This past year has seen more mass protests in more countries than before, and most have lasted much longer than the usual bursts of anger that this capitalist system evokes. With the help of the internet other countries become aware much sooner of what is happening around the planet, this in turns leads to support and solidarity, and perhaps an encouragement to those where the anger is still bubbling just under the surface. So it is always good to review these protests that have been exploding across the planet. We can always learn from others, and it is also necessary to find that common ground with others who have given vent to their righteous anger.
This review of some of these events comes from Anarchist Agency:
Read the full review HERE:Just when you thought it was over, they were back: France’s gillets jaunes, the direct-action protest movement that arose in opposition to the Macron government’s pro-capitalist, anti-worker policies, was supposed to be all done in 2019, neutralized by police repression and the government’s token gestures at public “consultations.” Then, in December, the yellow vests appeared again as Macron moved to “reform”—i.e. slash—French old-age pension provisions. Once again, thousands of working people were back in the streets, saying enough is enough to the global elite’s efforts to impose neoliberal policies on an increasingly angry populace.
That’s just one example from an amazing surge of resistance in 2019. The year was full of reaction and repression all over the globe, and as the months wore on, resistance grew: in Egypt,Colombia, Chile,Ecuador, post-coup Bolivia, Haiti, Lebanon, Russia, Catalunya, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. In the U.S., Native American resistance focused on Standing Rock intensified, and antifascists made clear that they will continue to oppose the resurgent, racist far right as long as it gains strength. The specific causes were not always the same, but in every case, state repression and backing of capitalism and the right were the catalysts and direct action was the most dynamic part of the response.
Direct action is also beginning to infuse the fight for the survival of our planet in the face of climate change, as activists everywhere become bolder at confronting a system bent on either ignoring the crisis or slow-walking its response to the point of irrelevancy.
At Agency, throughout 2019 we highlighted the role of anarchists and the anarchist movement in this global resurgence of opposition to state repression and capitalism. Anarchists provided much of the presence in the streets against the neo-Klan, neo-Nazi shock troops of Trumpism in the U.S. In July, a Willem Van Spronson, an anarchist, was fatally shot by police after attacking an ICE immigration detention center in Washington state. Predictably, the right-wing response was to demand that antifa be declared a “terrorist” group. Anarchists continued to play a growing role in the opposition to repression of Palestinians in Israel, to anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies in America, and the resistance to xenophobia and neoliberal “reforms” in Greece, Denmark, and other countries. We’ve told this important story through the Agency newswire, syndicated articles, commentaries, press briefs, podcasts, and the harvest of stories from other media that we gather in our Critical Voices section.
At the same time, anarchists were building a culture of freedom and mutual aid in 2019. In Athens, Exarchia continues to be the center not just of support and assistance for migrants, but of a vibrant anarchist community. The multiethnic, antiauthoritarian community of Rojava was decimated by a Turkish invasion of northern Syria, launched with the tacit approval of Washington, but not before it carried out one of the most creative experiments in self-government without the State since the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) launched in Mexico 25 years ago.
Anarchism is about expanding our imaginations to include new forms of resistance and new ways to define ourselves as creative individuals and communities. Agency strives to tell this story as well, and we did so in 2019 by bringing together news about anticapitalist bike activism, farming as a tool against climate change, and the work of anti-fascist metal and neo-folk bands to counter the far-right in the music scene.
All of which goes to show that the struggle against the State, capitalism and authority, against racism, colonialism, sexism and gendered intolerance, plays out in every corner of our lives, all the time. As anarchists, we work to bring these struggles closer together and highlight the many ways we are creating a new society in the process of resistance. Here are some of the stories Agency followed in 2019, and will continue to follow.