Dear so-called “anarchists”

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Fuck you.

Seriously, fuck you.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, that’s not very Buddhist of me. But, well, tough shit.

I’m so sick and tired of these spoiled white kids all decked out in their hoodies and  black bandannas attaching themselves like some parasitic fungus to valid protest events and movements.  Their sole purpose is to wreak havoc and destroy any private property in their path. They’re like two year olds who don’t get what they want and throw a screaming tantrum.  But instead of just laying on the floor kicking their legs and screaming, these punks run around and toss bricks through windows and light trash cans on fire. They purport to be mad at the “the system”, and by smashing windows at Foot Locker or Starbucks, they’re sticking it to “the man”.  Whatever, dude.  You guys are idiots.

I used to see these fools on the periphery of the anti-war protests of the Bush years.  They were the ones who broke off from the peaceful marches and started destroying shit, bringing in a heavy police presence.   And in the media, the tens of thousands of peaceful protesters and their message becomes a mere side story while the more mediagenic story of a dozen or so punks destroying a Starbucks takes the lead.   Thanks for helping out, guys.

There hasn’t been much for the last few years in terms of organized protests.  No marches, no rallies.  These days people just sign a petition or two online and call it a day.  At least that’s what I do. Who knows what the so-called “anarchists” have been doing for the last few years.  But, I can imagine the major collective boner  they got when it came to the protests surround the Oscar Grant shooting and the Mehserle trial.

Around 2:30-3:00 last Thursday, it was announced that the verdict was to be read at 4:00 pm.  People in my office who took BART into work made a beeline for the door in hopes of getting on the train before the verdict was read. The company I work for evacuated – yes, evacuated – their downtown Oakland offices and told everyone to get the hell out of Dodge – the sooner the better. Based on the riots that ensued about a year and a half ago shortly after the shooting, people were nervous about potential violence.

But, Oakland – community groups working in conjunction with the City – did some serious planning and communication. They made space for people to gather and vent their frustrations and anger.   And it worked.  Once the involuntary manslaughter verdict came in, people started gathering downtown.  There was heavy duty police presence to keep it contained. People were angry and frustrated with the verdict. Who can blame them? But, the protest itself was peaceful.  Despite the constant media messages that it was going to get ugly, it didn’t.

That is, until night fall, when the anarchist cockroaches  came out to play. And an event that should have been seen as a powerful protest and show of community solidarity became just another damn Oakland riot.

Do they care a whit about Oscar Grant? I doubt it, otherwise they would have heeded the family’s pleas for non-violence. Do they care about African American community and their tenuous relationship with the police? I don’t think so, otherwise they wouldn’t have done their damnedest to make it worse.  I seriously doubt they give a shit about anyone except themselves.

So listen, you so-called “anarchists”, no valid movement for peace and change needs your help.  But hey, I hear the Tea Party may need some help at their gatherings.

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12 responses »

  1. how about a buddharchist ? sum body that doesn’t give a fuck about themselves and only cares about other people ~

    How many buddharchists does it take to screw in a light bulb ?

  2. Of course, you were right to use the epithet “so-called” anarchists.

    There are many anarchists who don’t do these things. I sometimes call my self an anarchist, actually.

    And in terms of my attitude to society, I am absolutely an anarchist.

    I know people who regard Buddha as essentially anarchist in his attitude to the state. And Mahatma Ghandi was inspired by the example of anarchists like Prince Peter Kropotkin. In fact, Mahatma Ghandi himself is often included when you read biographies on anarchists.

    And Kropotkin and other leading anarchist figures such as Tolstoy were regarded by many to be living saints.

    So, hey, let’s not give anarchists a bad name just because some clueless American punks are wrecking the neighbourhood.

  3. You are sooooo right. I’ve always hated anarchists because it’s too easy to say that you don’t believe in something, and that you want to destroy everything. Ultimately, the thing you’re destroying will just be replaced with something new, which will have its own rules and regulations. It’s childish and pathetic to believe you can smash the system entirely. I think it’s better to work for change from within.

    “Left Hand Dagger”, why this need to call yourself an anarchist? Americans (I’m assuming you’re American) have such a need to label themselves as something. I think it’s a bit self-indulgent to call yourself an anarchist because it draws too much attention to you, and your identity. I have a similar allergy to the word “activist”. It’s so fucking self-congratulatory. Why can’t people just help other people without having to give themselves such a smug label?

    http://petrichoric.wordpress.com

  4. Mr Petrichoric

    1) I am most certainly not American (thank fucking God)

    2) I call myself an anarchist because I admire people who have values. There are very few such people in this world. Among that minority are Buddists of a certain hardcore persuasion, and yes – anarchists.

    It is possible to be both.

    I call myself an anarchist because I aspire to a better world, not the world of smug moral compromise that you’re so happy with. I call myself an anarchist because I dream. I call myself an anarchist because people like you, who wallow in mediocrity, make me sick.

    You also lack education. It is clear you have not read much about anarchism.

    Sadly, LB I have to say the same thing about you.

  5. Before this discussion goes completely off the rails, just a quick reminder to keep it civil.

    Ron, I never purported to know about anarchism or actual anarchists. I am simply responding to these “so-called anarchists” who show up these events with the sole purpose to be disruptive. They have identified themselves as anarchists. I wasn’t using the label “anarchist” as a slur.

  6. Hi LB

    I guess the fact remains that these people you allude to may actually be anarchists for real.

    There are anarchists who do these sorts of things. And there have been ever since anarchism began.

    However, there is a strong strand of anarchism that does not resort to violence of any kind.

    Anarchism has a ‘movement’ (for want of a better word) has always had these two faces – one verging on criminal, the other a great deal more thoughtful.

    I do not support people who destroy things. However, I can’t say they are not anarchists.

    Ron

  7. In the end, I suggest people who act on delusion are indeed misguided, as you say. No matter what they call themselves.

    Ultimately, Buddhism provides a reliable moral code that anarchism doesn’t.

    However, I do wish people would stop bagging anarchists – simply on the grounds that society as we know it is infinitely more evil and destructive than any hooligan with a brick.

  8. I’m with you, LB. Our recent experience in Toronto re the G10 and G20 summits was rife with ‘professional’ protestors and those present simply to trash property, cause trouble and provoke police response.

    The messages of the legit protestors was lost in the sensationalist focus of reporting by the media.

  9. The problem with anarchsm is that it doesn’t work. However peaceful and well intentioned some may be, there will always be the rest.

    If you want to know what society without government would be, read “Lord of the Flies.”

    Stranded without adult governance of any kind, the kids form their own social structure and, as usual in a culture unpoliced, violence trumps pacifism and the bullies run amok.

    Thank god for police.

  10. The problem with demoncracy is that it doesn’t work.

    The problem with American is that it doesn’t work.

    The problem with your legitimate social protest is that it doesn’t work.

    And yes, anarchism doesn’t work either.

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