Jesus Radicals Blog 2005-2017
By: Peter Gallagher
For a few brief moments on Tuesday, anarchy truly broke out in Seattle. Or at least it felt like it. The occasion was the May 1st General Strike, a day marked to disrupt the flow of capital in order to shed light on the daily injustices and atrocities that are wrought by our spiritually sick society. For me, it was a tragic day, yet very powerful and illuminating. Through writing this reflection, I hope to speak to what some implications might be for Christian anarchists. My experience leads me to believe that there is an immanent need for a soulful and reverent anarchist presence—and that we as followers of Jesus must abide by Jesus’ example of holy militancy: passionate, fearless, and present.
May 1st 2012 is sure to go down as one of the most seismic and divisive days in Seattle’s recent history, perhaps since the WTO protests of 1999. The media had a field day; The Seattle Times carried a massive headline reading “Police move quickly to suppress anarchists”, accompanied by a full-page article with pictures of black-clad youth being towed off by cops. The story, according to them, was that on a day usually reserved for peacefully highlighting social justice causes, a violent faction of insurrectionary anarchists dressed in black—colloquially referred to as the “black bloc”—marred it by smashing up several banks, storefronts, fancy cars, and even the Federal Court of Appeals. This resulted in direct confrontation with the police, an executive order from the mayor to detain anyone carrying a large stick or flag, and numerous arrests.
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