Thursday, February 9, 2012

Are the Violent Black Bloc Sheep of Occupy Killing the Movement?

Are Violent Black 'Bloc' Protestors threatening the Success of the Occupy Movement?

The Occupy Movement includes people from all walks of life with all sorts of agendas. Though unified by the desire for change, the participants vary by age, race, occupations, financial status, interests and intentions.

Though most of those who Occupy do so for righteous reasons and purpose, there are those who are only there to disrupt and destroy. Out of those there to harm the movement, there those who seek to do so for the “hell” of it, there are undoubtedly those who do so to give a bad name to a noble cause. 

It would be interesting to know how many among Black Bloc are police infiltrators provoking more violence and harm. 

The Black Bloc anarchists, who have been active on every front and in every city of the Occupy Movement, are that bad name. The attendance of these Black Bloc anarchists (named so because they dress all in black) who hide their faces, move around in packs, destroy property and provoke physical confrontations with police every chance they get is what not only gives Occupy a bad name, it destroys sympathy, credibility and likeability, while alienating The Movement from potential supporters.

In several cities Occupy encampments were even shut down because of these Black Bloc anarchists. There is ever growing concern that the movement is being taken over by these hate mongers bent on overthrowing capitalism with violent revolution. More and more the majority of peaceful activists worry that their message is being hijacked by hoodlums.

The Black Bloc fanatics hate those on the left, looking for ways to take away our tools of empowerment. They actually believe that petty acts of violence and vandalism is a revolution.

They argue that the real enemy is not the capitalists, globalists and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but the radical intellectuals, environmental activists and unions. Anyone seeking to rebuild society through nonviolent, civil disobedience their enemy. Anyone on the left who is not willing to use violence is not helping their cause.

Fortunately for the Occupy movement, because anarchists do not believe in organization, they guarantee their own powerlessness. Thus, they limit themselves to being obstructionists.

Defending the rambling manifesto by their hero, the Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski, called “Industrial Society and Its Future,” the leader of the Black Bloc, John Zerzan is a vocal critic of a long list of supposed sellouts, including Noam Chomsky (one of the greatest political minds in history) and anyone else who is not willing to use violence as a means to justify their goal... whatever that might be.

In Zerzan’s magazine failure, Green Anarchy, he once published an article by someone known as “Venomous Butterfly” which criticized the EZLN (Zapatista Army for National Liberation), declaring that “not only are those [the Zapatistas’] aims not anarchist; they are not even revolutionary.”

Even those who disagree with the use of violence and vandalism are unwilling to oppose and afraid to speak out against the Black Bloc, not only because that would be siding with “the enemy,” but also out of fear of revenge by these violent thugs, who are not above using vandalism and beatings to intimidate people who don't agree with them.

Occupy locations around the nation have set-up General Assemblies (“GA”) for governance and planning of their agenda. Unfortunately, the Black Bloc excessively manipulates decisions made at the GAs, with the majority of the Occupy participants only showing up for demonstrations, the Black Bloc hoods which often camps on location overnight, are often left to dominate activities.

Time magazine national poll found: “Occupy movement has a 54 percent favorable rating; the Tea Party’s rating is 27 percent,” in mid-October, but after the vandalism and reported rapes in Occupy New York, Dallas, Cleveland and Baltimore, only 33 percent of likely U.S. voters held a favorable view of the protesters, with 43 percent regarding them unfavorably.

The growing Black Bloc is obviously attempting to disrupt the Occupy Movement. The question is if America and the world will embrace the overall message of the real, honorable activists or succumb to the anti-message of violent thugs.

In the end, it may prove to be more effective using Anonymous, rather than Occupy, as a model for demanding change. Though even Anonymous has it’s own Black Bloc of sorts, the sheer numbers possible with this representation, will show it the more effective way to force governments to pay attention, even getting them to accept some of their demands.

This way of persuasion proved itself recently by getting the prominent SOPA and PIPA censorship bills shelved. Nobody thought it would be possible to reverse bills that had already been voted in, but the overwhelming social media protest participation of people everywhere finally made Washington realize it would be wise to back down.

Unfortunately, Washington is already preparing for a better response to any such attempts to get legislation changed in the future. In fact, by passing measures such as CISPA, NDAA and the new Executive Order, lawmakers are laying the groundwork to squash any future attempts by the public, whether it be Occupy, Anonymous or anybody else, to dictate policy.

Fortunately, the countless attempts that have been made to provide Obama with an Internet “kill switch,” have met with such an outcry from left and right alike that they have died in Congress. The day this happens is the day our last shreds of freedom will truly be in jeopardy, effectively shutting down Anonymous and other hacktivists, as well as stopping the free-flow of information and communication needed for the public to be kept aware of oppressive plans and actions and the means to organize and launch an opposition like the Occupy Movement. 

No, I don’t think it will be quite as easy to stop Washington next time, folks.

But let’s do our best anyway!

Written By: Tom Retterbush
Updated: 5-20-12

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