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+1 vote
I see videos all the time and could someone explain to me what it means? Black Bloc/Antifa, etc ? I see videos online where they would protest and suddenly the police would attack them and then they would break windows or light stuff on fire, etc. I'm still new to studying anarchism so could someone explain to me what these anarchists are trying to achieve? Is this a form of direct action, protest, revolution?

2 Answers

+1 vote
depends on the riot, and it depends on the anarchist. some anarchists are trying to draw attention to something that is wrong with the society/culture. other anarchists are expressing rage with no particular longer-lasting goal in mind. anarchists don't only (or even mostly) exist in relationship to the police or to street actions (riots, protests, etc).

if you have a specific riot in mind, we could go into more detail about the issues involved.

black bloc is a tactic of dressing similarly (in black) so that it's harder for the police to tell who has done what. anarchists made it a thing in the u.s., but anyone can black bloc.
antifa is mostly a loosely affiliated group of people who believe that fascism is a big threat and that it needs to be explicitly and massively confronted in all its nascent and not-so-nascent forms. antifa doesn't necessarily have anything to do with anarchists, although at the moment many anarchists are involved in antifa.
by (53.1k points)
+3 votes
Attack is the political position many anarchists come from.

What attack looks like looks different in different situations. I don't want to go in depth into this related to this question, but I do want to say that attack is not just smashy. Smashy is fun and beautiful, but smashy alone does not make attack, and Attack is not limited to the obvious examples of breaking shit and fighting cops.

As to your (anonymous asker) question, I would agree with dot that the particulars are important in that sometimes there is a police riot: the people are demonstrating and then the cops attack and the people break shit/fight back. But there are also offensive actions. Not going in to specifics, I can think of several things I have gone to where I knew the intention would be to escalate tension and use that as a moment.

The moments I am talking about is what the insurrectos would refer to as ruptures. Places where a tear in the fabric of social cohesion occur. These tears aren't dependent on smashy, in fact, they happen all the time without such. Smashy is a spectacular example of the rupture, and it is an easy way to demonstrate how anti- you are, and it is attacking things we hate (even if those things are just widows), and it is cathartic. Also, given the situation you describe, where the cops attack first, why not destroy as much as possible?

Personally, I am more interested in barricades against the cops and such, but I am glad that some of my friends are less reactionary and look towards opening more space from the confines of window displays.
by (22.1k points)
edited by