Filed under: Anarchist Movement, History, Northeast, Publication
Some NYC anarchists have put together From Antiglobe to Antifa: A Recent History of Anarchist Struggle in NYC. It chronicles the past 10 years of anarchist struggle in NYC through three waves: Occupy, Black Lives Matter, and anti-Trump/antifa.
The compilation of this history was inspired by “Fighting Collective Amnesia”, which points to how anarchists can build a stronger movement going forward by first remembering and reflecting on our history:
“We are suffering from a collective amnesia around state repression and recent history …Collective amnesia is when we forget the stories, victories, mistakes, and debates of the recent past. It’s when we allow security culture to deteriorate and put ourselves and each other at risk unnecessarily. It’s when we think that the state doesn’t take us seriously and when we don’t take our work seriously. It’s when we don’t share a common understanding of where we came from as an anarchist movement. This is especially dangerous for people who are new to these movements and circles, but most of us seem to be suffering from this amnesia. This puts all of us at risk of state repression and the inaction that comes with constantly starting over with the same debates and mistakes…
…We can fight collective amnesia by building a collective memory. We need a collective memory to adapt our struggles, lest we end up with the “immortal science” of creating endless front groups or more likely, a cliquey subculture full of informal social hierarchy. We all need to remember our recent history. We all need to remember what worked and what went wrong. We all need to remember the ones we’ve lost to the state. We all need to remember why we believe what we believe, and why we work the way we do. We need to collectively remember this, so that we have a collective way forward.”
We hope the history compiled herein can build collective memory of recent waves of struggle in NYC, inspire conversations about the history and future of revolutionary organizing, and build a more informed, strategic, and militant anarchist movement.