45 minute MP3 audio
25.1 Megabytes 80kb Stereo
Download the interview here:
The Black Bloc as a tactic has its origins in the Autonomen movement in Germany in the 1980's, where members masked their faces in order to prevent police intelligence gathering. They also marched in lines with linked arms, to prevent agent provacateurs (each person in a line should know the next). The tactic was (and is) employed primarily by militant anarchists.
The Zapatistas, an idigenous political movement in Chiapas, Mexico, expanded on the ideology of the hidden face, saying that it erases hierarchy and calls into question the nature of identity. They wear their masks also to represent those who have died from the policies of neoliberalism.
The tactic exploded into mainstream public consciousness after the WTO demonstrations in Seattle in 1999. Borrowing the direct action tactic of anti capitalist property destruction from European anarchists (mostly the Greeks), banks and shops that support exploitation were purposely damaged. The tactic was also used in other street demonstrations, notably in Quebec, Gothenburg, and Genoa. The tacitc has also been used on a few occasions in Ireland, resulting in heated debate about the pros and cons of anarchists wearing masks, especially when viewed from a historical standpoint in Ireland (face masks are commonly associated with groups like the IRA).
This 44 minute interview was recorded a couple of months ago. Two activists visiting Dublin from an anarchist group called "La Commune" based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, discuss the Black Bloc tactic and how it was employed in street demonstrations in Quebec on previous occasions. The pros and cons of this tactic are debated, and the activists speak of how they wished to move beyond mere street confrontation with the State. La Commune is affiliated with NEFAC, which is the North Eastern Federarion of Anarcho-Communists, which is based in the USA & Canada. In the latter portion of the interview they discuss local issues and problems in Quebec, and how the anarchists there have been involved in campaigns on the ground.
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Black Bloc statement on Navan Rd faceoff from Mayday 2004:
When masks are outlawed... only revolutionaries will wear masks!
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