Adam Francis Cornford 
Member since Feb 14, 2012


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Re: “Black Bloc Causes Backlash Against Occupy

Oh, and by the way, Mary Eisenhart, you appear not to have noticed that the burden of Gammon's egregious article is precisely that Occupy Oakland is *not* just sitting around singing protest songs. It's actually trying to challenge the totally wretched and ever worsening status quo, directly, in action. But I guess if you can find a reason to tell us to shut up, you will, no matter how specious.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Adam Francis Cornford on 02/18/2012 at 6:57 PM

Re: “Black Bloc Causes Backlash Against Occupy

So Mary Eisenhart, what are *you* doing about the absolute corruption of the government, the looting of the US economy, the looming environmental catastrophes of climate change and mass species die-off? Do *you* think that the social, economic, and political system can be fixed with a few piecemeal reforms? What movement of opposition are you part of?

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Adam Francis Cornford on 02/18/2012 at 6:51 PM

Re: “Black Bloc Causes Backlash Against Occupy

@Aaron Brickman: Well, I don't of course know about the sample of 600 respondents, but the responses suggest that many of them don't know how the police have actually treated OO participants. I guess Robert Gammon is extrapolating affirmation from ignorance.

It's also interesting that the big sticking point here appears not to be "violence," but the seizure of empty buildings that belong to someone else--in the case of HJKC, the City. In other words, to the extent this poll is accurate, what most upsets the plurality people is the supposed violation of private property law. This doesn't surprise me, since private property is the founding American religion and since the ideology of property (and accompanying monadism and selfishness) has been massively reinforced over the last three decades of neoliberalism. I guess there's going to be a nasty hangover as the majority of Americans realize they now own practically nothing, including "their" government. This also raises tricky strategic questions for Occupy in general, not just OO.

7 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Adam Francis Cornford on 02/17/2012 at 7:44 PM

Re: “Black Bloc Causes Backlash Against Occupy

My previous post to this thread was informational--clearing up what black bloc is and isn't. However, I now want to add my voice to the critiques of Robert Gammon's article, which is a breathtakingly shoddy piece of journalism. Mr. Gammon bases his rhetorical attack on OO on one poll (to which he does not provide a link). He cites the notorious UC Davis pepper-spray cop John Pike as his example of police brutality rather than the numerous bone-breaking, skull-cracking assaults by the OPD using not only clubs but projectile weapons--and then concludes, on no factual basis whatever that I can see, that the 57% of Bay Area residents who now allegedly disapprove of OO (again, we aren't shown the question they were asked) would therefore approve of the disgusting tactics of Officer Pike being used on OO! Well, Mr. Gammon, as some of us have been trying to tell you, those tactics and far worse have *already* been used on OO participants. Not only that, but the leap of logic from alleged "disapproval" to approval of illegal brutality is absurd on the face of it. Wretched stuff, Mr. Gammon. Just wretched.

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Adam Francis Cornford on 02/17/2012 at 9:52 AM

Re: “Black Bloc Causes Backlash Against Occupy

Unfortunately, the "Bay Area public" polled has been deceived, as has the author of this article, by a media/police frame. There is *no such thing* as a "Black Bloc movement." Black bloc is a *tactic*, invented in Germany, by which demonstrators who don't wish to be identified by the Powers That Be dress in black and wear ski masks etc. People doing black bloc in Oakland have mostly been on the defensive--protecting non-bb demonstrators from police violence, de-arresting people, and so forth. On Nov 2 a group of black bloc'ers did engage in stupid vandalism in downtown Oakland, breaking windows and so forth. Some others have done even more stupid things and reprehensible like throwing projectiles from behind a crowd of demonstrators. What's more, most of the people who broke into City Hall on J28 and did some small-scale vandalism--also stupid, imho--were not black bloc, as you can see from their unmasked faces in photos! But these are neither the majority of Occupy Oakland nor a majority of black bloc nor OO actions.

Although I'm not strictly an anarchist, I also object to the widespread identification of anarchists with black bloc. Plenty of people who do black bloc are not anarchists; most anarchists don't do black bloc. That said, there is plenty of debate and criticism going on in OO about tactics. I recommend going to the OO website or the OO media site ( for more information

13 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Adam Francis Cornford on 02/14/2012 at 12:50 PM

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