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Handy tips for violence advocates


Days before his arrest in Pittsburgh last month, Khalifa Ali al-Akili posted a remarkable message on his Facebook page: A mysterious man who spoke often of jihad had tried to interest Akili in buying a gun, then later introduced him to a second man, whom Akili was assured was “all about the struggle.”

It smelled, Akili wrote on Facebook, like a setup. ...

“I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that there would have been no crime here except the government instigated it, planned it and brought it to fruition,” said U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon at the sentencing of four men from Newburgh, N.Y., convicted on terrorism charges. She added, “That does not mean there was no crime.”

Of course, that's for Muslims.

It would never happen in the black bloc. After all, Muslims don't call each other "comrade," so the FBI would have to learn a whole new vocabulary.

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Clonal Antibody's picture
Submitted by Clonal Antibody on

This will happen in the black bloc as well. And there is no way that they can guard themselves against it. If one plans for violence, and plans to break the law, then one has to be prepared to pay the consequences for it as well.

The Black Bloc has to start with the assumption that sooner or later, they will be arrested on felony charges, and will be prosecuted successfully on those charges. Being an accessory to a felony is a felony as well. If with that understanding, they still choose to engage in destructive acts, then we cannot stop them.

IMO it is much more effective to engage in unlawful acts that are at most misdemeanors. Much, much more effective. Both from a strategic as well as tactical perspective. It is much easier to gather supporters who will pay the fines for you - supporters who would not themselves break the law. It is much harder to gather supporters for unlawful acts that are felonies!

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

I'm not even going to bother explaining how thoroughly Security Culture permeates Anarchist organization. Strangers trying to get you to do something sketchy = cops. Or idiots; either way, cut them off. But thanks again for making assumptions about shit you know nothing about for the sole purpose of slander.

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

Incredible... you even manage to criticize Security Culture in a post positively describing Security Culture.

Submitted by Lex on

This seems like quite the stretch just for beating the dead horse of a split in an ineffectual movement.

It's pretty easy to have big, ideological arguments right now. Occupy is (from what i can tell) a movement comprised of middle-class, mostly white people who are somewhat upset at the vague description of America's fundamental problems. But at this point, things really aren't that bad. Yes, our first-world problems are in many cases worse than they were a decade ago, but they're still very much first world problems.

Now when things go truly bad and start to look like Greece, i'll be shocked if the "violence advocates" don't win the day. I say this because it does not appear that that the non-violence side of this movement has anything like the kind of leadership and philosophical grounding to maintain the extreme levels of discipline that serious non-violent protest requires. The violence side requires no such leadership or discipline (which isn't to say that it requires none); it only requires enough anger to act upon.

In any case, i'm still interested in seeing a serious, non-violent protest from Occupy Wherever. That last one appears to have been the Oakland port closure and that was short-lived.

Heather's picture
Submitted by Heather on

Two parts of you comment I wanted to reply to:
1. "Occupy is (from what i can tell) a movement comprised of middle-class, mostly white people"
What I saw (at Occupy Berkeley) was that there were plenty of people of color, but they tended to sit in their own circles at social events and tended to get more involved with helping in the kitchen than GAs. So, my sense is not that PoC lack interest or are hard to reach, but that their participation somehow tends to get ignored as though they are invisible. (So why didn't you do something you may ask? At the time I could have done something, I still felt like an outsider to Occupy.)

2. "In any case, I'm still interested in seeing a serious, non-violent protest from Occupy Wherever. That last one appears to have been the Oakland port closure and that was short-lived. "

The results of one's endeavors can be influenced heavily by how success is quantified. For example, if we quantify success in national policy as economic growth, we can get lots of economic growth with 90% of the people not seeing any positive fruit from it. If success in environmental policy is defined as # of solar panels installed, we can have lots of solar panels installations fueled by inefficient and regressive subsidies without any accompanying overall reduction in carbon emissions.

How should the success of an Occupy action be defined? Number of participants? Press coverage? How much closer it brings us to a more equitable and just society? I want to argue for the third, even though it is much more difficult to quantify. While the Port Shutdown was very successful in terms of the first two measures, I am not sure how successful it was on the third count. At the time it seemed so powerful, but now I see little of any lasting effect and too much nostalgia for big attention grabbing actions, whether or not they have deep popular support.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

This is an excellent point. It seems that certain strains of thought in the United States, both violent and nonviolent, equate discipline with censorship or authoritarianism or other nasty right-wing buzzwords. Thus they don't like it. They prefer a nebulous 'freedom' that doesn't get anything done.

Another issue with discipline at Occupy is that discipline almost invariably means someone keeping someone else in line. It implies a structure of authority, which I know Occupy has resisted. But if you don't have formal authority you're always going to have informal authority, like that article posted months back about the problems of anarchy.

You're right- the disciplined movements will be able to effect change. We need disciplined nonviolence, like the SCLC.

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

Consensus process as it is is not designed for a giant amorphous mass of random people, but for federations of existing organizations such as affinity groups, which is (or at least should be) the kind of organizational scheme Anarchism calls for both in movements and in society in general. That creates accountability- when specific acts were definitely done by specific groups. If those acts violate the principles on which the federation exists, then either the principles should be updated or there should be a split.

For this to be anything other than theory, though, affinity groups must be the primary unit of organization. That was not the case with Occupy initially, although it seems to be trending that way, in a de facto if not acknowledged way, delineated by the various cities that have distinct Occupy chapters.