Anarchists Coming to the RNC Convention

By Dr. Rich Swier – The Republican National Convention will be held in Tampa, Florida from August 27-30, 2012 to select the Republican nominees for President and Vice-President. A coalition has formed under the banner March on the RNC to protest at the convention.

The coalition is made up of labor unions, anti-war groups, student groups and self-identified anarchists.

Endorsing organizations include: Occupy Pensacola, Occupy Tallahassee, Occupy Tampa and Occupy USF. David Graeber, American anthropologist and anarchist, in his column “Occupy Wall Street’s anarchist roots” states, “It was only on August 2, when a small group of anarchists and other anti-authoritarians showed up at a meeting called by one such group and effectively wooed everyone away from the planned march and rally to create a genuine democratic assembly, on basically anarchist principles, that the stage was set for a movement that Americans from Portland to Tuscaloosa were willing to embrace.”

David Graeber defines “anarchist principles” as: 1.) The refusal to recognise the legitimacy of existing political institutions; 2.) The refusal to accept the legitimacy of the existing legal order; 3.) The refusal to create an internal hierarchy, but instead to create a form of consensus-based direct democracy; and 4.) The embrace of prefigurative politics. The term “prefigurative politics” was first used by Wini Breines specifically with reference to the new left movements of the 1960s.

David Graeber in Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology described “prefigurative politics” as:

“When protesters in Seattle chanted “this is what democracy looks like,” they meant to be taken literally. In the best tradition of direct action, they not only confronted a certain form of power, exposing its mechanisms and attempting literally to stop it in its tracks: they did it in a way which demonstrated why the kind of social relations on which it is based were unnecessary. This is why all the condescending remarks about the movement being dominated by a bunch of dumb kids with no coherent ideology completely missed the mark. The diversity was a function of the decentralized form of organization, and this organization was the movement’s ideology.”

Other March on the RNC endorsing groups include: Code Pink, Students for a Democratic Society including chapters from Tampa Bay, FL, Gainesville/University of FloridaWright College SDS (Chicago), University of Wisconsin SDS (Milwaukee), University of Minnesota SDS (Twin Cities) and UNC Chapel Hill Students for a Democratic Society.

Code Pink has joined with the anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic Free Gaza movement and the Women Occupy movement. Code Pink was part of the 2012 Gaza Freedom March against Israel.