Anarchists and the Occupy Movement

<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://clongenecker.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/anarchists-and-the-occupy-m...

<p>While it has been widely written and discussed that Occupy Wall Street and the broader Occupy movement are at their core, fundamentally anarchist projects, very little has been written from the inside about the experiences of activists and organizers working under the Occupy banner who identify as such. While Occupy tends to operate on core anarchist structures and principles, and many of the initial organizers of OWS were indeed self-identified anarchists, the movement is losing its most experienced and radical elements at a rapid pace and many Occupy encampments and assemblies never had an experienced anarchist core to begin with.</p>
<p>These factors have led to a situation where many newly-identified, inexperienced anarchists, as well as others who do not identify as such, are using the tools of anarchy, such as consensus, horizontality and direct action, with no foundation for their application, or mentors to help them learn. The Occupy movement must recognize how it is marginalizing one of its most valuable resources and reverse this talent drain if it is to survive as a radical movement opposed to the state and capitalism, and in support of community self-determination and liberation.</p></td><td><img title="tools = bomb, knife, poison" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/balloon_knight.jpg"></td></...
<p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-55" title="7054897915_d663b8a67e_z" src="http://clongenecker.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/7054897915_d663b8a67e_z.... alt="" width="549" height="420" /></p>
<p>Why didn’t local, existing anarchist communities get involved in Occupy in many cities? Why are they now leaving Occupy Wall Street in droves? What do these organizers bring to the table, and why do we need them?</p>
<p>The modern anarchist movement has, at its core, a deep commitment to anti-oppression work. This means recognizing that it is not just the government and capitalism that oppresses us, but an interconnected web that strikes at the soul of every individual differently. Patriarchy, racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism and ablism all work in tandem with capitalism and the state to preserve the existing white supremacist, male-dominated, heteronormative culture those institutions require to thrive. Therefore, a huge part of the work of the anarchists is to attempt to unlearn the rotten socialization of this culture, and to create “safer spaces” where systemically marginalized folks can feel safer to live, work and organize.</p>
<p>On a whole, Occupy has done a pretty lousy job at this. The Safer Spaces Working Group at OWS was consistently marginalized and ignored. Patriarchy and white supremacy reared its head constantly, as white male organizers were consistently given more credibility than female organizers or organizers of color. As a result, many of our most experienced queer, female-identified and organizers of color dropped out in the first few months of Occupy Wall Street and a trickling loss of talent continues to this day.</p>
<p>In Occupy New Orleans, where I lived and organized for a little over two weeks, a group of experienced anarchist organizers (majority female-identified people of color) who helped start the occupation were pushed out by a group of predominantly white male “anarchists” who would loudly disrupt general assembly and mock the women of color facilitating.</p>
<p>Eventually, this group successfully pushed out the experienced anarchists; they stopped participating in the project. The conflict started because the one group were completely resistant to acknowledging white privilege or patriarchy, were infuriated at the women of color who brought up these concepts, and then used all of their privilege to launch verbal and physical assaults until they had won some kind of twisted power-struggle. When, weeks later, my female partner and I attempted to have a quiet, civil conversation with them about the importance of these concepts, she left in tears after being screamed at by a hulking, shirtless man who loudly proclaimed her to be a “cunt”.</p>
<p>Perhaps just as responsible for the drain of experienced anarchist organizers as the lack of safer spaces is the constant struggle against co-optation from external forces and the infighting with one another.</p>
<p>Many of our most experienced organizers spend far too much of their time deflecting perceived co-optation threats from progressive groups like Move On, liberal front groups like “99% Solidarity” and the “Movement Resource Group” or labor unions. While these more institutional, hierarchically organized groups have certainly tried their hardest to steer Occupy towards single-issue, reformist, or electoral focuses, we can most effectively combat them by defining who we really are through our actions and example. The thousands of person-hours wasted in conversations with these groups, and with one another about them, has certainly hurt our focus more than their actual attempts did, and these interactions led directly to the burnout and abandonment of Occupy by many of our most experienced and radical organizers.</p>
<p>Additionally, all too often in Occupy groups, the general assembly and other consensus tools are not used to build trust and mutual respect, but rather function as legislatures, with various factions vying for control and pushing their agendas. A truly effective mass movement must operate like a giant squid, whose tentacles reach in many directions with many goals and tactics, but all in solidarity with each other. A true diversity of tactics. The imposition of such authoritarian, anti-anarchist concepts as demands, centralization and peace pledges has also attributed to the loss of much talent in this movement, even in its infant stage.</p>
<p>In Austin, TX, I stayed at the home of a community of anarchists who had been pushed out of Occupy Austin on the very first night of their encampment. Their crime had been the raising of a single tent, in defiance of the “deal” struck between the more reform-minded organizers who had negotiated with City Hall in exchange for a temporary, legal and purely symbolic encampment there. They were met with verbal assaults, physical abuse and attempts to literally destroy the tent in question. Instead of organizing with Occupy, these anti-authoritarians used their energy to help create a structure for local anarchists in the city to cooperate and work together, being in solidarity with one another despite differences in tactics and strategy.</p>
<p>Experienced anarchists have much to offer the Occupy movement. They understand the tools of consensus intimately, as many have been practicing them in their homes and on their projects for years. In many cases, they are already self-organized into affinity groups that can pull off secure, instrumental direct actions when needed. They are committed to the task of social revolution that Occupy espouses, and are often students of previous emancipatory social movements. They have, for quite some time, been creating the structures of dual-power that Occupy will require to survive, working on projects like Food Not Bombs, Really, REALLY Free Markets, community centers, infoshops and collective houses. Many have helped organize mass mobilizations during the Global Justice movement of the 00’s that actually shut down summits and gatherings of the economic and political elite, a lineage that Occupy, with its mostly symbolic days of action, could certainly learn from. Many have been involved in the environment resistance movement, and have a plethora of advanced skills and tactics for resistance, such as lock-downs, tree-sits, tripods and equipment disruption, that many urban Occupy activists have no experience with.</p>
<p>This piece is meant not to cause further division, but rather as a humble contribution to what will hopefully become a healing and reconciliation process. Occupy is among the most powerful and well-positioned social justice movements of our time, and it would truly be a shame if many of the folks most committed to and experienced with these principles and their application, continued to either not be involved at all, or to feel pushed out and leave. If our movement is to grow, we must learn to create safer spaces for systemically marginalized organizers and activists to work and thrive in. We must respect and be in solidarity with one another despite our unique backgrounds and tactics for resistance. I like to think that the history of anarchists and Occupy is still largely unwritten, and I am more convinced than ever that we need each other to create a true alternative to the state and capitalism.</p>

Comments

I'm sure you and others you hang out with have encountered many assholes, but just exactly how is your "we are the ones who know what we're doing" attitude any different than their "we are the ones who know what we're doing" attitude? This anarchist thinks you're all a little too full of yourselves and your resumes include no successes in terms of making anybody's life any better (other than maybe contributing to your own personal sense of self worth), so I did and will continue to leave you to your own devices. I do, however, wish you the best of luck and hope you figure out how do something that will actually be productive. (Just a suggestion: Start by climbing down from your high horse.)

exactly. to add to that...

"These factors have led to a situation where many newly-identified, inexperienced anarchists, as well as others who do not identify as such, are using the tools of anarchy, such as consensus, horizontality and direct action, with no foundation for their application, or mentors to help them learn."

the entire problem is the activist/college kid/anarchist/political channeling of revolt, anger, and revolutionary urges into the fucking activist treadmill you want to "teach people" to fucking get onto!

holy fuck. mediation/politicization of an anti-political struggle (the anarchist project) into your stupid fucking activist project IS THE PROBLEM. You are not helping new people do anything but learn how to become little mini-politicians and pigs like yourself.

look in the mirror and kill the activist in your head.

Take rusty pipe.
Shove it up the ass of you inner activist.
Repeat.

yeah. fuck black bloc, they're just dumb fuck activists.

They ain't activists, they're part of the thrashing war machine.

that's ... not what the other people you're replying to just said. whoosh.

over his head like war planes in the sky over the Middle East.

That's not what they thought they said, but the experienced anarchists the article talked about are often people who take part in black bloc actions and have for years. Myself included.

Cave 176, may we, (god), eat all the rest

Q: "Occupy Wall Street and the broader Occupy movement are at their core Anarchist"???

1. Why because Emma Goldman had the fore sight to get herself in trouble for her associations with a "bomber" that her black listed from renting a place to live and as a result she staked out and "occupied" the first park bench in protest?

2. Or because you are delusionally operating under varied degrees of organization and have no real sense of what the hell you are talking about in vague generalities and references...

Pardon Pardon Sorry cuse me Oh Americani Anarchisti respeto neanta maybe elsewhere an anarchist may be said to represent something here in America I find them an opportunity to have a 50/50 or 20/80 chance to speak with our friendly neighbourhood cool and groovy libertarian police who smoke pot under covers naked.

Occupado en la cabineta de toileta con merde

But what can you expect I eat the mad cows with electric kool aid

I eat the mad cows with electric kool aid

Maybe Occupy should be kept afloat. I keep saying let it die, but with the way things are going in society, I mean the economy the environment, the states and all that, people might very well end up drifting back to the movement. I guess the problem would be that with an existing structure, very lose or not, it could very easily be taken over by people who want reform, which was overwhelmingly most of the people there already. I mean, I"m a syndicalist and a platformist, but those models only work for people who are already Anarchists or who are willing to adhere to the ideology. For outsiders...you never know.

For god sakes let it die already. Watching idiots flail around with Occupy still is like watching Weekend at Bernie's.

The sooner it dies, the sooner the anger will build back up again to take some new form. Learn from Occupy so that when it does, we can help that movement stay uncontrollable and radical for as long as possible (and hint: it ain't going to come from being better at delivering patronizing anti-oppression lectures to groups of wild, ignorant, American beasts who want to rip bankers limb from limb).

Bravo. Could not have said it better.

Lol Occupy should die. Die die die. This is what Occupy San Diego is doing these days.... so on FB this bourgeois landlord fuck was all upset that her building ha some FTP graffiti on it. Nevermind that WE (or people I know....) didn't do it. So she came on FB and asked OSD "Won't someone come help me clean up the nasty graffiti? Or else the poor foreclosed tenants will have to pay for it and the poor janitors will have to work harder! blah blah blah" which then a very typical discussion about the merits of graffiti in activist ensued yes typical typical...

But then. Then, get this. The OSD group then got about ten people or so to go down and... PAINT OVER THE GODDAM GRAFFITI. Yes, that's right. ...and they were patting themselves on the fucking back for "helping the community."

Idea. If you want to fucking help the community, why don't you go do some laundry for homeless people? Or better yet, take over buildings and help them find warm places to sleep? Or are you too busy fostering state repression and giving fucking leech-ass landlords free work?

As a long time graffiti artist, that action by OSD made me throw up in my mouth. Literally, for some reason, but also figuratively. So glad I didn't come to the TPPA Protest now.

Fuck Occcupy, it's hasn't done shit...we need a Anarchy movement like Occupy that actually does something though. Actions speak louder then words as we should all know and agree on. It's either now or never so when are we getting ready for the uprising? I can't do this byme and my very few my comrades can't do this by ourselves as much I wish it could work.

YES!

LET THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT DIE!

LET THE ANARCHY MOVEMENT BEGIN!

The anarchist movement IS flourishing. Where do you think a lot of the awesome radical activity from Occupy came from? That's what made it interesting. And without Occupy, we still have a lot of shit going on.

Honestly, if you think Occupy somehow hurt the anarchy you are at this point either totally delusional or a cop.

That said, I don't like this piece for a few reasons:

The poor me my ideas didn't win out attitude.

Spending hours opening up the space to talk about how Moveon etc is a hack front group therefore instilling anti-electoral anti-status quo pro direction action spirit as being "not worth it."

Suggesting possibly as an alternative we should have spent hours focusing on identity politics, lol no thanks.

Sort of suggesting we should still have Occupy as is chug along, its done, with the connections made there will be something new and soon.

We need more critiques and thoughts on radicalism and the future of Occupy but I just don't think this is it.

Thank you for putting together the book though Worker!

"...the tools of anarchy, such as consensus..."

that's where I stopped reading

Creating space thru direct action=Anarchist!
Quibbling over who gets the last piece of bread=Entitlement!

This whole article although relatively accurate is like a joke on
Anarchists and non-Anarchists alike.
The idea of creating space was Anarchistic, but all the white and or class
priveliged who hopped on and suddenly decided they
we're Anarchists was Entitlement. You can't just call yourself
an Anarchist and expect that you are suddenly a new person.
Anarchism is much more than DA as well.
Protesting oppression isn't fighting oppression!
Anyway I usually hate all the negativity on this board but
so far I agree with most on this thread, until the so called
Anarchists here in the US are willing to make every effort
to not participate in the Capitalist system they are simply
nothing more than reformists at best, and likely just priveliged
WHITE oppressive males who will grow up to vote
Democrat or Republican instead of bombing the RNC/DNC!

LIVE ANARCHY

that shit is fucking boring.
make less workshops, make more destroy, make total skwats.

Hey D.C. area anarchists, the Aryan Nations are holding some sort of demonstration on Sept. 22nd in D.C., which, hey.... don't you live there? How about you crawl out of your workshops and organize against that shit?

"The imposition of such authoritarian, anti-anarchist concepts as demands."

Damn when did demands become anti-anarchist?

I know demand nothing was basically a huge meme the last few years, but does it mean that they are inherently anti-anarchist? So funny.

Like, whatever, I don't care if folks think that, but just hilarious how much memes and fashion trends affect "anarchist communities" I mean scenes.

they presuppose that their is some legitimate authority to make a demand to.

it reinforces the power of authorities to demand things of them, rather than just take what we need and want, and disregard the power of authorities, which undermines their authority.

After 9 months of occupy I still haven't read a single piece on what anarchists could have done to steer it in a different direction.

If we could time travel a year back and know what we know now, what could we do differently? I'm asking in order to prepare for the future.

I think I would've promoted forming affinity groups from the beginning instead of on May Day. I would've promoted direct action from the beginning. I would have passed out a shit ton of more anarchist literature. And I would have asked fellow anarchist what we should/can do about the fact that the entire population thinks that anarchists want to destroy shit for selfish reasons or because it's fun (I know it's fun and you're proud to be selifh, but you know what I'm talking about).

I hope future articles address some options for addressing some of the problems we faced in Occupy.

they presuppose that their is some legitimate authority to make a demand to.

it reinforces the power of authorities to demand things of them, rather than just take what we need and want, and disregard the power of authorities, which undermines their authority.

It sounds vapid, but the word in and of itself "Occupy" can be more inspiring than we give it credit for. Then again, it could just be a fucking tag line.

I missed this post, glad I saw it. I think there have been some articles to come out talking about this, not enough though at all.

I know it was printed in the occupy book but try the article at fires never extinguished which has some good analysis of a particular camp.

Lastly, don't assume that anarchists participating didn't do the things you wish you had. Its actually funny, what you listed is pretty much exactly what we said we wish we were able to do more of even though we did a ton of it.

We could have fought a little harder in asking the people who came to the movement to declare whether they were being paid by non-profit left organizations or not. We could have fought a little harder to maintain a focus on economic justice rather than get lost in the infinite intersectionality of left identity politics. We could have made it clear from the beginning that we were not a Democratic Party alternative to the Tea Party. We could have made more radical demands of the unions we worked with both in terms of actions and in terms of economic analysis. We could have kept in contact with some of the right libertarians who were hovering around the movement from the beginning who left because it became too liberal for them. We could have continued to see the movement as something not intrinsically American but shared with the rest of the world, particularly the Indignados and the Arab Spring. And a lots more... But what we did was amazing. What we did was better than than most of the bullshit the left has been toying with for the past 30 years. And it's still not over yet.

what could we have done? peter gelderloos laid out all the examples of what to do from the spanish plaza occupation movement in an excellent crimethinc piece:

so, we could have read, disseminated, and implemented that.
we could have more forcefully demanded autonomy be as important as consensus to any revolution. we could have demanded more forcefully that the movement should not work with fucking unions, ngos, and professional activist scumbags. we could have demanded occupy camps take seriously the principle of a liberated zone: NO cops, NO negotiations with the owners/government, etc...

Occupy was doomed the moment OWS started doing anything in zucotti park other than using it as a staging area for constant attempts to occupy wall street proper until it was accomplished.

I take a different aproach than most of these comments.

I believe that anarchists were in general too weak and poorly organized to invervene. I also agree that many anarchists who were in the queer community didn't show up at all. That said, people at Occupy were so incredibly ignorant that they in fact posed a danger to themselves and others. Some of these suggestions would be nice but it would have been really hard to implement in some towns. We should have openly confronted Occupy from the start, denouncing every fucking shitty trend and only offering support beyond that if they changed their shit... but really being careful. The role of infiltrators, including online, cannot be under-emphasized.

And to whoever said that anarchist movement hasn't been helped... perhaps, but many experienced anarchists sacrificed a lot and were taken advantage of in many ways, myself included. In my town Occupy has pretty much destroyed all of the momentum that the a-team had.

*over-emphasized* sorry

Okay, but Chicago I was at the NATO counter-summit where women of color did not bring up LGBT issues. I brought it up and pointed out that women, especially of color need to be given a fair and sizable space of talking but that LGBT issues should be raised. I spent an entire two hours at one workshop listening to women of color who had completely skipped over that. I promised to shut up and give them the floor after that, and acknowledged that I was a white, cisgendered male. They were pissed that I spoke twice at the 2 hour meeting, but later thanked me for bringing up LGBT issues while we marched in the streets. None of the workshops I attended that day tackled LGBT issues. Not one. Every horndog male activist is more then happy to present himself as feminist to score points with the ladies, and they all need tokin' people of color to show they're not racist. For some reason it's easy to ignore the LGBT community in some activist circles, though.

QUEER, women and people of color definitely need space and time to speak, definitely. Notice that I stressed queer, though. That seemed to be nonexistent in the critique from women of color at NATO's counter-summit.

With that said, I think a counter-analysis of how some people in minority groups are also included in the realm of ignoring other minorities in their analysis, workshops and discussions.

And not just the womyn of color. The LGBT community was ignored from the analysis of all the whites, men and womyn, as well as people of color, men and womyn.

make smash on all of the breeders.

Don't want to burst your bubble but when the LGBT community did get it together in different Occupations it was mostly about Equality Politics... as in gay marriage, etc. and not about economic justice. The LGBT tends to have a really good relationship with banks and corporations. They are often at the forefront of progressive employment. It's been a real trial to get LGBT people involved in Occupy to look at our own community's dysfunctional relationship with banks and corporations.

multi-cultural, tolerant capitalism makes use of resources (in this case "human resources) more efficiently than bigoted capitalism can. i.e. "we don't give a fuck if you fuck guys in the butt, as long as your are the smartest person we can find to help us devise a way to generate corporate profits."

perhaps when dominant/subordinant positions in the class system are no longer influenced so heavily by identities, all the myriad identity people on the losing end (because capitalism has mixed identities between all classes as it seeks the most efficient use of human beings) will then be able to recognize themselves as a *class* and fight those in power.

then again, perhaps this realization (which i believe is slowly occurring even today) scares the capitalist class and they therefore do everything they can to RESIST capitalism's unstoppable logic and to CONSTRUCT IDENTITIES TO PIT AGAINST ONE ANOTHER to keep people from see the world in terms of CLASS. could this be why the "culture wars" seem to emerge every political election cycle????

I'd agree that neo-liberalism loves identity politics especially when identity politics only makes economic demands for its own identity and not others. But I'm not sure if capitalism created identity politics so that it could divide and conquer. The old Marxist-Leninist left of the 1930's believed that line and covered over its own racism, sexism and homophobia with calls for "unity". The "new left" of the 1960's was a response to all sorts of politics that had been left out of the "old left" paradigm: black liberation, women's liberation, LGBT, third world liberation. It was a very necessary shift.

It's shifting again because so many people in the West are unable to get jobs and feed themselves. That was more or less the atmosphere that created the economic populism of the 1930's. But I don't think we can or should go back to sacrificing who we are to that old phony "unity". We'll have to move forward with our identities but we need to start talking about and fighting for shared economic identities that are as important to us as our individual political identities.

Throw newspaper boxes in the street?
THROW KIDS STROLLERS OUT IN THE STROLLERS!
FUCK KIDS!

These fucking kids are coming into our country, being lazy sons of bitches who don't work. Using up all our resources. They can't even speak our language yet!
These lousy reprobates need to go back where they came from!

FUCK YES.

...I think I might love you anon, will you have my babies?

" Every horndog male activist is more then happy to present himself as feminist to score points with the ladies, and they all need tokin' people of color to show they're not racist. For some reason it's easy to ignore the LGBT community in some activist circles, though."

You might b a pretty cool bro but lemme just say, the world you live in sounds like hell.

Trust me, you live there, too. It's called racist, sexist, homophobic and capitalist Amerikkka. Available at any state government near you. Results may vary. Oppression will not.

I don’t know about this post. It doesn’t resonate with my experience at Occupy Toronto, where the anti-oppression anarchists largely didn’t show up at all, leaving the anarchist communists, environmental justice and some of the better marxists to do the work of setting up journalism, safety teams in camp (marshals), and long term educational work. Also, I think that while anarchists can learn a lot from anti-oppression, anti-oppression and anarchism are not the same thing.

I think this message is really important and valuable, and the efforts to marginalize anarchists in the movement is something I’ve consistently opposed. But it’s important to be realistic about where most people in this society are coming from, and how thoroughly socialized they are in other ways of seeing the world, and how difficult changing those patterns can be. One cannot expect legions of recently-politicized people, who have been told all their life that Congress is a democracy, to suddenly wake up and know how to do direct democracy. These things take years of learning and old habits can take generations to unlearn. You mention Global Justice — remember that, while anarchists played important roles in that movement, they did so by finding ways to work with people of many other persuasions, building their own subcultures while interfacing with other communities which constituted themselves differently. The same has been true with Occupy, as you know better than most.

Anarchists, I think, will continue playing a vital role in the movement not by expecting it to conform overnight to their own ideals on threat of their departure, but by continuing to be a patient, articulate, upbuilding presence, working with a variety of others toward common goals, and meanwhile showing through words and actions the power of their ideas.

anarchists are human beings, not pawns in your grand activist plan to be sacrificed to the great god of progress

oh quit crying. Nobody (here) has a gun to your head. I agree with the above post and exercise my agency as an insurrectionary anarchist in the broader social movements because I fucking choose to, not because anyone is manipulating me.

Fools can chuckle to themselves about how me and mine are "useful idiots" and I can relate. Every time a bunch of fresh-faced liberal activist kids get shit-kicked by the cops and cry about it on camera, radicalizing more people, I watch those types of dynamics with a sense of humour and recognize the value (mostly in turn-outs to street demos).

I do exclusively anarchist shit and sometimes I throw in with the broader currents like occupy too. I've built a hundred new relationships of affinity since last fall and used those resources to accomplish shit I couldn't have the year before.

Don't like it? Choke on my shit.

It if it wasn't so lame it'd be funny watching those in the subculture lash out at Occupy and other new things due to an inability to relate to anyone outside of their small social circle.

Get over it or shut up.

Yeah, because Occupy is all about inclusivity. So long as you're white, middle class, educated, male, liberal, have a job, have a house....

I love you, but I agree with both of your posts equally.

i bet it feels good to take an active rather than passive role in your own recuperation by embracing and affirming it strongly. this whole rhetoric about how anarchists are an "important voice" that should be incorporated into the larger whole is just this moment's reiteration of the project of recuperation. it has nothing to do with going or not going to "occupy" evnts, its the tired ass rhetoric of democracy that you wholeheartedly embrace that is tragically hilarious

Yeah right ... in your eyes, anything other than cynical bitching on the internet would be facilitating recuperation in some form?
Fuck you yah sanctimonious douche. As I said, open your mouth and insert my shit. Then asphyxiate.

My experience was not that anarchists didn't participate/left Occupy because there wasn't enough "safe space" anti-oppression work. If anything the anarchists who prioritize that participated more and for longer in my city (one of the major Occupy camps), with mixed success perhaps but they certainly had an effect. The reason most anarchists I know kept their distance was because of the pro-cop rhetoric, the liberalism, pacifism, middle class values etc. That said, I think these aspects were exaggerated and that there would have been benefits to anarchists participating more.

To be honest I think the whole "safe space" idea is displacing real analyses of racism and patriarchy within the anarchist movement. Moralizing about who has the most/least privileged background in the discussion, whether they've spoken too much/not enough etc. isn't really achieving much, beyond creating an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust, or letting certain people feel sanctimonious and always "right". Yeah we should be conscious of these things but racism and patriarchy are actually much more and much bigger, they're power structures imposed by elites, not just the white anarchist guy in the room who maybe talks more than you would like. Tell him to talk less and move on, patriarchy is more than you feeling a little uncomfortable/annoyed.

I should add that some "safe space" type people I've known, I would hardly qualify as anarchists, and they obviously just don't want to organize with white men. That's fine I guess, I mean I think it's a little strange, but whatever, but then why do they actually go to meetings where there are bound to be white men? If you want to organize separately, do it.

To me, a "safe space" means you're safe from being physically violated, threatened, free of racist/sexist language etc. Not that everyone agrees with you or treats you like their best friend, which is, it seems to me, what seem people want.

"Safe space" problems can also be turned against anarchists to argue for liaisons with different progressive representatives of the security state. Safety in anarchist or intentional communities is an almost unsolvable problem, at least it has been in my experience. And forget about the Black Bloc, safety issues is the easiest way for the cops to infiltrate, manage and freak out a radical movement. Unfortunately, safety issues are also very real for vulnerable members of a radical community. Again, a very very difficult and thorny problem and one where we will always be vulnerable.

Not in my experience. People just want oppressive dynamics acknowledged and (perish the thought) addressed.

How do you define "oppressive dynamics"?

> heteronormative

Can I join Occupy if I am Asexual?

My experience with Occupy is that is has never been a particularly anarchist movement. It borrowed aspects of anarchism, in particular the general assemblies but it was at its height a populist uprising that centered around economic justice. It also had, from at least the second week, major involvement from unions. I'm not sure if unions supplied the largest crowds (i'm speaking of nyc here) but it didn't really take off until the unions became involved.

I'm also not sure if you can call the uprisings in Spain or Greece or Egypt anarchist either. Anarchists have been involved and many of our tactics have been used but they are not, like Occupy, anarchist movements.

The challenge, as far as I see it, is the global left's reawakening to economic justice being prioritized over identity politics. That doesn't mean a rejection of the intersectionality of racism, sexism and homophobia with capitalism. But it does mean an adjustment. We are no longer only our sexual, racial and gender identities. We are now becoming aware of a life long economic identity. That doesn't mean we are back in the 30's and we are Marxist-Leninist, god forbid. But it does mean a challenge to begin seeing our solidarity with other people along class lines, along economic lines, along something as large, perhaps, as the 99%.

"Eventually, this group successfully pushed out the experienced anarchists; they stopped participating in the project. The conflict started because the one group were completely resistant to acknowledging white privilege or patriarchy, were infuriated at the women of color who brought up these concepts, and then used all of their privilege to launch verbal and physical assaults until they had won some kind of twisted power-struggle."

Experienced anarchists do not believe in concepts of privilege and never play it safe, I myself am quite infuriated that you infect anarchist discourse with that marxist derived trash, I'm also sure that most women of color outside of the leftist ghetto don't give a fuck about the concept of white privilege.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
CAPTCHA
Human?
v
Q
L
W
j
8
1
Enter the code without spaces.
Subscribe to Comments for "Anarchists and the Occupy Movement"
society