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Sep 26, 19

Between the Riots and the Wars: A History of SoCal Anarcho-Punk

In this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with J Lee, a long term anarchist and member of the seminal anarcho-punk band Resist and Exist. We speak about Lee’s involved in the anarcho-punk scene in Southern California, from the period of the early to mid-1980s up until the massive riots and demonstrations that broke out during the Democratic National Convention in 2000. We cover a lot of history, from the rise of the anarchist punk scene in the 1980s, fighting back against neo-Nazi skinheads, the LA Rebellion, the gang truce, the DNC riots, and the growth of anarchism during the anti-globalization movement.

We hope that this interview offers a window into the anarchist movement during a time before the internet and watershed moment of the anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle. This discussion dives into both the power of the anarcho-punk subculture to spread anarchist ideas across a broad terrain, but also touches on the pitfalls of those ideas being so closely tied to a subculture, as well as the heavy cost of both repression and the passing of time.

Even if punk-rock isn’t your favorite style of music, we hope that people enjoy the history presented in this interview, as well as learning how a young and often disjointed movement began to find its footing between the riots and wars which shaped the world we know today.

More Info: Resist and Exist website, Profane Existence homepage, and Anarcho-Punk message board

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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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