Sunday, September 3, 2017

Four reasons Antifa needs to reject black bloc tactics and embrace nonviolent resistance

1. Violence changes the subject to violence. The greatest strength of non-violent resistance is it keeps the focus on the protesters' message. See:

An interview with Al Letson, who intervened in the Berkeley antifa beating | Salon

Antifa Broke My Camera | New Republic

Masked anarchists disrupt peaceful Berkeley protest, attack pro-Trump demonstrators | Slate

Berkeley: Professor used bike lock in beatings, police say. Alleged Antifa bike lock attacker Eric Clanton held in Berkeley jail

2. Leftist violence helps the right. Just as Hitler exploited the violence of the 1930s Antifa to sell himself as the candidate who could bring peace to Germany, the alt-right's strategy is to get Antifa to attack first so the left looks bad. See:

The Antifa Protests Are Helping Donald Trump | The New Yorker

Noam Chomsky: Antifa is a 'major gift to the Right'

In chat rooms, Unite the Right organizers planned to obscure their racism | Reveal:
This desire to provoke counterprotesters into throwing the first punch was a theme throughout the chats – and has continued since then as well. In a post about a June event in Charlottesville, lead Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler urged people to “help bait antifa into attacking the Proud Boys,” a group that’s been called the “alt-right Fight Club.”
3. Masks make protesters look like criminals or terrorists. I first saw the black bloc in action in the 1990s. People who had come for a peaceful protest moved away from them—we know strangers in masks are rarely our friends.

4. Masks help police spies and provocateurs blend in with the crowd. No one knows how often black bloc violence is committed by provocateurs, but we know it has happened:



Earlier:

Five things about Antifa and non-violent reisistence

Antifa vs speech: the right to discuss and the LD50 gallery

On Antifa and my 20-year-old revulsion with black bloc tactics

The killing in Charlottesville obscured the magnitude of the alt-right's failure

Rosa Luxemburg knew "the free battle of opinions" is essential to socialism

Related:

Elizabeth Gurley Brown: The IWW and the Fight for Free Speech