Crimethinc: The Truth about “The Truth about Today’s Anarchists”

The Ex-Worker Responds to the New York Times

October 1, 2020

Yesterday, Farah Stockman from the New York Times editorial board published an article claiming to be “The Truth About Today’s Anarchists.” It draws on the work of an amateur conspiracy theorist, a poorly researched report from a nonprofit including a former Republican state attorney general and a former NYPD chief, a couple interviews with politicians and reformers, decontextualized and misleading references to two of our own publications, and regurgitated right-wing talking points to argue that violent anarchists are somehow controlling the ongoing countrywide protests but don’t care about Black lives.

What follows is a detailed rebuttal of this dangerously irresponsible article. Fortunately, initial reactions on social media suggest that the reading public has largely seen through its distortions. Nonetheless, we want to take the opportunity to reply in full—because despite its absurdity, the article touches on critical issues that deserve to be addressed. This is an opportunity to set the record straight, to explain why many anarchists have participated in these protests, and to elaborate our vision for a freer world.

For more on this subject, consult our earlier article, “This Is Anarchy: Eight Ways the Black Lives Matter and Justice for George Floyd Uprisings Reflect Anarchist Ideas in Action.”

“The Truth about Anarchists”

How did Stockman learn this “truth”? She appears to have spoken to at least one experienced activist in the course of her research, though she didn’t use any of the information or contacts that person offered her. There are thousands she could have approached—but she didn’t include perspective from any of them.

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