Just had to add my 2 bits to this debate on property destruction.
I was in Seattle on N30 and I have to say that I did not find the graffitti and smashed windows on corporate businesses disturbing in the least. The property deconstruction was well targetted, the individuals doing the mischief were easily identifiable and the entire time (from 9:00am to 5:30pm) I never felt like my safety was threatened by the black bloc or that they were intent on threatening any other person's safety. My safety was of course continually threatened by the police.
Lets be clear about this police responce and the media response as well. The police tear gassed, pepper sprayed and shot at people because they were interrupting the business of the WTO, not because of graffitti and broken windows.
When I got back home from Seattle I watched taped coverage from the Seattle NBC affiliate on N30. The media barely mentioned property destruction the entire day. When they did mention it, it was clear that they knew it was a small group dressed in black. What the reporters kept harping on was the fact that delegates couldn't get through the blockade. This was what was pissing off the media/political/business elites and this is most likely where the pressure came for the cops to get nasty. The editorials in the Post Intelligencer and in local Canadian papers focused on the disruption of the blockade and our lack of civic pride, not on the black bloc.
Don't forget that in Vancouver at APEC the police pepper sprayed protesters without ANY provocation and arrested activists without charge. No property destruction here, just more violent cops and the state doin' its part for global capital.
As far as property destruction dividing the struggle, lets all talk about that shall we. Far more disturbing to me than any property destruction debate is the absence of debate around revelations that IFG and Public Citizen both courted that fucking racist homophob Pat Buchanan. While I'm not computer savvy enough to set up a link, the info I got came from Arm The Spirit (email@example.com) and was written by Dutch group "De Fabel Van De Illegaal". Now this may be old news to everyone else on this listserve but I only heard about this 10 days ago.
According to the article "Marriage Partyy of the left and the right" Mike Dolan of Public Citizen admitted to them in an email that yes they are courting Buchanan and his supporters because "whatever else you say about Pat Buchanan, he will be the only candidate in the 2000 presidential sweepstakes who will passionately and unconditionally defend the legitimated expectations of working families in the global economy."
Oh really. Like Jewish families, who according to Buchanan control all the "big capital" and whose geneocide under the Nazis was wasn't "really that big of an event". Or maybe those are the gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered families whom Buchanan has attacked or maybe the non-white immigrant families he has attacked.
To add insult to injury under an article on the Indymedia web site is a link to Pat Buchanan's web site. What the fuck is going on here?
When we talk here about dividing the movement, property destruction pales in camparison to this bullshit. Maybe this explains the absence within DAN of a significant representation of people of colour or indigenous peoples or why indigenous speakers were tacked on at the last minute to the labour march even though we are doing actions on land we currently occupy as decendents and current beneficiaries of colonialism. I'm not suggesting DAN is racist but this association with racists sends a message out to people within and outside our movement about who is a disirable ally. It sends, at the least, a message of disrespect to all people attacked by Pat Buchanan.
To the reformist left or those worried about dividing the left, maybe those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. No pun intended.
To finish this rant on a positive note. N30 was the most inspiring day I have ever had as an activist. It was a huge victory and we should all be proud.
As for this racist shit. I don't know if there is a theme for May Day 2000 but how about "Colonialism and Globalization". If we are really worried about mending bridges then lets to build them to the right places. Lets build on our acheivement with an effort towards a truly diverse movement. I believe acknowledging the role of colonialism in global capitalism, here on sovereign native land and around the world gives us an analytical basis to connect with other struggles, not just a moralistic one that ends up being tokenism.
Anyway, please email Indymedia and ask them what the fuck is up with this Buchanan web link. Email Public Citizen if you want but personally I find their nationalistic shit extremely dangerous and couldn't be bothered wasting my time with them.
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