“Claim No Easy Victories” is a reprint of an article by Rory McGowan on the history of Anti-Racist Action (ARA). It not only gives an excellent overview of the history of ARA from its beginnings in the late 1980s up to the early 2000s, but provides some analysis of the political and theoretical development of ARA. The organization was one larger anarchist (or at least anti-authoritarian) projects of the 1990s and as such its history is worth studying. ARA helped to popularize the street tactics that would be taken up by anarchists against globalization in the early 2000s.
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Excerpt from Claim No Easy Victories
For fourteen years the work of ARA has been to popularize the ideas of direct action in the fight against racism. Along the way ARA’s own internal development has meant connecting racism to other struggles against oppression, from the prochoice and anti-patriarchal organizing to pro-queer struggles to emphasizing the continual need for participation and initiative in political direction from young people. While there is no single, homogenous, ARA political line beyond ARA’s ‘Points of Unity’, generally, ARA has and continues to be an anti-authoritarian arena for debate and action around the connectedness of various forms of oppression. This allows for an experimentation and self-activity essential to the development of a conscious movement outside of the control and direction of the State.