What is a “black block”?

What is a “black block”?

Yesterday, on the occasion of the May Day demonstrations, new violent clashes broke out between the “Black Bloc” and the police, during which a police officer was seriously injured and burned to death after being thrown a second-degree Molotov cocktail … This aggressive action is this one anonymous group dressed in black, but who are these famous ” black block » ?

THE ” black block form a group of people united by a common ideology, mostly anti-capitalists and anarchists. They see the use of coercion and violence as a means to an end and to make their voices heard. Some believe that this is the only method that really works and that nonviolent demonstrations are ineffective. However, in their opinion, this resort to violence is not the only solution to the fight, but just one tool among others. The violence from black block is certainly very important, but it is still not systematic, some members do not use violence during the mobilization days.

These activists, mostly from the extreme left, are masked and dressed all in black. This color is said to be the symbol of solidarity, equality between men and women and the unity that prevails between them. Above all, however, it serves to keep its members anonymous, because with the mass effect they create, they protect themselves from video surveillance cameras and are therefore very difficult to identify.

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The origin of this movement of extremist activists comes from the English translation of the German name: “Schwarzer Block”. The term first appeared in the mouths of West Berlin police officers in the 1980s, describing squatting, demonstrations and violence by activists dressed all in black.

Nowadays the ” black block are revolting against the government and law enforcement, which they see as the armed right arm of capitalism and the state. Their actions are therefore directed against the symbols of capitalism and the state. They injure police officers, loot public road infrastructure, set cities on fire… And justify their actions by claiming that capitalism has no equal in destruction as their small direct actions. Although perceived as extreme and violent, their actions actually represent only micro-violence on the historic scale of violence in France. Throwing Molotov cocktails like yesterday in Paris is relatively rare and there are usually only pebbles, cobblestones and glass bottles. THE ” black block are generally frowned upon by peaceful demonstrators, as they perceive them as counterproductive. They nevertheless undertake to protect them and not to attack them.

At the time of the revolution in France against the pension reform, the demonstrations in France raged more and more and the anger of the French against the government was felt more and more. In the next days of mobilization we can expect that the ” black block put back their black suits and cause further damage or injury to the police…

Also Read: What to Expect for the May Day Protests?