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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why All the Smashy-Smashy? A Beginner's Guide to Targeted Property Destruction.

Posted by on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 12:18 AM

First: I ripped off that headline from the Seattle anarchist gazette Tides of Flame, but it neatly summarizes the big question of the day.

In a post below, Paul Constant decries today's targeted property destruction for upstaging the structural-economic reasons behind today's protests—the wealth gap, the E-Verify and "secure communities" programs that are tearing apart immigrant communities, how Wells Fargo profiteers in the privatized prison industry, etc. People like Paul call window-smashers "know-nothing nobodies" and "thugs" and "idiots."

This is not necessarily true. There are reasons why thoughtful people sometimes smash windows.

But first, let's clear something up: Reporters today on KOMO and Slog and beyond have made the mistake of calling today's targeted property destruction "violence." There is an enormous moral distinction between smashing a bank window and smashing a person. Lumping the two under the umbrella of "violence" is linguistically lazy and politically irresponsible. It is worth noting that in the dramatic property-destruction campaigns of groups like the Earth Liberation Front—burning SUV lots, ski lodges, and in one of their stupider and more infamous moments, a botanical research facility at the UW—people don't get hurt.

In fact, the only "violence" I saw today, aside from some minor pushing back and forth between protesters and police and some pepper spray, was a guy in a tie who was (understandably) pissed off when someone broke the rear window of his car. He chased down a protester and they both fell down in the street and had a minor scuffle. That was violence (however paltry). Smashing a window is not violence, it's vandalism. There is a difference—unless you think of people as the moral equivalent of property.

But back back to the central question: Why would anyone use targeted vandalism as a means of political expression? It's a very, very old tactic, dating back to Jesus smashing up the moneylenders' kiosks in the temple. And it is still popular among some, but totally anathema to most, today.

The rationale breaks down into three basic frames: one practical, one theoretical, and one a mix of practical and theoretical. Any given act of targeted property destruction usually involves a little of all three.

First, the practical reason: Hurting businesses where it counts—their pocketbooks—is a way to get their attention. When the ELF (which isn't really an organization, more an ideology, but whatever) burns down a ski resort or an SUV lot, they're causing damage that hurts the bottom line in some way. We saw this even after today's protests. As I was walking home, I saw workers putting up plywood all over the windows of downtown businesses. I asked one of the workers if every business would be boarding up for the night. "Yes," he said. "Windows are expensive and we are not." He estimated the cost of one windowpane of that size to be around $800, not including the labor it takes to install it.

Here's one anecdote about practical anarchist window-smashing, not for the cost to the business but for the sake of transparency and democracy: In 1986, Sean Carlson (who has run Seattle's Pistil Books, both brick-and-mortar and online for many years) was a student at the University of Washington and part of Students Against Apartheid, an activist group trying to get the UW regents to divest themselves of investments held in apartheid-era South Africa. (Not all of the school's investments, he told me, just the percentage that was supposedly "held" by the faculty and students. "It was not," he said, "an unreasonable request.")

guess_who_.jpeg
  • Seattle Times, 1986
The group began by attending the open regents meetings and making requests. They were ignored. The moved to lobbying and protesting. They were ignored. Finally, the regents closed their formerly open meetings.

Carlson tried to attend one, thinking that closing the meetings was in violation of the state's open-meetings law. Police held the door closed. Carlson, being an anarchist—who believes that personal autonomy should not always and everywhere be subordinate to political authority, which is a much more accurate definition of an anarchist than "one who celebrates chaos"—thought that the police in this case were acting to violate the law rather than support it.

So he smashed a window open so he could reach through and open the door via the crash-bar. He wrestled with a cop and was arrested. He took the case to trial, and a jury dismissed all charges. Who today would say that Carlson's window-smashing to protest the UW profiting from an apartheid-era government was immoral, uninformed, and "know-nothing"? Sometimes a window-smashing is a profoundly moral act, even when committed by a self-proclaimed anarchist.

Second, the theoretical reason: This is basically the broken-windows theory of policing in reverse. That theory was floated by sociologists in the 1980s and became popular under New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. According to the policing model, an unfixed broken window is a sign of lawlessness and a weak state—one broken window might attract more broken windows which might attract squatters and other forms of lawlessness. Window-breaking anarchists, conversely, want to show that the state is weak and that the state of law and economy we live with is not as inevitable as gravity or aging—it's the result of human choices. “It is becoming harder and harder for people to summon up disgust when they see a smashed bank window,” writes AG Schwarz, the author of the article in Tides of Flame from which I stole the headline for this post.

These guys are worried about vandalism.
  • Brendan Kiley
  • These guys are worried about vandalism.

We should note that the window-smashers today did not target mom 'n' pop corner stores or restaurants. They targeted Niketown and banks, presumably because they had some grievance against those institutions and not others. Their vandalism was not "know-nothing"—it was calculated.

(As for the guy supposedly wearing Nike shoes while smashing up the Nike store? I can't account for that, nor do I care to. It's funny how the public sanctimoniously dismisses the actions of anarchists who don't conform to their idea of what an anarchist should be, while that same public shows a profound disinterest in understanding what an anarchist is or strives to be. Or the circumstances under which a certain person came across a certain pair of shoes. People dismiss an idea out of hand, but then demand some magical ideological purity from those who profess the idea, based on half-assed assumptions. People are goofy.)

Third, the marriage of the practical and the theoretical: A few weeks ago, I interviewed the anarchist theorist John Zerzan, who lives in Eugene, OR, and was dubbed by the press in 1999 as the intellectual godfather of the WTO riots. “People say why do you do this crazy stuff?” he said about political vandalism. “The crazy stuff is what we do every day... You had a lot of anarchists who sniffed around [Occupy] briefly and found it to be nowhere, just minor stuff—reforming, jiggle the tax code—and many were not interested… you have to have real militancy or you’re just wasting your time.”

For Zerzan and others, broken windows—and even arsons by the Earth Liberation Front—are a kind of fire alarm, designed to make us pay attention to what they see as accelerating economic, social, and ecological catastrophe. "Then you get a chance to say why would [someone] do that," he said. "And the media has to pay some attention to that and people want to know what’s going on.”

The esteemed anthropologist and anarchist David Graeber (who has studied places like some regions of Madagascar, where the state essentially pulled up stakes and left people to sort out their own lives in a de facto anarchist situation) has written about squatters in Christiania, Denmark, who have a Christmas ritual with a similar goal—they dress up as Santas, take toys from department stores, and hand them to kids on the street, “partly so everyone can relish the images of the cops beating down Santa and snatching the toys back from crying children.”

So it's a question: Did today's vandalism detract from the protests? If it was all hand-holding and vigils and kumbaya, would the press have replaced their coverage of the smashy-smashy with an equal amount of attention to "secure communities" and "e-verify" and how Wells Fargo makes money off of private prisons? Or would that have all been equally—or even more—ignored?

I don't know. And I'm not a self-professed anarchist, nor a proponent of targeted property destruction (even though I've just devoted 1,500 words to justifying it in this post).

But I do know there are compelling, not-entirely-stupid arguments for vandalism as a form of protest, and as a way to force people's attention towards certain problems that we might otherwise ignore in the deafening static of our undisrupted, workaday lives.

What would Jesus do?
  • Brendan Kiley
  • What would Jesus do?

americanapp1.jpg
  • Brendan Kiley

 

Comments (176) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
Does anyone love the Banks, other than Comrade Mitt "Frenchie" Romney who stashes his low-taxed capital gains offshore in accounts where the profit is then not reported, which resulted in record IRS fines on his non-disclosed tax returns?

Well?
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on May 2, 2012 at 12:26 AM · Report this
sprflycat 2
Well thought out and written perspective on something I myself demonized on more than one occasion today. I cringe a bit at the internal ramifications of so many different points of view, but maybe it will spark useful dialogue between the journalists. Here's a thought, what happens when The Stranger offices are vandalized?
Posted by sprflycat http://hustleandfaith.tumblr.com/ on May 2, 2012 at 12:31 AM · Report this
seatackled 3
@2

Then it would not be well thought out, if it were by anarchists. Or it would be terrorism, if it were by Christian extremists.
Posted by seatackled on May 2, 2012 at 12:34 AM · Report this
4
You're an anarchist. You're breaking a window to illustrate the weakness of the state. Presumably, you want there to be no state, because that's your thing. Lack of faith in the existing state will lead to no state, according to this logic.

I'm sorry, but that does not pass the "not-entirely-stupid" test. Not by a long shot. Not historically, not based on an even superficial understanding of human nature, not based on anything besides magical fairy logic.

Posted by Tent_Liberation_Army on May 2, 2012 at 12:49 AM · Report this
camlux 5
The Anarchist shouldn't mind, theoretically, when he is beaten to a bloody pulp for breaking windows. Why does he need the rules of a failed state to keep him safe from harm?
Posted by camlux on May 2, 2012 at 12:54 AM · Report this
6
This is the best slog post ever, and the best thing to come out of The Stranger since that expose on the speakeasy/ELF investigation, and before that, the time Kiley went urban hunting. I met you once, Brendan, giving you a screener at the Seven Gables. I've always had a little crush on you.
Posted by fa69ot on May 2, 2012 at 1:08 AM · Report this
bedipped 7
Oh sure, NOW you give us a good reason to tear shit up. Eighteen minutes too late.

/And dropping the snark for a minute, truly excellent post to top off an amazing day of coverage. Thanks Stranger for the pics and updates and multiple POVs for those of us in less theatrical cities.
Posted by bedipped on May 2, 2012 at 1:26 AM · Report this
Zebes 8
Fascinating stuff! I wonder how many of the actual vandals have these sorts of things in mind. (And I don't mean that in a snarky YEAH HA NOT LIKE ANY OF THEM WERE THINKING OF ANY OF THAT way, it's an honest curiosity.)
Posted by Zebes http://www.badrap.org/rescue/index.html on May 2, 2012 at 1:31 AM · Report this
9
@ 6. Aw, shucks. You're making me blush. Do you remember what screener it was?
Posted by Brendan Kiley on May 2, 2012 at 1:35 AM · Report this
10
@ 8. Based on the political vandals/targeted property damagers I've met and talked to, I'm guessing most of them were thinking about it deeply—and in a more nuanced way than what I'm writing about here. Contrary to popular opinion, I haven't met many self-professed anarchists and/or political vandals who take their business lightly. When I talk to them, I feel like an undereducated blunderbuss.

These folks, in my experience, know exactly what they're doing and why they're doing it. And they're very efficient in their organization, despite all the silly, superficial jokes about how "anarchists can't organize anything."
Posted by Brendan Kiley on May 2, 2012 at 1:43 AM · Report this
Gurldoggie 11
Terrifically thoughtful and articulate piece. Thanks very much Brendan. I instinctively find the smashing completely defensible, and appreciate the 1,500 words to say why. Now back to the barricades!
Posted by Gurldoggie http://gurldogg.blogspot.com on May 2, 2012 at 1:52 AM · Report this
12
Without getting into the moral or ethical morass, it might be useful to look at targeted property destruction solely in terms of its efficacy.

There have indeed been plenty of campaigns of targeted property destruction that have succeeded on their own terms; The Boston Tea Party*, comes to mind, as does Kristalnacht**.

There have also, however, been many failed campaigns of property destruction, like the Owens Valley bombings of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, or the destruction of textile machinery by the Luddites.

My initial hunch would be that we'd find the successful campaigns tend to be short (the longer a campaign of property goes on, the more likely it is someone innocent will get hurt) and to enjoy fair to overwhelming support in the society where they take place (if the populace is sympathetic enough, they might even overlook a few innocent people getting hurt).

Other examples, successful and unsuccessful, are welcome; these are just the first things that come to mind, heavily biased by the last half-dozen or so books I've read.

 

* the participants in which, you'll recall, wore costumes to disguise themselves.

** a bad example both for invoking Godwin, and because 91 Jews were in fact killed, yet a good example in that it had massive popular support, and because property was very much the immediate target.
Posted by robotslave on May 2, 2012 at 2:01 AM · Report this
13
Anarchists are not unlike some Republicans I know - they see government as some unapproachable, untamable force for evil when it's really just an extension of society. Rather than shaping it to serve their interests they'd just as soon tear it down entirely. Social and political change is difficult and painstakingly slow. Breaking things is quick and easy. After abstaining from the political process and Internet slacktavism, it's probably the easiest form of protest. There is no sense of the long game to the casual observer, i.e., most Americans. But I suppose it's foolish to ask a bunch of overzealous, testosterone-fueled guys in their early twenties to think about a long game when smashing windows appeals to their vanity and satisfies their needs for action.
Posted by Subdued Excitement on May 2, 2012 at 2:16 AM · Report this
14
Rather than shaping it to serve their interests they'd just as soon tear it down entirely.

Well yes, that's basically the definition of radical politics.

I've got a fair bit of criticism for radical anarchists, too, lord knows, but not because I think radicalism somehow isn't a real or viable political stance.

There have been actual revolutions here and there, a handful of them for the better, and they were not usually accomplished by people who were just trying to improve society one step at a time, and then somehow or another things got out of hand.

Which is not to say that incrementalism hasn't improved the world more than radicalism, overall; I'm pretty sure that's true, too.
Posted by robotslave on May 2, 2012 at 2:31 AM · Report this
Mr.Designer 15
Groups of people deliberately smashing windows feels violent to me. It is destruction. Somebody could get hurt due to broken glass. Is it nonviolent because they used small objects to break windows? If someone drove a car through a window to prove a point, would that be considered nonviolent?

When I saw the photos of boarded up windows, I just felt disappointment. Do the people breaking the windows even know why they are doing it?

Reading this post on SLOG makes me wonder why I even keep SLOG in my RSS feed.
Posted by Mr.Designer on May 2, 2012 at 2:38 AM · Report this
the duster 16
Louis Althusser (a Marxist himself) described the 1968 French student riots as 'infantile leftism.' If that's the case, I would call smashing a couple windows 'spermatic leftism.'
Posted by the duster on May 2, 2012 at 3:06 AM · Report this
17
@14, And after the world is sufficiently burnt, then what? A revolution worth its salt ought to be as much for something as against something else. Anarchism fails the what-now question.
Posted by Subdued Excitement on May 2, 2012 at 3:14 AM · Report this
18
@17

A revolution that merely burns the earth doesn't succeed, let alone improve anything. Of course.

But then, there really are revolutions that have succeeded, and also improved things. They're definitely in the minority, as I've indicated, and yet they exist.

I have quite a bit of complaint with contemporary anarchism (and again, I repeat myself) but they do in fact have a "what now." That's pretty much the whole point of the "prefigurative society" stuff you'll hear them rattling on about; the "what now" is, in its most simplified form: direct, antirepresentational consensus-process democracy in place of Hierarchy. Everywhere. At every level.
Posted by robotslave on May 2, 2012 at 3:27 AM · Report this
19
Ahh yes, trading representative democracy for a 300-million-strong general assembly. And as I've rattled on (to you, I think, no less!) who is making sure the stateless power vacuum doesn't spawn thugs and warlords, robbing and raping us blind before we each get a turn with the talking stick?
Posted by Subdued Excitement on May 2, 2012 at 3:57 AM · Report this
20
First, great post. Still against vandalism, but now I will at least have to consider the idea that there is at least a breath of a point there.

My main objection to the anarchists tactics is that they seem to try to piggy-back onto the backs of protests groups that want no part of those tactics . It is poor form to co-opt another movements legitimacy with a message and tactics that they find odious. The anarchists should have the courage to have independent marches and actions, that don't depend on protesters that want nothing to do with them, and indeed, find them scary and alienating.
Posted by ohthetrees on May 2, 2012 at 4:14 AM · Report this
21
@6 and @9, that hunting piece Brenden did was one of the most odious, disgusting pieces I've ever read. Not because I'm against hunting; I'm certainly not. I am against unbelievable and cruel incompetence. Repeatedly shooting a caged animal with a pellet gun, instead of having some integrity and quickly braining or decapitating the poor thing runs counter to all decent hunter's values and techniques. A quick, effective, hopefully painless shot with the right weapon is every competent hunter's goal. Brenden's piece wasn't about hunting, it was about trying on the role of being cruel and bloody, and what it felt like.
Posted by ohthetrees on May 2, 2012 at 4:16 AM · Report this
22
Not everyone who breaks shit is a violent thug seeking to become a warlord.
All the typical wimpy Seattleite hand-wringing about some smashed glass is what should disgust you.
They are fearful political pussies, groveling to the damn corporate police state, which commands that:
Thou Shalt Not
violate the holy sanctity of Corporate property, no matter how odious the institution and its actions.

The "Anarchists" are right to drive home a point with a little Direct Action...all the proof you need is that even the corporate media sits up and takes notice, if only to attempt to foment much hand-wringing and cluck-clucking schoolmarm-y scolding condemnation.

Without the busted windows, you would get 30 seconds of Page 3 airtime, no discussion of protesters' causes or issues, and the usual witless smarmy anchormannequins' banter of dismissal.
Posted by Sheikh Yerbouti on May 2, 2012 at 4:25 AM · Report this
23
Sorry, but if there are people on the other side of those windows, who don't know who is going to stop at throwing a brick, who is going to throw more at them, and who is going to try to burn the place down, then it is violence.

When I come hone to find my windows smashed in, I've either been robbed or vandalized, or both. When I'm hone and someone smashes my windows in, then I've been threatened with violence, and the perpetrators shouldn't be surprised if more violence is the result.

As for efficacy, blocs of tens of people rampaging through a downtown shopping area does not demonstrate the ineffectiveness of the state to most people, it demonstrates the necessity of the state. Most people do not want to have to defend themselves against brick- or Molotov- wielding mobs. That's what they expect the police to do. At most, you only demonstrate the ineffectiveness of a state, not the state. You are more likely to provoke a backlash amongst the people, who will run to the leaders who promise crackdowns and tighter security. You give more power to the state, not less, because terrorizing the public does not tend to make them reflective on the adequate levels of intrusiveness of and power of the state. Ref: 9-11 and the Iraq War, or late 1970s Iran. Ask the residents of Magadishu which they prefer more: the mayhem of a weak state fighting against a terrorist militia, or the oppressive dictates of the Islamic courts. Guess what: they won't be singing the praises of Bachunin.

If the plan is to goad the state into overreacting, then that might work, but you generally must already have the sympathy of the population or a significant subset thereof. This is where these sorts of antics tend to fail: the perpetrators think they're supported by the population (perhaps they're fooled by sympathetic support from the very small subset surrounding them at the time), but in fact they usually are not. More often, their actions are interpreted as acts against the population itself.

Take a couple of extreme examples: Timothy McVeigh and Anders Breivik. Both thought that the violent mass murders they committed would unleash a latent volkgeist in support of their racist ideologies. They were deluded into thinking that by their acts they could spark revolution, but in fact there must already be enough kindling and accelerant for that (and in these cases, it turns out sociopaths are not so good at reading the mood of the public). Are these bad examples because of the extreme violence? The IRA used to kill people too, but they actually retained support (although at times they overstepped their support too, terrorizing their own people).

What made the Boston Tea Party "successful"? The men already had the sympathy of much of the public. Their action was actually interpreted as a symbolic act against a disliked and distant regime. And the British government's reaction was seen as overblown.

The WTO mayhem might be considered successful in some measure because there was much more widespread (and global) sympathy, and bringing the topic to the fore tended to create more. Furthermore, it prompted a police crackdown that many considered disproportionate. Similarly, Occupy Wall Street really only gathered momentum when some completly non-violent women were pepper-sprayed by police. They were not inciting violence or vandalism. Had they been throwing bricks through shop windows, most viewers would have sided with the police. This is not pre-revolutionary colonial America, or the last years of the Ancien Régime. The public may sympathize with income disparity but threaten their security and they'll quickly forget about unfair economic models and settle for unaccountable street cameras.

Is terrorizing some Starbucks and Niketown employees really going to spark revolutionary thought? Do you suppose the dollar cost of the damage amounts to more than a momentary blip in those companies' income sheets? How many more Seattlites will be reading revolutionary pamphlets at Left Coast Books now, versus how many will actually feel more sympathetic to these multi-national corporations (at where they love to shop, mind you- just ask that guy wearing those Nikes!)?
More...
Posted by madcap on May 2, 2012 at 4:32 AM · Report this
StellaLuna 24
But they also targeted private citizens' cars, so it was not just about corporations and trying to make them "pay" both figuratively and literally. How does that figure in?

Also, there were people in those stores which were attacked. People could have been seriously injured, and while that was not the intent, it is a very real consequence.

Lastly as a tactic it is not effective, escalates the police department, aligns the public sympathy with the police department, and puts other protesters at risk because now they too have to deal with the repercussions from the police and the stigma that the acts of a very few have thrown onto otherwise peaceful demonstrations. Regardless of how well articulated the philosophy is behind the tactic, I still see it as being extremely selfish and damaging to the overall cause.
Posted by StellaLuna on May 2, 2012 at 4:49 AM · Report this
fixo 25
I dunno, Brendan--Home Street Bank? People's cars parked along the parade routes? Nevertheless, this is a worthy articulation of possible justifications for today's violence (yes, "violence," even if a somewhat low-grade "violence upon the roads: violence of horses"). The significant thing to me is that these Kropotkins-by-the-Duwamish did this smack-dab in the warp and weft of the Occupy protest. If they wanted to show the non-inevitability of the State, they could have done so at any time, at any place, smashing windows or otherwse. I think what might have been intended to be demonstrated was the ineffectiveness of the Movement, not of the State itself. Could one say with a straight face that the State was weakened this May Day? Occupy, on the other hand, might have a hard time regaining whatever tepid public support it had before. On the other hand, if the violence was part of some crafty multi-modal long game of Occupy itself --"let's engender public support for a fascist crackdown on us, which will then engender public sympathy for us!"-- it seems a tiny bit illl-advised as a tactical matter. I certainly don't know, because Occupy lost me months ago.

In any event,who doesn't have that wee crush?
Posted by fixo on May 2, 2012 at 5:23 AM · Report this
fixo 26
Also, what @23 says.
Posted by fixo on May 2, 2012 at 5:32 AM · Report this
27
Thank you for your attempt to explain somethings. This stuff is hard to explain in a few moments so i sympathize with you feeling blasted when you ask what this is about.

One final note, while some in the Black Bloc identify as Anarchist, not all are. The Black Bloc is a tactic, not an ideology. This is not some homogenous group, there are lots of opinions and theories that exist within the Bloc.

That said, those positions are very well examined. You are right when you say they are not Stupid-Know-Nothings. It takes a lot of conviction to do what they do, risking arrest and bodily harm.
Posted by Agrippa on May 2, 2012 at 5:35 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 28
So, Brendan Kiley if someone disagrees with your politics, or something you wrote, you'd be fine with them coming into your home, and destroying your property, as long as they don't attack you physically? It wouldn't be violence to smash your stuff in an attempt to point out your wrongful opinions, and politics, right? I'm sure destruction of your belongings would convince you how wrong you are.

The only thing these assholes did was put members of the 99% people out of work. The companies will get insurance to cover their losses. This destruction hasn't changed anything. Once again, only the little guys got hurt.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on May 2, 2012 at 5:40 AM · Report this
29
@28: Bingo. And it doesn't matter to the righteous. It never has. People can write in support of violent anarchism -and yes, the destruction of property that doesn't belong to you is violence, and deserves to be met with such - who are also appalled at Islamic fundamentalism, or Christian fundamentalism, because in this particular case it's a fundamentalism they agree with.

It's okay to smash a Nike store because Nike sucks. Nevermind the people in the store, or who work at the store for minimum wage, or who own the store in an attempt to make a life for themselves. Fuck them. They work for the enemy. Therefore, in some way, they deserve the financial cost. They deserve the fear. The same way Republicans think poor people deserve to be poor. The same way we all feel like celebrities deserve to crash and burn. We're a punitive race and civilization. It's why socialist revolutions in Central or South America and Asia so often end up slaughtering so many of their own people. This is the tamest, lamest example of that. It also encourages and even supports crackdowns against legitimate protests, because those store owners and employees and their families don't see how smashing their stuff hurts the parent companies (hint: it doesn't). They want the cops to crack down. And the cops do it, and then have a reason to crack down BEFORE the violence next time around. Kudos. You just csrewed yourselves.

I am a member of the 99%. I support (much)higher taxes on companies and individuals that can afford it. I support universal health care and women's rights and gay rights and everything else that makes us better. Smashing things for the joy of smashing, or for a 'cause', does not make us better. People do it because they can. And people who do it deserve to get their asses kicked or thrown in prison.

It also strikes me as funny that people who are against libertarianism stand up so strongly for anarchism. What is anarchy, after all, but a libertarian utopia run wild? A world without law, without limit or restriction... Yep, it's a Ron Paul wonderland.
More...
Posted by NateMan on May 2, 2012 at 5:58 AM · Report this
30
I'm glad you mentioned Zerzan because his followers in Eugene are some of the dumbest smart people I've ever encountered in my life. If you can find copies of the Black Clad Messenger online, read them. Did you know that primitive people lived in a disease free utopia where they lived for much longer than we did? It says so right here so it must be true! Anyone who wants to get us to a time before we had language needs to explain how we get those of us who like being able to communicate ideas to stop without undergoing a reign of terror. Of course they never mention the fact that for us to live how he wants, 5.5 billion or so of the 6 billion people on the planet will have to die, but who cares about that? Zerzan has a dream of a world that never existed but he really thinks it did so what's a few billion people when we can have that?

It's not that I fear that most anarchists are just people using poorly written manifestos to justify adolescent rage. Rather I pray that's the case because the alternative is much worse.
Posted by thezzyzx on May 2, 2012 at 6:01 AM · Report this
31
In the original post, Brendan says that when the ELF does its stupid shit, "people don't get hurt." Because they're lucky. You see, there's these people called "firefighters." And every time they have to go into a burning building, there's a distinct possibility they'll get killed. So when these dumbasses set a building on fire, they're creating a real risk of somebody dying. Kind of like 4 firefighters did when Martin Pang set a building on fire.

It's kind of like shooting a gun in the air. You may not be meaning to kill somebody, but you're certainly creating that risk. Is that violence? I don't know. But if you say it's not, it's awfully damn close.

And even if what these guys are doing isn't violence, it's still stupid and wrong.
Posted by Bax on May 2, 2012 at 6:12 AM · Report this
32
tl;dr: you can justify anything if "being right" is more important than achieving change.
Posted by also on May 2, 2012 at 6:14 AM · Report this
Vince 33
It would have been far more effective if several streets had been blocked by people sitting in the streets in strategic locations at specific times in flash mob style. Or even blocking streets with abandoned vehicles pushed by large groups. The problem with wanton property destruction is large numbers of people who really want to support justice see this, right or wrong, as something they cannot support. And BTW, who believes that the cost of windows is anything but petty cash?
Posted by Vince on May 2, 2012 at 6:41 AM · Report this
34
I find this rationalization of injury free abortion clinic bombing and swastika based graffiti as non violent rather distasteful.
Posted by giffy on May 2, 2012 at 6:44 AM · Report this
35
Kudos to @23 and @28 for expressing my thoughts very literately and thoughtfully. I would just add this. Black Bloc are a bunch of self-entitled little effs that deserve jail. They don't attack "corporations," they attack people's livelihoods. They don't attack "property," they attack the result of people's hard work. If you parked on 6th yesterday you got a broken car window, expense, time to repair, disruption of your life... thanks to middle class white boys who can write 3000 words of manifesto on their justification and excuse, but who are still doing very little but be zealous vigilante fucks. I wonder how many live or work downtown, probably none. As someone who has, for decades, I feel personally at risk due to these guys, way more at risk than I do from corporations. We need to reform bank laws, we need better politics. RMoney and his ilk need to be defeated. But smashing 99%'ers lives up so you can make a precious statement of rage, to me, just deserves nothing but prosecution and jail.
Posted by certaindoom on May 2, 2012 at 6:47 AM · Report this
Estey 36
From using Christ as an historical example about proactive vandalism, to describing the Sean Carlson incident, to interviewing John Zerzan, Brendan Kiley shows why he's probably next to get the Pulitzer at The Stranger.
Posted by Estey on May 2, 2012 at 6:59 AM · Report this
37
28

damn Bob...
that was pretty insightful.
Posted by ....there may be hope for you yet. on May 2, 2012 at 7:05 AM · Report this
rob! 38
If insomnia causes great posts and commentary, I wish endless drips and barking dogs and car alarms upon us all, forever and ever amen. This is worth dozens, nay hundreds, of typical daytime threads. Thanks, Brendan and all.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on May 2, 2012 at 7:09 AM · Report this
39
"There is an enormous moral distinction between smashing a bank window and smashing a person." --

Actually, in some schools of thought, there is not so much of a distinction. John Locke, for example, emphasizes that one's property is achieve through the application of one's labor, an extension of one's life. A thief, therefore, by taking your property, is threatening a part of your life, because if he would violate the product of your life, what's to stop him from violating your life itself?

Also, the use of property damage serves a primal and cultural symbolic function: "I did this to your property, that is a proxy for my doing it to you." It is a threat of bodily harm to the owner, so property stands in as a moral representation of people. In some disciplines, that is very much considered as a type of violence.

I am willing to buy that there is a specific legal term that was misused here, but morally, it is not so clear.

(bah, posted on wrong article, parallel-reading too many at once)
Posted by MemeGene on May 2, 2012 at 7:14 AM · Report this
40
Cosigning with many above; esp 12, 13, 20, 23, 25, 28, 33

Additionally:
Considering how many times the "black block" cells and actions turn out to be led by government agents and informers*, we can assume that is the story behind yesterday's smashing. They've successfully destroyed any legitimate protest movement on the West Coast for the past 25 years. The State only gets stronger. Good work Special Agent Zerzan!

*See the documentaries "If a Tree Falls" and "Better this World" for a beginners' guide to government infiltration.
Posted by SoSea Resident on May 2, 2012 at 7:17 AM · Report this
41
What @23 @28 and @35 said. Brendan justifies this violence (yes, it's violence) with a long post and ends saying that that he's not "a proponent of targeted property destruction." This is the same sort of shit double talk that one hears on Fox News. Fucking grow a pair and stand for what's right, Brendan, instead of throwing these assholes a bone to keep your access to them.
Posted by David from Chicago on May 2, 2012 at 7:18 AM · Report this
monkey 42
When people are inside the places having their windows smashed it IS violence. In fact, it's terrorism.
Posted by monkey on May 2, 2012 at 7:28 AM · Report this
Kinison 43
Excellent way to put a positive spin that SLOG, it wasn't violence, it was vandalism!

Given that the anarchists were fully allowed to mingle back into the crowd tells me Occupy Seattle condones their actions, as they are unwilling to do anything about it.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on May 2, 2012 at 7:49 AM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 44
Brendan--I can appreciate the moral distinction between violence against people and "violence" against property (and agree that it is linguistically lazy and/or unnecessarily inflammatory to conflate them), but--please do not use the ELF's use of arson as an example of the the latter. Because people really could get hurt (or worse) by that sort of thing.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on May 2, 2012 at 7:51 AM · Report this
Allyn 45
"There is an enormous moral distinction between smashing a bank window and smashing a person."

Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the mob mentality? A group that smashes panes of glass, left unchecked by outsiders, will often resort to more and more violent tactics. As individual identity is lost and the vandals identify more with the group, smashed glass leads to further property damage leads to physical threats leads to physical harm.
Posted by Allyn on May 2, 2012 at 7:59 AM · Report this
John Scott Tynes 46
This was some bullshit.

First of all, Brendan, if you're going to spend several paragraphs in a pedantic discourse on how "violence" is only violence when it happens to people, it might help if you actually looked up the definition of "violence" first. That word doesn't mean what you think it means. Although I guess if you can't be bothered to kill a small animal in a reasonable way, you sure as shit can't be bothered to look up a word before you write about it.

Second, your example of the practical use of targeted property destruction is terrible. He didn't break a window to open a door. He broke a window to get arrested. It was going to happen outside, or when he climbed in, or when he entered the meeting, or when he began speaking, or when he tried to leave. That was the only possible outcome. Call it for what it is: a publicity stunt. There's nothing wrong with publicity stunts as such but your labored, I-read-a-pamphlet-once taxonomy is amateurish.

Third and finally, I would someday love to see some anarchists in this country act not against a Potemkin village of retail storefronts but against the places where power actually resides. Of course, that's a lot harder and riskier. And they don't get to piggyback on top of a legitimate protest where they can hide and run away.

Because the truth is that the people breaking shit yesterday were cowards. They did the easiest, least risky thing they could and they had a corresponding lack of impact. This street theater with the cops is just pawns moving against pawns. But that's not an article Brendan will write.
Posted by John Scott Tynes http://www.johntynes.com/ on May 2, 2012 at 8:09 AM · Report this
47
@ 22 Without the smashed windows you would have a chance to be taken seriously instead of pissing off people. Take a clue from Gandhi and MLK and keep your protests non-violent. And they had much bigger causes to fight for.
Posted by Democrat1234 on May 2, 2012 at 8:12 AM · Report this
48
I'd also like to add that that "golly, they DO have an ideology behind their actions. I guess we should respect it." reaction by some posters here is why I don't consider myself a liberal anymore after Occupy. In fact, it's what killed Occupy.

I remember the first real moment of pause about the movement occurring while I was camping overnight at Westlake. We weren't using tents at that point, so I was lying on the ground with a sleeping bag at 3 in the morning. I woke up to howls of "fuck the police." There was a group of about 15 kids baiting a couple of police officers who were minding their own business at the edge of the camp. Nobody else was doing anything about it, so I went over and told them to calm down, that these people were part of the 99% as well. They responded that police were tools of the oppressor, and as such this behavior was justified. One explained that the modern police force had its roots in catching runaway slaves, and as such was an irreparably racist institution that had to be permanently destroyed. This was their focus for Occupy - fighting with the police.

The response from otherwise sane liberals in Occupy was overwhelmingly, "they make a good point, and everyone should allow their voices to be heard." This is the essence of liberalism: tolerance of any ideology no matter how little practical sense it makes. It was like Biff from Back to the Future goading Marty McFly into doing whatever he wanted by calling him a chicken. All an anarchist had to do to get a liberal to acquiesce on an issue was to accuse him or her of not being tolerant.

If you want to know why Occupy couldn't police itself or stay on message, look in a mirror.
Posted by Tent_Liberation_Army on May 2, 2012 at 8:12 AM · Report this
49
People expect ideological purity from those whose ideology compels them to break the law.
Posted by unpaid reader on May 2, 2012 at 8:12 AM · Report this
John Scott Tynes 50
Frankly, I have more respect for the ELF than these cowards. The ELF chose meaningful targets, picked their own date and time without relying on innocent protesters, and when they struck people noticed and understood their agenda. That's three for three ahead of the Black Bloc.
Posted by John Scott Tynes http://www.johntynes.com/ on May 2, 2012 at 8:19 AM · Report this
Mike 51
And yet what did it accomplish?
Posted by Mike on May 2, 2012 at 8:20 AM · Report this
Eastpike 52
Kiley makes the seemingly obvious distinction between property damage and person-on-person violence. Not sure if this has been said, haven't read all comments: When you're smashing windows in my neighborhood, the distinction seems very pale. Indeed, it is violent, and, um, buildings are people too.
Posted by Eastpike on May 2, 2012 at 8:22 AM · Report this
53
So all 200 black bloc was undercover cops. Right. Unless this is confirmably true, please shut up. Even if there were undercover cops not arresting black bloc as part of some sort of conspiracy theory, please tell me you have hard evidence that the cars on 6th ave were smashed by police rather than by protesters.
Posted by certaindoom on May 2, 2012 at 8:23 AM · Report this
54
Yes, both practically and theoretically sound to smash the windows of American Apparel, a company that famously pays its workers a living wage and doesn't outsource. Clearly, the work of sophisticated, big-picture window-smashers.

And by the way, Brendan, there were workers in those stores cowering in fear. Ask them if they felt violence was done to them before you accuse other reporters of laziness.

Other than that, nice thumbsucker, bro.
Posted by hermann on May 2, 2012 at 8:24 AM · Report this
Sweeney Agonistes 55
Thanks, Brendan. This was informative and I appreciate it.
Posted by Sweeney Agonistes on May 2, 2012 at 8:24 AM · Report this
56
I think Brendan wrote a pretty good defense of black block douche baggery. I give him an A-. Most of my objections to Mr. Kiley's arguments have been articulated in previous comments. However, I would like to point out that Sean Carlson scuffling w/ a cop who was attempting to throw him out of a meeting where, perhaps, he had the right to be was a far better targeted act of resistance than what happened in Seattle yesterday. What the fuck does Forever 21 have to do with immigration reform?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on May 2, 2012 at 8:30 AM · Report this
Pithy Name 57
And as @20 & @46 have said - What pisses me off about these antics is that they are using a peaceful protest as a shield. It's a cowardly tactic, and regardless of their goals it alienates them. Even from people who might be sympathetic to their "cause".

Of course this tactic of "targeted vandalism" only works if you have a peaceful marching protest to occupy the majority of the police's attention. Which is why they do it that way, instead of having their very own protest/riot. This piggy-backing on someone else's cause (immigration, labor) is bullshit.

The Occupy Wall Street marches and protests showed that you CAN get attention without smashing up a block. It also helps if you have a targeted and easily communicated issue. I wish Occupy Seattle or whatever it is now would get back to that income disparity message. I know I personally feel it is the root of several serious problems in the US these days.
Posted by Pithy Name on May 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Report this
58
@46++ (and many others), Brendan's definition of "violence" is political, not factual. Pretending that the word "violence" does not apply, at least in some widely accepted definitions, to the destruction of property is a lie (and incredibly lazy, stupid journalism).

That said, yes, we can draw a moral distinction between breaking a window and breaking a bone. But as others have said, when you're scaring the shit out of people by breaking their windows, or destroying residential property (my house), or destroying property specifically to intimidate individuals, or destroying my property that was the result of my personal hard work, those distinctions quickly become less than clear.
Posted by Ancient Sumerian on May 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 59
@15: Because actively considering points of view that you disagree with can make you a wiser and more thoughtful person? If you let it, of course.

Cf seattleblues, who reads other POVs but never considers them.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on May 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 60
Not buying it.

Sure, some of them may have some fairly sophisticated justifications in their own minds, but I don't think they are very well thought out.

I'd guess that every one of the businesses that got smashed was fully insured. All that broken glass didn't cost them a dime. They may even have been insured against the loss of profits for the day. The only people who were effected were the employees—many of whom make little more than minimum wage—who were sent home for a day or two with no pay. I'm sure they'll appreciate the nuanced thought of the anarchists that cost them part of their paychecks this month.

And while there may have been some logical forethought to the choice of some of the businesses they vandalized, smashing car windows is just random mob violence.

I also think it is cowardly and despicable to hide themselves among a crowd of explicitly peaceful protesters. The anarchists vandalism did far more harm the the movement of the peaceful protesters than it did to Nike or American Apparel. The news coverage of the peaceful protests was completely cooped by coverage of the smashed windows.

The anarchists may think they are thoughtful and purposed in their vandalism, but it was a gigantic fail on all levels.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on May 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM · Report this
Soupytwist 61
Brendan, thanks for explaining the "why" of some of these actions - too often, when I've asked people who've participated in these events, they speak in their own weird, pseudo-intellectual language and I can't follow the thinking.

I don't read this article as a defense of these tactics, but more of a recent historical overview of tactics. I imagine that the IWW and early Labor tactics would be somewhat related?
Posted by Soupytwist http://twitter.com/katherinesmith on May 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM · Report this
wisepunk 62
Let's call this what it really was. A bunch of guys with tinydickitus and their sexually frustrated partners commiting acts of violence.

If there was a HRC dinner downtown, and a bunch of right-wing protesters broke all the windows in the restaurant and left, you all would be screaming about the violent acts and threats.

I knew plenty of people who acted like this when I was 21. Break shit, steal shit, stick it to the man. All of them are now small town cops in Eastern Washington. I fully expect the same thing from this fresh crop of black bloc assholes.
Posted by wisepunk on May 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM · Report this
63
Nice handjob to a bunch of thugs. Oh and you missed all the smashed/spray painted cars, but I guess those where owned by big buisness too right? I bet if someone threw a brick through the stranger office, the first slog post would be ranting about some asshole wrecking their property. These people are thugs. And they're idiots, smashing one window isn't going to stop capitialism. Fuck.
Posted by j2patter on May 2, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
64
@ 51. We're talking about what happened and why. That's what it accomplished.
Posted by Brendan Kiley on May 2, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Fnarf 65
Oh for chrissakes. Fuck this idiotic article with a ten ton dick. These college anarchists, and you, have absolutely nothing going for you. You're not fighting the power of the 1%; you're doing the opposite, you're trivializing your complaint and making it more, not less, likely that you will be ignored in the future. You don't have the force of popular opinion behind you, which means you don't exist. Your mouthfuls of theory are juvenile and meaningless. You're not subverting the state, you're subverting the lives of ordinary people, lives which are far more meaningful than your own, because they are part of something real, and you are part of something imaginary.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 2, 2012 at 9:29 AM · Report this
66
I do agree that in some cases there ARE "compelling, not-entirely-stupid arguments for vandalism as a form of protest, and as a way to force people's attention towards certain problems that we might otherwise ignore in the deafening static of our undisrupted, workaday lives," but yesterdays window-smashings don't really meet this in my opinion. In fact, they forced people's attention AWAY FROM the problems that both the Occupy and, more importantly, the Labor and Immigrant Rights protesters were trying to address. The folks breaking windows had to know that their actions would be the most covered and talked about in the media. They chose to steal all the attention away from the poor people, immigrants and other protesters. They may cite these theories and principles, but it really comes down to them seeing themselves and their tactics as more important than the other people that chose to gather yesterday and protest differently. That seems wrong to me.
Posted by Timmy! on May 2, 2012 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Mike 67
Mr. Kiley @64: Feed a hungry single mom with that. House a homeless person. Stop a cop from smashing a suspect's face so-accidentally with that. Then you'll get me to agree that it's a legitimate tactic. Charles Manson got people talking, too. If getting people talking (which is a close relative of wanting to be famous) is your goal, do something better with your energy. Or are you all violence and no product?
Posted by Mike on May 2, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this
68
I really appreciate this point of view on the Stranger, especially because I know no other journalist would have the guts to go here and Brendan is awesome for it.

That said, I'm not swayed. Vandalism is bullshit and, in both the long and short term, bad for the cause. Positive action always trumps negative action in terms of public perception and how history looks upon it years later (excluding the war-mongerer point of view.)

Even worse, anarchists alienate people like me from participating in the cause. I worry about violence and, call me a wimp, but I'd rather stay home than get tear-gassed, injured or arrested. And I grew up marching on Washington for various liberal causes—protest marches are normal for me! If anarchist behavior excludes ME from attending marches, imagine how many other legitimate, important voices are not heard.

Finally, "targeting" chain stores simply based on appearance is a dangerous plan of attack and, forgive me, akin to corporate profiling. Not all stores are evil, just because they look like what some people perceive as evil. Blindly attacking what is perceived as evil is a tactic of the ignorant: terrorists, bigots, the helpless and fearful. It is not an empowered act.

Rationalize destruction of property all you like, but I'll always stick to the methods of Gandhi and MLK.
Posted by mitten on May 2, 2012 at 9:34 AM · Report this
69
Brendan, you get a C plus at best. I liked the time you took to actually listen to John Zerzan's rationales for violent shocks to everyday complacency. But do look at the chilling effect the prospect of window breaking rampages has on the willingness of people to march in the streets. This is killing a movement that needs unity and festiveness and a family safe environment if it is to grow. The continual hijacking of the message by the black bloc is destroying any trust. Occupy Seattle needs to own up to their failure.
Posted by Wayne G on May 2, 2012 at 9:34 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 70

Until someone can tell me why they attacked American Apparel which states on their website that they are "sweatshop free" I have to assume these hooligans are paid vandals.

Why would they target a company providing affordable clothing to working people?

http://www.americanapparel.net/

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on May 2, 2012 at 9:35 AM · Report this
hellbox 71
The OED defines "violence, n." as:

"The exercise of physical force so as to inflict injury on, or cause damage to, persons or property; action or conduct characterized by this; treatment or usage tending to cause bodily injury or forcibly interfering with personal freedom."

The media using the word to describe property damage were using it correctly.
Posted by hellbox http://martinmcclellan.com on May 2, 2012 at 9:41 AM · Report this
GlamB0t 72
Before I dip into the comments I just wanted to give you kudos Brendan. This is an excellent post.
Posted by GlamB0t on May 2, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
chinaski 73
@60 most policies have a $5 to 10K deductible for vandalism
Posted by chinaski on May 2, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
TotesFierce 74
@all the people talking about folks co-opting peaceful protests for violence:

let's not forget that May Day is associated with International Workers' Day because of the Haymarket Riots that happened on May 4, 1886 in Chicago.
Posted by TotesFierce http://fag4life.com on May 2, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
75
This is a great post. The comments are amazing, often infuriating. Black block tactics are not "antics" nor "terrorism" but sane actions by thinking people. They can be condemned sanely and reasonably too, so it's interesting to see that many of those who object to the tactics belittle and misrepresent them. I don't understand the whole thing, but I think it's a key pathology—this disabling horror many otherwise intelligent people feel at the sight of property destruction—and this post at least articulates that question. Great related stuff a few weeks ago when Chris Hedges condemned the Black Block tactics and David Graeber wrote an excellent response in n+1. You'll have to Google it, if this interests you. Thank you, Brendan, for insisting that we think about this stuff.
Posted by Matthew Stadler on May 2, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this
Soupytwist 76
@74 - Thanks for making the connection!
Posted by Soupytwist http://twitter.com/katherinesmith on May 2, 2012 at 10:09 AM · Report this
77
Here's an idea,go out and vote. You know who has the lowest voter turnout? The same age group that is most likely to "solve" their political issues by smashing shit. Children take childish actions. Grow the fuck up
Posted by j2patter on May 2, 2012 at 10:14 AM · Report this
78
@74 Yep, and eight anarchists were sentenced to death for inciting the Haymarket Riots. Come back to us Judge Joseph Gary, your country needs you!
Posted by Ken Mehlman on May 2, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
seandr 79
Wow, that's an impressively large mass of shit you've pooped out, Brendan. Is this just a thought experiment, or do you actually believe it?
Posted by seandr on May 2, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Lance Miller 80
First an introduction: I'm an Evergreen State College grad who once participated in protests in Oly and Seattle. I know the issues.

I side squarely on the side of global economic trade, bourgeois capitalism and industrialism. This article was very good, and the broken-windows theory is my focus in this comment.

This is a call to make the distinction that tolerating vandalism should not be limited to one slice of the political spectrum. Smashing things at the Port of Seattle makes sense to one political thesis, then burning down a community owned organic farm makes sense to another political thesis.

Consider that vandalism -and by that I mean acts of destruction calculated to disable a culture or at least provoke critical thought- against all the great and small places anarchists, primitivists and Leftists exist could make sense within certain political goals.

http://www.amazon.com/Manual-Redneck-Tec…


Posted by Lance Miller http://progressive-positive.blogspot.com/ on May 2, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 81
Which windows would MLK smash?

I agree that destruction of property is not the same as violence. I also agree that there are times when it's a valid tactic (see: ELF). But I disagree that this is that time, or that it's having the kind of effect on the bottom line you claim it is having. The only possible positive thing it can bring is attention to invisible concerns, and it has to be carefully planned and publicized to do that correctly. It is so universally unpopular that it will cause backlash, and few movements can afford it. OWS, and the issues they stand for, can't afford it.

The only correct path for those of us concerned with economic injustice is nonviolence, and that does include abstaining from destruction. Nonviolence was a thoroughly powerful tool for the Civil Rights movement because it showed middle America what people were willing to endure in the name of justice. The marchers and protestors could never be depicted in a negative light, because whether they were having hoses and dogs turned on them, or were having their home windows smashed in the night*, or were being yelled at, having stuff dumped on them and thrown at them as they tried to go to school or eat at a segregated lunch counter, or were being murdered by cowardly assasins, they had done nothing which could show anyone that they had deserved it. The segregationists were left sputtering and looking like the goons that they were, and popular opinion was won by the Civil Rights workers. They would have won nothing if they were the ones smashing windows first.

* The May Day people who smashed the mayor's windows last night now have something in common with the Klansmen of the 60s.
Posted by Matt from Denver on May 2, 2012 at 10:25 AM · Report this
ItsAllOverNow 82
Brendan, thanks for helping me at least consider the other side here.

I still think that violence and vandalism are only acceptable methods of demonstration when the majority of the population is in agreement about something and that something is not happening.

I can only see the vandalizing of personal vehicles, Nike and American Apparel stores as either senseless destruction (which is not OK) or anti-consumerist sentiment and as much as I agree with anti-consumerist sentiment the fact is that the vast majority of Americans are pro-consumer culture whether they are consciously aware of it or not. As long as most people don't want that to change these are not acceptable tactics.... The banks on the other hand, I have to think about that...
Posted by ItsAllOverNow http://nowaybro.blogspot.com/ on May 2, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
83
It's not violence, if you make your own definition for what violence is. But based on the dictionary definition of violence, it qualifies.

vi·o·lence/ˈvī(ə)ləns/
Noun:
1.Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.
2.Strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force.

Mind you, I'm not a fan of big banks or corporate entities like Forever 21 that sell cheap crap made for pennies but have a giant mark-up, even if it's only $20 at full price. But it was violence, pure and simple.
Posted by TJ on May 2, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
84
"Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle... It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.... Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others."

-Fredrick Douglass- 1857
Posted by so now what on May 2, 2012 at 10:30 AM · Report this
85
I can see the points made here as valid, except for the fact that so many chose to smash personal property and storefront windows of smaller shops as well. It might be true that *some* of the people destroying things have a political statement to make... but unfortunately a larger percent are just in it to break things and get away with it these days.

I was rooting for the guy in the tie to nail his car window smasher, honestly. Maybe if that guy has to pay for a hospital bill he will think twice before mindlessly attacking innocent citizens again.
Posted by GoGoGadget on May 2, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Fnarf 86
So it's a question: Did today's vandalism detract from the protests? If it was all hand-holding and vigils and kumbaya, would the press have replaced their coverage of the smashy-smashy with an equal amount of attention to "secure communities" and "e-verify" and how Wells Fargo makes money off of private prisons? Or would that have all been equally—or even more—ignored?
It didn't detract from it; there was nothing there to detract from. The non-violent part of the program didn't matter. All the violence did was make the events of the day look violent as well as stupid and irrelevant.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 2, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
87
"Both vandalism and violence are forms of aggression. Yes, they take place along a moral continuum. Violence is worse. But when people, animals, etc. are nearby, the distance between vandalism and violence can be very short indeed.

Most people are cognizant of this reality. They know that once you let out the genie of aggression for whatever purpose, righteous intentions may not be enough to prevent a situation from careening into violence......"

More on this subject here: http://www.jawjawjaw.com/2012/05/02/vand…
Posted by j-lon on May 2, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
88
Oh jeez, BK, I don't remember. It was a few years ago. But if you want to try to figure it out, we could rack our brains over a beer. :)
Posted by fa69ot on May 2, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
Fnarf 89
people don't get hurt
If you don't think people got hurt by the fire at the UW, you're a complete jackass. PEOPLE'S LIVES WERE DESTROYED. Careers went up in smoke. Many decades of research were ruined. Go talk to the people who worked in that building and tell them they weren't hurt by what happened. They WERE hurt, and they bear the scars of that attack today. The human endeavor of science was hurt by that attack.

God DAMN it. That kind of hand-waving bullshit makes me really angry. It's just pure garbage on a plate.

Now tell me that when your anarchist buddies attacked the mayor's house "no one got hurt". Just a couple of windows, right? What's the big deal? He's got fucking KIDS. You think they weren't hurt by having thugs throw bricks through their windows? You don't think terrorism is violence?

This is rank, putrid garbage.

On the plus side, I can add "Madagascar" and "Christiania" to the list of things that "the esteemed" (by jackasses) David Graeber doesn't know anything about.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 2, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Report this
90
@70 Because they are dumb kids.

@75 See above. Dumb kids with dumb theory behind them ,but dumb kids nonetheless.
Posted by giffy on May 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM · Report this
chinaski 91
You make the assumption that people jump to conclusions because they have not taken the time to consider the anarchists position and point of view. Accept the fact that most of us have entertained these notions at some point (most likely when we were young and full of vigor) and rejected them as bullshit.
To the commenters that say something along the lines of "oh jeez, wow, I guess now I need to consider this issue from a different angle": you are a fucktard. Thanks.
Posted by chinaski on May 2, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 92
Violent resistance != the onanistic smashing up of corporate chainstores.

These activists aren't huge thinkers, just a bunch of dudebros (of varying gender) in Blackspot shoes.
Posted by undead ayn rand on May 2, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
93
Jaysus, Kiley, you should've been the won to win the Pulitzer, for chrissakes!

"As for the guy supposedly wearing Nike shoes while smashing up the Nike store?"

He stole them, obviously.

While I don't agree with either the protest march nor the minimal vandalism against the stores and any newsy's cars (as in KOMO filth, etc.), the only thing that has really worked, historically speaking, is blowing up the senior executives in their autos, and occasionally blowing up their corporate offices (as the heroic McNamara brothers did to the LA Times in 1910, etc.).

Unions in America only truly begain to make progress when they formed an unholy alliance with small, ethnic criminal organizations (misnamed by newsies as "organized crime") and those execs would start their autos back in the 1930s and 1940s and be blown to smithereens!

Works for me.......
Posted by sgt_doom on May 2, 2012 at 11:30 AM · Report this
94
What would really work would be a targeted assassination program, just like the evils did back in the 1960s when they took out John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Rev. King and Bobby Kennedy.
Posted by sgt_doom on May 2, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
95
@94 So who do you think should be assassinated SD? Do tell.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on May 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM · Report this
96
@91 This is a lesson Ron Paul fans have just learned. The problem is not that people don't understand their vies, the problem is that people have considered them and decided to rejected them.
Posted by giffy on May 2, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
treacle 97
@20 - Exactly. These black-clad alleged anarchists have shitty, shitty politics to go co-opting another --allied-- group's event.
Posted by treacle on May 2, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
StellaLuna 98
Brendan what we're talking about is the violence/property destruction, not the actual issues of what the May Day protests were supposed to be about.

Again, ineffectual tactics that detract from overarching message.

I bet if a poll was taken today measuring how favorably the citizens saw the police department their approval rating would be much higher versus even a week ago. Same goes for the mayor. The vandals handed the city a gift, anytime/anywhere property destruction is used for protest it hands law enforcement a publicity gift and a heavier hand to deal with dissidence.

I'm still interesting to see how smashing the windows of citizens cars and the attacks on the mayor's house last night fits in with the theory laid out in this post.

Posted by StellaLuna on May 2, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 99
@97: " another --allied-- group's event."

What makes you think they're allies? They have radically (no pun intended) different goals, aside from the means.
Posted by undead ayn rand on May 2, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
100
Sorry, Brendan. You don't get to redefine words to suit your politics. Violence has NEVER meant actions only against people.

Posted by bigyaz on May 2, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 101
@100: Right. They're not "vandalizing" the system. They see themselves as "SMASHING" the system.

It's necessarily violent. Trying to whitewash it for political purposes, even optimistically so is insincere and waters down their message.
Posted by undead ayn rand on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 102
Seriously, even if breaking an object wasn't violence, this is absolutely violence through symbolic value. The buildings, the windows are all representational of real people and actual forces.
Posted by undead ayn rand on May 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
103
'Carlson, being an anarchist—who believes that personal autonomy should not always and everywhere be subordinate to political authority, which is a much more accurate definition of an anarchist than "one who celebrates chaos"—'

Both definitions are stupid, but the one you say is more accurate is completely idiotic. Everyone -- except maybe Stalin or the pope -- believes that personal autonomy should *not always and everywhere* be subordinate to political authority.
Posted by yuiop on May 2, 2012 at 12:22 PM · Report this
104
@71 is correct. Smashing windows and vandalising cars also fits the World Health Organization's definition of violence.
Posted by Amanda on May 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 105
I've been turning this over in my head all morning (and haven't had time to wade through 100+ comments, so sorry if I am repeating a point already made), but...

It seems to me that one could just as easily write, "...there are compelling, not-entirely-stupid arguments for [suicide bombing/sawing off the heads of journalists/crashing planes into skyscrapers full of people] as a form of protest, and as a way to force people's attention towards certain problems..." and that this would be just as factually correct as the point Brendan is making here.

But it doesn't make those tactics any more morally defensible. Simply getting people's attention doesn't justify something that would otherwise be clearly not OK.

Sure, there's a bright line between causing physical harm to another human being, and not. But property doesn't materialize out of a vacuum. It represents the labor and livelihoods of real people. To destroy someone's property is to steal the portion of their life that they have invested in it, and the value they stand to derive from it in the future.

I realize that last point won't move any "anarchists" that believe property is itself theft (or impossible) but they can go fuck themselves. I'm talking to the grownups, here.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on May 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
106
Brendan, your well-written 1500 words here says a lot…but a good point.

You have made the same mistake here about anarchy as did the fools of the early 20th century about communism. 'Perfect' Anarchy; if that was possible, would make a lot of sense. BUT! That's not a reality. Just like communism devolved into a mess, your romantic version of Anarchy as a legitimate means of expression would similarily fail.

Brendan, these so-called Anarchists are just some assholes who are the result of bad parenting. They are NOT some kind of next-step, necessary societal tool.They are violent assholes.

Need y'r perfect Anarchist? You will find him next to your perfect communist.
Posted by I'm Cool on May 2, 2012 at 12:45 PM · Report this
switzerblog 107
What is this new focus on violence requiring human harm to be classified as such? If I throw my glass to the ground and break it, that's a violent action, it is, by definition, violent. Smashing windows is, by definition, violence. There was no false narrative here. There were douchebags among the protestors who committed acts of violence - regardless of what their reasons may have been, and since they made no statements about it, all this dancing aroundt trying to justify it is pointless. If peaceful protestors don't want to be lumped with these asshats, at some point they'll have to step up and actually do something about it and stop coming up with false-flag narratives and blaming "paid anarchists". Police yourselves, for your OWN good.
Posted by switzerblog on May 2, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
108
I'm with Fnarf on this one. None of us in this country have the hit point where vandalism or violence is a legitimate moral option. We might one day soon. We are not close yet.

Anarchism as a social philosophy is a fucking joke and it always been. If actualizing your world view hinges on:

a) everybody on the planet changing their mind about everything they know and suddenly agreeing with you

-or-

b) requires some James Bond villan like destruction of current civilizational models that incubates A New Paradigm in Living

-or-

c) some miraculous new and yet unknown technological advance

Then your philosophy IS BULLSHIT. It's fucking Lord of Rings level delusional fantasy. From Marxism to Anarchism. From Randian Libertarianism to Neo Primitivism. It's all bullshit.

I wish it wasn't. But it is.

I'm sick of what people "feel" or "believe" when it comes to political and social principles. I'm only interested in what you KNOW. It's all that matters. Everything else is merely Point Of View or wishful thinking.

And what we know is civilization saves lives. We know that Neoliberal Democratic civilization, while it has it's faults, has nurtured in just over a century explosive prosperity and, after thousands of years of brutal short lives, allowed world populations quadruple and life expectancies to double. Yes. It's Shakespearian. In that our greatest strengths are also our most deadly flaws. We are choking on our success.

But the beauty is we know how to fix all our problems and merely lack the will. We don't need to blow up the moon and start over. That's a fucking useless myth concocted by lazy dreamers who dont want to do the hard work of fixing things.

Fuck Anarchists.
More...
Posted by tkc on May 2, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
109
While a fine debate can be had about whether property destruction is ever justified and what / whose property it should be directed against, I think the debate over this point overshadows a much more important issue: a large percentage of people who agree with the message of protests such as yesterday's are afraid or unwilling to join a protest because property destruction and police retaliation have become regular trademarks of these events.

Imagine you are a 40 year old mother of two and you want to take your kids to a protest to learn about democracy and the right to assemble -- all of a sudden you hear breaking glass and two seconds later a masked person in all black comes charging through the crowd with a bunch of cops on his tail. You and your two kids get pushed around or maybe knocked over. Are you going to go home thinking "that was a success, I can't wait to come back?"

At the end of the day, one or two windows are broken and you have hundreds of people who will hear about this experience and think that getting involved in this type of thing isn't for them. Even if you think property destruction is legitimate, do the cost benefit analysis to the movement and tell me that's a good idea.

And if people really, really, really want to vandalize Nike or whatever other place, they can do it, just three days later at 4 in the morning. That way they can have their adrenaline pumping vigilante fun and they don't have to use a giant crowd of people as unwilling human shields / pepper spray absorbers. Make sense?
Posted by Chris Pollina http://www.eldridgegravy.com on May 2, 2012 at 1:08 PM · Report this
110
@ Chris Pollina (109) Well said. Anarchists, please take note. Not that I'm telling you what to do. But, you know, if you care.
Posted by DreamCrusher on May 2, 2012 at 1:25 PM · Report this
blip 111
This reminds me of that half-minute after 9/11 when the US had the world's sympathy and then summarily pissed it all away by bombing the shit out of a couple foreign countries, based on half-baked reasoning that no one bought save for the ones who were pushing it. The powerful images of peaceful kids at Cal Davis being peppersprayed by a dispassionate cop are now being overridden by a bunch of cowardly dumb fucks smashing windows. Well played, everyone.

As a culture we don't have a very deep appreciation for soft power, despite having a long and well-studied history of its benefits. We're pretty fucking dumb.
Posted by blip on May 2, 2012 at 1:58 PM · Report this
112
@108. Political theory is a lot like porn. It's easy too get everyone laid when the characters are scripted.
Posted by giffy on May 2, 2012 at 2:02 PM · Report this
113
violence-

1. the exercise or an instance of physical force, usually effecting or intended to effect injuries, destruction, etc

Epic Fucking Fail. Buy a dictionary, it would help you in your profession.
Posted by _db_ on May 2, 2012 at 2:50 PM · Report this
114
FAIL

San Francisco Occupy/May Day protesters throwing bricks at the police and vandalizing a church

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02…
Posted by RTJ111 on May 2, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
115
There are so many stupid coments on this and yet there are so many great ones as well . A few things breaking windows is violent just as sitting at home and doing nothing or to alow ppl to get hurt bcuz ur a non violent protester shiiittt eating is violent giving the murder brutality and lil better then slavery brings the food to ur table. Furthermore they have been apart of occupy from the start. So maybe u shouldnt make asumption about how a hole group of ppl feel . Also it was an anti-kkkapitalism march come on wat u expect if not attacks on kkkapital. And dude who was talking about smashing faces for vandilism dont u think its far more likely that u end up thrown through a wendow for atacking people. Ps it was a good article brendon thanks
Posted by raw truth on May 2, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
116
http://seniorsforademocraticsociety.word…

The other half of the equation. Worth a read.
Posted by ENDIF on May 2, 2012 at 3:13 PM · Report this
117
excellent piece. thank you brendan.
Posted by danceofdays on May 2, 2012 at 3:17 PM · Report this
blip 118
One more thing...

The moral distinction between violence and vandalism is a fair point, though in this context it feels like you're equivocating in order to minimize what happened (*technically* no one was hurt!). Any examples you can point to in history where violence -- sorry, vandalism -- worked can be countered by instances where it failed, or where people found success through non-violent means, so it reads like you're grasping at straws rather than putting this episode into historical context, although in fairness the broken glass was probably still being swept up as you wrote this. I hope you make an honest attempt to answer the question you asked rather than leaving it open like that.
Posted by blip on May 2, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
119
Awesome post! I normally loath the strangers reporting, but this was a wonderful, thoughtful, well reasoned piece on a topic of much interest to Seattle residents this May Day. It's interesting to hear - in the face of such ignorance on the part of KOMO or King 5 - such a well researched argument in favor of black bloc tactics. Excellent journalism! Keep it up!
Posted by jjcascadia on May 2, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 120
@119: "a well researched argument in favor of black bloc tactics"

The thing is, are the tactics still the same tactics devoid of context? What makes these particular lashouts the same as more successful/justifiable uses?

Again, I'm not against resistance, I just don't see how the obsession with middle-class chain stores is smashing the system that we all know is fucked.
Posted by undead ayn rand on May 2, 2012 at 3:54 PM · Report this
121
Yeah, fantastic...if only you were right.

vi·o·lence/ˈvī(ə)ləns/
Noun: Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.

Like a window, even. Not so excellent journalism after all.
Posted by menace2society on May 2, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
122
@35 - a Porsche Cayenne driver parked on 6th Avenue midday on a Tuesday is not a 99%-er. You are foolish to be more afraid of anarchists than corporations. An anarchist may break your window, but it is the stated goal of a corporation to make profit, no matter what that does to you. That includes abusing workers and destroying the environment, among many other things.
Posted by lechatfemme on May 2, 2012 at 5:20 PM · Report this
123
The writer seems to be blindingly ignorant of both psychology and ethics. How about some sort of lower animal? Perhaps squirrels? Is hitting a squirrel with a baseball bat violence or vandalism? If hitting something is wrong, it follows that it does not matter the nature of the thing that is hit. Be it person or property, it is still bad. In fact, the outcome could largely be a matter of luck. Consider throwing a rock. You can't wholly control where it lands or what it hits. Does it make sense that if you intended to damage something that your moral culpability is different based simply on the outcome?

Violence is a behavior. It is not defined by the receiver of the violence.
Posted by psm1580b on May 2, 2012 at 5:58 PM · Report this
smade 124
Gandhi wept.
Posted by smade on May 2, 2012 at 6:39 PM · Report this
125
the article makes a point that I can readily agree on: there can be such a thing as an ethical window smashing. However I believe that there is a significant difference between the ethics of planning an action meant to promote civil disorder by smashing an edifice of capitalism from behind the easy anonymity of a black bloc's deindividuation; and standing publicly to speak truth to power from one's own identity by earnestly pursuing justice beyond what the culture's standard script demands or even allows.

I'm neither condemning the black bloc nor the cops. In my personal experience they are two sides of the same coin. I am fully aware that the decision whether to engage in violent action against a serious social threat is an important part of people's process of individuation. If someone has yet failed to integrate the dualities at that stage of development, they might just as easily end up abusive conservative cops (who do exist) or abusive anarchist members of a black bloc or a militant underground. Radical violent protest tactics do have great effectiveness for promoting social justice in certain contexts, where the populace is disciplined through fear of the power of authority. In that environment it shows that the authority structures are still ultimately subject to social consent. In the Arab spring protests, for example, police frequently were unwilling to attack or arrest protesters. "Chenoweth and Stephan found that nonviolent revolutionary movements are 46 times more likely to succeed when security force defections occur." *

In a stable society, extremist activism produces anxiety about safety and security in the public, including salarymen, tourists, small business owners, parents, homemakers, and workers. its ultimate expression would be terrorism, and historically, to my knowledge, this form of conflict generates a long line of casualties from an unending standoff between violent factions on both sides (individuals with similar developments of consciousnessss, on different sides of that old left/right divide.) This is fighting fire with gasoline; yesterday's conflict was an involutionary process on both sides of the cop/vandal divide. Both sides are dehumanizing the other and each is drawing inward toward a more violent, more severe conflict. This deepening divide can be seen reflected in the media, both radical and popular.

On the other hand, a publicly identifying as an activist, and offering salient critique presents the opportunity for individuals to freely choose whether to stand collectively against a perceived and defined injustice, and hopefully even address the root causes of the issue. My basic criticism of the occupy movement is that by rejecting the opportunity to articulate explicit strategic approaches it is reduced to merely expressing a generalized gestalt of angst and anxiety about resources and unevenly distributed privilege. You can argue that bullet points and strategic plans are an inherently patriarchal approach to mediating conflict, but i have participated in enough intense consensus meetings to understand the power of deadlock and manipulation (also a patriarchal approach), and through that tactic, I think we have seen the movement waylaid by special interest groups who are articulating antisocial strategies (yet another patriarchal approach).

* http://www.ocnus.net/artman2/publish/Ana…
More...
Posted by pepperminttiger on May 2, 2012 at 8:00 PM · Report this
126
the article makes a point that I can readily agree on: there can be such a thing as an ethical window smashing. However I believe that there is a significant difference between the ethics of planning an action meant to promote civil disorder by smashing an edifice of capitalism from behind the easy anonymity of a black bloc's deindividuation; and standing publicly to speak truth to power from one's own identity by earnestly pursuing justice beyond what the culture's standard script demands or even allows.

I'm neither condemning the black bloc nor the cops. In my personal experience they are two sides of the same coin. I am fully aware that the decision whether to engage in violent action against a serious social threat is an important part of people's process of individuation. If someone has yet failed to integrate the dualities at that stage of development, they might just as easily end up abusive conservative cops (who do exist) or abusive anarchist members of a black bloc or a militant underground. Radical violent protest tactics do have great effectiveness for promoting social justice in certain contexts, where the populace is disciplined through fear of the power of authority. In that environment it shows that the authority structures are still ultimately subject to social consent. In the Arab spring protests, for example, police frequently were unwilling to attack or arrest protesters. "Chenoweth and Stephan found that nonviolent revolutionary movements are 46 times more likely to succeed when security force defections occur." *

In a stable society, extremist activism produces anxiety about safety and security in the public, including salarymen, tourists, small business owners, parents, homemakers, and workers. its ultimate expression would be terrorism, and historically, to my knowledge, this form of conflict generates a long line of casualties from an unending standoff between violent factions on both sides (individuals with similar developments of consciousnessss, on different sides of that old left/right divide.) This is fighting fire with gasoline; yesterday's conflict was an involutionary process on both sides of the cop/vandal divide. Both sides are dehumanizing the other and each is drawing inward toward a more violent, more severe conflict. This deepening divide can be seen reflected in the media, both radical and popular.

On the other hand, a publicly identifying as an activist, and offering salient critique presents the opportunity for individuals to freely choose whether to stand collectively against a perceived and defined injustice, and hopefully even address the root causes of the issue. My basic criticism of the occupy movement is that by rejecting the opportunity to articulate explicit strategic approaches it is reduced to merely expressing a generalized gestalt of angst and anxiety about resources and unevenly distributed privilege. You can argue that bullet points and strategic plans are an inherently patriarchal approach to mediating conflict, but i have participated in enough intense consensus meetings to understand the power of deadlock and manipulation (also a patriarchal approach), and through that tactic, I think we have seen the movement waylaid by special interest groups who are articulating antisocial strategies (yet another patriarchal approach).

* http://www.ocnus.net/artman2/publish/Ana…
More...
Posted by pepperminttiger on May 2, 2012 at 8:03 PM · Report this
127
fight? FIGHT?!?!?!
Posted by DennisPatrickson on May 2, 2012 at 8:22 PM · Report this
128
So, anarchy and advocating violence are one and the same? I wouldn't have thought so, before reading this thread, but now I'm not so sure.

Can somebody clarify, and explain, if they are one and the same, the relationship between Occupations that have made commitments to non-violence, and participants who are operating without such a commitment?
Posted by lambert strether on May 2, 2012 at 8:38 PM · Report this
129
Lots of windows smashing and still no decent suggestion of a viable alternative. I'm listening people. You smashed windows and I'm listening but still you say nothing.
Posted by Hugh Jass on May 2, 2012 at 8:41 PM · Report this
130
If you don't think window smashing is violence, try walking down a riot corridor in LA or Washington DC and see the thriving communities there. Not. Lots of complicated rationalizations from the smashy smashy crowd. Not such a clear picture of what the world will be like if they get what they want, except probably even more fucked up than it already is, which is saying something.
Posted by lambert strether on May 2, 2012 at 8:48 PM · Report this
131
this is the best slog post i've seen in years. 90% of the writing here is pseudo-propaganda for the centrist establishment. pathetic counter-cultural posturing that only results in more meter maids, red light cameras and police drones.
Posted by porchedge on May 2, 2012 at 9:41 PM · Report this
132
"But back back to the central question: Why would anyone use targeted vandalism as a means of political expression? It's a very, very old tactic, dating back to Jesus smashing up the moneylenders' kiosks in the temple. And it is still popular among some, but totally anathema to most, today." Really? Anarchists are following the ways of Jesus Christ, a character we cannot prove existed but whom we have to believe did so on the basis of faith? Using Jesus as historical context is not historical. All rationale aside as to why windows of large corporate businesses should be smashed.
Posted by LMatter on May 2, 2012 at 9:55 PM · Report this
133
It's a shame Brendan's very well thought-out and articulate article only can face this drivel of nothing but logical fallacies masquerading as intellectual discourse. The only things I see here disagreeing with Brendan base their arguments off of Straw Men, Red Herrings, Ad Hominems, Slippery Slopes, and imposing traits of the parts upon the whole.

Brendan, as always keep up the good work! I doubt a single person of this peanut gallery has ever so much as heard of one of the authors you mention, let alone read anything by them.
Posted by CoreyWlodarczyk on May 2, 2012 at 10:03 PM · Report this
134
All I'm saying is, we are entitled to protest as we see fit, but don't hide behind the brave men, women, and children, who are not committing "vandalism." Be brave, bold, and march as anarchist with your own agenda. Don't mix in with the rest and pretend to support a cause. Even in the example provided, the your man smashed the window and took his lumps. Anarchist should do the same? http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-arg…
Posted by Sonorra on May 2, 2012 at 10:44 PM · Report this
135
@128

It's pretty simple, really.

In an anarchist system, all individuals are autonomous, and there can be no hierarchy. Therefore, there can be no police, because the act of policing infringes on autonomy, and any designated police personnel embody a hierarchy. If there can be no internal policing or police, then there can be no internal enforcement of any commitment to nonviolence, and autonomous individuals are entirely free to engage in acts of property destruction during or alongside Actions planned in accordance with perhaps heartfelt yet unenforceable commitments to nonviolence.

It's not entirely accurate to say that targeted property destruction and anarchism are synonymous; it would be more precise to say that a group adhering to anarchist organizational structures can not ethically stamp out targeted property destruction, and that people interested in targeted property destruction are ethically correct when they engage in such activity in the company of any group organized according to anarchist tenets.
Posted by robotslave on May 2, 2012 at 10:46 PM · Report this
136
May Day in NYC looked a whole lot more fun, interesting, and productive (at least on Democracy Now).

It is a shame that Occupy Seattle can't get it together.

Gee, lets discuss whether or not calling "targeted vandalism" violence is linguistically lazy or not, and examine the rationales. That will make for a lively, diverse, inclusive, creative movement. Maybe next May Day we can even more cutting edge Blac Block activity, and have more intellectual discourse about it!!!

If so, count me out. I'll go up to Occupy Everett or something.
Posted by The Gubbler on May 2, 2012 at 11:00 PM · Report this
137
May Day in NYC looked a whole lot more fun, interesting, and productive (at least on Democracy Now).

It is a shame that Occupy Seattle can't get it together.

Gee, lets discuss whether or not calling "targeted vandalism" violence is linguistically lazy or not, and examine the rationales. That will make for a lively, diverse, inclusive, creative movement. Maybe next May Day we can even more cutting edge Blac Block activity, and have more intellectual discourse about it!!!

If so, count me out. I'll go up to Occupy Everett or something.
Posted by TheGubbler on May 2, 2012 at 11:03 PM · Report this
138
American Apparel supports apartheid in Palestine. Wether or not this is the reason for the individuals actions, I don't know. But please lets not paint some wholesome picture of American Apparel.
Posted by stuntdive on May 2, 2012 at 11:05 PM · Report this
139
"May Day" isn't supposed to look "fun" or "interesting". The real difference between NYC and Seattle is that NYC probably had a much heavier police presence. That place is one giant police state, literally.
Posted by stuntdive on May 2, 2012 at 11:08 PM · Report this
140
Thanks to the author for the thoughtful and elucidating opinion piece and to the posters for their responses. This is one of the healthiest and most interesting debates I've seen in the SLOG in a long time, and it actually restores a little bit of my faith in Stranger readers.

I feel like I've been on damage control for the last 24 hours, trying to convince many of my friends of the vast differences between property destruction and violence on one end, and the black bloc as a strategy versus anarchism as a host of theories on the other. I just posted the link to this piece. Hopefully it helps further clear things up for some folks.
Posted by Dr.Devo on May 2, 2012 at 11:39 PM · Report this
141
@139

Ah, so you weren't actually in downtown Seattle on 5/1, then.

I think you're the first person I've seen, on any side of the debate, suggesting that SPD presence around the protesters at any point in the day was anything less than overwhelming.

Also, in countries where the government has officially declared 1 May a national holiday, it's definitely "fun," and not in the least bit "interesting." In fact, it's pretty much exactly like our national observance of organized labor in the US on the first Monday in September; everyone officially gets the day off, people have barbecues, ice cream sales in the parks increase tenfold, and nobody even thinks about smashing the state.
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2012 at 12:01 AM · Report this
142
People seem to have been paid to board up windows. Suck it, Friedman! I once proposed a column to the Stranger called "Broken Glass Fantasy" that would examine the utility of various petty crimes. Clearly, they have better stuff! This is a fair article

I think even in simply coaxing people toward recognition that the average person has no strong recourse against giant corporations who seem to have forsaken the people who pay and protect them, the bloodless destruction is useful.

Anarchists did participate in Occupy and were very useful. I think their anti-state ambitions are recklessly naive but their hearts seem to be in the right place and their principles seem useful in managing communities small enough for categorical familiarity (but then, a lot of systems work in those circumstances).
Posted by daws on May 3, 2012 at 1:40 AM · Report this
143
@142

An honest economic analysis of boarding up windows would have to include not only the cost of boards and window-boarder-uppers, but also average weekly sales before and after, and, crucially, hourly wages saved during the board-up.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the corporo-fascists actually made money off of the Neo-Smashits, at the end of the month; a good slice of sales would just slip over to the next few days, and the savings from keeping hourly employees off the floor (justified by protests) would more than make up for the loss of impulse buys.

Of course, the Smashists could avoid this unpleasant result by targeting businesses where all or at least most employees are on salary, unlike NikeTown or American Apparel, where the vast majority of workers, the floor staff, are hourly.
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2012 at 2:02 AM · Report this
144
What would the Black Panthers do? I was in Occupy Oakland when the black bloc contingent invited a much respected Black Panther to come speak about the historical naivete of Gandhian Non-violence - which he did - much to the joy of the small audience who came to hear exactly that. But this Veteran Revolutionary continued, and described what the Panthers would do when people within marches threw things at police, engaged in property destruction or committed vandalism. Unlike the interpretation of 'Diversity of Tactics' that many have used in recent years (i.e. "anything goes!") he said the Panthers would send their own security into the crowd, physically beat down the person who was provoking the police, drag their ass out of the crowd in which they were hiding, and then throw them in front of the police, and say "YOU deal with them!" If they were still active, that is the way the Panthers would have dealth with the these black bloc tactics. The Panthers were serious, strategic revolutionaries who believed in the necessity of Armed Struggle. But they had zero tolerance for foolish, unstrategic provocations that brought nothing but danger to fellow activists and contempt to their movement as a whole.
Posted by Oakland2NYC on May 3, 2012 at 7:30 AM · Report this
145
@142: "I think even in simply coaxing people toward recognition that the average person has no strong recourse against giant corporations who seem to have forsaken the people who pay and protect them, the bloodless destruction is useful."

You overestimate the sort of person who gives a shit about Niketown, symbolically or otherwise.
Posted by the futility of the system is useful because... on May 3, 2012 at 8:35 AM · Report this
146
Will in Seattle, I love the banks.
I love them the same way I love grocery stores and hospitals and theaters and all the myriad cultural innovations that make life good.
Banks allow us to save money and to borrow money for new ventures. Without banks (or something very much like them) most of what we call civiliation would be impossible, including the very internet we spar across.
I do hate it when people cheat, steal or harm us. That some banks or newspapers or grocers do evil is no reason to smash those enterprises.
No more than we should smash free speech and protestors just because hooligans riot for the sake of riot.
Posted by Waltlaw on May 3, 2012 at 8:40 AM · Report this
147
I guess I'm not up on the latest euphemisms for violence. It's not "diversity of tactics" any more, but "targeted property destruction"? Did I not get the memo?
Posted by lambert strether on May 3, 2012 at 9:01 AM · Report this
michijo 148
Where I live there are very few big corporate stores. For one, the NIKE building looks like an eyesore. I live in one of the only states that bans billboards, so the mere extremity of that NIKE building seems strange. What is it, a compound? Do people live in there? I can't even see the point of it. A broken window in the building? Meaningless. It's strange and laughable to see people getting angry as if it were the window of their own mother's home! Were they hatched there in some kind of weird incubator, Brave New World style, coming out the front door wearing Nike shoes? By the way, since corporations put small shoemakers out of business ages ago, where can you buy a shoe that isnt corporate?
Posted by michijo on May 3, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
149
"Anarchists are not unlike some Republicans I know - they see government as some unapproachable, untamable force for evil when it's really just an extension of society."

But they aren't the Republicans you know, and society is not an appropriate qualifier for government.

"Rather than shaping it to serve their interests they'd just as soon tear it down entirely. Social and political change is difficult and painstakingly slow. Breaking things is quick and easy. After abstaining from the political process and Internet slacktavism, it's probably the easiest form of protest."

Yeah, it's so easy that everyone does it!. Honestly, it's civil disobedience, and the civil authorities step in to take you jail/prison. So, it's not actually easy, just aesthetically unpleasing to your eyes, I guess?

"There is no sense of the long game to the casual observer, i.e., most Americans."

That's because "long game" means keeping the control in the hands of power. Basically, you are advocating the slow, painstaking process of moving away from fucking people over, rather than the ceasing of fucking people over, and ANYONE who is not like you is a stupidhead.

"But I suppose it's foolish to ask a bunch of overzealous, testosterone-fueled guys in their early twenties to think about a long game when smashing windows appeals to their vanity and satisfies their needs for action."

Cool story. How do you know they are men? Is it your x-ray vision that is able to see other peoples' gender through black masks (let alone skin)? Also, what's wrong with testosterone? Women produce more testosterone than men after sex, so I guess women after sex are smashing windows and refusing to think about the long game? Nope, cos testosterone is not a qualifier for badness anymore than gender.

But my favorite part, is your statement about vanity, which so awesome, cos you obviously came to let everyone know that you are smarter than window smashers.
More...
Posted by veranasi on May 3, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
150
"Yeah, fantastic...if only you were right.

vi·o·lence/ˈvī(ə)ləns/
Noun: Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.

Like a window, even. Not so excellent journalism after all."

LOLZ U R SO RITE! Which was why burning bras and draft cards were considered violent! HAHAHAHA!

Posted by veranasi on May 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
151
Perhaps veranasi will eventually understand the difference between burning your own property and another person's property.
Posted by Waltlaw on May 3, 2012 at 11:04 AM · Report this
152
@141

No I admit I wasn't actually at any of the Occupy events that day. But it just seems to me like the situation in NYC would be a lot tougher and that people who cause "problems" would be dealt penalties that are closer to punishing terrorism than civil disobedience.

I could be off, though.
Posted by stuntdive on May 3, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
153
Those windows were not gently cut with a glass cutter and then pried carefully out of their frames. The rock throwers and stick wielding window breakers did not enter the store first and peruse the interior for anyone standing within the area that might have been hit by flying glass and warn them that they should stand back. The rocks were thrown VIOLENTLY. The windows were bashed and broken VIOLENTLY. The burning cartons of flammable contents were thrown haphazardly and VIOLENTLY onto buildings and sidewalks where people oblivious to the potential harm were present. Fortunately, no one that we are aware of was physically hurt by these actions, but don't for one minute delude yourself and others into thinking this was not VIOLENCE!
Posted by willown on May 3, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
michijo 154
Well, the USA itself invented May Day, if I remember correctly. I was in a May Day demo in London UK once. They merely blew up beach balls and lobbed them around in the crowd. Sort of dorky, but the police nevertheless cracked down on them!
Posted by michijo on May 3, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Posted by michijo on May 3, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
156
How about non-violence.

What is it???

Why is it so effective???

Did MLK smash windows??? After all, smashing shit isn't violence. Or is it???

My dictionary says 1. swift or intense force: the violence of a storm. 2. rough or injurious physical force, action or treatment: to die by violence. 3. an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws: to take over a government by violence. 4. a violent act or preceeding. 5. rough or immoderate vehemence as of feeling or language: the violence of his hatred 6. damage through distortion or unwarranted alteration: to do editorial violence to a text.

One might even say that this articles assertion that property damage is not violence is in fact doing violence to the word violence.
Posted by TheGubbler on May 3, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
157
Unfortunately, here in the Bay Area there was NOT "targeted" property destruction, but indiscriminate trashing of mom-and-pop stores, parked cars, etc. Your article does a great job of explaining the ideas, but I'm not sure how it relates to my local reality.
Posted by a in the bay on May 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
158
Very interesting read and good discussion. I can never, and will never, condone non-strategic and random destruction. I do think there are times when strategic vandalism could have an effect (especially in regards to billboard modification and street art -- because these are more creative than destructive). What tends to bother me is the willy-nilly chaotic approach, and it not even going beyond smashing windows, which is easy and has no real effect. I think the authorities count on this sort of thing to manipulate public opinion against movements. If it was highly symbolic, like with the Boston Tea Party, that's different. I sympathize with the protesters much more than the corporation's windows -- though there is no excuse for vandalizing parked cars. And those questioning American Apparel as a target, should perhaps look into its history of sexual exploitation of women for the answer as to why folks would look at them as a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Posted by thirdeyepdx on May 3, 2012 at 4:49 PM · Report this
159
It's so much easier to destroy than to build, isn't it? It's the loser's way out. Or, put another way, violence is the first refuge of the incompetent.

If you want to put a hurt on the system, smashing a couple of windows owned by some corporation doesn't do shit. These attention-grabbing actions are the work of cowards who piggy-back their immature actions onto demonstrations created by hundreds hard-working organizers and activists, the destruction only giving the media one more excuse to gloss over the real issues when they cover these events.

If you really want to make a difference that hits them where it hurts -- organize a general strike. If 50% of the citizens in this country stopped participating and going to work for a week, that would make much bigger difference than smashing up a Nike store. Oh, but that would take a lot more actual work and commitment, wouldn't it.
Posted by playon on May 4, 2012 at 2:53 AM · Report this
160
It's so much easier to destroy than to build, isn't it? It's the loser's way out. Or, put another way, violence is the first refuge of the incompetent.

If you want to put a hurt on the system, smashing a couple of windows owned by some corporation doesn't do shit. These attention-grabbing actions are the work of cowards who piggy-back their immature actions onto demonstrations created by hundreds hard-working organizers and activists, the destruction only giving the media one more excuse to gloss over the real issues when they cover these events.

If you really want to make a difference that hits them where it hurts -- organize a general strike. If 50% of the citizens in this country stopped participating and going to work for a week, that would make much bigger difference than smashing up a Nike store. Oh, but that would take a lot more actual work and commitment, wouldn't it.
Posted by playon on May 4, 2012 at 2:58 AM · Report this
161
@ 159 & 160

How dare you question our cutting edge coolness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0QmrbHE6…

Posted by The Gubbler on May 4, 2012 at 6:31 AM · Report this
162
I will try that again.

@ 159 & 160

How dare you question our cutting edge coolness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0QmrbHE6…
Posted by The Gubbler on May 4, 2012 at 6:42 AM · Report this
163
Blah blah blah proves my point about something or other.

Here we go again...

@ 159 & 160

How dare you question our cutting edge coolness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0QmrbHE6…

if that doesn't work try...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0QmrbHE6…
Posted by The Gubbler on May 4, 2012 at 6:53 AM · Report this
164
Ok,

The link is...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0QmrbHE6…

Posted by The frustrated but determined on May 4, 2012 at 6:59 AM · Report this
165
OK, go to the youtube home page.

Enter in "Zappa Torture Never Stops Zoot Allures" without the quotation marks.

Click on the one at the top posted by GoinToSleepBIATCH

HOW DARE YOU QUESTION OUR CUTTING EDGE COOKIES!!!

That is not what I meant.
Posted by The Gubbler on May 4, 2012 at 7:07 AM · Report this
166
WhAT IS WIth SLOG.

HOw totALLy DUmb.

Posted by EroticArtist on May 4, 2012 at 7:13 AM · Report this
167
"Smashing a window is not violence, it's vandalism. There is a difference—unless you think of people as the moral equivalent of property."

People own property. From a moral perspective, damaging someone's property is hurting them.

Moreover, in our world, people are property; we are fortunate enough to own ourselves. This is the basis for the 'price' of 'labor', as it is the basis for all of the rights that we have to our person.

------

"Did today's vandalism detract from the protests?"

I wasn't there, but I can say that if it was anything like Chicago, protests like these feel like reenactments more than anything else. Some people even take this to be the goal (the spectacle).

If they are reenactments--what are they reminding us? If they are meant as something more than a reenactment, what are they trying to achieve?
Posted by gabe_chicago on May 4, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
168
Thank you for your article. I agree completely! I kept getting irritated with the news for constantly crying "violence!!" And now in their self promotional commercials they proudly tout their coverage of the "violent protest." Not that I would go about smashing windows, I'm not unhappy about what was done. The planned marches certainly wouldn't have gotten the coverage had those windows not been broken. Now, everyone is talking about it. I think that's good.
Posted by Yani on May 4, 2012 at 6:39 PM · Report this
169
@167

Ooh, pick me! I know the answer!

This odd, ritualized costume drama is a reenactment of late-cold-war protests in Western Germany. And the reason neo-smashists are doing reenactment pageants of those anti-nuclear, squatters' rights, and atonomen battles is pretty much the same reason southern whites reenact Civil War battles: they want to return to the last point in history where people like themselves were free to physically express their sense of moral superiority over others.
Posted by robotslave on May 4, 2012 at 7:59 PM · Report this
170
It's a false dichotomy that you're either smashing windows or singing kumbaya. Also - if window smashing isn't violence, does that mean that anarchists condemn violence, and do not support actual revolutions?
Posted by Tiktoktiktok on May 5, 2012 at 6:28 PM · Report this
171
It's a false dichotomy that you're either singing kumbayah or smashing windows. Also - anarchists insist that smashing windows is not violence. Do they, then, also condemn violence, ie. actual revolutions.

There is much to discuss about all the unsound logic, but the most obvious case is the "vandalized banks help people see state as weak". If that's true, then it means the average citizen will hope to strengthen that state. Otherwise, Occupy support would grow when windows are smashed in its name - instead, it has dwindled. In Oakland, I've heard two working class neighbors say they "understand" the police, because Occupy is so pointless and violent. This is very different from how people saw Occupy in the fall.

The main difference between theory and practice being that in theory, there is no difference.
Posted by Tiktoktiktok on May 5, 2012 at 6:37 PM · Report this
172
First, there's nothing inherently good or bad about smashing windows, burning cars, etc. It's property destruction (or "vandalism"), not people destruction. A window doesn't have feelings, it doesn't bleed, it doesn't have family or friends or people that care about it. People do, obviously. So while it's outlandish to decry the so-called "violence" of so-called "anarchists" when folks smash windows without condemning the much greater harm to human beings caused by police--or economic or social policies, for that matter--we also shouldn't glorify the act of busting something up. Breaking a window on its own isn't going to the change the world, and anyone who convinces themselves of such things is sadly deluded.

Instead, once we understand trashing as a neutral act, then we enter a discussion of strategy and tactics. The example given about the student smashing a window to get into a meeting is a really good one. In that case, smashing kind of made sense, and I think most people would see it as a reasonable action, which is obvious since all the charges were thrown out, and courts are not exactly the most radical institutions. On the other hand, it's pretty hard to make a case about what smashing accomplishes at an anti-G20 demo like in Toronto, for example. Look at the outcomes: the media and government demonized not just the "thugs" who broke windows, but also the entire movement, while simultaneously using the smashing as an excuse to ignore the protesters' arguments and demands. Plus, the smashing provided a rationale for the police to flex their muscle, and they proceeded to crack down on people who had nothing whatsoever to do with the smashing--because the smashers had all run away, leaving others vulnerable. That, in turn, just created more heat and distrust inside the movements and organizations, which makes activists even more isolated and less effective than we already are. Apart from ideological tap-dancing about "exposing the weakness of the state" and similar arguments, it's really hard to see what good the smashing did. Okay, maybe it "exposed" the state, but to whom? The ones doing the smashing, obviously, not the general public who turned on their TVs or opened the papers and saw/read all the demonizing coverage of the events. And finally, making "smashing" and "anarchism" synonymous just slanders anarchism, which has always been at its core about challenging illegitimate authority so that people can be free to decide their own fate. That's a good principle. Unfortunately, smashing obscures and confuses that and makes anarchism seem like it's about mindless "violence" rather than positive individual and collective freedom. Elites have always tried to portray anarchism as the former, as some dangerous, violent, chaotic ideology. We shouldn't do the work of elites for them.

So, again, it comes back to tactics and strategy. In order to achieve aims, tactics have to be carefully thought through to see if they're going to help achieve those aims. And, in the first place, we need to have an understanding of how aims are won, too. We win with big, powerful, numerous, well-supported, long-term, deeply committed social movements with clear goals and strategies. We always have and we always will. Conversely, we don't win with a random smattering of actions with no specific aim--or if we do, it's pure coincidence. So our first goal should be building and broadening movement participation and support, and that's really what we should evaluate our actions based on: Does X action help grow the movement, or does Y action do it better? Until a movement is large enough to pressure elites to give in, that has to be the primary calculation. So clearly smashing doesn't do much to help in that regard, at least not now. But at a certain point, under certain circumstances, maybe it would, who knows.

Just like we shouldn't take marches and letter writing for granted as supreme tactics, we shouldn't take smashing or burning for granted as supreme tactics. Tactics don't propel change, movements applying them strategically do. We always, in every situation, have to carefully and collectively discuss our aims, our values, what we want to win, the barriers to doing so, and how to overcome those barriers. If we're serious about social change, that is, that's what we'll do.
More...
Posted by Andre Guimond on May 7, 2012 at 3:27 AM · Report this
173 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
174 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
175 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
176
Enjoy your night in jail. Property destruction is violence and you are lazy and stupid.
Posted by I went to college on February 21, 2014 at 1:51 AM · Report this

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