Like so many anarchists, perhaps your brain has begun to hurt and your to stomach churn when you hear yet another conversation about the USA presidential election, or talk of any election or democracy for that matter. With the election a little more than two weeks away perhaps now is a good time to pause and reflect on our anarchist analysis of democracy, electoral politics, and our actions leading up to and beyond this election cycle.
The final Presidential debate of 2016 was a gala event in Las Vegas pitting a reality TV star against the latest representative of a political dynasty. It was set up as a symbolic clash between business and politics, with the roles cast so convincingly that it was really possible to imagine the two categories to be at odds. The antagonism of the candidates was still more believable because everyone shares it: these are the most unpopular Presidential candidates in history, at a time when both business and politics have lost their credibility. But these are our choices—right?
With another abhorrent week in NYC: the NYPD’s murder of Deborah Danner and the untimely death of Venida Browder, the mother of Kalief Browder, we, at NYC Anarchist Action, felt compelled to respond to the deep tragedies that are a common experience at the hands of the police. Hoods4Justice, a local revolutionary organization, made the call for an anti-police march in Brooklyn, starting at Barclays Center.
From Its Going Down
To get a picture of the anarchist movement in Chile and, further, to understand the phenomenon of its impetus, resurgence and persistence over time as an irreducible practice, threatening capitalist normality and unchecked of any negotiations with bourgeois legalism, one must understand the ongoing tension between the mechanisms of repression applied by the STATE and the liberating and uncompromising response by the ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN network throughout its history.
A first-hand account of an unpermitted march by the cops in Paris
For the past four days, the police have been illegally protesting in the streets of Paris each night. On Wednesday (October 19, 2016), their meet-up was set for 9:30pm in Republic Square. Some friends decided to go down and show their opposition to the gathering. First off, we were very few, at most fifty, and not nearly enough to confront the growing crowd of police, from 200 to a thousand. Here’s the story of a strange night caught between the state of emergency and the scent of mutiny.
The atmosphere was strange, there in Republic Square, where on one side a rally of Colombians was wrapping up, while on another a Jewish celebration was being held, and where a skatepark has sprung up in the same place where the General Assemblies for Nuit Debout were held this spring.
All the police cars that we watched arrive weren’t there to monitor the march, but rather to take part. Then the mobile gendarmerie got their riot gear out and made several attempts to encircle anyone who looked like a counter-protester.
In this period of war and of generally heightened tension, the unbearable conditions under which we’re made to live are maintained by fear. Fear of losing your job and of coming up short at the end of the month, fear of police, fear of prison. This feeling is driven home by the indefinite extension of the state of emergency and by locking away for ever longer those who remain recalcitrant. And yet, there are so many reasons to revolt against this world of cash and cops, and so no wonder that many people don’t give in to resignation and continue to take action against it all, in small groups or in a crowd, by day or by night.
Because the social war against the deadly rule of state and capital, there can be no truce: attacks against borders, rebellions in jail, escapes from detention centres, sabotage against the construction of airports or of high-tension power lines. Ransacking schools, burning construction equipment or the cables that permit the flow of information and transportation. Destroying campaign offices, riots following yet another police killing, daily hustles to avoid wage slavery… Beyond any law, whether earthly or divine, this routine disorder is able to flourish freely.
The anarchist movement – in both its past and contemporary incarnations – is back to the cultural fore, and to such an extent that it echoes the surge in anarchist-themed entertainment before 1914.
The BBC has just aired a highly popular new adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s 1907 novel The Secret Agent. Then there’s Elie Wajeman’s 2015 film The Anarchists. And Bertrand Bonello’s controversial Nocturama, just screened at the 2016 London Film Festival. These three works of fiction probe the societal reasons for terrorism and criminality, holding up a mirror to contemporary anxieties.
From Freedoms Big Rebuild
This article, written by Wildcat author and longtime Freedom Press stalwart Donald Rooum in 2008, charts some of the early social history of anarchism and anarchist publishing, before looking at some of the upheavals which happened to Freedom in the 20th century. A personal view, it first appeared in Information for Social Change Number 27. Donald will be talking about his new compilation of Wildcat Greatest hits at Freedom on October 18th.