Originally posted to It’s Going Down
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When historians talk about anarchism and autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-state movements, they generally discuss “big moments” in our history. From the Spanish Civil War and Revolution, to the Popular Assemblies that were formed in Argentina in the wake of the economic crisis in 2001, anarchist uprisings, communes, and strikes that took places from Korea to Mexico to the Ukraine, to the ‘Battle of Seattle’ that shut down the WTO and splashed the image of the black bloc across the screens of millions.
But what is generally not discussed are the periods of building, organizing, and creating infrastructure that led to these big upheavals that shook the world. In this episode, we catch up with a members of Atlanta Anti-Fascists, a group that for the past several months has been hard at work countering a wide range of Neo-Nazi, KKK, and white nationalist groups in their area. With our guest, we talk about these hard and difficult moments of building and organizing, during times before the internet was able to spread ideas at a fast pace and people depended instead on newspapers and zines to connect them to a growing movement of anti-authoritarians.
Looking back on the 1980s and the 1990s, our guest discusses their own personal growth into anarchist politics; starting in the local punk rock scene and then moving into building community self-defense. We also talk about various anarchist and anti-fascist formations of the time, including Love and Rage, which was a network, later a federation of anarchist collectives, and also a newspaper, the Anarchist Youth Federation, which functioned often as the youth wing of Love and Rage, and also Anti-Racist Action (ARA), which was popularized by AYN as a tactic for fighting far-Right groups.
Lastly, the episode touches on our reoccurring topic this month: organizing within the white working-class. Towards this end we discuss several organizing ideas as well as the need to attack the moderate, electoral, and liberal tendencies among liberatory social movements.