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Black Bloc Club

Discussion in 'Anarchism and radical activism' started by Derek Danger, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Derek Danger

    Derek DangerExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    I met this kid last year during some of the Occupy stuff that was going on. He tended to hop trends a lot and within a few weeks of being involved with some mild and disparate anarchist people and beliefs he started dressing like a crust punk, flying the black flag, earnestly and mirthlessly quoting Aus-Rotten and generally trying to "fit" the anarchist punk mould. At first, I thought this was all fairly harmless and that, 'hey, a lot of activists start out as kind of fashion-y punk kids' (I did!)...

    But now, I'm concerned.

    This kid is one of a large group of (mainly stoner/metalhead) kids who hang out in the center of the city and for whom Occupy was a "radicalising" experience. What this means is that they now wish to "fuck shit up" on behalf of anarchism.

    Finally relevant to the title of this post, my young comrade keeps talking about forming (bewilderingly) "black blocs". His naivete aside, I'm really worried about this plan of his and his friends. I asked him, "whatever do you mean about 'forming' a black bloc'? There are no protests planned for months that could get out of hand." Pressed to explain, he confirmed he had not meant an affinity group (as I thought he might), he had meant a permanently roaming "black bloc" street presence. He says the group will just go around "doing black bloc things".

    Am I right to be as concerned by this as I am? What do I do or say to this kid's weird and potentially dangerous idea?
     

  2. grinding hault

    grinding haultExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Jan 4, 2012
     
    There are a couple kids like this who recently arrived at our occupation. They hitched in from chicago and minus the fashion and aus-rotten quotes they are saying the same thing and its getting on my nerves a bit. Granted they're only 19 and still have a raging fire inside that hasn't yet been jaded, which is good, but one of them keeps saying that we need to start a "black bloc" and has no clue what the implications really are. the size of the protests and marches organized by the occupation in my town are nowhere near the stature necessary for any sort of black bloc tactics and I fear that these kids are going to get themselves into way more trouble than they're prepared to deal with.

    I'm not sure what to tell them without sounding condescending. I want to educate them more about when and when not to use the black bloc tactic but they still have that young know-it-all attitude when in reality they are first time activists. they also talk a lot about making malatov cocktails and petro bombs and I keep telling them that they can get decades of prison time for even conspiring to do such a thing here in the states. It's dangerous to even talk about something like that openly. especially considering the small city we are in. we have the second highest amount of police per capita and they have no sense of security culture.

    It's very concerning indeed and I'm just kind of hoping that they're all talk, which is probably the case. But still, the way they talk so carelessly about the shit puts them and other people at risk.
     
  3. fubarista

    fubaristaExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Nov 13, 2011
     
    I respect the kids. You only get to be young and stupid when you're young and stupid. Those fortunate enough to survive the experience will live to be old and stupid like me. :ecouteurs:
     
  4. Derek Danger

    Derek DangerExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Jan 29, 2010
     
    But this is bigger than kids making silly mistakes, bigger than a scraped knee or a misdemeanour, dude. This is kids putting themselves (for no good reason) at risk of serious injury or incarceration. Worse, as grind said, these kids have no concept of security culture and their attitude can put even very careful activists (with a lot to contribute) in danger. Things like this can undermine entire communities of activists, not to mention ongoing demonstrations and actions.

    Imagine an activist community that's having trouble keeping information safe from the authorities; what good is an influx of loudmouths bragging about petrol bombs (even with the best of intentions) going to do for that community? In some places, that little information's enough to execute search warrants, and then everybody's efforts are for nothing.
     
  5. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 8, 2009
     
    Ppl do dumb shit pretty regularly, a lot of young ppl join gangs or whatever, so if they want to form some sort of anarchist gang (which is essentially what a "roaming 'black bloc' street presence" amounts to) and go beat up corporate lawyers rather than other kids, I'm not particularly fussed. Its still not a particularly good idea though.

    The issue of security culture depends largely on what they consider 'black bloc things' to mean. I think there is some degree of paranoia over talking about illegal things, I mean people talk about doing graffiti, stealing stuff from supermarkets, doing drugs, driving stoned, etc, pretty openly and with their phones on(!) all the time and don't get nicked. Perhaps a 'roaming black bloc' would invite closer scrutiny by the State, but if they considered 'black bloc things' to mean some petty vandalism (as opposed to throwing molotovs at cops), they'd likely get some bullshit 'community service' sentence if caught. I'd not discourage people from doing graffiti or something, but I would encourage them to consider who they tell about it.
    Of course, if they want to get Chilean and start filling up fire extinguishers with black powder and strapping timing devices to them, they need to be stopped. That sorta shit is just fucking stupid.

    That depends on how much these 'activists' choose to tell or associate with this influx of bragging loudmouths.

    This is the worst bit about it all: where the fuck are these kids getting these shit ideas from? What dickhead is informing them that anarchist politics amount to dressing like ninjas and 'fucking shit up for teh anarkeyz'? I mean I've got no problems with black blocs in certain circumstances, nor some insurrectionist tactics at times; but that's what they are: tactics. Aims determine strategies which determine tactics, this sounds like tactics as aims, tactical fetishism.

    Edit: Speaking of aims, the reason we're interested in an anarchist society is primarily because, like, our lives will be better. I think often the 'activist' thing forgets that- it requires sacrifices and so on. So I think the basis for what these young kids should be doing should start from exploring how they can collectively improve their lives, 'how can we make school/work less shit?' for instance. Then again, a roaming black bloc certainly sounds more exciting than watching TV on a saturday night, so perhaps it'd give them a break from the incessant boredom of daily life. Bloody uni, have to read too much Situationist stuff.
     
  6. raindeer667

    raindeer667Experienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 10, 2009
     
  7. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    I think Derek is arguing that these young ppl actually don't understand the risks.
     
  8. fubarista

    fubaristaExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Nov 13, 2011
     
    Since when have young people been concerned about risks? Has the species mutated and I didn't notice it?
     
  9. Derek Danger

    Derek DangerExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Jan 29, 2010
     
    So what the hell does that matter? "Young people don't know any better, so it's not worth teaching them, and they ought to be allowed to do whatever they like". Shouldn't we be protecting our young friends and ourselves as well? Shouldn't safety be our biggest concern?
     
  10. Derek Danger

    Derek DangerExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Jan 29, 2010
     
    Yeah, I guess I'm being a bit cranky about all this lot. I just worry about it 'cause a lot of these kids are idiots who like to fight, and one of their first plans is to go start a brawl with a conservative activist group. Which is obviously a fucking stupid idea and worth nobody's time. I think they consider "black bloc" things to mean graffiti at the thin end, and extreme violence at the thick end. If they wanted to start a graffiti crew and fill fire extinguishers with paint, I would obviously be in favour. At least the legacy of their activism would last a bit longer than broken glass or some Christian's blood on the pavement.
     
  11. fubarista

    fubaristaExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Nov 13, 2011
     
    The really dangerous youth are the ones who join the police force. They're a menace to society. They're not only violence prone, the state gives them weapons and immunity.

    Something like seven thousand peaceful Occupiers have been arrested so far in the US. The way I see it, if people are going to get brutalized and arrested anyway, it might as well be for something as for nothing at all. Whatever these kids do, it is unlikely to subject Occupiers to any more police brutality than usual. I'm more worried about the kids being attacked by "nonviolent" Occupiers concerned about the movement's image, than about Occupiers being endangered by the kids.

    In Egypt, Greece, and Spain, youngsters are valued members of the anarchist community. Even if they haven't read the literature and don't understand the theory, if they can throw rocks at cops, they're on our side.
     
  12. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    After living through the oppression of Pinochet and all the bullshit puppet regimes that followed, having entire families disappear and murdered, being ostracized and exiled from their country...you have the gall to say that a few anarchists that had the audacity to blow up some banks and other governmental agencies with ZERO civilian casualties (other than some anarchists themselves) to you it's just fucking stupid? And you would be the one to try and stop them? :ecouteurs: Unfuckingbelievable...

    I understand what both Derek and Mark are trying to say and I believe they both have valid points, the case of the kids that were induced to conspire to disrupt the G20 by an undercover FBI informant comes to mind...I believe Derek that the best thing you could do in cases like these is befriend them and at least get them to listen to some of your concerns and site from personal past experience or case history why it is that their efforts might at a certain time be misplaced but not entirely without merit, chances are they won't want to hear it but you never know...
     
  13. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 8, 2009
     
    I say this because such devices have a history of blowing up in the face of those who place them.
    Discouraging kids from blowing themselves up, how unfuckingbelievable.

    and we're not talking about ppl in Chile, we're talking about some young ppl in Melbourne, Australia.
     
  14. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    Yeah and you made the distinction, Australia isn't Chile by any stretch of the imagination...and by the way it's been approximately 3 known cases of pre-detonation out of hundreds and only one death

    context: that sorta shit is just fucking stupid (for this 1st world country)
     
  15. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Yeah, regardless of whether or not I think its actually a good idea in Chile is besides the point (I think, for instance, the Mapuche's use of firebombing is pretty understandable), the degree to which I've got any ability to discourage Chilean ppl from doing such things is basically nil.
    However, Derek is in some position to talk to these young ppl here who, in his words, want "to "fuck shit up" on behalf of anarchism" and hence this thread is, by my understanding, for him to ask for advice on "What do I do or say to this kid's weird and potentially dangerous idea?" Thus, I'm noting that I'd discourage them from such 'fucking shit up' things as placing explosive devices outside (closed) banks and ATMs. (Which, it should be noted, isn't an exclusively Chilean thing, it happens with some regularity in Indonesia, England, Canada, the US, europe and so on)
     
  16. THEBLACKNOVA

    THEBLACKNOVAExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Aug 11, 2011
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    How about organizing an @ Café or whatever you want to call it, with workshops and inviting these new "anarchists" to the event. Oh and make the workshops relevant to the current situation in your hood and in the world today. Don’t forget to talk about the possibilities of any action taken that could ignite state repression. From the small to the grand: from participating in a food not bombs type of organization, to whatever the current hot Chilean, Greek or Oakland militant tactic is today. Be real with them, they will find the info sooner or later...

    Like this one…

    viewtopic.php?f=41&t=7953&hilit=anarcho+cafe

    But be careful what the flier says cuz people will talk.

    P.S. It would be awesome if you had a workshop on how the Chilean anarchists are the cancer of the anarchist movement, you know cuz they are doing it all wrong.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. fubarista

    fubaristaExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Nov 13, 2011
     
    Yeah, it's not like the cops & Homeland Security have to justify their budgets and try to find ways to look busy so that they can keep THEIR jobs--state repression is just an inert substance that has to be ignited.

    What I'm saying is that of course the cops will bust people for violence. But they'll also bust people for nonviolence. All cops are bastards, they're just doing their jobs, and what protesters do or don't do isn't the least bit relevant.

    If you REALLY want to protect the image of the Occupy movement, don't drink ice tea, eat Skittles, wear hoodies, be out late, venture into upscale neighborhoods, or have dark skin. Violent provocations like that can get you killed and give Occupy a bad name. :ecouteurs:

    'Scuse me. Got to get back to the mothership so they don't leave without me.
     
  18. THEBLACKNOVA

    THEBLACKNOVAExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Aug 11, 2011
     Mexico
    A cop sleeps inside each one of us. We must kill him.
    May 1968 Graffiti

    I swear to god... I hate cops to the max.
    The Decline Of Western Civilization
     
  19. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 8, 2009
     
    There's already a large number of anarchist events around town here, that's part of the point: that it seems that the young ppl have talked to anarchists here and decided they would like to form "a permanently roaming "black bloc" street presence", a prospect that Derek was somewhat uneasy about (and I think it sounds a bit daft).

    Get yr hand off it. Besides the Caso Bombas being a pretty clear case of collective punishment - "we know anarchists wot done it, we don't know which anarchists wot done it, so lets just arrest the most visible ones" yr assertion that thinking kids building unstable explosive devices ain't a great idea amounts to calling Chilean anarchists the cancer of the anarchist movement is farcical.

    Want me to quote the one about not being a martyr for the revolution?
     
  20. Derek Danger

    Derek DangerExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Jan 29, 2010
     
    I think that butch means that it's fucking stupid in an Australian context, which it would be.
     
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