Anti-Trump demonstrations in the US - write a report if you're attending

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Rachel
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Jan 29 2017 13:42

a word on feeling hopeful - I used that word on purpose. At the march I didn’t really feel the strength or power of the class. That would have been different. Hey I’ve read Vaneigem too and I know the limits of Hope. But too many people I know are trying to live with the type of despair that can end in suicide. In the face of that, the sort of politics that’s all about thinking that only you know what’s really going on, that all the silly sheeple with their big marches aren’t really getting what you get - I don’t want only that in my life or my kids’ lives. Allowing ourselves to feel strengthened by what little collectivity we find probably does not weaken the prospects for more radical transformation.

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Hieronymous
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Jan 29 2017 18:19

You have to learn to crawl before you learn to walk. We're light-years away from anything that could even vaguely be called anti-capitalist, so you have to make an honest assessment of the forces in action, critique them, and begin from there. Asking for soviets or communes on Day #2 of the Trump regime is like waving a magic wand and asking for all your wishes to be granted. Since you seem to fetishize Marinus van der Lubbe, it seems to imply doing some lone wolf action and getting yourself executed. No?

As for the Black Panthers, you'll have to go beyond what I "apparently" wrote; I didn't defend any of their "Stalinist politics," since what I commented on from the museum exhibit were their programs, which at worst were radical charity. If you have a critique of the Panthers, go to that thread and make your case.

By the way, I was responding to NA above. Rachel, your posts have been insightful and are very much appreciated. NA, this might be semantic, but to me without hope you have despair. That leads to despondency and, when internalized over time, an apolitical resignation and acceptance of one's "fate." Sure all you Nietzscheans are gonna tell us to toughen up, but I personally need a collective sense of solidarity. I'm not a lone wolf.

In moments of radical rupture, to borrow from the S. I., we transcend the permitted and begin to reach for the possible. And this involves our affective realm, where the absence of fear leads to confidence. Your can't wave that magic wand or will this into existence.

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Hieronymous
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Jan 29 2017 14:54
Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:
Hieronymous: I will probably regret trying to debate on this site as I will probably get a lot of shit coming my way since this site is so utterly compromised and - or so I have been told - you specifically have trivialised taking any stance over important contradictions on this site and have even, apparently, defended the Black Panther Party and its Stalinist politics. But that is probably besides the point on this particular thread.

Why don't you just post your stuff at Dialectical Delinquents if we're so compromised here?

Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:
So - rather typical for this site to publish it, since the admin are basically modern Leninists hiding under a libertarian label.
el psy congroo
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Jan 29 2017 14:58
Hieronymous wrote:
...Without hope you have despair. That leads to despondency and, when internalized over time, suicidal thoughts.

This has a name. The high-highs and the low-lows. This isn't dialectics. It's called bipolar disorder (formerly manic depressive disorder). Might want to look into mood stabilizers, something as basic as 5-HTP. I'm not even trying to be funny. The disorder can be only temporary, doesn't mean you're "permanently sick", in fact it's induced by exactly the type of stress and cognitive dissonance revolutionaries rack up. Over in the US, roughly 3% of people experience a bi-polar episode at least one time in their lives. If there is a history of anxiety or substance abuse your risk jumps greatly. Furthermore, there's strong evidence frequent use of marijuana cause it. This is because it depletes your brain of serotonin and throws your brain chemistry off for days after each big dose. No matter the cause, I can not stress this enough: Keep your neurotransmitters balanced.

Anyway. Something something the optimist looks up, the pessimist down, while the realist looks straight ahead...

el psy congroo
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Jan 29 2017 14:59
Hieronymous wrote:
Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:
Hieronymous: I will probably regret trying to debate on this site as I will probably get a lot of shit coming my way since this site is so utterly compromised and - or so I have been told - you specifically have trivialised taking any stance over important contradictions on this site and have even, apparently, defended the Black Panther Party and its Stalinist politics. But that is probably besides the point on this particular thread.

Why don't you just post your stuff at Dialectical Delinquents if we're so compromised here?

Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:
So - rather typical for this site to publish it, since the admin are basically modern Leninists hiding under a libertarian label.

Anyone else lost? The website is compromised??

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Hieronymous
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Jan 29 2017 15:27
el psy congroo wrote:
Hieronymous wrote:
...Without hope you have despair. That leads to despondency and, when internalized over time, suicidal thoughts.

This has a name. The high-highs and the low-lows. This isn't dialectics. It's called bipolar disorder (formerly manic depressive disorder). Might want to look into mood stabilizers, something as basic as 5-HTP. I'm not even trying to be funny. The disorder can be only temporary, doesn't mean you're "permanently sick", in fact it's induced by exactly the type of stress and cognitive dissonance revolutionaries rack up. Over in the US, roughly 3% of people experience a bi-polar episode at least one time in their lives. If there is a history of anxiety or substance abuse your risk jumps greatly. Furthermore, there's strong evidence frequent use of marijuana cause it. This is because it depletes your brain of serotonin and throws your brain chemistry off for days after each big dose. No matter the cause, I can not stress this enough: Keep your neurotransmitters balanced.

Anyway. Something something the optimist looks up, the pessimist down, while the realist looks straight ahead...

I thought I was being slammed for being too hopeful, now I'm bi-polar. Are you trying to tell me "Something something"?

EDIT: I have never had overt suicidal thoughts, so I changed the refences to it in above post.

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Khawaga
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Jan 29 2017 17:13

NA keeps looking for the perfect and fully former workers' movement. That is just an excuse for not having to do shit, not having to engage with people that are not commies, and for being an armchair general/analyst.

Your "critique" is just a semblance of one. A short quantity/quality comment is just lazy; you don't or can't even write anything that actually tries to make sense of what is going on.

You seem to be devoid of any notion that in this day and age, the "best" that can happen may be toothless protests precisely because we are so utterly decomposed as a class and that therefore we simply do not know how to effectively go on the offensive or even have the ability and force of ideas to make other people remotely interested in what we are seeking. That we only have protests with all this shit happening is a sign of weakness. But as H or SA said above: we need to start somewhere and that somewhere start with people, and there are a lot of people at the protests that most likely will be more receptive than in any other context.

But please, just go on acting smug and engaging in the silly DD vs libcom war that is really only waged by you lot.

S. Artesian
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Jan 29 2017 17:54

^^^Word.

I really don't understand what NA and others are driving at. It's not as if H or myself or anyone else is praising the protests as a fully formed revolutionary or proto revolutionary movement. But... the protests bring up the critical issues-- particularly regarding women and immigrants whose labor force participation rates, and presence in the working class makes these issues so critical for the working class organizing itself as a unified self.

I mean, really, why do you think LA had the largest demonstrations perhaps equal in size to the national demonstration in DC? You think maybe the numbers of immigrants, the numbers of immigrants workers (who also made Mayday 2006 somewhat special in LA, remember?) has something to do with it?

And lest we forget, "foreign-born" immigrants make up 1/6 of the US labor force, concentrated in the lower-paying service, transportation, production sectors. So if they are showing up, and indeed they are, cutting yourself off from this movement by a sector of the class is the epitome of sectarianism-- putting your own ideological concerns ahead of the real actions of the class itself.

Fleur
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Jan 29 2017 18:05

I don't want to get into a fight but I just want to say that I've been feeling completely filled with despair over the last few weeks. I didn't go on any of the local protests, I can't march anyway because I have a lingering injury, I haven't been able to think about anything positive and then last night I watched on social media all the protests happening at US airports and I felt just a tiny glimmering of hope. Hope's not a bad thing. You can't do much with hope alone but you can't do anything without it.

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Hieronymous
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Jan 29 2017 21:23

Airports are full of protestors again today.

But beware of recuperateurs: Airbnb is offering released detainees free accommodations and Lyft will donate $1 million to the ACLU.

Anyone go to their nearest international airport?

petey
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Jan 29 2017 21:49

spoke to a bud in phila who said that the crowd formed fast again today. 1000 as of 10 minutes ago, according to the inqy:

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/real-time/Large-protest-of-Trumps-immigration-order-planned-Sunday-at-Philadelphia-International-Airport.html

e2a: inqy twittter says 5000.

https://twitter.com/phillydotcom?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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Hieronymous
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Jan 29 2017 22:19

Some radicals, who post here on occasion, are at SFO and say there's 1,000 in a spirited and militant demo.

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Jan 30 2017 06:57

Hieronymous says:

Quote:
Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:

"So - rather typical for this site to publish it, since the admin are basically modern Leninists hiding under a libertarian label."

I have not said that anywhere. Please indicate your source.

As for the rest of the attacks - eg the deliberate misreading of my mention of Van Der Lubbe, when I said "Is a more intelligent form of Van de Lubbe tactics on the cards?"; the Dialectical Delinquents stuff - wtf???- they have nothing much to do with me. It merely confirms what I said:

Quote:
I will probably regret trying to debate on this site as I will probably get a lot of shit coming my way since this site is so utterly compromised

A bunch of distortionists, most of you. I guess you lying shitheads should all just continue going round in narrow circles talking in your sleep about things I never said just to avoid anything mildly critical. I will tiptoe quietly off into the distance so as not to disturb you.

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RadBlackLove
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Jan 30 2017 08:21

Sorry, I wasn't meaning to spread any sort of false information or slander the organizers of any of the marches. I specifically was referring to the United States actions, and what I meant by the thing about trans folks feeling iffy was with regards to the overt focus on genitalia as *the* basis of women's oppression. The vagina hats have been key discussion and has provided cover for feminists with "gender critical" politics....there are a number of pieces about this so far but I'm really glad to hear that maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion and that trans solidarity was very visible. The other post about being pro-police is what we get with the elements of people who made up the action, again not too surprising. I also wasn't saying those things to say that people shouldn't participate, just offering up an explanation as to why some folks opted out and how we need to tighten up, politically

https://www.good.is/articles/seeking-solidarity-at-the-womens-march-in-washington

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Entdinglichung
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Jan 30 2017 10:12

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/native-american-tribe-stop-donald-trump-us-mexican-border-wall-arizona-reservation-land-tohono-o-a7549841.html

Quote:
In a statement it criticised the White House for signing an executive order without consulting the tribe, and hinted at Standing Rock-style mass resistance if necessary. The tribal vice-chairman has previously said the government could build the wall “over my dead body”.

...

Quote:
The tribe, which has about 28,000 members, said it has suffered for decades from the "militarisation" of the international border, which cuts across its ancestral lands. Members have said they are frequently assaulted or threatened by border guards and impeded in visiting relatives south of the border.

The reserve is meant to operate as an autonomous territory, but in practice people living there say they are afraid to hunt on their own land or even let their children ride the bus to school because of harassment by security agents. They said in the statement that they are routinely stopped from “simply travelling through their own traditional lands, practicing migratory traditions essential to their religion, economy and culture”.

The Tohono O'odham Nation occupies the second largest Native American base in the country and has so far spoken out the loudest in opposition to the wall, but it is possible other tribes which span the border will also refuse to let Mr Trump build on their territory.

The Kumeyaay in California and the Kickapoo in Texas, as well as the Cocopah, also in Arizona, all occupy land spanning the US and Mexico. Representatives of all these tribe have gathered together in the past to discuss tactics to oppose border security, with several indigenous leaders saying the militarisation and occupation of indigenous lands is in direct violation of their right to economic, political, social, and cultural control of their lands.

...

Quote:
However the legal challenge Mr Trump could face if he attempted to build a wall on Tohono O’odham land without the tribe's permission could pose an even larger problem than finding the money.

“He is going to have a very serious and prolonged battle with the O’odham people,” said Raul Grijalva, a Democratic congressman from Arizona, speaking to the Guardian. “They know what’s at stake is their sovereignty.”

Even if Mr Trump won a legal battle, he would face a fight on the ground. Mr Moreno said people were already discussing strategies for “direct action”.

Rachel
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Jan 30 2017 21:28

To RedBlackLove - Thanks, good points and I agree with some of the things said about the discourse eg the slogans, hats and the limitations of the demos. I don't think anybody should have to go to things if they find them oppressive, and it's important that people are able to make their criticism of events like this and not be overruled or downvoted or whatever.

Many people may be getting involved in mass mobilisations for the first time - we will have to learn how to listen and speak to each other. All the best and solidarity.

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Red Marriott
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Jan 31 2017 01:24
NA wrote:
Hieronymous says:
Quote:
Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:

"So - rather typical for this site to publish it, since the admin are basically modern Leninists hiding under a libertarian label."

I have not said that anywhere. Please indicate your source.

See comments here; http://libcom.org/library/mandate-heaven-nigel-harris

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Hieronymous
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Jan 31 2017 14:44

numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers . . . . . . . .

sheeple or potential class warriors? were the streets half full or half empty?

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fingers malone
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Jan 31 2017 17:41

Regarding people saying "where were you till now?" or similar, I think there's a difference between people being 'n00bs are stupid' which I agree is crap and destructive, and black people who went out and protested police brutality and got met with severe violence and then had to put up with sanctimonious condemnation 'thugs' 'hooligans' 'why don't you just march peacefully'.

Sneering at people because they are not as with it as you is bad. Being angry at people who don't show you basic human solidarity is reasonable.

Rachel
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Jan 31 2017 22:08

Yes, you're right.

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Chilli Sauce
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Jan 31 2017 22:34
Hieronymous wrote:
numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers . . . . . . . .

sheeple or potential class warriors? were the streets half full or half empty?

That's like 1% of the US population, which is, for all the undoubted shortcomings of the protests, fucking incredible.

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Hieronymous
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Feb 2 2017 15:25

Not directly anti-Trump, but tonight at UC Berkeley a massive crowd shut down a speaking event by Milos Yiannopoulos at the MLK Student Union on campus. He was invited by the Berkeley Republican Club and clearly the rioting was as much against the Trump administration as the scheduled speaker.

It made great riot porn and it was fun.

The black bloc arrived and without hesitation pulled down the pig's metal barricades, and soon fireworks were being shot at the few cops on the outside of the building, before most of them retreated inside. Eventually, around the time they announced Yiannopoulos' talk was canceled, the cops along the balcony of the student union started firing down rubber bullets and pepperball rounds (with tiny poofs of harmless tear gas) at the crowd below in response to windows on the ground floor of the student union getting busted out. Along the periphery of the student union, the cops had turned on two portable light towers with diesel generations at nightfall. The one nearest the venue entrance was toppled by demonstrators and was eventually torched, sending flames and black smoke high into the sky.

From the balcony, cops regularly declared an "unlawful assembly" and ordered us off campus, with threats of violence and arrest. Hardly anyone budged. A protestor sound system played classics, like NWA's "Fuck tha Police!"

Right now (10:30 p.m.) a crowd is still marching around the area south of the campus, lighting small fires, smashing corporate businesses, and were even reported to have looted a Starbucks. But it seems to be winding down.

EDIT: The highlight of the night for me was when one of the pig brass, from the MLK Student Union balcony, read us the order to disperse over a megaphone, citing California Penal Code 409 and saying we would be subject to force "including but not limited to chemical agents, batons and less lethal munitions," and we drowned him out by chanting repeatedly, in unison, "JUMP!" It was hilarious.

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Hieronymous
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Feb 3 2017 01:15

It is now circulating on social media (and the person who posted it can't reveal their confidential source) that Milo Yiannopoulos had been planning to read a list of undocumented students on the UC Berkeley campus during his scheduled talk.

His mere presence is reason enough to shut down all of his public appearances, but the security of vulnerable students made it all the more urgent.

And since the crowd swelled as it got dark, I have no idea of the size of the protest. Yiannopoulos' event was set for 8:00 p.m., but the protest was called for 6:00. I got there before sunset at 5:00, when there was already a sizeable mass of people and two news helicopters circling overhead. I haven't seen a crowd that large on Sproul Plaza since midday on April 30, 1991, Day 2 of the Rodney King Rebellion, where the number of protestors was several thousand -- including students from both UC Berkeley and nearby Berkeley High, which essentially shut down as everyone marched to the UC campus -- and last night was as big.

meerov21
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Feb 3 2017 21:57

http://libcom.org/forums/theory/main-intrigue-trumps-era-04022017

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Hieronymous
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Feb 4 2017 02:42

During the recently suppressed uprising at the Delaware State Prison in Smyrna, occupiers demanded better education and rehabilitation programs, a "formal apology" from the Delaware governor for "decades of oppression," and were angry about Donald Trump and "all the things he's doing now."

Portentous of the future?

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Hieronymous
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Feb 4 2017 08:47

More reflections on the Women's March and the anti-Milo Yiannopoulos demo at UC Berkeley:

After a crew of us reached the terminus of the San Francisco's Women's March on the night of Saturday, January 21, 2017, we tried to get of out the rain to get something to eat. Some of us ended up at a lousy touristy restaurant in Chinatown, mostly because it didn't have a line out front in the cold wet night. Once inside, half the other patrons had been at the march too. Right next to us was a table with half a dozen young people who clearly were at their first-ever demonstration. We were feeling pretty euphoric about the 2 mile march in a driving rain ourselves, but their enthusiasm was contagious. They were giddy with delight reliving the day's events, which to us was pretty routine. But that's the point: Trump's election has mobilized millions of people who are now looking for ways of making sense of this crazy world. Hence us anarchos and commies can help them to not only politicize themselves but to develop a radical anti-capitalist critique. So many of these young idealists are blank slates who are desperate to be actively doing something to change their lives and the world.

Some of the same crew from the Women's March were standing around the middle of anti-Yiannopoulos demo (four of us have at various times been active contributors to libcom). After one of the pathetically unenforceable dispersal orders from the pigs, two young women students deferentially and politely asked us by what legal reason the UC cops were ordering us to disperse. We carefully explained that they'd declared us an "unlawful assembly" and again they sincerely asked us "why?" And again we explained that is was to suppress our ability to protest. One of the students got indignant and said "I pay $36,000 a year to go to this school and how can my presence be illegal?" We said "exactly," as it's a public school and how can any of us be illegal. It was clear that they'd never been at a demo before in their lives. And with us giving a verbal reinforcement to their righteous instincts to come to demonstrate against a reactionary pig like Yiannopoulos, it was clear that they were getting politicized and emboldened right there before our eyes. It's a beautiful process -- and that night there were many of thousands of kids there on Sproul Plaza just like them. And Trump has only been president for less than two weeks!

And there's a whole generation like them across the U.S. -- and around the world!

[message to my comrades who were there at these events: please post your own reflections here]

huli
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Feb 5 2017 15:25

Milo has announced his intention to reschedule the cancelled speaking engagement at UC Berkeley: http://www.dailycal.org/2017/02/04/milo-yiannopoulos-announces-intention-reschedule-campus-talk/

huli
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Feb 5 2017 16:09

As of now, local FB chatter about the February 1 protest in Berkeley has focused on scornful critiques of the tactics used in the protest (in particular, the window-smashing and the physical confrontations with fascists.) The critiques range from "this makes us look bad and alienates the masses who would otherwise be surging forward were it not for these undisciplined fools," to a perhaps more rational argument about the tactics having introduced a level of physical danger to fellow protesters without their own consent. In either case, I'm unconvinced of the utility of these routine criticisms for anything other than providing an opportunity for "virtue signaling" from various corners of the Left. I'm waiting to see if better ideas emerge about how to shut down Milo when he returns to Berkeley.

I don't think the talk would have been cancelled without a certain level of mayhem on Sproul Plaza. Contrary to another account I read elsewhere, I did not hear anyone in the crowd near me express any disapproval of the property destruction - except for a widespread worry that one of the trees near the burning light tower might burn (which it did not, thankfully) and some amount of fear, which I very much shared, that the fuel tank of the light tower would explode (which it didn't, much to my relief.) But I think it's important to note that this very large and disparate crowd of protesters did not choose to leave the protest when the fire started and windows were smashed. I'm sure some stayed in spite of it, and some stayed because of it, but what matters is that people stayed and held their ground. The initial dispersal orders by the pigs caused some less-experienced protesters to retreat out of fear of arrest or attacks, but the majority of the crowd very soon learned that the dispersal orders were empty threats, since the pigs gave us "ten more minutes" to disperse several times, and didn't escalate their efforts beyond that.

I want to add that at this point, nobody attends an East Bay protest without some expectation that there will be property damage and/or some other rationale (like freeway shutdowns) for the pigs to declare an "unlawful assembly."
(The exception would be rallies or marches organized by the alphabet-soup crowd that intentionally broadcast the "family-friendly" nature of their actions.) So it's a bit rich for anyone to claim that the black bloc is leading innocent lambs to the slaughter.

My general visceral sense was that this very large crowd was elated by a sense of power and purpose, and was vindicated by its success in chasing this odious fascist off of our turf.

wojtek
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Feb 5 2017 20:37

Lol

bastarx
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Feb 5 2017 22:04

The World Socialist Website thinks the Black Bloc is a police/New York Times operation.

Quote:
Anarchist groups such as ANTIFA are politically reactionary. They represent demoralized sections of the middle class that are hostile to any struggle to politically educate and mobilize the working class and youth against the capitalist system. Their tactics, gratuitous violence and destruction of property, flow from and reflect their bankrupt politics.

Undercover police and paid provocateurs would act no differently at a mass demonstration than ANTIFA did Wednesday evening in Berkeley. In fact, such organizations are, by dint of their politics and the social forces they attract, magnets for police infiltration. There can be little doubt that significant numbers of the hooded anarchists who rioted in Berkeley were police agents or informants.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/02/03/berk-f03.html

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/02/04/anar-f04.html