Please Do Not Pre-Judge the Women’s March Based on the Behavior of Anarchists

peaceful march
Photo by PoPville flickr user Miki J.

Just throwing this out there because I’m getting a few crazy messages from some after today’s earlier vandalism at 12th and L St, NW. That group is not representative of the hundreds of thousands of peaceful folks planning on Marching tomorrow in the spirit of love, hope and equality. For those who were planning to march tomorrow, I hope you are not in any way dissuaded from doing so because of the actions of this small, unrepresentative group.

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  • And this group doesn’t even represent all anarchists (assuming they actually are anarchists and not just opportunistic provocateurs): “Anarchism, nihilism, and terrorism are often mistakenly equated, and in most dictionaries will be found at least two definitions of the anarchist. One presents him as a man who believes that government must die before freedom can live. The other dismisses him as a mere promoter of disorder who offers nothing in place of the order he destroys. In popular thought the latter conception is far more widely spread. The stereotype of the anarchist is that of the cold-blooded assassin who attacks with dagger or bomb the symbolic pillars of established society. Anarchy, in popular parlance, is malign chaos.

    “Yet malign chaos is clearly very far from the intent of men like Tolstoy and Godwin, Thoreau and Kropotkin, whose social theories have all been described as anarchist. There is an obvious discrepancy between the stereotype anarchist and the anarchist as we most often see him in reality; that division is due partly to semantic confusions and partly to historical misunderstandings.” — George Woodcock

  • Thanks for this commentary, Dan, and for devoting so much of Popville to the inauguration/protest/women’s march today and tomorrow.

  • I judge the march by their platform; a doubling down of the identity politics that got Trump elected.

  • Although they are not linked, this will keep people away from the march tomorrow. Turn out will still be large, but seeing the violence will be a deciding factor for people a bit on the fence about going downtown tomorrow (especially if planning to bring children).

    • I’m more afraid of violence by the police, not any of the protesters. Marchers in women’s marches are never violent.

      But, ever since the war protests began after 911, the tendency is to pen marches in with those metal barriers, so it makes it hard to leave the march, and you are sitting ducks for police violence when penned in like that – they just aren’t safe. They are there exactly for police to be able to pen people in.

    • My mom tried to convince me not to go.

    • There are too many women who traveled a great distance to march tomorrow. Women aren’t going to let a tiny group of protestors detract them from marching for equality.

      • yes, women tend to know that the anarchist or whatever protesters who break windows have nothing to do with women’s marches.

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