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These groups seem to be related to the Ultras and ACAB movements, which those of you in Europe may be familiar with, but it isn't clear whether these folks are anarchist in the same sense that we have them here in the US or not.

Many of the actions described on Friday appeared to hew to a script that has become familiar over the past two years, but some in the crowds of protesters appeared to be using new tactics, dressing from head to toe in black, covering their faces with bandannas or kerchiefs and brandishing black flags as they skirmished with security forces.

“Asked one of them who they are they said we don’t talk to media but we are black bloc,” wrote ‏the British-Egyptian journalist Sarah Carr, adding that a member of the group had “mentioned anarchism.”


Originally posted to AoT on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 01:22 AM PST.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  oh good! (5+ / 0-)

      now if Egyptian liberals follow the lead of their American counterparts, they can make the emergence of this new Black Bloc retrospective justification for the post-Mubarak police repression of Tahrir Square protests that began a year ago!

       It has always been a bit of an embarrassment for many in the US that the Egyptian protests were never completely non-violent. They never initiated physical attacks on people, and often refused to fight back when attacked; but they didn't hesitate to break things, or set police stations on fire, for that matter, and sometimes they did throw rocks when assaulted by police. In other words they used what in the US would be considered a combination of classic non-violence and very militant Black Bloc tactics. (Remember these are tactics, that activists use in some events and not others. It's not like the Black Bloc is an organized "group" anywhere. Remember too that Black Blocs consider themselves non-violent in the sense that they never set out to harm anyone, and most actually refuse to fight back if attacked. This is why the Egyptian protestors were actually more militant than most Black Bloc'ers. They did sometimes fight back when attacked.)

    All that seems to be happening, then, are some Egyptians are beginning to embrace the anarchist perspective that so often comes along with the Black Bloc approach - which says that if your aim is to replace the government with a new "revolutionary" government, ultimately, it just mean the same divide of rich and poor, the same elites calling the shots, and the same armies, prisons, and police attacking anyone who objects too loudly - just dressed up in slightly different clothing. Better to try to build a new society from the ground up by creating new forms of grass-roots decision-making, voluntary association and mutual aid.

    Seems little doubt there's a lot of that going on in Egypt too but it's not so colorful so presumably no one in the English-language media is covering it.

  •  There has been an undercurrent of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    rhetorical claims and representation related to "Black Bloc" since early on in Tahrir. Whether those invoking the Black Bloc are independent of the Ultras, or whether Ultras are explicitly adopting Black Bloc tactics, or whether the aura of the Black Bloc is being invoked for western consumption (by the Ultras and/or others) or domestic consumption (by the regime) is difficult to work out.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 06:24:10 AM PST

  •  Attacks Meteor Blades? (0+ / 0-)

    Thing is, here on Daily Kos, MB usually means Meteor Blades.  If it means something else here, your diary doesn't give a clue what that might be.

    I'm left with a big "Huh???"

    What do we make of the contrast between heroic teachers who stand up to a gunman and craven, feckless politicians who won’t stand up to the N.R.A.? -- Nicholas Kristof, NYT --

    by Land of Enchantment on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:10:56 AM PST

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