Posted By Sandra Alland

"Pretending that all violence is the same is very convenient for supposedly anti-violence privileged people who benefit from the violence of the state and have much to lose from the violence of revolution." - Peter Gelderloos, How Nonviolence Protects the State (South End Press, 2007)

So much to discuss... I've been really disheartened, not only by the extreme police/state brutality in Toronto during the G20, but also by the simplistic and depressing conversations among otherwise intelligent people about how protesters were "violent" when they allegedly burned abandoned police cars and broke windows of banks and Starbucks, and therefore somehow a) ruined the "success" of the peaceful protests (which were actually unsuccessful because they happened in a police state) and b) justified the extreme police violence, kidnappings, illegal searches, illegal arrests of 1000 people, sexual assault of women activists, segregation of queer prisoners, racial profiling, abuse of people with disabilities, abysmal conditions in illegal jails, denial of access to legal counsel, possible impersonation of anarchists by police officers, and blatant misleading of the public that occurred both before and after windows were broken.

Why would we want to isolate our allies for using different tactics from us? Why would we leave them open to further assault, when they have just marched by our side and in some cases protected us from violent and illegal behaviour by our government and police? (And when it's highly likely that the vandalism mentioned above was in fact instigated by undercover police?) Many people have been more adamant about emphasizing how peaceful *their* protest was (in comparison to activists who may have broken windows), than about condemning the horrific actions of the G20 countries and of their police force(s). This serves only to entrench media and state stereotypes about the "hooliganism" of anarchists who are in fact an important, intelligent and integral part of struggles against oppression.

There's much more to be said about all of this, and it's not a simple or easy dialogue. For now, I leave you with some links to further assess the situation for yourself...

M. NourbeSe Philip on the G20, violence & race: http://www.rabble.ca/news/2010/07/observations-g20-march-queen%E2%80%99s-park-congo

Professor David McNally discusses anarchy & Black Bloc tactics on the CBC: video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/the-black-bloc/16aqkxltm

Amy Miller from The Alternative Media Centre on her illegal arrest and being threatened with gang-rape by police: vimeo.com/12925239

The Globe on misleading the public:

Police admit "weapons" seized from activists are unrelated to G20: m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/weapons-seized-in-g20-arrests-not-what-they-seem/article1622761/

 


 
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