Sunday, September 19, 2010

Well Done, Judy Rebick

Rebick hosts black bloc leader at discussion panel

Canadians disgusted by the actions of violent protesters at the G20 Summit in Toronto are still waiting for justice for those actions.

As police continue to use sophisticated investigation techniques to identify rioters and arrest them, that justice grows ever-nearer. But for at least one alleged organizer, that comeuppance may be closer yet.

Alex Hundert, one of those accused of organizing the violence at the G20 summit, was re-arrested afer violating the terms of his $100,000 bail.

Even more interesting than the arrest, however, was the circumstances of the arrest: he was arrested following an appearance at a forum panel, at Ryerson University, organized by Judy Rebick.

Characteristically, Rebick denounced the arrest.

"It was a meeting, a calm, peaceful discussion of issues on people’s minds,” Rebick complained. “It’s an outrage that he was arrested for discussing issues, an outrage.”

As a condition of his bail, Hundert was prohibited from taking part in political protests, such as the ones he soiled in Toronto.

Of course, if the broad collection of groups protesting at the G20 summit really had no connection to the black bloc protesters -- and factually, the vast majority of them didn't -- Rebick has made that a very hard case to defend by hosting Hundert at her event.

It isn't even the first time Rebick gave Hundert a forum.

In March of this year published an article, written by Hundert, in which he admitted to using black bloc tactics as part of anti-Olympic protests.

In the article, Hundert crows brazenly about his anarchist theories, and seems to suggest that anarchism is the only alternative to what he deems "neo-colonialism":
"21st-century analysis is moving beyond the empty rhetoric of 'revolutionary acts.' We no longer wish to seize the machinery of the State to use it for our own ends; we wish to see it dismantled, to be replaced by something other than a new Euro-American colonialism. A better world than that is possible, but it cannot come about until we move beyond the dominant paradigms of our culture. Statism and white supremacy must be resigned to the dustbins of history."
In the article, he continues to espouse the benefits of "diversity of tactics":
"Part of the strength of the anti-Olympic campaign, as a watershed for the new anti-colonial movement, has been the solidarity and unity around a "diversity of tactics." Part of that solidarity is rooted in the idea that you cannot attack one part of the movement without attacking the whole. When we remember to defend each other, we also remember to work together to build the movement and our communities. This cannot be done by succumbing to the classic colonial tactic of divide and conquer. Diversity of tactics means that one day we smash the system and the next we build alternatives. The Black Block is a wrecking ball tactic that makes space for more mainstream or creative tactics. The anarchists who participate in the Bloc are for the most part solid community organizers and people who are at the forefront of making space for creative alternatives to capitalism and colonialism. A diversity of tactics is meant to be complimentary -- different tactics demonstrate different values and objectives, and all must be viewed in sum."
Of course, all of this comes across as pure fallacy. Canadians who witnessed the acts the black bloc committed at the G20 summit know full well that the black bloc aren't defending their fellow protesters. Rather, they're simply staging attacks on private property and persons that are poorly-justified even by their own meagre standards.

Moreover, the black bloc puts peaceful protesters at risk for violent retaliation by police officers venting their frustration at the poor decisions of their commanding officers (who famously ordered riot police at the Toronto summit to stand down because they were "too intimidating").

For her own part, Rebick had, at that point, been wise enough to criticize the black bloc's activities. Hundert, however, was having none of it:
"What Judy Rebick, and many other critics who have had little to do with the anti-Olympic movement, have entirely failed to notice is the fact that the Black Bloc was supported by almost every constituency of the ORN. This show of solidarity was not divisive -- it brought us together and has built deep trust between activists who, in the past, have often had very little to say to each other.

Organizations that were publicly represented include (or had individual members present and unmasked): No One Is Illegal, the Council of Canadians, PETA, the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN),, Gatewaysucks, the Vancouver Anti-Poverty Committee, Food Not Bombs, and many more. None of those organizations have denounced the actions of the Black Bloc that day. And they can't, because their members know that on that day, they were there to support the Black Bloc. Anyone who says that they didn't know what was going to happen is lying. There were 200 people in black with masks on, and 'Riot 2010; has been a rallying call for the movement for more than two years now. Everyone knew what was going to happen, and they all marched anyway.
In one fell swoop, Hundert manages to locate all of these groups -- most notably the Council of Canadians -- within the extreme underbelly of Canada's radical far-left. Hundert appropriates to himself support from even the moderate organizations among them to his anarchist cause.

Remarkably, Hundert has imagined for himself a world wherein the black bloc can deliberately provoke extreme reactions from police and then divest himself of any responsibility:
"After the police clashed with the Bloc that day, and affinity groups were forced to scatter (the Black Bloc doesn't do peaceful arrests -- the tactic dictates mutual protection from the police instead), the majority of the 'non-violent' marchers continued in support. Some of them allowed themselves to be arrested by the frustrated police. Blaming anyone other than the police for the conduct of the police is merely a legitimization of the police presence on our streets -- it would be like blaming the poor for the criminalization of homelessness. I expect people to know better. Cops are no more than armed thugs-for-hire."
That was, of course, in March of 2010. It is now September, after the G20 riot, and Judy Rebick is still providing a platform from which Hundert can proclaim his extreme radical views.

Regardless of the "solidarity" that Alex Hundert claims, most of the peaceful protesters at the G20 Summit have attempted to distance themselves from he and the black bloc, even chanting "shame on you" at them during the event itself.

Yet Rebick has drawn Hunder ever-closer, much to the discredit of herself and the movement she represents.

For that, one simply has to say: well done, Judy Rebick. Well done.

Or at least one would if she hadn't also contributed to the discredit of peaceful organizations that don't deserve to share in her discredit.


  1. If the protesters did not provide support for the anarchists how effective would they be?

    Where are these few hundred staying? How are they able to blend in during these protests after destroying property?

    Judy can't have it both ways. It only reinforces why the G20 "mass arrests" has failed to win public support.

  2. Watching videos of the activities at black bloc actions, it's clear that they intimidate a lot of protesters into "supporting" them.

    Hundert's comments are Orwellian to the extreme, but did you expect anything else?

  3. to blog author Patrick Ross,

    in response to

    those quotes from Alex Hundert are really inspirational, and they sometimes have nothing to do with what you are arguing about or entirely misrepresenting the reality of the situation. Just a quick one for instance, involves the CoC. in the streets of Vancouver during the Heart Attack, it was amazing to see many less radical groups supporting the more radical actions that were taking place as part of the march which explicitly called for clogging the arteries of capitalism. alex does not incorporate the CoC into his messaging, they incorporated themselves into the march, into the messaging. they used a space that was opened to them by a radical action and put a face on solidarity.

    the SJ movement was together after vancouver and remains together after the g20 as well. clearly Judy recognizes the need for a diversity of tactics in the fight against the pestilence of capitalism, and she respects alex's voice, as do many others around the world. Judy is wise enough to recognize her mistakes and learn from them. It was a hand of peace that offered alex a spot at the ryerson discussion, a hand alex was courageous in accepting.

    alex understands the tactic of the black bloc and understands the risks. he was arrested in the pre-dawn on the 26th of june before any street protests happened that day. he does not shift responsibility by noting that the cops in vancouver beat and arrested non-black bloc folks there, he simply puts it out there for people to understand that the police beating and arresting anyone is bad, that the police are the thugs in an oppressive system.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. ...

    just because the police were overwhelmed by street knowledge and solidarity does not give them leave to beat people as a way of "venting their frustrations" as blog author Peter Ross suggests. those cops, their political masters, and their corporate puppet masters should all be the focus of our rage and our justice. anyone who gives the cops leniency for their cruel actions is supporting an infrastructure of systemic violence and injustice (ie you become the enemy of justice)

    maybe an affinity group or two melded back in with others at queens park. and if did happen, then yes that was a mistake. but it was a mistake made by a small group of autonomous individuals (the papers claim 10 or 12) who may have never been to a demo that was actually doing winning before; people looking for safety and support from supposed allies. 10-12 allies searching for protection from a brutal police does not justify the police brutally beating hundreds and illegally detaining over 1100. and it should also not be grounds for collaboration of supposed allies with the state security apparatus. none of us are free until we are all free.

    the juvenile political climate settlers have on turtle island is embarrassing. get the shit over your privilege and recognize that billions around the world suffer for the very existence of this corporate colonial state. canadian companies and canadian policies work to undermine the existence of indigenous the world over, and to uphold brutal dictatorships, apartheid states, and vicious capitalist greed.

    capitalists work for themselves and do it for as much profit as their blood soaked hands can squeeze from the open veins. its time for all the uncritical liberal wage slaves (hipsters?) to overthrow their managers and their owners, because they don't care about you. why would your trust these peoples with your futures'? you are strong enough on your own.

    anarchists do this for free, and we do this for the protection of the diversity, and for the love, of life on earth. we do this for strong and autonomous communities, we do this because our ancestors created this unforgiving machine of colonialism and capitalism - we are responsible for its horrors. we are not professional protesters, we are responsible humans. and we can't be stopped. anarchism is not a cause. it is an ideology from great historical knowledge, and it is an ideology of justice for all.

    to respond to one of the comments on the Nexus of Assholery blog: if ignorant or immoral dicks did not give support to capitalists, how strong would they be?

    dan kellar
    solidarity - scientia - aide mutuel

  6. Speaking of Orwellian,

    Dave clearly wants to distort what has been said here -- no one has said that the police at the G20 protests had any right to beat up protesters to vent their frustrations.

    What was noted was the fact -- the fact -- that the Black Bloc terrorists put peaceful protesters at risk, particularly when they shed their black clothes and cowered amongst them.

    But fortunately due to the wonders of technology, Dirk's beloved terrorists are being identified and arrested at a remarkably satisfying pace.

    Enjoy prison, kids. And don't cry that you're being "oppressed". You're criminals and terrorists -- prison is where people like you belong.


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