I don’t recall Chris Hedges being voted Moral Compass of Occupy, do you? Yet his temper tantrum in Truthdig implies just that. He knows what is best for the movement and it sure isn’t those icky Black Bloc anarchists. Yes, I think the Black Bloc are often misguided. But saying Occupy’s problems are due to them is simply not true. He also seems to think that lying around passively waiting to get your head cracked is a fine strategy indeed. To me, this seems almost as pointless as tossing a rock through a Starbucks window.
There’s a cancer in Occupy, says Hedges, blaming the Black Bloc.
The presence of Black Bloc anarchists—so named because they dress in black, obscure their faces, move as a unified mass, seek physical confrontations with police and destroy property—is a gift from heaven to the security and surveillance state. The Occupy encampments in various cities were shut down precisely because they were nonviolent. They were shut down because the state realized the potential of their broad appeal even to those within the systems of power.
He almost seems to be saying if you fight back you might not get shut down but if you’re nonviolent you surely will. Well excuse me Chris, put what possible good is a movement that meekly waits to be shut down?
It doesn’t even make rational sense. For example, Hedges claims that violent police crackdowns on Occupy encampments came “precisely because they were nonviolent.”
And yet he and others make the contradictory claim that the police justified their violent crackdowns on Occupy encampments because of “the Black Bloc anarchists” and their supposed violence — which is patently false.
He attacks a writer for an anarchist journal that’s no longer published for criticizing the Zapatistas. He falsely asserts that Black Bloc is yet another of the innumerable Occupy Movement hijackers, yet he can point to no example of hijacking by Black Bloc — in a Movement that was founded by anarchists.
Anarchists are the ones who made the intellectual and initial physical space for there to even BE an Occupy Movement.
This is the crucial point. Occupy wasn’t started by Marxists (or the Democratic Party) operating through front groups. It came from anarchists, who exist in all shades and stripes, not just the Black Bloc. Marxists are mostly clueless about Occupy as are the Democrats. The standard attempts by both to jack a growing movement have failed. This is definitely a good thing.
Occupy is something new, a viral movement with no national leaders that has successfully resisted being jacked by the Democratic Party or the Marxist fringe. Sure, its’ got problems now but that’s hardly all due to the Black Bloc.