The Protester’s Voice: Anarchist Among the Movement
By Joseph Wade
Richard Deegan, a 48 year old anarchist, is at the protest to end police brutality, support eating organic food and offer political education on the situation of Troy Davis. Deegan also wants to teach people about movements, how to organize without a leader and “how to spot phony groups.”
Speaking on the problem with groups, Deegan said, “The problem is a lot of groups try to start things without a leader, but sooner or later there will be a group of leaders who actually run things, telling them how to do it and when to do it. Usually, it always ends up like that.”
Deegan said he has participated in marches for Troy Davis and Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Davis was executed on 21 September 2011 for the murder of a police officer, though his execution was widely protested, as is the death penalty itself.
Abu-Jamal was convicted of murdering a police officer in 1982 and is currently on death row. The validity of his conviction has been debated over the years, and he has lost an appeal of his conviction in 1989. The legal process for Abu-Jamal is ongoing with a recent court decision ordering a resentencing.
Speaking on political education, Deegan said, “How many of these people, if you took away their parents money, told ‘em how to go to the streets and start a movement—how many of them could do it like the black panthers and anarchists did?”
Deegan also spoke out against what he called the “economic draft.” He explained that the lack of jobs combined with the money offered to the military for education coerced volunteers who would not normally join the military under prime economic conditions. “Corporations have destroyed all the jobs, but half the time, people vote for politicians that cause the problem,” he said.
Ending the interview, Deegan said, “Problem with the military is when you get into a situation like that, you are so fucked up after the drill sergeant that you aren’t normal after that. They rip your psyche apart, then build you back up so you think you’re an animal.”