Author and independent writer William C. Anderson interviews veteran organizer and former Black Panther and political prisoner Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin on the current political crisis, fascism and rising relevance of Black anarchism. We also urge you to generously contribute towards a fundraising campaign organized by William to support Lorenzo and his partner JoNina Ervin. Both are movement elders who’ve inspired generations of rebels and are in need of support with their living and medical expenses.
Black Rose Anarchist Federation – September 11, 2020
Introduction and Interview by William C. Anderson
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has highlighted the daily disasters of capitalism. A lack of healthcare, a safe environment, housing, and food are an everyday question for a growing segment of vulnerable people. This has brought about a noticeable interest in anarchism for many. The failures of the state were made plain by ineffective solutions, willful neglect, and utter disregard for human life. It exposed deeper questions (for some) about the plausibility of statist solutions. In concert with all this, authorities began to take notice, evidenced by its mounting attacks and scapegoating of anarchists. President Trump and many others seemingly identified a set of politics they found threatening and worthy of blame. This is no coincidence and it follows a historical pattern.
As usual, anarchism was denied its complexity by shallow, willful misreadings. The intricacy of various sets of anarchist politics, principles, and approaches were reduced to the trope of the terroristic bomb-thrower. Even as anarchists organize and take part in mutual aid projects around the country during this pandemic, this is not what anarchism represents to many people. In the midst of a global pandemic, the effectiveness of these sorts of projects paired with other survival programs has become especially relevant. Although, for opponents, so did the necessity to attack these politics from all sides. Still, growing interest in Black anarchism has remained undeterred.