they both have penises.
Comment by David — February 8, 2012 @ 10:05 pm
David: it is worth noting, however, that Anonymous, like those who describe themselves as Bloc, do reserve the right to act autonomously, and this can be problematic in relation to Anonymous, too
For example, as someone, perhaps Hank, noted on my blog, Anonymous released the personal information of a number of Oakland police officers, such as home addresses and phone numbers, after the police assault on Occupy Oakland in late October, causing some difficulties with people who were understandably alarmed at the personalization of the situation, an action that, interestingly, was consistent with, and feeds into, the efforts of some anarchists and others involved with Occupy Oakland to place confrontation with the police front and center, as with the subsequent “Fuck the Police” marches
indeed, they may all be on the same page here, as I have never heard Anonymous go beyond anti-authoritarian pronouncements and present a class conscious perspective
I’d also suggest that you listen to the latter part of the video, if you haven’t already, as Anonymous appears to be afflicted with the same testosterone disorder as the Bloc
Of course, I agree that Anonymous doesn’t hijack protests and place participants at personal risk as some in the Bloc have done, but the manner in which Anonymous conducts itselfs brings its own problems
Comment by Richard Estes — February 8, 2012 @ 10:24 pm
Anonymous is part of the same spectrum as Assange and Bradley Manning. The movement is just getting started. Check out Assange’s manifesto on the utter corruption of academia to the military complex and you’ll get an idea of mindset of the people behind Anonymous. It’s not 14 year olds DDS’s at its core.
Comment by purple — February 9, 2012 @ 12:37 am
Erm, once again, anarchists created the Occupy Wall Street movement, although obviously it only took off because anarchists (unlike crusty marxists) knew how to do something that would echo with the broader masses.
Sometimes I think our mistake was in creating something so open that liberals and Marxists could come along, dominate it in most cities, and then attack us and try to expel us. We should probably have had more black blocs, to show that we were seriously militant, not appealing to middle class pacifists, but to the truly oppressed and excluded, who are ready to riot and attack the powers that be.
Comment by Karen — February 10, 2012 @ 12:42 am
Ah yes, also, anyone can make a video and call it Anonymous. The majority tendencies within Anonymous are not snitches and would support confrontational tactics.
Comment by Karen — February 10, 2012 @ 12:43 am
Sometimes I think our mistake was in creating something so open that liberals and Marxists could come along, dominate it in most cities, and then attack us and try to expel us.
Maybe they should have required loyalty oaths.
Comment by louisproyect — February 10, 2012 @ 1:01 am
“Sometimes I think”, is perhaps an appropriate beginning because it is the lack of clear thinking that creates obstacles out of opportunities. when “an activist” comments that “our mistake was in creating something so open” the revelation is much more than intended I’m sure.
First off, who is “We” who makes the mistakes? Exactly where is “we” coming from and going to? Inquiring minds want to know. This problem with who is “we” and just where “we” is wanting to go is the essential problem with so-called activists or go-called anarchists. Fact is that everyone is “going somewhere.” When many “everyone” want to go, or feel they should go “somewhere” the problem then becomes defining both the goals and choosing the vehicle. And that is first where we run into problems with the myriad “deciders” who take it upon themselves to decide “our mistake was creating something so open.” Just how do “we” decide on goals and tactics and strategies and alliances and whether or not to toss rocks or epithets? If “one” thinks about these issues, the answers are not far from hand.
I think that when we peel this onion, the truth will make our eyes water. First, when “we” considers excluding someone or some political trend such as Marxists, “We” has assumed the mantel of “the decider.” Assuming that “the movement” grows, these decisions by “the deciders” take on their own dynamic. Strangely, the decisions of “the deciders” become the goals and directions for thousands who are not “the deciders.” What we really have then, is a tiny nucleus of self-appointed “deciders” who are calling the shots for all those whom “the deciders” have deemed worthy. This is the classic dream of a petty-bourgeois. We saw this even in the Tianamen movement. If one watches the videos of the self-proclaimed leaders, it becomes quickly obvious that in their minds “It” is all about them. They were just making a statement, they had “something” they wanted to get off their chests. Like a child screaming for candy while trapped in this grocery cart while the parent shops for dinner. And that is the essential problem with all self-appointed “deciders:” They are the self-appointed children pointing at the candy and throwing a fit (or something else) if “they” don’t get their way. They do not have a clue where they want to go. “They” just want “it” (the warts of capitalism) “to go away” upon seeing their mighty tantrum. Theirs is truly an infantile disorder as someone has noticed previously.
Fact is that the planet has a rendezvous with destiny. It will either continue with the capitalist vision as informed by its apologists and henchmen, or it’s going to be able to move on to an equitable economic system based on, of all things, Marxist theory of value and commodity production. Its either planned or it’s capitalist, baby! (Or, maybe our “deciders” have a new, improved system they’d like to turn us on to?) Even the baby in the cart has to find a way to put the candy on the shelf. Those who can’t be bothered with thinking about such things are actually saying that they have no issue with how that candy gets on the shelf just as long as enough babies can get their piece of candy and it does not bear a billionaire’s sinful finger print (as they scribble on their “Jump off the factory roof ipad). Just how it is that the imperialist candy bar, which is the is the object of their eye, is connected to mass starvation of about two billion people or deforestation or the devastation of the global rural economy is just beyond these “deciders” who have “created” a movement that should exclude Marxists because “the deciders” have their eye on a different, undefined ( for now) candy bar.
Just on a hunch, I’ll just guess that our “cart babies” will choose the new, improved capitalism. And that is why they have a problem with a (their?) movement being too open that even a Marxist can come in and suggest that cosmetic surgery is not going to get rid of capitalism’s warts. Our cart babies think that if only mommy and daddy hear their tantrumthat all will be well, they will find a truly trustworthy leader who “gets it” and reforms the evil empire that is keeping the candy away. Or, as the 1850 French lumpens proclaimed: “vive les Saucisses!”
As we know, those ignorant of history are prone to witnessing it again as a farce. Suggest that the “new deciders” openly put their cards in the table and proclaim either their will to power whether that be capitalist or communist, or whether they are comfortable with a little cosmetic surgery So capitalism’s face does not so offend their sensibilities.
Bottom line, rock throwers are either impatient children or agents provocateurs.
Comment by Eustacius — February 10, 2012 @ 10:07 am
Hi hope you are well. On the news yesterday I saw a photograph of about a dozen marines with the Americans flag and underneath the American flag the Nazi Waffen SS flag. So when these people get deployed on the streets what exactly will you do? Are you going to go into training and learn twenty ways to kill with a knife? Are you going to fight them hand to hand on the street? If you lower yourself to their savagery when all is said and done you will corrupt yourselves and be a shallow mockery of yourself little better then what you were originally trying to destroy. War and violence has never stopped war and violence. Don’t become the beast in trying to destroy the beast.
I too do not like middle class pacifists; for three main reasons. First they are liberals. Liberals give a token effort and go along and feel that they have done what their duty to the cause. That is they’ll donate to some organization a sum of money to a non profit and they’ll write some letters to congress or get petitions signed. After the minimal effort they think they have done their part. Secondly they tend to be reformists and not for revolutionary change. Reform is good. Thanks to the IWW and others we got child labor laws, forty hour work week, and other good things. However these things can and are being taken away. Revolution is permanent changed and a quantum leap better when it is positive. The focus of revolution in the world should be the destruction of the capitalistic and imperialistic system we have in place and a better system to replace it. Finally a lot of these people aren’t for real. They’ll talk about things racial equality to give an easy illustrative example. They’ll have diverse people in their homes and socialize but they won’t go into the neighborhoods where they live. You want to tap in on some revolutionary energy go into the inner city. Just do it with the right wisdom of accepting these people as equals and understand you can learn from them. We have a group in NJ called Peace Action. We protested the war in Montclair for a very long times. Out of the thousands of members a dozen showed up. Faith without deeds is dead. Or to break it down if you believe in something you should be willing to act on those beliefs.
The greatest revolutionary to ever live was Jesus. You probably can’t deal with that as so many lies have been done in his name. Like in the USA both genocide of the Natives and the brutal slavery were both falsely based on the Word of God. However perhaps look into somebody like Woodie Guthrie. Not perfect but a great American especially for a pale face. Personally I love Chief Joseph the best.
By the way why don’t you use your last name? I believe enough in what I say to do it openly for all to see. When they throw me in jail for it I’ll just carry my cross.
Comment by john kaniecki — February 10, 2012 @ 2:50 pm
It is foreseeable U.S. activists in the future that occupy government and other property (and) violate State or Federal laws will be charged by U.S. Government with supporting International and or Domestic Terrorism; incarcerated in Indefinite Detention and or prosecuted under United States Code 18 Sec. 2331 (appear intended (i)“to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion…” Any Violent-Occupation or Protest even if caused by agent provocateurs, can potentially play into the hands of individuals, law enforcement and corporations that may want America turned into a Police State. Note below the United States Code Definitions of Terrorism: Almost any criminal or physical act can be used by U.S. Government or Police to charge a person or group with advocating, supporting or committing terrorism. Considering these laws—only idiots or provocateurs would advocate violence or destruction of property.
The terrorist laws below are broad and vague and can be used by Government an Police against anyone which makes it easy for government, police and provocateurs to set up or frame anyone for being involved in or connected to terrorism—perhaps for no other reason a Citizen or group dared challenge or question government policy.
Where U.S. Government appears headed with the Patriot Act, The National Authorization Act of 2012 and introduced “Enemy Expatriation Act” that would let Government Strip Your Citizenship without evidence or a conviction—to have Congress grant U.S. Government (The Executive Branch) Power to arbitrarily arrest, charge and or Indefinitely Detain Americans that participate in 1st Amendment activities as supporting terrorism or being combatants; provoking, supporting or being Belligerents; or threatening National Security.
18 U.S.C. § 2331 : US Code – Section 2331: Definitions of Terrorism
As used in this chapter -
(1) the term “international terrorism” means activities that -
(A) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended -
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by
intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass
destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of
the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum;
(2) the term “national of the United States” has the meaning given such term in section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act;
(3) the term “person” means any individual or entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property;
(4) the term “act of war” means any act occurring in the course
(A) declared war;
(B) armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared,
between two or more nations; or
(C) armed conflict between military forces of any origin; and
(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that -
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended -
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by
intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass
destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of
the United States.
Comment by Rwolf — February 12, 2012 @ 5:55 am
You betcha dupa. Read Binh’s post on OWS and have been looking at the relationships. Black Bloc seems an obvious bait campaign. While OWS poses no real threat to the imperial state, like the Chinese party bureaucrats, the engorged DHS bureaucracy has tasked itself with creating situations that it can control and put on parade. It is what it does. Imagine many thousands of security rats with nothing productive to do and being concerned with their budget. Looking at how one becomes involved in OWS, clear that there are people behind the scene who pull the strings and determine who does what when. There is a lot of “we do this” type decision making in the OWS, where the “we” is undisclosed authority. A certain percentage of these anonymous deciders are most surely FBI, CIA, and military intelligence linked into COINTELPRO-type ops. Their reins go right back to Panetta and Gates who decide who to push into what when. While the DHS proclaims that physical terrorism is largely a non-issue now-a-days, it has expanded no-fly by 1,000 of % and ramped up its querying into Google profiles, etc., by thousands. Obviously they are spying on the diffuse left. Certainly any class conscious person remotely interested in taking up Binh’s fairly ill-conceived challenge to immerse oneself in the OWS has to be certain to create and maintain a very clear trail that stays well clear of Black Bloc and any acts that remotely can allow the DHS to come knocking. Just be aware that EVERY on-line sign-up, tweet, email, telephone call, Google search, use of credit/debit card etc., is gobbled up and indexed by the NSA’s “Carnivore” system. These things are all indexed by NSA to individual profiles as are all the street-view cameras installed by state and corporate authorities with facial recognition, etc. None of this should be as intimidating as DHS wants it to be, but it should be a note of caution to be very circumspect when moving from “protected speech” to “unprotected action”.
Comment by Eustacius — February 12, 2012 @ 4:08 pm
The video was the work of a single person claiming to represent the larger body of Anonymous. See video:
Comment by beagif — February 13, 2012 @ 9:10 am
Hope you are well. Yeah these laws are getting worse and worse. They allegedly create them to handle extreme conditions and then apply them to whatever they feel. The FISA court is great example of that. The Patriot Act is another one. It would have been impossible to create that document in the time frame after 911. It was planned and well thought out, evidence pointing that the destruction of the two towers and building 7 was a ploy similiar to the Reichstag.
When it comes to legislation that is where people who are not dedicated revolutionaries contribute. They make these things come into public light. Roosevelt is a good exmample of how things can get changed for the better if people take enough action. A great talker and politician Roosevelt did whatever he had to to maintain power. Thus he conceded to the left. Perhaps not willingly or out of good will but as strategy. Obama I am convinced would do the same thing. Except his puppet masters pulling the strings have strings of iron harder to break.
I think the best contribution the Left could do to help our comrades through out the world is to take the United States out of the picture. That is increase the output of people on the street making our just demands to the point the government can no longer focus on any venture externally.
Comment by John Kaniecki — February 14, 2012 @ 6:13 pm
Re: @23. It’s essential for as many of us as possible to openly declare that most of what the U.S. government calls “terrorism” should be supported by all decent people! (The main exception would be the sectarian violence mostly financed and promoted by those allies of U.S. imperialism: the Saudi royals!)
In particular, we need to promote and defend, inter alia, (even when we have our differences with them):
The FARC and ELN in Colombia
The New People’s Army (NPA) in the Philippines
The Maoists and other mainly-indigenous armed rebels in India
(I’m sure I’m forgetting a few here!)
Animal liberation “terrorists”
All political prisoners, except for “patriots”, who have been labeled “terrorists”, as well as those who have not (yet!) been so labelled.
I don’t have a list handy of everybody publicly labelled “terrorist” by the real terrorists who run the U.S., so the above list of comrades deserving of our support is much shorter than it should be. But, to paraphrase Malvina Reynolds. “You Ain’t Done Nothing If You Ain’t Been Called a Terrorist”.
Comment by Roger Abrams — December 24, 2013 @ 1:24 am
Matt @14: “We are NOT INTERESTED IN A RERUN OF THE 60S AND 70S, just because you weren’t around to live through the “glory days”.
There was a lot lacking in the movements of the 60s and 70s, but, compared with what came afterwards, they were a good time for social struggle around the world. The question should be how to both revive and transcend that period, not dismiss it.
Comment by Roger Abrams — December 24, 2013 @ 3:26 am
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