Other Group

ItsGoingDown.org (It’s Going Down)

Website:

itsgoingdown.org

Formation:

2015

Type:

Far-Left Anarchist News and Organizing Website

ItsGoingDown.org (IGD) is an extreme-left news and media platform launched in 2015 to serve as a rallying place for the anarchist movement. While its editors post a legal disclaimer stating IGD is not responsible for instigating illegal and violent behavior, the website regularly provides sympathetic and often first-person accounts of private property destruction, riots, and violent confrontations with law enforcement and others. Capitalists, corporations, President Donald Trump and his supporters, energy companies, law enforcement, white supremacists, and penal institutions are examples of the targets of the anarchist demonstrators profiled on the IGD website. [1]

The contributors of content to IGD are largely unknown and frequently sign their contributions with pseudonyms or as “anonymous.” The donors who financially support the website are similarly unknown and the site’s corporate status is unknown.

Background

Launched in 2015, IGD is a news and media platform for the unabashedly anarchist movements in the United States, Canada and Mexico. IGD does not claim direct affiliation with any particular organization, instead stating its role is to “signal boost” the work of anarchist fellow travelers.[2]

The web content includes blog posts, podcasts, photos, and videos. These provide first-person accounts of demonstrations, philosophical essays defending extreme-left street movements, and its objectives, and educational material explaining anarchist philosophy and tactics.

Two editions of a hard-copy magazine highlighting the website’s written content were produced on an irregular schedule, one for the winter/spring of 2016 and the other for spring of 2017.[3] IGD has active social media accounts (Facebook[4] with 26,000 likes and Twitter[5] with 40,000 followers) regularly promoting its content.

Agenda

It’s Going Down provides sympathetic coverage for far- and extreme-left demonstrations and publishes articles attacking prisons, law enforcement, alleged and actual white supremacists, President Trump, businesses, and conservative or libertarian public speakers. [6]

Attitude Regarding Violence

IGD’s written accounts and videos portraying the behavior of anarchist organizations contain numerous sympathetic portrayals of violent confrontations with law enforcement, destruction of and vandalism towards private property, and general acts of apparent riot incitement and participation. Likewise, articles posted by IGD are sympathetic toward the use of force by the anarchist movement and argue for the necessity of it.

A September 2018, report credited to the IGD editors regarding a prison protest is headlined “Philadelphia Sabotage Actions Target Corporations & Banks Profiting Off Prison Slavery.” It favorably quotes and credits the demonstrators with breaking the windows at a Starbucks, slashing the tires on eight Comcast trucks, slashing the tires on the car of a prison guard, and “sabotaging the card readers” at bank branches for Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citizen’s Bank.[7]

Similarly, an August 2015 report from a confrontation with police in St. Louis provides first-person accounts provided by the anti-police demonstrators in which they give details regarding both the restraint shown by the officers and implying instigation of violence by the demonstrators:

“Rocks, water bottles, and bricks start to get thrown. At this point, the police haven’t gotten out their riot shields yet, so they’re kind of like sitting ducks. As more things are thrown, other officers from behind the line scurry to hand out shields to those in front.”[8]

The same contributor provides this justification for assaulting police:

“The decay of a falling down building with loose bricks or the concrete from a broken sidewalk—instead of something to merely live with—now becomes a weapon to throw: to throw away the rampant structural violence of ghettoization and inflict literal violence back upon those who enforce it. It’s like: we don’t want this anymore, you can have it!”[9]

The website’s hosts provide a “legal notice” claiming that they are not responsible for illegal and violent acts: “We do not condone or promote illegal, violent, and unlawful behavior or actions, or acts of intimidation against individuals or group.” But the site also makes clear its hosts are not opposed to the use of these tactics: “We do not advocate or promote violence or non-violence. Movements for liberation decide for themselves on what the best strategy is to get and stay free.”[10]

The Spring 2017 edition of the IGD hard-copy magazine includes the following explanation of the content it features:

“Donald Trump’s inauguration day was interrupted by a hundreds-strong black bloc tearing apart corporate stores in Washington D.C. Cities across the U.S.—as well as Montreal to the north—followed suit. With this in mind, we have gathered several pieces published or re-published on It’s Going Down over 2016 that we think can best aid us moving forward.”[11]

One of the accounts re-published in this magazine is a first-hand report provided by an anonymous contributor admitting the violent behavior of his or her group:

“On June 2nd, we and a large number of people protesting a rally by the presidential candidate Donald Trump in San Jose clashed with his supporters, delivered many righteous beatings, tore up and set their racist paraphernalia on fire, and rioted at a scale that hadn’t been seen in city for almost 20 years.”[12]

Relationship with Democrats and the Left

Though many of IGD’s ideological concerns are loosely in common cause with those of the left (e.g.: opposition to President Trump, corporate power, and energy pipelines), IGD’s editorial policy is openly hostile to mainstream politics and contemptuous toward conventional left-leaning organizations and political movements that reject riotous and violent tactics deployed by extremists. The IGD/anarchist perspective, as demonstrated repeatedly and often daily in the original and cross-posted contributions on the IGD website, is that participation in non-violent democratic means to influence public policy in a leftward direction is counter-productive or insufficient without the tactics of riots and force provided by the anarchists, and that more anarchist tactics are needed if change is to occur.

As one prominent and representative example, a December 2016 essay attributed to the IGD editors argues the following:

“The belief that the ballot box is the single best way to not only create change, but also hold on to gains made by everyday people is a complete sham. It is also a hallmark of liberalism and much of the Left. Democracy is simply the window dressings we use to cover the dictatorship of everyday life.”[13]

The author also wrote:

“Liberals and much of the Left claim that confrontational tactics hurt us more than they help, from breaking windows to blocking streets. But in reality, each and every time this plays out in our communities, it is simply not the case. In fact, confrontation and disruption, in other words: physically fighting, brings more people in than sign holding or writing letters to the editor ever did. If anything, the wet blanket and attempts to control things by protest managers and liberals kills social movements, not combative actions which can be disruptive and at times violent.”[14]

Pueblo Sin Fronteras

In January 2019, Free Lunch PDX, a Portland, Oregon-based food collective, hosted a benefit show to raise funds for Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a far-left illegal pro-immigration group that has assisted Central American migrants with illegal border crossings into the United States. The event was promoted by It’s Going Down. [15]

Contributors and Editors

There are several posts per day on the website. In addition to the original content provided by the editors, IGD also generously cross-posts content created by and for other anarchist websites and news sources. The “It’s Going Down Reading Library” provides long essays on a dozen different topics the editors believe readers would be interested in and provides hyperlinks to others “available for order through our comrades at Black Powder Press, Crimethinc, Ruins of Capital, and Sprout Distro.”[16]

The content appears to be a very diverse collection of contributors, generally unsigned and attributed to the website itself, or to authors using pseudonyms, or signed collectively by anarchist organizations in local regions (e.g.: “Olympia Solidarity Network” or “Appalachians Against Pipelines”). Content attributed to what appear to be real names are the exception, not the rule. The website provides no clear identification of who its hosts or members of its so-called “editorial collective” may be, but a person identifying as “James Anderson” has been quoted on behalf of IGD in both the New York Times[17] and Wired.[18]

IGD solicits donations to provide support for the website hosting and original content produced by its editors. It promotes donations through Bitcoin, as it is an “anonymous digital currency,” but also accepts support from more easily tracked debit and credit cards. There is no claim to non-profit or tax-exempt status, nor to any affiliation with such an organization.[19]

Allies

An online radio station (Final Straw) and a video content creator (Sub.Media) are each credited with helping IGD create video content.[20]
IGD produces a weekly podcast, the IGDCAST, that is “proudly part of the Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network.”[21]

References

  1. “About.” ItsGoingDown.org. Accessed September 8, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/about/
  2. “About.” ItsGoingDown.org. Accessed September 8, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/about/
  3. “About.” ItsGoingDown.org. Accessed September 8, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/about/
  4. “Its Going Down.” Facebook.com. Accessed September 11, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/IGDnews/
  5. “It’s Going Down.” Twitter.com. Accessed September 11, 2018. https://twitter.com/IGD_News
  6. Bloomington, Rififi. “Bloomington, IN: Taking on Murray.” ItsGoingDown.org. April 19, 2017. Accessed September 8, 2018 https://itsgoingdown.org/bloomington-taking-murray/
  7. “Philadelphia Sabotage Actions Target Corporations & Banks Profiting Off Prison Slavery.” ItsGoingDown.org. September 6, 2018. Accessed September 11, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/philadelphia-sabotage-actions-target-corporations-banks-profiting-off-prison-slavery/
  8. Anonymous Contributor. “The police kill again in St. Louis. Some accounts and thoughts on what happened in response.” ItsGoingDown.org. August 22, 2015. Accessed September 11, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/8-19-15-the-police-kill-again-in-st-louis-some-accounts-and-thoughts-on-what-happened-in-response/
  9. Anonymous Contributor. “The police kill again in St. Louis. Some accounts and thoughts on what happened in response.” ItsGoingDown.org. August 22, 2015. Accessed September 11, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/8-19-15-the-police-kill-again-in-st-louis-some-accounts-and-thoughts-on-what-happened-in-response/
  10. “About.” ItsGoingDown.org. Accessed September 8, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/about/
  11. It’s Going Down: Anarchist News and Practice Across So-Called North America. ItsGoingDown.org. Spring 2017. Accessed September 8, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/itsgoingdown2-FINALONLINE.pdf
  12. “Trump in San Jose: Fighting Fascists and The Liberal Establishment.” ItsGoingDown.org. June 10, 2016. Accessed September 9, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/trump-san-jose-fighting-fascists-liberal-establishment/
  13. “What Anarchists Have Been Saying For Years, and What Liberals Need to Start Hearing.” ItsGoingDown.org. December 8, 2017. Accessed September 11, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/what-anarchists-have-been-saying-for-years-and-what-liberals-should-start-hearing/
  14. “What Anarchists Have Been Saying For Years, and What Liberals Need to Start Hearing.” ItsGoingDown.org. December 8, 2017. Accessed September 11, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/what-anarchists-have-been-saying-for-years-and-what-liberals-should-start-hearing/
  15. “Upcoming Benefit Show For Pueblo Sin Fronteras in Portland, OR.” It’sGoingDown. Accessed January 18, 2019. https://itsgoingdown.org/upcoming-benefit-show-for-pueblo-sin-fronteras-in-portland-or/
  16. “It’s Going Down Reading Library.” ItsGoingDown.org. Accessed September 11, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/library/
  17. Fausset, Richard, Serge F. Kovaleski and Alan Feuer. “A Year After Charlottesville, Disarray in the White Supremacist Movement.” The New York Times. August 13, 2018. Accessed September 8, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/13/us/charlottesville-unite-the-right-white-supremacists.html
  18. Ellis, Emma Grey. “Meet Daryle Lamont Jenkins, Insatiable Doxxer of Fascists and Nazis.” Wired. March 26, 2017. Accessed September 8, 2018. https://www.wired.com/2017/03/meet-daryle-lamont-jenkins-insatiable-doxxer-fascists-nazis/
  19. “About.” ItsGoingDown.org. Accessed September 8, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/about/
  20. “About.” ItsGoingDown.org. Accessed September 8, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/about/
  21. “IGDCAST.” ItsGoingDown.org. Accessed September 8, 2018. https://itsgoingdown.org/category/podcast/
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