Masked Militants March in Anti-Pipeline Protest

Masked militant holds up banner as screen during anti-Enbridge rally in Vancouver, Jan 14, 2013.

Masked militant holds up banner as screen during anti-Enbridge rally in Vancouver, Jan 14, 2013.

by Zig Zag, Warrior Publications, January 15, 2013

As many as 1,000 people gathered in downtown Vancouver on Monday, Jan 14, 2013, to protest the Enbridge hearings. Organized by Rising Tide and a coalition of community groups, the demonstration occurred on the first evening of hearings held by the National Energy Board’s joint review panel in the city. Citing security reasons, the panel hearings are closed to the public and only those who have registered to make submissions are allowed entry.

The initial rally point was at Victory Square, a dimly lit park in downtown Vancouver. The weather was cold and rainy, at times snowing. Many of the speakers were Indigenous people, including an opening statement and prayer by local Coast Salish people, as well as some participants in the recent Idle No More rallies.

It was at this time that I noticed a group of perhaps 25 people dressed in all-black clothing and wearing masks. The Vancouver police attending the rally point also seemed to notice them at this time, for soon there were an equal number of cops standing in groups around the black-clad protesters. These were members of the ‘Public Safety Unit’ (PSU), used by Vancouver police for crowd control.

After several speeches and drum songs, the rally moved onto Cambie Street and began moving west on Hastings, towards the Sheraton Wall Centre, a hotel complex in downtown Vancouver where the Enbridge hearings were occurring. At this point, people had been gathered for nearly 1.5 hours.

Militants carry banner against Pacific Trails Pipeline during anti-Enbridge rally, Jan 14, 2013.

Militants carry banner against Pacific Trails Pipeline during anti-Enbridge rally, Jan 14, 2013.

As the demonstration began moving, the black bloc was covered on the sides and rear by the PSU cops, including two who held a video camera and attempted to film the militants. The banners carried by the bloc participants were held high enough to neutralize most of the video recording, and at times a black flag was draped in front of the lens. The banners were also used to keep the cops out of the bloc itself.

The march covered many city blocks, with sections chanting different slogans at times, while at the front mostly Native women led the way with drumming and singing. When it finally reached the Sheraton, it flowed into the central plaza inside the hotel complex. The black bloc moved directly in front of the lobby doors, where more cops from the PSU were deployed (in a line blocking the entrance). Initially there were perhaps 30 cops, but this number swelled to as many as 40-50.

Total Liberation banner, Jan 14, 2013, protest against Enbridge hearings in Vancouver.

Total Liberation banner, Jan 14, 2013, protest against Enbridge hearings in Vancouver.

While the crowd chanted slogans such as “No Pipelines on Stolen Native Land,” the black bloc maintained their position in front of the lobby. They held their banners up to obstruct the view of a large section of the PSU cops, while occasionally hurling insults at them (such as “Fuck the Police”).

Cop screened by black bloc banner.

Cop screened by black bloc banner.

Adjacent to the bloc and extending the line of the protesters across the lobby entrance were Natives, who stood with their backs to the police while drumming and singing.

After the rally had occupied this space for 30 minutes or so, it was announced that we were at the wrong building, so the mob moved through the plaza to another one. There were no cops here at all, and it was pretty obvious that this was the “wrong” building. After ten minutes, we moved back to the original lobby, where the PSU remained in position. The black bloc also resumed its original position directly in front of the police.

At the Sheraton hotel, black bloc screens line of police using banners.

At the Sheraton hotel, black bloc screens line of police using banners.

More speeches were made, many by Natives, along with more drumming and singing. After another 45 minutes or so, the black bloc took down their banners and moved in a single file into the crowd, where it dispersed and participants removed their outer layer of black clothing. According to one participant, they did this because the crowd was beginning to get smaller and would provide less concealment as more time passed.

Black Bloc methods and tactics

Contrary to the claims of some, these militants were not “agents provocateurs,” nor did they attempt to instigate any attacks on police or property. In fact, they conducted themselves as a defensive force. At the rally point in the park and during the march through the streets, they attracted the attention of police and drew a number of them away from other protesters. At the hotel lobby, they positioned themselves in front of the police and established a line between the cops and other protesters.

Natives on the other side of lobby entrance at Sheraton hotel.

Natives on the other side of lobby entrance at Sheraton hotel.

This is not to say that the black bloc are not capable of attacking police or property, however. It is clear from the response of the police that the bloc is the only contingent in the protest they consider to have a defensive-offensive capability, which is why they congregate their forces around any assembled bloc. The black bloc tactic has also shown itself capable of carrying out considerable property destruction and street fighting with police, including protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle 1999, the 2001 Quebec City protests against the Summit of the Americas, and more recently the Toronto G20 of 2010.

The term black bloc first emerged in West Germany during the early 1980s and referred to the practise of militant autonomists dressing in all-black clothing as a means of countering police surveillance & repression. They marched together in blocs to defend mobilizations against police attacks, and to also attack corporate property.

Generally, black blocs are comprised of radicals who see no hope in reforming the capitalist system. Many advocate an anarchist society that is based on autonomy and decentralization, with no centralized authority (such as a state government). In other words, they share a similar method of self-organization that many traditional Indigenous societies are based on.

Black bloc in Medillin, Colombia, May 1, 2012.

Black bloc in Medillin, Colombia, May 1, 2012.

Many people accept the police and corporate media accounts of black blocs as mindless hooligans and thugs, while some continue to perpetuate conspiracy theories that they are comprised of undercover cops, sent in to start riots in order to undermine “peaceful” protests.

In the only documented case of undercover cops attempting to infiltrate a rally, which occurred during protests in Montebello, Quebec, in 2007, it was masked militants who first identified them. Later, the Quebec provincial police admitted that the three were in fact cops.

In reality, the black bloc are comprised of committed radicals who work on many different projects, such as bookstores, soup kitchens, community gardens, social centres, etc. They also organize protests and solidarity campaigns, frequently with Indigenous peoples (in Canada).

Meme using iconic photo from 1990 Oka Crisis.

Meme using iconic photo from 1990 Oka Crisis.

In the context of non-Native settler social movements in this country, the black bloc displays a fighting spirit that is otherwise sorely lacking. Their uncompromising and confrontational attitude is a far clearer manifestation of resistance than the standard passive protests that routinely occur in North America, and which often serve to disarm people psychologically and reaffirm the illusion of the “democratic” state.

Mohawks in Tyendinaga, 2008.

Mohawks in Tyendinaga, 2008.

Nor are the militant methods of the black bloc so far removed from those used by militant Natives. During the Oka Crisis of 1990, the image of the warrior as a masked and uniformed fighter came to symbolize Indigenous resistance, along with the Mohawk Warrior flag. Ever since then, it has been common to see Native warriors wearing masks, and frequently in combat uniforms, at blockades and occupations.

As socio-economic conditions continue to decline, and as Native peoples continue to mobilize to defend their lands and people in the face of state repression, there is a lot that can be learned from the black bloc, who have accumulated over 3 decades of experience in direct actions and overcoming increasingly repressive police tactics. These include the necessity of wearing proper disguise when committing “illegal” activities (due to the presence of cameras), being able to disperse and escape police cordons, detecting and avoiding police containment (‘kettles’), defending against chemical agents (such as tear gas and pepper spray), etc.

For more info on the black bloc:

Can’t Stop Kaos

A brief intro to the history and practise of the infamous Black Bloc, from its origins among the German autonomists to its development in N. America.

http://militantz.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/zine-cant-stop-kaos/

10 Points on the Black Bloc

A pamphlet based on a public talk given by Harsha Wallia of No One Is Illegal.

http://militantz.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/10-points-on-the-black-bloc-2/

Black Bloc Papers

The Black Bloc Papers: An Anthology of Primary Texts From The North American Anarchist Black Bloc 1999-2001 The Battle of Seattle (N30) Through Quebec City (A20)

A large collection of Black Bloc communiques, reports, and analysis. Published by the Green Mountain Anarchist Collective.

http://militantz.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/black-bloc-papers/

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Posted on January 16, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on HaifischGeweint and commented:
    A must read. Really, I cannot emphasize that enough. YOU MUST READ THIS. Extremely valuable information is contained within this moment-to-moment description of a recent Enbridge protest involving the presence of a black bloc group, and refresher on the history of where the term black bloc comes from.

  2. there are times when i can appreciate the Black Bloc such as here and times when i would say:”Fu^k the Black Block

    • There are times when I appreciate protesters/commenters on websites/etc. and times when I would say “Fu^k them”–what’s you’re point?

  3. Thank you Zig Zag. This is an amazing article.

  4. I really can’t overstate how much I like the coverage here. Thank you again Zig Zag.

    The vast majority of black blocs I’ve seen have been completely peaceful. That almost never gets mentioned. When the press does take notice, they talk about violence anyway. Wearing black (or camo) and a mask has been equated with violence and criminal intent, which says a lot about the standards of “acceptable” dissent in Canada, and how little the word “violence” means these days.

  5. Reblogged this on Lingit Latseen and commented:
    A warrior culture is needed to protect peaceful protests.

  6. Chesapeake Earth First! continues organizing against the Keystone XL pipeline/tar sands mining~fracking schemes in Washington D.C.: I was there for two months. Unfortunately the women at D.C.’s Peace House refused to stop infighting so that everybody else could sanely be there, so I returned to California (unwilling to live on the sidewalk in the winter rain to continue dissenting). Am chillin’ in Berkeley, and I am in solidarity with you, Craig Louis Stehr (craigstehr@hushmail.com) N.B. I’ll stop publicly advocating for a global matriarchal civilization, and mindlessly supporting every feminist issue which comes down the left-liberal river now…sorry about that. I was just following the California progressive trend, which I won’t do anymore. I learned a lot, but ultimately it was a tad naive. From now on I will follow my own spiritual path, and burn a swath through the postmodern insane shopping spree.

  7. Most of what is said in this article is true, but there was more than one time when undercover cops were known to have disguised themselves as protesters to act as “agents provocateurs”. On top of the Montebello events, where 3 men with rocks in their hands were proved to be cops because they wore “police issue boots”, video footage from the Toronto G20 summit shows some men throwing rocks and fences in windows wearing the same “police issue boots”.
    Also, during some of the protest marches of the 2012 spring in Montreal, cops were seen letting go the masked protesters who had been throwing rocks, to later arrest the rest of the peacefull group.
    In 2011, the “GAMMA SQUAD” was created, with the goal of surveying local activist groups…
    Some non-violent anarchists who were active in Montreal in 2011, were intimidated by other supposed anarchists… The spanish, german and Englishmen non-violent activists who were in Montreal were victims of set-ups that caused them to loose their visas…
    Many Montreal anarchists are suspect, like the way they took control of the facebook page for “Idle No More Montreal”, where they harass those who ask them to be less violent in their comments, or to stop putting the supposed anarchist movement in front as if “IDLE NO MORE” was just a marketing platform for them. At least 3 people were blocked from that page for disagreeing with the anarchist page administrators, and at least 4 others cancelled their memberhip of that page because they were being disrespected, bullied.
    No real anarchist would have such a power-hungry behavior.
    Be careful who you trust.
    I am thankful of the native women who courageously stopped some supposed “anarchists” at the first signs of violence in the first INM protest march in Montreal.
    LOVE TO ALL.

    • While it’s true that the Montebello incident had undercover Quebec cops, later admitted to by the police, the Toronto G20 allegations are pure speculation based on the types of boots people were wearing. That a person wears military surplus boots, fairly common among more militant anarchists and available in surplus stores, does not prove they are undercover cops. In fact, this type of conspiracy mongering is counter-productive and dangerous. I cannot comment on your allegations about Montreal anarchists as this is obviously very internal matters to the scene. As for the Idle No More Montreal page, I took a look at it and, assuming it is the correct site, I doubt it is maintained by anarchists. The “About” section is signed by a “regular Canadian” which no self-respecting anarchist would identify as.

      • Zig Zag, the “police issue boots” were proof enough that the police had to admit, shamefully, that those 3 with rocks in their hands were cops. Boots were the only proof, but undeniable BECAUSE THESE BOOTS ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN ANY STORE, SURPLUS OR OTHERWISE. Just like tires for police cars, police boots for SQ and RCMP have specifications, they are made only for them, they are clearly marked “POLICE ISSUE”, just like their tires. I think this is pretty well known info for anyone who followed that story a bit.
        As for your opinion, that seems to be that no cops go undercover except for that one time when they were stupid enough to get so easily caught red-handed, as no one was even trying to look for undercover cops… Well it looks like you really really want to believe that, hey? ;-)
        For the “IDLE NO MORE MONTREAL” page, here again you botched up your research: There are 11 administrators for that page, you can easily see the list, more than half giving themselves the title of anarchist in many discussions on the page, discussions about “coming to protests prepared for violence” or “diversity of tactics” (as explained by one of the admins of INM Mtl : a mix of violent and non-violent actions at the same time)
        The intro message signed regular canadian was a “copy and paste” from another page, and it is surely not the bad writing of the page’s self-proclaimed anarchists.
        I am happy that probably not all black blocs or anarchists’ groups are infiltrated, and so your article is a reason to rejoyce, but if you know long time activists in Montreal they can tell you about the bullying and intimidation they can sometimes get from pretend activists.
        Ignoring a problem does not make it disapear.
        And putting down someone trying to do good, without making enough effort to have an informed opinion yourself, you can do better than that, no?

      • I agree that the boots in Montebello were critical in identifying the undercover cops and why the SQ subsequently admitted they were cops. The boots, which have a Vibram sole referred to as a #134AR Technical Lug, are in fact available through specialty boot makers such as Corcoran and Weinbrenner USA. They are sold to police, firefighter and industrial markets.

        The SQ claimed that the cops were in the rally with the “mandate to spot and identify violent demonstrators.” They claimed that their cops didn’t do anything “violent” or “illegal” during the protest, and there is no indication that they ever did anything. One of them had a rock in his hand, but they didn’t throw anything.

        I do not deny that police infiltrate rallies, sometimes dressed as militants with masks. I have seen it numerous times, and every time they are fairly quickly identified and isolated. At protests in Montreal I have seen over a dozen undercover cops forced to group together and then flee from the march to find shelter among uniformed riot cops.

        It is clear to me, from every time I have seen this police tactic, that the intention of the undercover cops is to gather intelligence and make subsequent arrests or identifications for charges. They don’t do anything, they try to blend in and look radical.

        The images of militants during the Toronto G20 circulated by conspiracy theorists show many types of military-style boots that are in fact available in surplus stores. It is not the same as the Montebello incident. Nor has there been any evidence provided to prove these allegations. It is nothing but speculation. I know many anarchists who wear such boots and they are not undercover cops. I myself have such boots.

        As for the INM Montreal FB I do not see any list of administrators, nor do the posts contain any discussions of diversity of tactics, or violence, etc. Perhaps it isn’t the same FB site, #idle no more montreal (https://www.facebook.com/groups/idlenomoremontreal/members/?order=default&query=epaminondas).

      • As for the list of the 11 administrators of the INM Mtl page… Do you see the member’s list? When you see a little arrow, take your mouse, move the pointer over the arrow, and a menu will appear. Click on Administrators.

        ============
        Too bad you bring untrue informations about the boots in this discussion…
        =========
        As the law of access to information permitted to see lately: Canadian and american “intelligence reports” have been stating since at least 2010 that activist groups (ecologists, students, anarchists, pro-freedom of all kind…) now pose the most dangerous terrorist threats of the whole world. !
        (Most people with common sense agree that it is a ridicule statement, but the “security business lobby” certainly needed to replace the fading Al Qaïda threat in order to maintain their investments, and bankers have been caught red-handed in successfully -and illegally- influencing police work and objectives against the Occupy movement)

        Our policemen, as they like to repeat very often themselves, believe very much that their job is to follow orders without asking questions.

        How do government and police deal with threatening groups? If you don’t know, it’s a very long subject if you want to be thorough, but I suggest to start with the Movie Donnie Brasco, Donnie being a real undercover US cop who testified in a montreal court last autumn, by the way :) Montreal also has been known (and studied by other police forces) for it’s police informants and infiltrators in recent decades. A Montreal specialty, like bagels.

        You seem to say that, in your opinion, all police infiltrators are nowadays as stupid as the 3 goons in Montebello, getting caught every time they try to infiltrate any group, wich is like saying : a lot worse than the cops from the Dukes of Hazard or Police Academy. According to you, my taxes are not paying for better than that, even in front of what Obama and Harper are calling “the biggest terrorist threat in the world”… Even in Canada’s capital of infiltration, a city often praised for it’s very successful infiltrations of biker gangs, mafias, drug rings, marketing fraud businesses, and juvenile prostitution.
        So, you think that activist groups who accepts everybody and pretty much anybody right away with a warm hug would be harder to infiltrate than a biker gang who asked it’s members to commit a murder to prove their loyalty?

        You say that cops in Montebello did nothing illegal, but at least 3 videos showed witnesses saying they heard the undercover cops encourage people to throw rocks, offering to share the rockS that they had in their hands, inciting to violence… This would be illegal for any citizen as per the criminal code, but it is even more illegal for cops who could be also charged with abuse of autority under civil law and a few charges about deontology rules.
        They did not throw rocks, in the few minutes before being recognized as cops with ridicule acting skills, but as you can hear on YouTube they were trying to bring protesters to another location near by to throw rocks.

        I was at the protest in Victoriaville on may 4th 2012, the big “riot” they call it… 15 minutes after arriving at the congress site, 1 minute before the start of the multitude of tear gas canisters, I saw a woman in her thirties, with a very military style posture and moves, brand new black clothes with all their folding marks like they have never been washed. I noticed her because she was the only one at that time who wore a scarf on her nose (brand new scarf, folding edges, never been washed…), and I immediatly noticed her weird body language: She was obviously feeling stressed and uneasy with the crowd, like someone in hostile territory. She nervously and intensely looked at the hands of people around her, but the cameras were keeping most of her attention, like something to avoid. She put her hand in her pocket to retrieve some object like a small rock. She threw the small rock, glancing only a fraction of a second towards the line of cops 10 feet ahead, missing by 8 feet over their heads (then I noticed a woman cop on the other side who followed the curve of the rock with her own camera, probably collecting “proof” of “violence coming from protesters”). The “brand new black” woman left running like a commando trainee. Seconds later, tear gas and more tear gas among the babies in carriages and the elderly people who fell to the ground.

        In the hour or so that followed, I saw 2 other rocks being thrown. these 2 times, they were thrown towards the biggest group of anti-riot cops, a group that had gathered like to prepare for a charge in that direction… These 2 rocks seemed to act as another signal for more tear gas and another charge.

        These 3 times when I saw a rock being thrown, the anti-riot cops seemed to turn their heads away, as did at least 3 SQ officers in normal uniforms who were in the crowd. NOTHING WAS DONE TO TRY TO CATCH THEM. They would have been a good choice of targets for the extra big and extra hard new plastic bullets, but no, all the reported injuries from these bullets were on pacifists, and is it a coïncidence that the injured were all known to be implicated as peaceful activists? The SQ insists that their plastic bullets never miss their target ! 2 cranial traumas, one lost eye, one lost ear, one beautiful student nurse/student union activist with her jaws and teeth broken in a hundred pieces, at least one guy who will have many operations to the leg before knowing how much damage he will have for the rest of his life…

        I left after witnessing that the cops refused to help the most badly wounded people, including this young guy, who was unconscious since being hit to the ear at less than recommended range with a plastic bullet while he was standing still and keeping quiet… even after 10 cops and 2 officers were told that he was now in cardio-respiratory failure the best response from the cops was: “We cannot ask for this ambulance just behind us, we know you all have cellular phones, you call 911, HAHAHA”, See YouTube or CUTV, You can see an officer smiling widely at his joke on a video, and some minutes later there was the 3rd charge that I witnessed IN THE DIRECTION OF THE WOUNDED AND THE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED GROUP OF VOLOUNTEER MEDICS… The medics and the heart-attack/cranial-trauma/lost-his-whole-ear/poor-kid were trampled by the crowd running with eyes closed in 20 new-extra-strong tear gas explosions.

        I left when I started feeling that I could not resist becoming agressive myself if I stayed witness to such cruelty. I later saw on the news that those who stayed longer could not resist to respond to violence with violence.

        ==================================================

        Most humans don’t want to be the among the first ones to discover an uncomfortable truth. Many truths can be uncomfortable to someone at first. Many people in front of such a truth prefer to look away.
        The earth is round,
        priests can be rapists,
        the list of famous uncomfortable truths in history would be many pages long. We humans are so proud of our beliefs, we often killed those who showed uncomfortable truths, but nowadays it is more subtle.
        ===================================================

        Subtle police interventions… like the treatment of this one good and dedicated volounteer of the “Occupy Montreal” movement, who was given money by police while he was negociating with them. They were collecting donations for the movement anyway, why refuse money ? The money never went in his pockets, he gave the donation to “Occupy” right away and laughed with everyone for days about the cops giving them a cash donation. There is no reason to think that his decisions were influenced by the cash, or that he gave any information to police for the cash.

        In the months after “Occupy”, this volounteer of some good causes was still well known, you could say he had some influence in the activist small world that just became bigger with Occupy uniting activists from the anglo and the francophone worlds.

        In the months after Occupy, also began a smear campain against him on forums and social networks, saying “This xxxxx guy is an infiltrated cop”. When I asked for explanations, the answer was: “xxxxx admitted in front of 8 people that he was being paid in cash by the SPVM” (SPVM=montreal police)

        This week, I saw this smear campain still going on, shared by many people, including by administrators and members of the INM Mtl facebook page. In fact, one of the administrators who is also a well known self-titled anarchist, is a leader of that smear campain.

        You say you looked and saw no anarchist or violent comments on that page… Did you count how many posts and comments per day appear on that page? Some posts had 200 comments that appeared the first day, the most offensive or agressive comments can be deleted after the person you insult in that thread had time to read it (I have seen that this month in INM Mtl page).
        Many of the harassing comments were coming from different names that all make exactly the same spelling mistakes as the pretend-anarchist / wanna-be-king-of-the-hill / smear-campainer administrator. Many names, same spelling, just one of these names has recognizable photos, do you get it?

        ===================================

        It is an uncomfortable truth, to think that when you invite your fellow citizen to help you in a good humanitarian or idealist project, you might find yourself befriended and/or backstabbed by an undercover cop pretending to be on your side.

        Ah, you’re right, forget it, ignorance is SO MUCH more comfortable.

        And why would we care?
        I don’t know personnally the victims of the King-Of-The-Hill guy.
        Someone else will take care of everything.
        It’s not our problem.
        Let’s find arguments to help us forget all that is uncomfortable.

        Have a nice day.

      • I can see the admins now on the INM Montreal site. I don’t know them and it’s your assertion they’re mostly anarchists, so I can’t say anything more about that. The posts don’t seem any different than posts on countless other INM FB sites. There aren’t a whole lot of comments but some that I see are pacifists condemning anarchist militants, so obviously there isn’t some total censorship of such views as you imply. INM sites are also deleting comments and banning people they don’t agree with, FYI. I myself have been banned from posting on the “official” INM FB site. I don’t see what is “untrue informations” in regards to the boots issue, in fact I think I helped clarify some of the BS floating around about this especially in regards to the Toronto G20 conspiracy theories. As for your Victoriaville experience, again this is unsubstantiated information. You’re speculating and have no other proof than your feelings about what you saw. Occupy Montreal, from what comrades have told me in Montreal, was a gong show that most anarchists stayed away from. Taking money from a cop sounds ridiculous, whatever the context, and perhaps it was meant to put a “snitch jacket” on your friend who naively accepted their money. I don’t know and we’re both just speculating, again. If you have some viable proof of undercover cops infiltrating a black bloc and acting as agents provocateurs please share it, otherwise you’re spreading rumours and misinformation that undermines comrades engaged in resistance, whether or not you agree with your tactics. I wonder if you are in fact a pacifist and this is affecting your analysis and lack of solidarity.

      • Well, Thank you for such an intelligent dialogue. It is refreshing to see someone so fully respectful of police integrity, even though you don’t respect their competence at going undercover. Weird, but I won’t judge.
        Peace, love, and… truth to you and your relations.
        p.s.: your nickname is well chosen ;)

      • Zig Zag,
        You said you could not find comments that speak about violence on the INM Montreal page. It is not surprising, since the most violent comments are erased in the next minutes, sometimes re-posted and re-erased…, and many other comments were erased when the “Quebec city INM” members were made aware of the problems and asked that the comments or whole discussion threads be erased, and now that these violent comments have been talked about Canada-wide they have become less obvious in their choice of words.
        (Also, there are now many hundred posts and thousands of comments on that page. Saying that you made a conclusive search in 30 minutes before you answered, it was, to say the least, funny.)

        So, we could say that the problem of comments is solved since they are now less violent? Yes, almost completely. But the big problem is not the comments on internet (even if it tarnishes the image of this peaceful movement). The big problem is that some people have clearly stated that they would be coming to protests “prepared for violence”, or ready to use “diversity of tactics” (mix of violent and non-violent actions), some comments similar to threats have been made: “We have your photo, see you in the protests, we will see if you respect us then…” But this is just my word, as i guess you will say.

        So I have looked a little and found some real comments from the INM Montreal page. Even if some comments get to be deleted, I have proof that these comments come from that page, and have not been changed, just “copy and paste”. I wish I had made a screen shot of the worst comments before they were deleted, but the comments copied here speak enough. Judge for yourself:

        “Fannie Pommier 9 janvier 23:13
        Il faudra s’attendre, si ce mouvement en devient un important (j’entend sous forme de mouvement social), que différents militants et adeptes à la cause choisissent d’exprimer leur désaccord et leur colère d’une façon qui ne sera pas toujours harmonieux avec l’intention de non-violence initiale. Je ne dis pas que je suis d’accord ni que je trouve nécessaire qu’il y ai de la violence, mais qu’il faut respecter que d’autres voient leur révolte sous un autre angle.”
        Translation: —–We have to expect,…, that different activists will choose to express their disagreement and their rage in a way that will not always be in harmony with the non-violence initial intentions (of INM).
        I do not say I agree …but that we have to respect that others may see their revolt from another angle—–

        In other words, what I read from Fannie’s words is: -Some people will be violent and we have to respect their violent choices.-

        I tend to disagree, do you?

        (Mateo Du Pekuakami – Administrator of the INM Montreal page)
        “Mateo Du Pekuakami 9 janvier 22:38
        Les gens ont le droit et il est légitime de débattre sur la diversité des tactiques.”
        Translation: —–People have the right and it is legitimate to discuss on diversity of tactics—–

        Look up -diversity of tactics- on google, it means a mix of violent and non-violent actions at the same time, the non-violent actions sometimes acting as diversion, the non-violent participants not always aware that violent actions are being prepared.
        Maybe an INM page is not the place for these violent discussions?

        “Marie-Eve Mercier 9 janvier 23:02
        Être d’accord avec l’utilisation de tactique considérer comme violente n’implique en aucun cas qu’il va nécessairement y avoir de la violence.”
        Translation: —–Our agreement with the use of violent tactics does not imply that there will necessarily be violence.—–

        “Toto Fx 9 janvier 23:06
        Notre ton violant envers la police découle de nombreuse arrestation sans avoir aucun recoure, fouilles sans raison, menotté sans nous lire mes droits, de savoir fait poivrer à répétition, même étant tomber au sol… Vous croyez encore malheureusement et suivez les médias sans l’ombre d’un doute… Regarde bien l’accord bonbon qui ne sera pas respecter qui fermera la gueule du monde comme bonne volonté de la part du gouvernement… C’est toujours pareille, il serait temps de faire bouger les chose pour vrais cette fois…”

        This person justifies their —–violent tone—– towards police, because of past violence, and suggests: —–It is about time to make things move for real this time…—–

        So, are you comfortable with these people representing IDLE NO MORE, even if they are now more discreet on facebook?
        Are you comfortable knowing that they join the peaceful INM protests along with children and elders?
        Are you wondering what they bring to be, as they say, “prepared for violence”?

        Have a nice day of action tomorrow everyone.
        Peace and truth.

      • I didn’t say I couldn’t find any comments about violence, I said that comments denouncing militant actions were on the site and not being censored. I think the one quote you present sums up the situation: “People have the right and it is legitimate to discuss on diversity of tactics.” Yes, I know what diversity of tactics means, and I would further say that it flows from a diversity of people one finds in social movements. These comments are not very different from what Native warriors have been saying about the INM protests. That’s because in the Native movement there is also a great diversity and therefore a diversity in tactics used. That’s how the real world works, and it cannot be made different by pacifist rules of conduct some people want to impose on social movements. Perhaps you yourself are one of these, and this appears to be your big sore point about black blocs and militancy in general. I would be happy to know that there were warriors at INM rallies prepared to physically defend elders and children, and also for there to be militants within our movement that are prepared to fight and not just round dance. Everything has a time and a place. Now please stop filling up my comments section with your ongoing campaign against Montreal militants.

      • You are right, everything has a time and place. And since the native founders of INM are asking those who get involved in INM to remain peaceful and to promote only peaceful protesting, I follow their lead.

        Maybe some day the situation will change in INM. But as long as it is the rule of conduct of the native women leading this movement , wich they still repeat and repeat in case you don’t know, every participant in INM protest or INM internet page should respect that, especially organizers and administrators. And as far as I know with all the pages I visit every day, only the Montreal INM has such a chronic problem in the whole INM movement.

        Protecting children and elders is fine, if need be, but talks about being ready to fight back right away at the first police provocation, talks about bringing offensive objects to protests, that is just what the police might want, that could kill the strenght of the movement and destroy the international support , and it could start a dangerous fight for the children and elders and peaceful people present. Revenge is not protection!

        There are real warriors present in protests, but those who are so eager to see violence, or to respond to the first little provocation, are not warriors in the proud native meaning.

      • But many Natives also don’t agree with INM and its “official” founders setting the parameters and imposing rules over the movement. Some say it’s not “their” movement to control. Unfortunately I agree that when a mobilization like this occurs those who initiated it have greater influence and control, especially when there is a centralized group setting the rules. I myself don’t attend these INM activities becuz they’re typical reformist liberal rallies that I expect to see from non-Natives but not Native grassroots. But this itself reflects the level of where the Native grassroots is at (thanks in part to the Indian Act band councils). In regards to Montreal and the actions of militants, or any INM rallies for that matter, I have not heard of any militant actions occurring altho some Natives have called for more radical forms of activity. Generally the pacifist methods of the “official” founders have become dominant. The last thing the cops want right now is to radicalize a passive movement with repression, which is why they’ve tolerated a few blockades of train lines and slow downs of border crossings, highways. The reason you might see more discussion about militancy on INM Montreal FB site is becuz some of the other sites immediately delete any comments calling for more radical actions. The “official” founders have so far stated they don’t support any “illegal” acts or those that would inconvenience people (such as blockades of highways). So now the INM’ers who follow these dictates will restrict themselves to passive rallies and dancing in circles. No one’s stopping them from doing that or intervening with militant attacks.

  8. Reblogged this on Shades of Silence and commented:
    Words from Warrior

  9. I reblogged…if that how say that…a great read as always

  10. I am sometimes an utopist, I hope for some that some day all the people can be as one, but in reality not all alliances are meant to be.

    You are someone I would be uninterested in having as an ally in a movement, so I am happy to learn that you chose not to participate in INM events. I am sorry to say I would not trust your loyalty to the group and cause, or your temperance and truthfulness, although your decision does show more judgement than others:

    Those who think they should be able to take control of INM, even though they don’t believe in the methods that made this movement, WHY DON’T THEY START THEIR OWN MOVEMENT, MAKE THEIR OWN ACTIVIST PAGE, OR PARTICIPATE IN OTHER EXISTING MOVEMENTS THAT BETTER REFLECT THEIR VUES??

    From what I can see in Montreal, the few who try to gain an influence to change the peaceful ways of INM are already part of other activists groups, like the anti-capitalist league, or some groups of so-called anarchists.
    So why don’t they concentrate their support on the causes that they really believe in with allies who share their vues on methods of protest? The answer is easy, their groups are unpopular and don’t attract many allies or international support (because their methods are ugly and sometimes even worst than the system in place).
    So, at best they want to steal the show for reasons of selfish power-trip and violence-addiction, at worst they are consciously trying to bring down the strength of a more and more successful and united peoples’ movement.

    IDLE NO MORE became strong, popular and praised because their founders chose their cause and their methods well.

    IDLE NO MORE will continue to gain strength and influence and success towards their goals IF the wise founders are respected in their wise choice of methods.

    So in order to maintain the success of INM, the Natives and the allies who follow the lead of INM founders have to continue what they have been doing pretty well, that is to actively maintain the peace by intervening rapidly where and when needed, in the INM events and in the INM internet pages used to communicate with supporters.

    Peace to you and all your relations.

    • INM’s “official” founders have, from the start, proclaimed INM as a “grassroots” movement with no official leaders and welcomed all to join and participate, Native and non-Native. But you and others only want certain types of people to actually participate. The INM “official” founders have confused the dynamics of a movement with that of an organization that they can control and direct. You claim it as a success, but look at their most recent “global day of action,” with the smallest turn out yet for a day that had nearly two weeks of promotion. The people are clearly not going to accept the confused “leadership” of any one group, but go ahead and keep being “Idle No More.” Radicals in Quebec can at least claim a victory for their significant participation in the student strike, which unlike INM was successful in achieving its goals, using a diversity of tactics.

  11. Engaging article. Can the black bloc be trusted not to forcefully disrupt the non-violence of peaceful protests?

    • In answer to Drummer the first blackbloc hapened in Europe germany and spain I believe. In fact they were planed to lower thw violence endured by protesters by being a shield between police and protesters stoping both side to commit violence against the other. but as you can read in the comments on this page some people think that violence during a public protest is a good thing and they say that they have the right to be violent and we dont have the right to stop them on behalf of the mprinciple of diversity of tactics wich says: if you are peaceful its your choice so they do not force us to be violent so we should not force them to be peaceful. Bad rethoric in my opinion

  12. Hey Zig Zag, how do you feel about non-native anarchist settlers using your imagery (like the bear ripping up the pipeline) in their protests, posters, facebook event pages, etc? Is that cool?

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