[Marxism] [Pen-l] An analysis of the G20 protest and the black bloc

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jul 2 18:27:24 MDT 2010

Joseph Catron wrote:
> As odd as it feels to have this very 2001 exchange in 2010, I really don't
> understand this strange aversion to militancy on your and Louis' part - or
> why, in the context of the Quebec fence action, you both maintain an
> ahistorical obsession with a group which played a minor role in it. Is it
> just because you dislike their politics? I mean, if it had been all trade
> unionists and no anarchists pulling it down, would you have been happy with
> it then? Surely neither of you object when similar events occur in the
> Global South.

My approach to force and violence is informed by the concept of 
defensive formulation. For example the Bolsheviks seized power in 
October 1917 to defend Soviet legality not to "smash the Czarist state". 
When Malcolm X was asked if he favored violence, he said no. He only 
advocated that Black people defend themselves against the criminal 
violence of white racists.

In Peter Camejo's "North Star" there is a very useful chapter on the 
battle of Telegraph Avenue in 1968 that led to Peter being arrested for 
conspiracy charges. The movement in Berkeley wanted to hold a protest in 
solidarity with the French workers and students. When the city refused 
to permit it, the left held the rally anyhow and used barricades and 
force to defend their free speech rights.

I am afraid that this distinction might be lost on some comrades, but my 
advice is to read Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution for a 
better understanding especially since it is online.


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