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Can anarchists who join others' action separate themselves from those who planned the event?

+1 vote
Specifically, actions organized by Black people for calls for social justice are almost always planned to be non-violent/nondestructive. Anarchists (black bloc) have attended the actions and done property destruction. The originators are then discredited. Can anarchists speak out to be sure their participation was not part of the planned action? They tend to attach themselves to it. The origininators get the blame.

So, anarchists who act out in ways not consistent with originators can they:

1. Create their own actions calling for social justice separate from someone else plans?

2. If they use that same time & space, can they be sure they are known to be distinct from originators, that is not co-opting others work?

3. Learn how to cooperate w/o ending up dominating the planning?

I know no individual talks for a group or other individual, but I think the intrusion in to carefully planned actions is unfair. I would not see it as very live & let live as I imagine anarchy to be.

Thank you for your input.
asked Jun 11 by zz (260 points)
APpreciate the suggestions. I Downloaded the one by Churchill. It is 89pp PDF. I assume that is the full work. Or no? No promises on the Terkl one. No promises on the Churchill one but more like since it is so easily accessible.
"pacifism as pathology" is certainly an interesting book, even though I don't see violent revolt as being particularly effective either except maybe in certain circumstanses.

A lot of what inspires me in ferguson and baltimore about people in the ghetto smashing shit is they doing it out of therapuetic enjoyment, responding to their extremely stressful social situation by saying "fuck this, fuck everything", even if it doesn't gain them anything politically. I think the game of trying to gain anything politically in this system is a complete joke. The socio-economic system is so powerful because power/authority is omnipresent and decentralized, which is why what has ultimately happened for civil rights is that blatant racism has become an impersonal institutional racism...and you ultimately can't harm unfeeling institutions in the same way that you can harm an animal, so politics is just thoroughly stressful and frustrating, none of the people controlling their positions willing to budge as long as their paycheck depends on it...

@zz"White men, which most of you are, often have no problem taking charge when they have been invited to join in. ... I as a white person.

You kinda jus proved your own point unintentionally. ;)

You mentioned in a few posts of some protests. Could you explain which protest you were at or heard of and the day it occurred? Like which city and date you are meaning *i.e state city,) and roughly the time these protests were happening and stuff? I'm of the understanding/impression Minneapolis, MN?. 

I would try comment further but I need a bit more about the protests you are meaning. That probably came off weird against.

I've never read on one of the books dot mentioned, except How Nonviolce Protects the state by Peter Geraedloss and read it and it's a good book. That's how I heard about it from dot or someone else of this site.I personally like the book about civil rights movement call This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed by Charles Bonns jr.

@nihilist, you were at dc/bmore protest for the's Donald inauguration?  I didn't go, but did watch Dubya put a pancho on his head. I saw on the news there were a bunch of people that had a sign saying not muh president.  When Obama: Deporter in chief was relected,  i did go, that one.  The deporter in chief didn't speak too much to seeing if he could break his previous record of how many people he could deport in one year and hold hundreds of thousands people in one giant portapotty type of conditions and said he ordered this because according to Obama, the hispanics he was either deporting or holding in record numbers, that they all were violent criminals and rapists. 

Trump said something similar and then the liberals began to pretend to care again, while outright ignoring Obama was escalating the deportations of folk from Mexico and holding them in shit conditions.

This is compleltly irrelevant. But watching Trump getting into twitter battles with rappers or movie stars is funny.

If an of this seems werid. I wass coming off  mind alternating substances . But my migraine I was having went awat so yay wirh it. goodspeed., so that good.

Edit: Tried to cleanup my entirely incoherent comment to be somewhat more coherent.

lol human...

yeah i live out near martinsburg west virginia, which is like an hour+1/2 from baltimore and dc, you can send me a private message if you have more questions
If *they* are the ones doing the smashing, I agree.

I Think sabotage can be very effective.

2 Answers

+3 votes
I'm gonna take a stab at an answer, though I think the comments are all as valid responses as what I might write, and anyone reading this should read all the discussion related to this question.

To start with the assertion that actions organized by black folks are almost always nonviolent/nondestructive is a canard. Most actions (by which I am talking about demonstrations, protests, etc. as opposed to say, living and acting in a capitalist world, wherein violence is inherent and mostly invisible) taken by anyone are nonviolent/nondestructive. I have rarely attended a demo that was explicitly like “we’re gonna go fuck up the cops and smash as much shit as we can,”* even the WTO protests in Seattle used coded language and property destruction/fighting back against the cops was seen by many participants as hijacking the event. One reason anarchists use events others have organized as a jumping off point is that if anarchists just called for their own thing detached from a larger mass, it would be immediately kettled, contained and marginalized. I also want to challenge the language of “social justice”. It is common language, and I feel like it lumps anarchist goals/politics/whatever in with a much broader progressive/left agenda that I have nothing to do with, personally. When people talk about social justice, they are mostly talking about compromising with the state in ways that might be necessary, but are not ever where this anarchist wants to set his sights.

That doesn’t mean that we (anarchists) should just show up to any old thing with the intent of doing smashy, nor do I mean to imply that breaking shit is even the most effective tactic we have available. Assuming that anarchists will attack, and that we will attack the things we hate (windows, cops, newspaper boxes, et. al.), some strategy is important. Specifics are going to vary, but things I have seen that have been more or less effective have included specifically calling for a section of the demo/part of the town designated as a “red zone” (meaning shit’s gonna get conflictual) , calls for breakaway marches (look for the black flags, if you want to get rowdy, meet up and mask up), or just straight up taking over marches that are seemingly losing steam or not tapping the anger and rage of the crowd fully.

Regarding planning, anarchists have been involved in larger planning of actions. Most often it isn’t us (anarchists) who dominate the conversation, but liberals who seek meager reforms or, alternatively, socialists (Trots, most often) who seek inroads to political power. There is nothing to be gained from working with any of these folks on an organizing basis. Our politics and agenda will always be too extreme. That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes show up to actions that I know are going to be super liberal/vanilla, it means I don’t pretend that these are my people or that I want to have a thing to do with them on a more than episodic basis.

I want to end by going back to the part of your question that focuses on organizers being blamed for anarchist actions. So first, this assumes the organizers aren’t anarchists (not always the case, in my experience), while it also seems to imply that we should not act if it potentially tarnishes others. This is an impossible standard to meet, unless you want to see us only hold signs and march in orderly circles at a time and place determined by the state. How a protest is portrayed by the media and the state is simply out of our control, and is always going to be framed in terms of either threat or nuisance. An associate wrote a whole master’s degree thesis on this, I’ll see if I can convince them to get on this site and address some of that.

*it’s happened, it was fun, it is not a sound tactical strategy in every case.
answered Jun 24 by ingrate (19,810 points)
edited Jul 5 by ingrate
ingrate, thank you for taking the time to address the question. You said a lot and my brain is getting tired (low stamina, here.)

I Hear what you are saying about the liberal vanilla. I understand about not wanting move the checkers around the checker board. One side wins, one side loses but they are all playing the same capitalistic/corporatist/etc. game.

The one thing I want to clarify. I do not say that people/anarchists should not use others venues for their own gain in order to not "tarnish" the original organizers, I say it because they often are not the people who will suffer the consequences. From the other posts/comments, you are likely to understand that I think it is the Black people who will suffer the consequences. Cops just have a thing about Black people. Maybe it is partly because some of the roots of present day cops goes back to slavery patrols. For whatever reason, they do.

The externalization of consequences is a real thing, and I do think that should play a factor in how decisions get made about tactics. This is getting to the level of strategy, which is an interesting level to think on, and makes my head spin.

I don't know if it would be your thing, but Shon Meckfessel (who is definitely from a different corner of the big tent of anarchy than I am) just wrote a book called Nonviolence Ain't What It Used to Be (AK Press) that you might find interesting. On the topic of strategy, etc. Tom Nomad's book The Master's Tools: Warfare and Insurgent Possibility (Little Black Cart) might be of interest, though it might be a bit outside of what you are exploring.

I would also encourage a few zines that analyze specific situations. The ones I am most familiar with are from the area I live and located here. There is also a short, brief zine called 10 Points on the Black Bloc that is a response to the anticapitalist Heartattack march against the Vancouver Olympics. Crimethinc. also had some good analysis of the G20 action in issue #9 of Rolling Thunder (this pdf seems to be the best link I could find, as the issue is now out of print).

edit: if you can find a copy, the original unabridged version of Queer Ultraviolence: A Bash Back Anthology (published by LBC, but now possibly only available as an abridged version?) contains communiques and discussion of events that were extremely controversial for similar reasons to what you are talking about. It is also an interesting inside look at one of the most interesting North American anarchist tendencies of recent years.

+2 votes

I haven't read and digested everything on this page but this question evoked something in me that I want to get out. I know you're aware that not everyone is onboard with the ideology of non-violence and a lot of my answer is going to focus on that, so this might not be very helpful to you, but it is an authentic anarchist response:

Can they? Well sure, it's possible for anarchists to do any of the three things you suggested. Will they? Or should they? No, they won't and I don't think they have any moral obligation to, and I also don't think you need to be concerned about anarchist violence 'delegitimising' your protest.

Maybe that's because I think moral obligation is limiting and contrary to the goals of my anarchism, or maybe it's because of my general disdain for the cult of 'non-violence' and how it sublimates the rebellious energies of anger and frustration into something that doesn't challenge or transgress authority in any meaningful way and instead becomes part of the supporting apparatus of the state. It's probably both if I'm honest with myself.

Non-violent protest is 'legitimate' because the state legitimises it. It isn't disruptive to the status-quo, it's a safety valve that the state is happy sanction. So what if your protests are 'delegitimised' by anarchist (or non-anarchist) violence? The powers that be weren't going to acquiesce to your demands (because why should they?), and it's not going to effect some kind of sea-change in public opinion on the matter unless there's massive police brutality at your 'legitimate' protest to evoke sympathy (which there won't be, the state learned from the civil rights struggles in the 60's), because no one sees a placard on the news and thinks to themselves 'oh damn, thousands of people disagree with me, I need to change my opinion'. Now that we have mass communication you can always find forum in which your existing ideas and attitudes are affirmed. Non-violent protest (without an external implicit threat of violence) is only good for one thing - making you feel like you've done your bit and that you're part of something bigger than yourself.

I'm pretty young, but I've witnessed a lot of non-violent protests lead to nothing. When the country I live in decided to join the US in its invasion of Iraq millions of people took to the streets with placards and loudspeakers and chanting and all that stuff, but the government participated in the invasion of Iraq nonetheless and was returned to power at the next election.  I've also been to protests where anarchists (and police agent provocateurs) committed violence against property and nothing changed; I'm not saying that anarchist violence at protests is particularly effective either. The only protest that I've seen amount to any real change were the London riots of 2012, which started as non-violent protests over a police shooting of a black man, quickly escalated to violent but explicitly political protests and then turned into a city-wide riot. When it was all over the government quietly pressured the police into curtailing their racial profiling and stop-and-search policies. 

I just want to emphasise that contrary to your assertion that black protests for social justice are turned violent by non-black people, the London riots were planned as peaceful protests by groups that were predominantly black, and escalated into rioting by predominantly (but not exclusively) black youth. The point here being that in the one case I've seen protesting change anything at all it wasn't because the protests were peaceful, and it wasn't because some anarchists crashed the party and smashed shit up, it was because the state was pushed into a corner and understood that unless they addressed at least part of the source of the rage that lead to widespread property destruction it would happen again. The moral of that story is that political protest does not alter structures of power but ontological rebellion (a rebellion of being and action rather than thought and speech) can. Of course rebellions of thought and imagination are a necessary precursor to ontological rebellion, and ontological rebellion doesn't have to be violent. Just don't confuse marching and chanting (expression) with actually changing shit (doing).

So to conclude, I don't want to tell you how to feel, if you're angry that outsiders are crashing your protest, that's fine, I won't tell you that you shouldn't be angry. However I do think there's no need to worry that they're making your protest less effective, because it was never going to be effective, that's why it was allowed to take place. I also think it's worth thinking about how participating in the the spectacle of sanctioned dissent may reinforce what you're trying to fight, and how you might try to fight what your fighting by transgressing, transcending or subverting it, rather than just expressing your opposition to it.

Sorry if that came across as a bit rant-y but it's an emotive subject for me.

Edit: Also sorry if I came across as condescending, I don't intend it that way, I'm a work in progress.

answered Jul 4 by Yosemite (5,770 points)
edited Jul 4 by Yosemite
Thank you for the rant, Yosemite. No, I didn't hear condescension. So you know, it was not a protest I was involved in. Just an observer.

MY perspective is one of a person awakening to the violence against (esp) Black people. I have since learned that my view that Black people suffer greater police violence than anyone else is not in sync w some responders here. I have no doubt anyone who crosses a cops path can be a target.

As a result of my new found perspective of Black oppression, I trust I am being a bit more vocal about my thoughts. I came here w that question (could have sought out ano @ site. This was the most accessible) because as I see it, the people who would get blamed would be the Black people. They would more likely get the punishment. That was why I thought disruption should be avoided. It was not about whether or not the protest was effective but about not putting people in harm's way. Esp when the people suffering the consequences may not be the people causing the damage.

This sounds like me making victims out of Black people. What I am doing is I am trying to prevent what little can be prevented.

Pretty nonsensical on my part. I believe I was doing the right thing. Maybe I wasn't.

I Hear you about the in/effectiveness of nonviolence. I have no doubt it has it limits. I personally, can say I am 100% for strategic sabotage. Don't even care if it is wanton (tho not 100% sure.)

Of course, sometimes it is the protestors themselves that create the havoc.

IT maybe property damage is what it will take for change. I think it will likely take a variety of ways. Maybe, nondestructive ones are what are needed to wake more people up. I think that is happening, for sure. That is a change sorely needed.

Thank you for taking the time to tell me your perspective.

zz- I certainly don't speak for everyone on @101, but I think you've maybe misinterpreted some of what has been said in the discussions you've been part of. I would find it ridiculous if someone was to claim that people of color, and especially (in the US at least) black folks are not*** far more targeted with violence and repression, both by the state, but also by lots of shitty racist non-state actors. Beyond actual acts of violence, United States capitalism is predicated on the historic and current forced subservience of poor people, who, due to the history of slavery and racism, are often also people of color. Since the cops (whose origins date back to fugitive slave patrols) are tasked with protecting capital and the state, they are almost by definition going to disproportionately target communities and people of color with violence.

Where I have been able to suss out differences between your perspective and my own has to do with whether that reality is the primary factor in my decisions about how I engage in struggles and projects. It is most certainly a factor, and in some cases it is the factor that is most primary, but there are other times where it isn't. The impact my actions have on other people is always of concern to me (because I am not Émile Henry or ITS, though I think their provocations and transgressions are troubling in a way that deserves exploration), but as I said above, if I were to spend all my time wringing my hands about how my actions might impact others, I would never get anything done.Z

***Edit - I just reread this comment and I somehow left out the word "not", which absolutely changes the meaning of my comment. Probably in writing and then rewording the sentence, but at any rate, I have corrected it, and to be clear I absolutely believe that black folks and other POC are, in most cases, more highly targeted and vicitimized by state violence.

I Have written 2 replies. One I chose not to send the other chose not to send itself. It got wiped out in a n errant push of a button.


1.unless my reading and memory skills are totally out of whack. It has been stated here quite clearly that the treatment of Black people is not that much worse than of others.

2. If an @ group usurps the planned actions of Black people, it is pretty muchbquarranteed the Black ppl will suffer at the hands of the cops and in further solidifying of the general population's prejudices.

3. Since this is known, to create havoc means going in knowing who will he harmed. That I think is a wrong choice to make.

zz, if you think someone said something that other people don't think was said, it's helpful to find the quote that made you think that. it helps other people's writing, if nothing else.

i have said that comparing people's suffering makes no sense to me, and that violence by the police is only one (very serious, but only one) way to measure suffering. i would never say black people don't suffer more, because that's participating in the same bizarre comparison that i reject.

zz: "1.unless my reading and memory skills are totally out of whack. It has been stated here quite clearly that the treatment of Black people is not that much worse than of others."

i don't see where anyone stated that clearly, or even  indirectly.

dot & ingrate, The conversation about more/less oppression between dot and me is in this discussion. http://anarchy101.org/10064/ready-serious-conversation-about-blackness-civil-society

I Know now that you, dot, are not making a more or less statement. My frame of reference is such that I see a comparison as easy to infer. What matters to me ultimately is: how does each perspective help create a setting in which anarchy/self-determination /individual autocracy/? can thrive?

MY idea of an approach to achieve individual self-determination (or something like that) is an approach that acknowledges differences, even degrees of differences while recognizing that everyone has needs.

I LIke using organic terms that can describe interactions. In the case of more or less, I think in terms  of illnesses w/i the community. Some diseases/injuries require more attention than others. All need attention. But there are usually priorities.

I Can already see 1000 clarifications I need to make to those statements. Esp the idea of having a hierarchy in an otherwise dominant free situation. It's complicated but in some way can be congruent.

Note: You all seem to be well practiced in being clear and concise. I am not. It is like entering a different world of language. It is good for me to be inadvertently challenged like this. Thank you for getting me through this.


"Note: You all seem to be well practiced in being clear and concise. I am not. It is like entering a different world of language. It is good for me to be inadvertently challenged like this. Thank you for getting me through this."

I felt this way (and still do to a certain degree) when I first started reading and posting here, and the discussions I've had here have really improved both my writing and critical thinking. I'm very glad you're not discouraged or intimidated, it's great to have more curious and gracious people around.

"As I see it, the people who would get blamed would be the black people. They would more likely get the punishment"

I'd like to interrogate this a little. Living in another country, I'm not very connected to the American racial discourse and reality, so when I see a statement like that I'm not able to nod along in agreement or just dismiss it out of hand, but I'm a little skeptical, just because that's not really how institutional power works. Like I said, the state learned from the civil rights struggle and is generally pretty careful about being seen to not be arbitrary. How would black people be punished? Who would be doing the punishing? What would be their motivation for doing so? Are there any contemporary examples of this happening? Those are the questions that immediately pop into my head, the idea that the police will get pissed that black blocs are causing trouble and go after other people for it in retaliation, particularly black people seems to come from a reductive analysis of institutional power (which is a common failing of idpol IME), personally the only people I've seen sanctioned for black bloc activity are black bloc-ers. Could you elaborate on the specifics of how illegal anarchist activity at protests could blow-back on black people (or anyone else), and provide contemporary examples of that happening? (If you have examples on hand)

All of my comments are made from comments and posts on SM. I trust that sounds ludacrous to make my comments based on such. Black Twitter, however is essentially live journaling. It is people expressing themselves and their experiences and history of similar experiences. So I see it as valid as any commentary. Consider it my analysis of online communication. I am not Black. So what I say is my observation and analysis.

I Don't see it as cops are mad at BBloc so they take it out on Black people. I see it as "oh, good, now we have an excuse to abuse Black protestors." Cops don't need BBloc as an excuse. No doubt, cops create their own excuses or abuse people simply because they can. But BB/anyone can expect the cops to take it out on Black people because of the history cops have of abusing them. Also Black people are the ones calling out the cops for their abuses. Cops aren't going to like that. If it is just BB or other @ group protesting, no doubt the cops will be abusive. @s are principly against cops, so, sure, cops will beat them up. But if is it a Black - led protest, any other group's activity will be taken out, mostly likely, on Black protestors.

  Did I clarify that?

 I DO not know if I can find the source but I remember one tale of a white person saying she was told to get out of the area. This while he was holding down a Black protestor.

I Think what the state/cops learned from CRM was: don't beat up peaceful protestors. That is why they create or justify actions that do not appear to be peaceful. My observation is that much of the general population will stand behind police attacks if even a hint of aggression occurs from protestors. One rock or one bottle thrown and the reaction is, 'the cops can't let it get out of hand.' They seem to think any amount of police violence is OK if the police say they were attacked. But, most of you all know the state sponsored /supported responses of people who even less aware than I am of oppression.

I Have been following the actions and reactions since the night Trayvon Martin was killed. What I can say is that a lot more people are wise to the police than they were then. I can tell by the # of responses (OK tweets) that are supportive.

Can you clarify "reductive analysis....)?" I could guess but I'll wait to be sure I know what you mean by it.
Re: my not being discouraged. Can't say that I am not discouraged. I am trying to get to common ground but it seems pretty far from my thinking. I am trying to decide how much energy I want to give it. I haven't given up yet but...
zz, i feel curious as to what you wanted to receive by asking the question(s)....

perhaps you just wanted  people's opinions of your opinions....

but if you just wanted answers to your yes/no questions, i'd say....

1) yes

2) no

3) yes
Sorry, don't know what this applies to. The comment that accompanied this reply was not from me. It was from Yosemite. I am happy for the answers just wish I knew what they answered.
i meant the original question(s)...sorry, i just happened to respond in the comments of yosemite''s answer (to which i feel very similarly), but i meant in regard to the question (and the following answers/comments) in general....it seemed to me you felt unclear on what the answers meant (as you confirmed), and i wondered if i understood what you hoped to illicit or gain insight to with your question.
yosemite, i would say that in the u.s. i agree that people of color in a protest are likely to be singled out in a variety of ways (as are known organizers, as are people in bloc--depending on the specific protest and the make up of the protestors, and the location of the protest) including higher risk of arrest and abuse (especially abuse). this is from personal stories and books by radicals of color, as well as personal experience.
Ah okay, within the context of a protest that makes sense. For some reason I was thinking zz meant after the the protest the police would take it out on the community, not sure where I got that from now XD
community can be a super broad term the way some people use it (like, for some people it sometimes means anyone of color, or anyone who is black)...

it's also true that "part of a protest" isn't always so clear. if stuff is happening near a neighborhood of color, then there can be post-protest consequences too (either immediately or slightly delayed), but i think the more delay there is, the more the protest is just an excuse for what the cops wanted to do already.
Yo are right, of course, Clarity would definitely help. I start with a broad scope and then narrow it down as needed. I agree it is good to keep in mind all of the perspectives. I do that at times. At any of the solstices, I remember the other one from mine. And think about the people who live on the Equator who wonder what the fuss is all about.

In discussions of cops and Black people, seeing Black people be the cops beating up other Black people is a head scratcher. Then it has to be clarified that they are part of the state... It is very complicated.

 But I talk in broad discussions to try to get people to see the big picture then, we can clarify. It is one approach. At least I think that is why.

While trying to find out ways to defeat State, I think it is necessary to help the ones who are the present day main targets. To help by creating awareness of the harms and fending off attacks if possible.

I Am pretty much just thinking out loud. Trying to establish a plan going forward. Comments/alternate perspectives appreciated.

i will probably not be able to communicate my point any better this time than previously, but i will try again.

seeing black cops beat up other black people is only a head scratcher if you see black people as some abstraction. abused people hurt other abused people all the time. black people are people first. their assessments of what the problems are with their lives will vary just as much as within any other group of people, united or not by something that is so broad as to really not be a defining characteristic. (elsewhere we have talked about workers not being a label that usefully describes a group of people. here we approach the idea that race also doesn't describe every particularity of someone's life. or, if it does describe every particularity, than the interpretation of those particularities can vary so widely that, again, it can't be the basis for a world view.)
in other words, it's one thing to say that a certain group of people tend to get treated a certain way in a given culture. it's a very different thing to say that that group will agree on anything.

I Accept your last statement and agree.

I Knew what I meant when I said "head scratcher." Why did you not understand?(a bit of snark about my writing.)

When I  said head scratcher, i meant it as beginners' confusion. First I saw the abuse by the cops then I saw Black cops. I scratched my head. Until I started to see the bigger picture. Black people living their lives like everyone else.

TWitter today is full Black people debating how they understand racism. When I chat w someone who thinks racism is over, they send the video of a Black person saying racism doesn't exist.

So, yes, generalities only exist when looking at a big picture from a distance. Once I get closer, the specifics are more detectable.

zz, could you explain why it confused you when reading or seeing a black cop beat and/or kill another black person? Is it confusing when the individual is an actor of the state enforcing the state's rules, or confusing in general in other contexts? Do you view black people as a collective rather than individuals, with their own experiences? I ask because you wrote above using the idiom " a head scratcher" indicating confusion or bafflement on why one black person in a position of power would beat/kill another black person.

What's black twitter? 

I Commented above that it was a head scratcher meaning a person slowly becoming aware of the system understands racism & then sees a minority cop beating another minority. It is a beginners dilemma.

I Realize individuals make up  the larger group. I can talk about Black people being the targets of racism. But know that everyone experiences and interprets the system differently.

Black Twitter is what got George Zimmerman arrested. It is a place that Black people, esp women, have found they can express themselves and be heard. It is the place that made enough noise that now even some more white people have realized the cops make Black people targets and get away w it. Yes, I know cops pick on anyone but many white people don't seem to be aware of the freedom cops have to kill because it less likely to happen to them/us.

Black Twitter is where #BlackLivesMatter started. Like the movement, if that is the right word, or not, it started by frustrated Black people saying, "our lives matter." Twitter gives them a platform.

Oh okay. Didn't see that you clarified what you meant by that. So black twitter is basically twitter?

I think it's a misstatement to suggest the average joe blow white person isn't or wasn't aware of the fact the cops can kill basically whoever they want. I think they know and are indifferent, support it, think the cops should be given the means to kill people easier, or something else. For me, I knew back in the 90s, when I was a young lad, that the cops can kill with immunity and they'd target black people first. I had a few personal experiences later on in life indicating that that was pretty much the case.

Since you're in the know of things concerning black lives matter. Have they addressed the criticism, from people of a variety of skin tones, on why they don't seem too concerned when a black person is killed by someone who isn't a cop or by someone that isn't white? I hear/read that criticism often about them.


I Think you give the general population too much credit for being aware of the cops behavior and lack of accountability. I do agree we don't care much. Most people don't care about things that don't impact them. Since it tends to impact few(er) whites and many white people have zero friends who don't share their background (I. E. Skin tone), the cops actions hadn't gotten much attention. Many people of all stripes are beginning to see it more now that is is being highlighted.

For instance, before the protests /actions by Black people, no one was keeping a record of people (anyone) killed by cops. No one paid attention. Now people are aware. It is a private citizen that is recording the info. It needs to be done by officials. If they are going to be in control, making them record the information is appropriate. Not that I think it will impact oppression but forcing accountability may lessen the impact on some.

 Reminder: Black Lives Matter is a specific group of protestors. They do not speak for everyone. Not all protests are coordinated by them specifically. It is the media that uses the phrase for all protests for/by Black people.

Re your question:  Colloquially known as black-on-black crime? Is that what you are asking about?.
Black Twitter is Black voices on Twitter, yes.
human, your question about head scratching was addressed before you posted. c'mon now.

Sure it has. The police behaviors has been brought to everyone's attention through different means throughout the years or ever since I can remember. I remember there was even a long running show about it. I would assume that since the rate of police killing people rises year after year, that that might have something to do with it being on the news more often. Plus, the way news is instant now makes it seem like more people are aware about, because they have more access to discuss it with people outside of their location.

Yes, I guess you could say that. Would you say black lives matter folk are exploiting the situation for themselves, like more than just reforming the cops? Like when joe blow black person kills jane blow black person, is there a reason why they don't go into these predominantly black neighborhoods where said killing happened, and inform the people there that their lives matter too? I watch folk on youtube, or "black" youtube, you could say, express this and give their rationale for it.  Protesting can come in all different forms than just marching.

Personally, I don't think these peaceful marches that the state sanctions are going to do much. At most, they may give out a minute reform to pacify people and further let the cycle of it repeat itself down the road.

I Disagree about the # of people being aware but since there is no way to know, I don't see a need to discuss it.

I Do know there is no real way to know if the numbers are increasing. Reporting of officer related deaths were not required by anyone anywhere. Individuals, one I am aware of, are doing it for the second year, I think.

I Can't speak for BLM. I am aware that they started after the Tray on Martin and Michael Brown murders. My understanding is one focus they have is on cop brutality. Other groups are working on violence in Black neighborhoods. BLM may be taking a broader approach to the community. You would have to ask them.

If I were them, I wouldn't want to wait until the state is taken down before trying to get cops from killing people. They may want to take down the state, as you do, but meanwhile they want to attempt to put out this fire while others are putting out the others ones and the state.

What do you think will do enough to achieve your goals? Do you agree w the actions some other @ groups take? I understand they were active in Hamburg this past week. Do you know what there goals were?

Do you think only a total disruption of the state will be needed before any progress can be made? If not, what do think can be done today to progress towards @?
props on the comic sans.

zz & human - there is, I think, a psychological disconnect for white folks vis-a-vis anti-black violence. That police targeting people of color (as opposed to my unmelanated person) is real has never been not a known and quantifiable factor in my life and politics(sic?). What made that violence real was seeing the cops kill a black person and being powerless to do a goddamn thing. It was reinforced by going in to working with homeless folks, many poc, who also experienced much higher rates of abuse by the cops.

To be clear, I was not some legendary anti-racist ally in all this, I was a white dude doing what he could, which was most often not enough.

I guess the point of this comment is that white folks can know the realities of anti-black violence, we can be really extremely fucking close to the violence, we can feel  a lot of things that stick with us for years about it all, we (white folks) aren't going to ever know what that violence feels like particular to poc, and it is probably both similar and unique to individual poc. I can't change that, and to be honest, I don't think I'd want to. What I want is to act in ways that make it less likely that my homeless black neighbor is killed by cops, and to make those killer cops extremely uncomfortable in their lives.

tl;dr - we don't necessarily empathize even when we intellectually know a thing and/or sympathize. Empathy is an ever expanding and changing experience, and all of us are always fucking it up, even while some of us our doing our best. Not an excuse. Not a condemnation.

oh, also, yes - total disruption of the state is necessary, but we shouldn't wait for the perfect time to act, we should fight like we know we will lose but want to win.

Oh okay. Thanks for your response, zz. I've found it odd when reading about black lives matter that there is a major exception for when black lives matter, and that is when a white person or a cop does the killing. It comes off as, hmmm how to put it... I guess dehumanizing of black folk and/or suggesting they're inferior.

I would encourage black folk to seek ways to stop or minimalize harming each other at alarming numbers.  Just like anyone else or group that state their lives matter

Which groups do you mean? I don't know what happened in Hamburg. Are you talking about Hamburg, Germany, or some Hamburg city in the US? I don't think an anarchist society is plausible, honestly. I take anarchism as a more of an individual thing.

Thinkle of it as individuals fighting for their own lives on multiple platforms. The individual works w/in their own neighborhood to frd off/resolve community violence. That same individual goes out into the street to make noise enough that people outside the neighborhood can be made aware of the state violence.

"it comes off as... " weird that how something looks is taken into consideration.

Just because you don't see what is being done in Black neighborhoods doesn't mean it is not happening.

MY question about Hamburg can be replaced with, what tactics do you suggest using to take down the state so individuals can live independent of the state? Or is that unnecessary to live as an individualist @ist?
ingrate, when you say, 'total disruption of the state but don't wait for perfect time to act.'

What actions are you talking about?

What I am envisioning from your comment is take some action, with the understanding we never know which action/protest will break the dam and bring down the state.

Does that have any elements of what you are talking about?

Personally, I think that the state needs to be gradually disrupted. For it to come crashing down with little to no stabilization forces would lead to anarchy. Oops I mean, chaos. (just a little levity. I do mean chaos which is different from anarchy.)

General populations/nature hates a vacuum, (if that is still considered a truth.) With a total disruption people will seek stability anywhere they can get it.

 If groups of people have been living out their @, they will be ready to enable others to do the same. Otherwise a group or an individual will take over. People will be happy for the order, until they aren't.

I Am understanding anarchy to be  leaderless groups of multiple types of anarchy connected by coordinating efforts of the multiple groups. I think I read that somewhere on this site under the description of hierarchy vs organization. This is not a new concept for me but one I agree with.

THere is even space for individualist w this format. They can live their preferred @ outside the realm of organization (w/o hierarchy).
ingrate, re : seeing first hand the killing of someone and for it to be one who is to protect and serve (I know, just saying for emphasis) is fortunately out of my realm of experience. So I can't empathize. I can grieve/be enraged w you.

THe closet I can get to grasping the pain of Black people in this society is to share our humanity. The elements that make up their lives here are unique to them. I can stand w & for the person being bullied, for example. I can relate if I have been bullied but there are so many more layers to their experiences I can never know. But, first I must see people's humanity to accept their plight.

Our system is set up to strip Black people of their humanity. People today still see Black people as animals thanks to centuries of propaganda.

No,human, I don't think this means Black people are helpless victims because they seek other groups to aid in breaking the propaganda. If other people are part of creating the abuse, then other people need to be a part of the solution.

ingrate, thanks. Comic sans is the best thing microsoft has ever implemented ;). I've never seen someone killed by the police in person, but have seen the police beat the shit out of folk in person. When I was a younger lad, I saw a childhood friend whooped by the cops right in front of me. It's like they made a spectacle out of it to show me and the other people that we were with to not disobey/run from them in the future. It was quite disturbing to watch and not being able to do anything about it made it all the more disturbing to me.

zz, I don't know which tactics to use to topple the state & capitalism. All the ones I know of haven't accomplished that goal yet. I think the asking/begging the state, without any force, to do/give this or that won't accomplish anything but sore feet. I don't think it's possible to live free of the state & capitalism at this moment. One can try to limit it in their lives by trying the more "off-grid" way or in one of those various somewhat self-sustaining collectives throughout the US and elsewhere, but they still have to live within the state rules and capitalism.

zz, you mention unique experience, yet you keep referring to "their" experience, and "them", which sounds like not a unique experience.

regarding the "animal" connotation....i wonder why describing someone as acting like an animal means a bad thing....no other animals seem to destroy the planet or kill their own species the way humans do...call me an animal any time.

baa, I've wondered if the animal thing has to do with the domestication of humans thousands of years ago. I guess, you could say self-domestication. Kind of like other domesticated animals are more docile, humans are also quite docile, imo. While an undomesticated animal is more aggressive and, I suppose, more unpredictable. I'm not sure why being viewed as an animal is a negative thing, other than the individual's behavior breaks from norm, but that doesn't really explain why it's a negative either.


I Agree about the animal things but it doesn't change that white people mean it as a slur against Black people. Or that others use it as a slur.

UNiue to a group of people. When cops attack Black people, they attack anyone one Black. Cops will beat up anyone one. But their first target is Black people.

I Know that all Black people  are different. That doesn't mean that that state doesn't target them as a group. Or that the state hasn't created & disbursed propaganda against a group. Many groups, but some groups more harshly than others.
I See the primary effect of protests of sorts as creating awareness. It may not bring immediate change policy wise. It does push the boundaries of awareness. The size of our country impedes change.

KXL blockade started with a couple of guys in trees saying no to a pipeline. That grew to the stopping of the tar sands oil being sent. Now they may not even have a market for the oil.

Water protectors in ND started pipeline awareness and now there are multiple places where people are protecting the water from pipelines.

DOes it bring the ultimate change? No, it puts out fires. That is necessary to survive in the present.