My house was raided by the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force last month. Like an anonymous comrade who is laying low to avoid a subpoena, I want to make it very clear that I am not a victim. As an anarchist I am opposed to the state in its entirety – it is my enemy. To call myself a victim is to accept powerlessness, even though these raids and the grand jury are clearly responses to anarchists acting in revolt, asserting our power.
This last month has brought me intense sadness – I have found myself crying at work, while listening to cheesy folk punk, while looking at pictures of puppies. But I also feel overwhelming joy at the love I have felt from my friends and comrades and from anarchists around the world.
It is true that sometimes anarchists serve Food Not Bombs and live in collective houses, but it is also true that sometimes anarchists throw rocks through windows and fight the police. To highlight one at the expense of the other would be a mistake. I love anarchism for all of those reasons: as a tendency we act to make our lives more bearable in the here and now, and we attack the institutions that make our lives miserable. Anarchism is dangerous and confrontational and uncompromising, and I love it for that.
We also need to be honest with ourselves about how dangerous we can be: we can’t act surprised every time the state is repressive. The fact that the state is coming down in such a heavy-handed fashion right now in the Northwest means we’ve been doing something right. That doesn’t mean that we should be reckless or welcome repression, but that the state wouldn’t be paying any attention to us if we weren’t a real threat.
I don’t know what the future holds for me. My life right now is in a surreal state of suspension – waiting for what could be any number of potential outcomes. I have several indications that I am a target of the grand jury investigation. In a year I could be in prison, or this could all be an unpleasant memory. No matter what the outcome, I know that I have support and solidarity from friends and comrades, known and unknown, around the world. We will get through this stronger, more resilient, and more rebellious than ever before.
If the state wanted to isolate anarchists from each other or stop the spread of social revolt, it has failed miserably. Since the raids I have made many new friends and comrades, and grown much closer to friends I already had. I don’t really believe in community, but these events have shown me the importance of networks of support and friendship.
“We’ve been given a neutral idea of friendship, understood as a pure affection with no consequences. But all affinity is affinity within a common truth. Every encounter is an encounter within a common affirmation, even the affirmation of destruction.
– The Coming Insurrection
Thank you to everyone who has been doing direct support work. Just as importantly, thank you to everyone who has engaged in a solidarity action– whether that be a demonstration in front of a courthouse, graffiti, a banner hang, or broken windows and slashed tires. Reading all the communiqués that have poured in from around the world has been incredibly heartwarming. The state may try to stamp out revolt in one place, but time and time again it will find that, like dandelions, we continue springing up in other places as soon as the state’s back is turned. We are far too free and wild to be eradicated! Let’s send our seeds of revolt out on the wind in every direction!
Love and solidarity,
a Portland anarchist