Battle for the Soul of Occupy

  • Posted on: 7 May 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>From <a href="

<p><b>Occupy&rsquo;s May Day General Strike</b> was a surprising and bold success for the visceral side of the movement. While most of Occupy put its energy into building coalitions with &ldquo;legacy progressive groups&rdquo;, labor unions and immigrant rights organizations, these efforts did not yield the anticipated results. In New York, for example, despite amassing a <a href="">coalition</a> of over a hundred organizations and rallying a crowd of more than 30,000, occupiers were thwarted in their attempts to shut down banks or re-occupy Wall Street. And some Zuccottis have complained that union representatives actively blocked an attempt to lead the crowd toward direct action at the end of the night. Meanwhile in Seattle, Oakland, San Francisco, New Orleans and elsewhere, anarchists using Black Bloc tactics stole the show.</p>

<p>On websites and forums, anarchists are rejoicing the spectacular showing of Black Bloc. &ldquo;American anarchists haven&rsquo;t experienced this much positive public attention since the euphoria and aftermath of N30 in Seattle,&rdquo; <a href="">writes</a> one commentator. For many, the Black Bloc represents a tactical innovation that suggests the future of Occupy. &ldquo;Occupy is dead, long live the Black Bloc,&rdquo; <a href="">writes</a> another. An anarchist in New Orleans <a href=" how the status quo was unprepared for their tactics: &ldquo;the Anti-Capitalism march caught the police off-guard and has the media dumb-founded. A full 24-hours later the Times Picayune has said nothing about the Anti-Capitalist March, only making mention of the permitted march that happened earlier in the day.&rdquo;</p></td><td><img title="How many rounds is this fight again? 1000?" src=""></td><...

<p>In Oakland, the Black Bloc, which made up a large portion of the May Day General Strike, displayed a coordinated tactical philosophy &ndash; including the de-arresting of comrades, throwing eggs filled with paint, using homemade smoke-creating incendiaries to confuse police, and the rejection of media &ndash; that suggests prior planning, ongoing innovation and increasing sophistication. And Black Bloc tactics are just one aspect of the overall rejuvenation of anarchism that is happening right now including the increase of infoshops (there are two near Occupy Oakland: <a href="">The Holdout</a> and <a href="">The Longhaul</a>); the creation of bottom-up <a href="">solidarity networks</a> to replace top-down unions; providing free food on the model of Food Not Bombs; offering a compelling DIY aesthetic.</p>

<p>Anarchist occupiers are energized and their visceral tactics are attracting members. Now, the power of the Black Bloc is growing within Occupy and pushing the movement in unexpected directions.</p>

<p>Round 7 goes to the Black Bloc &ndash; now let&rsquo;s see what we can do for the rest of May!</p>


stfu adbusters

"[Blac Block tactics are] an anachronism from the first decade of the 21st century"

-Applied Non-Existence.

Seems like the anachronism just won't die.

Applied Non-Existence is a joke. BB tactics are an anachronism from the 19 fucking 80s. FIghting capitalism is an anachronism from the 1840s. Some things never go out of style.

AN is an anachronism from 2011.

anyway, dissing things simply on the basis of their being old-fashioned is so 90s. retro is hip now, or didnt you get the memo?

Retroactive and retrospective ... TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

Manarchists ruining everything again, they should have just started an ARA/FNB chapter and none of this would have ever happened.

Manarchists? Why don't you stop the Man hating and just address the problem itself without attacking a gender? This is not exclusive to just men!

^^sounds like something a manarchist would say

We have been trolled, comrade! Retreat!

Womanarchists ruining everything again. They should have just formed an RAR/BNF chapter, and all of this would have happened.

More like shoulda stayed in the kitchen, amirite?

"A tactical innovation that suggests the future of Occupy."

I regard Occupy as an attempt to overcome black blocs, introduced at the exact moment the blocs were becoming a real threat, especially for those interested in the recomposition of the Left (Chris Hedges). And it failed. For the very same people to suddenly suggest the bloc is the future of "the movement", well that's just pathetic.

Yes because before Occupy, black blocs were a real threat.........

What planet are you living on?

True, Black Blocs had died down quite a bit despite several attempts at reviving them over the past decade. I'd be one of the anarchists that called for us to give up this tactic as well, given how it had fallen into an image or rebellion, rather than a tactic of revolt.

This past May Day was rather impressive. Raised my morale.

Which is why the original comment makes very little sense in that the numbers in the black blocs this may day were bolstered by leaps and bounds from Occupy folks.

It took liberals standing us up to get us off our dead misanthropic asses. Dont question it, just run with it. The question is, whats next. Bloc cannot be our only tactic. Its really in.many ways only symptomatic of a desire, or jesus even a hope or spirit to affect change at this point in time. If anyone has any ideas other than shitting on one another via the internet, now would be the time to get creative.


aclu has $, suck their cock

Black Blocs ARE a threat! How much do you think the state rolls out to try to decipher and contain them? A lot more than they do for Occupy, for sure...

I smell someone with stiff little jazz fingers here...

Also: the fact that Occupy explicitly tried to distance itself or "move beyond" the blocs shows that they had some momentum. They were more frequent, more destructive, and more unpredictable than they had been in some time. The Toronto G20 is a case in point. HUGE win for the bloc.

I'm not saying the tactic is without it's limits, but it sure beats lame attempts to "prefigure" direct democracy.

The black bloc was threatening nothing in the United States. Your closest example is Canada, where it was still...threatening nothing. I would be interested in exploring the world you live in.

You want to give me an example of something which does threaten the state, or do you want to keep bitching and whining? Black blocs are marginally threatening to social cohesion and as a result the state, just as occupy has been marginally threatening. These threats can grow depending on the course they take, but you don't sound like the kind of person who would be interested in that.

To me this just seems like Adbusters, the founders of occupy wall street, coming out to clarify: Fuck you Chris Hedges.

Thank you for makin me lol

Actually, Anonymous called for this first and adbusters picked up on it... not gripin', just sayin'...

Ok, but still: Fuck you Chris Hedges, Judy Rebick, and the rest of the liberal left rats.

So I guess the tl;dr is: we are awesome. Even Adbusters knows it. By being unpredictable we have gained momentum while mainstream leftist organizations have lost it by allowing themselves to be corralled and pacified. What do those mainstream leftists think about it? Better the black bloc than nothing. Oh yeah, and anonymous comments on @news can find their way into adbusters.

Karney Hatch thinks we are awesome...or thought until we trolololo'd he thinks this

Successful troll is successful.

Up the Bloc! REVOLT #YOLO!

Y'know, the thing I notice, as a long-term anarchist dilettante, is that anarchists are always so eager to trust people. What does that ever get us? We want to trust liberals, we want to trust trade-unionists, we want to trust communists and lumpen-proletarians and feminists and whoever. But every time we trust someone, they stab us in the back. Even when we try to trust other anarchists, we're as likely as not to be betrayed.

We need to expect betrayal, to welcome it. If Adbusters says we're great, it's obviously only so that they can excoriate us in the next glossy issue. Anarchists can't afford the kind of guilty consciences that push parlour-pink graphic designers to snap up the latest Adbusters and make ostentatious Facebook posts about refusing to buy shit the day after Thanksgiving. We can't afford the mystifications and deliberate obfuscations the academy uses to seduce so many of our intellectual friends into the hamster-wheel of grad school and adjunctship. We can't afford the indignation that lets liberal wankers sob about Mumia while opposing the scams and hustles that let actual black people in their own city survive and take back some freedom.

Are we prepared to do what we need to do? Obviously not. How do we get to that point? I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that wasting time on the internet arguing with little ineffectual nothings who are exactly like us is probably not gonna do it.

"I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that wasting time on the internet arguing with little ineffectual nothings who are exactly like us is probably not gonna do it."

Well, I hope no one was seriously saying that that was going to get us to the point we want to be at, because that would be idiotic. Although this place is good for updates and the lulz.

I guess what I take from May Day is:

relatively small groups committing intense actions in many places at 1 time = huge payoff.

The strength and weakness of May Day is that it's one day. We all know when it is and what it is. People can plan their own stuff and count on people in other places planning their own stuff, and when it all happens at once it catches everyone's attention. But after that one day, then what? Just back to small sporadic things in various places at random times? That may not be a bad thing sometimes, but I think if May Day showed anything it's that our small, decentralized groups can have huge effect if they have something as simple as a set date to work with. Any thoughts? I just hope we keep the momentum.

any thoughts? July 4th (l).

No, I've got a thing.

Busted! Only cops celebrate the fourth of July!

Dude, I'm down. I can get a box of M80s if you bring the beer.

Well... I guess this is positive press... I just wish they would not use comments for their information. No offense, or anything, y'all, but the comments on this site are kinda like drunkenly shit talking with all yer most obnoxious punk ass friends; don't want to be quoted on this shit, damn.

I am Anon Sanderson, and I never said that you could quote me, Adbusters. My severe split personality disorder is only kept at bay by my sitting on the computer in the psych ward for hours on end carrying on back and forth discussions from different arcane perspectives of the anarchist milieu. You'll be hearing from my lawyer.


Taking credit for others' work--what I expect from this bunch. Have seen tailing on others' actions for 8 years. Anarchist philosophy does not necessitate destruction of anything--its a building, cooperative, mutually responsible way of life.

Go back to to your video games.

"offering a compelling DIY aesthetic"

Yeah. A compelling aesthetic...

Adbusters really is like Vogue for current events.

The neutral language used in this piece is to be applauded. Whether you want to argue that they are taking advantage of other peoples work is possible but frankly I would expect outright condemnation from Occupy. Occupy are clearly not sure what they should support or which way they should go. We will see which way they fall if a massively high profile act is committed; I think they will then pull back and seek to show the occupy movement as distinct from any Anarchist acts.

If may day was a fucking victory then I'd hate to see what a loss looks like...

Having defeatist shits like you around looks like a loss to me.

Reality sucks, huh? If we can't handle occasional defeats honestly, then we're not going anywhere. What about may day actually represented a victory, it didn't even compare to Nov. 2nd, much less build on it...

I was pretty bored by this until i realized it was written on account of the author not attending a certain birthday party and then, out of obligation to the terms & conditions, issuing a windy essay about why thy failed to attend.

Yeah, where have those been, anyway? I expect to see one from CrimethInc. In 5...4...3 weeks from now.

Black bloc makes me want to shake my ass!

Put those away

I still would rather see us radicalize the masses towards having a REAL general strike and creating city-wide mutual aid than just lead them to fetishize/demonize black blocs and smashing windows. I thought that's what the OWS thing was all about in the first place, you know, demonstrating why and how to reject capitalism and the state, before the liberals got to it...

Capitalism radicalizes the masses -- we anarchists are here to mass the radicals. More to the point, we're here to bide our time until after the insurrection is giving way to a revolutionary state -- and demolish it. Purge those who would purge us, be they the banal bureaucrats of Adbusters or the hippy-pig peace police.

That's why we need to know how shit works -- not just in our comfy activist ghettos, but out in the real world, where the threats come from. I know a lot of you are damaged, but now is the time to start rectifying that. Create your new personae, the ones that will allow you to move through society like an IDF commando team through the walls of Palestinian houses.

Reject the temptations to be recuperated into that bohemian demimonde of cheerful collective coffee shop employees and earnest community gardeners. Encompass everything evil.

Very poor choice of metaphor for "possible new groovy personas". Fascist scum who use deleuzian theory are still fascist scum.

No IDF, but more Severino Di Giovanni.

Oh yeah, a REAL general strike? Funny cause what happened a week ago was a very real incidence of people who are not anarchists coming out and supporting militant anti-capitalist action in a very real, adbusters would say, 'visceral' sense. The 'general strike' on the other hand is a quaint 19th century illusion that never succeeded then and isn't going to happen now.

Don't wait for it and don't bother calling for it, you will only be embarrassing yourself when most people go to work because no one believes in that anymore. There's a reason no one remembers the call for the 'general strike' this may day: because it's an outdated tactic of the labor unions who were completely overshadowed this May Day by the real radicals. Sorry if you feel a little sore being left out of the fun.

The BB should NOT be involved in ANY NV or Occupy actions. They only
EXIST to be violent and subvert the movement! They are NOT "mis-guided young people". They are LED and INFLUENCED by AGENTS PROVOCATEURS. The rest of them are the DUPES of the provocateurs, however well-meaning. BOYCOTT THE BB AND AVOID THEM ENTIRELY. Get as FAR away from them as possible -- physically. They are HOPELESS. I would not be surprised at all to find the Koch brothers indirectly {or directly!} funding the BB. I have seen subversion in the '60's Movements -- it is all happening AGAIN. I know what I am talking about -- it is not "paranoia" or off the top of my head. The AIM of the Koch brothers and the Corporations, is for Occupy to NOT BE THE MASS MOVEMENT IT HAS THE POTENTIAL OF BEING. The BB has ALREADY scared people away. They can NOT be "re-habilitated" so that people will TRUST them -- or us if we "accept" them!!! THE DAMAGE OF THE BB HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE. We MUST distance ourselves from it!!!!

The BB is infiltrated, if you want to call it that, is in fact LED, by Agents Provocateurs WHO WANT TO SCARE THE MASS OF PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT. {Agents Provocateurs wouldn't be doing their job well, if they weren't THE PEOPLE YOU LEAST EXPECTED to be Agents. They could be your LOVER, your VERY BEST FRIEND, or your LEADER of the group -- I have been in Lefty groups for a long time and I've seen it!}{They can also be "underground" for many years.....} As long as the BB is associated with Occupy, the General Public, which consists of families with children, old people, pets, etc. etc., will RIGHTFULLY stay away from any potential Mass Movement -- the BB tactics are not only DANGEROUS, but DISGUSTING to anyone with any Ethical sense, which most people have.....It is well to try to pry off people from the BB, who are merely DUPES temporarily we hope, and not Agents -- but we can ONLY DO THIS IF WE COMPLETELY SEPARATE OURSELVES, both physically AND" ideologically". The BB tactics ONLY BENEFIT THE CORPORATIONS AND NO-ONE ELSE. EVERYone, almost everyone, SUSPECTS them.......

are you having fun ranting to your self?

>LEADER of the group

Haha, at a small bloc in PDX one time a cop blocked us with his cruiser and said, "All right, I want to speak with whoever's in charge here."

A moment of silence...


See, ranter, problem is that you've tried to do it your way for decades upon decades of completely meaningless protests. What have you accomplished? Seems the bullshit just keeps stacking up, doesn't it? Maybe it's time you stop hiding behind kids, old people and pets and take matters into your own hands. I know a ton of righteous youngsters who would love to see all the fancy shops, prisons, and schools laid to waste. I know plenty of old timers who have been waiting their whole lives for change and are heartbroken that they may pass on and leave a world to their grandchildren that they feel they've failed, and they wish they hadn't. And I know plenty of dogs who would rather run free than live their lives on leashes with their idiot owners picking up their poopie in little plastic bags to keep the streets of the EMPIRE clean. You can make any excuse you want to PUT OFF a full-on revolt, but why not think of an excuse to MAKE one?

people like this are way too common, I can't believe how many people believe this shit.

You're an idiot, absolutely paranoid, irrational, idiotic fool. Please shoot yourself.

We get funding? What the hell guys! Gimme some!

adbusters seems to be mired down in the doer-deed mode of thinking which is the core dysfunction in capitalist-authoritarian society.

the adbusters article speaks of “a suprising and bold success...” and “these efforts did not yield the anticipated results”, and, “these efforts ... were thwarted in their attempts to shut down ...”, and, ... [internal divisions] “blocked an attempt to lead the crowd” ...

the ‘measuring stick’ that adbusters is using to ‘rate’ the various initiatives is cause-effect, doer-deed achievement as applied to ‘outwitting the authorities’.

cat-and-mouse games are ‘not it’. in a doer-deed competition, the fat cats will continue to outwit the skinny mice in spite of the successful escapades of the mice. the message is in the mocking of the fat cat ways while the doer-deed solution would be fat mice.

doer-deed failures have more impact than doer-deed successes. police beating on defenseless protestors has more impact than vice versa. abuse of authoritarian powers ‘radicalizes’ people which means that such people ‘abandon’ belief in the authoritarian system. rodney king video tapes have more impact than tapes of someone ‘taking down a cop’. a street vendor who was harassed and humiliated by authorities till he could take no more, setting himself on fire, “catalysed the ‘tunisian revolution’ and the wider ‘arab spring’, inciting demonstrations and riots throughout tunisia in protest of social and political issues in the country.”, “leading president ben ali to step down after 23 years in power”.

what is the measuring stick here? it is not ‘doer-deed achievement’ on the part of protestors.

it is the triggering of 'abandonment of belief' in the ‘authorities’, if not the authoritarian system. who the hell wants to believe in an unnatural system which puts immense powers in the hands of the few at the top of the pyramid and has a justice system that rubber stamps even their most unjust abuse of power? answer; - those close to the top and those whom sovereigntist propaganda has made 'starry eyed' that hunter s thompson describes as 'celebrity worshipping flag-suckers' [wake-up calls are getting louder and more frequent].

the measuring stick has to account for the fact that sovereigntism is a ‘secularized theological belief system’.

“western political thinking itself is grounded in theological concepts of "Christian nationalism." The notion of "absolute, unlimited power held permanently in a single person or source, inalienable, indivisible, and original" is a definition of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. This "God died around the time of Machiavelli.... Sovereignty was ... His earthly replacement." (Walker, R. B. J. and Mendlovitz, Saul H. "Interrogating State Sovereignty."

the measuring stick is not ‘doer-deed achievement’ on the part of protest initiatives as is being used by the adbusters article, the measuring stick is the degree to which there is an abandonment of ‘belief’ in a dysfunctional, globally dominant secularized theological system where people believe in God-like central Authority controlling the inherently natural, self-organizing space we live in.

the birds, beasts and insects, the rivers and winds don’t check in at the subjectively decreed imaginary-line borders of these centrally controlled spaces. 'civilized' humans have this special capacity for falling prey to religious cults such as sovereigntism/authoritarianism, and it is held up by nothing other than common belief in it.

the black bloc’s cat and mouse game does a service, not by doer-deed achievement, but by mocking the belief system. the occupy initiatives contribute in a different way, by people giving open testimony to their abandonment of belief in a space-controlling system of governance, and by demonstrating their commitment for a system based on shared leadership and open spaces which might better be called ‘omni-archy’ than ‘an-archy’ for topological reasons.

[[ i.e. - in the relational space of nature, the dynamics of the habitat are conjugate to the dynamics of the inhabitants. in the ‘circle’ where the talking stick is passed to each inhabitant, the heart and spirit of each person influences the dynamic of the relational space/habitat that all share inclusion in; i.e. everyone is a ‘chief’ in this shared leadership [not leader-less] system (‘arch-’ is from Gk. arkh-, arkhi- meaning "first, chief, primeval”)]]

the adbuster’s analysis not only has its ladder up the wrong wall, its orientation to values based on doer-deed achievement is the self-same dysfunction that lies at the core of capitalist-authoritarianism that the global collective is rising up to remediate.

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