Tactical Frivolity is a form of public protest. Sometimes associated with ’Pink’ and/or ’Silver’ blocs or womanist and queer-themed marches, tactical frivolity blocs use drumming, samba, dance, radical cheerleading, clowns and fairies to create an atmosphere of festivity and humor during street protests.
Tactical Frivolity is often described as a space that exists in the gap between total compliance and violent confrontation. This strategy seeks to undo classical anarchists vs. police, confrontational tactics, by multiplying frontlines and making a extremely ironic use of femininity and kitschy representations of the body in direct action. Music and dance provided this radical redefinition of street protest not only as a powerful tool to practically dissolve or détour police violence, but also as the strongest possible image (and soundtrack) to realise how street demonstrations can become the unleashing of body’s desires in the moment of protest itself.
The pink and Silver blocs
Most of times, Pink Blocs are formed by a range of libertarian activists who fit between the pacifist and Black Bloc spectrum of direct action.
Pink Silver developed out of a movement called « Reclaim the Streets » (RTS) which has held parties – or actions – in cities including London, Tel Aviv, Sydney, New York and Helsinki. It campaigns against car-culture and has an anti-capitalist ethos. It has been described as part rave, part festival, part street theatre and part demonstration. Since 1995, Reclaim the Streets have succeeded in creating acts of resistance which are both powerful poetic gestures and effective political strategies. Street parties reclaim streets from the tedious workings of capitalism, consumerism and private transport and replace them with « temporary autonomous zones »: living, vibrant spaces that were previously forbidden to pedestrians.
Pink Silver combines the ethos of RTS by simulating roving street party carnivals with samba bands instead of sound systems. It utilises a set of colours to differentiate from other groups such as the Black Bloc, the confrontational but less creative tactics of the White Overalls, the non-participatory marches of the NGO’s, the ineffective strategies of the socialist and leftists groups (whose banners and logos are predominantly red) and from the drab and militaristic uniforms of the police.
The first Pink Bloc was formed in the Pink/Silver line of the World Bank/IMF anti-globalization movement protest on September 26, 2000, in Prague, Czech Republic.
Rhythms of Resistance, the Samba-band formed in Prague, continues expanding today its singular confluence of music and politics.