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Gibson writes: "I like to compare those using Black Bloc tactics at a nonviolent protest to taking a six-year-old kid to the symphony ... No matter what you do, how nice you are, how appreciative of the music or knowledgeable of the composer you are, the crowd will only remember you for having the annoying kid with you who ruined it for everybody."

A Black Bloc protester with a sign advocating killing police. (photo:
A Black Bloc protester with a sign advocating killing police. (photo:

Cut It Out:
An Open Letter to Black Bloc Anarchists

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

22 May 12

Reader Supported News | Perspective


Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns

like to compare those using Black Bloc tactics at a nonviolent protest to taking a six-year-old kid to the symphony. You'll likely find yourself constantly apologizing to those sitting in your row when the child makes fart jokes every time he hears the tympani. No matter what you do, how nice you are, how appreciative of the music or knowledgeable of the composer you are, the crowd will only remember you for having the annoying kid with you who ruined it for everybody.

The highlight of the historic NATO summit protests in Chicago last weekend was when Veterans for Peace, joined by their families, threw their war medals in the direction of McCormick Place, where NATO generals were meeting, to denounce the senseless violence they had committed to earn those medals. The veterans also delivered a flag to the mother of a soldier who committed suicide. An Afghan woman tearfully denounced the war that took the lives of her family members. The ceremony was powerful and emotionally gripping, and showed that those members of the military rejected being sent overseas to risk their lives so the 0.1% in the military-industrial complex could profit from wasteful contracts and resource exploitation. And it would have been the media's top story and the topic of everyone's conversations if you didn't have to act like a selfish bunch of assclowns.

According to those who were there, you disrespected the veterans by chanting through the Veterans for Peace's call for a moment of silence for lives lost overseas. By starting confrontations with riot police during the ceremony you deprived veterans and their families of their moment of justice for your own selfish need to have all the attention. You didn't stop war, end capitalism, or even get close to the NATO summit. All you did was attract more riot police to an otherwise peaceful event, leading to kettlings, beatings and arrests. Way to go.

I'm willing to accept that there were likely several agents provocateurs working with the police inside a Black Bloc to incite violence. I'll acknowledge that even within your ranks some differ with others about using the most extreme tactics. And I'll denounce the police for kettling and beating protesters with unforgiving brutality. But I'm still going to say it: Your tactics do our movement more harm than good, and you need to just cut it out already.

The thing is, Black Bloc tactics actually serve the cause of the 0.1%. By making the dominant message about protesters vs. police instead of 99% vs. 0.1%, your tactics divide public opinion and turn it against the majority of those in the movement who don't believe in violence of any kind, including property destruction. Infantile behavior committed by some of you, like taunting police, blowing cigarette smoke in their faces and throwing rocks through the windows of small businesses, takes the moral high ground away from the movement, legitimizes the rule of the 0.1% and justifies the existence of an oppressive police state to the average American who we're trying to reach.

The top commenter on this YouTube video explaining Black Bloc said, "Black Bloc activists are the true revolutionaries, not these pacifists who advocate social democracy as a way to clean up capitalism's bullshit." Another Black Bloc anarchist at the NATO summit said, "We're the ones that stand up and say, 'Fuck the police.' ... We're the ones that have balls." Such ignorance exemplifies the futility of Black Bloc tactics. No matter how much you destroy or how intimidating you appear, the police state and the military-industrial complex will always have more armor, more guns, more tear gas and pepper spray than you can take, and in any standoff they will beat you 100% of the time. Cops know how to handle violence. And city governments will continue to spend millions of dollars defending them when they attack you with abandon.

Occupy Wall Street was unknown outside of our own circles until an NYPD officer infamously pepper-sprayed two women without provocation, even getting Jon Stewart to talk about the event. When student protesters at UC Davis were unjustly attacked, the world saw it and got angry. These actions forced average Americans to take the side of the victims, or at least learn more about their cause. But when your group of black-clad anarchists curses at cops and smashes windows to protest capitalism and gets beaten by police afterward, you are only justifying your own punishment by testosterone-fueled riot police eager to crack a head with a baton, and strengthening capitalism's iron grip on society.

Nobody asked you to be the self-appointed "Defenders of Dissent" at our actions. Nobody asked you to give us lessons in how to be "real activists." If you want to join the movement, join the movement. But stop dividing the movement into "true revolutionaries" and "fake activists." You aren't helping anyone except the 0.1%. Either cut it out, or go the hell away.

Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut. You can contact Carl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and listen to his online radio talk show, Swag The Dog, at

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

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Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+83 # rayd8ters 2012-05-22 16:28
You have eloquently stated my feeling too.

As one that was present, I didn't like their chants, including that all time favorite, "Who's Streets? No Streets! Break Up The Concrete!

That said, I personally witnessed (but unfortunately do not have photographic evidence) 2 CPD Black Block infiltrators.

As I stated in of my Facebook postings from yesterday:

Who were two big out-of-place looking guys I saw hanging out by (but not speaking very much to) Black Block protesters at their table at Patrillo Bandshell during the rally? One momentarily lowered the black bandanna from his face and I got a good look at him. Why, 15 minutes later (as I was heading to an ATM on Michigan Ave) did I see these same 2 "protesters" (standing over by the 50 or so CTA buses the CPD had lined up just south of Jackson on Columbus) with a couple of white shirted police captains and the one who had lowered his bandanna speaking into the walkie-talkie microphone attached to one of the white shirted policemen? Why did I later see these same two "Black Block protesters" running down State Street in front of the BB contingent, shouting BB slogans through bullhorns?

That's when I bailed and headed to the "L". I had a feeling bad stuff was comin'...
+20 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-05-23 10:10
Fully agreed with the analysis (cannot vouch for the facts).

If the Black Bloc were really anarchists they would not need to piggy back on organized and quiet protests - they could (they should) do their own protests and then live with the consequences.

That supposed anarchists join bigger groups means either they don't know what they are doing (I wouldn't put that past some of them) or they have an ulterior motive.
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 12:14
Great comment.
+3 # Ducky 2012-05-23 14:53
Bad stuff? What do you call the lives and money, that our last president/vice presidennt, ruined by invading Iraq?
+2 # Dion Giles 2012-05-25 20:53
So all other offenders should get a free pass?
+15 # geraldom 2012-05-23 21:34
After watching law enforcement abuse against peaceful protesters for too many years, and I include the 1968 Democratic National Convention in that statement, probably telling my age, I firmly believe that people have the innate right to defend themselves, to fight back when attacked, but not to instigate any violence.

I condemn anyone that instigates violence, including the police, and if a police officer is attacking me while I'm peacefully protesting, I have the legal right to defend myself against any harm. It gets me so angry when I see police officers hacking away at protestors with their truncheons and not one protestor attempting to defend themselves.

When the Greeks went out protesting and the police attempted to break their bones, the protestors, as a group fought, back bravely, and the police were a little more hesitant about getting too close.

I'm sorry, but at some point, peaceful protestors need to start fighting back if only to defend themselves. Did you notice that the police did not attack the large group of war veterans throwing away their medals in protest of the illegal wars of aggression by the U.S. and its proxy army in Europe, NATO, as part of the Chicago protests? I think that the police knew that if they would have attacked even one of the war vets, that the rest would have jumped in to defend him. We would have had a small war on our hands if the police would have done that.
+2 # jimyoung 2012-05-24 22:03
It would be interesting to see if real veterans forsake violence and provocation as much as I think they do. I believe they have earned moral authority that should work to make police think twice about abusing them. I don't think it is due to fear of their reaction so much as knowing they are not the anarchists, or in any way plausibly explained as "terrorists," that can be casually attacked.

Do the Black Block (and or other sponsored provocateurs) keep a respectful distance from the Vets? Perhaps my fellow Veterans and I should keep close watch on them and stop their counterproducti ve nonsense at every opportunity.
+7 # geraldom 2012-05-25 08:53
I'm sorry, jimyoung, but after the protesting vets disbanded, the police began viciously & brutally attacking peaceful protesters that were not part of this group. In Chicago that day, the police attacked peaceful protesters, not anarchists.

I believe the vets that protested in Chicago against NATO want peace & prefer nonviolence, but, if anyone of them had been attacked by the police without cause, I do believe that his brothers would not have stood by & allowed it to continue without interceding, & I believe that the police were keenly aware of that possibility.

As I have indicated, I don't believe in violence, here in the U.S. or against other nations, but, when the U.S. attempts to hurt U.S. citizens as well as citizens in other countries, people have the innate right to fight back.

I don't like what the Syrian govt is doing to its own people, but what do you think the U.S. govt would do to its own people if Americans were to rise up, not just against the growing tyrannical govt in Washington, but against the growing tyrannical govts even at the state levels. Look what happened at Kent State in the early 1970s when 4 students were murdered by the national guard for protesting the Vietnam war.

Things are much worse now than they were then. Do you think that the police or the national guard or the U.S. mil would even hesitate to open fire on U.S. citizens if ordered if we were to rise up against tyranny in this country?
+3 # jimyoung 2012-05-26 10:16
Actually, I don't believe the potential for violence is as bad as it was at Kent State. A friend, established after he let me talk about Kent State for the better part of an hour before revealing he had been there, confirmed my general thoughts on how that happened. I wasn't there and he wasn't part of the protests, though his dorm mates were. We think it was untrained guardsmen and protesters with few Veterans (with what I call recognized moral authority)among them, combined with people who did want to provoke a violent response, possibly even a provocateur firing the first shot. I would hope fellow Veterans would keep close watch on the Black Bloc, suspected provocateurs (stopping their counterproducti ve nonsense) and, I'd add in response to your thoughtful comments, using their presence to get between police and non-Veteran peaceful protesters if trouble starts. I can't tell you how many times my friends and I have stepped between groups to prevent violence. It has worked every time for me so far, though I am not foolish enough to believe it always will work. Whether or not it will always succeed, I will keep doing it, taking whatever consequences come. Whoever breaches the peace and attacks us will have it on their conscience and will probably have other consequences, in public condemnation, that may at least make them think twice about how they will be perceived.
+2 # Ellisdtripp 2012-05-28 08:38
There was a comment made by right wingers after Kent State that went "What's the big deal? It's just one group of draft dodgers shooting another."

Revolutions commence when the military gets tired of shooting fellow citizens and turn their guns on the oppressors.
+1 # Ellisdtripp 2012-05-28 08:34
I saw a photo of police in California taking down an unruly protester. Several had the protester restrained on the ground. The bottoms of all their combat boots were visible. All the boots were exactly the same - including the "protester's" - right down to the bright yellow design inside the black tread. They were so new looking it was like the first time those boots were worn. That's one hell of a conincidence to me. It's like in the 60s, if some hippie you didn't know was trying to chat you up at a demonstration or buy dope from you or involve you in a bomb plot, you looked at his shoes. Cops/narcs/FBI agents always wore leather oxfords, never sneakers or sandals. It's the shoes.
+52 # rayd8ters 2012-05-22 16:29
I did speak with some BBers at the rally before the march. I'd say at least 50% didn't know their ass from a hole in the ground about social justice or political issues, they were just young thugs there looking for a fight...
+19 # Ralph Averill 2012-05-23 02:30
"Thugs looking for a fight5" sums it up pretty well. Police agent provocateurs as well. BB's remind me of the Weather Underground in the 60's with their "we are the only true revolutionaries " attitude.
+62 # neohip 2012-05-22 17:35
Thank you Carl for your sensitivity and being able to call the situation as you and a lot of us see it. This is not the time for violent protest. Too much is happening that is positive and encouraging. At sixty years old, I did not think I would have this feeling again, the feeling of change. I am afraid that thugs is an appropriate description. If these "revolutionarie s" would just be still and listen they might hear the great revolving that is taking place and bringing us to a new dawn. I hope they are not being manipulated by agent provocateurs but know too well what the "government" is willing to do. I ask these people please take time to question your actions and those encouraging them. Our anti-war movement during Viet Nam had many infiltrators from the government trying to use us and make us a chaotic violent group to be thwarted at all cost. Most of the country bought it and made our efforts twice as difficult. Do not be so used. Please.
+6 # rgreeman 2012-05-23 10:42
I agree with you about super-revolutio nary elitest, arrogant petty-bourgeois , bullshit politics, I was in SDS at Columbia U in 1968 and close to both Mark Rudd and Dave Gilbert, who were great guys and good organizers but who got sucked into that stupid Weat(her bullshit and decided to dismantale SDS just when we were becoming a signivicant a mass movement because they thought they were so much more revolutionary than everybody else. This was a tragedy for the movement. I still correspond wih both Rudd 'who has become nonviolent) and Gilbert, bravely resisting in prison. I defended the Panthers in New Haven and was friends with Lonny McLucas, who did time. This looks like dejà vu all over again.
+33 # Bolduc619 2012-05-22 18:28
"You can't make a revolution with anarchists." -- V. I. Lenin.

Plus ca change ....
-18 # Martintfre 2012-05-23 01:30
Quoting Bolduc619:
"You can't make a revolution with anarchists." -- V. I. Lenin.

Plus ca change ....

Ya sure can, they are the perfect useful idiots - once they have run their course of disruption and your now in power they are disposable.... for the good of the people no less.
+2 # MitchelCohen 2012-05-26 01:01
"Anarchism is often a sort of punishment for the opportunist sins of the working class movement." - Lenin
+38 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-22 19:10
I'm not sure how to tell BB from agents provoateurs and police plants, but one can expect that with any public event there will be those who try to screw everything up or be violent just becasue they want to -- like hooligans at ball games, or thieves and vandals at town picnics or celebrations.
Or like trolls on message boards, chats, and news sites...

This stuff is a perpetual problem with averything, and the main organiation has to make some provisions for dealing with it while making it clear to the public and authorities that it is contray to what they are doing.
+1 # Ellisdtripp 2012-05-28 08:14
Quoting bluepilgrim:
I'm not sure how to tell BB from agents provoateurs and police plants...

You cant. They are one and the the same.
+18 # Rick Levy 2012-05-22 19:54
It's inevitable that violent dissenters will crop up and paint peaceful demonstrators with the brush of negative perception with which most Americans regard protestors anyway.
-22 # phantomww 2012-05-23 09:22
Why is it inevitable? I don't remember seeing violence reported at Tea Party Rally's. Maybe the violence is only at lberal/progress ive riots (oops meant rally's). Where are the "agent provocateurs" at TP gatherings? Seems to me that many liberal protest have anarchist yet few if any at TP events. J Wonder why?
+14 # shraeve 2012-05-23 13:49
The TEA Party got co-opted in a different way. They were so politically naive that they fell for the line given to them by Jim DeMint and Newt Gingrich, who told them the only way they could make a difference was to join the Republican party.
-4 # phantomww 2012-05-23 17:41
TP has not been co-opted. they have removed several establishment Repubs in the primaries. The TP is attempting to take over the Rep party. They are smart enough to know that if they go 3rd party that will just give Obama the election.
-5 # Noni77 2012-05-23 19:53
The Tea Party is the reaction to Big Business coopting the Republican Party for THEIR purposes exclusively and abandonning "We the People", the fiscally and socially conservative. Meaning, they saw the Republican Party assess the hard Left of the Deocratic Party and go down the Too-Far-Right Fascist path in knee-jerk reaction and DID NOT LIKE IT.
+5 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 18:50
Jim DeMint FOUNDED the teaparty.
-2 # phantomww 2012-05-23 20:45
There is NO Tea Party, thus it can't be founded by 1 person. There are several groups that support tea party ideas (limited government as defined in the Constitution). The actual person who kind of kick started the movement was really the guy on CNBC (drawing blank on name).
+6 # paulrevere 2012-05-25 09:58
Dick Army a la Koch bros Freedom Works foundation put up the money and ideas and started a number of key TP groups in attempting to undermine the Affordable Care Act.
-2 # phantomww 2012-05-25 11:17
It was Rick Santelli who started the idea of a tea Party. This was a grass roots movement that did attract money after the movement and rally's started. But even if the Koch brothers did put in some money how is that any different than Soros funding all of the liberal groups like Moveon etc?
+4 # paulrevere 2012-05-25 22:04
You have been tricked...look into Freedom Works connection to the TP...who paid for the tens of thousands of dollar buses, signs and idea creation initially...Sor ry, there is and was NO ideal except vindictive duplicity and overt manipulation of emotions of old white people and their personal bigotries.
+1 # paulrevere 2012-05-25 22:07
Oh...and that spew Santelli did was found to be directly linked to the Dick Army Freedom Works machinations... get a grip pal, you actually believe that a guy on the floor of the stock market could froth that kind of distasteful diatribe on his own without some kind of go ahead from on friend, you are VERY naive if you buy that line...I suggest you get some real life experience if that is the case.
+9 # kelly 2012-05-23 14:10
I guess you don't remember the strong armed thugs working for Rand Paul who like stomping people's heads into the ground. Or see senators getting spat upon outside the capitol or anything else, right?
-9 # phantomww 2012-05-24 10:33
No senator was spit on. That is been a liberal lie. There is no proof with ALL of the cameras, cell phones etc of ANYONE being spit on when they tried to provoke the crowd. Do you know that there was no reason for them to go through the crowd but they chose to do that?
+3 # paulrevere 2012-05-26 00:22
It was a black congress person who was spit some homework, your expellations in this thread have been very misleading...we ll, to put it more obliquely, they have been phantom like.
+5 # Cassandra2012 2012-05-24 12:38
You apparently didn't see the u-tube video of a no-neck T-partier yanking the hair of and beating up a girl who was merely carrying a sign he apparently didn't agree with! (So much for non-violence of TP-ers.... who also were 'packing heat' at a number of rallies (and allowed to do so by the cops... .)
+1 # shraeve 2012-05-24 14:55
I did not see that video, but that does not mean the incident did not happen. But if OWS can be infiltrated by thugs and agents provocateurs, why couldn't that have happened to the TP also?
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 19:04
Your ignorance of teabagger violence and intimidation seems willful. This isn't exactly a well kept secret.
0 # shraeve 2012-05-25 11:01
I think the TP may have attracted a few violent people, the same way OWS has, but if you are saying the TP is inherently violent, the same way the Klan or the Nazis are, I don't think so. Do you have evidence to the contrary?
-3 # phantomww 2012-05-25 11:19
There has been more documented violence at OWS events than at TP events. There has never been a rape at a TP event. OWS can't say that.
-1 # fishmother 2012-05-23 09:40
Children will be children. I don't mean to be so dismissive of those who think it's the 60's and want their turn, but the only thing I hear my inner scream say is GROW UP!
+31 # paulrevere 2012-05-22 21:53
Those sackless cretins, hiding behind face covers and playing some ninja-look fantasy in the very womb of a spiritually seeded exposure of the black ill of sociopathy have to be continually exposed as they prance and stir up dung.

I suggest that their facial cover be regularly 'pantsed' on the fly by designated 'anti-bodies' of the mass gathering...thu gs aka agents provocateur will become obvious and the heart of the gathering will be able to recognize these expletive deleteds...

+2 # debraslone 2012-05-23 00:29
I have thought the very same thing, but less vividly.
+2 # jcdav 2012-05-23 04:54
Is there a difference between hiding behind a mask and hiding behind a badge?

BB MO makes it very easy for APs to place themselves and make their mischief, their childish, stupid attack orientations are playing into the hands of the 1%...
perhaps if they want to protest violently they should simply have a riot event of their very own..I suspect it would not be very well attended. if they want a crowd attention who not trash a wallmart?
0 # Ellisdtripp 2012-05-28 08:16
Quoting jcdav:
Is there a difference between hiding behind a mask and hiding behind a badge?

The one with the badge is empowered by the state to use deadly force with impunity.
+28 # François 2012-05-22 22:13
Thank you Carl Gibson - Promoters of oppressor tactics (aka Black Bloc) "Take a hike!" Yes Rick Levy it is inevitable that 'rabble' do and always will flock to meaningful endeavors pretending to be a part of something they clearly are incapable of understanding. Thank goodness for the Carl Gibson's of the world for speaking truth to fallacy and its inevitable human component.
+49 # Dion Giles 2012-05-22 22:14
What would happen if they were greeted first with requests not to hijack the demonstration and then, if that failed (which it would), with disciplined finger pointing from a non-provocative distance to chants of




I saw that done in Sydney once and the provocateurs slunk off.
+32 # Madison Mama 2012-05-22 22:39
Excellent idea. Except here, we'd have to say:


...because "coppers" is considered a slam by the law enforcement community. I love this idea, thanks!
+12 # Phlippinout 2012-05-22 23:22
There are times I feel just like that! After seeing cops beating people and treating protesters like garbage it makes me sick top read all the sensitivity towards law enforcement. They will kill with no notice or beat someone in the head or shoot them in the head. I think ones hatred for the police is quite justified and reading these comments of complete judgement makes me sick! The cops are violent and beat on innocent people, but when a person feels hate back everyone jumps all over the messenger. Wake up, many of us have learned in the past year that cops are not our friends! Sorry if you disagree but that is how I feel. They act like thugs and get away with its. Its all good until they go after one of your kids right?
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 07:53
I disagree. Cop is short for copper. Copper is what the badges used to be called. I refuse to wimpify the language so as not to offend people who are trying to destroy our country.
+3 # MitchelCohen 2012-05-26 01:06
I grew up in Gravesend Brooklyn's Marlboro Housing Project, where we weren't allowed to play ball on the grounds, not even in the parks. Of course we did anyway. From 9 years old through 16, whenever a police officer would come to harass us and give us a ticket/fine, someone would say, "What's an old penny made of?" And everyone would look up and yell, "Dirty Copper," and take off in every direction.

- Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens/Green Party
+7 # Phlippinout 2012-05-23 08:46
The law enforcement community is a slam to many of us period!! So screw the coppers!
+5 # Noni77 2012-05-23 19:58
Did you know that police are forming a group called "oath takers"? These are police officers who have discussed the militarization of the police against "the people" and swear to quit their jobs before they turn on the people they have sworn to serve and protect. There is real turmoil in their ranks. While this is laudible, it worries me that apparently the best police say they'll quit, leaving only the thug police (the one you read about stopping citizens on the road and robbing them).
+2 # jimyoung 2012-05-24 22:19
There are many law enforcement officers who will not enforce stupid laws or participate in abuses against peaceful protesters. The transition come when they refuse (in large groups) to abuse obviously peaceful protesters or even join the people.

Please browse the Global Non-Violent Database at Swarthmore College for examples at
+2 # fishmother 2012-05-25 10:36
I was very active in the days when AIDS activists were taking to the sttreets regularly and there are several incidents that come to mind to support you jimyoung...the first was at the FDA. First we did a sit in, filling the primary intersection. The police re-directed traffic. Then we had people lie down in front of all the tourist busses and school busses that wanted to leave the street we were demonstrating on & the police stopped them. and so it went ~ the chant was "what do heve to do to get arrested around here?" finally several of our group just broke through some glass double doors and a bunch of people enetered the building...that did it. (if someone out there remembers this please add on...the other was that half the time in LA or San Francisco, wherre there were demos all the time, we got to know the police so well that they'd be calling some of us by our first names as they cuffed us ~ because they knew we had to get arrested or there would be no press & they agreed with us...
0 # Ellisdtripp 2012-05-28 08:19
Quoting Noni77:
Did you know that police are forming a group called "oath takers"?

Just the SOS. In the Chicago PD in the 60s there was the LSMFT group. The initials - taken from the old Lucky Strike cigarettes ads - stood for "lets shoot a mother f*cker tonight."
+3 # Phlippinout 2012-05-23 08:48
Better than PIG PIG PIG!~ But hey, all these comments are pro law enforcement. Nothing pro peaceful protester in this flippin rag! Why?
+10 # Madison Mama 2012-05-22 22:40
Oh, and Carl Gibson? Thou rockest mightily and with great vigour!
0 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 07:54
Best comment of the day! Thank you!
+17 # toddboyle 2012-05-22 22:16
I'm worried about violent disrupters who feed the police and block progressive change. Not to diminish your article. But there are OTHER THREATS to this movement and the Democratic Party is the biggest physical threat. Our lack of education and historical awareness by most of the rank and file is the biggest weakness, and defines the limits of this movement.
+26 # Madison Mama 2012-05-22 22:38
@Todd, you make some valid points. Lack of education, especially as "enforced" under the "No Child Left Behind" act, was the single biggest ideological hit public schools have ever taken. I do not lay blame at any political party for this; it's more a question of values. We are headed for privatization of schools, and that scares me. Paraphrasing Susan B. Anthony: "If all the rich and all the religious had to send their children to public schools, they'd have all the resources they need."
+42 # Madison Mama 2012-05-22 22:34
I live in Madison, home of many non-violent protests. Although the Kochs bused in some paid Teabaggers, they were listened to a bit, and then people moved on. We thanked police, and they were pleasant. Signs all over town, in the midst of Walker's assault on the middle class: Keep It Peaceful, Keep It Going. I'm 55 and started activist work at 16. Anarchists are people who have run out of WORDS. When someone runs out of words and picks up a brick or a gun or incites violence, they lose my support.
+17 # MHAS 2012-05-23 00:44
OWS and many Occupy GAs make decisions based on anarchist principles of horizontal, direct, consensus-based democracy--thes e include working groups, etc. A lot of creativity was unleashed in that context--and the overwhelming feeling at many Occupy events and GAs was very positive and warm. It is simply not accurate to portray anarchists as synonymous with Black Bloc. People involved in this movement--inclu ding many who first went to Zuccotti-- overwhelmingly practice nonviolent civil disobedience--a nd that includes many anarchists. Not useful to paint with such a broad brush. Anarchists are suspicious of any structure that concentrates power and creates hierarchy. There is nothing in the theory that intrinsically advocates violent or destructive behavior. Read some can agree or disagree but let's know what we are talking about. That said, I basically agree with Gibson about Black Bloc.
+3 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 11:09
You are correct -- and I wonder what sort of person would have given you a red minus, which was just there, for explaining the truth.
+2 # shraeve 2012-05-23 13:55
I agree. Most anarchists are non-violent.
+1 # jimyoung 2012-05-24 22:39
The goal of Communism was supposed to be "Enlightened Anarchy." I'd say there is no such thing and no hope of humans ever becoming perfect enough to make it work. The violent anarchists have been allowed to paint the whole group, anyway. Are non-violent anarchists just libertarians? Libertarians come in all sorts of flavors but I always come back to the comparison of the most extreme libertarians to little more than anarchists.

Alex Butterworth's book on anarchists may be worth a read to some. I find the negatives vastly outweigh any advantages of true anarchists can hope of achieving. Almost any reasonable government, supported by a wide range of citizens is preferable. There is little creative destruction from the havoc violent anarchists create, and much more danger that the replacement will be even worse.
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-25 12:44
Well said. Thank you for using some critical thinking.
+4 # MitchelCohen 2012-05-26 01:13
I'm not an anarchist per se, more like an anarcho-marxist in terms of my analysis. But there is a very long history of non-violent anarchism. Look at the work of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker, for example. You can also read Dorothy Gallagher's book on Carlo Tresca, "All the Right Enemies: The Life and Murder of Carlo Tresca" to gain some much needed perspective. Also Lucy Parsons on the Haymarket martyrs, mostly anarchists. Mask or no mask, the cops have always infiltrated movements and helped to misdirect them. It's not an "anarchist thing." It's a cop thing.

Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens/Green Party
-27 # Noni77 2012-05-23 05:12
Isn't George Soros behind the OWS as well as the BB though? Did not George Soros first start accumulating his wealth in Hungary pointing out who the Jews in his village were to the Nazis who hauled them off to concentration camps and gave Soros a part of their wealth in return for his Judas services?
+7 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 11:10
+6 # fishmother 2012-05-23 18:23
I'll second that nope!
+8 # reiverpacific 2012-05-23 18:46
Quoting Noni77:
Isn't George Soros behind the OWS as well as the BB though? Did not George Soros first start accumulating his wealth in Hungary pointing out who the Jews in his village were to the Nazis who hauled them off to concentration camps and gave Soros a part of their wealth in return for his Judas services?

Gadzooks and e'fackins!
What kind of driven slush from the right funny- farm basement is this???
-8 # phantomww 2012-05-24 10:31
He didn't get wealth from pointing out Jews but he did work for the Jewish Council. this from WIKI;
Soros took a job with the Jewish Council, which had been established during the Nazi occupation of Hungary. Soros later described this time to writer Michael Lewis:

The Jewish Council asked the little kids to hand out the deportation notices. I was told to go to the Jewish Council. And there I was given these small slips of paper ... It said report to the rabbi seminary at 9 am ... And I was given this list of names. I took this piece of paper to my father. He instantly recognized it. This was a list of Hungarian Jewish lawyers. He said, "You deliver the slips of paper and tell the people that if they report they will be deported."[15]

So yes he did work to deport Jews but as stated he warned those he gave the notice to (at least according to Soros). And yes he is behind OWS and he was/is an evil "hedge fund manager".
In addition, Krugman has critized Soros for causing a crisis to profit form it
He also gave over 23 million to defeat Bush in 2004 (and people complain about the Koch brothers).
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 07:45
"Anarchists" are paid infiltrators and spoiled rich kids who'd panic if their charge account was suspended.
+4 # Phlippinout 2012-05-23 08:51
Did the police lose your support when they brutally picked up clubs and beat the peaceful protesters? Or are you a hypocrite supporting police brutality and shunning the actions of others, by the way, dont think for a moment that some of the "anarchist violence" is not perpetrated by the police themselves.
+13 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 09:08
I wish these people would not be called anarchists. They aren't actual anarchists, and, like most people, most likely do not know what political anarchism is about -- which is really just the idea that there should be no bosses -- that everyone should have an equal say in decisions and no one should be subjected to authoritarianis m.

Anarchism has been a target of massive propaganda -- from those in power, of course. It's like the demonizing of socialists, communists, Muslims, Blacks, or any group which threatens the power structure. One example of real anarchism in action is the Quakers, who have no priests or authoritarian chiefs, and work by consensus.
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful,[1][2] or alternatively as opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations.[3][4 ][5][6][7][8] Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchica l[3][9][10] voluntary associations.[11][12]

Yet another word hijacked by the language manipulators...
-9 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 10:52
By your own definition anarchism leads to violence in the natural course of events.
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 12:10
Rather than just giving me a thumbs down for the comment, explain why it's false. A good start might be to name one example of a functioning anarchy capable of protecting citizens, building roads & bridges, and taking care of everything else a functioning society needs to survive...
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 12:11
For example, what's the anarchist solution to your next door neighbor breaking into your house, shooting you in the head, raping your wife in front of your children, stealing all of your food and leaving your children to starve?
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 14:13
My anarchistic solution would likely be to die from a bullet in my head, but if I survived I would contact the members of the group and seek a group decision about what to do, if they had not already formed a policy.

The problem is you don't understand what anarchism means or all the different varieties of it and how it can work. It basically means a horizontal organization without hierarchy, class, or bosses -- very much like what real socialism and communism should be.

(Note that the Russian Revolution went astray when it was hijacked by those who did not trust the masses and established a hierarchy, using force, and eventually ending up with Stalin, who was notoriously violent.)
-3 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 15:18
You don't understand. The murderer was already a member of non-hierarchica l voluntary association of people who were after your food and your wife. You and your family were murdered by a non-hierarchica l group that voluntarily acted out.

Another scenario is that a non-hierarchica l voluntary club from the next neighborhood over just waged war on your neighborhood. You see, you happened to live in an area that hates you and your family and almost everyone around felt this was a good idea. If they didn't, they sure didn't speak up. Afterall, who would they speak up to? The cops? There aren't any.

If you lived through the bullet hole and formed a discussion group about it, what if no one cared? What if no one showed up? What if the murderer formed a discussion group to discuss finishing the job?
+6 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 15:28
Now you are just being sily.

Read the wikipedia article and learn what anarchism and horizontal organization is about. If you can't discuss this seriously I'm not going to waste time with it.
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 16:58
You don't need to point me to a wikipedia article you could have written yourself. If you really want to be serious engage me yourself. Use your own logic and your own arguments. Believe it or not, I read your links. I read everybody's. My challenge to you is a serious one and you haven't answered it.

Do you think lynching is silly? The KKK operates with a consensus. Honestly, the scenario I painted is not all that different from the ones that happened whenever the KKK engaged in a lynching. How affective do you think it would be for the victims of a lynching to form a discussion among themselves about it? Discussions must lead to action. These discussions would be engaged in by a small minority in their own community. Any local consensus would be against them.

The only SERIOUS answer to a lynching comes from a GOVERNMENT.

Claiming I'm not serious is nothing but a left-handed insult to my ideas. If my ideas are too stupid to respond to, maybe it's because you don't have a direct answer.

Trying to shut down the discussion with insults, doesn't speak well for the process you're trying to promote. In fact, it furthers my point.

This time I did give you a thumbs down.
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 17:46
No, that response you gave was silly and contrived.

Governments are infamous for lynchings, as well as supporting group like the KKK and their Grand Wizard, and many members of government were directly involved.

I've been writing about for years -- startin in 2004 at as well as training material and other things I've written over the years. It includes a number of links to other's material (as well as non-rlated material).

This is not something I can reproduce here in some short comments. indicates the hierarchy and officers, and their authorities.

There is no reason an anarchistic group can not have a police force, etc., acting on behalf of the group, if the consensus was to have that. An anarchistic hunting or fishing group may have a volunteer camp and fire watchman at night, done in shifts maybe -- very similar. That doesn't mean such people are rulers.
-2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 18:55
But the consensus among Americans is already to have a democratic republic. You don't represent any consensus at all. In fact, you complain that the consensus is in disagreement with your philosophy.

Concerning the kkk, are you suggesting that lynching were unpopular among the people posing with the corpses in front of cameras for posterity. Consensus doesn't always go peacefully. Consensus can turn on a scapegoat at the drop of a hat. Luckily, we don't live in local tribes. Local consensus that may be violent can be overruled by a national consensus represented by a democratically elected government.
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 19:48
We don't have a cosensus among Americans, and no process to arrive at one. Consensus, politically, is a process. In those terms my 'representing a consensus' doesn't mean anything -- my position is that consensus should be a viable process, overtaking even majority rule -- which disregards minorities and individual rights.

As for Democratic Republic, we don't have that either -- we have an oligarchy. What people would prefer, whether democratic republic or something else has not been determined, and can't be determined until people learn more about political science and philosophy. The people were never given a choice -- not even during the constitutional convention which was held by a few people in the oligarchy behind closed doors.

I am not suggesting that lynching was unpopular, but the KKK does not run by consensus -- it's hierarchical. Did you see the list of officers?

Research consensus and find out what it is about -- you are not using the word correctly. You are arguing against straw men instead of what anarchism is. You apparantly have some notion of what anarchism is set in your mind and are arguing against that.
-2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 21:02
Elections are the very process we use to arrive at consensus. We have an oligarchy because we elect oligarchs. We have the power to do that. What makes you think a populace stupid enough to elect oligarchs is smart enough to engage in a roundtable discussion with 340 million voices over every detail of government?

The fact is that lynching was VERY popular locally. How would a locally run consensus only tribal council have dealt with it better than the federal government, acknowledging that the locals were the perpetrators of the attrocities?

Research tribalism and tell me how it's substantially different from what you propose. Also, tell me how you propose to oust the American Government through consensus.

Again, speaking of straw men, continually accusing me of being a fool because I disagree with your premise is still not winning me over.
+4 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 23:00
No, no...

Elections are NOT consensus. Look the word up. Elctions may done by an anarchist group when the consensus process fails. Consensus is when everyone agrees or at least gives consent and does not block a resolution. Generally some modification such as cnsensus minus one or consensus minus 2, or something like that, is employed. A block by someone can mean that they will leave the group if the resolution is not modified -- that's about what OWS works -- then people can jin an affinity group, or just leave. There has to be mechanisms to deal with obstructionism.

Anarchism also has respect for the rights of minorities and individuals.

Tribalism is completely something else -- read Arthur Silber's series on it, which I recommended once here.

Ask Occupy how to oust the fascists through consensus -- they've been working on it all along. But as I've said, people need to educate themselves, and just voting for one oligarch or another won't change anything -- for the last many decades or now. That is NOT participatory democracy, so it CAN'T change anything.

I didn't accuse you of being a fool, but you are ignorant about this -- really. I've been doing this stuff for a long time -- I was teaching some of this stuff 40 years ago, and you don't understand it.
-2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 07:08
I didn’t say elections are consensus. I said elections are the process we use to arrive at consensus. At least it’s a practical consensus among the electorate. There are other kinds of consensus. The kind most people HATE when it’s attempted in Congress. Did I mention that people HATE that brand of consensus building. It’s also called “wheeling and dealing”.

Regarding “consensus”. You said yourself that our country has arrived at no real consensus. You and I can’t form a consensus. What gives you the arrogance to think you can make a consensus among 340 million people who agree with you less than I do. You can’t even convince me.

Accusing me of ignorance is a more genteel way of saying the same thing. I could just as easily accuse you of needing more education in how the real world works.

Speaking of the real world, I’m still waiting for your example of a functioning national anarchy capable of providing the services and infrastructure its citizens need.
-2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 21:14
By the way, do you honestly think there's a chance of building an anti-democratic "consensus" in this country? Our problem isn't too much democracy any more than it's from being too much of a republic. Our problem is from not having enough of either virtue realized.

Anarchism won't solve that problem.
-3 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 19:23
By the way, travel to the 3rd world and tell me that scenario is "silly and contrived". People pushed to the edge by shortages are not interested in consensus, unless it involves forming alliances with criminals of similar intent.

The only affective answer for that is a government capable of protecting its citizens. That means a government capable of overruling a local consensus by hierarchical means when it's necessary. Who decides when it's necessary? In a representative democracy, that power resides with voters. The voters, however, are not engaged in hourly elections to determine how to deal with each new headline as it arises. People have jobs. They expect the government to handle some things by following the will of the electorate as expressed in the last election.
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 23:12
You just don't understand how this works, and how it has worked in the past. Do you think native Americans never had shortages -- but many operated with anarchism.

Anarchism is not micromanagement -- that's more direct democracy, something different. With anarchism the group can delegate, just as in a hierarchical organization the boss can delegate tasks to workers or specialists, and yet remain the boss. In anarchism the group is the boss: the "dictatorship of the proletariat", so to speak, in Marxian terms.

For anarchists, a government capable of so 'protecting' citizens can also oppress them.
“Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows us that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”
― Thomas Jefferson
-2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 07:17
You just don't understand how the real world works.

Seriously, if you want to prove a point in a direct debate, constantly refering me to wikipedia articles is not the way to do it. You present yourself as a “scholar”. Telling me what other people who agree with you have to say isn’t a serious way to argue. If you want to convince me, I need YOUR ideas, YOUR proof.

“ For anarchists, a government capable of so 'protecting' citizens can also oppress them”

So what’s your response to that? To not protect citizens?

0 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 07:18

Jefferson didn’t live in a country with 340 million citizens. He also imagined a world where everone owned their own little farm. Try that in this post-industrial world and you’re likely to be shot by your next door neighbor who has a problem with you encroaching on his land. The little 1/16 of an acre in front of your condo isn’t going to provide for your family.

Concerning Native Americans: Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Native Americans also engage in wars? Didn’t they also live in a pre-industrial, predominantly pre-agricultura l society with very little concept of ownership? How do you propose to take the ideas worked out for small clans of extended families who don’t own land, and extend them to 340 million people who will resist you at EVERY turn, because they absolutely disagree with every idea you have and are willing to kill and die to prevent you from doing it?

It doesn’t sound like you’re trying to form a consensus at all.
-1 # shraeve 2012-05-24 15:30
The assumptions in your hypothesis about peoples' motivations and values are produced by a statist society. Indifference to the suffering and death of others are taught to us by our violent, competitive, class-stratifie d society. Those are the same sort of attitudes that cause people to defend the violent actions of BB.
0 # phantomww 2012-05-25 14:16
How about the Cuban Revolution? Castro started out as a pro-democracy person and once he gained power he turned into a typical communist who suppresses the people and keeps them in proverty (typical of communist states)? So history shows us that the Russian, Cuban, chinese, and Vietnamese communist revolutions have all been "hijacked". Seems to be a trend which supports the idea that your "anarchistic" solution is utopian pie in the sky.
-1 # Glen 2012-05-23 14:17
Well, Billy, you do what the U.S. does to such perps: you find out where they live (neighbors are easy), kill them, kill their entire family, burn down the block they live on and the blocks of their families, burn down the building they work in, poison the water, wreck the infrastructure of their community, wreck the electrical supply, then bomb the hospital.

Now THAT is foreign anarchy at its finest.
-2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 15:21
There is no infrastructure to destroy. The "community" is non-hierarchica l and no one felt any pressure to build any. No other community was under any obligation to chip in, so any infrastructure the members of that neighborhood couldn't build themselves with their own materials made from their own resources didn't get built.
+1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 15:30
Also read
0 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 17:01
Good article. It's not about anarchism though. If it's about your idea of how anarchism should be defined, fine. It's still doesn't force BP to clean up its mess.
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 20:13
It IS about anarchism -- it's about worker run businesses without bosses, in part. "goal is democratized ownership of the economy" is anarchistic.

See for some hints about Gar Alperovitz.

Please -- learn what anarchism is really about. You have to research and study -- it took me months to get a half decent understanding of it, and I am still a long way from being truly knowledgable about it and it's history (since I first approached it from the fairly limited aspect of management theory and computer science instead of political science and history -- and I've only been studying it with any regularity at all for about ten years).

What does BP's mess have to do with this discussion?
0 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 07:27
The BP oil disaster is part of our economy. You're right. It has NOTHING to do with anarchism, because anarchism has no way of forcing it to clean up its mess. It also has no mechanism to force it to comply with any regulations in the first place to prevent them in the future.

Please learn what the world around you is really about. Please be advised that people who DON'T WANT TO BE ANARCHISTS will resist you and you therefore cannot form a consensus. Please learn the fact that fairie tale wishes about what maybe could happen are of little use to a society that needs workable solutions yesterday.
0 # shraeve 2012-05-24 15:21
Incidents such as what you hypothesize happen in statist societies all the time. The wealthy get excellent police protection, at the expense of the poor. A number of years ago I read a letter to the editor in the Washington Post. Some yuppie in one of the gentrified neighborhoods complained that it took the D.C. police a whole ten minutes to respond to their complaint about men hanging out in their neighborhood park after dark. This was during Washington's drug and homicide epidemic, when it earned the title of Murder City, USA. The gentry must have their peace of mind!

I don't think there are any anarchists who believe you do not have the right to defend yourself.

There are many traditional communities that do not have powerful governments, and that do not have many incidents like that in your hypothesis. Anarchy does not mean letting people hurt other people.
+3 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 14:06
How do you figure that when states, and authoritarians, are usually the main source of violence?

Understand that the state, as spoken of by anarchists, is not controlled by the people but by an oligarchy -- the usual case. The usual form of decision making among real anarchists is consensus, instead of autocracy.

Native American Indians were generally anarchistic, and the chiefs were not bosses and could be replaced by the other members of the tribe -- generally very democratic. Chiefs got to be chiefs by being resepcted, doing worthy deeds, and being responsive to the people.

Are the anarchistic OWS people violent? No -- not at all. Are the Quakers? Nope. Many peace groups operate anarchistically . An anarchist might be violent, or non-violent (often true): there is no essential relationship between anarchism and violence as there is none between democracy and violence. but anarchism is very much aligned with democracy.

(I didn't thumb down, you btw)
-2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 15:38
Point by point:

Authoritarian isn't the only alternative to anarchy. There's a middle. It's called representative DEMOCRACY. It's still a system of government though and it elects a hierarchy. DEMOCRACY DEMANDS CONSENSUS. Once that consensus is reached, action is taken. The action is administrated by that elected hierarchy.

Are you suggesting that Native Americans didn't have hierarchical systems. That couldn't be further from the truth. Not everyone had the same amount of say. It's a fact.

You yourself used the word "democratic". You're absolutely confused if you think democracy and anarchism are synonymous. Anarchism is the absolute disrespect for the democratic process. Anarchism is a recall election ever day before any action has occured. The last recall "election" is the one replaced by the self-appointed dictator.

Hierarchy is part of human nature. We aren't fish. We are social animals. We have to accept the reality of the planet we live on.

Quakers are not anarchists, and they don't govern an entire country.

0 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 16:04
I partially take back what I said about Quakers. Still the Quakers don't administer an entire country. They only have the right to pursue their beliefs because of the government which protects that right.
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 16:36
Robert Pranger's 'The Eclipse of Citizenship' which goes into the problem of representatives . They don't have to represent anyone once they are elected -- and we see that everywhere now.

Democracy is government of the people, not of autocrats or oligarchy, and that's closely associated with anarchism -- meaning no chiefs, no people higher than others, no kings, no bosses.

Hierarchy is useful as a tool, but a political philosophy. Authority must be earned, as 'an authority in physics', based on knowledge, not on power. Horizontal groups can use hierachical organization temporarily if it is not entrenched and permanent, and accountable to the group, and delegates can be used. It's a question of the group delegating 'authority' or some function to a sub-group or person.

But hierarchy is not an inherent part of "human nature" -- just a common way of organizing, using the talents and specialities of some people or subgroups, but not necessarily based on power or coercion. A natural way for people to associate is cooperative, and was often the case in small groups. Some people would be leaders for one sort of activity and followers for some other sort.

In any case, authoritarian structure with rulers is not optimal, and we can do much better than that. Don't take what you see here, currently, as the normal or only way to do things. Feudalism and monarchies didn't last forever, and neither will this.
-1 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 17:09
I said REPRESENTATIVE democracy where people are elected. Authority IS earned through ELECTIONS. Hierachies have been used exclusively throughout the entire course of human civilization. Pre-civlized societies living in small bands not much more in number than an extended family can get by without it. But nomadic clans cannot deal with permanent infrastructure.

I hope your prediction of representative democracy being a passing fling doesn't come true.
+1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 20:17
Pranger talks about representative democracy.

No, hierarchy has NOT been exclusively used.

Anarchism certainly can deal with permanent infrastructure. The internet is anarchistic -- and that is fairly pemanent structure and much bigger than an extended family.

You are making stuff up... blowing smoke. People do NOT need to be ruled by bosses to accomplish things.
-1 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 07:32
The internet is not a nation. The internet is not responsible for the PHYSICAL infrastructure that nations need to provide for the common good of their citizenry.

YOU are making stuff up. A good example of "blowing smoke" is continuing to insult me because I "just don't get it", while complaining that I keep BEGGING you for examples of it in action. You still haven't supplied any.

Concerning people being bossed. Your consensus will still boss the minority. The police that you said anarchies can have will still boss people. You're setting up a system of your own hierachies and just refusing to acknowledge it because you don't like the word "hierarchy". Talk about "blowing smoke"!

People DON'T need to be ruled by bosses to accomplish things. NATIONS, HOWEVER need hierarchy to continue to be nations.

Do you believe in the necessity of nations?
-1 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 18:01
By the way, how does one become an "authority in physics"? Do you trust some guy who calls himself an authority? Perhaps a doctor of physics is someone you'd call an "authority"? Attaining a doctorate involves a pretty heavy process that is not at all democratic. It's about as authoritarian as it gets. After the doctorate has been achieved, you are now the authority - MORE hierarchy!

Still, physics isn't something most people are suitably equipped to debate. At some point, most people just accept that their tv and their cell phone and their computer just work without arguing about the science. If every individual scientific invention required approval by the masses, we'd all be discussing it right now, in between discussions concerning the flatness of the Earth.
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 20:19
It seems to me you are just argung to argue -- and I'm not going to engage in that. Frankly, you have no idea what you are talking about.
-1 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 21:10
You sound a bit authoritarian to me. You don't sound anything like a consensus builder. I'm arguing to get at the truth. So far, you haven't dealt with the basic problem with anarchism. If you choose to end the argument you're free to do so at any time. If this is anything like the time when you told me you've "given up on politics", I'll assume you're just engaging in hyperbole.

How do you expect to win a consensus if you can't even convince me? I'm obviously not your intellectual equal (in your eyes), and yet you think you can convince an entire nation of "Joe Sixpacks"? If this is your strategy, it isn't very affective.

It's hard to prove hierarchies are the cause of all societies ills while SIMULTANEOUSLY setting yourself up as an expert and insulting my intelligence.

Look up the word "irony".
+1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 18:08
Re: human nature, see
Most contemporary anthropologists , as well as anarcho-primiti vists agree that, for the longest period before recorded history, human society was without established authority or formal political institutions.[1 8] According to Harold Barclay, long before anarchism emerged as a distinct perspective, human beings lived for thousands of years in societies without government.[19] It was only after the rise of hierarchical societies that anarchist ideas were formulated as a critical response to and rejection of coercive political institutions and hierarchical social relationships.

Taoism, which developed in Ancient China, has been embraced by some anarchists as a source of anarchistic attitudes. The Taoist sage Lao Zi (Lao Tzu) developed a philosophy of "non-rule" in the Tao Te Ching and many Taoists in response lived an anarchist lifestyle. In 300 CE, Bao Jingyan explicitly argued that there should be neither lords nor subjects.[18] Similarly, in the West, anarchistic tendencies can be traced to the philosophers of Ancient Greece, such as Zeno, the founder of the Stoic philosophy, and Aristippus, who said that the wise should not give up their liberty to the state.[20]

-2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 18:58
You yourself said "before recorded history". In other words, before the rise of civilization. I asked for one example of a successfully affective nation that was anarchistic. Tendencies of some philosophers isn't an example of that.
-1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 20:22
No, you said that hierarchy was human nature and THAT was the point I was addressing.

But now I'm giving up -- I'm overdue on nap time, and I'm not going to play silly games.

And no *I* did not sayd before recorded history -- that's the wikipedia article.

If you don't want to learn about actual anarchism, then fine, but you can not do it on your own time.
-2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 07:35
Thank you for the lecture. You still haven't formed a consensus.

Are you really giving up this time or is this another example of hyperbole, like when you claimed you were "giving up on politics"?

It seems to me that you just want to close down discussion when someone doesn't agree with you. That is NOT consensus building. It's the complete opposite.
-2 # shraeve 2012-05-25 11:47
"Hierarchy" is a vague term. If you look at the great variety of human societies, with their huge differences in the degree of freedom and social control, "hierarchy" becomes almost meaningless.

Even if hierarchy were a part of human nature, that doesn't mean we have to be like North Korea - or the USA.

There are degrees of social control. On one end is total anarchy (which probably cannot be realized). On the other end is Lenin's concept of "any state worthy of the name", which is one with "no such thing as liberty".

Not all Native American groups were the same. In many groups, there was no such thing as a permanent "chief". There were respected men who were heeded and followed because they demonstrated wisdom. But it usually was not a formal office.

Why is our class-stratifie d system so much better when an empty suit like Mitt Romney or an empty head like Rick Perry can acquire and keep power?
-2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 15:38

Are you refering to an organizational principle of protestors or a system of government. It may work EXTREMELY WELL for OWS. OWS isn't a government and if it got its way it would have to ELECT a hierarchical government to see to the mundane tasks of providing for our national welfare.

I didn't say that anarchism ITSELF is violent. I accepted the fact that anarchism is IMPOSSIBLE without the violence it makes inevitable.

Your "group discussion" won't prevent violence. All it will do is display a lack of organization, making your collection of voluntary associates a target of authoritarians who DEFINITELY DO believe in extreme violence.

There is a natural course of events involving violent revolution - anarchy - war lord violence - authoritarian rule - violent revolution.

It's a natural cycle of events. The ONLY thing that breaks the cycle is REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY, which makes heirarchical administration a necessary fact of life and anarchism a danger to its existence.

I didn't give you thumbs down either.
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 16:47
This stuff is not easy to understand in the middle of where we are now, and if you have never eperienced it working. But there is sizable base of both theory and practical experience. Group discussion and actions have dealt with lots of violence in varius places, and ruling hierachies often have not prevented violence at all, but fomented it. The US is very hierarchical, and the most violent place on the planet.

You have to read, study, and work with this to understand it. As the size of a group grows from a small gathering to a complex society and nation development has to be done -- problems arise which need to met, but they are hardly insurmountable (and that's true with any political / economic system).

The bottom line is that whenever people are bossed around by rulers then internal flaws and contradiction are set up which destabilizes the system. Monarchies and oligarchies have limited life spans because 'human nature' is to be free and people want self-determinat ion. We can see this happening everywhere.

In the long run, collective intelligence and decision making will win out over authoritarianis m because it works better.
-1 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 17:05
The people living in Somalia and Rwanda would disagree with you about the most violent place to live in the planet.

As for problems arising and being met. What you're refering to is government. One with a hierarchical structure.

Bad leadership is horrible. I agree. A lack of leadership creates a void which invites it.

I'm still challenging you to name one nation that has successfully implemented a total lack of hierarchy and met all of its needs.

Just one...
+4 # DaveEwoldt 2012-05-23 19:46
Actually, the people living in Somalia are living in the only _true_ free-market economy in the world. You might want to ask some of them how that's working out for them.

As far as one country that today is functioning without force-based ranking hierarchies of domination, at least since the time colonialism started full force in the 1400s, that's not really the point.

What we need to do is honestly assess what's not working today, and see if we can figure out what would work. We need to ask what works for life, as that's what's going to work best for us and the living planet that provides the foundational support for our lives and our economies.
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 07:37
Addressing what works and what doesn't is a great idea. A practical approach would also be. The people living in Somalia are living in a true free market economy and an honest representation of anarchism in action.
-3 # Martintfre 2012-05-24 10:58
//the people living in Somalia are living in the only _true_ free-market economy in the world.//

Somolia is competing war lords and capricious whims of the nearest thug.

"In a free economy, where no man or group of men can use physical coercion against anyone, economic power can be achieved only by voluntary means: ..."
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 11:59
Explain the difference between physical coercion and economic coercion. Isn't taking away food from the mouths of children another form of physical coercion to their parents?

"War lords and capricious thugs" sounds like a good description of Wall Street or the beneficiaries of conservative ideology in general.

Speaking of ayn rand links:

How could she, in good conscience collect those Social Security and Medicare checks?
-3 # shraeve 2012-05-25 11:56
How could Ayn Rand in good conscience accept Medicare and Social Security? Easy. She paid for them, just like everybody else. Had these programs not been mandatory, she would have used the money she paid in taxes to purchase her own health insurance and old-age pension.
-2 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 20:25
I dodn't say place to live -- the US visits more violence on the rest of the world, including Somailia and Rwanda, than those countries have a hope of doing.

The test of anarchism, or real communism, is not whether a nation ever existed under it. Up until a few hundred years ago no democratic nation existed, and that proved nothing.
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 07:39
Please educate yourself about the fact that anarchism and communism are not the same thing. I agree about the U.S. role in world violence. You're preaching to the choir. I also accept the fact that tribal factionalism is one of the things the U.S. exploits to achieve this. You still haven't come to terms with that.
0 # shraeve 2012-05-26 13:42
Anarchism and communism are opposites in many ways. Communism, as it has always been realized, is statism taken to an extreme.

Some communist theorists have said that communism will create a "new communist man", whose unselfish, nonviolent nature will make government increasingly unnecessary, so the state will eventually wither away. In other words, heaven on earth. Like the more traditional heaven that the statists have always promised their followers to keep them in line, this is just pie-in-the-sky BS used to motivate the useful idiots to support the statists' tyrannical system.
-2 # shraeve 2012-05-25 11:57
Ancient Athens was a pure democracy. It did not work.
0 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 17:35
Pointing me in the direction of further theory formulated by people who agree with you isn't a way of proving the efficacy of your philosophy. The only thing that will do that is a logical direct answer to the basic scenarios that will and do come up when theory hits the pavement.

Your philosophy is anti-democratic because it takes away my right to vote for a representative to rule (yes, rule) the way I want. By puting every piece of minutiae up for grand discussion the process of governing a nation of 340 million people is impractical at best. We don't need a changing of the guard every five minutes. We need a practical approach to providing what people actually want society to provide.

I'm still looking for a solid factual example of successful anarchism at the national level in action. Theories about how it "could" or "would" work if all the stars were aligned properly are useless when dealing with the reality that ALL forms of government (or lack thereof) are reactions to conflict. Conflict won't go away, ever. Consensus building is what representative democracy is about. However, denying the ability to elect representatives able to act, only ensures that no resolution to that conflict can ever present itself.
-2 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 20:28
First, I bnever identified my philosophy as being totally anarchistic, although I do support most of it -- but I was trying to explain just what the heck it IS instead of the crap that people say about it.

But hey, think what you like -- no skin off my nose. I'm not trying to obligate to learn or agree with anything at all, excpet to use the words correctly.
0 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 07:42
You seem to be back-tracking. Which set of experts should I use to "educate myself"? The ones who agree with me? Or the ones who (now only partially) agree with you?

Who has the qualifications to sway me? Am I allowed to form my own opinions or do I have to rely on a hierarchy of experts who happen to agree with you?

An example of an existing nation successfully employing anarchism in the modern world would do a lot more to sway me than further wikipedia articles.
-1 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 07:49
If this is TRULY no skin off your nose, why do you seem SO INVESTED in making sure I come to an agreement with you? Why is it so difficult for you to accept the fact that I don't agree with you? The more authoritarian your argument gets concerning my "need to educate myself", the more you reveal, what I consider the fundamental flaw in so-called "anarchistic" thinking.

I know that you've already told me you've given up (in fact, several times). Given your record of keeping that promise, I'LL GIVE YOU THE LAST WORD.

The fact that you haven't had it, and that I haven't given up, seems to be what's making you so angry.

Let me ask on thing before I leave the soap-box to you:

Is this an example of how "consensus" is finally achieved?
0 # shraeve 2012-05-26 13:27
You said it is human nature to be free. I wish that were true, but there is much evidence to the contrary. There are many totalitarian societies that are quite stable. China and North Korea, for example.

Unfortunately collective intelligence and decision making will not necessarily win out over authoritarianis m, because the authoritarians will break the anarchists' heads.
-1 # shraeve 2012-05-23 14:00
The Religious Society of Friends are good people. I have great admiration and respect for those people. They have a Peace Center in Washington, D.C. and allow any group that is working for peace to use it.
-1 # jimyoung 2012-05-23 09:15
Except for an update for gender,
"I agree with what that man said"
from an ancestor in the Revolutionary war legislature, fits here perfectly.

This was a response to Madison Mama Quoting Madison Mama:
I live in Madison, home of many non-violent protests. Although the Kochs bused in some paid Teabaggers, they were listened to a bit, and then people moved on. We thanked police, and they were pleasant. Signs all over town, in the midst of Walker's assault on the middle class: Keep It Peaceful, Keep It Going. I'm 55 and started activist work at 16. Anarchists are people who have run out of WORDS. When someone runs out of words and picks up a brick or a gun or incites violence, they lose my support.
+36 # spritzler 2012-05-22 22:37
It is true that the Black Block folks aid the 1% and harm the 99% by their tactics. It is interesting but not necessary to know who among the BB are cops; all that is necessary is to know that those who do things that aid the 1% and harm the 99% should be told to stop it whether they are cops or not.

The issue is not violence versus nonviolence.

There will, we hope, come a time when our movement will be so large and have so much support from ordinary Americans, that substantial numbers of soldiers and sailors will refuse to obey orders to attack us. If, at that time, the police and some in the military do obey orders to attack us and the soldiers and sailors who support us use violence to defend us, will we say, "No, don't defend us; We oppose violence and would rather be defeated than win with your help"? Of course not!

There is a time when violence--in self-defense--i s morally right and tactically necessary. But the BB are using violence that is neither in self-defense nor in any other way tactically useful, and in fact harmful to us; this is why cops foment it.

John Spritzler
+27 # noitall 2012-05-22 22:43
It should be understood and made known universally among these "OWS" demonstrations that anyone acting in a manner not in sync with our peaceful protests that they will assumed to be and vocally identified by all as POLICE INFILTRATORS. Spread this word and stick by it. One commenter suggested "copper,cooper, copper" sounds good to me.
+7 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 07:43
+7 # redjelly39 2012-05-23 11:33
We know this was a fact in Seattle for the WTO meetings. The blacked garbed hooligans were all staying at a hotel until they were summoned and then came down and started destroying things to get the Police to act against "Everybody". They then quickly disappeared. This was a calculated act on part of the Police because they dont know how to handle peaceful protests but are well trained for violent ones.
-29 # jimmykeys 2012-05-22 22:52
I see the violence of black bloc anarchists as more of a necessary evil than something you can lecture "them" about. Such anarchism arises when outlets for peaceful protest are corraled or stymied enough (such as the WTO protests in Seattle) that the authorities need to "feel the fear". It is true that the practicioners will demonstrate arrogance, and that it is not a tactic that will win in the long run. But that is so obvious---no one tactic will prevail in the long run. Making it "hot" for the authorities is the important role of this group. They are only one part of the movement. But, sometimes, as with the urban riots of the 60's, they add an essential element for success.
+12 # JessJuan-d-Ring 2012-05-22 23:16
They contribute nothing - NOTHING - to the cause. They only give already-anxious police justification for violence; and worse, they give bad PR to the movement. How the hell can the movement grow if even life-long activists like myself will refuse to join in as long as the anarchists are allowed to undermine our efforts?
+8 # MHAS 2012-05-23 01:11
I don't think the current situation with BB is analogous to either the role of Malcolm X in the 60s or the militant wing of the labor movement 80-100 years ago. No concessions will be made to the peaceful out of fear that Black Bloc is waiting in the wings. The level of surveillance and the militarization of the police insures they are easily dealt with...The question is- Are they part of the movement? Black Bloc predates Occupy. I have never heard of an Occupy GA that agreed to the use of violent tactics by consensus. The general feeling in Occupy has overwhelmingly been in the opposite the change you want, which does not include violence or taunting police. As Gibson says, keep your eye on the real problem--Wall St & their plutocracy. If Black Bloc goes ahead and does what it wants without participating in a GA, in what way is it part of Occupy? To disregard the GA would mean violating the anarchist principles of the movement. Yes, they are free to be their own agents but that is what they are--their own agents, not Occupy. I personally think their tactics are highly counter-product ive and testosterone driven but I will concede some of them at least believe they being brave and putting themselves on the line. But they are no threat to anyone--the police know exactly how to handle them and use them, as Gibson says.
+5 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 07:43
The urban riots of the '60s were used as an excuse to kill the civil rights movement in its tracks. They were also used to excuse cutting funding for the social safety net. They were also used as an excuse for the white flight which effectively destroyed those urban neighborhoods. Absolutely NO good came from those riots. You can't intimidate someone who has you by the balls. All you can do is get your balls hurt.
+3 # jimyoung 2012-05-23 09:28
The "gains" from violent protest are small, temporary and subject to subversion by opportunists. They generate decades of resentment that change the form of neglect and abuse but do not eliminate it. There is blow back that may look different but will be justified in the minds of some who use the violence as perpetual justification of ever more insidious opposition. Winning the moral high ground with rational arguments and least actions that allow any justification for opposition are the more sustainable, rewarding and models for further progress.
+1 # shraeve 2012-05-23 14:13
The authorities don't feel the fear. The feel the pleasurable anticipation of being able to crack down hard on everybody just because your goons gave them an excuse.

The urban riots of the 1960s were a disaster for the working people in those neighborhoods (most of whom did not participate). Many honest businesspeople were driven out of those neighborhoods, as well as any non-criminal who had the means to leave. Most of those urban areas went from being working class neighborhoods to being the worst slums. They looked like war zones. After decades of total neglect, they are being rehabilitated - but not by the working class. They are being gentrified, and any working-class people remaining are being forced out, often by the very Yippies and SDS who glorified violence in the 1960s, and who are now Yuppies (e.g. Jerry Rubin).
+26 # James38 2012-05-22 22:55
My experience in protesting started with HUAC in 1956. I went on to protest the Vietnam War.

We had many large marches, and the gatherings on the steps of the SF city Hall were very large. The only violence was from the police, who at one point used fire hoses to wash us off the steps, which was obviously a serious over-reaction. We referred to that later as the "Odessa Steps".

I agree wholeheartedly with the article. I feel and hope that we are far from needing a violent revolution. I have hope that the US can emerge from its 1% propaganda driven intolerance and crabbed "austerity" nonsense.

At this point it is entirely obvious that we need to Re-elect Obama, and give him a congress he can work with, so we can encourage him to do the essential right things.
+3 # Glen 2012-05-23 06:36
Had you participated in the integration movement in the south, you would have seen not only the fire hoses, but the most violence against citizens since the bombs dropped on marching miners or the WWI veterans camped in Washington D.C. The tactics against Civil Rights marchers and demonstrators was right out of the Nazi agenda: ferocious german sheperds that tore out ligaments and muscles, billy clubs, and assassination. It could happen again, and probably will.

Obama will not make an effort to stop any of it.
+6 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 07:39
That also means rooting out the agents provocateurs in Congress (a.k.a. Blue Dog Democrats).
-9 # Mark E. Smith 2012-05-22 22:55
I don't understand how anyone can compare watching cops brutalize peaceful protesters to going to a symphony, or complain that people using black bloc tactics to protect protesters from police violence spoiled everything for them.

It's like complaining that you took your family to watch a lynching and it was spoiled by some abolitionists trying to intervene to save the victims.

Maybe for you watching people get their faces stomped on, their teeth knocked out, and their bones broken by the police is like watching a symphony, but for me the only culturally uplifting events are when black bloc tactics succeed in breaking through police lines to prevent a crowd from being kettled, or de-arrest peaceful protesters before they are seriously injured and carted off to jail by the cops.

We seem to have very different values.
+13 # JessJuan-d-Ring 2012-05-22 23:23
Not sure about different values, but different perceptions and conclusions.

The trouble is that the black bloc tactics PROVOKE and JUSTIFY (in the public's mind) the violence of police.

There is a legal system that protects peaceful protest... however imperfectly. Courts around the country have acquitted those falsely accused and detained, have indicted rogue police, etc. But as soon as the violence is started by protesters (and this includes property damage... the public doesn't much cotton to that any more than they like seeing signs urging the murder of policemen)... then anything the cops do is felt to be justified by the law AND the court of public opinion.
+4 # Glen 2012-05-23 06:30
Perhaps you should the article again to better understand the metaphor. Black Bloc is handing black information to the media, encouraging entertainment of the masses, rather than seeking understanding of the effort to stop the insane behavior of the U.S. government and those associated with them such as NATO, et al.
-7 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-05-23 07:06
Quoting Mark E. Smith:

Maybe for you watching people get their faces stomped on, their teeth knocked out, and their bones broken by the police is like watching a symphony, but for me the only culturally uplifting events are when black bloc tactics succeed in breaking through police lines to prevent a crowd from being kettled, or de-arrest peaceful protesters before they are seriously injured and carted off to jail by the cops.

We seem to have very different values.

I totally agree with you, and would like to add that although Black Bloc tactics are not popular, they are an alternative to peaceful means when your fellow protestors are being brutalized.

Do people not realize now that the peaceful approach is disregarded nowadays by the police? They mace, taze, beat, arrest people for just attending a protest such as Chicago or Occupy Wall Street.

We must get past our emotions of "peaceful" when the other side is the one initiating force instead of calm orderly approach. Its noble to try to act like Ghandi or King, but the police dont care about that anymore. Their instructions are to break skulls and put people away.

What are our alternatives? Send more people into the fire? There must be an alternative to peace when the other side doesn't honor peace.
+10 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 09:47
The 'other side' is not the target of protests; the mass of people is the target -- to convince the general populace that they must resist. The police are not going to responde to resistance except as individuals and part of the mass of people, and those giving the orders certainly are not going to be convinced to change their policies and stop grabbing all the money and power. The police will turn against the oligarchy when they make the transition of acting as cops to acting as citizens and human beings.

As a tactic, violence is not effective, particularly to bring the masses onto your side, and it's a ridiculous tactic when you are outgunned by police or military. There is alos the problem of personal moral hazard and psychological damage, as well as simply becoming the new tyrants if by some fluke you should win.

In short, unless you have a superior army, being violent is, if nothing else, dumb, and a rotten strategy.
+8 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-23 10:13
We got a lot more done without the protestors who wanted to prove they could be as strong in battle as the Police.

They make a point and at one time it was good. But Peaceful Protest is much more understood.

I do not want Bullies at my side, destroying other people's livings, their belongings. Some of the cars that were keyed etc were protestors cars. If they were workers cars, shoppers cars...what right did anyone have destroying their belongings. Bully Force did not pay the Loan, Insurance...ver y easy to make stupid points at expense of other people.
Breaking up store windows, scaring people that is not what Peaceful Protest which could draw the attention of the World is about. People who used to want to have their rally, their anger protest usually did so on their own. We were seperated. Now we are letting the cops in, the paid aholes in to disrupt, not give our protest a good value so more join.
Do you think a nice family wants to come to get their kids heads bashed in. Mace a kid with allergies? You will lose the real percentage if violence is how you want to stand, real Americans will not subject their kids, parents to it. We will sign petitions, send letter, make calls but we will not destroy in order to win. That is an empty win...
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-05-24 12:53
Peaceful protest is much more effective, pace Gandhi, MLK, ...
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 12:16
"Do people not realize now that the peaceful approach is disregarded nowadays by the police? They mace, taze, beat, arrest people for just attending a protest such as Chicago or Occupy Wall Street."

Those tactics are exactly what proves we're right and they're wrong. This is an instance where force doesn't work (because we don't have it anyway). The ONLY weapon we have is public opinion. Civil rights legislation didn't get passed because the protestors banged a bunch of klansmen's heads together. No. In fact, the more violent the resistence got, the more the nation stood behind the protestors and demanded justice.

Those people who were lynched didn't die in vain.
+10 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 07:37
Your values involve losing tactics. Our values involve non-violent protest tactics that have been used successfully for almost 100 years.

The fact is "yer outgunned slim". The only way to beat the cops at their own game is to have your own army (i.e. your own country with a NON-anarchist government). Since that won't be happening, the P.R. battle is the ONLY one that can be won.
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-23 10:15
Yes we either have Peaceful Protests, sitins etc or we declare War. Only when we do that, there still will be that percentage out to harm not to do what the agenda is. That number of creeps are growing daily....
0 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 12:32
I agree. It's a sign that we've struck a nerve requiring a slimy underhanded response from authoritarian forces.
0 # iggypops 2012-05-23 07:44
dude – you completely misread what you read.
the article starts off with: I like to compare those using Black Bloc tactics at a nonviolent protest to taking a six-year-old kid to the symphony.
and then you started your thoughts with: I don't understand how anyone can compare watching cops brutalize peaceful protesters to going to a symphony
i hope this is helpful.
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-23 10:04
I have been fortunate as we had cops present but never did they do anything to harm anyone. We followed the rules, had our permits, had speakers, even political but the creeps stayed away.
I do not condone people who have to go just to watch people get their teeth kicked in. I feel that when we bring our kids in today knowing the violence that is coming, we are not showing our kids the right thing.

I never did understand the lynch mentality, I am glad. I believe everyone has the right to protest...I just hope the creeps need one because they are disposed of.

For those of you who go...have nice people on side lines getting pictures of the thugs, police or junkies...get the pictures so they can be shared. Some of these thugs may just do this type of work cause that is all they want to be good at...bullying others. Sad claim to fame. Yes, kids I was the one called in to hurt seniors, peaceful protestors...I did not want to but....BUT There are no buts Sorry you got any thumbs down but then they are the ones that look for the violence cause after all what is interesting about a Peaceful Protest
+10 # rayd8ters 2012-05-23 10:55
When the Black Block is running down State Street, chanting:
"Who's Streets? NO Streets! BREAK UP THE CONCRETE!" (with the next, unsaid by implied line "AND TAKE THAT CONCRETE AND HURL IT AT THE POLICE"
...when this is in the middle of the march. There had been NO violence yet on the part of the authorities and the BB is clearly avocating violence before the fact.

You don't chant violent rhetoric if your purpose is to "prevent a crowd from being kettled, or de-arrest peaceful protesters before they are seriously injured and carted off to jail by the cops."
+8 # Rich Austin 2012-05-22 22:56
Dion Giles has the answer.
+24 # JessJuan-d-Ring 2012-05-22 22:58
I suspect that, sadly, too few in the audience to whom Gibson addresses this, the BB's, are the sort to actually read this or anything more than a twitter text. And in a way, they share traits with Tea Partiers, though they may be even less civil and possibly less thoughtful. In case, anarchy isn't a far step from libertarianism.
Yeah, maybe they're incited by agents provacateur, but then again, most of them seem hungry & more than ready to "act out".
As they present such a liability for progressive causes, it's clear that event organizers, and the movement in general, must develop and employ workable tactics. Not sure what works best, but I like Dion Giles' suggestion as one idea. Also, since their anonymity and hiding of faces, identity is so key to their tactics, I'd suggest depriving them of it...letting them know they'll be photographed, followed, identified and "ratted out" if necessary. The causes are too important to let these immature ninnies sabotage it merely for the sake of their kicks.
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 07:55
What makes you think they aren't teabaggers?
0 # shraeve 2012-05-23 14:29
You are correct. Anarchy is not very far from libertarianism. Both genuine anarchists and genuine libertarians are non-violent.
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 18:00
Notable example is Noam Chomksy.
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 19:05

"Well, there's a very simple answer to that: it's not a strategy, and since it's not a strategy at all, there can't be a better strategy. The strategy of "eliminating the state" is back on the level of "let's have peace and justice". How do you proceed to eliminate the state? Okay? Can you think of a way of doing it? I mean, if there were a way of doing it in the existing world, everything would collapse and be destroyed. You just can't do it. I mean, there is nothing to replace it. If there was a rich, powerful network of, you know, cooperatives, community organizations, worker-controll ed industry, you know, extending over the whole country, and the whole world, in fact, yeah, then you can talk about eliminating states. But to talk about eliminating the state in the world as it exists is simply to keep yourself in some remote academic seminar or small group, you know, saying, "Gee, this would be nice." It's not a strategy, so there can't be a better strategy. We are faced with realities."
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 23:41
Chomsky IS an anarchist, but not simply so;
[...]Ideologically identifying with anarcho-syndica lism and libertarian socialism, Chomsky ...
From the age of 12 or 13, he identified more fully with anarchist politics.[25]

Chomsky is right that something needs to be built (from the ground up) before eliminating the state. I have said that too. That's what my rhizome analogy or crabgrass coming up all over in the Spring, at intermindcollec tive, was about. That's an element of OWS. Thats why strategy needs to be developed and why people need to educate themselves, learn how to plan and other management skills. That's why I recommended organizing any sort of local group, and learning and practicing anarchisism management. It's part of the development and preparation.

See this -- he talks about much the same thing -- emergence of 'evolutionary reconstruction' , and yes, it could fail -- so people have to keep trying and developing. We didn't emerge from monarchy or feudalism overnight either, but there were many small areas where that happened and eventually developed into full blown nations.
+5 # spritzler 2012-05-23 19:01
The huge anarchist army under Machno in Russia that fought the pro-capitalist/ Monarchist forces (and also fought the Bolsheviks when attacked by them) in the years following the Russian October Revolution, and the even larger anarchist militias (most famously the Durruti Column led by the anarchist Buenoventura Durruti, whose funeral in 1936 in Barcelona was attended by 500,000 people) that fought the fascist, General Franco, to defend the anarchist-led Social Revolution that swept several provinces of Spain in 1936-9, show that anarchists (and if these weren't "genuine anarchists" then who else is?) are most definitely not followers of Gandhian nonviolence. Nor should they be!

As I said above, what's wrong with the BB is not "violence" per se, but the _wrongful_ use of violence. Violence in self-defense is morally right and often necessary. BB violence is neither in self-defense, nor useful. It only helps the 1%.

John Spritzler
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 19:07
You're absolutely right. Many self-proclaimed libertarians and anarchists fall short of their own professed ideals when the discussion drifts away from hypotheticals and becomes specific.
0 # DaveM 2012-05-22 23:22
I entirely agree that mingling with non-violent demonstrators and committing pointless acts of violence is completely pointless. As you note, some are almost certainly plants. Others are just people who ought to know better.

That said, we are approaching the point at which the police will kill a protester or protesters. And when that day arrives, the time for non-violence to serve any purpose save to supply victims will be over. On that day, let the thugs have the streets--the rest of us will be better off elsewhere.
-1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 14:23
Read the links I gave to Bill Moyer and Gene Sharp. Particularly Sharp's book 'From Dictatorship to Democracy'.

People are going to die from oppression, or violent resistance, or non-violent resistance, but only the last will give the desired results of democracy and justice.
-4 # indio007 2012-05-23 00:04
There are no black bloc anarchists. There are only agent provocateurs posing as anarchists.
The cops need to give themselves and excuse to crack heads.

Just like there was "lawlessness" after Katrina. It was totally contrived.
So is this article.
-1 # Broger 2012-05-23 00:23
Maybe we could hire private detectives to follow any suspicious acting types and find out who they are. It seems like camera and video phones are useful if people are trained to use them.
There's a great video from Canada with identified agent provocateurs slipping into the police line instead of running away. Check it out. This needs to be addressed:
-3 # debraslone 2012-05-23 00:26
+1 # Martintfre 2012-05-23 01:25
Any one who hides their face is a coward. They wish to do evil anonymously and not be held accountable for their crimes against others.

That goes for the Klan, the black bloc, Islamic radicals, rioters, riot police ...
+6 # rayd8ters 2012-05-23 15:18
I wish to take exception to your "Any one who hides their face is a coward" comment.

I am no Black Block'er, but with the facial recognition software available to the authorities today, I too chose to hide my face behind a bandanna, however not a black one...

I still remember the CPD "Red Squad" of the 60's out taking photographs of all of us. The same thing was happening Sunday.
-6 # Martintfre 2012-05-23 18:22
Then don't be doing things that would earn you trouble your not willing to own.
+6 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 19:51
In other words just bow down s.t.f.u. and do what you're told. Spoken like a true authoritarian.
+3 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 23:45
and go into a battle without your helmet on? We should be stupid and naive?

I don't think so, Martintfre.
0 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 08:26
I gave you thumbs up there. I think you should realize that. I've also given you thumbs up for many of your other comments on this thread.

Where we agree, we profoundly agree. Where we disagree, we profoundly disagree.
+6 # seeuingoa 2012-05-23 02:21
OCCUPY Gandhi style:

Step 1: sit down and get arrested

Step 2: when released, repeat Step 1

Overload the whole system.

Where will they put all these people?
Concentration Camps?

and show their true face

(google Gandhi and see how it worked for him)
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 12:35
One thing Gandhi had that we don't is the sympathy of the American press. That adds another wrinkle that we have to come to terms with. No one knows how many people have already been put away in concentration camps we don't even have names for ("black" sites)? No pictures were taken and the government wants to keep it that way. It's up to us to go AROUND their obstructionism and propaganda. It won't be easy.
+8 # James38 2012-05-23 03:14
We seem to have fallen into accepting as inevitable the police tactic of infiltrating and inserting "agents provocateurs".

If this is not specifically illegal, it should be made so, and making it severely illegal should be a top priority of all civil liberty groups. There should be major fines and firing of all police leaders who can be shown to have condoned or encouraged or ordered such actions,

Individual police officers who do this should be prosecuted and given jail time for the crime.

This is basically destructive to society, and is a violation of citizen's rights to free speech.

I can see no reason that this does not rise to the level of a violation of constitutional rights.
-5 # RMDC 2012-05-23 04:44
While I understand the point being made by Carl Gibson and partially agree, I still support the Black Block and all anarchists. For sure there are agent provocateurs posing as black block.

But the value of anarchists is that we need a higher level of disorder in society in general and at protests in particular. Order is what the government wants. As long as things are orderly, they are not challenged. They need to fear that all of us will break out of order.

Anarchists and Black Block activists are not violent. They do not respect property, especially corporate property. Destruction of corporate property is not violence. It is the corporate property that is an act of violence against all of us. It is good to smash some windows or burn down a building or a cop car. Those are necessary acts of expression. They occur all over the world and in all social protests.

Protests and revolutions are disorderly. Protests now days are too orderly, with all the permits, police barricades, and orderly marches. The right thing to do is take control of space or buildings and don't leave them. The Occupy movements understood this and that is why they were so effective. The posed the threat of civil disobedience. The Black Block and anarchists are our models of civil disobedience.
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 09:59
Sometimes destruction of property and such -- not anti-perosn violence unless you are going to do war, and that's very problematic -- is useful if it's part of an overall strategy. But the Black Block stuff is not part of an overall strategy, but chaotic, and that makes it ineffective.

It's like a military having loose cannons that go off and and shoot things up whenever they want to: you can't run a military campaign like that. That the police insert agents provocateur shows that such actions aid the fascists, not the people.

All of this protest stuff must be done with high qulity planning, sound thinking and analysis, good strategies shown to be effective in the past.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-23 10:20
Let them do as did Earth Justice and Panthers Have their own Marches stop making our movement look bad.

If they are cops, corporate slugs, and GOP/TP Bullies I do not want them near me or my family. I came with an Olive
branch not a Gun.

Stop using our time, our money, our permits...get your own. Go Down for Yourselves do Not Bring the Peaceful Demonstrators down with you and make this a sham in the Media and World.

Go Away, Do Your Thing at Your Event ADIOS
0 # DaveEwoldt 2012-05-23 11:08
You support all anarchists? Anarcho-capital ists and anarcho-liberta rians as well? The main things anarchists have in common is they are against coercion and control hierarchies.

Anarchism does not equal chaos or disorder. Peer-to-peer, networked, or mutually supportive relationships are all perfectly valid organizational techniques used by anarchists as they are non-hierarchical.

Destruction is violence. Self-defense, however, is not. We need to move beyond ideology and understand the difference. Corporate property can be community or worker property, so let's be clear what it is we're actually talking about.

Because I do agree with you that protest today has become too orderly. We voluntarily kettle ourselves into "free speech" zones and don't march outside the lines. That is absolutely ridiculous.
-1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 14:28
Thanks for helping to clarify.

The people posting who have not researched anarchism should do so -- is a good overview to start with.

It isn't just a matter of knowing what anarchism means, but exploring the philosophy and history of it.
0 # RMDC 2012-05-23 17:15
DaveE -- no I do not support anarcho-capital ists or anarcho-liberta rianism. I don't recognize those terms. I think the terms you are searching for are Chicago school economic theory with its roots in Austrian Theory. Joseph Schumpter's "creative destruction" is the root of economic the shock therapy or what Naomi Klein called the Shock Doctrine. that is not anarchism. It is fascism. Please don't confuse the two.

I do recognize the peaceful anarchism of Leo Tolstoy and Peter Kropotkin and value it very highly. And good idea to be clear what we are talking about. I'm talking about smashing a bank or Mcdonalds or logging equipment in the Redwood forests.
+8 # Inspired Citizen 2012-05-23 05:50
The black bloc anarchists' behavior is extrapolated onto the entire Occupy movement by Glenn Beck. He said, "Glenn has been warning about since September of last year – these protests are going to turn increasingly violent."

Actually, what he claimed was that Occupiers would raid the homes of the 1%, drag them out into the street and kill them, but his followers seem to have bad memories.

Point is, Gibson is right. The BB anarchists are undermining the non-violent nature of the movement, and that in turn helps the state rationalize its crack-down and repression. It's a lose-lose situation for everyone...but the 1%
-3 # 2012-05-23 05:51
I resent the comparison of taking a 6 year old to the symphony. I am a classical musician, and always took my young children to the symphony, bearing in mind if they got out of line even once, I would take them out. In fact, I have seen adults behave badly at concerts.I know there are those parents who do not act wisely in controling their children at these events, butplease use another analogy.
-2 # Citizen Mike 2012-05-23 06:27
Well, these guys seem to like violence so we must speak to them in their own language if we want to get rid of them. We need a special committee of true activists to make a point of grabbing one of these guys, pulling him aside deep into the crowd, unmasking him, taking photos, stripping him naked. Then grab another one and do the same. Let them know they are doing the wrong thing and damaging the movement and that this will no longer be tolerated.
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-23 10:25
I would personally like to see the Panthers and Earth Justice show them just how Protest on the Upper Grade Level is done. Then the mask wearers can see what it like to be on the end the bring to us.

To wear a Mask shows the Cowardice of their Actions. If you have something to Say, Stand Up Face your Peers and be Seen for Who You Are. Otherwise go back to the sands and stick your head in it.
-2 # pdxknows 2012-05-23 06:42
I agree with this article substantially.

Aren't the characteristic statistics used in the article incorrect though?

Several times I am reading the "99% and the 0.1%". Is this what the author really intends to look at the 99% and the top 1% of the 1%?

I always believed it was the 99% vs the 1% that is under discussion.

"99% vs the 1%"
+1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 10:04
Actual percentages and who is doing what is considerable more complicated; 99% is a catch phrase to sum it up without doing a 8-page statistical report and analysis. The more significant problem witht the 99% and 1% meme is that it implies the problem is just people ignores the underlying disastrous structural and system flaws of capitalism, or any system of massive inequality and uneven distribution of wealth and social and political power.
+6 # KurtLaw 2012-05-23 06:45
The Movement is strong and will succeed without violence against persons. Malcolm X said "you have to harness your anger, brother!". Harness your anger, brothers and sisters. We are strong and will overcome.

I saw the Movement of the '60s go astray. I will not let this Movement end in chaos.
+5 # handmjones 2012-05-23 06:49
Bad experience with BB at the G20 here in Toronto. It was a march of numerous organised groups. The BB used the peacefull marchers as cover and put their masks on only when bashing in storefronts. The only solution is for each peacefull group to designate their own security on each side and rip off masks and take pics. Secondly, they must place guards on police cars left unattended which happened here in Toronto, at the hockey riot in Vancouver and at the demonstration in London England.
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-23 10:26
If they do not have the Quality to Stand Up and be Counted...then tear their masks off and show them to all.

We who are Peaceful need no stinking masks!
+2 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-05-23 06:56
Although Black Block Anarchists are not my first choice of action when it comes to protests, I am questioning the effectiveness of the long popular peaceful protests.

In Chicago last Sunday, 75,000 people were confronted by not only a well armed and protected Chicago's Finest (cops) but also by other agencies such as state and federal. The "peaceful" protesters met with clubbing and beatings as well as arrests by the zealous militia.

Cities have been beefing up their manpower for such events as well as shoring up on new advanced technologies such as ear piercing noise machines, and tasing guns. They also preempted the demonstration by arresting key members a day in advance. The officials have been adjusting their defenses, but protestors have not.

Is it not time to reconsider new alternatives to the age old "peaceful protest"???

I think it is, and if you don't agree, please don't just thumbs down, reply to this post with some logical suggestions so we can all learn.
-1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 10:13
There is material about time-tested and well developed strategies around -- here's one source:

Google on

"bill moyer" -moyers

(Bill Moyer the activist, not Bill Moyers the journalist)

Find articles such as
-1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 10:23
Another good source is Gene Sharp

Get his free book (pdf) at

These people are experts at this stuff.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-23 10:28
Separate the Marches, the Actions. It keeps each group focused. It keeps the good protestors out there with family, friends in Numbers.
Violent Protests...fine do it on your time, your dime!
-2 # rayd8ters 2012-05-23 15:13
75,000 protesters? That's as ridiculous as MSM's reports of 1200....
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 07:31
"I'm willing to accept that there were likely several agents provocateurs working with the police inside a Black Bloc to incite violence"

'nuff said.


If some people are SO STUPID they actually involve themselves in this b.s. without F.B.I. encouragement they need to be rooted out. That's all there is to it. Peaceful protesters need to RESIST THE PRESENCE of so called "anarchists" (whether they be phony because they're really cops, or phony because they're suburban rich kids who'd scream if their credit card was cut off)

The only REAL anarchists live in the 3rd world, carry Uzis and lop each other's heads off for food.

Peaceful protestors need to turn forcefully against the police instigators wearing black and KEEP YOUR CAMERAS ON.
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-23 10:30
Amen. I would set up side liners to do the picture taking, stalking to see where they go, who they meet with and turn that with many over to Media ask the Media so who are these Protestors? Are they your buddies, did you know they were coming.

Another deception is they are wearing colors not of if you see these creeps showing up in black....Get Media to see that you and yours are in Light colors...go the opposite, have things on hand to one up the clowns for what they are
+2 # rayd8ters 2012-05-23 15:12
I wish I would have had a camera with me, I'm such a fool....
-9 # Phlippinout 2012-05-23 08:58
Love that sign, it really says it for me!
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-23 10:34
Yes I can understand how we could lose when we have feelings like that. You are so much a GOP/TP, Corporate Slug....Sure hope you enjoy jail
0 # reiverpacific 2012-05-23 09:59
We have been dealing with these types since the good ol' days of the 60's/70's (and probably before). It's disheartening to see that they are still at it.
I used to be a steward, one of those who tried to provide a self-policing element to marches and protests of that era and I personally took a few of them out, knew who some of them were (we didn't have digital or cell phone cameras then) and found that they were mostly often upper-middle class disgruntled brats and their cowerin' followers -outside of the agents-provocat eurs, who were mostly not police -cops were actually a bit less aggressive then and were OK until these bastards started their mindless abuses. AP's were aggressive post-Mosely Nazis or Nationalist fringe elements, who actually all combined to make the police and we marshal's jobs almost impossible. whilst concurrently serving to obscure or cloud the protest message and engender public hostility; which was part of the old-established "divide and conquer" tactics,
This was in the UK of course. I don't know how it was here, as the US police have always seemed to be more hostile to demonstrations, even before the militarized-cop era.
Sadly, the power-owners and owner-media love this kind of thing as an excuse -if they ever really needed one- to dismiss or disparage any progressive protest and cause we are trying to bring to the sleeping masses' attention.
I wish "Occupy" the best in flushing them out!
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 11:31
I saw one report that said many of them were new police recruits or in police academy.

A major way the oligarchy tries to put down the people is to make those resisting look bad, and one way is to plant violent disruptors and similar into the protests. On international or national levels the same tactics are done, and called false flag attacks.
+6 # Brooklyn Girl 2012-05-23 10:04
I lived through the '60s and watched how the "revolution" got co-opted by people like this. Those who advocate violence are part of the problem, not the solution.
-1 # Tcan 2012-05-23 10:26
-2 # rgreeman 2012-05-23 10:38
Thanks for expressing in plain commonsense language what so many of us activists feel about asshole black block provocations. I'm an old rev. from the Sixties, and as for super-revolutio nary elitest, arrogant petty-bourgeois , bullshit politica, I know what harm the do to horizontal organizing and how (hey help the gov't kill movements., I was in SDS at Columbia U in 1968 and close to both Mark Rudd and Dave Gilbert, who were great guys and good organizers but who got sucked into that stupid Weat(her bullshit and decided to dismantale SDS just when we were becoming a signivicant a mass movement because they thought they were so much more revolutionary than everybody else. This was a tragedy for the movement. I still correspond wih both Rudd 'who has become nonviolent) and Gilbert, bravely resisting in prison. I defended the Panthers in New Haven and was friends with Lonny McLucas, who did time. This looks like dejà vu all over again.
+1 # Peace Anonymous 2012-05-23 11:21
Thank You Carl. It takes a different kind of thinking to solve the problem than it took to cause the problem. 99% of the 99% want change and they want it peacefully. And then there are the fools. We want to grow our democracies - not destroy them.
+7 # Listner 2012-05-23 11:56
The sign the masked woman in the picture is holding is WRONG. It's not the message we want to send. In fact, it's the message the corporations DO want to send.All these people want is violence and mayhem.
Few things will encourage police to unite like someone advocating their demise.Violence at any level is counterproducti ve.Try to remember the really violent event during which the protestors got the upper hand.

The best demonstration is one of message, non violence and plenty of people with good quality camera equiptment. If unwarranted violence breaks out at a peaceful protest and was perpetrated by the police, get it on camera.It's impossible to dispute actual footage of the event. It has worked over and over in many cities around the country. GET IT ON FILM.
If you know where the event will take place, try to get people up above the crowd. From apartment windows or rooftops and use good equiptment so people can see faces and clothing clearly. A peaceful protest is very effective and if violence breaks out, it's easy to tell why and where if people are filming.
If unwarranted violence is being perpertrated by the police then public opinion is with the protesters, but you have to get it on film.
+1 # shraeve 2012-05-23 15:02
I am disturbed by the anti-police comments I am seeing here. I am not just talking about those people who defend that thug with the sign, but also by many who seem to think that the police are the natural enemies of those who protest peacefully for social justice.

Most cops have lousy jobs for which they get lousy pay. They are working class and they come from the working class. They are working people who find it increasingly difficult to survive. Aren't those the kind of people we are trying to reach?

Equally important, the police have the sympathy of the American people. Having an attitude of contempt for the police will not win us many friends among the 99%.

Leon Trotsky said that in 1917 he saw Red demonstrators filing past a policeman. When the policeman winked at them, he knew the Reds were going to win.
-2 # shraeve 2012-05-23 15:09
I wish people would stop calling the Black Bloc thugs anarchists. Anarchists are not violent. The members of the Black Bloc are terrorists.
+1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 15:44
Most people do not understand what anarchism is, and refuse to learn -- easier to just lap up the propaganda and nurse along their old notions like a nearly empty bottle of Old Crow.

A primary thing that people are going to have to do to get past these problems is to do some research and study -- political science, history, economics, sociology, linguistics and propaganda, logic and critical thinking. It will take time and effort of course, and should have been part of the learning that people should have doing all their lives but they were inundated with fascist and imperialistic brainwashing, and a lot that stuck.

But it's not too late to start, and is crucial if the fascists are to be defeated. As someone mentioned above, half the Black Blockers they talked had no clue about politics or anything else involved -- which is one big reason they go off messing everything up. But the same is true for most people: ignorance is rampant in the US.
0 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 17:36
What if people read the theory and still disagree with it?
-1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-24 22:33
(I replied to this yesterday sometime, but it got lost somewhere, so I'll add this, in a somewhat different form.)

Then they disagree, but it can be properly discussed and everyone know what is being disagreed. If the words and concepts are not understood and used correctly than it's impossible to discuss, or even to legitimately disagree. The theory and practice of anarchism is quite old (from ancient China, to American Indian nations, to traditions everywhere in the world, including North America), and widely established, even though there are numerous variations.

It has to be understood or it's like insisting one doesn't like communism because of the USSR, when what the USSR had was state capitalism and not communism. That's not at all the same as disagreeing with actual communism.

And that's as far as I'll go with you on this.
0 # shraeve 2012-05-26 13:57
You said, "...half the Black Blockers they talked had no clue about politics or anything else involved -- which is one big reason they go off messing everything up."

That is typical of the kinds of thugs the fascists use to come to power (e.g. the SA).
-3 # Martintfre 2012-05-23 18:27
Quoting shraeve:
... Anarchists are not violent. ...

If men had the disposition of angels (ignore Lucifer ;) then there would be no need for laws.
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 19:26
What is your point?
0 # wfalco 2012-05-23 17:59
Agreed there is alot of ignorance out there and some are looking for a fight...any fight. I am certain there may be some Black Blocers who believe their answer to massive inequality and the decline of the middle class is to revolt. Perhaps they are not looking for a fight but are quite willing to rely on it. However the thugs will follow. Sort of reminds me of the movie, 'Fight Club." I will remain steadfast in my philosophy of radical non-violence.
+4 # Kathymoi 2012-05-23 18:36
Anyone who is not a peaceful and nonviolent protester is not part of the Occupy movement.
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-23 19:27
You're right. It's as simple as that.
+1 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-05-23 19:32
We are debating the validity of and justification or not of the Black Blocers, but we are ignoring a very important element here.

The police has become more aggressive and more violent and are arguing here as to what right do the Black Bloc have in a protest.

Lets set that issue of Black Bloc aside for a moment and consider how do you deal with a more violent and more ruthless police?? By having a sit in? Forget the Black Bloc, what would you suggest as an alternative to to sitting "peacefully" and just allow yourself and others to be tazed, maced, clubbed and then hauled off for just sitting somewhere?

So, the Black Bloc is a non-issue as an alternative, but what do you do to counter a brutal and out of control police such as we have seen in California, NY, and Chicago??? Just sit and take it?
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 23:54
Get it on video and put it on the internet, and everywhere else you can. Then the police and oligarchy lose in oublic opinion and more people become incensed and willing to resist -- and it works on the conscience of many police officers, increasing the chances they will join the resistance.
+2 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-05-25 18:09
Great idea to put it on video, and its been effectively done. Have you noticed that some communities have new laws that forbid anyone from video taping or photographing police at their job??? Yet, they can have a dash cam as well as a pocket camera and they can send their videographers to events and take all the pictures they can, but the public is losing that right.

Another phase of loss of rights and equity for us the citizens.
-4 # shraeve 2012-05-24 01:00
We are not able to fight the police. To think otherwise is to indulge in a fantasy.

The riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago accomplished nothing for progressives, and they gave everything to the reactionaries. One member of Young Americans for Freedom (an ultra-right group) reportedly said, "They are handing us the country". Unfortunately he was right.
0 # Mark E. Smith 2012-05-23 20:50
I enjoyed reading S. Brian Willson's book, Blood on the Tracks, and I've attended a couple of his talks and watched many more online. Here's a recent talk he gave to Occupy Portland:

Brian is a committed pacifist and I agree with everything he says, except for the pacifism. The Vietnam war wasn't ended by peaceful protests, it ended because the Vietnamese fought back and won.

The reason for nonviolence in the US, in my opinion, is that many Occupiers are not opposed to capitalist imperialism, are not part of the global struggle against injustice, but simply want more rights, benefits, and privileges for themselves. They don't want to antagonize or alienate the authorities or the materialistic mainstream public because they support capitalist imperialism and really couldn't care less about the harm it does, as long as it isn't harming them personally.

If violence was a turn-off for the general public, the cops would have no support whatsoever any more. That isn't the case.

Watch what is happening. You'll see Occupiers forming human barriers to protect bank windows, but only those using black bloc tactics will form human barriers to protect people. Until Occupy starts valuing people over property, it is supporting capitalist imperialist violence and is the enemy of the global struggle for justice.
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-23 23:55
The Vietnam war ended because the soldiers turned against it.
0 # Martintfre 2012-05-24 10:47
The viet nam soldiers were drafted -- far more likely to quickly get irritable.
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 12:03
You're right. An all-volunteer army can go much further without concerns about moral and conscientious objection to its attrocities. Anyone who doesn't like torturing small children can be answered with a simple, "Too bad! You signed up for it!"
-1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-24 00:36
I just ran across this:

No Country for Young Men as Old Men Play for Time: The End in Afghanistan is Totally Predictable
by Dave Lindorff
May 22, 2012

During those two terrible years between Kerry’s statement ["How do you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?"] and the end of US combat operations, American soldiers stationed in Vietnam knew that the war was lost, and knew they were there for no reason other than keeping President Nixon from looking like he had lost a war, particularly as he faced re-election during the campaign year of 1972. There was, understandably, massive resort to drugs, including marijuana, opium, heroin, LSD and others, as well as alcohol. There was the fragging of commanding officers who were too aggressive about sending their troops into danger. There was insubordination and insurrection and there was desertion.

Now consider the situation in Afghanistan.
0 # shraeve 2012-05-24 00:55
Forming human barriers to protect people is not the problematic BB behavior we are concerned with here.
+3 # shraeve 2012-05-24 02:51
You are comparing OWS with the Vietnamese in the Vietnam war? The Vietnamese were in their country fighting invaders from a country on the other side of the world. The Vietnamese had the support of two powerful neighboring countries, China and the USSR. The Americans had to transport their troops and supplies across the Pacific Ocean. Which foreign superpower is giving arms to OWS?

Every Vietnamese soldier or guerrilla had a rifle. Do you bring your rifle to OWS? The police have some very powerful and sophisticated rifles, and they are trained to use them. A trained sniper can put a .30-caliber bullet through a nickle at 1000 yards. Can you? I was at a peace demonstration several years ago. There were cops there, just watching us, clad in black, with long, nylon cases. If some of us had started shooting I suspect those cases would have been opened very quickly, and I don't think guitars would have come out.

The Vietnamese had almost total support from their countrymen.

The police have almost total support from the American people. If you knocked on a door and said, "I just killed a cop. Can you hide me?", I am pretty sure 100 out of 100 would notify the authorities. If they didn't kill you first.

You are living in the same fantasy land as the Weather Underground. Look how far they got.
-3 # Martintfre 2012-05-24 10:51
//You are living in the same fantasy land as the Weather Underground. Look how far they got.// Id say Bill Ayers has made some pretty good connections.
-2 # shraeve 2012-05-24 15:59
Excellent example. Bill Ayers was from a wealthy family, attended a prep school and later was admitted to the U. of Michigan as a legacy. Ayers ran around pretending to be a revolutionary, making and planting bombs. Several people were killed, including some of his fellow terrorists.

He never had to spend any time in prison for his terrorist activities. Ayers is now a college professor and is a celebrity in some circles.

Ayers is a classic example of the terrorists that Lenin so thoroughly despised. He did not come from the working class, he had no connection with the working class or their struggles, and his his ego-tripping violence only set back the working class. Lenin said if the outrages of everyday life don't cause the proletariat to revolt, then why would the antics of a few self-selected elitists engaged in single combat with the forces of the state cause them to do so?

Ayers' only accomplishment was to lend legitimacy to police state operations such as COINTELPRO. Those operations were the beginning of today's "war on terror". Yet Ayers said his only regret was that he did not plant more bombs. That statement provides eloquent testimony as to the man's character and intelligence. He is an elitist who "did his thing" and may have helped his career, at terrible cost to the working class. Typical of the elites who "help" the working class.
-2 # JessJuan-d-Ring 2012-05-24 15:12
Quoting Mark E. Smith:
...The Vietnam war wasn't ended by peaceful protests, it ended because the Vietnamese fought back and won.


That's a sweeping oversimplificat ion and misunderstandin g. Peaceful protest in the US grew sufficiently large such that eventually, public opinion (initially apathetic) turned heavily against the war, forcing U.S. decision to withdraw.
+2 # jimmykeys 2012-05-23 22:28
In the 1960's landmark civil rights legislation passed Congress. The crucial votes to pass this legislation of course came from people of conscience. However, theirs were not enough votes....the majority was obtained when Congress members who feared the outcome of urban riots decided to support ameliorative measures.

I submitted a comment earlier that violence or the threat of violence was necessary to obtain the endorsement of elites for progressive change. Since it received 28 thumbs down, I thought I would add this clarification. I don't "support" the anarchists, but to me it is not a matter of picking the good guys. It is a matter of trying to accept the unfortunate fact that without threats concessions aren't obtained, even in the case of the Southern Civil Rights movement. Anarchists are a social phenomenon, not a group that can be wished away. But apparently no-one agrees so I'll butt out.
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-24 00:46
It's nopt violence doesn't scare the elites, but that the elites have more force than the people, and that it doesn't end well. The violence woke people up that something was happeneing -- but so does OWS, and the rotten economy for sure.

Civil right improved some for a while, but it has gotten worse, but in more subtle ways -- the problem is far from solved and this is certainly not a 'post-racial' society -- just the education, unemployment and incarceration data shows that. We still have to work on public consciousness.

It's important to look at the system -- the 'big picture' and the underlying forces. Blacks are still a marked scapegoat group, and Latinos increasingly so (add women and the poor there if you want) -- and I'll say that it's because capitalism/fasc ism requires scapegoat groups and an underclass to exploit.
-1 # DaveEwoldt 2012-05-24 09:02
Hey bluepilgrim. I'm not disagreeing with you here, but clarifying. The big picture and root causes are kinda my schtick. Hierarchies and a pathological sense of the other runs much deeper than capitalism, and I think it's important to address that fact if we're going to be successful in implementing an alternative that preserves life on Earth... and hopefully a few human rights as well :-)
-1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-24 22:07
Sort of 'yes,but'...

You are correct, and fear of the other is found in many places and times (but ot always -- often a response to shortage of resources, and as some cultures developed).
Yet, it is exploited, now by capitalism, but also through history by any 'leader' who thought that scapegoats, domonization, xenophobia, etc. would be useful.

I think it (call it tribalism?) is a natural potential as part of 'human nature' and the way the brain works, but is not always invoked. Surprise at encountering strangers and 'others' is one thing -- to be expected -- but the reaction can vary. Children tend to be less afraid, so I suspect there is much acculturation in play, and factors from the current environment.

Hierarchy often flows from the models parent present to children -- like Lakoff's 'nation as parent' -- but it depends also on how children are raised and the family and village structures. We don't want to, as 'sociologists', generalize too much from what we see here and now -- our own particular experience. The brain, and the culture, is very plastic.
+1 # shraeve 2012-05-24 02:23
Are you trying to imply that the civil rights movement used violence? That could not be further from the truth. The Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. modeled his movement on Gandhi's. If the civil rights activists had used violence we would still have legal segregation.

El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was militant and non-violent. He advocated dignity and self-reliance for the African-America n community. He never advocated violence.

The civil rights movement came to a screeching halt when it was commandeered by ego-trippers such as Stokely Carmichael, Huey Newton, and H. Rap Brown. Why do you think small-time crook Tricky Dick Nixon got elected twice, over happy warrior Hubert Humphrey and genuine war hero George McGovern? Why do you think an ignorant, racist bumpkin like George Wallace got so many votes? Because the American people were fed up with riots and perceived lawlessness.

Then, as now, the thugs and terrorists were enabled by some intellectuals and "leftists" who tried to make them out to be freedom fighters or proletarian heroes. College professor Angela Davis was swept off her feet by two-bit thug George Jackson. She got his brother and several innocent people killed in a hare-brained terrorist attack on a California courtroom.

Aren't we ever going to learn?
0 # jimmykeys 2012-05-24 09:52
Thanks,now I know why I got a lot of negative responses to my post. I certainly am NOT saying the civil rights movement used violence. I said that the legislative gains in the 1960's would not have been achieved---ther e were not enough votes in Congress---with out the support of Senators and Congresspersons who were more afraid of Malcolm than swayed by MLK. I am not an advocate, I am trying to practice sociology. My conclusion is that some violent people will always be involved and actually seem to be an effective part of the mix--provided they are in a minority.
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-05-24 12:10
I disagree with your conclusion. Malcom X was used as a tool to keep people oppressed. His words were intentionally distorted to make him sound a lot more violent than anything he ever actually espoused. His political enemies were a lot more sophistocated than he was.

The fact that Martin Luther King was as successful as he was was more a tribute to his political resourcefulness , the determination of those in the movement, the rightness of their cause, and the fact that they worked around the propaganda with an affective strategy of their own.

Believe me, the South was not intimidated by Malcom X. Although the forces of segregation were using him against the civil rights movement. The one case where intimidation DID IN FACT work was when actual troops were sent to Southern states to ENFORCE already existing laws.

Big government came to the rescue and did some intimidating. Thank God for it too! But Malcom X was used by manipulators who knew few whites would actually take the time to listen to what he had to say.
-2 # Martintfre 2012-05-24 10:41
//Are you trying to imply that the civil rights movement used violence? // There definitely was a component that advocated violence - they were a constant headache for MLK - He knew that no matter how justified they felt in doing their actions it would only justify the most negative stereotypes made against the blacks and the entire civil rights movement and cost was far more then it could ever gain - MLK was absolutely right on that.
+1 # socrates2 2012-05-24 08:33
If the BB's don't listen to reason, I must attribute it to one of two things, 1) The individuals in the BB group are either very immature, impulsive and lack world experience to understand the concept of political legitimacy; or 2) They indeed are Agent Provocateurs and police plants specifically embedded to generate violence and strip legitimacy from the peaceful demonstrators.
What is "legitimacy?" The idea that a group or even an individual speaks for the rest of us because they present a better moral alternative that benefits the majority and not an oppressive minority.
As it stands, for generations, the police and our armed forces were invested with the political legitimacy to use force and coercion because we acknowledged that they existed to defend the majority (or the republic)agains t the reckless, violent few.
OW's pacifist posture shifts legitimacy and credibility to _the protesters_. The police are viewed as representing oppression. When BB resorts to violence, BB shifts legitimacy of the use of force to the 1%.
The moral high ground for now "belongs" to OW. But a handful of violent/destruc tive BB's could shift the equation.
Recall what the anti-war riots in the streets did for Nixon and his ilk in 1968...
-2 # Dormaphaea 2012-05-24 09:31
Months ago, in the early stages of planning, orgs involved came together signing off on something called "The Chicago Principle" which pretty much guaranteed tacit approval of a "diversity of tactics." I'm not sure who was behind this, but in a rather naive fashion, it ends up being nothing more than a "don't ask don't tell" ruling, foisted upon everyone by the leadership hierarchy of these orgs. While the idea of calling out the AP's and BBer's with finger pointing and chants is an effective means of a body made up of mostly peaceful protestors, those in the BB and those naively sympathetic to their "cause" would have quashed and condemned this effort. The very principles which everyone was subjected to (and let's just let the irony stand here for a moment) pretty much left us all lambs to the slaughter and forced us to tamp down our core values as peaceful demonstrators, as well as infringing on our first amendment rights to assemble peacefully. There was no leadership coming forth with any kind of statement or directive or plan that would work to diffuse their tactics, we either had to accept them, or not show up. I'm rather opposed to authoritarianis m no matter which side it's coming from; these principles were very much just telling me to "sit down and shut up." The security bigwigs were probably slapping themselves on the back with joy, realizing how easy it was all going to be once those principles were published. Con't...
-1 # Dormaphaea 2012-05-24 09:32
Here's the statement from the Occupy Chgo page: Chicago Principles

Our solidarity will be based on respect for a political diversity within the struggle for social, economic and environmental justice. As individuals and groups, we may choose to engage in a diversity of tactics and plans of action but are committed to treating each other with respect and working towards a common goal of peace and justice.
As we plan our actions and tactics, we will take care to maintain appropriate separations of time and space between divergent tactics.
We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption, limiting our action to “free speech zones,” and violence, or attempts to divide our movement through the conscious creation of divisions regarding tactics, organization, strategies, and alliances.
Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events."
-3 # Martintfre 2012-05-24 10:45
//Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events."//

That premise alone negates all the talk about respecting individuals and diversity of thought or action, and worse - it negates the possibility of learning from error .. have at it folks.
+1 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-24 13:17
Not at all -- it just means that people won't mount media campaigns againt fellow members and trashing others publicly --- but they can still debate and criticize directly with other members within the framework of the group. This is common among many, probably most, organizations, including business -- it's considered to be poor form at least.

What you are saying is a gross misinterpretati on of the purport.
+6 # spritzler 2012-05-24 10:06
The problem with the BB is not that they are violent per se, it is that they are violent in a way that is harmful to the 99% and beneficial to the 1%, for the reasons others have pointed out. Let us not throw the baby out with the bathwater, however. Violence in self-defense is morally justified.

The Jews of the Warsaw ghetto were not being immoral when they fought back violently

The anarchists who took up arms against the fascist General Franco in defense of the social revolution in several provinces of Spain from 1936 to 1939 not only were acting with moral justification but also with strategic wisdom: the massive support of Spanish workers and peasants for the military fight against the fascists meant that it would have been a crime not to have waged that fight. The fascists (with a lot of help from Stalin as well as the "democratic" nations like the U.S.) defeated the Spanish Revolution not because the workers and peasants used violence to defend it, but because they allowed counter-revolut ionaries in the anti-fascist camp to prevent the revolution from gaining the crucial support of Moroccans and Spanish workers and peasants who were enlisted into the fascist army. This is an important historical event to learn from. But one thing it makes clear: violence in self-defense when the public sees the need for it and supports it, is both moral and wise.
0 # shraeve 2012-05-26 14:17
You said:
"...violence in self-defense when the public sees the need for it and supports it, is both moral and wise."

True. But you should understand OWS in 2012 is not anything like the Warsaw ghetto in 1943 or Spain in 1936.

You are right about the Spanish Republicans' cause being sabotaged by the totalitarian Spanish Communist Party. They spent more time killing Trotskyists and anarchists than they did fighting the Falanque. They took their orders from Soviet dictator Stalin, who was probably afraid that if Spain went leftist then the USA would not support him in the conflict with Hitler, which he knew was going to happen sooner or later.

That a**hole Dolores Ibarruri (La Passionara") defended the worst of the oppression. Yet she and her rotten Spanish Communist Party are heroes to many useful idiots on the left.
+2 # DLT888 2012-05-24 17:15
I will bet anything those Black Boxers were set there by the FBI or the police specifically to try and make things violent. Don't fall for it. Cops and the FBI are behind those people. They are not part of the movement.
+1 # Mark E. Smith 2012-05-25 13:05
I agree with this article: Of Property and Propaganda - Black Bloc Anarchists and State Terrorism, by Rob Urie.

Liberals don't seem to know who their enemy is or who their friends are.

Since I happen to be a person, I will always care more about people than about property.
+1 # hankgeorge 2012-05-26 10:14
Who gives a damn what Lenin said? His revolution failed the working class as much as any have. Violence will not work. They have all the weaponry they need and violence is just an excuse for them to propagate more violence. The path to change is a rise in consciousness catalyzing an unrelenting determination to confront this unjust system at every turn, winning over others rather than turning them away with infantile violent behavior.

We have one thing on our side. We outnumber them. How we spend our money and what we do day-to-day impacts them more than acts of violence ever will. We can bring down the flawed aspects of this failed system by depriving it of the spending and service that it requires to thrive.
+2 # jimyoung 2012-05-26 11:20
Actually, I believe the Cato institute cared what Lenin said, and recommended Republicans use Lenin's tactics in denouncing everything about your target's positions and policies, sabotaging them at every opportunity, while continuously singing the praises of your "idealistic" theories (no matter how badly implementations of them have worked in the past). Gingrich's GoPac memo on the use of language ( seems a modern implementation of Lenin's tactics, and a big part of the reason I left the party after 5 generations (about the same time Elizabeth Warren left the Republican party). The surprise push for privatizing/pir atizing Social Security after the 2004 election seemed a case study in such tactics. I'm reminded of what that could have led to by the Bankruptcy Notice I received on my Kodak based pension plan yesterday (more real than any threat of my Social Security becoming bankrupt).

We do indeed far outnumber the biggest freeloaders, who are now about the same percentage as the pre-French Revolution elite that felt similarly entitled to pay far less percentages (if any) in taxes, while taking far more from their economies like the bail out bandits do now.
0 # shraeve 2012-05-26 14:41
Communists and fascists tend to borrow each others' tactics (and personnel). The real polarity is not between fascism and communism (which are actually first cousins), but between freedom and totalitarianism .
0 # shraeve 2012-05-26 14:31
Violent revolutions very rarely succeed. They tend to bring violent, ruthless people to power. A democratic, non-violent revolution is a much better option. The "color revolutions", as well as the one in Tunisia, are good examples.
0 # alexbrownson 2012-05-26 16:54
Are we drawing a line between the black bloc anarchist protesters, who propose, initiate, or instigate violence at these political rallies, and your average person (or protester) who proposes, initiates, or instigates violence for political purposes? I've never met someone who called themselves a black bloc anarchist, but I am aware of plenty of enlightened, intelligent men who looked at their political situation and decided violence was the only way to solve their problem. What about the founders of this country, those men whose ideals many of you will opine about--who picked up rifles and murdered British soldiers. Bunch of childish thugs?
0 # jimyoung 2012-05-26 19:34
I believe we Americans "stood our ground" at Lexington and Concord, much more than deciding to "murder" British soldiers. What did they expect from a few generations of militia men that had often volunteered to fight in actions beneficial to Britain and our own interests, and then been asked to just surrender their arms? The Black Bloc and other violence promoting anarchists are a very far cry from the militias that had fought for "their country." Like most local populations, they are the fiercest opponents when you move on their homes and property.

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