2020 in Review: a Year of Challenging the State and Setting Transformative Goals

It’s been a hell of a year, to say the least. We’ve seen the US government go from flirting with fascism to unabashedly flaunting its alliance with white supremacists and drawing from fascist playbooks to suppress dissent. As communities throughout the country were ravaged by a deadly global pandemic—leaving hundreds of thousands grieving and millions more struggling to make ends meet and keep their homes—those in power continued to favor the wealthiest with complete disregard for the essential workers who kept things running. Devastating wildfires tore through the West Coast, further signaling imminent ecological collapse. Meanwhile, anarchists, once again, became the political boogeyman du jour and we were all reminded that our answers won’t lie in a ballot box.

At the same time, 2020 has also been pretty incredible and inspiring. This summer we experienced one of the largest uprisings for racial justice in history. Cities like Minneapolis, Portland, and Seattle have been holding down the frontlines of antifascist resistance, demonstrating what solidarity in struggle can look like—whether it’s battling in the streets or establishing autonomous, liberated spaces. Mutual aid projects exploded across the country as neighbors came out to support neighbors; so much so that the concept has literally become a household word. As has the idea of police abolition. And just as much as the politicians and mainstream media vilified anarchists and antifascists, the influence of anarchism on current struggles has never been clearer as more and more people (and yes, even some in the media!) find themselves drawn to, or even practicing, it (whether they know it or not).

So, while we may all be more than ready to leave 2020 behind us, as we turn our attention to 2021 and the challenges that lie ahead, let’s take a minute to reflect on all that’s happened. And, above all, let’s not forget to celebrate those wins and take heart in all the solidarity and mutual aid we’ve shown each other.

Here’s to a new year and our continued struggle for a truly free, transformative, and liberatory world for all. Thanks for supporting Agency and our ongoing work to help make this happen!


A Year in Review

Some of Our Top Posts from 2020

#1

Telling our own stories, cultivating our own narratives

Interview with Abby Martin, seasoned journalist and TV presenter, on her radicalization, the relationship between media and movements, and the importance of telling our own stories.


#2

Solidarity with Anti-Fascists and Across Struggles is Needed Now More Than Ever

Writer and activist, Matthew Whitley, writes on the importance of movement solidarity and the incessant scapegoating of anti-fascists and anarchists by law enforcement and politicians.


#3

Refinery29, “What Trump Doesn’t Understand About Anarchists”

William C. Anderson, writer, activist, and co-author of the book As Black as Resistance, spoke with Refinery29 about the meaning and aspirations of anarchism—a world free from . . . brutality, oppression and exploitation under capitalism and state terror. 


#4

COVID-19 and Uprisings for Black Liberation Used as a Pretext for Advancing Mass Surveillance

Commentary from Agency’s Kris Hermes about the insidious surveillance technology being used to spy on #BlackLivesMatter protesters, and the fight to wrest back our lives from the surveillance state.


#5

Minneapolis: Now This Fight Has Two Sides. What the Riots Mean for the COVID-19 Era

Reflections by CrimethInc on the uprising in Minneapolis as a turning point in resistance to anti-Black police violence and white supremacy, an expansion for our understanding what is possible, and proof of why “change by force” is a necessary risk to take.


#6

How to Fight Fascism While Surviving a Plague

Kelly Hayes of Movement Memos, a Truthout Podcast, talks with Shane Burley about organizing for survival and how to fight fascism as public health restrictions tighten.


#7

My Friends Do The Coolest Sh%t, Episode 5: scott crow

Episode on scott crow and The Common Ground Collective, a mutual aid organization that became more effective than the Red Cross in creating support and relief for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. 


#8

As Wildfires Rage, Mutual Aid Builds and Strengthens Community in the Rogue Valley

Interview by Agency’s Lilia Letsch with Siskiyou Rising Tide (SORT) about their involvement with local mutual aid efforts in Rogue Valley, Oregon and the role of antifascist and BLM protesters in disaster relief.


#9

Inside the battle for Portland with the independent journalists on the streets

On-the-ground perspective from journalist and author of Fascism Today, Shane Burley, on the role of journalists in the Portland antifascist resistance, BLM uprising, and clashes with police.


#10

Agency’s Response to the New York Times’ Editorial “The Truth About Today’s Anarchists”

Our response to Farah Stockman’s NYT editorial, “The Truth About Today’s Anarchists,” expressing our concerns with her perspectives as reductionist, based on second-hand information, and fueling rhetoric that vilifies antifascists.


#11

Remembering David Graeber, Scholar, Troublemaker, Friend

Agency’s Eric Laursen celebrates the life of anarchist, scholar and organizer, David Graeber.  


#12

We Can’t Obtain Immigration Justice in a World of Borders and Nations

Rebecca Centeno, documentary filmmaker and media activist, on inequalities and inherent injustices of immigration policy and the need for analysis of how borders, the state, and capitalism create them.


#13

Anarchists Respond to Accusations of Violence at Justice for George Floyd Demonstrations

Our response to conservative targeting of anarchists and anti-fascists as the source of violence during unrest that has occurred in cities across the country in response to the murder of George Floyd.


#14

Coronavirus Shows Capitalism Is a Razor’s Edge

Sarah Lazare, web editor at In These Times and independent journalist, on the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on workers and why we need to radically re-imagine a world beyond capitalism.


#15

Why Anarchism is Dangerous

Long-term organizers, Dana Ward and Paul Messersmith-Glavin, on the critical importance of sustained direct action and the militant disruption of everyday life as key to successful change.


And don’t forget to check our co-authored piece with CrimethInc, This is Anarchy!, on anarchist influences in the BLM uprising, now available as a downloadable and printable zine.

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