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Forum Post: Chris Hedges calls Black Bloc "The cancer in Occupy"

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 6, 2012, 12:41 p.m. EST by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"The Black Bloc anarchists, who have been active on the streets in Oakland and other cities, are the cancer of the Occupy movement. The presence of Black Bloc anarchists . . .is a gift from heaven to the security and surveillance state."

"The Black Bloc’s thought-terminating cliché of “diversity of tactics” in the end opens the way for hundreds or thousands of peaceful marchers to be discredited by a handful of hooligans. The state could not be happier. It is a safe bet that among Black Bloc groups in cities such as Oakland are agents provocateurs spurring them on to more mayhem. But with or without police infiltration the Black Bloc is serving the interests of the 1 percent. These anarchists represent no one but themselves."

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_cancer_of_occupy_20120206/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Truthdig%2FChrisHedges+Chris+Hedges+on+Truthdig

111 Comments

111 Comments


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[-] 3 points by Stower2422 (5) 2 years ago

Ok, so to start out with, i do not believe or support Black Bloc tactics. As a student of history, i do not believe such tactics have any hope of success unless the vast majority of the people already stand behind the movement utilizing such tactics. The comparisons to South Africa or Ireland i've seen are nonsensical because of that major difference: most americans, even if the implicitly agree with the basic premises of OWS, aren't in a rush to be out there in the streets with us. Generally speaking, they still don't see it as their fight. The way to change that is to continue to impress by drawing out the disparity between the peaceful protest and the repressive corporate government.

That said, i'm not here to argue whether or not Black Bloc tactics should be used. This is a consensus-based movement, and unfortunately if you decide to be stubborn about your choice of 'tactics', we can't do anything to stop you. Well, that's not true, as you'll stop once the rest of us stop coming out, after we no longer want to be associated with the image of the movement you've created. Think about that.

However, as a means of buffering public perception of the Occupy Movement among the rest of the country, and drawing upon the type of community-building solidarity this movement lives off of, I think it would be great if some enterprising soul set up a fund to help alleviate the costs of the Black Bloc tactics on the local community. Saw this come out of Portland tonight: https://twitter.com/#!/occupyoregon/status/166714129200054273/photo/1 This a no good. A Local small business victimized by Black Bloc tactics directed at 'the capitalist machine' or whatever b.s. they were thinking. Sorry they haven't abandoned the capitalist economy and moved into a utopian commune yet, but they (owners and employees) are the 99% just as much as us, and they are trying to make a living. A busted window isn't exactly welcoming to customers, and is surprisingly expensive to replace. This helps no one, and hurts us all. If it were a Bank of America, i probably wouldn't care too much, but obviously this is different.

I Think it would be a great way to mitigate the harm caused by these actions if we set up a fund to help pay for repairs for incidents like this, perhaps managed by a working group or something. Or at least have people boots on the ground to collect the information so people such as myself can perhaps call, apologize, and send a check to help with the costs...

Anyone else think this might be a worthwhile course of action to look into?

If so, catch me on Facebook (Stephen Tower, Brooklyn Law School) or by email stephen.tower at brooklaw.edu

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

"This is a consensus-based movement, and unfortunately if you decide to be stubborn about your choice of 'tactics', we can't do anything to stop you."
IMHO - not true
Has your doctor ever prescribed anti-biotics for your cancer?
This disease is one that OWS does not want to confront -
even if the solution is staring us in the face. We are addicted to the religion of cocainsensus.
Kick the habit - simple cure!

[-] 2 points by timirninja (263) 2 years ago

its really hard to combine opposition parties together because they have different views. People of OWS are uniquely different from one another. i say: no right judgment to Oakland protesters, - but sure we can say people of west coast more united and ready for radical change rather then protesters in the east.

[-] 2 points by ruthandrews10 (2) from Inglewood, CA 2 years ago

Chris Hedges really gets it. This article really touched on a lot of problems. I'm all for the movement. Out of work and its the first of the month. I dont have money for rent. Ya, we're living a good life in the USA.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I agree with this post completely. I understand the frustration in Oakland, and in many places in this country. I understand the rage that would lead people to riot. I agree that this movement owes much to the anarchists, who were among its founders and are among its most stalwart adherents.

I think the question is one of what is to be gained, on the one hand and what is to be lost on the other. What is to be gained is a release of frustration and rage. What is to be lost is the support of the majority of Americans.

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

Very true.

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[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

We do not own other people, that means we do not own others actions. OWS is OWS. Black Bloc is Black Bloc.

You can not join them at the hip just because you would like to.

Two different movements protesting at the same time at the same place does not in fact support action in concert.

It is what it is. Two different protest groups at the same protest. Free country remember?

Deal with it!!!!!!!!!

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

I'm talking about public perception you know, that 99% you people claim to represent. But okay. You just keep saying OWS and Black Bloc are separate. We'll see what happens to your support. Gods some of you people here are dense!

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

No some of you people are too ready to scrap good work over someone Else's bad behavior.

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

They are not "someone else". Here in the West OWS is the Black Bloc and vice versa. But okay. You keep thinking that one has nothing to do with the other. Good luck with that.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Believe what "you" will. I can not change your opinion. You need to come to your own awakenings/realizations. As I'm sure you feel the same about me.

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Another good way of putting it.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thank you again. It is what it is ( I keep hearing that saying more and more ). A simple expression of truth for today's world.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

You're on a roll, lol!

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thank you. Apparently I am experiencing a moment of blessed rap-ore?

Oops, lost it didn't I.

[+] -4 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

LOL!

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thank you. I like to bring laughter where I may.

Unfortunately I am not always as funny as I think I am. So thank you for helping me live my fantasy.

Too far... I knew it just one to damn many times.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Hey. You made me laugh again! And, after today, on this forum, that is a good thing...

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Good. It's the tough day's that it gets very important to find a little............laughter. That "is" what I was going to say.

That's my story and I'm stickin to it.

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

That distinction will be lost on public perception, even if it were not true. The fact is that Occupy Oakland has not publicly denounced those tactics, but rather has embraced them. I don't want to waste time marching with people whose actions are hurting the cause.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It is my understanding that the Oakland people are urging a public denouncement. Everyone else I talk too already do denounce it. I will not own what Black bloc did. Neither will any true supporter of Occupy & 99%.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Black Bloc is a tactic, not a separate group.

http://nplusonemag.com/concerning-the-violent-peace-police

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You must have missed my other post where I admit profound embarrassment but go on to denounce the tactic.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Oops, guess I must have. Sorry.

Still, you should read the response to Hedges by Graeber. While I don't agree with all of it, it helps put things in perspective, I think.

[+] -4 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Well said !!!

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Well thank you very much. It is kind of nice to hear that I was successful at being coherent and not actually sticking my foot in my mouth.

Thanks again.

[+] -4 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Yes. It's a touchy issue, as we can see.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Occupy and 99% movements will have to keep defending on a greater and greater basis as time moves forward. The status-quo need to disrupt us if they can.

[-] 1 points by harold12 (3) 2 years ago

The cancer in the progressive ranks: left gatekeepers (corporate or gubmint) such as Chris Hedges.

Sure Chris, let's take the spotlight off the extremely violent Oakland Nazi cops and put it on a few "protesters" (quite possibly undercover cops themselves).

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

It wasn't Chris Hedges who took the spotlight off the brutality of the Oakland police. It was the actions of Black Bloc (or police posing as such) that prevented the spotlight from shining on the police. Hedges simply pointed out the obvious.

[-] 1 points by matthewrichards (0) 2 years ago

I posted this under Chris Hedges's article:

"I'm an anarchist. I've been involved with my local occupy from day one. I contribute my time and resources to occupy. I slept in the park every single night, and sometimes did night watch. I got arrested alongside libertarian, progressive, and socialist comrades when the police raided our tent city. I mic-checked the President, was one of the first there whenever there was a call for action, and I risked my neck trying to break people into a Republican debate from the back.

I find this article incredibly offensive and degrading.

The contributions of Anarchists, including black bloc anarchists, to occupy protests around the country is tremendous. Groups like the Anarchist Black Cross provide legal aid, medical, barricades, non-violence training, and other resources, but they get nothing but scorned and attacked in return.

It's time for us all to stand in solidarity and stop turning against each other. If you want to pick an enemy, the enemy is the system which gives obscene amounts of cash, resources, and power to the 1% at the expense of ordinary citizens. Fight against that system and work to educate those who unwittingly uphold it.

~Matthew Richards, from Occupy New Hampshire. (I speak for only myself.)"

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

Yes. Yes and yes! Of all the salient points in the article, the greatest and most obvious was near it's end: there is a process that must be exhausted. We must proceed methodically toward our goals and not skip any steps in doing so. We claim the moral high ground and must act as a morally sound movement. If we do not proceed in such a manner then we simply become that which we abhor.

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

I like that point too. I think this stage of the process is bringing awareness and gaining broad support from the public. In their impatience to have revolution, and have it right now, Black Bloc will simply insure that it will take much longer to make changes.

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

What if Occupiers in the immediate area where the Black Bloc are at an action simply began a chant of "Black Bloc leave! Black Bloc Leave!" That would allow others involved in the action to know of the presence and location of the Black Bloc. Who knows? Perhaps some Occupiers might choose to then take some direct action against the Black Bloc on their own, whatever that might entail.

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

It would be better than nothing, but I doubt that would be enough to salvage the Occupy name. Local Occupy's vary in their outlook, but evidently Oakland does not have a non-violence consensus. In fact, for their most recent FTP event, they basically said, don't come if you are inclined to interfere with Black Bloc.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/oakland-to-host-ftp-event-saturday-evening-black-a/

Some people showed up wearing white though, which could be a good countermeasure.

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

I've spent a little time considering this: if Occupy Oakland insists on going against one of the founding principles of Occupy - NONVIOLENCE - then I think they need to rename themselves and the sooner, the better.

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

I don't know if it was technically one of the founding principles or simply widely advocated. Oakland does has a non-violence caucus. I hope they can take charge and get a non-stupid action consensus.

[-] 0 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

Way to go TN. You must remember Steppenwolf's Monster? Listen to it if you haven't lately. It honestly gives me the creeps.

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

As a matter of fact I just listened to it the other day! Thanks for your support regarding my stance on the Black Bloc and Occupy Oakland's violence.

Edit: I have another tune you might want to listen to: "Same Old Wine" by Loggins and Messina on the album 'Kenny Loggins With Jim Messina Sittin' In' (often simply called 'Sittin' In'). It's available for download on most of the music sites.

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[-] 0 points by LloydJHart (190) from Vineyard Haven, MA 2 years ago

Chris Hedges Has Made a Big Mistake.

Instead of calling the Black Bloc a cancer Chris should have examined where the expression that collects in the Black Bloc is coming from. Why are people that identify with the Black Bloc expressing themselves this way? I tend to try to find some understanding. I identify with the Black Bloc because nuclear power killed my father and made me and my sister sick. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t want to smash something that would stop the madness.

Chris hedges unfortunately is desperate for an occupy movement that squandered all it’s public support and hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations on an absolutely non-confrontational protest that changed absolutely nothing. What Chris doesn’t get about the public is that they will support someone that is willing to fight for them like the militant unions of the 1920s and 1930s but when Occupy chose not to say what they want when the world asked them “What do you want?” and then went side ways like all liberals, Occupy lost the moment and is now finished and not trust worthy. Chris is just upset and hasn’t realized that Occupy is just another progressive failure and he is looking to scape goat in the Black Bloc instead of joining the Black Bloc as the next natural evolutionary reaction to the wide spread poverty created by the democrats and republicans and their pals in the pentagon and on wall st..

Well fuck you Chris, your a fucking asshole.

The Black Bloc are the only ones responding appropriately to the madness all around us. If you can’t see that your blinded by your own comfort.

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

Odin, your post was at the end of the nesting so I'll reply here.

It is understandable why Oakland, who has experienced more than its share of hardship, would be the place to boil over. I don't want to be harsh to the people, but I do want to be tough on the problem of tactics which hurt the movement.

Yes, I saw that interview with Hedges. Excellent. Now I am reading his book Empire of Illusion. It is great.

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[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

Please take a moment and split your comments into two columns. In one column, put all the references to how the BB relates to OWS and in the other, how BB relates to those outside OWS.

You simply have one column that identifies the bad of the problem and one column that places the good on outsiders.

You seem to be under the belief that somehow, this can rid your body of the bad cancer that inflicts the movement, however, just like cancer in our human body, it destroys the body, not the imagined cause of the cancer.

Perhaps your post would have more value if you simply stated "The Black Bloc ararchists are the cancer of the Occupy movement and represent no one but themselves". NOW, how do we deal with it.

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

Just to clarify, all of my initial posting are quotes from the Chris Hedges column at the link provided. I agree with him wholeheartedly however.

I'm not quite following your comments I'm afraid, except to say that I agree that the question now is how do we deal with it.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

Your relating cancer to this problem simply brings me to look at today's situation.

Cancer is being treated all over this country and in most cases, to little success. ie OWS vs. Black Bloc.

In the meantime, researchers have spent years and uncounted amounts of money to identify the source, cause, reason for the disease.

I merely suggest, that in comparision, OWS has only the option to treat the disease and to do it quickly. Looking for the cause etc is an entirely different thing. NOW, how do we deal with it. (Us, today, now, without waiting for research - after all, it is a killer).

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

Okay. Thanks for helping me understand your perspective better.

What are your thoughts about possible ways to deal with it?

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

You, ironically, may find out that you need help from the very people that you have been condemning, namely the police.

They would take those guys out in a minute if they had a worthwhile reason based on a worthwhile cause. It is February 6, can you give them to them either, or have you let the cancer progress too far and denied any remedy that the researchers now provide (Police assistance)?????

I really believe that, so to speak, the ball is in your court.

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[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

OWS is bigger than Black Bloc, no? I think the movement can find a way to handle this problem since it's not really a cancer (it is a metaphor.)

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

Certainly the movement of people is bigger than Black Bloc, but without denunciation of Black Bloc tactics, BB can poison the name Occupy. It may be that the movement will continue, but under another name and with some structural changes.The nature of the consensus process allows a tyranny of the minority. If BB wants to burn flags and engage in vandalism, let's just let them do that by themselves, without crowds of peaceful demonstrators joining them.

[-] 2 points by rayolite (461) 2 years ago

Yes, perhaps BB has already poisoned the occupy name. I'm wondering if the sincere Americans here ought to try and revive the Tea Party because its crazy to support a group that doesn't overtly defend the constitution while using (abusing) constitutional rights if we need real change.

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

The Tea Party name may have been poisoned as well. My understanding is that movement got hijacked by the extreme elements as well.

My hope is that through some of the groups working on a constitutional amendment to get money out, some liberals and conservatives might be able to connect.

[-] 0 points by rayolite (461) 2 years ago

Well, they seem to use only misinformation.

http://movetoamend.org/publications-talks/allison-and-allison-climate-corporate-personhood

:If Congress or the state legislatures actually proposed such an amendment, the final step would be ratification. Article 5 specifies two alternative routes to ratification, the choice between them left to Congress: ratification by 3/4 of the state legislatures, or ratification by special conventions in 3/4 of the states.:"

Article V says this-

" as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress;"

If the states are passive, then congress chooses.

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

There is nothing in Article V which suggests that any body other than congress has the power to choose the manner of ratification.

"May" in this context does not mean 'might' but rather expresses that the power to choose is given to the Congress. It is a somewhat archaic and formal use of the word, so perhaps that is the source of your misunderstanding.

I can understand why you questioned the conclusion of the writer, but to claim that the site only uses misinformation based on one sentence which you took issue with is quite an unfair charge. One might even say that you are spreading misinformation about the group.

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 2 years ago

I've proven wiki wrong. Here is Article V and I've sat down with a retired federal attorney and he agrees, that IF 3/4 of the states hold conventions, it is AUTOMATICALLY an Article V convention AND that they can ratify at 3/4 of the states agreeing on amendments.

Do you really think you can say that "may" means "that the power to choose is given to the Congress"?

If that was the intent, Article V would say that. Many, many people with huge investment in the language signed the constitution. It is a huge diminshment of fact to suggest a "writer" is responsible. Article V IS an codification of part of the Declaration of Independence.

— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

So how do reconcile the right to alter or to abolish of the Declaration of Independence when the congress of the government does not want to call an article V, an extension of the Declaration?

Article V The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

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

IF 3/4 of the states hold conventions, it is AUTOMATICALLY an Article V convention AND that they can ratify at 3/4 of the states agreeing on amendments.

I agree with this. I thought our disagreement was about who selects the method by which the states ratify an amendment after it has been proposed by a constitutional convention.

My reading of Article V is that after a convention proposes an amendment, Congress then chooses whether the states ratify through their legislatures or by state conventions. Perhaps we misunderstand each other.

Language evolves and when the constitution was written more than 200 years ago, the word 'may' was used in a way which one rarely sees today.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/may?r=75

For example, 'may' was used in the provisions for staggering the terms of the senate.

"The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year".

Read in this context, 'may' does not mean maybe.

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 2 years ago

I would interpret "may" there to be synonymous with "might" or perhaps "can", but conditionally limited. It seems that the word "may" indicates a default when another, higher power does not act.

Basically I see this. When 3/4 of the states are acting and ratifying, what they are doing IS the highest power in the land ever. If, they are not ratifying successfully, but working on it, and congress is in agreement, then they can choose to define a more effective method of ratification.

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

Well, this is the first time this has been done, so I guess we'll find out when we get there. And we will get there.

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Look, nothing this important is ever easy. Giving up on the movement sure is not the answer. I honestly think the movement can overcome the influence of Black Bloc in an organic way.

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

That would be preferable. What are your ideas about possible ways to do this?

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

I am not an organizer and I have never really thought about anything like this before, so I would hesitate to say much. I am more of a issues person. I do think "less is more." Like a woman with her make-up, sometimes too much is not a good thing. Maybe fewer actions that are larger and more focused in scope such as an Occupy the Supreme Court against Citizens United event.

Black Bloc, I believe will disappear because I think most Americans will have nothing to do with it. It will remain a small fringe group and now that the light has shined upon it OWS should take that as an opportunity. Word is out. Black Bloc is not OWS.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I believe you are mistaken. Black Bloc is a tactic, not a faction, of OWS. It was designed to maintain anonymity among protesters, since everyone would dress the same, wear hoodies and possibly even masks to protect their identities from the local police. David Greaber's excoriating response to Hedges was right on the money, as far as I'm concerned.

http://nplusonemag.com/concerning-the-violent-peace-police

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[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

What are the founding anarchists of the movement saying? I haven't been paying attention, sorry.

While that post could have been better, ultimately, asking people to wear a certain color is not asking them to engage in violence, is it?

[-] 2 points by nobnot (529) from Kapaa, HI 2 years ago

I do not want to ever belong to any group that requires me to wear a uniform.A hat or a tie.

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 2 years ago

I was told by a very experienced activist that they consider all black garbed activism to be CIA inspired. They used the term "black shirt activism" because of the prevalence of black tee shirts of activism.

They insisted that all the activism that had visibility was basically promoted by the CIA or other subversive (ha!) unconstitutional groups.

[-] 1 points by nobnot (529) from Kapaa, HI 2 years ago

As long as we fight against injustice I do not care who promotes it. Feed the hungry.Shelter the homeless.take care of the sick,ETC.

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

I'm not into that either.

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

RW is right. OWS & OO have not denounced the tactics, they have embraced them.

In the context of the Black Bloc, asking people to wear black is asking them to show solidarity with the black bloc.

[-] 1 points by nobnot (529) from Kapaa, HI 2 years ago

I don't and won't belong to any Scab Army.Put the rocks and bottles down.Black is for funerals and priests

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Has everyone been wearing black to occupy events?

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

Saturday night in Oakland, most people did, but a few showed up in white to show non-solidarity with BB. (This is my observation from watching the livestream.)

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Anywhere else that you know of?

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

I haven't heard of any large scale Black Bloc anywhere other than Oakland. More just a smattering of them mixed in. I didn't check in to the solidarity with Oakland actions in other cities after the J28 smack down though.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Okay. Well, let's hope for the best. Let's put forth our best here in this forum. Let's hope the police do their best. Let's hope the protesters do their best. We have 22% of our children living in poverty. Let us not forget that.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

And Oakland has suffered from police brutality and corruption for years. The Feds are threatening to take over their PD, and to add icing on the cake, the California Supreme Court has made it harder to prosecute police wrong-doing. We should have understanding for all of that, and more, but we should not condone violence or vandalism. In my view OWS should come out publicly and denounce Black Block and violence, and follow it up with a call for peaceful marches throughout the country.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Yup. Oakland has a lot of problems and if violence is going to erupt it will be in places like that. Sad, but true. Let's keep working and hoping.

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

Yes, and with your local group. My local Occupy, (Albuquerque), has agreed in principle to non-violence and we are deciding on specific wording, probably based on MLK principles or those of Veterans for Peace.

There is also an unOccupy Albuquerque who sees thing differently though.

I am very glad that Chris Hedges spoke up on this issue because I think he is greatly respected by a great many occupiers.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes I am a big fan of Mr. Hedges. He covered some of the uprisings in Eastern Europe, and is very knowledgeable about these kind of things. I may have already asked you, but have you seen his three hour interview on CSpan? It is well worth the time.

What happened in Oakland is bound to happen again because a lot of people have experienced a tremendous amount of pain because of the 2008 melt-down, and it is unfair to judge them harshly, minus BB. As long as it is just a small part of the occupy campaign, we should be able to weather it. Even under the best of circumstances though, things can get out of control especially amongst our younger supporters. It takes a lot of discipline sometimes to remain peaceful especially with an over-zealous police force which many in the country are.

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Agreed.

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[-] 3 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

It is not just about what they think is violent or non-violent, it is also about the public's perception (you know, the 99%) of Occupy. As bad as things are for a lot of people in this country, there are millions upon millions who are perfectly comfortable. Unless things get a lot worse in this country, protesters who are beaten after destroying public property are going to illicit a lot more of the "they got what they deserved" response. And that will only serve to give all of Occupy a bad image.

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

Agree completely. Perception of the movement is absolutely critical. That's why the 'they started it' whine to justify vandalism is childish. Our actions must be above reproach.

[-] 1 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 2 years ago

Does sound Chicken Sh-t to me.

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

Perhaps the issue isn't so much non-violence or not, as non-stupid, self defeating, or not.

How is BB keeping people safe from the police? Vandalism, flag burning, chanting 'fuck the police' is more likely to put people in danger than to keep them safe.

[-] 1 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 2 years ago

I do not care much for BB myself,but the people were in danger before the nuckelheads started.And will be in danger if they stop.BB is irelavant and not represenative of the message.The movement will not die due to or inspite of BB if people belive our message.

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

Yes. Thanks for pointing out her comment.

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Okay, I'm confused. Is the Black Bloc an actual group of people or simply a tactic? Because, in Hedges' article he seems to be referring to it as a group of people.

And, jart seems to describe it, in your quote above, as a tactic.

[-] 1 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 2 years ago

A tactic that people prone to violence identify with.Sort of an anarchist Brown shirts.

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[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Was that perhaps a rhetorical request?

And your statement, "They are using direct action to create tensions with the police in an effort to start a civil war." seems very extreme. I'm just not seeing that.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

You should read the link that RoadWarrior provided above. OWS is not interested in appealing to the mainstream. They would rather have a small protest that focuses on Direct Action, with people that do not mind the potential for violence that might occur using Direct Action tactics. Than to have a really large protest that is peaceful. Thus the need for Blackbloc tactics.

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

I'm going to hope for the best at this point, April. Chris Hedges' article is a move in the right direction. Let's see how things unfold and we can continue to discuss.

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

I don't know really know the end game, yet I agree with RW that there has been a slow, but distinct shift in the types of news articles here. The types of images and rhetoric I've seen lately seem designed to incite further destruction.

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

The movement has had to transition from the actual camping occupations to more direct actions and I think you are seeing some growing pains.

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[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

My personal take on wearing black: Is that in America Black is a traditional color of mourning.

So it would seem to be apropos for a protest ( peaceful ) about what is happening to our country due to the manipulation of the corrupt/greedy.

Perhaps wearing a black arm band on a white or light colored shirt would be more easily identifiable.

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

In the context of a protest action, it is a symbol of the Black Bloc tactics.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

No I deny their right to claim or your right to defame.

Black is the color of mourning in these here United States of America.

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

You can do that, but the public perception will remain. They will see the scarey folks in the black hats and turn away.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

That is why I prefer Black arm bands on white or light colored shirts.

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

Yes, that could be a good look. The light shirts would prevent looking like Black Bloc.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

We must seek separation from those who would promote violence. We can not stop them from attending, we just don't need to support them or be perceived as such.

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

Until OWS deals with these violent people then the entire organization is tainted. Most people will not distinguish a difference. Why should they? You could all wear pink and if you still let the anarchists tash property, throw rocks at police, hold shields with the anarchy "A" painted on them, the ENTIRE movement is tainted with those actions. Wishing it away won't work.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

I like your idea, DKAtoday.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thank you. I think it would be a good statement. Peaceful too.

[-] -1 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

I hope you are right BW. The anarchist, anti-Semite, radical fringe will be, at least I hope, marginalized into oblivion. Do you remember the Steppenwolf song, "Monster/Suicide/Americaa"? The 1970 live version is awesome. Check out the words and it applies to today in a creepy way. I've had it on my iPod for years and have to listen to it when I get down about our direction. Btw, it was one of the first L.P.'s I had and it is scratched and crackly, but doesn't skip!

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Hi Kirby. I was too young in 1970 to remember that song, lol, but I just listened to it for the first time. An anti-Vietnam War song. Very Cool. Thanks.

It does apply in a creepy way, but back then in 1970 we were in the midst of the phony Cold War, you know? We were fearful of our "enemy." Today, we know exactly what we need to do and who the enemy is. We are not necessarily afraid of our enemy although we do feel powerless. First and foremost we need to get money out of politics and I think this can definitely be achieved non-violently.

I actually don't think there is a need for any violence to accomplish what we need to do here now, nor will Americans go for that, and that is why I think any violence will disappear organically.

[-] -1 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

You are right. I believe this is all fixable, and my positive spirit always hopes we can do what is best for humanity. One thing that I do every week, is have a lunch with my buddy who turns 95 at the end of the month. He has seen things that are unbelievable, and sad, and good. But along with the horror he always looks to the positivity of humanity, and the strength, oddly of the west. His doctoral dissertation, in 1940, was titled "East meets West: can we meet?". he has a perspective that we do not. But we have a much larger population now too.. Anyways.. You take care.

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (19197) 2 years ago

Interesting, Kirby, one of my dearest and most intellectually compatible friends is a 93 year old. We spend hours talking history, politics, religion, you name it. She's brilliant and she's seen it all. She was my grandmother's best friend and now she is one of mine.

Stay positive. I'm trying to, amidst a lot of negativity. Peace, Kirby.