Bastards of Utopia

A remixable Documentary

Three-Day Riot

The night before the Thessaloniki Summit protests begin, Jelena, Dado, and Fistra meet with their affinity group to discuss tactics, including the benefits and risks of rioting. Read More

The globalization movement invites a wide array of social actors, some espousing nonviolent protest techniques and others, such as the “Black Bloc” protesters, engaging in direct confrontation with state security forces.

Jamie Cross explains how the term Black Bloc, often associated with rioting at protests, has different connotations for different groups of people.  External observers and demonstrators use the term as a convenient noun that identifies a militant group of people within the broad based globalization movement.  For movement activists, Black Bloc is not an association but a protest tactic.  It is an uncoordinated but collective means of direct action against police and property, understood respectively as symbols of capital and the state.

He also suggests that to understand their (Black Bloc) actions as violent requires them to be seen as somehow illegitimate.  Property destruction is a form of protest embedded in anarchism as a political discourse.  The Anon Anarchist Action conceptualizes violence at protests by stating, “We think violence is too strong a word, it’s a word that should be reserved for our enemies.  We prefer to call it a confrontational approach, which means that we are prepared to confront the violence of the police and the violence of the system.”