When the Stephen K. Bannon film Occupy Unmasked screened at the 2012 Republican National Convention, there was a lively Q&A session afterwards where leftist critics, including Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin, excoriated the movie, claiming that it unfairly presented the movement as violent and fueled by anarchists.
If that portrayal is unfair, don’t tell the Black Bloc anarchists, one of whom who has released a short film on YouTube that brags about their terror tactics used to drive fear into the heart of the power structure. The video makes use of some of the exact same footage shown in Occupy Unmasked.
The video consists of scenes of destruction, chaos, and savage lunacy by masked Black Bloc demonstrators interspersed with title cards explaining the anarchist philosophy behind the organized disorganization.
The titles read:
To the people who don’t understand why Black Bloc activists use militant tactics to destroy corporate property. Black Bloc activists are not protesters. They are not there to protest. There are there to take direct action against the machineries of oppression. Their actions are designed to cause material damage to oppressive institutions but much more importantly they are intended as theater, as a dramatized illustration that even in the face of an overwhelming police state, the people still have the power, that the cops and banks aren’t as powerful as they think and that it really is in our power to strike back. These are vital lessons that the public needs to be reminded of now more than ever. Those in power should fear the public. It seems they have forgotten that lesson. It seems they see us as a docile mass to be herded and controlled at well. Police blatantly disregarding people’s basic rights. Militant protest is an effort to keep that threat alive in a way that standing around waving signs never will. The more completely we forget our power to strike back at those who dominate us, the more complete their domination becomes. This is why we fight.
The video shows scenes of Black Bloc anarchists destroying machines of oppression such as a Whole Foods Market and confronting the overwhelming police state in the form of a private security guard outside a bank. Footage also ties Occupy to earlier “Peace & Justice” actions, such as the G20 riots several years ago.
This is the real Occupy: anti-capitialist and with an appetite for destruction. The leftist critics weren’t outraged because Occupy Unmasked got the story wrong. They were panicked that the film got it exactly right.