Report – To Change Everything US Tour
Last month, we concluded the To Change Everything US tour, bringing together anarchists from Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and North America to compare notes on the uprisings and social movements of the past decade. In the course of 65 days, we presented 59 events in 57 towns, speaking with well over 2000 people altogether. To hear an audio recording from one of the presentations, tune in to episode 44 of the Ex-Worker Podcast.
Many people have seen the booklet and video we are distributing on the theme To Change Everything; we wanted to follow up by initiating intercontinental conversations about strategy and liberation. In the digital age, it is more important than ever to meet and debate and form bonds in person. If you met us on this trip, please stay in touch and help brainstorm what we should do together next.
We had a wonderful tour. For those of us from the US as well as overseas, it is instructive to take in the entire country in a single continuous trip. It gives you the lay of the land. Here is what we saw.
What We Saw
The good news is that plenty of people around the United States are newly interested in anarchism. Most of our events were better attended than anyone anticipated, drawing crowds of more than a hundred in a few cases. In the Midwest, for example, not known for being a hotbed of radicalism, we were surprised how many people wanted to talk revolution, especially in cities within a day’s drive of St. Louis, Missouri. This is the generation radicalized by the Ferguson protests. Even as state repression intensifies and survival gets more difficult, that creates windows of opportunity.
At the same time, it seems that the forms of infrastructure and organization that would enable people to follow through on this interest are largely missing. In Washington, DC, once an epicenter of anarchist activity, after we spoke to a full room, many people asked how they could get involved with local in anarchist groups—and none of the longtime locals in attendance knew what to tell them. Over and over, in perhaps a dozen cities, we heard that our event was perhaps the largest gathering of anarchists their community had seen for years. This is not good news. Rather than waxing nostalgic about the structures of the past, we urge our comrades across the US to experiment with new ways to bring people together.