A History of the Black Bloc

2014, 14 mins

This week:

1. Madrid resists austerity
2. A History of the Black Bloc
3. Le Peuple de l’Herbe – Parler le fracas
4. Street fighting in Montréal

Download SD (108mb) * HD (545mb) * OGG (65mb) * Translate * Torrent * Vimeo

Further reading

Crowd Control & Riot Manual
Warrior Publications – 28 pages, letter – [ read PDF  |  booklet PDF ]

Security & Counter-Surveillance
Warrior Publications – 20 pages, letter – [ read PDF  |  booklet PDF ]

Practical Security Handbook for Activists & Campaigns
48 pages, letter – [ read PDF  |  booklet PDF ]

8 thoughts on “A History of the Black Bloc”

  1. Harley Thomas

    I’m a 60 yr. Old hippie…I’m so proud of you young people

  2. Pingback: Η ιστορία του Black Block Μέρος 1 – A history of the Black Bloc Part I | Mpalothia

  3. taan

    are you fucking kidding me, frank? gay sex as a symbol of decadent, immoral capitalist pigs? i know yr show is built on teenage boy humor that’s like 1 step away from being homophobic, and i usually appreciate this, but do u really have to take that last step? it’s fucking 2014, i’m sure you’re not ‘personally’ homophobic, but this hurts as much as if you mocked the police for being ‘faggots’ or something. i love & appreciate all yr work, but i have to say a big FUCK YOU for this.

  4. Hey taan! Thanks for bringing this up. First off all apologies if this offended you in any way. When I watched the music video the first time, I didn’t quite take away that what was happening was inherently homophobic, but more of the decadent way in which the pigs were interacting, while the help was invisibilized in the background. On the second viewing, I can see why this can be triggering and it’s definitely problematic. If I have the time I’ll try to contact the artist to see if they have a comment. I had a decent conversation with my roommate, who happens to be gay and while he was not bothered by the image he has some interesting analysis about it. I’ll nudge him to give his 2 cents. Thanks again for calling this out.

  5. thegayroommate

    …kay, so this what I think.

    The image is problematic, but it’s not necessarily homophobic. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was intentionally a homophobic thing, of course, because there’s unfortunately a lot of hip hop artists who have a “revolutionary” aesthetic are also homophobic fucks (like Immortal Technique). But I’ll assume good faith here, and besides, I think if it was an explicit effort to portray homosexuality as a bourgeois vice or some shit, it would be much more obvious. This is just one pig fucking another pig in the ass.

    So what renders it problematic is the presentation of things. Like, compare and contrast to “Eyes Wide Shut”, which also features the hyper rich engaged in all matter of decadence, specifically sexual decadence. In that movie, there are all sorts of rich people in masks having sex or being otherwise licentious with naked people in masks. Mostly the coupling is heterosexual, but there is also some gayness going on – just a little bit, but it’s there. So, whatever other problems exist with that movie, it isn’t portraying gayness as a particular bourgeois thing. Gayness is just one way that the hyper rich can be decadent or whatever.

    In this case, the only sexual licentiousness going on is of a gay nature. And, for me, that isn’t INHERENTLY a bad thing, but given the history on the macho left that has understood homosexuality as bourgeois vice (or even just male homosexuality specifically, as during the Spanish Civil War, where some anarchist newspapers argued that lesbianism was acceptable insofar as it helped to liberate women from femininity and allowed them to more fully participate in revolutionary activity, whereas male homosexuality would do the opposite), it is problematic to reproduce this narrative, even accidentally. It is something that should be addressed. I think it should actually be more fully addressed than just an apology and then a long comment from the gay roommate, but I will leave that to Frank to do what he thinks needs to be done.

    For the record, I wasn’t personally “bothered” (or triggered, or whatever) by the image, but I do think it’s an okay thing to be pissed off about.

    DISCLAIMER: This comment, while a bit harsh on Frank, can in no way be used to proclaim that he is inherently homophobic/macho/whatever-the-fuck. The gay roommate thinks that there are bigger things in the world to worry about then a cartoon of a pig fucking another pig, wants to point out that we all unknowingly say problematic shit all the time (and the only way we can stop doing this is by being called out and having conversations about it), and will be really pissed off at anyone who stokes the flames of yet another anarcho-internet controversy on Tumblr, Facebook, or (A)-news.

  6. Dcembre

    Me too…Resist, i like that.

  7. BoRu

    hy guys,

    For me there are two different ways to act in life:
    1/ Get scandalised by the way the world’s turning evil.
    2/ Or get scandalised for everything even what doesn’t deserve it.
    But have i to remind you that the second option isn’t only a loss of time, but it lets you much less time for the first option.

    After your message maybe women will complain of your sexism Taan, cuz you automaticaly considered the pigs were all men, do you hate women???
    You see we could go on and on with so much bullshit but i think it would be better if we concentrate on the real promlems (and believ me, there’s enough problems to concentrate on in the world..), and Homophobia IS a real problem but ain’t any hear my friend, you seem to see what you want to see. The artist is a french, open-minded, band. And not homophobic at all.

    Maybe world’s homophobic bastards (and now i don’t want to hurt the world’s bastards’ sensibility) drove you a bit paranoïac.

  8. laaddict

    Please make Part 2. We need more stuff like this. The rest of your episodes are brilliant, but this is educational and agitates people to accept black bloc and to take part in it.
    The kind of agitprop that we need made is the kind that encourages people to make their own agitprop.

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