The reports are coming in, and many participants are describing the G20 protests in Pittsburgh as a success. This is exciting news; the US anarchist movement hasn’t pulled off an unequivocally successful nationwide mobilization in half a decade or more. At the same time, success entails risks of its own: we may overlook the things we didn’t do well, take credit for things outside our actual influence, or fixate on attempting to repeat ourselves. Meanwhile the authorities, who often exaggerate our effectiveness to justify repressing us, appear to be understating the extent of anarchist damage and disruption in Pittsburgh, perhaps to downplay the possibility of militant anticapitalism regaining momentum.
This appraisal explores the triumphs and shortcomings of the G20 mobilization, in hopes that these lessons can be applied soon on a variety of other battlefields.