The building of mass movements, and the laying down of parameters by which they’re permitted to function; at bottom, toward the acquisition of status and official recognition by the system being objected to. Anything else is equally condemned by unanimous consensus of the extreme right, social democracy, the police and the media. The black bloc is hardly detrimental to any of these symbiotic power arrangements. After all, it helps in establishing one’s legitimacy by pointing out the illegitimate. In many countries power has only bestowed favours when it felt threatened by diverse examples of social contestation, or when the social agitation managed to wrest control entirely away from an existing power structure, only to replicate what was driven away. In any case, the credit for change is often given over to the organization of masses of people applying their moral persuasion upon the immoral. It is only when the feting of martyrs is considered useful in maintaining present circumstances, where the social has acquired a measure of status and power in its own right, would they deign to imply a relationship with the more direct examples of sacrifice and struggle.
I find it curious that many social liberation movements around the world, even where violence is present, are recognized by the North American and European versions of social agitation as the legitimate result of trampled upon aspirations, dependent of course on the nature of the conditions they’re confronted with, how many people are being represented by the agitation, parameters laid down from afar in other words. One can almost detect a vicariousness to it. In North America of course, such things would only bring ruin upon ‘everything,’ and so finding solidarity here would be as rare as finding hen’s teeth.
In Claire Fontaine’s essay “This is Not the Black Bloc,” she writes:
No speech comes “from inside” the black bloc, because there is no inside or outside. The black bloc, which we name as such with these two impoverished words, is not constituted like groups, corps, institutions. It is a temporary agglomeration without truth or watchwords. It is also what is left in the hands of our discontent, at the stage of society we have reached, despite ourselves: the impossibility of marching together while shouting out phrases so that they can be heard, the incapacity to engage in indirect and representative actions, the urgent need to unload one-thousandth of the cruelty the State, money, and advertisements inject in all our veins every day.
On the other hand as I was saying, it seems clear that the activities of the black bloc and other similar minded persuasions serve as little more than useful adjuncts to power and negation politics, to the extent that where power is concerned, if none of these groups were to ever convene in the streets again, the security services would see a need and simply invent them as they do in fact, judging by the elaborate lengths they go to in cultivating terrorists for the benefit of the public lie.