As of September 2 practically all of the predictions in our most recent feature, “What to Expect from the Conventions” have been borne out by reality. Despite millions of dollars of security, thousands of riot police and national guardsmen, and a dramatic series of preemptive raids and arrests, authorities were powerless to prevent massive direct action from disrupting St. Paul during yesterday’s Republican National Convention. The day began with hard blockades all around downtown and several different marches, including a black bloc that destroyed police cars and corporate property. A full nine hours of street conflicts ensued, involving a broad diversity of participants and tactics.
At both the DNC and RNC, anarchists showed themselves to have seized the initiative to determine the character of street demonstrations. The US anarchist movement has survived several years of repression and attempted co-optation, proving that the upsurge associated with the anti-globalization era was not a flash in the pan: if anything, we are stronger today than ten years ago.