Anarchism in the United States

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In the United States, anarchism began in the mid-19th century and started to grow in influence as it entered the American labor movements, growing an anarcho-communist current as well as gaining notoriety for violent propaganda of the deed and campaigning for diverse social reforms in the early 20th century. By around the start of the 20th century, the heyday of individualist anarchism had passed[1] and anarcho-communism and other social anarchist currents emerged as the dominant anarchist tendency.[2]

In the post-World War II era, anarchism regained influence through new developments such as anarcho-pacifism, the American New Left and the counterculture of the 1960s. Contemporary anarchism in the United States influenced and became influenced and renewed by developments both inside and outside the worldwide anarchist movement such as platformism, insurrectionary anarchism, the new social movements (anarcha-feminism, queer anarchism and green anarchism) and the alter-globalization movements. Within contemporary anarchism, the anti-capitalism of classical anarchism has remained prominent.[3][4]

Around the turn of the 21st century, anarchism grew in popularity and influence as part of the anti-war, anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movements.[5] Anarchists became known for their involvement in protests against the meetings of the WTO, G8 and the World Economic Forum. Some anarchist factions at these protests engaged in rioting, property destruction and violent confrontations with the police. These actions were precipitated by ad hoc, leaderless and anonymous cadres known as black blocs, although other peaceful organizational tactics pioneered in this time include affinity groups, security culture and the use of decentralized technologies such as the Internet.[5] A significant event of this period was the 1999 Seattle WTO protests.[5]

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