The untrained observer of the mayhem visited upon American cities by BLM and ANTIFA rioters might be forgiven for thinking of the rampage, looting, and chaotic violence as spontaneous and unplanned.
The truth is that despite the chaotic seeming nature of the rioters and looters, their operations are indeed highly sophisticated and well-thought-out.
A far-left anarchist website recently posted an anonymous entry by a participant in the infamous multiple day siege in Minneapolis that left that city quite literally in flames. This entry offers extra-ordinary insight into the planning, insight, and sophistication of the key organizers behind such riots.
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In fact, this article provides all the proof President Trump and Attorney General William Barr need to designate Antifa a domestic terror organization and strike at the heart of their funding.
Though the account and analysis are dense with important information, a key takeaway has to do with the manner in which “peaceful protestors” worked hand-in-hand with the “ballistics” people visiting violence upon the police. Contrary to media narratives that like to portray such protests as primarily peaceful with a few “bad apples,” the first hand account here details how peaceful protesters work symbiotically and with complementarity to the violent protestors.
The distinction is ultimately then a false one as both components are necessary to the type of “successful” operation such as what occurred in Minneapolis.
Revolver.news will walk you through some of the key passages and insights. The entire piece is available HERE
Toward the end of the piece, the author comments on how the blurred lines and symbiosis between the violent and non-violent protestors was a critical ingredient to operational success:
The Ambiguity of Violence and Non-Violence on the Front Lines
We are used to seeing more confrontational tactics used to shield those practicing non-violence, as in Standing Rock and Charlottesville or in the figure of the “front-liner” in Hong Kong. However, the reversal of this relationship divided the functions of the “militant front-liner” (à la Hong Kong) across two separate roles: shielding the crowd and counter-offense. This never rose to the level of an explicit strategy in the streets; there were no calls to “shield the throwers.” In the US context, where non-violence and its attendant innocence narratives are deeply entrenched in struggles against state racism, it is unclear if this strategy could function explicitly without ballistics crews first taking risks to invite bloodshed upon themselves. In other words, it appears likely that the joining of ballistics tactics and non-violence in Minneapolis was made possible by a tacitly shared perception of the importance of self-sacrifice in confronting the state that forced all sides to push through their fear.
In a separate section the anonymous author details the various roles different actors played in the operation, describing the role of the “peaceful protestors” as follows:
The non-violent tactics of peaceful protesters served two familiar aims and one unusual one:
- They created a spectacle of legitimacy, which was intensified as police violence escalated.
- They created a front line that blocked police attempts to advance when they deployed outside of the Precinct.
- In addition, in an unexpected turn of affairs, the peaceful protestors shielded those who employed projectiles.
Whenever the police threatened tear gas or rubber bullets, non-violent protesters lined up at the front with their hands up in the air, chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” Sometimes they kneeled, but typically only during relative lulls in the action. When the cops deployed outside the Precincts, their police lines frequently found themselves facing a line of “non-violent” protestors. This had the effect of temporarily stabilizing the space of conflict and gave other crowd members a stationary target. While some peaceful protestors angrily commanded people to stop throwing things, they were few and grew quiet as the day wore on. This was most likely because the police were targeting people who threw things with rubber bullets early on in the conflict, which enraged the crowd. It’s worth noting that the reverse has often been the case—we are used to seeing more confrontational tactics used to shield those practicing non-violence (e.g., at Standing Rock and Charlottesville). The reversal of this relationship in Minneapolis afforded greater autonomy to those employing confrontational tactics.
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Part of the function of the peaceful protestors is to confer the entire operation with an air of “legitimacy” which is then picked up by sympathetic mainstream media outlets who refer to such operations as “peaceful.” As the account above suggests, the “peaceful” protestors merely serve to provide narrative and literal cover to the more directly violent participants.
The anonymous account went on to describe the role of other participants as follows:
Those who were organized as street medics did not interfere with the tactical choices of the crowd. Instead, they consistently treated anyone who needed their help.
Scanner Monitors and Telegram App Channel Operators
This is common practice in many US cities by now, but police scanner monitors with an ear for strategically important information played a critical role in setting up information flows from the police to the crowd. It is almost certain that on the whole, much of the crowd was not practicing the greatest security to access the Telegram channel. We advise rebels to set up the Telegram app on burner phones in order to stay informed while preventing police stingrays (false cell phone towers) from gleaning their personal information.
- They drew police violence away from the peaceful elements of the crowd during moments of escalation.
- They patiently depleted the police crowd control munitions.
- They threatened the physical safety of the police, making it more costly for them to advance.
In the grammar of the Hong Kong movement, those who operate laser pointers are referred to as “light mages.” As was the case in Hong Kong, Chile, and elsewhere in 2019, some people came prepared with laser pointers to attack the optical capacity of the police. Laser pointers involve a special risk/reward ratio, as it is very easy to track people using laser pointers, even when they are operating within a dense and active crowd at night. Laser pointer users are particularly vulnerable if they attempt to target individual police officers or (especially) police helicopters while operating in small crowds; this is still the case even if the entire neighborhood is undergoing mass looting (the daytime use of high-powered lasers with scopes remains untested, to our knowledge). The upside of laser pointers is immense: they momentarily compromise the eyesight of the police on the ground and they can disable police surveillance drones by interfering with their infrared sensors and obstacle-detection cameras.
Looting served three critical aims.
First, it liberated supplies to heal and nourish the crowd. On the first day, rebels attempted to seize the liquor store directly across from the Third Precinct. Their success was brief, as the cops managed to re-secure it. Early in the standoff on Day Two, a handful of people signaled their determination by climbing on top of the store to mock the police from the roof. The crowd cheered at this humiliation, which implicitly set the objective for the rest of the day: to demonstrate the powerlessness of the police, demoralize them, and exhaust their capacities.
Second, looting boosted the crowd’s morale by creating solidarity and joy through a shared act of collective transgression. The act of gift giving and the spirit of generosity was made accessible to all, providing a positive counterpoint to the head-to-head conflicts with the police.
Third, and most importantly, looting contributed to keeping the situation ungovernable. As looting spread throughout the city, police forces everywhere were spread thin. Their attempts to secure key targets only gave looters free rein over other areas in the city. Like a fist squeezing water, the police found themselves frustrated by an opponent that expanded exponentially.
Even with looting, the chaos had both tactical and strategic utility. Here’s how the author described the fires that set many neighborhoods and businesses in Minneapolis ablaze.
The decision to burn looted businesses can be seen as tactically intelligent. It contributed to depleting police resources, since the firefighters forced to continually extinguish structure fires all over town required heavy police escorts. This severely impacted their ability to intervene in situations of ongoing looting, the vast majority of which they never responded to (the malls and the Super Target store on University Ave being exceptions).
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Comparison to Hong Kong Riots
One of the most striking features of the anonymous account is how the Minneapolis rioters explicitly compared their tactics to those of the Hong Kong rioters. There is the example of the “laser magis” described above, but also passages such as the following that intersperse the analysis as a whole:
borrowing from the language of Hong Kong, we saw the crowd practice the maxim “Be water.” Not only did the crowd quickly flow back into spaces from which they had to retreat, but when forced outward, the crowd didn’t behave the way that the cops did by fixating on territorial control. When they could, the crowd flowed back into the spaces from which they had been forced to retreat due to tear gas. But when necessary, the crowd flowed away from police advances like a torrential destructive force. Each police advance resulted in more businesses being smashed, looted, and burned. This meant that the police were losers regardless of whether they chose to remain besieged or push back the crowd.
Of course, whereas China had the confidence and capacity to quell its rioters, America’s rulers are either incapable or unwilling to stop theirs. In fact, as Revolver.news exclusively reported, there were countless cases of military officials, police officers, FBI agents, and other security officials who demonstrated direct moral support for the rioters—taking the dubious role of “peaceful protestors” themselves.
One key conclusion from this analysis is that different factions of rioters can operate symbiotically without formal centralized control. Indeed, the author repeatedly emphasizes how the fluidity of different factions —- looters, medics, laser magiis, ballistics, etc— helped the participants respond with flexibility to the situation on the ground.
It is this very fluidity that functionally underscores the ambiguous distinction between the “non-violent” and the “violent” protestors.
Finally, the fall of the Third Precinct demonstrates the power of ungovernability as a strategic aim and means of crowd activity. The more that a crowd can do, the harder it will be to police. Crowds can maximize their agency by increasing the number of roles that people can play and by maximizing the complementary relationships between them.
Non-violence practitioners can use their legitimacy to temporarily conceal or shield ballistics squads. Ballistics squads can draw police fire away from those practicing non-violence. Looters can help feed and heal the crowd while simultaneously disorienting the police. In turn, those going head to head with the police can generate opportunities for looting. Light mages can provide ballistics crews with temporary opacity by blinding the police and disabling surveillance drones and cameras. Non-violence practitioners can buy time for barricaders, whose works can later alleviate the need for non-violence to secure the front line.
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Despite the characterization in the media of recent protests as fundamentally “peaceful” ones compromised by a few bad apples, the internal reports suggest something dramatically more sinister. Whether they know it or not, the “peaceful protestors” are offering an important tactical and strategic complementary allowing for violent groups to burn down cities and attack police. In giving legitimacy to such “peaceful” protestors, the media is itself complicit in this larger matrix of violent behavior on behalf of the ruling class.
It is also important to note that despite their stated self-concept, such groups are NOT truly subversive in the sense of undermining the interests of the ruling class. Middle-class America, and particularly white middle class America, remains the single force with the expectations and organizational capacity to stand in the way of the corrupt ruling class’ plans for total, full spectrum hegemony over the population. What these groups like BLM and ANTIFA are doing are increasingly acting as a genocidal paramilitary force on behalf of the corrupt ruling elite to neutralize this last remaining impediment to ruling class control.
These groups are ugly, evil, dangerous, and destructive—but they are NOT fundamentally subversive. The subversive Americans are the emerging elite who dare to speak up against the ruling class and are brutally silenced for it.
It is particularly important for this emerging elite against the corrupt ruling class to understand the tactics and mindset of such paramilitary forces.
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