May Day "violence is our enemy"

Ian Murray seamus2001 at
Tue May 1 09:40:48 PDT 2001

> =================

> There was left opportunism in Seattle as well as a lot of competitive egoism [our own

> refracted form of capitalist behavior]. Naming names accomplishes nothing, the

> egomaniacs know who they are. I'm sure the same occurred in DC and Prague and

> Melbourne and Quebec. This is an immense gender issue as well, the problem, as usual,

> being white males who have all the answers.

Or white females who condemned other activists when the cameras were

rolling. ============

Free speech. Obviously either/or post hoc debates are at a point of diminishing returns as well, although we need to spend way more time disucssing genderraceclass. What can we learn from a DR argument against PD? I understand throwing back anything the cops shoot at us and I loved the catapult, but the asshole contingent needs to be addressed big time. The police, while they are saps, are not the enemy.

Sure, I agree that we need to be on the lookout for provocateurs. But

it's one thing to keep an eye out for these people and quite another to

devalue somebody's resistance by saying that agent provocateurs were the

ones behind an act. This way of thinking was stupidly demonstrated after

Seattle, when a few activists simply couldn't comprehend that some

anarchists would deliberately destroy property for political reasons.

They had to go write articles that blamed the p-d on undercover cops. ================= And it's another thing to ask what the point of beer bottle throwing at the cops is for. I thought beer/pot etc. was for after the demos. Solidarity is it's own high and in many respects is way superior to boozeweed. How about a "rule" that we only throw back what they shoot at us?

They have a file on me, which is why I don't wear a mask. I'm also not

very likely to throw shit at the cops or destroy property. But there are

others who don't want to be known, who want anonymity to do illegal

actions, and don't relish the idea of getting their face on TV so their

boss recognizes them and fires them. =================== Anarchists are afraid of getting fired?

What Ghandi, MLK or Sacco and Vanzetti did are irrelevent. There is no

need to make a "dead leader on a pedestal" argument here. =========

No dlop from me; just that their strategies need to be appreciated as do those of radical feminist organizers least PD become an end in itself.

I think what Marcos said about the masks is relevent. He said that

nobody noticed the Indians until they wore a mask. With a mask, they

gained visibility. Given the amount of attention paid to black bloc

masks, by police and protesters alike, it seems to work for us too.

We've gained visibility. ========== And negativity, big time. Many will say you're hoggin' the limelight that blocks out THE ISSUES.

> This is an incredibly sectarian statement that goes beyond anything I've

> seen lately. Conspriacy against the movement? You wouldn't have a

> movement if it wasn't for the hard organizing work of those who Burford

> condemns.

> ==================


> Reflexivity alert!!

OK. What evidence exists for this conspiracy? Why would these folks

conspire against a movement that they are part of and one which they

help organize? ========= See the sentence with sectarian in it, which is what my RA was referring to.

> The charge of "provocateur" is a serious one. At least, it's an

> ideological blinder which prevents an ideologue from understanding why

> some resort to property destruction and violence as tactics. At worst,

> language like this promotes paranoia and suspicion in the movement. It's

> not a constructive way to discuss these issues;--it is divisive.

> ==============

> See diminshing returns above....iterate on the reflexivity alert too.

Alright, then let's talk about pacifist provocateurs who conspire to

make our movements ineffective and powerless. ================= That's not the point. The point is is whether there are going to be binding agreements that if a majority feels PD etc. is unecessary and counterproductive others will respect that. If not, then what's the point of PD that the majority didn't understand when they argue that it was counterproductive. The issue is a tyranny of minorities who do what they want only because "we don't need to listen to a bunch of middle class wankers". Is the majority always wrong on tactics? Or is disagreement an end in itself too?

The charge of provocateur

has been frequently lodged against the black bloc and others who engage

in mitlitant tactics. I've often wondered if anybody has ever considered

that the capitalist class and the cops have an interest in making sure

that the pacifists are seen as the legitimate voice of dissent. Given

that property destruction has helped our movement grow and gain

attention, wouldn't it be in the best interest of the capitalists and

the police to fund the pacifists? It's not like the pacifists ever made

the news when they dominated the various Left movements. They've done

thousands of protests against nuclear weapons and war, but they've never

cracked page 1 of the newspaper. ========

MLK never made the news? We need media verification to exist Bishop Berkeley :-)? PD also helped the capitalist movement grow, remember?

I'm not saying that pacifism is a waste of time. I embrace the

"diversity of tactics" approach, which means that I appreciate the work

of pacifists. But those who seek to throw the term "provocateur" around

loosely must understand that it could be used in to criticize pacifists.

<< Chuck0 >> ===== I'm for critique and metacritique all around, that's why I'm saying we need to rethink the propensities for PD to become an end in itself as part and parcel of demos. The capitalists and their proxies get the point of the PD already, that's why we need to discuss other potentially more effective tactics.


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