In defense of Black Bloc: Communique

In defense of Black Bloc: Communique

In defense of the black bloc:  A communique from Olympic resisters

February 14th, 2010 – Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories

On February 12th and 13th, 2010, thousands of courageous individuals came
together to resist the 2010 Olympic police state and to attack the
corporations plundering the land and deepening poverty.  We write this
communique as participants in and organizers of the black bloc presence at
these demonstrations, known as “Take Back Our City” and “2010 Heart

On February 12th, the Vancouver Police Department pacified us with a force
of mounted police.  The next day during 2010 Heart Attack, they deployed
riot police armed with M4 carbine assault rifles.  They claim this was
necessary in order to stop the march from “jeopardizing public safety” – yet the
only threats to public safety were in their own hands. Participants in the
demonstration only undertook strategic attacks against corporations
sponsoring the Olympics and did not harm or attack bystanders.

The media are now busy denouncing the political violence of property
destruction, such as the smashing of a Hudson's Bay Company window, as
though it were the only act of violence happening in this city.  They
forget that economic violence goes on daily in Vancouver.  People are
suffering and dying from preventable causes because welfare doesn't give
enough to afford rent, food or medicine, and because authorities routinely
ignore the medical emergencies of poor or houseless individuals.  This
economic violence has gotten worse as we lose housing and social services
because of the Olympic Games.  In response to this assault, thousands took
to the streets, hundreds joining what is known as a black bloc.

The black bloc is not a formal organization; it has no leadership,
membership, or headquarters.  Instead, the black bloc is a tactic: it is
something people *do* in order to accomplish a specific purpose.  By
wearing black clothing and masking our faces, the black bloc allows for
greater protection to those who choose active self-defense.  The majority
of people involved in the black bloc do not participate in property
destruction.  However, in masking up they express their solidarity with
those who choose to take autonomous direct action against the
corporations, authorities and politicians who wage war on our communities.

Participation in the black bloc is an act of courage.  With only the
shirts on our backs and the masks on our faces, we took to the streets
against Canada's largest ever “peacetime” police force.  Protected only by
black fabric and the support of our comrades, we stood in front of
antiriot cops armed with assault rifles, pistols and batons.  We proved that $1
billion of “security” couldn't prevent us from clogging the heart of
downtown Vancouver and crashing a party of 100 000 people -- and getting
away with it.

You won't ever know who was in the black bloc this weekend, but you *do*
know us.  We are the people who organize community potlucks, who dance
during street festivals, who make art, defend the land, build co-ops,
bicycles and community gardens.  When we put on our black clothing, we are
not a threat to you, but to the elites.

Whoever you are, one day you will join us.  As long as government and
corporations attack our communities, we're going defend – and that means


Two organizers and participants in the anarchist presence of the “Take
back our city” demonstration and “2010 Heart Attack” street march,
February 2010, Coast Salish Territories