More recently, in the aftermath of the Oscar Grant verdict in Oakland, the media fan the flames by blaming the few stray acts of window-breaking and looting on “self-described anarchists,” while police officials emphasize that this de facto terrorist segment justifies their conduct vis-à-vis protesters in general. More rifts develop in the streets, and although a tenuous solidarity is at times expressed as well, the lasting images once again are of anarchists acting in seemingly unproductive ways that put the interests and safety of larger movement contingents in jeopardy.
These are but two recent examples of a phenomenon that has been
regularly played out in North America since at least the WTO protests
in Seattle in 1999. Antipathy toward anarchists seems to have increased
steadily since then, not only from corporate elites and law enforcement
officials, but from a number of fellow movement participants as well.
Ironically, this comes at a time when interest in anarchism among
activists has greatly expanded, and likewise when its impact upon
American activism in general has seen a strong resurgence in recent