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Faces masked, dressed in black, and forcefully attacking the symbols of capitalism, Black Blocs have been transformed into an anti-globalization media spectacle. But the popular image of the window-smashing thug hides a complex reality.
Francis Dupuis-Déri outlines the origin of this phenomenon, its dynamics, and its goals, arguing that the use of violence always takes place in an ethical and strategic context.
Translated into English for the first time and completely revised and updated to include the most recent Black Bloc actions at protests in Greece, Germany, Canada, and England, and the Bloc’s role in the Occupy movement and the Quebec student strike, Black Blocs lays out a comprehensive view of the Black Bloc tactic and locates it within the anarchist tradition of direct action.
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the National Translation Program for Book Publishing, an initiative of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, for our translation activities.
A level-headed, carefully researched inquiry into a subject that reduces most pundits to foaming at the mouth.
– CrimethInc. Writers’ Bloc
… highly informative and provocative throughout.
Francis Dupuis-Déri’s discussion of Black Blocs is intimately well-informed, truly international in scope, and up-to-the-minute. He treats the complex issues surrounding the tactic with an admirable balance of sympathy and sobriety. This book is the ideal antidote to the misinformation spread by the establishment, its defenders, and its false critics.
– Uri Gordon, author of Anarchy Alive
Wearing black to mask their identities, the Black Bloc fights injustice globally. Although little is known about these modern Zorros, this book critically reveals their origins and prospects. I heartily recommend it.
– George Katsiaficas, activist and author of The Subversion of Politics
Dupuis-Déri cuts through the crap, taking the Black Bloc tactic seriously as both a political tool and a manifestation of the rage and joy that are part of the struggle for a better world.
– Lesley J. Wood, Professor of Sociology, York University, and author of Direct Action, Deliberation, and Diffusion
The richness, imaginativeness, and sheer learning of Francis Dupui-Déri’s work is stimulating and impressive. The whole book turns on a fascinating blend of the rigorously analytical and the generously imaginative. It was high time that it should be translated into English, as this well-established anarchist classic will both delight and inform.
– Andrej Grubacic, Professor of Anthropology and Social Change, California Institute of Integral Studies, and co-author of Wobblies & Zapatistas
Who’s Afraid of the Black Blocs? is a measured, critical, and persuasive defence of global protest actions. Against critics who dismiss these as purposeless or who treat illegalism as a distraction to the mainstream event, Dupuis-Déri highlights the effectiveness of the Black Blocs decision-making processes and the considered politics of its participants.
– Ruth Kinna, Professor of Politics, History and International Relations, Loughborough University, UK and author of Anarchism: A Beginner’s Guide
Francis Dupuis-Déri provides the most sustained, energetic, and exciting discussion of the Black Blocs yet. No other work brings together the voices of participants and supporters, critics (from inside and outside of the movements), academics, and public commentators in such thorough analysis. His approach takes Black Blocs seriously but is in no way uncritical. This is essential reading for anyone concerned with contemporary political strategies and tactics. It will be urgently read by anyone seeking a glimpse of politics beyond the bland and rote repetition of conventional and familiar protest politics. Read it before your next demo.
– Jeff Shantz, author of Commonist Tendencies
At last, a thorough historical and political explanation of property destruction as social protest.
– Amory Starr, author of Naming the Enemy, Global Revolt, and Shutting down the Street
Francis Dupuis-Déri is one of the most important radical thinkers of his generation. This noteworthy translation of his groundbreaking analysis of the Black Blocs is a most welcome addition to scholarship. It is exemplary of his unwavering commitment to the serious study of emancipatory politics.
– Martin Breaugh, Associate Professor of Political Science, York University and author of The Plebeian Experience
Chosen as one of the “Top Reads of 2015”
|Chapter 1||Where Do the Black Blocs Come From?|
|Chapter 2||Political Violence|
|Chapter 3||The Roots of Rage Against the System|
|Chapter 4||Criticism of the Black Bloc|
|Conclusion||Police Repression and Political Profiling|
Book trailer for Who’s Afraid of the Black Blocs