ATHENS, Ohio – A group of anarchists is taking an unusual step to make its political voice heard — going to the polls.
Anarchists generally pride themselves on their rejection of government and its authority. But a faction of them fed up with the war in Iraq say they plan to cast anti-Bush votes this fall.
The voting debate was just one of the topics explored at the three-day North American Anarchist Convergence (search), which brought about 175 participants to Ohio University.
Some attendees rejected the voting proposal.
"Ultimately, those who are voting are either bad anarchists or not anarchists at all," said Lawrence, a "Californian in his mid-40s" who declined to give his last name. "No one can represent my interests. We reject political professionals."
Others said they are embracing their right to engage in the political process, and plan to vote for John Kerry (search), Ralph Nader (search) or anyone who can underscore their opposition to the Bush administration.
Susan Heitker, 32, of Athens, believes that the U.S. government is neither legitimate nor democratic, but she still plans to vote.
"To me, at least, it's important to vote," she said. "There was a time when I was not going to vote, but I really dislike Bush."
Howard Ehrlich, of Baltimore, also embraces his right to "engage the political system."
"I will certainly vote against George Bush because he is leading the nation to further violence and eroding civil liberties," said Ehrlich, who is editor of Social Anarchism, a 3,000-circulation magazine.