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(en) US, Rebutting Lies and Misconceptions About Anarchists and the DNC/RNC Protests

Date Sat, 06 Sep 2008 17:53:29 +0300

Over the past two weeks in Denver and St. Paul, thousands of anarchists and
other folks have come together to protest the conventions being held by the two
wings of the Corporate Party. These protests were the culmination of almost two
years of organizing. Organizers arranged not just protests, but many other
events as well. Their efforts were met with severe and significant police
repression, with over 800 people being violently arrested by the authorities and
many others being violently attacked and terrorized. In response to these
events, the police, the corporate media, and others have said many things about
anarchists involved in these protests. While many of the comments on numerous
Internet discussion boards have been supportive of anarchists and critical of
the police, there have also been many lies and misconceptions said and written
about anarchists. This FAQ is an effort to address and rebut those
anti-anarchist words.

Lie/misconception: The anarchists are a small bunch of outsiders who came to
spoil the protests of others.

In fact, the protests in Denver and St. Paul were mostly organized by anarchists
locally and around the country, a culmination of a year and a half of planning.
Anarchists have been working with non-anarchist activists and community members
to organize the protests and other events. Like previous anti-convention and
anti-summit protests, anarchists have helped organize logistics for the
counter-convention events including food, housing, communications, first aid,
child care, jail solidarity, and media. Anarchists are not only not outsiders,
they've played an integral role in the organizing of the counter-convention events.

Lie/misconception: The anarchists and many of the protesters are outsiders who
don't live in St. Paul or Minneapolis or Denver.

The counter-convention protests were organized by local community members who
put more than a year of organizing work into their events. Many of the
protesters come from out-of-town, but then most of the delegates to the DNC and
RNC conventions come from out-of-town! These political conventions are national
and international events, so they will draw people who want to have their say
and protest these violent political groups which affect their daily lives.

Lie/misconception: Anarchists are violent _________

Anarchists are people, like anybody else. Anarchists themselves have long
disagreed about violence and nonviolence as political tactics. There are many
anarchists who are pacifists and those who adhere to a strict code of
nonviolence. Many anarchists aren't violent people, but support violence as a
tactic, especially when it is used in self-defense against state violence.

Lie/misconception: Anarchists planned to kidnap delegates at the convention.

This lie was concocted by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office to justify their
violent raids and to prejudice the public against anarchists. This is simply
ridiculous. Anarchists would never do something like this.

Lie/misconception: Anarchists are smelly hippies who need to take showers.

This accusation is really a giveaway that the person saying this is over 45,
since "dirty hippy" is a tired insult from the 1960s. People who say this don't
understand that most anarchists aren't hippies, thus we don't see this as an
insult. Truth be told, many of us may smell during the protests, but that's
because we've been on the road, sleeping on couches and can't get access to a
shower when we are staying at somebody's house. Anarchists are mostly poor,
working class people--we aren't staying in nice hotels like the convention

Lie/misconception: The DNC/RNC protests are another example of "activistism," an
example of people who like to protest for the sake of protest.

We can't pretend to know the motivations of everybody who participates in
protest. There are probably a few people involved who fit this
description--there are these types in every protest. But this accusation misses
the fact that almost everybody protesting the RNC and DNC are protesting for
political reasons. For many, they are rejecting the one party corporate system
that runs the U.S. and much of the world. Many protesters are concerned about
issues of worker rights, social justice,the environment, capitalism,
gentrification, racism, indigenous rights, prisons and prisoners, and many other
issues. Many of the people involved see the protests as a step towards a
movement or situation that leads to bigger social change, perhaps even a
revolution. When the protests end, many of these people will stay active in
various causes and movements. Most of them will read books, even theory, and
will discuss, argue and analyze the effect of these protests.

Infoshop News invites other anarchists, especially those involved with the past
two weeks of protests, to add to this list or make suggestions.
Copied from infoshop.org
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