Rioting "not violence" but "freedom of expression". Who knew?
According to a Montreal-based anti-capitalist group, the black bloc anarchists who indulged their revolutionary fantasies in downtown Toronto this past week were not violent.
Ani-Capitalist Convergance, a group whose name speaks for itself, made a variety of absurd statements that the Toronto Star obligingly reported. Those statements ranged from blatant apologism for the terrorist thugs who rampaged in downtown Toronto to making some absurd accusations.
“For us it’s not violence,” mused Mahieu Francoeur, a spokesman for the group. “It’s a means of expression and doesn’t compare to the economic and state violence we’re subjected to.”
"We respect a diversity of tactics. People are angry, particularly in the context of an event like that," Francoeur continued. "For us it's vandalism against certain institutions . . . it's symbolic and doesn't compare with violence in general in society."
In other words: the black bloc terrorists destroying storefronts in downtown Toronto weren't violent because the ACC approves of their actions. Meanwhile, the economy is violent because the ACC disapproves of capitalism.
Consider it something of a Marxist slip.
“I think the message is clear,” explained Danie Royer. “If people take back the streets, if people attack symbols of capitalism, I think this is the message."
Among the more absurd comments made by the group was an accusation that riot police in Toronto indiscriminately arrested all francophones in downtown Toronto.
“Everybody that was in the streets that talked French or even cars that had Quebec plates were arrested," Royer insisted.
The best evidence they have to offer for this is that one of their members, arrested during the riots, was held in a 20-person holding cell with 18 other francophone Quebeckers. They also note that 300 of 450 people they took to Toronto didn't return with them.
Many of them were likely arrested.
Foyer also complained that the police moved quickly to deal with the ACC.
"When we arrived by bus the police were waiting for us. They took our flags, our [signs]," she said.
Of course, there's more to the matter than Francoeur or Foryer admit. As it turns out, Anti-Capitalist Convergence, as a broader movement, peddles in various forms of support for protest movements. There's nothing inherently wrong with this.
But among those forms of support is agitprop, most simply propaganda designed for agitation.
Which explains why so many members of ACC may have been arrested in Toronto. While the black bloc riots were clearly premeditated and not provoked by the ACC, the ACC was almost certainly attempting to agitate protesters at the G20 Summit into some kind of action -- and it's already been shown that they aren't the slightest bit taken aback by violence.
Thinking more deeply about the group and its goals, it becomes clear that the group's attempts to stir up ethnic/lingual tensions in a country rendered sensitive to such matters -- due to the fact that it has been tragically prone to such tensions -- is itself an article of agitprop.
As far as being one-trick ponies goes, groups such as Anti-Capitalist Convergence not only take the cake, but they baked it too.