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Forum Post: A black bloc is a tactic for protests and marches.

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 7, 2012, 1:12 a.m. EST by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

A black bloc is a tactic for protests and marches, whereby individuals wear black clothing, scarves, ski masks, motorcycle helmets with padding, or other face-concealing items.[1][2] The clothing is used to avoid being identified, and to, theoretically, appear as one large mass, promoting solidarity.

The tactic was developed in the 1980s by autonomists protesting squatter evictions, nuclear power and restrictions on abortion among other things.[1] Black blocs gained broader media attention outside Europe during the 1999 anti-WTO demonstrations, when a black bloc damaged property of GAP, Starbucks, Old Navy, and other multinational retail locations in downtown Seattle.[1]

"The Black Bloc" is sometimes incorrectly reported as being the name of a specific anarchist group. It is, rather, a tactic that may be adopted by groups of various motivations and methods.[3]

Boy is My Face RED!

But that is still better than my neck being red.

Seriously who knew. I'm not a hardened campaigner of many protests, and I don't think that there are many experienced campaigners here.

Which is all the more reason that I still stand by comments I made elsewhere. We must separate ourselves from those who would promote or support or do violence.

My take on wearing black is that it is an American traditional color of Mourning. If Occupy and 99% want to wear black in mourning I have no problem with that.

In fact I think if we wore Black arm-bands to show we were in mourning for the sorry state of affairs that our Government, Country and Economy is in that that would be appropriate.

46 Comments

46 Comments


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[-] 2 points by ancientmariner (275) 2 years ago

It said 45 comments. I only count 17.

This site censorship has to stop.

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[-] 2 points by Renaye (522) 2 years ago

I'm with you! Wear black???? May as well just paint a giant bullseye on us. Like the ribbon idea though! Or black bracelet...somethin'.

[-] -2 points by skylar (-441) 2 years ago

Black? that's racist !

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Well arm bands are traditional and as such are easily recognized for what they are.

People will ask who you are mourning and you can tell them straight out - America.

[-] 1 points by Renaye (522) 2 years ago

Arm bands it is!!

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[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thank you for your understanding and support. Share your view. Please.

[-] 2 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

Where do you get arm bands?

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Good question. I'll bet a funeral home could direct us. Or a clothing outlet.

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Common apparel does make marchers "appear as one large mass, promoting solidarity". How about jeans and blue shirts?

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Do not separate us from our neighbors . Dress cleanly in the clothing of America, the all walks of life America. A black arm band on the left arm should be more than enough to show our tie to each other.

We mourn for what is happening to our Country brought on by the corrupt/greedy and we mourn for the world for these same reasons.

This is the demonstration of why we are here protesting wide spread corruption and abuse.

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

I'm game. Let's try to get black arm bands the norm at demos.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

They should be cheap and easy to get at outlets that sell Suits, Ties and accessories.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

Is it possible for OWS to reach a consensus regarding non-violence and declairing black bloc tactics as not in this movements best interests? Can black bloc be declaired a crime against OWS?

Per Merriam-Webster.com:

Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority (via mechanisms such as legal systems) can ultimately prescribe a conviction. Crimes may also result in cautions or be unenforced. Individual human societies may each define crime and crimes differently, in different localities (state, local, international), at different time stages of the so-called "crime", from planning, disclosure, supposedly intended, supposedly prepared, incomplete, complete or future proclaimed after the "crime".

While every crime violates the law, not every violation of the law counts as a crime; for example: breaches of contract and of other civil law may rank as "offences" or as "infractions". Modern societies generally regard crimes as offences against the public or the state, as distinguished from torts (wrongs against private parties that can give rise to a civil cause of action).

When informal relationships and sanctions prove insufficient to establish and maintain a desired social order, a government or a state may impose more formalized or stricter systems of social control. With institutional and legal machinery at their disposal, agents of the State can compel populations to conform to codes and can opt to punish or attempt to reform those who do not conform.

Authorities employ various mechanisms to regulate (encouraging or discouraging) certain behaviors in general. Governing or administering agencies may for example codify rules into laws, police citizens and visitors to ensure that they comply with those laws, and implement other policies and practices that legislators or administrators have prescribed with the aim of discouraging or preventing crime. In addition, authorities provide remedies and sanctions, and collectively these constitute a criminal justice system. Legal sanctions vary widely in their severity, they may include (for example) incarceration of temporary character aimed at reforming the convict. Some jurisdictions have penal codes written to inflict permanent harsh punishments: legal mutilation, capital punishment or life without parole.

Usually a natural person perpetrates a crime, but legal persons may also commit crimes. Conversely, at least under U.S. Law, nonpersons such as animals cannot commit crimes.[1]

The sociologist Richard Quinney has written about the relationship between society and crime. When Quinney states "crime is a social phenomenon" he envisages both how individuals conceive crime and how populations perceive it, based on societal norms.[2]

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Exactly.

We are protesting against criminals and bullies. To act like them is not in our interest at all.

If you need black where an arm band on your left arm to symbolize mourning for America and the world.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

What I am advocating is a declaration by OWS condemning violence as a tactic used by anyone associated with this movement and developing a strategy for dealing with those who wish to do violence. Some ideas have proposed in this forum on this and other threads including the arm bands you mention. How should we deal with those who commit crimes - acts of violence?

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Let the real Occupiers & 99% 1st try and stop vandals or violence if they can. If they can't they should help the police take them.

We are law abiding citizens. We are legally exercising our right to protest. We must not let anyone sabotage our cause.

We must let those who would do violence and vandalism know that they are working against our cause and are driving support away.

We must deal in truth and honesty, educate those who are watching, and let them see how they benefit by returning government to the rightful will of the "People".

Stress the point that we support peaceful protest "ALWAYS". Point out that we can not win if we are seen as violent vandals.

Our weapons are truth and the exposing of corruption. Our motivation is the health and prosperity of "ALL".

Yep ( even the rich ). But just not as rich as the corrupt/greedy are playing at. Rich with due credit and value being given to those who make it happen. A strong economy a prosperous economy includes the necessity of a strong and prosperous population.

Point out the fact that current Business practice has brought the world economy to it's knees.

Point out the fact that the Corporate MSM is not covering the protest spreading across our country. ( Hypocrisy )

Point out the influence and manipulation placed on our government, State and Federal.

This is a fight for educating the population with the truth, and giving good direction as to legal action that is available to be taken.

Generate awareness and understanding to those who have not yet recognized the lies and spin being used to keep them down and out of the battle for justice.

This is how we will unite in the common cause of Health & Prosperity of "ALL".

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I understand the government commits convert action without disclosure

perhaps the people took a q from them

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[-] 1 points by Chugwunka (89) from Willows, CA 2 years ago

And there it is. Some honesty for once.

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[-] 0 points by ancientmariner (275) 2 years ago

damn it! how can anarchists not know Americans will never be anarchists?

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[-] 2 points by ancientmariner (275) 2 years ago

non-violent. only and always. you guys don't know what firepower is. you just can't win that game. you cant.

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[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

OWS is not about dismantling the government. The system needs to be changed, not discarded.

If Black Bloc tactics foster solidarity, why has their presence been the most divisive issue in OWS to date?

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[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

Pretty much everyone in OWS is in favor of strategic civil disobedience. They are not in favor of random vandalism, yelling insults at police and burning flags.

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[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

I think the port and building actions were poorly executed. Poor strategic thinking.

I'm just me. I don't label myself anything. I think things through in terms of what I want to accomplish rather than be obedient to some ideology or other.

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[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

That sort of either/or, black or white thinking sounds familiar. . . . Oh yeah 'You're either with us or you're against us" - George W. Bush.

I guess nuanced thinking isn't a black bloc strong suit.

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[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

Sorry. I don't respect that sort of random vandalism. In the public perception, everyone taking part in an action will be seen as participating in or condoning the actions of black bloc. Such a perception will doom the movement.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Your heckler is a known troll with at least 40 user accounts. Please do not engage just anyone on the forum.

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[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I prefer that we know nothing about Black Bloc. I prefer we do not use it's tactics. Black bloc will only alienate people.

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[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I have no problem with diverse tactics. I do have a problem with alienating the people we are trying to help. So I do not and will not support violence. EVER!!!!

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[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Wrong Black Bloc tactics will send people away from us in droves.

We are protesting against criminals and bullies. We do not help our position to act like them.

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[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You do that shit on your own.

Vandalism is not an acceptable thing to do. You may be angry and want to show it.

That is not the way to effect positive change.

Use your anger to do something positive. Use it as motivation.

You want to really piss off your enemies??????????????

Live a "GOOD LIFE" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Use your anger to do something positive. Use it as motivation.

You want to really piss off your enemies??????????????

Live a "GOOD LIFE" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A life where you do good for others as well as yourself.

A life where you are happy and loved. Rather than one where you are alone bitter and angry.

Fight the good fight in a positive manner.

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[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Not trying to do that.

Working to reclaim it from thieves.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Boy is My Face RED!

But that is still better than my neck being red.