Anarchists Fixing Potholes In Roads In Portland, Oregon

By Vic Bishop

Over one half of every tax dollar we give to Uncle Sam is spent on ‘defense,’ yet anytime aa free-thinker questions the need to be ruled by a giant, bloated, corrupt government, the argument is that we need government because we need roads.

Public infrastructure is in serious neglect, though, and to set an example of this disconnect between reality and fantasy, a group of Portland anarchists has established a group which fixes potholes in public roads without notifying the government, and without using public taxes.

From the ‘about’ section on their Facebook page:

“Because we believe in building community solutions to the issues we face, outside of the state.

Because society portrays anarchists as only breaking windows and blocking roads.

Because when faced with anarchism as a political theory, statest often ask “But who will fix the roads.”

Because the city of Portland refuses to adequately repair roads in a timely manner.

We are Portland Anarchist Road Care. We believe in community oriented direct action. We believe the state cares more about funding a militarized police force to suppress free speech than caring for and repairing the roads.

The city of Portland has shown gross negligence in its inadequate preventative care through this winter’s storms, and through its slow repair of potholes as weather has improved. Daily, this negligence is an active danger to cyclists and causes damage to people’s automobiles, and an increased risk of collision and bodily injury.

Portland Anarchist Road Care aims to mobilize crews throughout our city, in our neighborhoods, to patch our streets, build community, and continue to find solutions to community problems outside of the state.” [Source]

Declaring itself as a political organization, the group considers this type of basic road repair by members of the local community to be a political action, highlighting the fact that we live in a time where the state has taken over many areas of shared society which have historically been managed by members of the community.

PARC takes the state of the roads of PDX into the hands of the people. State neglect has caused the streets to fall into disrepair. We will fix the streets. [Source]

The state inserts itself into every mundane and communal area of life, so it will be interesting see how the government handles citizens doing basic work such as this. Will Portland treat this group as many cities are treating groups who feed the homeless? Will the government outlaw fixing potholes by saying that it is not safe for people other than government to do such work? Will they call it vandalism? Will the people who are doing this be arrested for taking matters in to their own hands?

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Anarchism is the idea that people can create and maintain societies without the presence of organized, bureaucratic government. What do you think, is this possible in our world today?

Read more articles by Vic Bishop.

Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and OffgridOutpost.com Survival Tips blog. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.

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This article (Anarchists Fixing Potholes in Roads in Portland, Oregon) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Vic Bishop and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement. Please contact WakingTimes@gmail.com for more info. 

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All images: Portland Anarchist Road Care

  • DiMarco

    Really?
    Quick poll for community awareness.
    Anarchists repair roads cuz it’s…
    1. Trendy
    2. anti- capitalistic
    3. PR stunt
    4. Who F cares?

    BTW. Wearing a Mask does Not make you a Super Hero…
    Only unaccountable for your actions.

    • jandr0

      [4. Who F cares?]

      I care.

      And clearly I do not much “F care” for your comment.

      [BTW. Wearing a Mask does Not make you a Super Hero… Only unaccountable for your actions.]

      Wow. Superficial kindergarten-level analysis.

      Based on that, any possible replies from you to my bitbucket, as they will likely be at similar level.

      • GAZOO

        Wearing a mask to repair a road is absurd.

        • Jason Calley

          Wearing a mask makes sense if the city might fine you or arrest you for repairing a road. And the city might very well do something like that. What? The city would never do that? The same people who charge children for illegal lemonade stands? The same people who arrest someone for giving food to the homeless? Even if the charge is something fake like “hugger-muggery with intent to unicycle” and they drop the charge later, the expense of fighting the charge will bankrupt you.

          Wear a mask? Yup.

          • GAZOO

            Not me. I wouldn’t pay it and after I get out of jail I’d declare open season on the prosecutor and anyone else responsible. I have nothing to lose. But if I was concerned about pot holes I would probably go to the city council and complain. 9ne could always sue the city for not doing their job.

          • Tuaca1107

            Such big talk from someone who has never been in the corrupt court!! “I have nothing to lose.” Right…

          • GAZOO

            Whatever you say.

          • G’ma G

            I really am not being offensive here but how old are you? You don’t seem to have a grasp on the reality of government and we would like to bring you up to speed to help get you on board.

          • GAZOO

            What reality is that ? Why don’t you bring me up to speed ? If the government wants to unfairly persecute me then it’s on . You’re the one who doesn’t understand.

          • G’ma G

            Our gift of knowledge and wisdom remains on the table.

          • GAZOO

            oooooookaaaaaayyyyyy

          • Annabel Lee

            I was wondering how long it would take you to go for the “you’re ignorant” ad hominem attack mantra of the left. Just a few comments in. Impressive.

        • Rik

          Wearing a mask to not be later identified as a subversive against Statism is common sense

          • GAZOO

            Receiving a criminal citation for repairing a road that the government neglected to is something to be proud of. The great thing about America is that one is free to convince others of their point of view. Running around wearing a mask and causing trouble to bring about change is stupid and unnecessary, if you can make a strong argument that will persuade others to see things your way. If you believe in anarchy maybe you should emulate Larkin Rose rather than mischievous mask wearing clowns.

          • G’ma G

            You completely fail to account for the tyrannical nature of those in power.

    • Tuaca1107

      They wear masks so they won’t be arrested for a community service that serves the public at large!!

      • DiMarco

        Perhaps applying for a Public Works JOB would ‘Serve’ the community better.
        Mask or no mask, anarchists by definition prefer no rules to rules…
        Hence anarchy…
        So this performing a ‘public service’ is BS PR…

        • Tuaca1107

          Well if your cities and counties are anything like in Nevada, our county has hired so many workers that all of our tax money is only enough to pay salaries and benefits. They have the PW people but they don’t have fuel for the Trucks and materials!! Get a clue!!!

        • B_man

          That is incorrect. Anarchists prefer no rulers. That is a big difference. Those a-holes at Berkeley weren’t real anarchists because they wanted a different ruler than Trump. Genuine anarchists believe in the Non-Aggression Principle.

  • Greatgeezer

    Anarchy is simply action in the absence of government. This is but one example.

    • Silverado

      The “anarchy” is the pothole. Not the two jokers trying to fix it. When it comes to potholes I’d rather trust the local govt than a couple of radical leftists who probably expended more energy doing this made for photographs and video cameras for…PC purposes than anything else they’ve ever accomplished. Now if only they could get their leftist minds working properly. Otherwise I’m not impressed…

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    Nice press but those two bozos should try paving the road. It’s beyond the repair stage. I’m sure they’d get awfully scarce when it came time to put in an eight hours day for more than a week & in hot weather.

    • Tuaca1107

      Patches like this are useful so that your tire doesn’t hit the hole and throw out your front end. Perhaps you citizens could put pressure on your public works department to fix the roads?!

  • doucyet

    “Anarchism is the idea that people can create and maintain societies
    without the presence of organized, bureaucratic government. What do you
    think, is this possible in our world today?”

    That all sounds really neat, but, didn’t these two guys have to organize to make this simple repair?

    Lets say they wanted to do an entire road for, lets say, one mile. Would that take a little more organization? What about funding? More organizers? How about equipment? More funding!

    It’s a little bit more complicated than a sack of asphalt and a broom……..

    And the simple road repair! That’s just the beginning of the issues the Anarchist society would be confronted with. Here comes the “Anarchist bureaucratic government”. It’s all really simple, until you think about it a bit….

    • G’ma G

      I’m going to say that for society to function there has to be some form of government. Even down to the commune and intentional community level there are rules and provisions for enforcing the rules–government by any other name. It’s the size, scope and power of governments that is the problem. Whether that be the US federal or your local home owner’s association, power corrupts and lack of accountability corrupts absolutely.

      • doucyet

        That is true! And it’s going to be a big job getting the whole mess back on the truth track……
        If people would just start telling the truth! We can deal with the truth…….it’s the lies that are impossible.

      • William Burke

        Anarchism does NOT oppose rules. It rather opposes rules that people had no role in establishing.

        In other words, Anarchism stands again force and coercion. If a group of people wants to establish their own rules they are welcome to do so.

        • doucyet

          Sentences 2 and 4 are contradictions aren’t they?

          • William Burke

            2. Opposes rules imposed upon them by others.
            4. They are free to make their own rules.

            How is that a contradiction?

          • doucyet

            I was asking because I don’t get it. Does it mean that various groups can make up up their own rules (for their group), and that other groups don’t have to abide by them?

          • William Burke

            A group’s rules apply to the group only. One has no right imposing one group’s rules on another group.

            Obviously there will be exceptions. If a member of another group commits a serious infraction, say murder, upon a member of the the first group, the offending groups member would be expected to impose an appropriate punishment.

            If they don’t, then rights and responsibilities have come into conflict. Happens all the time in the real world. The offended group will have to reach a conclusion as to how to handle it. Or not.

            It’s not a 100% perfect system; nothing is. But it’s still a superior system, because it removes coercion and force from the picture.

          • doucyet

            Would if my group doesn’t believe in or recognize murder? If my group (group A) does nothing because Johnny murdered your group
            member, what does your group (group B) do about it? Are you going to do it by force? Who decides the appropriate punishment? Is that punishment universal for all the groups? Imposing the appropriate punishment, isn’t that coercion?

            I’m just trying to figure this out here.

          • William Burke

            What does the US government do when an American citizen is murdered abroad? Do they go and kidnap the murderer(s) and bring him to the US to mete out justice?

          • doucyet

            It depends on the circumstances I guess.

            But we’re talking about US citizens on US soil living as Anarchists in this new system. I’m just trying to grasp this new concept. Then we can move on to what an Anarchist system would do if one of it’s citizens was murdered overseas.

          • William Burke

            This and Wolff’s IN DEFENSE OF ANARCHISM are the best introductions to anarchist thought. There are many schools and flavors of anarchism, and adherents of any one do not generally get along with adherents of others.

            http://www.amazon.com/Anarchism-Theory-Practice-Daniel-Guérin/dp/0853451753/ref=pd_sim_14_4

            Not an adherent of any particular school, but I feel affinity with some more than others. I generally do not agree or get along with syndicalists of any type. I am more pragmatic than most; I can be satisfied with very limited government as outlined by the US Constitution, but I’m still an anarchist at heart.

          • doucyet

            I’ll take a look at it for sure. The whole idea (from what I have gathered) sounds rather interesting, but I see the concept quickly morphing into a system much like the one we have now or something that exists in Europe. Dealing with humans is a challenge no doubt and at some point force is necessary with certain types. While I understand the idea of this “utopia” where everyone gets along, there is no crime, everyone pulls their weight, etc etc. It’s not ever going to happen…..IMHO.

          • G’ma G

            Good informative exchange. Thank you

      • B_man

        Anarchists support voluntary organization, which is not at all what we have in the U.S. We areruled at implied and actual gunpoint here. We are tax slaves here.

    • William Burke

      Anarchy does not stand in opposition to organization; rather they oppose the permanent enshrinement of organization as a function of the state. They likewise oppose coercion in any form and advocate voluntarism.

      • doucyet

        Lets face it, the anarchists have a problem with authority and that’s pretty much it.

        • William Burke

          First sentence: TRUE. Obviously anarchists have a problem with authority. Tell us something new.

          Second sentence: WRONG.

          • doucyet

            Aren’t you assuming the authoritarian role by telling me I’m wrong?

          • William Burke

            Did I order you to do anything? No. Telling you you are wrong is not authoritarian; it’s just a fact.

          • doucyet

            No orders, but in telling me I’m wrong you’re amusing your view is better or “right”, which has neither been proved or even tried. Anyhow, moving on. So……in the Anarchist system there is no authority?

          • William Burke

            A free man can’t have authority over himself? Of course he can. And a group can decide to delegate authority to a skilled party. Like a pilot or ship captain, for instance. Even anarchists would want the captain to have authority while we’re aboard his ship. Anything else would be ignorant.

          • doucyet

            We do have authority over ourselves. Every day we make hundreds of decisions, some consciously, some unconsciously about how to conduct ourselves. The rules have been established by people we have delegated to do so and we have input on many of those rules. The ship captain analogy is a given and I feel that that’s not the sort of authority the Anarchists are concerned with. It boils down to personal responsibility and how do we make people be responsible. Sometimes it takes force.
            Take for instance the 5 years old boy the was shot in a drive-by, by gang members. You think he’s (the banger) concerned with personal responsibility? And there are tens of thousands like him.

    • -V-

      I don’t think you even know the definition of anarchism. Research a little before you post…

      • doucyet

        Anarchism never has and never will function in medium to large societies. Perhaps on your 20 acre farm with 20 people (they used to call them communes) and even then you will have a hierarchy. You will have the do-nothings and the moochers. They will asked to pitch in and help and some will tell you to piss off. If you ask them leave where do they go? If you pull their rations for non-production who enforces that? Who collects the taxes for the rent? Apply some thought to your system, you’ll start seeing all sorts of problems with it and it will lead you right back to the system we have.

        • B_man

          But you are thinking like a statist. You think that man must be RULED by some other man on some level. People are individuals, not some cog in a group.

          • doucyet

            OK man. When you get your village set up give me holler. It may be worth looking into.

        • WorBlux

          You solve such problems via individual consent and negotiation, not dictate and violence. Communism doesn’t work, but a commune with a well-defined partnership agreement might.

          • doucyet

            Some communes have (worked) and I would think some still exist today. But for reason they just don’t seem to grow much. I don’t if it’s because their trying to exist within the confines of our current system or what.

  • lovebegetslove

    At least their not smashing windows and destroying property like some anarchists. Judging them by the way they dress, sounds kinda punitive and takes away from the good they’re doing. Nice to see people taking some pride in their community. Can’t fault them for that.

    • B_man

      Those people who were smashing windows aren’t real anarchists because they wanted to be ruled by a different president. I wish that the media would stop calling them that name! Would the media refer to Hillary Clinton as a pope if she started calling herself one?

  • BigMamaCougarPurr

    Modern anarchists are more into communism than the freedom that is advertised.

    True anarchy is always there–it is the blank canvas that government is painted on. The birds and the wild animals know this. Anarchy is earths default mode. The corrupt government officials know this, and that is how they get away with murder.

    You can strip the government paint off the canvas of anarchy but someone will repaint it regardless. So when the commies get done using the anarchists to wipe away government they will screw all you anarchists over in the end, and you can bow down to your new master, the commies, who will work you to the bone and redistribute your bread crumbs to themselves, while your children dig for worms to eat.

  • VPF

    “a group of Portland anarchists has established a group…” Isn’t that about the most UN-anarchist thing they could do?

  • DarkEyes

    What a brilliant initiative. Well done.

  • doucyet

    Utopia! Send me a postcard………

    • B_man

      I have made no claim that anarchism would be Utopia. Evil people would continue to exist no matter what we do. The state attracts vile people who seek to plunder and to control us all. Anarchism means that nobody has power over anyone else without his or her consent. This would eliminate the power that our present smooth-talking thieving control freaks have on us now.

      • doucyet

        OK. Send me a card from Anarchville, sounds like a nice place.

  • BigMamaCougarPurr

    I agree that genuine anarchists don’t want to use the name! Like all political labels, the beliefs of the groups change with time as they are corrupted. Seems best if we just call ourselves “individual people” and stop trying to affiliate with organisations that will inevitably become corrupt, because eventually they all do. As my old dad often rants, even “the churches are passing the plate and keeping the money!”

  • Annabel Lee

    “Sure, we impede free speech and punch women in the face, but hey, we fill in potholes! With our masks on! While we pose for the camera!” The self-identified “anarchists” are now virtue signaling for photo ops. We’ve clearly entered the realm of comedy.

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