As mentioned last week, we are looking at a left-wing, anarchist/anarco-syndicalist site called “Barracadasblog.” This week we continue analyzing and discussing some of their advice for Black Bloc rioters.1 I will continue to put theirs in italics and block the paragraphs while I will not use blocking for my commentary.
The writer probably doesn’t consciously realize it, but the linear barricade does more than that. There was an instance during the 1863 Vicksburg Campaign where the confederates, repulsed or perhaps even routed at one point and driven back to their own defensive lines, immediately turned about. The line itself served to organize them. Thus, too, I would expect a group of rioters to be organized by the presence of a line, both because of its defensive potential and because there they can feel supported on both sides by comrades.
However, he lacks imagination if he thinks that’s the only way a pursuit can go. In the first place, as suggested last week, even a light armored vehicle will make short work of some ramshackle barricades, to include burning ones. But, then, the armored vehicle can also outrun any Black Bloc sort trying to flee afoot in the Saint Rachel of IHOP Memorial Races.2 There is also parallel pursuit, along with its cousin, vertical envelopment. That latter means moving troops behind the rioters by helicopter to either take them from behind, or to ensure they don’t get away, or both.
The oil makes it easy to create an instant barrier zone with slippery movement issues, the marbles injure the hooves of pig horses, and they roll around everywhere causing trouble.
I wonder if PETA is aware of this callous disregard for the rights and welfare of enslaved equines. Well, if I have a reader from the organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, do please inform your highers that Black Bloc does not seem to share your concerns.
He may have missed this, but streets are bowed upward, for the most part, to cause water to run off to gutters and drain. Ummm…not to be too negative here, but marbles will do much the same thing on a smooth road.
I also wonder if he’s ever done the logistics on this. Assume a standard street width of about thirty-five feet, or ten and a half meters, roughly, this allowing for traffic in both directions and parking on both sides, under normal conditions.3 To lay a layer of oil two millimeters thick and three meters deep across that would require some sixty-three or so liters of oil. That’s a lot of damned oil to expect from people who resist organization anyway. And then there’s the other problem from the rioters’ point of view; that much oil may or may not stop the cops or soldiers, who have teamwork, leadership, organization, and back up support. It is very likely to stop any further advance by Black Bloc. Why? Why because the dumb sonsabitches can’t get away if they’re doing the coyote-roadrunner version of spinning legs.
First off You want cheap thin bottles that smash easily on being thrown, but not when dropped from waist height; Otherwise there’s a chance they’ll bounce.
Second off, fill the bottle 2/3rds full. This ensures a broken bottle on impact.
And third off, cooking oil is cheaper than and as effective as motor oil, and gets into more places.
It’s not part of my purpose to instruct the enemy in the proper preparation and use of field expedient incendiaries. Still, I have to wonder if he’s ever made one. My guess would be not, though I could be persuaded otherwise.
This one suffers from both a logistic deficiency and a failure to account for the passage of time. Frankly, they’re most unlikely to be able to keep the fire going long enough to matter much. Molotovs burn out fast or, if jellied, don’t burn especially fiercely. If they’re just looking for a way to break contact and run, see comments on pursuit, above.
“A beautiful thing” to burn someone alive, is it? I can see it being a necessary thing, in military terms, where necessary means little or nothing more than advantageous. But “beautiful” he says. And some people think it would be overreaction to shoot these people on sight. My ass.
BB is a /collective/ action. There’s no hierarchy and no real structure. Just a mass of individuals united under anonymity. If you get a guy trying to start shit with other BB or yelling, “No violence!” He’s the sort you try and stop. What right have you, as an anarchist to impose moral rules on the collective? Secondly, leaders are fine in a pinch, like a kettle forming that needs to be charged or a section weakening that needs to be reinforced. Bosses are right out*.5 Also, try and supply others with aid and de-arrest those captured, as later they’re more likely to assist you.
One is tempted to counter with, “What right have you, as an anarchist, to try to impose rules on my machine gun teams as they mow you down?” This whole section illustrates something I strongly advise the reader to look into in Lee Harris’ excellent book, Civilization and Its Enemies. The short version is that these people are, however dangerous, fundamentally unserious. They are not revolutionaries; they are unpublished and unpublishable playwrights, writing fantasy plays in their heads for themselves to star in, in which plays we lesser beings are reduced to the level of morally insignificant stage props.
Slingshots can be made easily, or bought from sporting goods stores like Canadian tire or mil-surplus places.
And that’s why I think the writer is Canadian, along with his spelling of “armour,” below. Canadian Tire, a major discount retailer north of the border, is largely unknown in most of the United States.
I think he means “Daisy,” as in the air rifle maker which also sells fairly powerful slingshots. I’m not really a slingshot enthusiast, but note that his criticism of Daisy, a fine American company, is base calumny. Daisy slingshots, indeed, review very well on Amazon, generally speaking.
Moreover, you can kill people with a slingshot.6 That means that enemy employment of slingshots ought to be treated the same as employment of firearms. In other words, shoot the bearer, to kill or maim, as soon as his or her slingshot is seen, at or near a riot.
I think he means by “hand sling” nothing more than the slingshot referenced above. If he meant the more traditional sling, the kind of weapon Balearic Islanders were using in the army of Hannibal, third century, BC, that would involve training and discipline, to say nothing of formations, which are, as one may guess from their anti-discipline and command philosophy, not going to be among anarchist / Black Bloc fortes.
In either case, though, through deficiencies (in their case complete absence) of discipline and training, or assuming he does mean modern, rubber slingshots, he still hasn’t got the logistics down. How long a barrage does he imagine a group of slingshot firers are going to carry, and how long would be expect it to last.
There’s that, “Pigs,“ again, which is to say, “not really people, no, just stage props, morally insignificant.” And, there, too, is that lack of logistic sense. How the hell are they going to carry a useful supply of ammunition without it being obvious to a search? Well…in the fantasy mind set of Black Bloc and Antifa, I am sure it must seem easy. After all, the script in that play they wrote for themselves to star in says so, so it must be so.
The gumballs are ideal for armored pigs as they will bruise bare flesh and shatter upon hitting armour and street alike.
The paintballs are great for those full face visors to reduce vision, making aiming harder; the marbles and deco stones are for breaking pig windows and cameras, to annoy them and hinder their efforts to arrest us out of Black.
Wonder where he got the idea that much armor is rigid enough to shatter anything. This makes him sound even more theoretical than most of what he’s written above.
Sadly for this theory, paintballs are water soluble, hence easy enough to wash off face shields. As I think I suggested six or so columns ago, a company must have a team of men with a water bucket and rags to clean off face shields, anyway. Thus, the rioters might get a very temporary advantage from it, but no more than that. As for aiming at cameras, I wonder how accurate many of them are going to be at any range beyond point blank. A camera’s lens, after all, is rather a small target at fifty meters or so. As for how accurate they’d be at point blank, when they’ve managed to annoy the riot control force and are facing severe injuries…well…go back to last week’s column and the quote, “usually have no spine.”
Me, I like Blue Bonnets Over the Border, on bagpipes, just after the command of “Forward, March.”
Don’t miss Part I in this series.
Photo by istock / Getty Images
1 This and all the following excerpts can be found here: https://barricadasblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/on-black-bloc/
2 Rachel Corrie, crushed by an Israeli bulldozer and the subject of much good fun and jest from the right because of it. Sometimes we call her “Saint Pancake.” The Feast of St. Rachel falls on the 16th of March and is traditionally held at the nearest IHOP. A pre-flattening picture of the Blessed Rachel, taken apparently in full-on, burn-the-flag-of-your-country lefty orgasm, can be found here: https://www.thenation.com/article/no-justice-rachel-corrie/.
4 Note the difference in spelling between this “armor” and the later “armour.” I believe the latter version is the one this writer grew up with.
5 His footnote: *A leader is picked up and carried by the people of their own free will. A boss intimidates others into doing his bidding.
6 See, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVdq1Z5cSvA. Not bad penetration from a kid’s toy, now, is it?
7 Thees word he is usink? Ah dunno thin’ I’ means wha’ he thin’ i’ means.
Tom Kratman is a retired infantry lieutenant colonel, recovering attorney, and science fiction and military fiction writer. His latest novel, The Rods and the Axe, is available from Amazon.com for $9.99 for the Kindle version, or $25 for the hardback. A political refugee and defector from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, he makes his home in Blacksburg, Virginia. He holds the non-exclusive military and foreign affairs portfolio for EveryJoe. Tom’s books can be ordered through baen.com.
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