UK Uncut must break from the Black Bloc…
First, let me clarify something. I have seen a couple of pieces across the blogsphere defending UK Uncut. In general, I feel UK Uncut has plenty to offer this movement; nonetheless, this does not mean I am therefore obliged to agree with every tactical decision they make. They made the wrong call on Saturday tactically speaking as far as I am concerned. It’s dangerous to conflate criticism of tactics with outright attacks.
Right, with that out-of-the-way; it seems that fighting has broken out between elements of UK Uncut and the Black Bloc. Good. I watched the spokesperson for UK Uncut make a complete fool of themselves and the organisation on Newsnight by refusing to explicitly condemn the actions of the Black Bloc, which they should be able to do. My view of the Black Bloc is simple. It is a vipers nest, riddled with state assets whose sole purpose is the destruction and discrediting of this movement. The politics of the Bloc, such as they are, make this easy, as does the age demographic of its more genuine supporters.
Members of the Bloc are explicitly encouraged to conceal their identity which is as they are not an actual organisation but a mere component of a demonstration. At Saturdays demonstration we saw clear evidence that there were police infiltrators within the bloc. Documentary evidence also exists of it on other occasions; Quebec’s police force admitted it had three officers undercover for a summit of North American leaders who operated within the bloc.
If these two letters here and here are anything to go by organisations operating within the Bloc are making a concerted effort to assimilate UK Uncut. In the second letter, they show a talent for deception which beggars belief:
“The UK Uncut actions on Oxford Street and in occupying Fortnum and Masons provoked harsh treatment from police, including mass arrests.”
In reality, the Black Bloc broke away and charged up Oxford and Regent Street causing general havoc before the police actions at F & M and Trafalgar Square. Therefore, while the police may well have pre-planned their ‘harsh response’ they did so only when the Bloc had provided the necessary cover. Is it any wonder they are cheered by Nick Cohen in The Spectator as the secret weapon of the Conservatives?
The genuine activists within the Bloc are being misled and manipulated. A political struggle against this grouping is necessary if this movement is to survive and succeed. If UK Uncut cannot break from the Bloc, it will become a conduit into the movement through which those who wish it no success will travel. UK Uncut should join the struggle against this grouping, not let themselves become an appendage of it.