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Why I Quit the Black Bloc

A sequel to my earlier post: Why I Joined the Black Bloc

by Luke Hauser

I’ve stood in the streets with the Black Bloc – first at Occupy Oakland in 2011, and more recently in Berkeley at the April 2017 hate-speech protest.

As I explained in an earlier installment, I am not part of an organized black bloc group. Mostly I’m a nonviolent anarcho-artistic type. But when the spirit calls, I’ve dressed in black and “joined in” the defense of our streets and parks.

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Luke Hauser Denied Free Speech Rights!

Berkeley activist and author Luke Hauser has cancelled his planned Free Speech Event at UC-Berkeley after university officials failed to meet his demands.
 
Hauser‘s press agent denounced the “outrageous and unconstitutional denial of free speech” in Berkeley, long an alleged mecca for democracy.
 
Demands included:
  • scheduling of event on two hours’ notice
  • event to be held during peak class hours
  • use of a large, centrally-located auditorium
  • professional quality free-speech sound system
  • police protection from airport to campus and back
  • $20,000 speakers fee
  • campus Republicans to shine shoes, carry bags, etc
  • distilled water in glass carafes
  • catering by Chez Panisse
  • two tickets to Hamilton
 
Hauser‘s attorneys decried the failure of UC officials to comply with the free speech demands, and threatened to bring a lawsuit demanding that all conditions be met upon 48 hours of any future free speech requests.
 
Luke Hauser is author of Direct Action: An Historical Novel, which is set in Berkeley in the early 1980s. Free download at <DirectAction.org>

Free Speech – with government approval!

Luke Hauser Denied Free Speech Rights – click here!

Free Speech and the Alt-Right – talk about being unclear on the concept!

Right wing opportunists and talking heads lambast UC-Berkeley for hypocrisy around free speech – as if UCB is somehow the historic patron of free speech!
 
UCB has never been about free speech. The Free Speech Movement was against UCB, not of, by, or for it. The University did everything they could, from police and teargas to rewriting history, to destroy the FSM and later political movements.
 
The point of the Free Speech Movement was and is to exercise free expression in public, with no official sponsorship – in fact, to speak freely even when institutional power tries to shut you down.
 
It’s not whining and moaning about how you are being denied university approval and a private room and police protection to have your little moment of freedom.
 
Free Speech is not something you do behind closed doors, or from a podium, or for a speakers fee.
 
Free speech is when you go out in public, set up your soapbox, and start talking.
 
Others may or may not listen. They may yell or talk over you.
 
It’s the chance you take in a free country.

Why I Joined the Black Bloc

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Or, Where Are the Clowns of Yesteryear?

by Luke Hauser / images by @AlanYuhas

Berkeley, April 15 2017 – Reporting from the amorphous front lines of Berkeley after an afternoon counter-protesting the “Hate Speech Is Free Speech” rally.I woke Saturday morning and knew I needed to get downtown to oppose the Hate Speech rally.

This wasn’t my kind of event – a lot of standing around listening to people exercise their freedom of speech by yelling at each other, punctuated by interludes of frightening mayhem.

Continue reading “Why I Joined the Black Bloc”