Punks & Anarchists Turn Out to Help the RFC

Guest blog by Amber Black, RFC Public Relations & Technology Coordinator

With panels like, “Anarchy and Democracy: What’s the Difference?” and “State Repression of Social Movements in the U.S. and What We Can Do About It,” Nevermind the Inauguration: A Festival of Resistance held in Washington, DC on January 20th, (the weekend of that “other” big event in that city), was filled with punk rock fans and activists not high rollers and political insiders. 

Ryan, an RFC supporter, working together with local promoter Venomous Ideas and the newly reunited anarchist band Catharsis, organized the conference and benefit concert.  The latter raised a significant amount of money which was donated equally to the RFC, and to a homecoming fund to help environmental activist Daniel McGowan in the wake of his recent release from prison.

The daytime event was formally entitled, Global Crisis & Global Resistance! A Conference on Organized Resistance to Capitalism and the State on the Eve of the 57th Presidential Inauguration.  On one panel, RFC Advisory Board member, Will Potter, and a member of the NYC Anarchist Black Cross, provided an overview of how “activists across the country, including Occupy protestors, anarchists, animal rights and environmental activists and others are being increasingly targeted by authorities for political organizing and protest activity.” The presenters discussed “current cases, grand juries targeting anarchists in the NW, the status of several political prisoners and other active cases and what activists can do to prevent, resist and organize against state crackdowns on social movements.”

Another panel examined the difference between anarchy and democracy.  It explored the questions, “Is ‘direct democracy’ what anarchists want?  If we don't want democracy, what do we want instead?  And how should these questions inform how we engage with representative democracy and the political process?”

The festival even included “video dispatches from the front lines of movements in Spain, Greece, and Portugal,” and “revolutionary puppetry” in the form of Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army (MRPA) performing 'Donny Quixote!’--a humorous adaptation of the story of Don Quixote, that presents a scathing critique of ‘green’ capitalism and technology.”  To cap the evening, several hundred people attended the “Punk Rock Counter-Inaugural Ball” where Catharsis, Magrudergrind, Trophy Wife, Dead in the Dirt, and Los Gatos Negros performed.

We of course appreciate the sizable monetary contribution from this event.  But we also are thrilled that an energetic young RFC supporter took it upon himself to organize an important and exciting festival that spread word about our work to a network of younger activists with whom we’re working hard to connect.  Thank you, Ryan, Will, all of the speakers and bands, and everyone else who attended and supported this event!

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