Anarchist Extremists

  • Anarchism is a belief that society should exist absent “oppressive” governments, laws, police, or any other authority. Anarchist extremists advocate violence in furtherance of sub movements such as anti-racism, anti-capitalism, anti-globalism, and environmental extremism.
  • US anarchist extremists lack central leadership and are largely disorganized, limiting their activity to low-level unsophisticated attacks.

  • Anarchist extremists often take advantage of otherwise legal protests to attack law enforcement, conduct violent counter-protests, and destroy public and private property.

Threat to New Jersey: Moderate

Nationwide, anarchist extremists carry out violence during legitimate protests and engage in criminal acts during otherwise peaceful anti-law enforcement and politically charged protests.

  • In June 2016, 300 counter-protesters, including some anarchist extremists, attacked 25 white supremacists rallying at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, injuring 10. In February, anarchist extremists assaulted members of the Ku Klux Klan holding a rally in Anaheim, California, resulting in three stabbings and seven arrests.
  • In the days following the US presidential election in November 2016, approximately 4,000 protesters, some believed to be anarchist extremists, blocked traffic and vandalized buildings in Portland, Oregon. Police arrested approximately 30 and reported more than $1 million in damages as a result of the riots.

New Jersey Nexus

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  • In 2012, police arrested Dr. Roberto Rivera in Bergen County for stockpiling explosive materials and found extremist literature in his home. He was charged with six counts, including possession of a destructive device and recklessly creating a risk of widespread injury or damage.
  • In September and October 2012, persons self identifying as the “New York Anarchists” sabotaged railroad tracks in New York City in solidarity with anarchists arrested in Seattle.

Additional Resources

Transportation Systems Sector: Freight Rail

Transportation Systems Sector: Bridges, Tunnels, and Highways



For more information, please contact NJOHSP's Analysis Bureau at analysis@njohsp.gov or 609-584-4000.