Breaking with Convention: Remembering where our Power Lies

Breaking with Convention: Remembering where our Power Lies

breaking with convention zine coverThis zine – originally published on the anarchist counter-information website Its Going Down – presents an analysis of the protests against the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland. Drawing on both events in the streets in 2016 and lessons gleaned from the past 16 years of convention protests, the zine argues that anarchists engage best with these events when they take the time to put in solid work towards mobilizing folks, providing infrastructure, and making plans. Still, even when those efforts are undertaken in a coordinated way, convention protests seem as likely to be failures as successes. This zine offers a helpful history for people looking back at the recent history of anarchist street protests, as well as for those making plans to organize similar events in the future.

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Excerpt from Breaking with Convention: Remembering where our Power Lies

...we should keep in mind that historically convention protests for anarchists have been failures more often than they have been successes, and when they have been successes, it is by and large because of what we build within our movement to carry out various actions at these events. This means the creation of crews, networks, media centers, medic and legal teams, friendships and bonds of affinity, new communication forms, infrastructure, and forms of organization. These are weapons that we then (hopefully) carry back with us to our regional areas where we live. Meaning, the things we take out of these mobilizations are the big wins; not just what happens in the street, per se.

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