Saturday, July 24, 2010

Anarchism and Nonviolence

While I don't agree with a lot of Randall Amster's piece 'Anarchism and Nonviolence: Time for a ‘Complementarity of Tactics,' it does provide some reflection on the perception of anarchy/anarchists by outsiders.

Anarchism and Nonviolence: Time for a ‘Complementarity of Tactics’

The police blame property damage by anarchists for de facto mistreatment of poor communities. This doesn't mean people should stop property damage so as to not provide the police with a reason. The police need no reason. The brutalizing of communities is what sparks the anger that leads to the property damage. Denying the state this one scapegoat will not stop their mistreatment of us.

However, we must also leave lasting images of anarchist organizing/struggle/building/gathering in the minds of our fellow community members.

Antipathy toward anarchists seems to have increased steadily since then, not only from corporate elites and law enforcement officials, but from a number of fellow movement participants as well. Ironically, this comes at a time when interest in anarchism among activists has greatly expanded, and likewise when its impact upon American activism in general has seen a strong resurgence in recent years.

What worked once or even a few times as a tactic can grow stale when done repeatedly, and frankly begins to seem neither creative, spontaneous, or very anarchistic at this juncture. Not to mention that it has created a situation so rife with the prospect of infiltration that it cannot even be certain any longer whether anarchists themselves are in fact guiding their own course of conduct and self-definitions.

A bigger issue is properly defining violence. Property damage is not violence.


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