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Nov 26, 21

Why Eric Adams Doesn’t Understand Anarchism – Or the NYPD

A response from the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC-NYC) to mayor-elect and former NYPD officer and Republican, Eric Adams, attacking anarchists.

Eric Adams is raising the alarm about the NYPD. In his interview this week, he pulled no punches in describing the “professionals…many of them from outside the city,” who come into New York solely to “create violence.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Mr. Mayor-Elect, and honestly, we were surprised to hear a former cop take on his old colleagues so accurately!
Wait. Hold on, we just got a text. Ah. It appears Adams was actually referring to “anarchists,” not cops. Our bad.

You can see why we would be confused. Over fifty percent of NYPD officers live outside of New York City – they really are out-of-towners. In contrast, we’ve had a thriving and homegrown anarchist scene here for a few hundred years, from the founding of anarchist “intentional communities” in the nineteenth century (right near Union Square!), through Emma Goldman’s residency and activism in the late 1800s, to so-called “Ferrer Schools” founded in the early 1900s, to the anarchist-affiliated squats of the 1980s, and right up to the present day. Anyone who comes to a MACC meeting (no cops, please!) will happily find fellow members from across the five boroughs. Anarchists are and always have been a thriving, vibrant part of the fabric of New York. We are real New Yorkers – certainly realer than the cops who drive in a few days a week from their Suffolk County McMansions.

Adams also, bizarrely, claimed that anarchists are “white men,” which would surely come as a shock to the many female, non-binary, Black, and brown anarchists of New York City. Come to a protest – they are as diverse as New York itself! The NYPD has only 15% Black officers in a city where one-quarter of the population is Black. Again, Adams is focused on the wrong target.
As for “professionals,” well, we anarchists don’t do this for money. Have you met an anarchist, Mr. Adams? A lot of us don’t have two pennies to rub together, and we didn’t become anarchists to get rich. Meanwhile, the NYPD enjoys salaries significantly higher than other city workers who are forced to live in our overpriced city. With overtime (which the City pays out without question), even newbie officers can make over $100,000. As Bloomberg News has put it: “Even before applying for a job, potential recruits to the New York City Police Department learn of a way to double their pay.” The highest paid cops here can pull in over $600,000 in a good year. Nice work if you can get it!

And finally, who is really “creating violence” in this City? If any anarchists have been arrested for physical assault recently, we haven’t heard about it. In contrast, in 2020 the city closed out a whopping 2,813 excessive force complaints against officers. Indeed, New York’s Attorney General is currently suing the NYPD for the violence used against protestors last year. Every week, we read a new story in the news about an officer using an illegal chokehold, or roughing someone up for recording them. And unlike anarchists, who will get arrested if they sneeze the wrong way, cops are almost never punished for their brutality.

So, Mr. Adams, who exactly are these “out of town professionals causing violence” you speak of? You seem to find it useful to blame anarchists for anything you don’t like, in a distinctly Trumpian fashion. Perhaps instead of trying to distract, confuse, and scare New Yorkers, you could address why our city has become a playground for the wealthy with the poor left to rot, and why our government has decided that police are untouchable, even for the worst abuses of power. (And also, maybe you could explain why you’re accepting private jet rides from Steve Bannon associate and crypto billionaire Brock Pierce!) Respectfully, until you understand even the first thing about anarchists or anarchism, you should decline comment, or risk again looking like a fool.

photo: Pixabay

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