After publishing a scathing essay criticizing the tactics of some "Occupy" protesters, Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges appeared on Russia Today's The Alyona Show to discuss what he sees as a "cancer" on the movement: the so-called "Black Bloc."
The "Black Bloc" isn't so much a sub-group as it is a tactic used by vandals to provide safety in numbers. The thinking is, if one is part of a large group that's wearing all black, individuals who commit acts of mayhem are harder to pick out from the crowd. While black-clad anarchists have not been a staple feature of the "Occupy" protests, they have emerged in some of the more publicized confrontations, especially in Oakland, where they smashed private property, broke into buildings and sparked mass arrests.
"The prime mover behind wiping out the Occupy encampments was, of course, a Democratic administration," Hedges said. "And that's because they deeply fear this movement. It has called their bluff. It has exposed them as corporate puppets in this two party corporate duopoly. I think they realize despite the efforts by MoveOn.org, Van Jones and others that they are not going to co-opt this movement. And so, on the one hand they will try to physically erase it -- we just had the D.C. encampment shut down -- and internally they will try to divide it."
That divison has already begun, Hedges said.
"The Occupy movement has got to draw some very sharp lines," he added. "It's got to stop these Black Bloc groups from essentially using them as human shields. Remember, they're tiny, these groups, but they enter large demonstrations and then use them as a kind of cover to carry out violent activities. We've seen it not only in Oakland, but in Denver, Los Angeles, in New York -- antagonizing and confronting the police.
"Because this is, in essence, a mainstream movement -- this is a movement that expresses the will of the mainstream -- it can't afford to alienate the mainstream. I have no evidence that there are agent provocateurs, but if there are agent provocateurs within this movement, I bet pretty good money they're within the Black Bloc."
In his opinion, "Black Bloc" is merely "serving the interests of the 1 percent," and they must be stopped at any cost.
Hedges, one of the most vocal proponents of the "Occupy" movement, said last October that after having watched revolutions unfold in other countries, he believed the U.S. demonstrations could bring down the nation's ruling class. He's since been arrested with other protesters in an "Occupy" demonstration against investment firm Goldman Sachs.
The video below was broadcast by Russia Today on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2012.