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pink bloc & Black Bloc Tactics

category national | summit mobilisations | opinion/analysis author Tuesday May 04, 2004 12:22author by rezista Report this post to the editors

from Lausanne Solidarity Declaration pink and black

in Geneva the same condemnation of black tactics from the mainstream /rightwing press only in Irl the condemnation comes from the so called people .
here 2 peices written by pink'n'silver bloc and black bloc shows the commitment to each other against the state's repression at that time and all of you on saturdays demo should take pride in what happened even if you dont like some tactics
Hey we are all in this together and should respect each others ways of doing things
they are long but really worth reading

Lausanne Solidarity Declaration

people, 03.06.2003 13:36

a response to press misinformation

The iron fist of police brutality is still preventing us from piecing together the entire puzzle of events surrounding the Sunday blockades of the G8. And yet, the usual suspects are at it again. In the past 36 hours, some sections of the entertainment industry (also known as the corporate media) have happily jumped into their usual role: a campaign of disinformation, criminalisation and intimidation. This is happening in direct support of the state terrorism being exercised, as we speak, against thousands of people in Lausanne, Geneva and Annemasse. We are again confronted with a fine fabric of half truths and more-than-half lies, posing as the ‘neutral’ and ‘objective’ account of the G8 blockades.

Sheer urgency precludes a response to all the details of this nebula of falsehood. We have prisoners to defend, lungs to decontaminate and good stories to tell. However, one illusion that needs to be dispelled right now is the ritual separation between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ protesters, manufactured yet again by the corporate media in all its sensationalist glory. Le Matin, celebrating its greatest achievement to date in the art of rabid inflammation, tells us in a blood-red headline that ‘the black blocks destroyed the dream of the pacifists’ in Lausanne. Have they ever considered the possibility that the two share the very same dream? 24 Heures rushes to quote the rehearsed and predictable denunciations by the self-appointed ‘leaders’ of the ‘altermondialistes’, that ridiculous cadre of middle-aged, middle-class, white, male opportunists, most of whom might as well be picking the scraps from under the banquet table in Evian. As if to enforce this image, pictures of masked ‘casseurs’ are faced, on the opposite page, by the smiling faces of their holier-than-thou categeurs. And Le Temps, in the most shameless show of superficiality, characterises the ‘casseurs’ as anarchists and fascists at the same time, as if two such diametrically opposed ideologies could coexist in any space of political expression. And so on and so on, as it has always been, lies without end, amen.

Enough of this farce.

This declaration of solidarity is written by friends who participated in the non-confrontational parts of Sunday’s blockades in Lausanne. We are speaking in our name only, not in the name of the Aqua or Pink and Silver blocs, which have disbanded. Still, as far as the stupid divisions created by the corporate media go, we would definitely be perceived as the kind of ‘good’ protesters that they so like to cuddle.

We want to say the following, loud and clear:
For us, the only division worth talking about is that between the people of the world and the masters of death and exploitation. The only ‘ring-leaders’ that need to be exposed, isolated, and removed from their position of menace to society are George Bush, Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schröder, Jean Chretien and Junichiro Koizumi. Our determination to disrupt their yearly feasts of power is matched only by our contempt for that other handful of losers in suits who, instead of fighting for the starving millions of the global South, came to Evian in order to kiss the hands of the torturers.

The blockades were undertaken by a very large number of people, with different expectations and sensibilities. But it was abundantly clear, at least to us, that everybody was agreeing to operate in full solidarity. This was made clear not only by the written declarations of the different blocs, but also from the abundant will to coordinate our fluid actions on the ground. The fact that some of us chose not to engage in highly confrontational tactics (whether for reasons of principle or of prudence) does not mean that we automatically refuse to cooperate, and defend, those who did choose higher levels of confrontation. We are constantly looking for ways to live with our differences, so as to continue acting together for a world of freedom, justice and peace.

We challenge the corporate media to reproduce a single quote or sound-bite from Sunday in which someone who actually participated in the Lausanne blockades denounces another participant.

There is talk of fascist infiltration of the various black blocs. Since Genoa these claims have become certain people’s knee-jerk reaction to high levels of confrontation, but we are prepared to look at the facts. Indeed, from what we saw on Sunday in Lausanne, there was an enormous presence of fascists on the streets. They were all wearing police uniforms. These thugs almost killed one activist, directly beat and tortured hundreds, and left thousands more injured: bruised by rubber bullets, traumatised by concussion grenades and poisoned by highly potent chemical weapons. The corporate media subsumes, under the single category of ‘violence’, (a) the occasional erection of a barricade and its defense with a few bottles and sticks, and (b) the continuous assault on unarmed masses of people with tear gas, flash-balls and icy gushes of water laced with pepper spray. This is an insult to human intelligence, even if the latter is as low as that of corporate journalists, Leninists and cops.

All the blockade actions that took place in Lausanne had the clear objective of obstructing the arrival of G8 delegates. The difference was only in tactics. A clear dimension that they all had in common, however, was the reclamation of our urban spaces. Whether this is done through a sit-in, a street party, or symbolic assaults on corporate property, we have the common goal of cleansing our living space from its contamination by capitalism and the state. We want our streets back, but we are tired of asking politely: we just take them.

Finally, we find it absolutely preposterous that the media is willing to play this divisive game after seeing the amazing levels of solidarity that were present during the police repression of activists in the Bourdonnette camp on Sunday afternoon. For long hours in the blazing sun, surrounded by fully armed police, protesters who earlier in the day had oriented themselves to vastly differing levels of confrontation all maintained a non-violent, collective resistance to the police’s attempts to intimidate and isolate us. We were constantly making decisions together by consensus, chanting slogans in each other’s languages, freely sharing among us the precious little food, water and cigarettes that we had, and protecting people that we had never met before from arrest and brutalisation as if they were our own family members. We simply cannot believe that the journalists who saw this happen were not blown away by our level of cohesiveness and strength. We know that we were.

To sum up: you can talk all you want, but for us the G8 blockades were a master-class in revolutionary solidarity. They were the creation of a movement more united than we have ever seen it in our lives. We have discovered, together, that the colours of resistance can combine in a beautiful rainbow if we just try. Let the sounds of samba and breaking glass harmonise, because this movement has something stronger than guns. It has a memory.

NOWf rom the BB

With love from a Black Block activist...

we are not innocent, 03.06.2003 23:44

In support of the solidarity messages from the blockaders in Lausanne because solidarity is our strength, and my thoughts about chosing to run with the Black Blockade on Sunday.

I participated in the Black Blockade in Lausanne on Sunday and in the non-violent resistance to the invasion of the Bourdenette camp. I have just read the messages of Solidarity posted by members of Pink and Silver (P&S) Blockade on Indymedia UK and was moved to tears. Solidarity is our strength. In the face of the massive repression going on now in Geneve, you make me feel strong again. I wanted to express my support for your views and to explain some of my personal reasons for chosing to run with the Black Blockade on Sunday.

I have, in my lifetime, participated in many different kinds of action. My experience has shown police repression and state violence is not a response to violent demonstrationse, but to effective ones. We have the right to ineffective protest, outside the "yellow zones" which protect the powerful and enable them to ignore us.

I took part along with millions of people world wide in the largely peaceful demonstrations on 15th February 2003. I watched as they ignored us, and went to war in the name of democracy. It made me sick and angry. It showed that the biggest demonstration in history will not change things if it just voices dissent. Direct action of all colours is the only way to make change.

All the blockades on Sunday took place in this spirit. They were NOT about expressing an opinion. The people's "opinion" of the fucked up system we live in has been voiced load and clear, time and time again. The blockades were about direct disruption of a high profile meeting of heads of state - to actively make the G8 face resistance.

Personally I felt that because our actions might be effective, we would certainly be attacked. I wanted to be able to defend myself and those around me. This was confirmed to me when the first police charges took place in Laussanne. The first charges were against the P&S carnival, not the Black Block. The two Blocks were clearly seperate, acting in different areas. The police fired gas into the peaceful carnival because it got too close to the delegates route: i.e. because it was effective.

Many of the P&S Block ran to behind the Black Block who were more prepared to defend against the attack. If it wasn't for the active resistance slowing the police advance the space we held would have been cleared much more quickly. If it wasn't for the music and energy of the P&S Block it would have been a very dark place to be. When the two blocks merged under police attack it gave the space life and refused to give it up without a fight.

Being attacked by heavily armed riot police is terrifying. It has happened to me many times now and I think you never get over the fear. But I have come to feel more and more like fighting back and I have come to understand more the value of the Black Block.

A "Black Block" is not the same as a riot. In the looting and street fighting I saw in Geneve the people were mostly local kids, some didn't even cover their faces. They broke any windows for the rush of it and threw anything at the police, in anger (launching plastic bottles at armoured riot police will not have much impact...) For me this popular anger is a response the result of alienation and the crushing of people's lives and spirits by wage slavery, media propaganda and consumerism. It is beatiful in its way but it is not the same as a Black Block.

A well organised Black Block (like we were on Sunday) is made of autonomous groups of friends who are well prepared and take the streets with some common tactical understanding of what we are there for. To take spacea and defend it with barricades and projectiles, to use the fleeting moment in which we control the space to destroy the property and symbols of the disgusting system we are all forced to live under. This property damage is NOT "random vandalism" it is highly political and usually carefully targetted. On Sunday I saw debates between different groups (and languages!) about the politics of different targets, stones in hand. Some targets were attacked, others left intact as a result of these discussions.

The smashing and burning created by the Black Block is as important as the music and colour created by the carnival. If we just fight and destroy we will create a very bleak new world, and Anti-capitalist movements are strong beacuse they are imaginative and diverse, but some messages are crystal clear:

Capitalism Kills. People suffer and die because of Capitalist exploitation and wars. The planet is being consumed by pollution and destruction. Millions are made refugees by economic, ecological and military abuses. They are persecuted, detained and deported. The way of life in the G8 countries is based on this suffering and persecution...

If we really mean this then to just go into the streets and party is an entirely inadequate response. It is right to respond to overwhelming injustice with anger and entirely appropriate to leave Lausanne and Geneve looking like a war zone for a short while. If these sumits take place to the sound of helicopter blades amid burning barricades and tear gas it unmasks the real violence hidden by the slick corporate show. And it makes people sit up and take notice in a way that marching peacefully cannot achieve. It gets noticed and opens political space for ideas to break through and grow.

George Orwell once commented that a society in which it is a crime to kill one person but not to drop 10,000 tonnes of high explosive on a residential area sometimes made him feel that this planet is an insane asylum made use of by other planets. I feel the same way when I see the scandal raised in the media about a few broken windows when our western way of life is so dependent on abuse, terror, poverty and exploitation. The hysterical condemnation of Black Block "violence" is, to me, slightly insane.

I think this view may have been shared by the genuinely surprising number of residents of Lausanne who came out into the street and onto their balconies to wave at the masked up black block and accept the free food and cigarettes, liberated from the looted shops, with a little smile. Those people were not threatened by the black block's clearly targetted attacks. The parents and children were caught in the indescriminate police gas attacks in the park were terrified, but not of the masked up Black Block activists who helped them to safety. One small girl gave me a kiss in thanks. Everone I know who was in the Black Block on Sunday really cares, that is why they are there.

This is just a stream of my thoughts and it is getting late so I stop now. There should also space for criticism of many of the ways we worked this weekend, but right now the battle is still going on and there is so much to do. I just wanted to add a Black Block voice to the celebrations of the co-operation and diversity of our movement posted here.

with love and solidarity

texts taken from http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/06/70740.html

author by toneorepublication date Wed May 05, 2004 02:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is "Pink Bloc" the same thing as "Pansy Division"?

author by rezistapublication date Wed May 05, 2004 11:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it never ceces to amaze me how ignorant and bigoted we irish can be
homophobic is just one and i see in other comments the sexist racist and generally rightwing views expressed .
but you have to remember our past i suppose bit like the israli state's view "its been done to us so we can do it to others", and more recently during the 2nd WW the govt here wanted to invite the nazis in and hey for alot of irish it hasnt changed .
Rational people would take their hardship and oppression and guard against becoming the same as their oppressors
I used to think Ireland was OK but now I think its full of bigots (not only in N.Ireland)
my support goes out to the Irl indy crew for doing their part in making a difference to the media /political lanscape and
a curse on all the bigots and profiteers who tarnish our beautiful country

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