Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Another Note on #BlackBloc & #PropertyDamage w/in the #OccupyMovement

‎"One does not and cannot 'negotiate' with brutality, nor give it the benefit of the doubt. The moral absolute should be: if and when, in any dispute, one side *initiates* the use of physical force, that side is wrong--and no consideration or discussion of the issues is necessary or appropriate." - Ayn Rand

Black bloc should not be blamed for self defensive tactics after first being pressed by OPD. The more people who are brave enough to see the violence first hand, and get caught up in it may change their perspective. Those who use physical force against nonviolent Occupiers are wrong. Any defensive action taken is not, and should not be unexpected. It should also not be judged.

Property Damage

It is a movement against corporate greed. Why are people defending banks, coffee conglomerates, and car dealerships that are being targeted by some protesters? Personal property should be off limits as the movement is fighting for economic justice. Thus fighting for the people. Let's discuss what black bloc really is and what it isn't. That clarification must be made. Let's also continue the what is self defense conversation. I think that's the way to clear this entire mess up.

I could be wrong, but let's give it a try before we let the movement die because of it.

About the fact that property damage hurts the under paying jobs of the 99%

Yes this is is an unfortunate backlash of fighting against the 1% who is in control of many of the jobs that a catering to a systematic oppression based on the fact that people aren't being paid a livable wage. So by trying to hurt the profit of corporations, there are going to be 99%ers put in the crossfire so to speak. This is why we need to build more bridges.

If more people were willing to make sacrifices to have the movement sustain then the major actions, and some other tactics may be slightly more accepted. Not only that but I have a new question. What about how the rigid nonviolent stance otherizes and mutes the voices of those who have been systematically oppressed so long that they want to protest in ways tht you aren't comfortable with? Is this going to be how the movement becomes the house divided and the law enforcement agencies that are corrupt and the government and corporations can just watch people fight among theirselves; creating yet another distraction so that the bigger problem is not focused on and can be modernized yet again when our attention is on each other instead of corporate greed and governmental corruption?

I just want to find balance, be inclusive and work on all the problems. I don't think we should be judging each other so much as trying to understand each other. Work together instead of fighting.... That's what benefits us most in my opinion.


  1. Once again, you cut straight to the heart of the matter. Thank you for being a voice of reason.


  2. I hold true to heart eye for and eye retribution ten fold. HOWEVER you can not wind the PR war with violence. Throwing bottles is pure stupidity and does nothing positive. Laughable! A cop in riot gear against a bottle...lulz. Please stop this insanity. Destruction of property is a turn off to the masses. This also does not accomplish anything. The 1% love when the common people make this mistake. Yes I believe in fighting but I also believe in winning the war. This is a war and you have to understand this. Black Bloc can sever a purpose but their presentation is not working with people. As it has been said.. win the hearts and minds of the public and you will be far better off in the end. I am with you Bella more then you know but hey... come on... in forty years you will be much more seasoned and tempered. Be a leader and become that powerful force that you are destined to be. Sometimes in life you have to let go of something to obtain something else. THINK!!!
    Anonymous For Bella

  3. Lets take the example of the Starbucks up in Oakland that had windows broken recently. But it could just as easily be a car dealership. What happens the next day? Well, the people who work at that Starbucks have to come in, clean up the mess, call Corporate to tell them what happened, arrange to get a new window, and do something about the missing window. Are these people - the ones directly affected by the action - the 1%? Of course not. Most likely they're college kids.

    On top of which, now every night when they close up, they may feel a little less safe knowing that their coffee shop is a target. And maybe they will be too if they are seen leaving the place after hours. And remember, when you work at a place every day - even if it's only a 4 hour shift at a coffee shop - that place does become like a "home". You work there, take care of it, and have your friends their working with you. Seeing it defaced is personal to those workers whose only "crime" is trying to earn a living. And again, those workers are the 99%.

    Now, lets suppose that Starbucks in Oakland gets its windows broken 3 or 4 times. And lets suppose that Corporate decides: "You know, it just isn't worth it. We've spent so much fixing windows and adding security cameras that the shop is barely breaking even." So they close that Starbucks. Is the corporation hurt by this? A little, but they're in the volume business, they open and close franchises every day.

    Who really gets hurt? The people who used to work in that coffee shop who now don't have that job they need to pay tuition or pay their bills.

    I tried to make this point on Twitter re: flag-burning, but the same applies here. It's not a matter of freedom of speech or freedom of expression or any of that. It's cause and effect. It's predicting and anticipating the response to an action, and acting accordingly so that the movement advances. It's looking at the greater good and putting that ahead of the personal need for vengeance.

    If protestors burn things, throw things, or destroy things that gives OPD the green light to go in heavy. They've told you this. It also gives your beloved mayor the green light to tell the media you're all vandals and terrorists and whatever. You've seen this happen this week as well. It turns off people who are veterans or who simply don't agree with such tactics. And it distracts talk about Occupy from the issues you care about to fighting with the friggin' police.

    That's the effect. Is it worth it?

    I am by no means justifying OPD's actions. I was a Bay Area resident for over ten years and still consider it my second home. I really detest what I'm seeing. But you're too smart for me to sit here and believe you can't find of a better way to get things done.

  4. The idea that 'the masses' are turned off by property damage is a liberal bourgeois myth. It is one specific portion of the population which has an issue with it: small property owners, mostly white. In other words, petit bourgeois.

    I was in Quebec 2001 FTAA protests. On the bus with members of an FTQ (AFL CIO affiliated) local, we were listening to the proceedings on the radio. When the kids destroyed the fence, the people in the bus cheered. When the cops tried to demolish a black bloc presence at an anti-police brutality demo in Montreal Nord (a kid was murdered without trial by police because they wanted to arrest his brother), it was neighborhood people of color that helped us flee the scene. As long as you're not attacking the property of the already downtrodden (in which case, shame on you), you will notice the moral outrage is always coming from the people who have no stake in, or are in fact spooked by, social justice.

  5. One of the things I've found coolest about Occupy is that it cut through all social lines - age, race, religion, education, gender, income. Judging from the last remark, I guess those days will soon be but a memory. Well done.

  6. "What happens the next day? Well, the people who work at that Starbucks have to come in, clean up the mess"

    I know for a fact that occupiers tried to volunteer their help to clean up after that unfortunate broken window. Starbucks refused.

    The MSM will always portray our actions in a negative light, no matter how peaceful. Do we want allow the THREAT of negative pr to dictate our actions? Or cause us to fight amongst ourselves?

    Thanks to beautiful people like Spence, Bella, Tim, Luke, Freedom etc we have our own media now. We no longer have to bend over for the MSM crapshow.

    We can do what is right, instead of what will look good on TV. Thank you for that.

    -Jack O' Beans

  7. If you have never watched your family starve, judge not he who steals a loaf of bread.

    If you have never watched your family writhe in tear gas, judge not he who tosses a bottle in anguish.

    -Jack O' Beans

    P.S. If you have never carried a livestream for 12 hours straight, judge not he who stumbles upon your tire draining operation.

  8. The problem with humanity is, we never learn from our mistakes. We basically repeat the same behavioral patterns over and over throughout history. We simply dress it up in a different uniform or call it by a different name. Wise men and women have been trying convince the violent ones NOT to go to war for thousands of years. It didn't work then, and it won't work now.

    However, I will say this; throwing bottles at police lines is not self-defense, and breaking windows is all fun and games until some kid slips and lacerates his arm.

    Once you start to rationalize violence and make excuses for it, you're starting to tread down that slippery slope. Next you'll be rationalizing the use of violence against streamers, journalists and others who don't conform to your rules and regulations? And just like that, you've become exactly what you claimed to be against.

    Remember, the cop and the criminal is basically the same person--the CEO and the gangster is basically the same person. They wear different uniforms, but they have the exact same mentality and employ the same methods; violence, fear and intimidation.

    So, by throwing rocks and bottles at the police, you are perpetuating the cycle instead of breaking it. I know that these words won't hold an ounce of water with the cops or the criminals, but for those of you caught in the middle, know this; the meek shall inherit the earth. All you have to do is stand aside, and let the chips fall where they may. For those who choose to engage in violence (the cops and the criminals), history WILL repeat itself--they will destroy each other.

  9. the people who need to discuss what it is and isnt are the people mis-using the concept. Crowd safety is paramount. not limbic brain kicks. this movement was started as a transparent and non-violent space. those who do not respect that are infiltrators or assholes who do to want to see the collective strengthen.

  10. Sometimes the most vicious thing you can do to the OPD is to not use violence, give them enough rope to hang themselves.

    Remember, if they attack us, it only helps us, unless we attack them, then all people see of us is violence, our message is crushed.

    When you break the window of a coffee shop, you are not striking back against capitalism, you are making those who share in your cause look like terrorist thugs, no matter how it makes you feel or how justified you think it is the tactic is not only ineffective and pointless, it's harmful.

    Not all strategies are equal, and it's not enough to just look at how justified you think it is, there are also overarching consequences.

    Throwing bottles at officers only makes their show of excessive force look justified and damages the footage, they're well protected by riot gear you aren't hurting them, but doing that does hurt the protesters next to you.

    And smashing windows is meaningless, it costs nothing for millionaires to replace a broken window then it's business as usual meanwhile whatever protest is affiliated with it looks like violent thugs.

    Before these tactics were used in Oakland, Occupy protesters enjoyed broad support among small business owners who were providing food, shelter, and goods free of charge to support the movement, then Black Bloc thugs went and attacked a Whole Food store which did nothing to hurt the store owners, and devastated Occupy Oakland. People had to sleep out in the cold and endure the rain and constant night raids.

    And it is no coincidence that Oakland is on the map, but Black Bloc didn't put it there, police brutality and a backlash to it did. Black Bloc tactics is harming the backlash, when we try to edit footage and see bottles and rocks being thrown at police do you have any idea what that does to the footage?

  11. I think Spencer put it best last night: if you're going to do black-bloc stuff, have some situational awareness and don't do it on camera - the cameras are there to keep OPD honest for the people who are non-violent.

    But ... given that the Feds are about to lower the boom on OPD anyway, what is the point of giving them any kind of defense for their actions? Why introduce any "reasonable doubt" that OPD needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up? Read up on ole Sun Tzu- this is basic "Art of War" stuff.

    I think one positive step would be to change the "FTP" march to a "Recall Quan" march. That changes the tone of the thing completely - from "anti-law-enforcement" to something purely political. She's the one authorizing the excessive use of force and draconian budget cuts - and lying to the press.

    Keep the moral high ground and drive the tyrants into the sea.


  12. Fun little fact about property destruction when liberals start crying about few window it's good to educate them on who used this tactic in a political campaign not macho testosterone filled "manarchist" but the Sufragettes who fought for women right to vote and you know what despite critics of them being to radicals by the more moderate surprisingly enough they actually WON this right here is a great wiki about about the first one to successfully use the tactics sadly people tend to ignore the real dirty work needed to actually win fights

    1. damn unreliable wiki i was sure the quote was there it was a year ago sorry damn I wrote comment full of fail but anyway

      Emeline Pankhurst said
      "The argument of the broken pane of glass is the most valuable argument in modern politics."