Black Bloc Action in Guelph

Guelph comrades stand in solidarity with the Black Block…

Personally, i feel kind of unconditionally that the Black Block’s activities in Toronto recently were legitimate, regardless of follow up. But in terms of political efficacy, in terms of being “successful” or not, all our activities are vindicated (or not) based on what we and others do next. How we exploit the opening for discussions, conversations, arguments. Burning cop cars are good in and of themselves, but they are truly great when they’re a part of a long-term dynamic that entices people to break with the system.

As part of that process, these comrades have made a nice contribution:

(from Toronto Media Co-op)

Militant Black Bloc Action in Guelph.

by Sense of Security

Thursday July 22, 2010
Guelph, Ontario


Despite the current climate of fear tactics, arrests and police intimidation, a group of people in support of those arrested for Black Bloc related charges engaged in direct action which demonstrated the radical spirit of the Black Bloc: handing out sandwiches.

Two people with bandannas covering their faces and clothed in black held a black banner with colorful letters reading “Solidarity Means a Snack” while a number of others, similarly dressed, gave out free food to local downtown residents and bystanders, many of whom stopped to talk and discuss the issues raised by the G20 protests and subsequent crackdowns on activists.

Members of Guelph’s Sense of Security (SOS), a grassroots community organization that provides food, shelter and advocacy for people in need chose to stand in support of the G20 political prisoners in spite of the ongoing repression. “This is a militant Black Bloc action, and we are here in support of people arrested for Black Bloc related charges during the G20. We’re doing this today to show that people who confronted capitalism in the streets are doing it day in and day out in their local communities: serving food, doing needle exchanges, doing harm reduction programs, outreach, advocating, providing food and shelter.”

Far from being a public relations stunt or an attempt to polish their image, they were happy to explain the political reasons behind their actions: “We’re not here saying ‘this is what the Black Bloc should be doing. The point is that this is what the Black Bloc does. The idea that what happened on the 26th was random or non-political is inaccurate bullshit. The word ‘radical’ comes from the Latin ‘radix’, which means ‘root’, and the heart of the Black Bloc is going to the root of what causes poverty: colonialism and capitalism. What people saw during the G20 happens every day on our streets to poor people, people of color, indigenous people, any marginalized community: the reality is that the intent of the so-called ‘justice system’ has nothing to do with justice, that the police don’t serve the people, they brutalize, violate and terrorize with impunity. So, really, who are the real ‘criminal extremists’ here?”

Talking with community members, the SOS and allies found that the majority of people who came up to chat with them were not intimidated by their anonymity. Several related stories of experiences in their home countries and expressed their lost faith in having immigrated to a “free” country, only to find the same old repressive state violence in action. Meanwhile, a heavy police presence was maintained and all downtown public transit was re-routed outside of the streets where the action was taking place, despite the fact that the Guelph SOS serves food on a regular basis in the square, and that no confrontations took place.
In the words of one woman, her face hidden by a pink and black bandanna: “Police violence, criminalizing political and social movements, these aren’t novelties that just magically appeared on June 24th-27th and then disappeared. This is street level reality and it happens every day. And every day, people who believe another world is possible are working, organizing, dreaming and fighting in a diversity of ways to cultivate those movements.”

Their faces may be hidden, but the message is clear: if the billions of dollars wasted during the G20 were intended to scapegoat us into fearful silence, then every cent was a drop in a sea of total failure.

Sandwiches, anyone?


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