Sunday, July 4, 2010

Comparing hockey riot with G20 protest

Found here

The hockey riot referred to seems to be from 2008. Hockey fans aren't a big threat because they are just celebrating a win or getting angry about a loss... possibly protesting a ref's call... not trying to end poverty or send any type of message to politicians.


  1. Here is a video with scenes of the riot you mentioned above.

    This next video is from the 2010 playoffs when Montreal beat Pittsburgh in the first round.

    A few comments about this video:
    -Both the out of hand actions at both the riot and protest were at the hands of a handful of people who were just out there to cause shit and destroy stuff.

    -However, at the protests, I'm sure if I were there and stuff started going down I could probably just get out of the way and leave. In the riot video people driving down the street are having their car jumped on and hit. If a young female driver was in the vehicle she can be in a very bad position.

    -Thankfully the punks in this video didn't have masks on their face and hopefully most were caught. Nothing bugs me more than having people destroy stuff while covering their face being the worthless chickenshit punks that they are.

    I don't condone the violence that took place in either of these events. Both had no point or purpose for the damage that took place, even though the Black Bloc did say they had an agenda (how come it was not mentioned at all during their riots).

  2. I'm not sure what point the above comment is trying to make, but I find this whole Black Bloc discourse as problematic as I found it in the 2000 FTAA protests. There is no organized Black Bloc: anyone can put on shirts and smash things. Moreover, although I think the "violence" is tactically problematic I don't see why people are going out of their way to distance themselves from it. For one thing, it's philosophically unfeasible to suggest you can commit violence against private property - that's a bourgeois argument. For another, I didn't see just people dressed in black (the Black Bloc spectre) smashing things but people in general. Why? Because there's a general frustration against the state and, when this state appears coherently in the form of fences and riot cops, the frustration erupts because, while the state is abstract in every day social relations, in these rebellions you're suddenly given a target for your frustration.

    Nor would I say that some of the "violence" at the G20 had "no point or purpose." Smashing signifiers of corporate power has, for anarchists at least, always been considered propaganda of the deed. Again, while I think this fails as a tactic, I reject any argument that attempts to cast it as immoral.

  3. That video is quite telling when compared to the videos out there of the "black bloc" (a name I put in quotation marks because, as JMP points out, it is more of a tactic than an organized group, despite how the media refers to them). It seems like a dangerous experience for those who were nearby, whereas the G20 so-called riots remained quite non-violent insofar as nobody got hurt and all frustration and destruction was against private property, generally police cars and large corporations, but also other businesses as well. Sweet Pandemonium, you are right to say that protestors at the G20 who wished to leave were able to do so, whereas in this video, it might have been more difficult. I do not, however, agree that everyone involved is necessarily a "worthless chickenshit punk" and I think that using that type of language could cloud your message.

    I agree with JMP in that although I don't like starting fires and breaking windows as a tactic, I see how it is useful to anti-consumerist and anarchist movements, in that the destruction in and of itself could be part of the message, especially when they are strategic in which types of businesses they hit. I do appreciate culture jamming- I love to see horrible advertisements vandalized with better messages to make people think, and I wonder how different that actually is from breaking windows.

  4. You can argue it all you want, but the definition of violence states:


    1. Physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing: crimes of violence.
    2. The act or an instance of violent action or behavior.
    3. Intensity or severity, as in natural phenomena; untamed force: the violence of a tornado.
    4. Abusive or unjust exercise of power.
    5. Abuse or injury to meaning, content, or intent: do violence to a text.
    6. Vehemence of feeling or expression; fervor.

    #1 states physical force exerted for the damaging (which is what occurred).

    We can spend the next 10 years arguing what was done had a purpose or not, but violent acts did occur by people. I don't care if they were wearing black or not. If you looked at my above comment I said that the people in Montreal were violent when they destroyed stores and looted they were not wearing black.

  5. calling the destruction of property as violence a bourgeois concept does not mean that it wouldn't be in the dictionary... look at Foucault's work... the dictionary is a text in which certain ways of thinking and speaking about the world become part of everyday discourse. Think about who writes the dictionary, whose views it represents.

  6. As Ms. Marx has pointed out, the dictionary is definitely a problematic source for defining something with conceptual depth. And I believe that I said in my original point that, "it's philosophically unfeasible to suggest you can commit violence to private property." There is a reason why my students at university are not allowed to use dictionaries for philosophical concepts. Even if they aren't riven with class assumptions, they're extremely limited.

    The "purpose of violating" is pretty vague. Violence is a relational concept that requires not only someone to perceive they're acting violently but someone to feel the relational act. The large-scale privation of property has a violent affect, for example, because people feel the effects of alienation. A smashed window cannot feel violated, however; it's an inanimate object.