pretty solid tactics, really
every so often, in the hearts of the earth's wealth, where the humans keep their lights and their steel, in the cities, there is a demonstration by people against the tyranny of stockbrokers and chief executive officers. the demonstrations are occasioned by times when the suits get together to show the people they are making the world a better place. usually this means giving money to each other.
these people are not like you and i. they find five-star hotels commonplace. they sometimes forget they make calls on cell phones from the backs of limousines. they live in castles of the future. these are people who rarely walk down the street, who don't do their laundry and try to find the other sock, who only get on a subway as a novelty, and then not without a big ex-cop beside them. if then. with a nod they can change the lives of thousands of humans, take jobs away or confer them. annihilate whole towns with mining projects.
these people are real, you just never see them. why would you? you are nothing to them. plus, you couldn't get past the gates.
some people are offended only by the idea that such people claim the right to determine the fate of other human beings, that they can build Dubai and destroy a river, that they can tell us what is good and force your grandfathers into a cartoonish blue apron and hand out coffees like a teenager. that they can call themselves lovers of equality and close the gates behind them.
the protesters come as they are, hold a sign, wave a fist, and go home. work starts at 9am. kids don't feed themselves. there are others more serious, mostly younger, who come to fight. they come to smash a cop or the window panes of a bank. fighting is for fun sometimes. sometimes it just feels good to face your enemy for once, even if its some cop who just wants to bust bad guys and protect his city. since all cops are just people with guns, some are cops to push people around and some just to fight evil. since all cops are instruments of violence, they are exposed to and are purveyors of agony on a daily basis, until they are numb to it. they have to be. being instruments of violence, they are deployed by the state without being consulted, and must pathologically feel both powerful and helpless. At Seattle in 1999, I remember the riot cop, among a hundred exactly like him, suddenly sigh a long sigh that lasted the duration of the world. he thought he had to be there.
the black bloc go for a fight, hoping to run into a bullycop and get their hands bloody. they go to kick in the window of the bank that funds rapist businessmen. maybe they think it will do some good, certainly its better than sitting on the porch shrugging. of course it wont do any good, because its not what's needed. i admire them for having the balls to stand up to the cops, who are better armed and better covered in the newspaper. they are our only representatives in the streets. they are romantics, and i always stick up for losers.
what's needed? we have to profoundly change how we live. our gaze is compelled upwards, to the suits. we have to wrench our eyes from the overlords and turn them to each other. we have to turn them to the land, to the past and the future and not the amnesia of instant gratification. we have to be willing to take risks, face danger, try to build things. we have to learn to do things for ourselves, and then do them for each other, and stop praying to the god of business and elections to save us. or making demands from that same fickle god.
in this sense the hippies have it right, with their farmer's markets and their fair trade. they're building a whole economy that represents a power that the fat can only take by force, and the fat ultimately are afraid of anything that take wealth from them. until then they'll destroy the earth, and we'll wonder.
the black bloc know this and don't know it. they still look up to them, looking for a fight they can never win. but none of them plan on dying, and everyone is wellfed, or they'd bring guns instead of sticks. just like they do in Iraq.