How Black anarchists are keeping the protest movement alive

By Vanessa Taylor


With a series of uprisings gripping the United States, President Trump has not hidden his disdain for protesters. Beyond his threats to Minneapolis protesters and questionable executive orders, Trump has time and time again directed his ire at one particular group: “anarchists.” Trump’s constant invoking of anarchists to describe all protesters generally is a calculated attempt to delegitimize ongoing struggles — that much can clearly be seen in one of Trump’s tweets from earlier this week, where he wrote that protesters in Portland and Seattle were “actually … sick and deranged anarchists and agitators.”

The immediate knee-jerk reaction to Trump’s baiting is to often argue that the people taking to the streets in Portland — a city that has been under siege by mysterious federal agents — and Seattle are merely “protesters” and not “anarchists.” But remember the old saying: A broken clock is right twice a day. Trump may not be honest in his portrayal of anarchists, and he certainly does not have a clear view of the ongoing protests, but to deny anarchists’ presence altogether would be just as bold of a lie as the president’s.


3 replies »

  1. For years, I have claimed (and objected!) that many so-called “anarchists” don’t actually believe in “no government!”, but in fact some of them are big-government-loving Leftists. Probably they are simply embarrassed Communists and Socialists who want to be ‘edgy’ yet not have to explain or justify the history of the failures of Communism and Socialism.

    I call myself an “anarchist”, as I have done since 1995 after writing my Assassination Politics essay.

    No doubt there are people who call themselves “anarchists” in the riots in Portland. I’m close enough (about 7 miles, I think) to join them. I would have vastly more justification to protest “Fuck the Feds!!!” than nearly any of them.

    But I won’t bother. The rioters are utterly useless. They didn’t riot when Obama was in office, so they don’t actually object to the Federal Government, and probably they actually support any government they like. So, they cannot possibly be “anarchists”.

  2. Yes, I very much recognize that you are a far more persistent and effective “pointer-outer” of this kind of nonsense, and you have been so for many years.

    And conservatives/Republicans definitely have their own problems these days.

    Used to be, people were probably scared of “anarchists” because of the fear of having no government. But these days, for people who actually pay attention to “anarchists”, the big fear ought to be that they AREN’T ACTUALLY “anarchists”: they want a huge government and they want to control everyone’s lives!

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