Anarchism must not be criminalized: Statement from 12 of the 61 people indicted on RICO charges in Atlanta

November 20, 2023

This RICO indictment is an attempt by the state to not only criminalize dissent, but a specific set of ideas which leads to dissent and offers an alternative framework to the state and capitalism. Anarchism, solidarity, mutual aid, and collectivism are specifically named in the indictment to make people afraid of these ideas, when the only people who are actually afraid of these collective ways of organizing are the politicians, cops, and corporations who seek to preserve their absolute power over humanity. If we had ways of living more collectively, satisfied our needs through mutual aid, and had solidarity with each other, people may realize they don’t need the state or capitalism, and they may realize that the greatest causes of human suffering and barriers to freedom and security are the state and capitalism. The state wants us to be atomized consumers who cannot survive without selling ourselves to someone wealthier than us, who rely on alienating, impersonal judicial systems and violence from a gang of armed outsiders to resolve our conflicts, who outsource the production of our food to invisibIlized, mostly non-white, non-citizen laborers, and who outsource our decisions to a corrupt, unaccountable politician class. The state wants us to be terrified and paralyzed into allowing the continuation of its sordid legacy through the land grab, the plantation, and the prison farm which haunts the Weelaunee forest and all the state’s territories to this day. This critical analysis of the state is an important part of anarchism, and it is what the state and corporate media want to scare us away from and criminalize.

Acting autonomously and directly to shape our world is a good thing. Solidarity means seeing our siblings in the human species as people with the same intrinsic value as ourselves. A society which depends on endlessly competing, undercutting, exploiting, dominating, and selling each other out is going to be scrutinized and resisted by anyone who believes in solidarity. Mutual aid means providing for each other and collectively gaining from the construction of mutually beneficial interpersonal/inter-community relationships. A society which depends on depriving us of the ability to meet our needs for food, water, shelter, and healthcare and then selling them back to us is going to be seen as unjust and worth changing/rejecting by anyone who believes in mutual aid. Fowler’s description of collectivism is a bogeyman meant to imply that anarchists intend to force everyone to give up their personal autonomy and sacrifice their needs for the collective, but in fact a core goal of anarchism is to empower people to have more autonomy, and a core goal of the state to force everyone to sacrifice some or all of their autonomy for the continuation of systems which enrich a shocking few and are making the Earth uninhabitable.

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