Baby, I'm an Anarchist, You're a Member of Al-Qaeda


Absurd terrorism comparisons are not just for Americans during debt-ceiling season. British police in the City of Westminster are now (slightly) back-peddling from last week's request that the public, and shopkeepers in particular, keep an eye on any neighborhood anarchists. The implication that a diverse political philosophy was inherently criminal made some anarchists angry. It also reads creepily similar to the controversial 2009 Homeland Security memo about keeping an eye on extremists including those who "reject federal authority in favor of state or local."

The report came from the police as part of Project Griffin, an anti-terrorism initiative. So just a few paragraphs above the plea to report any and all Al-Qaeda activities was this:

Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. Any information relating to anarchists should be reported to your local police.

Obviously some anarchists smash windows, or participate in black blocs, which can include both civil and less so disobedience. But others just protest peacefully, albeit often while just as-clad-in-black-with-face-covered as any riot cop. 

Police admitted yesterday that the report's wording was sloppy. Or rather, they assured people they weren't trying to step on the toes of any "legitimate" political expression. They were just anticipating security concerns with the 2012 Summer Olympics and other large events, like recent spending cut protests.

And police were just trying to get the public to report actual crimes against property and people; Which are, of course, already against the law, no matter whether 19-year-old CrimethInc readers are running through the streets or not.

Brian Doherty on the parallels between law enforcement's reaction to terrorism today and its reaction to anarchism 100 years ago.

NEXT: "Squirrel!"

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  1. Anarchists just grind my gears.

    1. The tax-payer funded anarchists are the dangerous anarchists. If you see cops beating and arresting protesters while standing around and watching others destroy property, you can be sure those destroying property are undercover cops.

  2. Police admitted today that the report’s wording was sloppy. Or rather, they assured people they weren’t trying to step on the toes of any “legitimate” political expression.

    In this country a five-member panel on the Federal Elections Commission decides what’s “legitimate political expression”.

    And liberals wouldn’t have it any other way.

  3. Some anarchists smash windows, or participate in black blocs, which can include both civil and less so disobedience. But others just protest peacefully, albeit often while just as-clad-in-black-with-face-covered as any riot cop.

    Yep. Anarchists and cops are indistinguishable. They’re morally equivalent.

  4. Anarchists of the World, Unite?

    1. Unite, hell. We can’t even agree on the definition of anarchy.

      1. An-comm/syn/soc/cap/prim/trib/etc

  5. So many of these black-clad anarchists tend not to be so “an-” about the “archy”. Many of them are anti-corporatist, pro-government tools. That said, Britcops I like even less. So… maybe they could all lose.

    1. Once their parents became Marxists, all the teenage Marxists decided they needed a more edgy cause.

      Voila, anarchism.

      1. Sure, but they’ll eventually become “Social Democrats” just like their parents did.

    2. Do anarchist kids play video games? Maybe Bioshock Infinite will prompt some interest in the historical conflicts between the anarchist and Marxist branches of socialism.

    3. The British anarchists, at least the ones who make headlines, break in storefronts when the Tories propose government cuts. I are confused.

  6. Sacco and Vanzetti must be rolling in their graves.

    1. Don’t forget Zangara.

      1. Fucking SOB needed more range time.

        1. “Hoover and Roosevelt ? everybody the same.”

  7. Here’s a handy tip to determining if someone is actually an anarchist or not:

    Do they think Social Security should get more funding? Not an anarchist.
    Are they wearing a Che shirt? Not an anarchist.
    Do they talk about forcefully redistributing wealth? Not an anarchist.

    1. Have no consistent philosophy; hate people who are successful; like really bad pop music; enjoy breaking things; don’t have a job, blame society…


      1. Don’t forget always bumming off everyone else.

  8. I tried anarchy for a time but there were just too many rules.

  9. Beauty of an AM! reference with the title, Ms. Steigerwald. Going to listen to Reinventing Axl Rose right now because of it.

    1. You win a prize.

      That prize is sadly only my esteem and good wishes.

      I am sure I could have gotten the syllables better, but you know…Deadlines.

      I just remembered in order to REALLY piss off the anarchists, I could have referenced that new “Teenage Anarchist” song. Heh.

      1. I’ll take the prize.

        Sadly, I have no idea what that new song is that you mentioned. Maybe ALL my punk ethos haven’t quite been sucked from my innards by the work-a-day world, after all.

  10. You can always tell anarchists from Al Quada. Anarchists are the retarded ones. Seriously, there is no political creature lower and more pathetic than a modern anarchists.

    1. Anarchy, as a political concept, is a naive floating abstraction: . . . a society without an organized government would be at the mercy of the first criminal who came along and who would precipitate it into the chaos of gang warfare. But the possibility of human immorality is not the only objection to anarchy: even a society whose every member were fully rational and faultlessly moral, could not function in a state of anarchy; it is the need of objective laws and of an arbiter for honest disagreements among men that necessitates the establishment of a government.

      1. Ayn Rand had sand in her cunt.

        1. sand in her cunt

          Ha ha! Original and edgy!


      3. a society without an organized government would be at the mercy of the first criminal who came along and who would precipitate it into the chaos of gang warfare.

        Ummm …. Ayn, I think that pretty is what has happened. Why hasn’t your archy prevented that?

        1. s/pretty/pretty much/

          1. America is a land of chaos and gang warfare?
            Where the hell do you live?

      4. a society without an organized government would be at the mercy of the first criminal who came along and who would precipitate it into the chaos of gang warfare.

        Gee, Ayn Rand was a statist at heart. How, pray tell, does one distinguish between being victimized by the “criminal gang” and the “government”?

        1. Reason.

          Do I get a drink for that?

        2. Yeah. Being able to define the proper role of government makes one a “statist.” Grow up and get some new words.

    2. Care to back that up, or just throwing out blanket insults cause it’s the thing to do?

      1. I think John is referring to the black mask wearing anarchists whose idea of “anarchy” is a cradle-to-grave welfare state. Not us lovable, fuzzy an-caps with our gin gimlets, mustaches, and monocles.

        1. In the interest of fostering better inter-John relations, I will give him the benefit of the doubt per your assessment.

          1. i was talking about just this sort. note i said modern anarchist. and i am not an objectivist, although Rand makes a good point here. Wherever there are people, there will always be some kind of government, evenif it is the local mafia who shoots anyone who breaks the rules. Pretending there can ever be no government is just utopianism

            1. Anarcho-capitalism is “modern” in that it only hit mainstream (relatively) with Rothbard (who I see someone has already used as a handle below) in the 70s.

              Instead of “modern”, I think it would be useful to term the statist, liberal Euro-types as “left-anarchists”, since as far as I can tell, what they actually want is a stronger state to oppose the evul corparashuns (which pisses me off that they’d use the word “anarchist” at all, but I doubt I can get everyone to stop calling them that, so I’ll just attach “left” onto it).

            2. There can indeed be peace without government. In fact, there can only be peace without government. Disputes between individuals can be resolved without the government:


              And as to your other claim, there already is a mafia that shoots people who break the rules. It is called “the government”.

        2. I hope he understands the distinction and Ayn was such a bitch.

          1. Hi there, Murray! Ever wonder why the editors here never mention you or your crackpot theories of anarcho-libertarianism? It’s because they don’t want to be laughed at! Hahahahahaha!

  11. Terrorists vs. fascists, tonight on The Demonizer. Watch as al Qaeda squares off against Nazis. (The winner gets to wear the guise of your ideological opponent.)

    1. Sounds like an episode of “Deadliest Warrior”.

      1. I love that show and now keep a Marine Corps shovel by my bed.


        1. Its “entrenching tool”, Nittany.

        2. Does ProL know the image hack is back?


  12. How about you just report actual criminal activity and leave it at that.

    1. How about you just report anybody that looks even suspicious. If everybody reported everybody that looked remotely suspicious, the cops would be so overloaded and overwhelmed, all that they would be able to do is stand around and tase each other.

      1. Or blow each other.


        1. Cunt.

    2. because there isn’t nearly enough actual criminal activity to keep the plebs in a constant state of fear.

  13. Say what you like about the tenets of Anarchy, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

  14. Rape and murder all non-anarchists…

    1. I’ve considered the ideology of anarcho-fascism, also called anarcho-statism. The problem with that ideology is that there’s almost no support for it…yet.

  15. Selective Anti-Authoritarians are not the same thing as Anarchists.

    1. I think they are the same in practice. A pure anarchist will quickly realize that the complete dissolution of government will force him to choose between joining a gang or being a slave to one. He will select. Prison rules will prevail. He might select one gang over another but there is no neutral corner for him to hide.

  16. The supposed radical Tea Party terrorist plan passed the Senate 74-26. So three-quarters of senators are ‘hostage takers,’ including such fanatics as Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Al Franken, John Kerry, Debbie Stabenow.

  17. “Give me liberty, or give me death.” – Patrick Henry


  18. Anarchism is a collectivist ideology like socialism, communism, fascism democracy etc. If they want people to report anarchists they have to report the others like democratic socialists, and basically everything that is collectivist to be consistent, although perhaps anarchism is more foolish and worse.

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