It’s an incredibly loose definition of ‘anarchist’ that allies itself with Communists carrying a big banner of Mao around. (Interested researchers should mine the Globe and Mail liveblog carried here over the course of the weekend – it was a Communist group that reportedly provided cover for the Bloc to begin its rampage by lighting a flare in the square) While clearly anarchism is not a monolithic movement, Wikipedia provides a reasonable thumbnail def’n for our purposes: “Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. It seeks to diminish or even abolish authority in the conduct of human relations.” A quick reading of the history makes it clear that Communism and Anarchism developed concurrently, but were opposed in many of their (confused) principles, with early proponents of both schools of thought exchanging barbs in their correspondence. Clearly, modern anarchism is in something of an identity crisis when it’s understood simultaneously as anti-state, Communist, and vandal. While mainstream media coverage of these groups isn’t helping to clarify things, modern ‘anarchists’ should also take a long, hard look at how their destruction discredits any good ideas their founders may have had in the past, shields potential police provocateurs in their midst (see: Montebello, etc), turns the public against them, creates media cover for the brutal repression of peaceful activists (witness the shamefully underreported crackdown in the Queens’s Park ‘free speech zone’ in which people were trampled by horses and the snatch squad grabbed old women who didn’t even know what the G20 was) and drives the culture into the arms of militarization and the statist globalists they claim to oppose.
(NB: While the net is clearly afire with both MIHOP (made it happen on purpose) and LIHOP (let it happen on purpose) speculation about the involvement of the G20 ISU in this riot, evidence thus far is obscured by a sort of fog of war, with Judy Rebick among countless others on the #g20report Twitter hashtag suggesting police left cars in the path of the Bloc to be burned on camera. Anarchist media sources suggest this is bullshit, as do the police, and in all fairness the video evidence here – provided by TheYorkLife -Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â suggests it was some random dumbass that set the car on fire. What do you think? No doubt there’s more details waiting to come out in a week or two once the media has moved on.)
Related: G20 protesters clash with Vancouver police | ‘Anarchists’ leave trail of destruction, peaceful 3hr march forgotten | Black bloc taints anti-Olympic movement | Vancouver Olympics protesters fall silent as Black Bloc ruins it for everyone | Olympic protesters smash store windows | Provocateur Cops Caught Disguised As ‘Anarchists’ At Pittsburgh G20 | G20 police ‘used undercover men to incite crowds’ | G20 protests: Riot police, or rioting police? | Rioters Were Paid To Provoke the Police in Bulgaria | Greek Cops Caught on Video Posing as Anarchists | ACLU wants probe into police-staged DNC protest | Ex-Italian President: Provocateur Riots Then “Beat The Shit Out Of Protesters” | Massachusetts Police Get Black Uniforms to Instill Sense of ‘Fear’ | Police inspector posed as militant protester | Quebec police admit agents posed as protesters | Canadians who trust our secret police should think again | For more, see the G20 Coverage page feature
Jesse Mclean, Toronto Star
June 26, 2010
As suddenly as they burst onto the streets, they vanished into the crowd.
The men and women, clad in black clothes, their faces obscured with bandanas, ski goggles and gas masks, had spent the last hour storming through city streets, hurling rocks and debris through the windows of banks and big-chain stores.
They embraced the Black Bloc tactic, a popular sight at almost every international protest since the late 1990s: The crowd, dressed in their black uniforms, moves as a blob, its members indistinguishable from one another. One will run from the pack and lob a rock through a window, before disappearing back into the mob.
On Saturday, as the riot police shuffled closer to the intersection at College and University Aves.– shields up, gas masks on, guns raised – they disappeared again.
Dozens huddled on a patch of grass outside Queen’s Park. Protected by their peers, the ones in the middle changed into their street clothes. Within minutes, all that was left was a pile of black garments.
“Don’t take a f–king picture of me,” said one man, now wearing a brown T-shirt, as he walked away.