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Friday, May 3, 2013

May Day Anarchists Will Compensate Small Businesses Whose Windows Were Smashed

Posted by on Fri, May 3, 2013 at 11:28 AM

On May Day, as police broke up a downtown demonstration and pushed activists (including anarchists) up Capitol Hill, some windows were broken at local bar Bill's Off Broadway, local bar/distillery Sun Liquor, and a Walgreens drug store.

A poorly disguised undercover officer.
  • A poorly disguised undercover officer.
This prompted some immediate debate about who broke them and why. I heard activist types saying variations on: I'd gladly smash a Bank of America window, but I'd never—and I don't know anyone who would ever—want to break the window of a neighborhood bar or pizzeria. What the hell happened there? There were theories: agents provocateur? That sounds nutty at first, but there were some sloppily disguised undercover types in the crowd. (And it turns out that fellow in the photo on the left, who I'd speculated about on May Day, was in fact briefly undercover—last night, someone sent me photos and descriptions of him working as a police officer. I recognized the guy by his shoes.)

Or was it random folks who just got excited at the prospect of smashing anything? Or some demonstrators who forgot the "targeted" part of "targeted property damage"?

Regardless, the next day some group who wanted to be credited as "the Anarchists of the Puget Sound" sent me an email saying:

We support everything that happened last night but feel that it is our responsibility to support our neighborhood small businesses as well... We would like to throw a benefit for Bill's Off Broadway and other small businesses to help them with the cost of replacing their windows. This does not include Walgreens, for obvious reasons.

Both Bill's and Sun Liquor soon responded to that gesture. From Sun Liquor:

If anything was immediately apparent last night it was that we have an amazingly supportive and loving community on Capitol Hill. So many people reached out to us in person and via social media to express their outrage as well as their love that we can't help but feel strengthened by the incident. Having you reach out to us only emphasizes that feeling... We have a temporary repair in place and our insurance will handle the rest. If any funds are raised we would ask that they be redirected to an organization or organizations whose work represents what May Day is really about.

So activists set up an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to offset the bars' costs,* with extra proceeds going to "organizations supporting fair labor."

Then Bill's Off Broadway talked to activists and allegedly said they aren't that concerned about the window, but want people to come support the staff. Another group organized this on May 8:

"Bill's Off Broadway Worker Solidarity Fundrasier"

Come show solidarity with the staff of Bill's Off Broadway impacted by the May Day Anti Capitalist March.

Mr. Bill is not interested in money for the window. He is more concerned about the staff working that evening, the dishwasher, waitstaff, and bartender. He said the best thing we can do is come in, order pizza, drink some beer, and show solidarity.

Mr. Bill said: "The window was only a physical thing."

Our argument is with the corporations and government not small businesses or workers.

Come, order some food, order some drinks, tip well, and have fun! This is a party and celebration!

The activists added, in a press release, that no matter who broke the windows, for whatever reason, "our battle is directed, not towards local businesses, but towards the symbols and harbingers of both government and corporate excess." Good to know.

If you want to give those neighborhood businesses a hand, you can donate here* or go eat and drink at Bill's next Wednesday—and expect undercover police officers.

* Of course, these folks are anonymous and we have no way to guarantee who they are or what they might do with money.

 

Comments (83) RSS

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Posted by Rowlf on May 3, 2013 at 11:35 AM · Report this
2
Never let an opportunity for promoting your business slip by, eh?

I don't suppose anyone asked the owners of those oh-so-wonderful small-and-local-and-independent businesses how much they're paying those clerks and dishwashers, and how much of the profit they keep for themselves?
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 11:38 AM · Report this
michaelp 3
Are you still an "anarchist" if you're issuing press releases?
Posted by michaelp on May 3, 2013 at 11:40 AM · Report this
Baconcat 4
Monsters! Haven't small businesses suffered enough?!

Posted by Baconcat on May 3, 2013 at 11:41 AM · Report this
5
"...to express their outrage as well as their love..."

Their love? For Sun Liquor?
Posted by ian on May 3, 2013 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6
@2 dude, this is Seattle, we have better pay than most places, unlike the job-killers in E WA ...
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on May 3, 2013 at 11:48 AM · Report this
7
Well it's something I guess.

But maybe next time just don't break anyone's windows while you throw a temper tantrum downtown?
Posted by giffy on May 3, 2013 at 11:55 AM · Report this
8
@6

You clearly haven't met many dishwashers or line cooks. Or given even ten seconds' thought to the cost of living in Seattle vs. Yakima.

Seattle's got higher average wages because we've got more high-paying jobs here, but the the back of the house in a lovely can-do-no-wrong locally-capitalized pub is not where you're going to find those jobs.
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Doctor Memory 9
"This does not include Walgreens, for obvious reasons."

Because seriously, fuck people who want to get their prescriptions filled.
Posted by Doctor Memory http://blahg.blank.org on May 3, 2013 at 12:04 PM · Report this
10
@8

...but it is where you're going to find people with a strong interest in immigrant rights. Hey, anyone remember immigrant rights?
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 12:04 PM · Report this
julie russell 11
With their parent's credit cards?
Posted by julie russell http:// on May 3, 2013 at 12:22 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
@8 or maybe I have. You'd be surprised.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on May 3, 2013 at 12:28 PM · Report this
trollstalker 13
@3: Sure. Why wouldn't they be?
Posted by trollstalker on May 3, 2013 at 12:34 PM · Report this
balderdash 14
@9, in my experience, "Fuck people who want to get their prescriptions filled" pretty accurately represents Walgreens' business model and general attitude.
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on May 3, 2013 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Baconcat 15
@9: Yes, a broken front door is going to destroy Walgreen's completely since this one in particular is the fragile linchpin in their entire corporate structure.
Posted by Baconcat on May 3, 2013 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 16
@14: touché :)
Posted by Doctor Memory http://blahg.blank.org on May 3, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
treacle 17
Excellent news! Nice work, AoPS.
Posted by treacle on May 3, 2013 at 12:39 PM · Report this
18
I thought this was an anti-capitalist march? Even small businesses are capitalist.
Posted by Pick a lane & stay in it ladies on May 3, 2013 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Kinison 19
Agent provocateur has been used so often since Occupy first started, that its lost all meaning.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on May 3, 2013 at 12:44 PM · Report this
20
Retraction: I don't know who sent this press release the people organizing the attached event are a group of individuals who wanted to show support and solidarity with the workers.
I am not sure how we got lump in with this press release.

Bill's Off Broadway Worker Solidarity Fundrasier
Come show solidarity with the staff of Bill's Off Broadway impacted by the May Day Anti Capitalist March.
Mr. Bill is not interested in money for the window. He is more concerned about the staff working that evening, the dishwasher, waitstaff, and bartender. He said the best thing we can do is come in, order pizza, drink some beer, and show solidarity.
Mr. Bill said: "The window was only a physical thing."
Our argument is with the corporations and government not small businesses or workers.
Come, order some food, order some drinks, tip well, and have fun! This is a party and celebration!
Posted by in solidarity with the workers on May 3, 2013 at 12:51 PM · Report this
Dr. Z 21
8: You really are an idiot. Small restaurants have razor thin profit margins, if any; that's one reason so many go under. If you want to survive, you need a liquor license.

And before you ask, my husband has been in the food industry his entire adult life. And not in management either.
Posted by Dr. Z on May 3, 2013 at 12:59 PM · Report this
Baconcat 22
@19: thankfully telling you to go fuck yourself is still as tart and zingy as it's always been.
Posted by Baconcat on May 3, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
23
@13

Because a press release recognizes and perpetuates hierarchy.

In a non-hierarchical system, autonomous individuals communicate directly with the society they live in, rather than attempt to channel their announcements into a system in which only privileged actors are recognized as legitimate distributors of information to the public.

Any other questions?
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 24
Walgreen's is a corporate snake. It's true. But busting doors and windows is not useful in any sense. It's childish.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on May 3, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
25
@21

OK, great! Then maybe you can tell us: How much does a dishwasher at Bill's make in a year, and how much do the owners of Bill's make in a year?

I might be an idiot, but I do at least understand that profit margins alone don't tell you a thing about net profit.
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 1:08 PM · Report this
dan10things 26
The bigger harm of the vandalism is the much larger march for worker's rights and immigration reform got zero media coverage as a couple dozen flashier and more exciting vandals and anarchists grabbed all the media attention.
Posted by dan10things http://10thingszine.blogspot.com on May 3, 2013 at 1:11 PM · Report this
chaseacross 27
Black Blocs are ignorant, sophomoric assholes -- the cityspace version of internet trolls. Targeted property destruction during protests is a demonstrably ineffective means of effecting positive political change. The proof? They've been doing this for twenty years to no effect. Since it doesn't work, what motivation could they have for doing it? Funsies. Shits and giggles cloaked in protest to the real harms of global capitalism.

Cut it out, guys, for real. Do something constructive instead.
Posted by chaseacross on May 3, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
28
@26

That's only "harm" if you assume the purpose of the rocks-in-backpacks march was something other than drawing attention to anarchism.

You do have to admit, if our local anarchists just lived out their lives in their shared-living residences and never bothered to go out and evangelize and/or fight the institutions they most vehemently oppose, nobody would have the least bit of curiosity about their political beliefs.
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 1:18 PM · Report this
29
@27

You know, black bloc tactics worked very well, won popular support, and had far-reaching political effects in Germany in the 1980s.

Of course, Seattle isn't anything remotely like cold-war Berlin, so the ninja costumes have no effect whatsoever. Just think of them as a sort of historical reenactment society, like those Civil War buffs who dress up in costumes and play-act every battle the Confederacy ever won.
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 1:23 PM · Report this
SPG 30
@27, Where's the fun in being constructive?
Posted by SPG on May 3, 2013 at 1:27 PM · Report this
SPG 31
re: The undercover cops at protests. Duh, no kidding there's going to be a few. But to assume that they're "agents provocateur" is silly. They're there to ID the idiots who throw shit and to find out what the plans are. Did you know that the cops also monitor walkie talkies during these things? It's a lot harder to tap phones, but they're definitely doing whatever they can to try to figure out what's about to go down.
Posted by SPG on May 3, 2013 at 1:31 PM · Report this
32
@27 We do many constructive things, from feeding the homeless to doing massive support work for the M1AC march itself; the medics that worked the march as well as a large chunk of the media crew are from some of Seattle's local anarchist collectives. This initiative, to help the people who, like our comrades, were made victims by the police is also intended to be constructive. The media won't talk about that, of course, but is certainly more than happy to lay blame on an entire swath of political ideologies for the results of a police-initiated mini-riot.
Posted by Big Boss on May 3, 2013 at 1:43 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 33
After what Walgreens did to 15th Ave East a few years back...a broken window only partially compesates for the destruction that corporate chain deserves to have happen to it
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on May 3, 2013 at 1:46 PM · Report this
34
Great! Glad to hear that they are going to do something about at least some of the destruction. However, supporting what happened anyway sucks. So what did they accomplish? Lots of media. Media that was taken away from the main march which supported May Day without destruction. They got a ton of folks mad. Those folks will not totally ignore the issue. This does nothing for the cause, whatever that cause may be.
Posted by 1110bunny on May 3, 2013 at 1:56 PM · Report this
35
Actually it's not anarchists paying them back. They're using crowdfunding, so it's just anarchists asking the community to pay them back.
Posted by orange.emilie on May 3, 2013 at 2:04 PM · Report this
36
@31 Agent Provocateur isn't all that silly if you've read/heard about cointelpro. You may not have undercover SPD acting as AP's, however, you may have plants from other "agencies" that are engaging in anti-social behavior designed to descredit any sort of legal and peaceful protest against the system.
Posted by neo-realist on May 3, 2013 at 2:06 PM · Report this
37
@34 With respect to the media, whose fault is that? No one forced the major media to slaver like dogs over the prospect of getting to demonize activists and show lewd footage of police brutality to the deliberate exclusion of positive messages. Certainly, they had done their best not to give the M1AC actions - which were well over by the time of the anti-capitalist march - much attention up to that point. The corporate media has an agenda, one many people seem more than happy to support, and it does not include presenting anyone their owners don't want portrayed well fairly.
Posted by Big Boss on May 3, 2013 at 2:13 PM · Report this
38
@25: Sure. The dishwasher is making minimum wage. The owners are making all the profits, after labor, taxes, cost of goods sold, insurance, taxes, etc. Maybe that's a lot. I hope it's a lot. It's almost certainly not enough to send their kids to private school, take luxury vacations, or invest for their retirement. And even if it is: are you faulting the owners for making a good wage? I guarantee you that the stresses and hours of running a food business far exceed the stresses and hours of working at one. But, if you want to live in a communist country, why don't you move to one?
Posted by writeheidiwrite on May 3, 2013 at 2:23 PM · Report this
39
Good point #35
Posted by 1110bunny on May 3, 2013 at 2:31 PM · Report this
40
"This initiative, to help the people who, like our comrades, were made victims by the police is also intended to be constructive"

So the police smashed the windows on these small capitalist enterprises?
Posted by Small capitalist business owner on May 3, 2013 at 2:33 PM · Report this
Lake Desire 41
@34 The corporate media only has themselves to blame for any attention taken away from the immigrant rights march; they can choose to cover as much or as little as they like. It's not like the two marches were at the same time. How much coverage did May 1st immigrant rights marches get before 2012's smashy-smash? It seems to me that Komo/King/Kiro only cover permitted demonstrations when they have "bad" protesters to defame.
Posted by Lake Desire http://borderhouseblog.com on May 3, 2013 at 2:39 PM · Report this
42
"Actually it's not anarchists paying them back"

I imagine they are shitty tippers too.
Posted by Sugartit on May 3, 2013 at 2:42 PM · Report this
43
@38

Er, I don't want to live in a communist country, I want to understand why anti-capitalists are rushing to support the owners of a locally-capitalized pub.

And why people supposedly interested in immigrant rights seem so eager to support an employer who quite likely employs immigrants at a very low wage, with zero paid vacation, no employer-provided health insurance, and no other common employment benefits. These workers wouldn't even have paid sick leave if it weren't for recently-passed local legislation.
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 2:47 PM · Report this
44
Apparently anarchists are also against consistent spacing between sentences. That indiegogo page is dreadful.
Posted by crapitol_hill_cock_party on May 3, 2013 at 2:49 PM · Report this
45
HEY does anybody notice that they are still bickering about things that the mainstream media portrays about anarchists, rather than discussing any new themes this article brings up?! The community is now stronger from may 1st. And let me ask you, why did the cops go undercover in the crowd. Why did the cops push those people up the hill to Capitol Hill. BECAUSE THEY DONT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT SMALL BUSINESSES AND THE NEIGHBORHOODS WE LIVE IN. COPS are only doing the job that was given them and that is making sure the downtown shopping wasn't disturbed for too long. From this article and the number of undercovers that frequented occupy... their other job is to sabotage any resistance to the system at all and to continue suppression of people. The cops whether undercover or in uniform violently escalate any situation they come in. They represent violence and war on the human body. I watched police stop in the patrol car to arrest people that night after people dispersed on cap hill, they failed because the people ran from the newspaper stand they had just thrown, another cop in an suv was right there doing nothing the whole time. Then the cops immediately left the intersection and the mess of newspapers etc for some other civilians who walked by later to decide to pick up, that easy! No longer (or never have they been) are the cops here to protect and serve, the cops are too important to clean up messes. What cops do is drive around in cars, with weapons, and look for people that can fill their quotas or people that look vulnerable so that they can mess with them. Sheeeesshh. And you all are giving anarchists crap because they aren't reaching out to the community in a very "anarchist" way?! COME ON. they are offering help and all you can do is complain about the fact that they used a media outlet. Who are you to define what is a very "anarchist thing to do" when you don't even know why May Day is an international day of workers rights.
More...
Posted by This is what I have observed on May 3, 2013 at 2:59 PM · Report this
46
Anti-capitalist marchers hold fund raisers for capitalists.

Only in Seattle, when dumb meets dumber.
Posted by Sugartit on May 3, 2013 at 2:59 PM · Report this
47
when i hear this need to advertise anarchy shit. i want to reach for my pistole. anarchists against anarchism. fuall ...like utah said: violence is addictive. time for you kiddies to admit you have " a problem " big a problem as the other gang youd be lost eithout..the blue.
Posted by wsltinseattle on May 3, 2013 at 3:00 PM · Report this
48
@41 We seem to be able to get press to come to our events, often it is FOX. The press was covering the other events of that day and noting how peaceful they were. Then even before the windows were smashed SOME in this march started throwing things in the street like newspaper boxes or anything else that wasn't tied down. Others in the march we putting them back, kudos to them. Some were also yelling at the cops, trying to provoke. Even throwing things at them. Sadly, some of the folks in this non-permited march were being disruptive and took the conversation away from most of the others in the march that were not like that. Destruction only causes the general pubic to throw up a wall against whatever is being demonstrated. Yeah, the news covers the bad, but it is not just the news, it is the people in the streets. The fear was palatable in downtown. Why would you want to make the public fear? What you want is to make them feel comfortable, that way they listen to what you are saying and join in.

Posted by 1110bunny on May 3, 2013 at 3:02 PM · Report this
49
"Of course, these folks are anonymous" so you're taking exactly as much risk donating to them as you do when you contribute to any random kickstarter fund.
Posted by treehugger on May 3, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Report this
50
The fear was palatable


SLOG: only the finest, hand-crafted malapropisms.
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Report this
horatiocain 51
Q: Why do Anarchists only drink herbal tea?

A: Because proper tea is theft.
Posted by horatiocain http://jerkcity.com on May 3, 2013 at 3:20 PM · Report this
52
@28 Attention is not always good. People notice the WBC too, but not in a good way.

@36 Then why not do this for the larger immigration rally? A bunch of people in costumes having a party in the street does not need to be discredited.
Posted by giffy on May 3, 2013 at 3:27 PM · Report this
53
that undercover police officer is a hero; these anarchists are basically the tea baggers of the coast. Dangerous, uneducated and dog whistling racists. I suspect the brave officer broke the small businesses windows in an attempt to frame the anarchists and I commend him on his efforts. By the way; Walgreens provides far more jobs and benefits to the underprivileged than these pseudo-libertarian, elitist businesses do.
Posted by carsten coolage on May 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 54
@44 tell me about it.

@51 what did one anarcho-syndicalist commune member say to the other anarcho-syndicalit commune member? "We don't talk to those extremists!"
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on May 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM · Report this
chaseacross 55
@30 It's funny (not at all funny), that anarchists would probably be the first to sit down and have a conversation about the depredations of patriarchy and chauvinism, about the negative effects of militarism and the glorification of war and violence. And then, given the choice between, say, staging an unauthorized feed-in (maybe passing out free food to the indigent and working poor in front of a grocery store, highlighting issues of socially-constructed scarcity), and breaking random windows, the anarchists go for the rage-boner dick-wagging move every time. I mean, I know that's their thing, but it's like that old definition of insanity...
Posted by chaseacross on May 3, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 56
"targeted property damage"

Remind me again; was it Gandhi or Martin Luther King who first pioneered that technique?

What a bunch of ass hats… I’d like to rain down some targeted property damage on them.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on May 3, 2013 at 3:58 PM · Report this
57
Beware of "organizations supporting fair labor"! There's loss of BS out there. I think the folks who should get the $ are El Comite. https://elcomitewa.wordpress.com/
Posted by Trevor on May 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM · Report this
58
@3, Are you still an "anarchist" if you're issuing press releases?

Yes. anarchists gather, they have groups; they just believe in self-government.
Posted by Kinny Fear on May 3, 2013 at 4:16 PM · Report this
59
"they just believe in self-government."

So do most 2 year olds.
Posted by Anarchists = overgrown toddlers on May 3, 2013 at 4:26 PM · Report this
60
@23 a lot of left wing activists get hit with these kinds of questions about their ideological consistency and, it seems, they usually defer to simple pragmatism.

The whole "autonomous individuals communicating directly" thing is a nice bit of idealism but, in practice, it would significantly deplete time and resources, perhaps even failing to achieve the same scope of dissemination.

What on the surface seems like inattentive hypocrisy is actually a sane alternative to walking around knocking on doors telling citizens, "hey, you know, we're not bad people. We're paying for those windows. Ok, thanks. Bye."

Likewise, using twitter on your iPhone to organize an anti-capitalist rally is simply using the most effective tools at your disposal, using products to undermine the system that created them.
Posted by maxinspace on May 3, 2013 at 4:30 PM · Report this
61
@60

I think "lazy" is a better word than "sane," there. It's well established that knocking on doors is orders of magnitude more effective for political organizing than mailings, which are in turn far more effective than press releases.

A many-to-many tool like twitter or blogging is at least arguably non-hierarchical; you really can't make the same claim for a press release.
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 4:40 PM · Report this
62
This is a good lesson in what not to do as activists and organizers. The wanna-be anarchists accomplished very little to nothing. The reality is that bringing down the current entrenched system of greed and corruption will likely take generations. It requires long term strategy, planing and discipline to do what is required. It wil take a diversity of tactics and approaches from various movements working together supporting each other and finding common ground. Annual spasms of violent outburts are masturbation for people too lazy to dig in and take a serious and mature approach to the problem. Getting angry is useful when you channel that energy into productive and smart ways of resistance.
Posted by the central scrutinizer on May 3, 2013 at 5:53 PM · Report this
63
@61 Door knocking may be good for organizing events but it would ineffective in changing public perception, which is an important point considering the public are the very people lefties claim to be fighting for. It would be intrusive and would backfire. Even if it worked, how long would it take you?

The twitter example wasn't an example of hierarchy. It was meant to display that it's not only ok to use your enemy's hallmarks but doing so is smart tactics.

Anarchists use mass media; communists use iPhones and Lenin used nationalism to further Marxism. Denying the effectiveness of this is a kind of Trotskyist perfectionism: noble in its purity but ineffective.

Why invent new weapons when your enemy hands them to you?
Posted by maxinspace on May 3, 2013 at 7:15 PM · Report this
Dr. Z 64
@25: well duh, they get paid minimum wage. Do the math.

Now then, let's talk about risk. Opening even a small pizza shop requires some serious up front investment. Apart from the kitchen equipment, inventory, front of the house etc there are leases, insurance, licenses (a liquor license in NYC is about 50K per year, I don't know what it runs in Seattle) etcetera. You can very easily spend $200K opening a restaurant before you even turn around.

Q: how do you make a small fortune in the food business?

A: start with a large fortune.

How much is the dishwasher's investment? Zero.
Posted by Dr. Z on May 3, 2013 at 7:18 PM · Report this
65
it seems clear from the videos that it wasn't a black block so much as random and unpredictable urban unrest.
Posted by maskisamirror on May 3, 2013 at 8:20 PM · Report this
66
Man.. half you twats really dont understand the seriousnes sof the situation we're in. Or are just happily being led and told how to live your lives. Its full well known cops will try rile up the massiv crowds of protestors. Who do you think usually starts the violence?
Educate yourselves before posting such absolute bullshit about a cause thats out to help all humanity. Or do you really think this system is sustainable?

At least they are helping them out, and I by far agree with the way small business said to come in ad buy their products instead of blindly handing out money. At least the work staff and the owner are able to get dldirect profits, incuding tips which is usually the most of their wages. The revolution is global, the rich and "elite" time has come. Humanity is entering a new age.
Posted by Silk Road on May 3, 2013 at 8:21 PM · Report this
67
@63

Changing perceptions is precisely where door-knocking has been shown to be more effective than other means of outreach. It would definitely, definitely be a lot more work than putting together a press-release not-apologizing for breaking some windows, and a web-site asking other people to pay for it. But then, that's why I suggest "lazy" to describe this latter approach.

I'm making a point (or rather, answering a question, if you read back) specifically about anarchists, not about Marxists or other left-radicals, and opposition to Hierarchy is the very core of every variant of Anarchism. The reason an anarchist would eschew hierarchical methods "handed to him by his enemies" is because the anarchist finds those methods repugnant, and is eager to show the world better ways of doing things and living life.

@64

You appear to be saying that the owners of Bill's (neither a new nor an unsuccessful business) are playing the part of Capital, and that the dishwasher is playing the role of Labor. I don't think that adds much to the ethical calculus, from the standpoint of an anti-capitalist.
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 8:35 PM · Report this
68
@65

That's such a bad stretch that it makes you sound downright wistful.

As though you're really a bit sad that there isn't random urban violence afoot, instead of exactly the same people doing exactly the same thing they did exactly one year before?

It's the very opposite of "unpredictable": we can predict with 90% certainty that the same people will try exactly the same sort of thing next year. We can further predict that some of the same crowd will briefly "take the streets" on capitol hill, in the Pike/Pine corridor, on the last night of Pride (that's June 30-- mark your calendar).
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 9:19 PM · Report this
Clara T 69
66 is engaging in some sort of deep satire right? You keep showin' me a better way to live; I'll keep paying for the shit you co-opt (aka make an excuse for taking) as you indefinitely perform your noble little morality play. Or shut the fuck up and do something actually useful by joining me down at the soup kitchen scrubbing floors in your spare time?

I'm sure if you go read your pamphlet again you'll find that my kind of "helping people" by actually "helping people" who need "help" is a hollow reification of the system, man, compared to, say, being a rad rad radical with a sack of rocks and cool stories to tell your fellow pseudo-hobo oh-so-enlightened narcissists.
Posted by Clara T on May 3, 2013 at 10:11 PM · Report this
70
@55 Hello, ever heard of Food Not Bombs? It's an anarchist organization that distributes free food in cities ALL OVER THE WORLD on a weekly basis (or in some cities, such as Portland, almost DAILY). Whereas the window smashing usually happens once a year at best (typically May Day) in a handful of cities.
Posted by Wildblueheron on May 3, 2013 at 10:46 PM · Report this
71
@55 Hello, ever heard of Food Not Bombs? It's an anarchist organization that distributes free food in cities ALL OVER THE WORLD on a weekly basis (or in some cities, such as Portland, almost DAILY), usually in unauthorized places or in any case without permits, with the accompanying goal of highlighting social injustices. Whereas the window smashing usually happens once a year at best (typically May Day) in a handful of cities such as Barcelona and more recently Seattle.
Posted by wildblueheron on May 3, 2013 at 10:54 PM · Report this
72
@55 again ... Your statement is so ironic to me because what you describe is almost verbatim a description of FNB, its tactics, purpose, and goals. An organization that has existed for twenty years with the very intent of provoking discussions about militarism and the military industrial complex and how governments divert nearly all of their resources to invading and killing rather than feeding the most vulnerable populations. An extremely successful long term anarchist project. Exactly what you just described... Except the hot meals are in parks not in front of grocery stores. A kind of temporary "reclaiming" of government "property" if you will.
Posted by wildblueheron on May 3, 2013 at 11:27 PM · Report this
Fnarf 73
@65, you are a lying sack of shit.

The thugs who attack our city every year placed rocks and bricks along the route to pick up and throw later. That's premeditation. One girl showed up with her bike panniers full of rocks. They threw rocks and bottles at both police and bystanders; one woman attempting to drive through the scene had a glass bottle thrown deliberately at her that shattered her car window. Most of the people arrested have lengthy prior violent records. Violence against people, not just buildings. The WHOLE POINT of this escapade is violence.

Were these "people" anarchists? Were they "Black Bloc"? Who gives a shit? They're yours, they're at your bullshit march every year. You own them. They are you. Nothing about this is random; no one was surprised. The exact same thing is going to happen again next year.

Fuck you very, very much.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 4, 2013 at 1:44 AM · Report this
JensR 74
@73. I don't know if they are Masisamirror's, but I'll gladly claim them. Heap it on. Feel entitled and sad and huffy and betrayed and make some joke and then be a tad bit more upset. It's ok. It's my fault now that X happened.

You're welcome.
Posted by JensR http://ohyran.se on May 4, 2013 at 8:19 AM · Report this
75
@74

Thank you, it's a relief to finally see someone defending the radical left who is actually willing to take ownership of the rock-hurling and window-breaking.

Such a nice change from the cowardly attempts to blame those things on policemen.
Posted by robotslave on May 4, 2013 at 10:24 AM · Report this
76
Wait, so smashing up bills and sun liquor had nothing to do with the "real" anarchist, it must have been the cops or some punk kids...but smashing the windows of walgreens a block away, well that the anarchist will take credit for? Me thinks once you go into smashy smashy mode, you really don't discern small business from big business, you just see stuff to smash.
Posted by j2patter on May 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM · Report this
77
To everyone comparing the these black bloc assholes to the tea party assholes, there's one major difference. The tea party assholes protest in front of congresses people/senators, they attend political rallies and vote in large numbers. They have a relatively clear message (as hateful and horrible it is, it's easy for them to communicate what they want). So they have political power. The black bloc has no clear message, does nothing other then smash shit, and has no political power. The black bloc are worse then the Tea Party because they are children throwing a fit. They will never effect change or be taken seriously. If anything they only hurt left wing causes by making people sympathizes with who they attack.
Posted by j2patter on May 4, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 78
I wonder how many black bloc actually live in the neighborhood they shit up versus busing in from the surrounding suburbs and nowheresvilles.

Blah blah I have plenty of activist-anarchist friends who aren't this douchey blah.
Posted by undead ayn rand on May 4, 2013 at 5:18 PM · Report this
79
That wasn't a Black Blocc you fucking clowns. Do your homework before you start twating off.
Posted by RxOxC on May 4, 2013 at 7:53 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 80
@79: Ha ha ha of course, because there's a hierarchical structure and you didn't allow them in?

You could at least spell "bloc" correctly, seeing as that's the name of the group (whether it's an official "group" or a loosely associated number of persons with a similar agenda and tactics.)
Posted by undead ayn rand on May 4, 2013 at 9:49 PM · Report this
lauramae 81
How about not breaking the windows in the first place? I don't really care what kind of feel good measure anarchists offer up to support the businesses they fucked up in the first place, or the original message they successfully obscured by their selfish, privileged actions.

What right do you have to break any fucking window? What right do you have to take the message others have and make it about you? Who are you anyway? Nobody. you are all worthless nobodies.
Posted by lauramae on May 6, 2013 at 7:36 PM · Report this
82
wow lauramea^ go fuck yourself :) Iv done tours to Iraq and Afghanistan iv supported this country to the fucking up most. if you don't support decent than you are the un-patriotic no-body helping to decay our constitution. I have all the fucking right as a human being to break any fucking window I want sure I might pay for it in a jail sentence or a large cash fine but I can still do whatever the fuck I want its called free will. selfish I see letting corporate giants come destroy local economy, and put family members our of a job ultimately losing their homes, to me sounds pretty damn selfish. now on the other hand destroying a corporate giant and pausing the decay of you community, going to jail or prison for the benefit of your community sound pretty fucking selfless, you fucking nitwit. I live my fucking life by the act of selfless service. I hope someone cuts your tounge out, pokes your eyes out, and chops you fingers off so you my friend can never spew your hatred and try and deter the act of patriotism, and impose fear and depression on individuals.
Posted by apatriotforusa on May 7, 2013 at 9:57 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 83
@81: "How about not breaking the windows in the first place?"

You should tell that to the persons who broke the windows, not the persons paying to fix them up. Two separate crowds.

@82: Eesh, dumb comments and insults do not deserve that response either.
Posted by undead ayn rand on May 8, 2013 at 12:16 PM · Report this

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