In a piece that must be read to be believed, the radical publication Adbusters, which first suggested the tactic of occupying Wall Street, has now officially endorsed the Black Bloc anarchists as the next phase of the now-flaccid Occupy movement.
This endorsement is especially interesting, since many involved with Occupy publicly deny that the Black Bloc is actually affiliated with Occupy. Many have instead claimed that the Black Bloc are actually undercover police. Don’t tell that to Adbusters, though: they give full-throated approval the Black Bloc and their violent May Day tactics in an article entitled, “Battle for the Soul of OccupyRound 7 – The Black Bloc Anarchist Turn.“
Occupy’s May Day General Strike was a surprising and bold success for the visceral side of the movement. While most of Occupy put its energy into building coalitions with “legacy progressive groups”, labor unions and immigrant rights organizations, these efforts did not yield the anticipated results. In New York, for example, despite amassing a coalition 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.
On websites and forums, anarchists are rejoicing the spectacular showing of Black Bloc. “American anarchists haven’t experienced this much positive public attention since the euphoria and aftermath of N30 in Seattle,” writes one commentator. For many, the Black Bloc represents a tactical innovation that suggests the future of Occupy. “Occupy is dead, long live the Black Bloc,” writes another.
This is frightening and yet completely unsurprising for anyone following the trajectory of the far-left movements behind Occupy. A battle in the streets is something they are both itching for and trained to do. The piece ends by saying:
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.
Round 7 goes to the Black Bloc – now let’s see what we can do for the rest of May!
As the recent arrests at the Chicago NATO protests seem to show, perhaps the authorities are finally starting to stop the visceral tactics.