To and regarding the violent actions of the Black Bloc, Anarchists and others on the evening of Wednesday November 2.
I will generously estimate your numbers at 200.
The general strike succeeded through the combined efforts and involvement of 5-10,000 citizens.
This means that 2-4% of our population was responsible for 100% of the damage… And 80% of the long-term news coverage.
a) This is a great victory for the cause of getting mainstream media attention.
b) this is a malicious and self-righteous appropriation of the cause for short sighted actions – actions which alienate the public, thereby undermining our movement.
These actions do not awaken the population to the justice of our cause.
They merely appeal to the primal frustrations of a people who see no other recourse than to lash out and destroy. When they are prevented from living in the world they desire, they attempt to clear the canvas through the shattering of windows, and the spraying of slogans. Broken glass must be cleaned up for safety. And sloppy slogans will just be scrubbed off. The lasting impact is a minor financial hit against the corporations and banks affected – and a major blow to the public relations of a movement.
In a day of action that is functionally devoid of police presence, we had the opportunity to demonstrate the type of people we could be – when freed from rules, oppression, and external mandates. The vast majority of the protestors showed a spontaneously benevolent, just, and festive society – with union leaders and everyday citizens directing traffic, guiding marches, and looking out for one another. While the other few, the violent few, showed that: in the face of no oppression… in the face of no antagonists… THEY would take matters into their own hands, and become the bullies against “the system”. That they would lash out at outposts of corporations, breaking windows and spraypainting in a symbolic gesture, The effect: it encourages the public at large to believe that they (and WE) could not be trusted. That the protest needs policing. That the movement and the people of the world need watchdogs.
You proved the very opposite of your intention.
It worked so effectively, against your cause and ours, that it may as well be orchestrated by governmental provocateurs, but I am (for better and worse) willing to believe that it was really just you. So I take issue with you.
What the public believes about the protesters affects me. And it affects us. And it is irresponsible and absolutely offensive that a few would seek to paint me in all-black. To paint me violent. To paint us all with a mark of aggression.
WE HERE TODAY, are NOT enough. We do NOT have the numbers to remake policy. We have the numbers to recruit. And to recruit, and to recruit. Until there is no stopping us.
200 people in black, breaking a few windows in the middle of the night… is not enough to create a mandate of positive public opinion.
The new public opinion is: This is not what the people want to sign up for.
And you, through your choices – actively keep us from recruiting the numbers which we need to achieve justice.
To those who advocate violence: I believe that you want justice. I know that you want justice, because you have a burning and overflowing visceral need to find it – by any means necessary. But when you stoop to the level of bullies, enforcers and antagonists – you Become UNJUST.
If it takes injustice to achieve an end – I do not want that end. That is what we are marching against. If you can not reflect on yourself, and make JUST decisions to achieve your end – do not take that out on US.
I will not hide behind a mask, and I will not stoop to violence. I understand full well the repercussions of showing my identity and face in a movement that goes against the status quo. If I can not take ownership over my beliefs, then it shows that my life is more driven by the fear of oppression, than by the belief in truth, beauty and justice.
I, Nicholas Strubbe, am a member of the 99%. I do not speak for all, and I ask you not to speak for me through violence, vandalism, or V for Vendetta masks.
Keep your ways if they feel true – but know that your choices affect me. And you need to own that. Then you’ll know what’s right.