Why We're Protesting: An Anarchist Perspective on the Trump Inauguration

  • Posted on: 18 January 2017
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From Anarchist Agency

On January 20, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. There to protest the know-nothing real estate mogul’s ascent to office will be many of the people he’s insulted and denigrated over the past year and a half: women, people of color, Muslims, immigrants – representatives of the majority of the population of the U.S.

Many of us protestors are anarchists.

Why anarchists?

We are rebels against the State, against capitalism, against all racial and social hierarchies, because we prefer direct democracy—the most direct democracy you can get—to the lie of “democratic government.” It doesn’t matter who’s president: we’re against presidents. It’s not just the Republican Congress we oppose: it’s any Congress that pretends to represent us. It’s not just police racism and violence we don’t accept: it’s the institution of the police. Contrary to the rhetoric of Trump and the alt-right, we are not sore losers who are simply upset that Hillary Clinton lost the election. George Soros or the Democratic Party does not fund us. We are volunteers; just regular citizens who believe humanity can do better than Trump or Clinton.

We prefer grassroots organizing and action to top-down “campaigns” by “progressive” organizations based in Washington that channel the rage of the marginalized into electoral campaigns, lobbying, and marches to nowhere. The streets belong to us. That’s where civil rights were won, where LGBT people seized control of their lives, where working people won the right to organize, and where we will build a real democracy that empowers all of us.

On January 20, we’ll be in Washington to fight for all these things, but also to disrupt the confirmation and normalization of the ugly new reality the November election put in place.

Because this election really was different. It fed off and helped spread a new strain of racism, misogyny, and ultra-nationalism that’s receiving answering salutes from countries all over the world, from France to Hungary to the Philippines. We’re not here to protest just another in a long line of American warlords. We’re here to call a halt to New American Fascism and the hatred at its heart.

In the 18 months since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the White House, we’ve seen Muslims and Hispanics terrorized. We’ve seen the legitimate anger of Black Lives Matter countered by a vicious backlash. We’ve seen a concerted and expanding effort to roll back the social acceptance that transgender people have just begun to make. We’ve seen a wealthy white man flaunt his privilege in ways that demean women – with only the mildest and rare peeps of protest from the Washington political establishment.

Trump didn’t create this ugliness, but he’s become its focal point, its megaphone, and its chief recruiting tool. He’s made racists and xenophobes feel powerful. He’s made sexists and homophobes feel justified. He’s given the corporate agenda to disempower and impoverish working people a smoke screen of phony populism to hide behind.

We’ve seen it too many times before in too many places to ignore it this time: a right-wing demagogue maneuvers into power. Sensing the opportunity of a lifetime, a greedy and ruthless economic and political elite falls into line behind the new leader. Minorities and the economically vulnerable are the first to suffer. Eventually, everybody does.

This election could be just the beginning. France, Germany, and Hungary are just a few of the countries with national elections coming up in 2017 where the racist right is expected to make big gains. Now is the time to send an unmistakable message that fascism is not the answer. But we won’t do that in a voting booth. We’ll do it in our homes, our communities, and in the streets. We’ll do it by promoting the vision of a society without the State, without bought-and-paid-for politicians, without capitalism. The opposite of what we’ve got now.

The first step in resisting “President Trump” is to disrupt J20.



No, shut the fuck up. We don't want "direct democracy." We want anarchy.

"The war machine is the motor of the social machine; the primitive social being relies entirely on war, primitive society cannot survive without war. The more war there is, the less unification there is, and the best enemy of the State is war. Primitive society is society against the State in that it is society-for-war."

We "want the multiplication of the multiple".

the war machine is the motor of the CIA machine (boeing, lockheed martin, UTC, general dynamics, etc). the cia monkeys manage and billionaires own mentioned companies and they started to profit from every protest, from every shooting, they militarize police and make a profit, etc.
protest against Trump can be symbolic, anarchists will always protest if they get a chance, that's okay, but protest against Trump will not abolish capitalism and its repression. if they chose only this one day to be violent/militant, it is shit.

Agreed. Still waiting for the left-anarchist fetish with democracy to fade away. That being said, if I believed in the rev I would naturally take this persons vision of anarchism over what we have now any day.

Are they mutually exclusive?

Honest question? Could there not be a directly democratic voluntary federation to coordinate resources and tasks amount a group of people while allowing autonomy and self determination to those who choose not to associate?

Is a gulf between schools of anarchism a practical one or is it based on pride and years of insults and back blighting between the camps?

Is that it should not be used very often. Democracy is mostly about voting on resources and the use of apparatuses at the end of the day. The problem with this is that there is always a separation from how these things actually work that will disaffect somebody.

The use of democracy in a civilized system of governance that isn't autocratic is inevitable but keep the use of it to a minimum and FOR FUCK'S SAKE stop making democracy a FUCKING ANARCHIST LIBERTARIAN VALUE. A well executed libertarian system of confederacy might be a good tapering off system from the hellhole we live today and one I would find preferable in a negative sense but keep democracy on the tertiary outside of any kind of trumped up value.

organization in nature, generally, is not 'democratic' because organization does not happen by participants getting together and formulating intellectual plans for cooperative action. the unfolding relational situation induces organizing. anarchy could be defined as pre-intellectual or intuitive/instinctual organizing.

the indigenous anarchist organizing of primitive peoples puts intuitive/instinctual (pre-intellectual, experiential) organizing in precedence over intellectual organizing, and this 'works'. as Emerson suggested, Western man has tipped things upside down and put intellectual organizing into an unnatural precedence over intuitive/instinctual organizing. in this upside-down arrangement, intuitive/instinctive organizing is stifled and activities become mechanically structured.

so, re your 'honest question' about the compatibility of employing both democracy and anarchy at the same time, it will only work if democracy is a support tool for anarchy. wolves in a wolf pack understand that prey should be approached downwind and have the herding instinct to corral their prey; i.e. the pack behaviour is inductively organized by signals from the environment.

Packs/tribes of humans have of course developed languages that facilitate intellectual organizing and while some packs/tribes [with relational languages] keep intuitive organizing in precedence over intellectual organizing, those with noun-and-verb [being-based] languages inverted this natural priority and have put intellectual organizing first. this has resulted in the atrophying of natural relational instincts and an increased dependence on 'democracy' and other intellectual modes of organizing.

some 're-wilding' would presumably be required to rejuvenate intuition-based organizing so that it could play the lead role with intellectual organizing given a needed relegation to playing support. this flip from the mechanical over the relational to the relational over the mechanical would also require elevating the orientation to balance and harmony [sailboater/smooth voyage orientation] in precedence over the orientation to fulfilling pre-specified goals and objectives [powerboater/efficient destination-attaining orientation].

the 'boiled frog' syndrome may be holding us back here in that we may have allowed our intuitive/instinctive organizing to atrophy so much while depending on intellectual organizing that, now that the pot is coming to the boil with conflict and dysfunction, intuitive/instinctive organizing may lack the strength to rise up into the lead role and allow intellectual organizing to fall back into a support role. imagine a mixed group of white intellectuals and black native intuitives on a foray where the technology gives out and the environment is severe to the point that their survival is threatened. it may be difficult for the bwana sahibs to relinquish the primary role and play a support role in the organizing.

I agree with the general thrust of this article, but take issue with its lack of discourse around how hard one should go on J20. For me, I'll be going pretty hard. Some might go harder. So might go less hard. As a cohesive group, we anarchists need to be supportive of varying degrees of hardness, without losing sight of the general importance of remaining hard. As such we need to maintain a dialogue of hardness during the build up to this climactic event. Don't slow down. Don't stop. I said don't stop! Without strong and steady hands manning the flagpoles on J20 we'll never bring anything to completion.

Literally anything you did with the three minutes you spent typing this would have been better use of your limited time.

thank you. you made me happy.

This was pretty hilarious, anon. I'm having a really bad day... Thanks for the laughter. :)

And don't forget to *go hard* in the streets. With flagpoles. Biiig flagpoles...

Do it for Trump.

I understand the frustration of all those still clearly invested in the electoral system and process. But anarchists? Please. That's why I no longer even use the term for anything other than a descriptor of behavior. There is no such thing as an anarchist. Only anarchistic behavior. This ain't that.

Yeah … this writer is either pandering too hard or not going hard enough, right going-hard-troll?

For reals though, "regular citizens"?!

Some ghey dudes should go hard on him on J20 tho. That'd show him another angle of (Athenian) direct democracy.

Leftism rears its ugly head... again. This text feels like it was shouted in a megaphone by some mole-eyed socialist with a thick skull.

hahaha that's quality shit-posting, well done. Just for the record, there's "leftist" anarchists who aren't this dense and we're just as embarrassed by some of the shitty analysis on display here as you are.

Not doubting it. This article feels fake and manipulative. Or at best written by some platformist dolt who just discovered "anarchism" through Chomsky.

the threading of replies is very odd. It sticks your reply on random ass posts down-thread.

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