Could it be that Black Bloc “members” are football fans (soccer if you’re a Yank)? Apparently they’re going to be in Brazil for the world’s greatest sporting event–the FIFA World Cup–and certain media reports would have it that they’ll be turning the tournament cities into riot zones. From Global Post via The Week:
Their faces hide behind scarves, gas masks, and motorcycle helmets. TV images show them smashing cars, hurling bricks at police, and setting tires ablaze on the streets of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian politicians have claimed they are a national security threat.
But who really are these protesters who plan to run riot at the World Cup as soon as the inaugural game kicks off on June 12?
Brazil’s police allege the militants form an extremist group called the Black Bloc, and say they are watching its leaders. The local press has published exposes claiming that the Black Bloc is funded by foreigners intent on spoiling the nation’s moment of glory.
However, speaking to GlobalPost, a veteran of Brazil’s radical protest movement said the Black Bloc is not an organization at all. Rather, it’s a tactic of demonstrators who are leaderless, angry, and determined to raise hell.
“It is the 10 percent of the demonstration that don’t run from police, who are not scared. Nobody owns it,” said the protester, who identified himself only as AM because of the risks of arrest.
The tactic, AM explained, consists of militant protesters, often masked and wearing dark colors, swelling together in a block during demonstrations. They break into runs, jump and shout, helping to provoke confrontation. And when police inevitably react, they are not scared to hit back.
“It is the violence that has always been in the slums of Brazil but now has come to the center of town,” said AM, a 32-year-old native of Sao Paulo.
Protesters inside the Black Blocs can actually have different political positions, he adds. But many, including him, are drawn to a form of anarchism, which he asserts is not left- or right-wing but against the entire system…
[continues at Global Post via The Week]