The Occupy Wall Street has proven to be an opportune forum for a dangerous faction called the Black Bloc. Although Black Bloc is not the only militant faction in the OWS movement, the Black Bloc is the most prominent and has been around for years. There is dispute within OWS as to whether the various militant factions are helpful or harmful to the OWS anti-capitalist message. The Black bloc thugs are self-described anarchists and they like to create havoc. Although they are also anti-capitalist and closely associated with the OWS movement, their tactics are violent.
On April 30, the Black Bloc trashed the Mission District in San Francisco. They defaced property, smashed windows, vandalized vehicles and basically destroyed everything in their path. They posted themselves causing the destruction online, where one can hear them scream, “F**k the Police” and “Occupy will not be stopped, especially by some f**king cop!” and “What do we want? Dead Cops!” As much as the Occupy movement seeks to distance themselves from violence, many of the Black Bloc group are active in the Occupy Movement.
Watch the video here (graphic language):
The “Ruckus Party” was advertised on a since-scrubbed invitation on the Occupy Oakland Website. “We call upon all of our comrades from every corner of the Bay to descend upon Dolores Park for a ruckus street party to counter gentrification, capitalism, and the policing of our communities.”
Regarding the criminal destruction, the local San Francisco news reported, “100-150 people were involved and that the police station was also a target. “At the Mission police station at 17th and Valencia streets, pink and yellow paint was thrown on the barricaded glass doors, which someone cracked with a hammer or similar weapon.” One person surveyed the smashed window at her business said, “Occupy is saying it’s not them, but we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Occupy, now would we?” The Occupy Wall Street movement has mixed feelings on the militant faction of the movement, but that a radical element exists is not in question.
Sfgate reported that people wondered why this gang was not stopped by police; “protesters damaged more than 30 stores and restaurants and vandalized cars, questioned Tuesday why activists had singled them out and why police hadn’t done more to halt the rampage.” No arrests were made, except for one, who was cited and released for a “vehicle code violation” and resisting arrest. “Some business owners said that given the extent of the damage, the arrest total should have been far higher.”
Reporter Wendell Goler asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney this week, “The President has voiced support for the Occupy folks in the past. Did their actions in Chicago sour his support?” Carney is clearly uncomfortable, shown by his body language and dancing between expressing support and disapproval can be seen here: