This evening I read media coverage of today’s events in Strasbourg which said that anti-NATO protesters attacked the police. That is rubbish. Anti-NATO protesters held a peaceful, political rally and peaceful political demonstration, aimed against NATO and why we want to see it dissolved.
The people who attacked the police were the so-called ‘Black Block’. In what sense were their actions anti-NATO? As well as attacking the police, they burned down buildings, attacked factories, destroyed bus stops and phone booths, and massively vandalised a post office. And that is only what I personally saw. They have attacked and destroyed public property which will only hurt and inconvenience ordinary people and make their everyday lives harder and more difficult – never mind the cost which the ordinary people will have to pay for.
But more than that, this ‘Black Block’ hid behind the ordinary, peaceful, political marchers. As we marched down the backstreets allocated to us by the uncooperative police, they came with us. They used us as a shield from behind which to attack the police. Their provocations and attacks on the police from within our numbers meant that the police rained down endless CS gas attacks upon us. And when the riot police with their shields and gas firing guns finally attacked us, as we stood cornered in a dead end of the docks, they took off their black clothes and merged back into our ranks.
I cannot think of a more despicable piece of rank cowardice. If they want to attack the police let them go and do it on their own. Let them fight the police and take the response upon themselves, not inflict it on people who have chosen the peaceful path of resistance. These people are no part of our movement. They are an obstacle to effective resistance and must be isolated and recognised for what they are: wreckers whose actions turn the mass of the people against our campaigns. In this they serve the interests of the state not of the people.