Everything old is new again, and a glance back at 1887 proves there is a very bloody precedent for what Trump’s White House is doing here.
NBC News, September 22, 2020
On Sept. 21, 2020, millions of people in three major U.S. cities awoke to find themselves living in what President Donald Trump and his Justice Department cronies had declared “anarchist jurisdictions.” New York City, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle — all of which are led by Democrats — were slapped with the label and, as a result, are now at risk of being defunded by the federal government, even as they grapple with massive budget shortfalls tied to the coronavirus pandemic. The president is playing a political game with those whom he considers to be his enemies, and that list is growing day by day. Anarchists (and antifascists, or “antifa”) have become his favorite new bête noire.
This all came as quite a surprise to the people living in these “jurisdictions,” some of whose only exposure to anarchism has been a vague notion of “chaos” or “disorder” buoyed by hyperventilating Fox News headlines. For America’s living, breathing anarchists, the carnivalesque absurdity of the moment soon gave way to trepidation, and Martin Niemöller’s immortal poem springs to mind.
Trump’s favorite new narrative — that anarchists are behind everything bad happening in America — is effective because almost no one is willing to defend anarchism or to meaningfully engage in difficult conversations about racist policing and white supremacy. Now he is ramping up his efforts to equate any kind of mild dissent with insurrection, and by using anarchy as a convenient boogeyman (much as it has done with antifa), the Trump regime is further working to criminalize and stigmatize resistance.