If anarchists don’t like voting, then what do they like? The answer to that is direct action.
Direct action can take many forms, and is defined as any sort of action that is a direct effort to change the state of affairs, outside political channels such as voting. The concept was made famous by Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi.
You won’t see anarchists marching in great numbers to usher in civil rights for ethnically oppressed people, or break away from imperial empires.
Instead, you’ll usually see anarchists marching with anywhere from 5-10 people, trying to organise a transnational Fortune 500 coffee corporation. It’s painfully clear this is only a marginally better alternative to voting, but don’t tell them that. Anarchists also derive a sense of amusement from protesting, and this would deflate their pastime as well as enrage them.
Sabotage is also among the favourite weapons of direct action in an anarchists repertoire. It’s romantised to be the act of destroying whole factory lines, but sadly it mostly works out to be clogging the break room sink for the fifth time with coffee grinds.
If a co-worker of yours always shames you when you go to Starbucks instead of the independent coffee shop down the block and is always trying to get you to read a book called “The Conquest of Bread”, beware: you may have an anarchist in your workplace.
When the occasional G20 pops up, anarchists flock to the CBD of that particular city in great number to participate mass-sabotage. The scene may look like a trip to Mecca, except with a lot of black bandanas, riot shields, tear gas, and Molotov cocktails. Throwing bricks at windows is the most popular activity, and if the black bloc is particularly lucky, they’ll get to destroy a police cruiser.
The day usually ends in a few really pissed off upper-middle-class McDonald’s franchise owners who have to replace windows, and a few criminal records that are all the more longer. The events are always construed as a win because some anarchists will get arrested, which is a badge of honour for any political activist, and anarchist forums get new pictures of riot porn to fawn over the next day.
The fact that countries are still implementing austerity measures is bitter sweet. Sure, citizens are still being screwed over, but it also means there will be new riot porn.