The Black Bloc has gained alot of publicity in the past two years. What people dont
understand is that the Black Bloc is not an organization or a group. It is a tactic. It helps
reinforce security and execute our goal in the presence of high-profile demonstrations. From
Seattle WTO to the most recent action in Genoa, the Black Bloc has certainly been the main
focus by the media and the police in major demonstrations. Therefore, it is necessary to
introduce newer and better tactics into the struggle. Be creative. Build off the info on this
site and never give up.
So What Is A Black Bloc?
The Black Bloc is a tactic that has been used in demonstrations for years. It is used as
a security and safety measure. In it's essential form, each participant of a Black Bloc wears
somewhat of a uniform (see the Clothing section). The idea of wearing this uniform is
that if every single person in the Bloc looks relatively alike, it is hard for the police to
determine which individual did what. For instance, if a Black Bloc participant throws a brick
at a store window and runs into the Bloc, she will easily blend in with everyone else. However,
if a person wearing normal street clothes happens to throw a brick and run into the Bloc, chances
are that she will have been filmed or photographed and later caught by the police.
Also, since Anarchist presence has been a very hot issue in the past few years, law enforcement
has been known to film and take photos of random activists and keep files on those individuals.
This can lead to problems in the future. It's better to be safe than in jail.
The clothing worn by Black Bloc participants is very easy to acquire. You may even have
these clothes in your own home. Any logos or patches must be removed one way or another to
have any effect in using the Black Bloc tactic.
Black Hooded Sweatshirt-The black hooded sweatshirt offers great protection in many ways.
It protects the back of the neck and sides of the head from pepper spray and other chemical agents.
Police often occupy rooftops and use helicopters in order to gain overhead perspective when
filming and photographing the Bloc. The hooded sweatshirt helps protect you from these perspectives
by covering your head and therefore making it difficult to draw any distinctions. Again, all
logos, patches, or anything else that can help the police distinguish you from anyone else
should be removed or left at home.
Black Pants-Average black workers pants are fine. Black military-style cargo pants are
extremely recommended. The cargo pockets can hold any items of use that you may have. Also,
the ties on the side are great for de-bloc'ing (see de-bloc'ing section). All
distinguishing characteristics must be removed.
Running or Tennis Shoes-A good pair of sneakers are the best investment here. Big heavy
boots may be difficult to leave the scene in. However, this is just a recommendation.
Masks-One of the most important aspects of the uniform. The mask you wear should show
nothing more than your eyes. We advise that you DO NOT wear a mask that will give you tunnel
vision, like a cat; that is, a mask that will cut off your vision from what is beside you.
There are many different kinds of recommended masks:
Ski Mask-A simple, inexpensive find at any sporting goods or army-navy store.
We recommend the masks that only have holes for your eyes. However, if you can only find the
kind with the three holes (two for the eyes, one for the mouth) then that will work. Just take
a black piece of cloth and fill the hole.
Bandana-An average black bandana that is tied around your mouth will work too. When choosing
this mask, please wear something over the top part of your head, such as a beanie or another
bandana. If your hair and rest of your upper head are exposed, it is not hard to tell who you are.
Gas Mask-A slightly more expensive mask, yet a useful one if you plan on engaging in some
heavy street combat. Tear gas is a widely used deterrent in street battles, and we should not
be forced to turn away from our goal because of some gas. However, we feel that in most cases
the ones wearing the gas masks are the ones throwing the gas cannisters back. Wearing a gas mask
is an illegal practice (like we care!) and should be worn with caution.
Homemade Mask-Homemade masks are easy to construct. You can use an old black t-shirt and
wrap the fabric around your face. You can also cut off the sleeves and put those around your
face. Be creative!
Please go back to the main page for tactics and more information.