Response to “DIY Democracy: The Direct Action Politics of US Punk”

I knew that punk was a lot against the government and the emphasis on individuality among youth. I never realized how politically driven punk was until this article, which was surprising and interesting to read. Punk has this stereotype imagine of being anarchistic, fighting against the government, violent, and participating in drinking in drugs. Now I see that this was the “hardcore” sub genre of punk that gave punk the kind of reputation it has. The fact that the culture split because of their dislike for the aggressive part of the culture is not surprising to me. What did surprise me was their push for safe spaces for themselves, forming ABC No Rio and 924 Gilman. The fact that they pushed their rules of “no racism, no sexism, no homophobia, no alcohol, and no drugs” makes me feel a little more respect for what punk stands for and what they tried to accomplish. Women who were part of the punk culture even tried to educate them on what was sexist and what wasn’t, since men were often unconsciously sexist since its so ingrained in culture it seems normal, and I really liked this most.

Nowadays people say punk is dead because there aren’t many punk bands out there anymore. My knowledge to punk is limited to Green Day and Blink-182. Green Day still performs but most don’t even consider them punk anymore since they joined a major record label, same with Blink-182. My Chemical Romance had some elements of punk but some consider it more rock or part of the emo culture, then they disbanded in 2013. It’s much more difficult for punk bands to start nowadays because record labels hold such a strong power over the music industry they would have to work extremely hard to even launch themselves into popularity. Punk was all about fighting against the establishment, being independent from record labels, and speaking out on politics. Without these elements, they are no longer punk and lose their authenticity.

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