Saturday, November 05, 2011

Is the Black Bloc a COINTELPRO operation?

It happens over and over again, wherever a successful left-wing protest movement is underway. A peaceful march is going along, and suddenly mysterious black-clad ninja wannabes step out of the crowd and start throwing rocks through windows and throwing rocks, bottles, and firecrackers at police officers. In response, TV news shows only the violence and covers the cause that the protest was about not at all, newspapers print outraged editorials about how violent, vile and despicable left-wingers are, and the majority of people shake their heads and turn on Rush Limbaugh, who, after all, has never thrown a brick through a window.

Is the Black Bloc a COINTELPRO operation? That's certainly a question worth asking. The fact that they show up *only* at left-wing protests, not at any other events that attract crowds, is rather... odd. As is the fact that they show up in geographically far-removed places with no visible means of funding for such widespread travelling. And while the Black Bloc claims to be anarchists, anarchists of my acquaintance have nothing but disdain for the Black Bloc and their tactics, pointing out that smashing the windows of a Starbucks is hardly the same thing as smashing the power structures that anarchists believe must be removed in order to bring anarcho-paradise of voluntary syndics of like-minded people blah de blah.

So asking the question, "who funds the Black Bloc and arranges for them to arrive at left-wing protests" is hardly the odd question it might first seem. They show up in too many unlikely places to be there accidentally and appear to have no agenda other than to cause property destruction and general annoyance to police officers. If they are not paid provocateurs, they certainly behave like such. Note that I'm not saying that the individual members of the Black Bloc are all employees of X (for some mysterious X), but whoever is guiding and influencing them certainly seems to be very successful at generating news stories that discredit left-wing causes and it's certainly a reasonable question to ask, "is this a COINTELPRO operation intended to discredit left-wing causes?". Just sayin'.

-- Badtux the Cavuto Penguin


  1. I don't think they are all part of the same group but rather different people using the same tactic. Or at least I've never heard of a group that calls themselves The Black Block. I have heard different groups talk about using black bloc tactics though. i.e. not all ninjas are the same ;)

    On that note, I do agree that it is perfectly possible for people opposed to the message of OWS to use the tactic in order to discredit the movement. It doesn't matter though if they are crazy extremists from the right or crazy extremists from the left. They need to be discredited either way and the movement in general must remain non-violent and distinct from such nut jobs.

  2. Dunno if you heard about it at the time, but a few months ago the Gov of Wisconsin was caught on phone (he thought he was talking to one of the Koch brothers) admitting that they had considered putting "plants" among the protesters in order to cause trouble...

  3. Both the right and the extreme anarchists have the same goal -- to discredit liberalism and liberal solutions (on the right because liberalism threatens their hoarding of dollars, on the part of the anarchists because liberalism proves government can work and thus must be destroyed) -- so it would not be unusual for the right to put "plants" into extremist anarchist ranks to sway them into action. It always amuses me when anarchist groups claim to not have leaders. Put me into a gathering of anarchists and I can identify within a few minutes who the leaders are -- they are the ones who are most eloquent and passionate about their ideas and sway the general discussion into the paths *they* want, not whatever paths the majority *originally* wanted. They may claim they're not leaders, but that claim is about as credible as the Bush Administration claims about WMD in Iraq... i.e., doesn't pass the reality test.

    I think it's not an untoward idea to ask the question, "are these leaders right-wing plants?" For example, if they're against *all* power structures, why don't they ever show up at right-wing rallies, given that the right-wing is *the* power in the country right now? Doesn't pass the smell test, is all I'm sayin'...

    - Badtux the Sniffing Penguin

  4. The Corrente blog (which is on your roll, Tux, so I'm assuming you read it) had an interesting post analyzing some of the philosophy behind the Black Bloc-heads. There's more thought to their motivations than I had realized. I don't agree with the anarjerkists, because they discredit the movements they're associated with, but at least some of them seem to have an ideology instead of only violent psychology.

    When I'm at a protest, I now look for the Black Bloc types before trouble starts. For supposed nonconformists, they adhere to a uniform almost as rigidly as Catholic schoolchildren. Black jeans, black hoodies, black hiking boots, backpack, bandanna around neck. They don't cover their faces until the marches move. If they think they're going to be anonymous, they're fools, because the police state is filming before shit starts to happen, so their mugs have already been on camera.

    What I'm looking for when I scan them in the crowd is to see who might be police plants. The older ones, the well-fed ones with good complexions, the ones who are watching other people more than being absorbed in their own self-righteousness -- those are the ones I ID as pigs. I pick out a lot more who are truly committed to the Black Bloc BS than I do provocateurs, though, like 20 to 1. My feeling is that the coprovocateurs don't mix with the real Black Bloc'ers until they want to touch something off, because it would be too easy for the real thing to finger the fakes.

  5. For example, if they're against *all* power structures, why don't they ever show up at right-wing rallies, given that the right-wing is *the* power in the country right now?

    Because the Black Bloc'ers are pussies, that's why. (No offense meant to people in legitimate possession of vaginas.) The black hoodie crowd would be identified at a right-wing gathering and get a lot of friction from burly people who'd like to literally punch hippies. So they hide from their real opponents, preferring to blend in with "Can't we all just get along?" peacelovedove types. Black Schloc kids are socially maladept and do not like to mix with people who are not like-minded. I've tried to talk to some, and they're as leery of me, one of their ostensible allies, as they would be of a police officer. They are only comfortable with their fellow alienated assholes.

  6. P.P.S. What does it mean to be a "Cavuto Penguin"? I don't watch that feces-speaker on Fux enough to get the inference.

  7. I thought you watched Jon Stewart? Jon loves making fun of "Cavutos" from John Cavuto. A "Cavuto" is a question that is intended to not be a question, like, "Did President Obama rape fifteen white women while he was in college?" Hey, it's just a question, right?

    - Badtux the Snarky Penguin

  8. I don't have any problem with anarchy but they are doing it wrong. Proper anarchy includes guns and explosives. So called peaceful protests and movements are just a media circus.

    But it's up to the youth to fix this mess being as it's their future, I'm getting old and I'm just a cheerleader sitting on the porch taking pot shots at those passing by to keep everyone alert.

  9. If you think you have all the answers you should run for president. Of course, only idiots think they can run this country, no way in hell would I want to be head of this country. :-)

  10. When I'm at a protest, I now look for the Black Bloc types before trouble starts. For supposed nonconformists, they adhere to a uniform almost as rigidly as Catholic schoolchildren.

    There is no Black Bloc organization or group and therefore no "non conformist" Black Bloc ideology. It also makes sense for them to rigidly conform to a uniform of black clothes because it is a tactic where everyone dresses the same in order to make identification of individuals more difficult.

    I agree with Tux that it does seem likely that there are some people using this tactic in order to instigate trouble. But there is no Black Bloc group or shared ideology.

  11. Lynne, I disagree. I can identify the leadership hierarchy of the Black Bloc within minutes by simply observing the members interacting with each other. Homo Sapiens is a bunch of apes with bad hair and delusions of grandeur, and one thing that apes are, is hierarchical animals.

    The fact that they themselves believe they aren't being influenced is what makes them so easy to influence. I watch anarchist gatherings that supposedly have no leaders, and I just have to laugh, because there's always the two or three people who are the most eloquent, the most passionate, who drive the "consensus" that "emerges".

    - Badtux the Hierarchical Penguin

  12. Badtux, I don't doubt that in Oakland, there is a group using the black bloc tactic that is currently identified by that tactic. I also agree with you that humans are hierarchical animals and that in the absence of a hierarchy, they'll naturally form.

    I was just being pedantic asshole with my panties in a twist over minutia. Nothing more to see here, carry on. ;)


Ground rules: Comments that consist solely of insults, fact-free talking points, are off-topic, or simply spam the same argument over and over will be deleted. The penguin is the only one allowed to be an ass here. All viewpoints, however, are welcomed, even if I disagree vehemently with you.

WARNING: You are entitled to create your own arguments, but you are NOT entitled to create your own facts. If you spew scientific denialism, or insist that the sky is purple, or otherwise insist that your made-up universe of pink unicorns and cotton candy trees is "real", well -- expect the banhammer.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.