SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE ‘BLACK BLOC’
- IT IS NOT AN ORGANISATION
- IT IS NOT JUST ANARCHIST
- IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT VANDALISM
THE ‘BLACK BLOC IS A TACTIC, USED AT PROTESTS, WHICH ANYONE CAN JOIN, SIMPLY BY WEARING ALL BLACK.
WHY DO THIS?
- AS A SIGN OF SOLIDARITY AND UNITY
- TO SHOW THAT THE PEOPLE ON IT WILL RESIST POLICE OPPRESSION
- TO ALLOW EVERYONE INVOLVED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS
- BECAUSE BLACK IS GOOD FOR ALL SEASONS, YAH?
ISN’T JUST AN EXCUSE FOR VIOLENCE?
- COMMON TACTICS USED ARE
– De Arresting (stopping the police from arresting other protestors)
– Linking up (linking arms to protect protestors from the police)
– Protecting protestors from tear gas, rubber bullets and misleading/misdirecting the police
– Avoiding/breaking out of kettles
– Property is graffiti’d, windows are smashed, or other property damage is done, on specific targets – usually corporate or government
– Violence against people or their ‘personal’ property is not what it is to be used for, though ‘private’ or ‘public’ property (of the rich, of big business and the government) is fair game .
“Property destruction carried out by black blocs tends to have symbolic significance: common targets include banks, institutional buildings, outlets for multinational corporations, gasoline stations, and video-surveillance cameras”
WHY DO PEOPLE PICK THIS TACTIC/DO THESE THINGS?
- TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM POLICE INTIMIDATION
– Keeping off a ‘domestic extremist’ register is important for many professions, and for at risk groups such as refugees
– At more energetic demos, it is important to keep each other safe from attacks from the police, or from them splitting up and ‘kettling’ protestors
- TO BE INVOLVED IN ACTIVE PROTEST
– Black Blocs have a reputation for not just doing what they are told, a key ingredient in the push for change (IF WE ALL DID WHAT WE WERE TOLD, THERE WOULD BE NO CHANGE)
– What some people called ‘Pacifist’ is usually another term for ‘Obedient/Passive/Weak’. ‘Active’ or ‘Militant’ protest is about making change and being impossible to ignore.
- TO TAKE DIRECT ACTION
– To directly affect the ‘bad guys’, for instance costing them cash by forcing them to repair their buildings.
- TO HAVE NO LEADERS
– Everyone is a leader in the ‘Black Bloc’
DOESN’T IT DISTRACT ATTENTION FROM THE MAIN PROTEST/GIVE PROTEST A BAD IMAGE?
- In short, no, the media do
- The media are the ones who pick the story. If they want it to be about protestors and police they will. If they want to bury it on page 32 they will. And if they want to tear it apart with right wing commentary they will.
- If you are being praised by the media for your protest/strike/action, you are probably not causing enough problems – the media loved the Stop The War protests and hated the Poll Tax Riots.
BLACK BLOC – UNAFRAID TO BE HATED
- Throughout history those who made change were always hated at the time, and were always described as ‘violent thugs’ – Nelson Mandela, The Black Panthers, The Suffragettes, even the Chartists
- So don’t be afraid to be hated, and don’t hate the ‘Black Bloc’ – it is just another bunch of people who want to see a better world and are willing to protect each other and actively fight for it
- Even if it is not your bag, respect that there are a range of tactics that we can use, and we should always respect each other and argue against the elites first and publicly – and with each other second and privately.
- Yes, it does scare some people more than it inspires others
- The Police can and do often infiltrate them and commit acts of violence which are blamed on the protestors
- Yes, sometimes even nutters can use it as a cover – though this is rare, and they usually get sorted out
- It allows the Police to identify and attack a specific group of people
- It allows the Police and the media to try and play ‘good protestor/bad protestor’ games