Recently, I spoke with Thom Hartmann about the role of Anarchists within the Occupy movement. All too often, people equate anarchism with violence.
My take is this: smashing windows is vandalism and not violence. Violence is how the police have reacted to protesters armed with nothing more than an idea. However, smashing windows and other acts of vandalism does not help the movement grow. I understand, and share, the anger at major corporations, but the tactic of breaking store windows is just plain stupid.
In other words, some people are jerks. All anarchists are people. Thus, some anarchists are jerks.
So it is with all self identified groups.
Just because certain Republicans think that God with a capital my G, my God and not your GOD created the world a few thousand years ago and think we walked the earth with Dinosaurs does not mean all Republicans choose to live their lives in such willful ignorance.
And just as some Democrats, even those we elect to the oval office, still employ a foreign policy that is cool with killing people in sovereign nations that pose no threat to us (i.e. the kind of shit we used to call war crimes when Bush did it) does not mean that all Democrats favor our blowback inducing homicidal bull in a geopolitical china shop of a foreign policy. Some Democrats are actually anti-war, even if they find other reasons to vote for pro war Democrats on Election Day.
Anarchists contributed a significant amount to the intellectual frame-work of the occupy movement, which has been, by and large, a non violent struggle. For this movement to grow, we need a lot less “smashy-smashy” and a whole bunch more coalition building.