What happened to Anarchism? (A critique of American Antifa)

Rhyd Wildermuth Gods and Radicals

I. An Unfortunate Coincidence

In August of last year, I received a terrifying email from a journalist:

I’m reaching out to you because Mr. Michael Reinoehl, who is a person of interest in the shooting Saturday night, is registered to vote at XXXXXXX (1)—and nonprofit records show that address was, at least at one point, associated with Gods&Radicals.

In case you do not know, Michael Reinoehl was an anarchist and Antifa activist who gunned down Aaron Danielson a little more than a year ago (2) in Portland, Oregon, USA. The man he killed was associated with the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, and though according to Reinoehl’s statements he had killed Danielson in “self-defense,” Reinoelhl’s social media posts had proclaimed an intention to use violence.

“We truly have an opportunity right now to fix everything. But it will be a fight like no other! It will be a war and like all wars there will be casualties.” (3)

Reinoehl was the first anarchist involved in Antifa to kill someone during a protest during the Trump years, and his subsequent death by police soon after was unsurprising. So, too, were the outpourings of support for him by anarchists and from Antifa-branded media accounts, with almost no public statements suggesting such an act had gone too far.

What did surprise me was that email, though. I had never met the man, nor do I know anyone personally who did. I remember what I was doing at that time, how suddenly quite terrified I had become, and then subsequently quite angry.


Categories: Anarchism/Anti-State

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