Black bloc are the masked activists in matching black clothes you may have seen at protests or on TV. There are many misconceptions about black bloc, especially about who they are and why they look the way they do.
One common misconception is that antifa (antifascists) and black bloc are one and the same, or that block bloc are all members of a particular activist movement. In reality, black bloc is not a movement but a tactic that has been used by diverse groups and movements over the years. Originally developed by autonomists in Europe, black bloc tactics first came to America during the protests against the World Trade Organization, including the famous “Battle of Seattle” in 1999.
By wearing masks and near identical clothing, activists in a black bloc protect their identities while creating a sense of unity and common purpose. While acts of property destruction by masked individuals tend to receive most media attention, one of the most common purposes of a black bloc is to protect other activists from attacks by police and fascists.