[Marxism] Clay Claiborne on the black bloc

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Feb 7 17:34:30 MST 2012

Thanks for putting this up. I feel like piling on the black bloc now and 
getting them out of the occupy movement. They have done far more harm 
than good.

I was on the city liaison team for Occupy LA (hated by the black bloc) 
and helped to negotiate the arrangement by under which we were able to 
have a peaceful, legal encampment for 2 months on city hall park and get 
a resolution of support from the city council. The black bloc was always 
opposed to any such negotiation and arrangement, but that didn’t stop 
them from moving in once it had been obtained.

That first night, Oct. 1st, the city wanted us to move the tents to the 
sidewalk between 10:30p and 6:00a to comply with park laws. Since our 
forces were still limited, the GA voted to comply for now. It was a 
tactical decision. I said at the time that once we had a couple hundred 
tents we could do differently and we did. The black bloc disagreed. It 
was a question of “principle.” Please preserve us from such 
“principles.” When security insisted, they tried to have security 
disbanded, saying we didn’t need “police” in the movement. Later they 
refused to move their tents to make room for a farmer’s market that 
happened every Thursday on city hall park. Still the city was 
accommodating, moving the farmers market across the street for 7 weeks 
even though the vendors complained they were losing money. (Are farmer’s 
market vendors a part of the 1%?)

I tried to teach these young “radicals”, using the experience of “legal” 
Marxist in Russia, that such compromise and the peace it allowed with 
the city would allow for a tremendous growth of Occupy LA in a very 
short time, and it did. Within the first month we had over 400 tents, 
500 occupiers staying over night, many more during the day and the 
largest encampment in the country.

If the black bloc had had their way, there never would have been a legal 
encampment in Los Angeles, because they certainly weren’t going talk to 
police or city official to make it happen. If they had their way that 
first night, it most likely would have been scuttled that 1st night. I 
told them that first night. “You want to keep your tents on the grass? 
You want to make park laws the issue? Diversity of tactics? Fine! Los 
Angeles has many fine parks. You want to do that just pick another park 
and you’ll have our blessing.” They didn’t go anywhere.

Why? Because they are a parasite. They are a cancer. They need a host to 
survive and that host today is the occupy movement. Before the 
encampment and the city liaison team was undermined and overthrown by 
their continuous assaults, the city’s time table did have us entirely 
off of city park property until Jan. 31. That was the city’s time table, 
still open to negotiation.

I have written much more on the eviction of Occupy LA and the role of 
these “radicals” in “helping us out.”


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