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Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC

News ArchiveOn “Labor Day” 2008, and throughout the Republican National Convention (RNC), tens of thousands of people from our community and from across the Unites States will protest against the GOP’s pro-corporate policies of war and discrimination. The Anti-Capitalist Bloc will join these mobilizations not just to protest a bad president or failed policies, but to stand up against the whole system of exploitation and oppression. A Call for an Anti-Capitalist Bloc (Red & Black Bloc) at the RNC Protests
September, 2008 * Twin Cities, Minnesota * anticapbloc@iww.org

On “Labor Day” 2008, and throughout the Republican National Convention
(RNC), tens of thousands of people from our community and from across the
Unites States will protest against the GOP’s pro-corporate policies of war
and discrimination. The Anti-Capitalist Bloc will join these
mobilizations not just to protest a bad president or failed policies, but
to stand up against the whole capitalist system of exploitation and oppression.

It is the inherent character of capitalism that is creating the current
economic crisis. Tens of thousands of laid-off workers, thousands of
homes in foreclosure, and quickening inflation of gas and food prices are
all signs of a system out of control, a system where the sins of the
bosses are visited on the masses of workers.

Capitalism needs wars and exploitation to maintain itself. The war in
Iraq was not simply a blunder by W., but the extension of a long-term
strategy of U.S. domination of that region. The forced displacement of
the poor of New Orleans is a new episode in an old legacy of racist
subjugation. The recent raids against immigrant workers show the
insidious connection between racism, and the system’s needs for a low
waged precarious workforce. Continued oppression of women and the hatred
whipped up against the GLBT community are designed to reinforce an
authoritarian patriarchal culture.

Not a conspiracy or mistaken policy, capitalism is a system in which a
small ruling class profits from the labor of the working class majority.
The stolen wealth is used to dominate the political system (including both
major political parties), and finance a massive apparatus of repression,
cooptation and division necessary to maintain capitalist rule. While the
earth warms, and bridges collapse, the capitalists continue to do whatever
is necessary to increase their profits. To defeat their attacks we must
defeat their entire system.

The Anti-Capitalist Bloc stands for solidarity, direct action, the general
strike and revolution. We advocate an economic system controlled
collectively and democratically, and an end to the racism, sexism and
violence of the capitalist system.

Is this a black bloc like in Seattle?
No. While remaining tactically flexible, our goal is not a confrontation
with the police, but to raise the profile of organized working class
direct action against capitalism. The Anti-Capitalist Bloc is independent
from, but not competitive with or hostile to the RNC Welcoming Committee.

Join Us Under the Red & Black flags of the Anti-Capitalist Bloc!


Tentative schedule of Anti-Capitalist Bloc events:

*Saturday Night August 30th
CONCERT
Bands and DJ’s TBA

*Sunday Afternoon August 31st
DAY of ACTION AGAINST PRECARITY:
SOLIDARITY with I.W.W. IU640 ORGANIZING!

*Monday September 1st “Labor Day”
ANTI-CAPITALIST BLOC in major march against the war

*Tuesday morning September 2nd
Anti-Capitalist Bloc Panel Discussion

*Tuesday afternoon September 2nd
ANTI-CAPITALIST BLOC in POOR PEOPLE’s MARCH
also
*Solidarity with Independent Truckers Actions


To endorse the Anti-Capitalist Bloc, or to get more information:

anticapbloc@iww.org or 612-339-1266.


Initial Endorsements:

Twin Cities General Membership Branch
Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.)
TwinCities@iww.org * 612-339-1266

Macalester College chapter
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
macpeace.justice@gmail.com

Solidarity & Defense
P.O.Box 15024 Detroit MI 48215
sd@riseup.net * solidarityanddefense.blogspot.com
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Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC | 27 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: sweet tea on Wednesday, July 16 2008 @ 10:12 PM CDT
questions....how does this anti cap bloc play into the direct action strategy of blockading during/after the march? is this just for during the antiwar march or is the idea that this becomes an bloc for the rest of the day? does the thing about this not being a "black bloc" answer that question?
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Kdog on Thursday, July 17 2008 @ 03:20 AM CDT
Thanks for the questions sweet tea.

We say "The Anti-Capitalist Bloc is independent from, but not competitive with or hostile to the RNC Welcoming Committee."

Some folks coming out to the Bloc actions might take part in the blockades, others won't. I assume that will be true of the blockaders coming to Anti-Capitalist Bloc actions and events as well.

Our goal is to "raise the profile of organized working class direct action against capitalism."

Solidarity,

K.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 17 2008 @ 05:01 AM CDT
with that esoteric nonsense i think they meant they are calling for an organized anti-capitalist bloc (but NOT a black bloc/vandalism contingent) within the anti-war march in order to be more visible *as anti-capitalists* in the sea of anti-war liberals.

before and after the march i assume/hope people will be doing other things. perhaps the anti-cap contingent can go where help is needed with the blockades after the march.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Kdog on Thursday, July 17 2008 @ 12:58 PM CDT
our statement is straightforward, comrade.

we are an independent project with independent - but hopefully complimentary - goals as those of you who are coming to town to implement the blockade strategy. we wish you good luck, and undoubtedly some militants responding to our Call will join you at the barricades.

we are also hopeful that many comrades coming to town based on the hard work of the RNC Welcoming Committee will join not only the Ant-Capitalist Blocs in the big marches but also the Sunday action in support of IWW workers organizing on the job, the Tuesday action in support of Truckers, and the anti-capitalist panel that tries to keep the dialogue going between organizers on different fronts.

Solidarity,

K.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: northsidenick on Thursday, July 17 2008 @ 02:27 PM CDT
I am a twin citian who is familiar with the work of the Welcoming Committee and folks in the IWW/ACB. The WC had reached out to radicals and offered organizing space from the beginning to shape the nature of the day. It is disingenuous to do no little or no work around the convention locally and then expect people to leave the blockading plan behind and join your march.

You say "our goal is not a confrontation with the police" which is not the WC or others' goal either. To parrot the media's image and message around the crash the convention call shows little respect for the WC's organizing and no understanding of what work has been done by them. Why not "show the power of the working class" by being a mobile bloc as part of a large, well thought out and historic plan of action?

So the largest mass demo in recent memory is going to be taking place and the ACB will be content marching?

Personally I'll be fishing up north that day, but I never pretended to play radical in the first place.

Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Pathology on Thursday, July 17 2008 @ 03:07 PM CDT
I think this is more related to public image of radicals in general, to give people an image behind the black masks, and I think that this contingent will help the infopoints to gather other would-be participants to join in the afternoon actions. I think it's a very good idea, since there should be a safe place during the march where people can come and go to get connected to what's up for the day (especially since all kinds of police and SS plans will be changing up to the last minute)
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 17 2008 @ 04:33 PM CDT
i agree with your assessment 'Pathology.' i think this contingent will provide a public image and face behind the masks and blockades tothe marchers, and will probably also act as a jump-off point to go assist blockades as a group after the march is over. i think it's a good idea.

i will also be fishing up north on these days though.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: HPWombat on Friday, July 18 2008 @ 03:11 PM CDT
Hey Pathology!

How are black blocs "safe places"? They are often infiltrated by the police and prone to receiving violence from the police. Its a place to gather, but come on! Why are we throwing this "safe" word around anyway. Anarchists exist in an unsafe world and the concept of being anti-authoritarian is placing ourselves in the opposition to authority, which is always going to have eruptions of repression and violence if we are doing it right.

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Towards a more critical discussion http://midwest.azone.org/forum/23
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 20 2008 @ 02:06 AM CDT
NO. Pathology was saying that the ACB in the *anti-war march* will be a safe place, where illegal things will most likely not be happening, where there will NOT be a black bloc, just an anarchist contingent walking together in the march to be more visible as anarchists.

your misunderstanding is exactly what i think people were getting at about this call to action in the first place.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: HPWombat on Wednesday, July 23 2008 @ 11:17 AM CDT
community control, a bloc is a bloc. People have been claiming their "black bloc" is an "anti-capitalist" or "anti-imperialist" or "anti-globalist" bloc for a long time. If you want to argue about how pure they interpret the tactic, that's up to you. Any call for a bloc is different from a call for an "anarchist contingent" because anonymous action is still capable. In Ohio, our calls for blocs for years ment where dark hoodies (not necessarily black) and dark clothes. The same effect of a "black" bloc", same tactic purposes. If "black bloc" is only pure, then I've never participated in a black bloc, even at the height of the anti-global. I'll assume you aren't wanting a homogeneous black bloc, just a tactic one and if this bloc is like any previous, it can be classified as a "black bloc".

Secondly, Pathology is the one that said "safe place". I was questioning the logic of using this term in the way s/he used it. Its not safe before, during or after. People get arrested prior to protests and afterwards, including blocs. I was hoping that Pathology could explain how they wanted to use the term.

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Towards a more critical discussion http://midwest.azone.org/forum/23
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: CaseyFord on Wednesday, July 23 2008 @ 12:27 PM CDT
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bloc
2 a: a combination of persons, groups, or nations forming a unit with a common interest or purpose

This is just meant to be a space for anarchists to walk around together during the march with black flags and banners with messages. It's not the kind of bloc you are thinking of. It's not a tactic, it's simply a grouping of anarchists. They aren't going to be doing anything that the liberals in the march are doing besides being anarchists.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: HPWombat on Wednesday, July 23 2008 @ 12:41 PM CDT
Is that what bloc means to anarchists or to Webster? I get the jist that this isn't a tactical "bloc". It seems like a "for lack of a better word" bloc, since we're referencing webster rather than our own ideas on what we mean.

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Towards a more critical discussion http://midwest.azone.org/forum/23
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Perica on Thursday, July 17 2008 @ 06:09 PM CDT
"Is this a black bloc like in Seattle?
No. While remaining tactically flexible, our goal is not a confrontation
with the police, but to raise the profile of organized working class
direct action against capitalism. The Anti-Capitalist Bloc is independent
from, but not competitive with or hostile to the RNC Welcoming Committee."

The Black Bloc in Seattle did not confront police, they actively avoided confrontations with the police. It is very frustrating to see anti-capitalists spreading the lies of the mainstream media and government here, and I wonder if it signifies ignorance and/or malice of the organizing groups in 2008.

If you have somehow never read the Black Bloc Communioque from Seattle, its available here:
http://www.geocities.com/kk_abacus/ACME.html
and I think on Infoshop somewhere too.


A couple relevant passages:

"The black bloc was a loosely organized cluster of affinity groups and individuals who roamed around downtown, pulled this way by a vulnerable and significant storefront and that way by the sight of a police formation. Unlike the vast majority of activists who were pepper-sprayed, tear-gassed and shot at with rubber bullets on several occasions, most of our section of the black bloc escaped serious injury by remaining constantly in motion and avoiding engagement with the police. "


TEN MYTHS ABOUT THE BLACK BLOC

4. "They escalated situations on the 30th, leading to the tear-gassing of passive, non-violent protesters." To answer this, we need only note that tear-gassing, pepper-spraying and the shooting of rubber bullets all began before the black blocs (as far as we know) started engaging in property destruction. In addition, we must resist the tendency to establish a causal relationship between police repression and protest in any form, whether it involved property destruction or not. The police are charged with protecting the interests of the wealthy few and the blame for the violence cannot be placed upon those who protest those interests.


5. Conversely: "They acted in response to the police repression." While this might be a more positive representation of the black bloc, it is nevertheless false. We refuse to be misconstrued as a purely reactionary force. While the logic of the black bloc may not make sense to some, it is in any case a pro-active logic.

7. "They just want to fight." This is pretty absurd, and it conveniently ignores the eagerness of "peace police" to fight us. Of all the groups engaging in direct action, the black bloc was perhaps the least interested in engaging the authorities and we certainly had no interest in fighting with other anti-WTO activists (despite some rather strong disagreements over tactics).
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: clicketyclack on Friday, July 18 2008 @ 04:09 AM CDT
And don't forget about these folks, folks.

http://www.msp2008.com/donors
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Pathology on Friday, July 18 2008 @ 07:59 AM CDT
SEIU is sponsoring the RNC !?!?! Will they also be marching against it..?
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 18 2008 @ 01:05 PM CDT
i guess this explains why i saw Office Depot selling the "faith of my fathers" john mccain autobiography DVD when i was there copying lit.

man, that's a ton of companies. fuck all of them. they are funding the people directly responsible for so much terror and misery.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: clicketyclack on Friday, July 18 2008 @ 05:28 PM CDT
they're capitalists. they're not really any worse just because they're OFFICIALLY sponsoring the convention. if they were sponsoring the DNC, or a "sustainability" convention, they'd be causing just as much harm to the planet and the people they exploit.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 20 2008 @ 02:18 AM CDT
actually, if no one funded the GOP it wouldn't exist as a viable party and the most heinous of the capitalist party policies wouldn't be implemented the way they have under Bush. I don't think a democrat would've invaded Iraq, being the main difference.

to ignore that there IS differences, however slight they may be, just makes us look politically uninformed and foolish, because politically aware people in the US know about the most minor of differences between the parties, because it's all the parties and the media talk about, which makes the differences seem larger than they are, which is the point i think you are trying to make. but to deny that there is ANY difference will just come off as ignorant to most people.

i think comparing the 2 parties' positions with other nations' positions, or with an anarchist vision of how the world could be, serves perfectly well to show how similar they are without seeming ignorant, and to show what a real substantial difference in position looks like.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: clicketyclack on Tuesday, July 22 2008 @ 06:02 PM CDT
wow, you wanna talk about being politically uninformed? Have you ever heard of Bill Clinton? He invaded Iraq. Bombed it nearly every day from December 1998 until he left office. Ever heard of Lyndon Johnson? Vietnam? Harry Truman? Hiroshima? All Democrats and their victims. How about all the Democrat members of Congress that gave Bush the (De Jure) right to invade Iraq and Afghanistan? The Democrats are a capitalist party and are just as supportive of Office Depot or 3M's right to destroy the planet as the GOP is. Did you know that during Clintons terms logging of forests actually escalated?
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 22 2008 @ 07:05 PM CDT
wow, you wanna talk about being politically uninformed? Have you ever heard of Bill Clinton? He invaded Iraq. Bombed it nearly every day from December 1998 until he left office. Ever heard of Lyndon Johnson? Vietnam? Harry Truman? Hiroshima? All Democrats and their victims. How about all the Democrat members of Congress that gave Bush the (De Jure) right to invade Iraq and Afghanistan? The Democrats are a capitalist party and are just as supportive of Office Depot or 3M's right to destroy the planet as the GOP is. Did you know that during Clintons terms logging of forests actually escalated?

bill clinton bombed, not invaded, iraq. there is a difference. that is what i was saying, the differences are slight, but they exist, and to refuse to acknowledge them looks uninformed.

when i said "the capitalist party" i was talking about both parties as one entity. they both enact the capitalist party policies.

i know they are essentially the same, but alot of non-anarchists don't think that. they know about all the tiny differences and can point to them and say, "see, they are different." to not acknowledge those differences because we are trying to say they are insignificant is erroneous and looks uninformed.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: clicketyclack on Tuesday, July 22 2008 @ 08:04 PM CDT
what i was trying to point out, was that it seemed you were implying that these companies are all bad BECAUSE they support the RNC. But they are bad because they are capitalist mega-corporations, not because of minor details in their politics. and as anarchists, we should be pointing out to people that it isn't just the Republicans that are killing the planet and ourselves. it is the whole damn system, and pointing out minor differences between the two parties is political pandering that will get us nowhere.
WSA endorses Anti-Capitalist Bloc
Authored by: Kdog on Saturday, July 19 2008 @ 04:35 PM CDT
WSA endorses Anti-Capitalist Bloc

Workers Solidarity Alliance (WSA)
wsany@hotmail.com * www.workersolidarity.org

More to Come!
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: femin(A)zi on Monday, July 21 2008 @ 04:20 PM CDT
the anarchist fascination with marching with liberals is beyond belief.

how has this tactic (and i use this term loosely) panned out for us? in recent years, what has been gained by having a contingent in these ridiculous marches?

by continuing to do the same things and each time somehow expecting a different result means that we are either insane or have no real interest in confronting the system.

probably both.

oh, and as has already been mentioned by another poster-- the goal of the black bloc in seattle was not to confront the police. the black bloc in seattle is one of the main reasons (not the only one) that n30 became such a watershed event and inspired hundreds if not thousands in the united states to become involved in the anti-globalization movement, and certainly pushed *everyone* towards more anarchistic modes of organizing. i do not think contingents in liberal marches can say the same.

and one more thing--to be black and red, you need to have an analysis about the state. it's not just capitalism, comrade.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 23 2008 @ 04:16 AM CDT
i think you are bring harsh. there needs to be a space like this for anarchists who are un-arrestable to gather and still have a collective presence, instead of marching as isolated individuals, making people think there is no anarchists at the march. it's not really a matter of whether it is "effective" or not. its a place anarchists here illegally, single parents who have small kids to take care of, people who for whatever reason would feel more comfortable in a legal march, but still want to be identified as and march as anarchists. nothing wrong with that.

and afterwards, maybe some folks form there will join the blockades, and perhaps they'll even bring along others who gravitate towards the anarchists during the march, looking for more action then the march will provide.
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: HPWombat on Wednesday, July 23 2008 @ 11:29 AM CDT
All this talk of safety and fear of being arrested? How does this help promote anything other than how anarchists and "workers" should participate with the spectacles of the left? I don't see how this is anything more than a promotion of "hey, we were here too!" with the language used. Why should we care how the left organizes?

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Towards a more critical discussion http://midwest.azone.org/forum/23
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: generaluser on Thursday, July 24 2008 @ 08:44 PM CDT
What boring shit. Seriously, why the hell are people traveling across the country, to just march around with liberals? I have at least 5 opportunities to do that per month (Even WITH a black flag, whoo! Exciting!).

I will be seriously fucking disappointed if people come to our Twin Cities and march around in legal safe spaces. I don't know if you've noticed recently, but the United States has a piss-poor record in recent history of standing up to the state and mounting attacks on capital. This is an opportunity and you tourists better take it. We want you to destroy our city. Don't worry about any "non-violent" guidelines, pleas to keep spaces safe for children, respect for the humanity of the police, or the sanctity of any of our "community connections" that might be "jeopardized" by angry mobs of beautiful people causing sexy and necessary destruction. Do not seek connections with liberal or "activist" groups, they are running in a hampster wheel that will never take you anywhere. This is war (if you want it), so start preparing if you haven't already.

Come on Twin Cities, put Genoa to shame! This time we go all the way!

Hopefully coming to a town near you: http://www.wsm.ie/attachments/jan2007/bbgenoa.jpg
Anti-Capitalist Bloc @t the RNC
Authored by: finne on Friday, July 25 2008 @ 12:12 AM CDT
"Many people died in Shatila, and my friendship for them, my affection for their rotting corpses was great also because I had known them. Blackened, swollen, rotted by the sun and by death, they remained fedayeen."