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January 7

2019 in Review: The Long and Hard Fought Road

2019 was truly a year of extremes: massive generalized revolt, hard fought campaigns, continuing repression, and tested limits for autonomous social movements and the broader anarchist, autonomist, and anti-authoritarian currents within them. Above all, 2019 showed the ability of our movements to stay engaged in long-haul struggles, from anti-pipeline camps entering into their second year of active resistance, entrenched labor battles, increasingly organized autonomous disaster relief, continuing anti-prison organizing, anti-ICE divestment victories, growing antifascist coalitions, and beyond. This in itself, is something to celebrate.

Massive #RickyRenuncia riots in Puerto Rico in the summer of 2019 were successful in toppling the Governor of the island. After the revolt, popular assemblies sprung up, inspired in part by the mutual aid organizing of anarchists and autonomous groups in the wake of recent hurricanes.

2019 will also be remembered as a year of intense conflict. This is true across so-called North America as it was across the world. In Puerto Rico, an anti-colonial and anti-austerity wave of riots and mass street demonstrations not only unseated a succession of governors, but also set the stage for the growth of popular assemblies which sought to build power in the absence of the State. On the US mainland, the State blinked in the Spring when it sought to roll out a massive roundup of migrant workers, only to be pushed back by a combination of insurrectionary sabotage, street mobilizations, and popular community defense. In so-called Canada, the start of 2019 saw thousands take to the streets, blocking highways and infrastructure in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people, whose unceded territory the police and pipeline companies invaded with force. Later in the year, we also saw the growth of widespread solidarity and support to #FreeCedar, an anarchist that was arrested following the antifascist defense of a Pride celebration in Hamilton. Meanwhile in Mexico, a series of riots kicked off against rapist police officers, with anarchists and feminists firmly in the lead, causing the Leftist government to proclaim that unlike Ricardo Flores Magon, these were not, “real anarchists.”

After police arrested outspoken trans anarchist Cedar following the defense of a Pride event from far-Right goons, there was a massive outpouring of support that caught even anarchists off guard.

For autonomous anti-capitalists and anarchists, the year was also one of experimentation and attempting to offer material solidarity in a real and tangible way. In the face of the government shutdown, people and groups across the US experimented with what mutual aid could look like in 2019. When the hammer began to come down on the houseless, people responded. When Turkey invaded Rojava, people mobilized and began to think about how they could tangibly act in solidarity; and set out blocking airlines and arms manufactures across the country.

As anger in Mexico City exploded against the police, anarchists and anarcha-feminists took a lead position in the insurrectionary riots that broke out.

A lot also happened in 2019 that totally caught us off guard. Who would have thought that a widespread antifascist current would grow throughout the fandom of Major League Soccer? Struggles, which anarchists were involved in supporting, such as the blockade by coal miners in Kentucky, ended in actual victory. Moreover, attempts to bury groups like No More Deaths or the Vaughn 17, ended in not only defeat for the State, but in more widespread support. Also, while Fox News and other far-Right outlets continued to play up fears of antifascists, anarchists, and the black bloc – even militant engagements, such as the anti-Trump clashes that broke out in Minneapolis and the actions of Williem Van Spronzen, were largely downplayed by the mainstream press for fear of them spreading and were also met by a healthy degree of popular sympathy.

According to government officials, Williem Van Spronsen’s attempted arson attack of ICE buses in Tacoma along with a massive outpouring of resistance across the US helped crush a push in July of 2019 for massive raids against migrants.

But 2019 also showed us the real limits of our capacity and our abilities to intervene, especially in the face of the increasing crisis of capitalist civilization, the realities of war, and the growing inability of the State to manage this disaster. Such a reality also laid bare the limits of online “viral” organizing and showcased the need for our movements to be able to not just mobilize and turn people out, but actually build lasting relationships.

Soccer is antifa now.

We would do well to critically understand and reflect not only on our successes, but also think long and hard on our failures and more over, the limits that appear before us. How do we bring more people into our movement? What would it mean to grow beyond where we are now? What barriers keep us removed from the wider population? How do we organize ourselves to actually intervene in real ways? What are the weaknesses and strengthens of both our current infrastructure, networks, crews, and organizations – and how can we overcome these weaknesses? How do we not reinvent the wheel when possible? Asking these hard questions and taking steps to address them, will hopefully help us grow.

How do we grow more powerful than we are now? How do we overcome the limits before us? How do we recognize our weaknesses and learn from them?

2019 Timeline

January

February

March

Police killing of Stephon Clark causes massive freeway shutdowns, militant marches, and clashes with the police.

April

 

May

June

Anti-police riot breaks out in Memphis, TN.

July

  • Call from #BlocktheWall network to target banks involved in private prisons and detention centers begins to have large success, causing many banks to drop ICE contracts.
  • Large antifascist mobilization in DC drowns out Proud Boys rally.

August

September

October

November

December

Reporting, Columns & Articles We’re Proud Of

IGD Content That Went Viral

April

  • Communique from group of anarchists claiming responsibility for flooding office working closely with ICE is published on It’s Going Down. The story is picked up on by other outlets.
  • Article on poster campaign encouraging community members to leave garbage at properties owned by white nationalists in Atlanta, Georgia is published. The story is picked up on by other outlets.

May

  • IGD exposes Turning Point USA leader in Las Vegas by publishing a racist video of Riley Grisar flashing the Alt-Right “OK” sign while screaming “White Power!” and anti-Black racial slurs. He is quickly removed from the organization and TP-USA issues a statement. Leads to several people inside of the organization being removed, including Candace Owens. The story is picked up on by other outlets.
  • IGD publishes expose about an anarchist who was attacked by a Goodwill employee after they tore down a neo-Nazi sticker. Leads to several other articles being published by local outlets.

July

August

September

October

November

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It's Going Down

It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.

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