Anarchist site Crimethinc says the real problem with Trump is the problem with governments in general, too much centralized power. When the president is someone low-key like Obama, the problems of too much power in one place are less obvious than when a loose cannon like Trump takes power.
Crimethinc has a useful guide to J20 (and beyond) protesting, with smart thoughts about Blocs, black and otherwise. Smashing a Starbucks window for freedom is indeed pointless. However the direct action tactics of a Bloc have succeeded in the past, primarily because the target was focused.
…is that anyone could wield so much power in the first place. A man like Donald Trump could never be so dangerous if government and the market didn’t concentrate power in the hands of a ruling class.
Putting another party in power won’t fix this. All the faith invested in Obama’s promises of Hope and Change just legitimized the government long enough for a more ruthless tyrant to take the reins. All the taxes paid by hopeful citizens just put more bullets in the guns of the police that will go on profiling, imprisoning, deporting, and murdering people under Donald Trump.
We have to stop ceding our strength to these institutions. Instead, let’s build networks to meet our needs directly and defend ourselves against everyone who wants to rule us. The only way to freedom and equality is through self-determination, mutual aid, and collective resistance.
On the inept Black Bloc today and how blocs like the Boston Tea Party did succeed
You may have heard of the notorious Black Bloc, a venerable, if not doddering, anarchist tradition in which a mass of direct action enthusiasts gather, all wearing black clothing and masks, and engage in some level of illegal activity. This tactic has won some famous victories in the past couple decades, and failed utterly more times than anyone can count, too. The specific cultural characteristics that are associated with the Black Bloc tactic today can make it easy to overlook the long history of the Bloc tactic and the wide variety of applications for which it can be used. The Boston Tea Party, for example, was a perfect example of a Bloc at work: the participants organized secretly, wore matching disguises (though their choice to costume themselves as “Indians” wasn’t exactly politically correct), and engaged in a mass act of provocative property destruction; presumably their strategies for communication and mutual defense weren’t much different from those used by the famous Black Blocs that, a couple hundred years later, attacked similarly noxious coffee corporations in Seattle. Those who practice direct action would do well to keep in mind the wide range of scenarios in which a version of the Bloc approach can be useful.