Portland has seen an explosion of anarchist and anarchist related events as of recent. In a city where the anarchist scene has been fractured and split after a wave of harsh repression almost 5 years ago, a resurgence in the wake of Trump’s election was unexpected. The media since the “Thursday Riot,” as people have called it, has hounded anarchists and continued the narrative put into place by local police departments everywhere, branding anti-Trump rebels as mere criminals and fanatics, entrenching themselves within the good and decent peaceful protesters. This is a narrative we have seen countless times after eruptions of tension have resulted in liberatory street actions. Oddly enough, the opposite effect has happened however. Interest in anarchism in Portland has surged.
1. PORTLAND ANARCHIST GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The first event which is taking place on January 14th is the Anarchist General Assembly. A continuance of a tradition long past, the anarchist general assembly aims to bring anarchists in this town back together to meet, talk, and continue ever more waving the black flag with pride. The event has been sponsored as an event “for anarchists, by anarchists.” At this first assembly people will be talking about January 20th and what kind of presence anarchists should have, as well as the future of the general assembly and how to proceed. The event advertises that anyone is welcome, but those who preach authoritarian or capitalist ideologies and groups will be asked to leave and are asked to respect the space as an ANARCHIST general assembly.
Social Justice Action Center (400 SE 12th Avenue, Portland Oregon, 97214)
2. ANARCHIST CONTINGENT AT RISE UP AND RESIST FASCISM RALLY AND MARCH
A call has been put forward for anarchists to gather and form a contingent/black bloc at the major march taking place on January 20th. The event calls for anarchists all over town to show up and make a presence with flags banners and angry faces.
January 20th, Friday
Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th
3. ANARCHIST READING GROUP: LISTEN, MARXIST!
Recently a new reading group has started, in a partnership between Portland Anarchist Black Cross and Anarres Infoshop And Community Center. This is the second event for this reading group, the last one attracted 30-40 people who all discussed the zine Revolutionary Solidarity: A Critical Reader For Accomplices. Discussion went fantastic for a reading group composed of individuals all over the spectrum of the left (and beyond). This second event will be discussing the essay “Listen Marxist!” by Murry Bookchin.
January 25th, Wednesday
Anarres Infoshop (7101 N Lombard St. Portland Oregon, 97203)
4. PORTLAND ASSEMBLY
Lastly for the month we wrap things up with the Portland Assembly. In December, the assembly brought well over 300 people and over 20 different organizations who all participated in “incubation stations” that set the groundwork for community horizontal spokes councils. These ranged from anti-racism to environmental impact, and every issue in between. This specific Portland Assembly meeting aims to bring in even more people and organizations, as well as having the very first spokes council meeting. The Portland assembly aims to bring together everyone resisting the establishment, to work together through the means of libertarian municipalism. Portland Assembly is taking the political foundations forming within Rojava and attempting to apply them to a much more urban setting. While not explicitly anarchist, it is pretty much an anarchist event as it was anti-authoritarians that made the assembly happen. The previously mentioned anarchist general assembly will also be an official spokes representative within this larger council, so all comrades are encouraged to come out and participate.
If January is any indication, 2017 might just be the year for anarchy. With such a wide power vacuum open, anarchists must stop anyone from filling it and letting individuals choose their own liberation, and encouraging such. The liberals have failed, the progressives have failed. All that is left to win is either the fascist creep, or the black flag of anarchy. There have been prominent times in america before, so lets not disappoint those who came before us!