[Note: for understanding the crisis in the Greek movement of the past year, this is an extremely important text. For the present, these excerpts only cover some portions of the longer Greek text.]
Systemic crises are periods when major economic, social, and political changes appear, where unique opportunities for action and struggle for subversive movements are created. These are opportunities to the extent that can be exploited properly to irreparably undermine a shaky and unstable power system, but to the extent they are not used, from opportunities for subversion and revolution they can be converted into catalysts of internal divisions and conflict. The forms of action and struggle are called forth into de facto development to meet the new historical situation, and old forms of struggle that show themselves insufficient in front of present challenges obviously collapse. History itself is a challenge for those who struggle, especially for revolutionaries.
Against the current historical challenge we are all called to advance forward. And this not only because we as revolutionaries owe it to ourselves to grab unique historical opportunities and put into practice a revolutionary design, but because if we do not stand we equal to the task, if we can not fulfill our own historic mission, History itself will trample over us, perhaps destroy us. However, as the crisis deepens, nothing will remain the same. Large sectors of the political regime’s bloc deteriorate, weaken, dissolve and some are threatened with extinction, while the attempt of Left intervention in the system collapsed with the Syriza government; new political dynamics will spring up as political extremes are reinforced, and what is at stake is who will occupy the political vacuum left behind by systemic crisis. It is known to everyone that nature abhors a vacuum, and this also applies for politics.
Although it is not at all pleasant to deal with specific political pathologies of the radical movement, I think I have at the moment no choice, since apart from presenting one’s positions, some borderline situations like the present require grappling with issues operating counterproductively in terms of creating a revolutionary movement, issues which intensify and consolidate divisions among revolutionaries- and if you do not get past this political crisis it can reach conditions of generalized political cannibalism, although in some cases such cannibalism is already manifest. An important issue for me is to see in this context the issue of alignment for some or tolerance for others of leftist attempts to transform the system. These attempts clearly represent projects that not only do not promote revolution, but very effectively work to undermine it.
Since 2010 when Greece came under controlled bankruptcy with memorandums, we failed to capitalize on the opportunities presented to us in order to create a revolutionary movement of the quality, consistency, and dynamic range required in order to be a political catalyst to promote revolution in broader sections of the population affected by the brutal crisis. Instead, some invested in political forces foreign to revolution, such as Syriza, hoping that a leftist government would relax the pressure exerted previously by the neoliberal forces of the regime, both to the social base and to those who resist, and thought this would help to improve the conditions for the development of the movement.
In fact this trend- which some cultivated long before Syriza took power and many have always believed- was expressed in different theoretical and practical forms, and was a result of our individual and collective inability to build a revolutionary movement and to shape the terms of a genuine subversive struggle. As the rise of Syriza to power was the result of the defeat of social resistance in the early years of the crisis, in an analogous way the aforementioned political tendency was and is a result of a political failure of the anarchist space in the same period. And because seeing deadlocks is contrary to my nature and political stance, I think the complete turnaround of Syriza into a neoliberal party totally identified with the lenders and a political bankruptcy which came in record time, can help to finish once and for all with any illusions concerning leftist political formations. This can help us clearly define matters, both as to the creation of a revolutionary movement and for the building of healthy revolutionary relations amongst ourselves.
A review of the last months is necessary to the extent that from previous elections and throughout the period following the coming to power of Syriza, the different perspectives and positions on the left government have served as the main background for a series of confrontations and warlike collisions within the movement. Another factor that makes this review even more necessary are the forthcoming elections [note: those of September 20], where it is certain for some and likely for others that in searching for the “new” political base and project for the movement they will find it in the new political group that emerged against the excess of Syriza’s austerity, pitting themselves as the “genuine Syriza” and using – once again- various crowns like resistance to lenders, in order to demand power.
If we want to see in real terms the creation of a revolutionary movement, we must free ourselves once and for all from any left political arrangement that flirts with power just as the dominant political forces are collapsing; we have to create our own design and help this project find the necessary social support in order to give impetus to the revolutionary perspective.
Syriza coming to power played a catalytic role in highlighting divisions and contradictions, which were mainly expressed through specific events and, as such, were lacking the basis of substantive discussion. And while Syriza went bankrupt politically bringing the third memorandum- which brought to light also the bankruptcy of any arguments from a portion of the movement concerning an attitude of tolerance towards them, by trying to make them seem different from the rest of the political elite, as well as having shared premises with them in certain events and policies- no account of the period that passed has happened, but this is necessary to enter the new period characterized by the bankruptcy of reformism in all its manifestations.
As a part of the anarchist/anti-authoritarian space consistently voted for Syriza in recent years without any political hesitation, it is the logical consequence that once Syriza came to power, divisions and conflicts would accompany many actions and would undermine any attempt at joint activity. A small peak of this division came on the occasion of the referendum. The final culmination of an internal conflict in the movement would have come if there had been a Grexit, which was avoided for the moment at least. And it is important to have some clear positions on what everyone professes, in particular clear political stances, because an explosive moment that might blow up, first of all, the actual subversive struggle has not disappeared from the horizon. And such a potential development in my view, can not be blamed either on power or the “pacified” society. The only responsibility will fall on us, especially on those who whatever their politics, base themselves on estranged authoritarian plans and targets.
But as for Grexit and what it would mean socially, politically, economically and within the country, I refer first to the period before the referendum and the period that followed. If some are pondering why I give such weight to the possibility of a Grexit and its effects, they probably do not realize the historical significance that it will have both for society and for radical forces. And above all, they do not see the assimilative potential latent in such a development. This is a dynamic that can convert a large portion of the movement, in the absence of a revolutionary plan, into reactionary defenders of counterrevolutionary policies aimed at remedying the system on new bases.
Well before Syriza was in power, a part of the space viewed the prospect of a government of the left as an opportunity for favorable treatment on a number of issues concerning the immediate interests of the movement, especially those concerning enforcement issues: the less harsh treatment by security forces in the streets, the better treatment of political prisoners, the softer treatment of comrades in courts were some of the “expectations” that a portion of the movement had for the government of Syriza. Based on the above, it was a consistent political choice of some to avoid frontal political confrontation with the government. And the protests and complaints recorded in public discourses or actions were mild pressure for the government to make a more…left turn- it being not at all obvious that these phrases contain subversive meaning and direction, even if their propagators like to believe that. Even after the agreement with lenders, while the government eliminated every excuse of anti-memorandum politics and acquired a completely neoliberal view, Syriza still enjoyed a peculiar political immunity. Perhaps because, under whatever circumstances and whatever this government does, some still insist that “it is in our interest for it not to fall.”
These “expectations” arrived, onto which were grafted in the previous months several theories about “sharpening antagonisms within the ruling class”: that if Syriza formed a government, it will automatically “favor the development of the movement.” In these cases, the expectation of a possible rupture with the lenders in recent summits amid the referendum and the prospect of exit from the eurozone had so far replaced the complete lack of revolutionary project that it made some who had invested in the probability of a rupture rave about the government’s decision to hold the referendum- until the harsh reality brought them back to earth.
The full integration of Syriza in the neoliberal framework and the void left behind as an anti-memorandum party will be attempted to be met with the new arrangement of LAE (Popular Unity), trying to bring back the illusions about the “abolition of memoranda”, for “tough negotiations” and “conflicts with lenders” and as a “banner” exiting the euro. Behind this new arrangement -with the inappropriate and unworkable policy which I will deal with later- is absolutely certain to crawl a portion of the radical space, reproducing a new base for the position of “strengthening ruling class rivalries for the benefit of the movement”, this view which has been orphaned following the identification of Syriza with the creditors.
What some should reconsider, beyond the futility of investing so much for small political interests (such as managing repression) in one tendency of a political regime that comes to power, is that it also is futile to expect that any difference within ruling sovereignty operate de facto in favor of subversive struggle by covering for the absence of a revolutionary movement. With that in mind, for some, the exit from the eurozone and the EU itself constitute a development that brings us closer to revolution (!). Without any approach to what kind of rupture, who causes it and why, without thinking of its effect on society, without analysis or only deferred analysis of the new situation and conditions that will arise, especially without an elementary revolutionary project for the exploitation of any new developments, any major rupture within the ruling order- rather than making a trench that will bury the system- may well be one that will swallow the revolutionary project. And this might happen because such a development will serve as the ultimate field of assimilation for a portion of the movement, where from anti-authoritarians they will turn into loyalist followers due to a vague political outlook of “exploiting inter-bourgeois rupture and conflict.”
It is always our job as rebels to operate in acts and therefore undermine systemic stability by any means. But when this effort is not accompanied by a revolutionary reason for our focus and prospects, only confusion can be caused both within the movement and in society more widely. And ensuring that the benefits of a systemic destabilization can be exploited in a revolutionary direction, matches the continuous effort to develop a revolutionary movement with a clear design, with sincere positions and proposals to the base of society.
With their “good morning” to the coalition Syriza-ANEL, some people took care to make their position clear to the “new era”, making public their willingness to exit the frame of political conflict with authority. We read about the “deep state” that would exploit the situation (whether for agreement or a break with the lenders) to make “provocations”, thus not only heightening the price for any selection of political conflict against the government, but also to accuse that struggle as a provocation, especially if it acquired violent characteristics. The political scaremongering about “strengthening paramilitary circles”, for the “strengthening of the fascists”, for the action of the “deep state”, was beyond superficial, it was actually hostile to many comrades- especially those who chose not to make any truce in conflict with the central political power due to Syriza. But the most serious issue arising from this perspective is how it is constant and fixed for every possible political development and position-whether this development is a compromise with creditors or a break with them, every choice of violent social reaction to government will serve the”deep state”, the repressive mechanisms, and the fascists. Thus both anarchists and society, if they revolt against the government, will only play the game of “the deep state”, which will be benefitted in every scenario. And so as to “avoid the worst” (e.g. the return of New Democracy to power), it is necessary for the movement to give stable political immunity to Syriza at all times. And if part of society rose in revolt against the government, what would these people do? Would they stand against them?
Regarding the “change” in economic policy from Syriza, for some this would be in the “field of substantive rather than symbolic,” expected to “hit European fascism” and finally, “to tame European capital.” Obviously, this approach does not take account- or does not know- of the initial and current position of Syriza in favor of capital (and European capital) and the system in general, positions which are recorded in the analysis of governmental officials long before Syriza climbed to power (and which were incorporated into the strategy of the government in the days of Varoufakis); and at the level of the necessary systemic reforms needed to exit from the euro crisis, there is a great unanimity of their views with a portion of the international economic elite. And as far as electoral promises go, yes, these were clearly at the level of the symbolic. I refer to these in the text below in more detail.
Regarding the attitude of cops against actions of the radical space, I for one, like many other comrades, can list several cases under previous governments where heads of riot police squads either desperately sought confirmation from headquarters to allow them to “liquidate” us and this without there having flown a single stone, or they have tried to do so without orders. This happened in serious social protests and conflicts-either a single cop found the opportunity e.g. with the chanting of only one slogan, to attack causing a general police attack without any prior command. And never was there any position in the movement where we avoid actions that cause repression. This view just causes laughs because until recently it was ascribed as the official line only of the institutional left. Finally, for some it became a political “line” in the radical space. To protect who? Us?- but we have always had such phenomena from the cops, as I have said- or Syriza? But we never bothered to distinguish under any other government the regular repressive moves by the police, nor did we feel that any repressive policy was based on either the institutional right or extreme right vote of cops. Why do so over Syriza? And how is it possible to judge so accusingly the decision of some people, by demanding that they not march against this government under any circumstances?
To come back to “the deep state” in the case of rupture with lenders -a rupture that could only result from deadlock in the negotiations and would come from the lenders themselves- in such a case the only “deep state” would be Syriza and the far-right ANEL who would impose the most brutal repression to maintain social peace in the case of a major crisis of relations between the Greek state and “the institutions” which could lead to Grexit. And somewhere here we should look for the importance of placing Kammenos in the leadership of the armed forces and the assurance that “the armed forces will preserve order in the country.” From such a position, and some variations thereof, another impetus was given to the conflict in the movement, as shown in smaller and larger examples. And based on the perspective of the “deep state” the Syriza coalition government was given carte blanche for every repressive offensive against militants, as some had the care from the outset to relieve the government of its responsibilities, this government which had “brought under control the autonomised segments of Greek police.” This would continue until the hunger strike of political prisoners dispelled this claim, and then there was unveiled the repressive policy of the government and its political opportunism in its attitude towards the demands of the hunger strikers.
The hunger strike of the political prisoners [~March 2015]
Before turning to the hunger strike of the political prisoners, which I believe was an important political episode with rich lessons and conclusions for the struggle, I say that what I write both in this section and throughout the text, is based exclusively on texts and facts that have been published. It is an historic fact that this strike ended with serious conflicts and confrontations within the movement. But in so much as there were expressed individual issues, attitudes and options, the basic causes of the problems were two: the different political stance towards Syriza, and negative attitudes and positions of some people against armed action. Regarding the latter, some publicly recorded in a text that the fact this particular strike concerned “people prosecuted for armed struggle constitutes a difficulty for many parts of the radical space to get involved”. And that “it was understood” and accepted by a large portion of space how some have given armed struggle “central political significance”. Now who or what organization puts at the center of struggle or has a hierarchy with armed struggle placed as all-important, this is the question to answer. At least with regard to Revolutionary Struggle both myself and my partner Maziotis, in writing and orally in central events and assemblies for what we do and do not consider key matters in the fight for social revolution, we do not consider any specific form of struggle as the most important and we are not recommending to form the “vanguard” of any kind. And because often repeated -until now practically constantly- this filological obsession by some to point out with anxiety the hierarchical practices and methods in the fight by Revolutionary Struggle, is probably stimulated by some kind of political complex of their own, because Revolutionary Struggle could not have given rise to such anxieties. As well, we have repeatedly said that an armed revolutionary struggle is not about weapons or tools like dynamite etc. but the political aims and strategy it has. And the same applies to any form of struggle.
From these two causes came all the other controversies, in whatever way or form they were expressed. The only exception were the anonymous attacks on the differences and confrontations during the strike which were the reason, or rather the pretext, for a coordinated attempt at the political isolation of comrade Nikos Maziotis. And some people thought that the opportunity was given for them to attempt the unthinkable: to isolate him from the organization, separating the comrade from Revolutionary Struggle. From this attempt there may be absent a political starting point, or at least not one included; but to target a representative in this way retains a political character. The attempts to isolate the comrade through mud and filth is finally an attempt to isolate Revolutionary Struggle itself. And such attempts at isolation, at political devaluation of Revolutionary Struggle were never attempted even by the state, save for the first days of arrests in 2010 and the failed attempt of ministerial and repressive mechanisms -an attempt eventually canceled by them- to tarnish the organization and us as fighters, as is recognized even by their own state institutions after years of militant presence and serious tests of repression, how Revolutionary Struggle was too hard for “their teeth.” But some of “ours” had the audacity to try “from within.” And the worst of them did it anonymously, as befits vulgar mudslinging. A futile attempt for those who think to damage Revolutionary Struggle, above all because this is a task too difficult for their own non-existent “teeth.” I know that during the hunger strike some computer keyboards were “lighting up” for their premier chance to “hit” Maziotis. But really I give too little credit to myself and to him in referring at all to this laughable delirium, which only acted to the discredit of its exponents. Apart from some events that are worth mentioning, for the rest of what I have to say (for those who follow this narration), it is advisable to focus on political positions and the substance of events, to look at each political course, and avoid entering the trap of criticism based on style or good manners. And if one sees coordinated attacks against a comrade, one is a little bit suspicious. Because if anything was more surprising than the deficit in unity during the strike, it was how far this was outstripped by some in their rush to attack Maziotis.
At any rate, the hunger strike’s different political positions were two. One political position was the frontal political conflict with Syriza as expressed, at least, by comrade and member of Revolutionary Struggle, Nikos Maziotis. This willingness to make a common struggle against the government spearheaded the hunger strike, had been recorded in the first text of its start, and had long ago declared readiness to collide with any trend considering armistice in war with political power due to Syriza. Obviously there was the hope through this hunger strike to conduct a joint anti-government struggle of all political prisoners, creating the ground for a broader rallying of the movement and joint action against the coalition government that would contradict any tolerant positions for the government emanating from a portion of the radical space- further hoping that the success of such a broad rallying would contribute to the growth potential of a revolutionary movement. As to the texts of the other strikers at the start of the strike, in which they gave the political tone and when solidarity actions began, they did not involve the issue of conflict with the government. Later this issue came from the overwhelming majority of the strikers, like the issue of creating a radical movement. Finally, both on the ground and in the attitude of the strikers, was seen the necessity of a movement of solidarity with all political prisoners and the mistake of abandoning anyone for any reason in the hands of the state. In short, the logic of this strike- which was to attempt a concerted political conflict with the government of Syriza, to attack the repressive arsenal of the State, and to contribute to the development of a solidarity movement for political prisoners which raises the issue of creating a revolutionary movement- was correct. But with this perspective not everyone agreed.
Against the above issues raised mostly one way or another by most of the strikers, some outside the walls disagreed and undermined this strike by their own attitude. The solidarity movement undermined itself by playing up divisions, tending to cause a mood of distancing from “individuals” who made the strike and who were in prison for armed action. I believe, and since it has been some time from that strike so we can crystallize the main problems, that the base problem was the inability to create an expanded solidarity movement with increasing momentum which would support the strikers and would strengthen solidarity for each other and (at least to a large extent) prevent any conflict from ensuing. But as the strike progressed, the solidarity movement took on a descending note rather than strengthened and increased participation, an occurrence which so far is without any precedent.
Solely from negativity and their covert polemic with armed action some have made it a given for distancing or selective “solidarity” for some, which determines their stance in solidarity issues concerning why someone is imprisoned, driven by some kind of political insecurity lest their sympathy be attributed to the choice of armed action or lest they suffer some kind of political marginalization. Or lest there be imputed to them aiding the policy of armed organizations by giving the floor for prisoners to speak in solidarity events. That is, what they consider as solidarity is only their own view offered in their own speeches and the silence of those who put their crosshairs against the state and repression- in this case the hunger strikers. And this, in the name of “maintaining political differences”, apparently makes it “reasonable” to jump to equating solidarity movements with political prisoners and organizations to whom some of them belong, all while underestimating -and I would say faithlessly- the comrades who sided with the struggle. Does this not mean downgrading solidarity to an issue of petty maneuvering politics? Is this not turning the strikers or imprisoned fighters into use-values to promote the speech of “our group”? And what is this “two-way relationship”, since in advance is excluded some consideration for the different reasons for the present partnership? And what is this kind of “solidarity”?. . .
[NOTE: (and an added note) We tried to paraphrase and summarize a few pages here, but the effort was too much for our limited Greek and knowledge of the hunger strike, as was helpfully pointed out by some Greek comrades.]
. . .If someone thinks that a revolutionary movement can be built on the basis of exceptions and divisions in solidarity, they make a huge mistake. And as this text is coming out, E. Statiri is on hunger strike demanding her release from pre-trial detention, and I express my support for her and wish her strength and liberty, hoping that her demand and struggle will find a wide response. To close, this hunger strike was neither the first nor the last event to help define and clear up the attitude of the radical space towards Syriza. . .
The illusions of the “left confrontation with the imperialist center”
The referendum deserves a special mention, as it entailed a concentration of political positions concerning the government and a number of issues, but mainly because it brought to the fore the confusion caused by the absence of revolutionary design and perspective. Confusion is a non-negligible factor in political analysis, one which often manifests itself in various “erudite” approaches to the “inevitable” clash inside organized power and how this will deterministically benefit the struggle and the intensification of conflict.
The referendum and the voting I analyse based on two parameters. First, on the level of society. Regarding the ‘yes’ vote, I think things are quite clear. Where there is confusion is about the ‘no’ and abstention, and whether one or the other option serves the intensification of the struggle or not. To reiterate some of my positions on the referendum-or to clarify for whoever did not understand or did not want to understand- in the text I published before the summit in July, I spoke of many things, but not a single ‘no’. The social base for much of the ‘no’ that fell for voting, had a social and economic background and was a direct result of the pressure that austerity has brought on a large section of society. For some of those who voted ‘no’, it was the simple “I can’t take any more austerity measures” without political aims or strategies. And some of this ‘no’ had illusions that perhaps the referendum could be used by the government to prevent further harsh measures.
But towards the societal ‘no’ without a plan and strategy, we can not stand in the same direction as we do towards the ‘no’ of the radical space and various leftist parties and factions, which are supported by analysis and fit into some “strategy” for struggle. The approach can not be the same. For the sake of economy, let us remove from the discussion the ‘no’ of the Golden Dawn neo-nazis, since it is openly hostile to the revolutionary ‘no’. The important is to stick to at least some of the ‘militant, political no’ of the movement. What are the strategies and policies guiding this ‘no’? And most importantly, in default of any strategy at hand in the case of Grexit -conditions that would trigger the explosion of new political antagonisms- what would be their attitude, not only within the radical space, but also to society?
Here I make a brief parenthesis to note that what I say in this document does not relate to people, but to political positions and trends like the ones that I see expressed through public discourse and debate. Because of my status in clandestinity I neither know nor want to know (and am completely uninterested in) who are the personal exponents of these views.
A general idea for many on the scene was that the referendum was an opportunity for the “sharpening of class contradictions.” Was this view was based on the belief that the government would be forced come into conflict with the lenders if there was a majority ‘no’? Why should one blind oneself, consciously or unconsciously, in front of the given decision of the government to come to an agreement, not rupture, and to keep the country in the euro, a decision that was continuously expressed at every opportunity by Tsipras? For while it is wrong, in my view, for the society to vote “no” over the false dilemma that the government put in the referendum, on the other hand, it is truly tragic to invest politically in the government thinking it will move towards the sharpening of class contradictions, coming into conflict with creditors of its own will and supporting the interests of the poor. It is tragic to expect the government to go forward in conflict with the EU and lenders by serving the interests of the lower class and socially weak. It is also an illusion that can have tragic results, believing that any contradiction within the ruling powers can automatically boost a subversive movement.
And let’s suppose that they did not understand this and believed Syriza would not sign any agreement. That is, from a mistaken appraisal, politically investing in Tsipras who will “serve the people’s verdict”. But what did they do when Syriza signed the agreement? Where are the “unyielding” who preach “no means no”? And if they really believed in the revolutionary importance of this referendum, then they would have to raise the question of the defense of the ‘no’ with armed proletarian violence against, first of all, this government. And finally, how would they defend this? This new rhetoric of “no until the end” promotes and recommends the continuation of being trapped in reformist directions and new deadlocks. The same rhetoric is employed by the left tendency of Syriza that gave birth to LAE (Popular Unity) which claims the majority of the ‘no’ for the coming elections; various parties and factions of the left and a portion of the anarchist space show the new “alliance” that might be formed, with some of the space to follow this time the “drachma-ists” as the promising trend of the left that will “guarantee” to promote conflict with the EU.
The numbness that followed the Syriza-creditors deal in that part of the movement which promoted the ‘no’ was the result of understanding neither the government’s objectives nor the goals of the European economic and political elite, as well as the absence of any revolutionary design to exploit cyclical crises. This numbness was aptly recorded by the absence of any reaction to the agreement. In this, the conflict in front of the Parliament was a serious political barometer. Not for society, since its absence indicates that the referendum on its own was unable to reverse the social moods about a political confrontation with the government, but for the movement. And if anything should be admitted by all, it is that the few comrades who organized the clash in front of the Parliament saved appearances for everyone. And that goes as well for the political, militant ‘no’ parts of the movement.
At any rate, as I said above, the case of a Grexit (which the lenders would cause, not the government) could have been one that triggered the culmination of conflicts within the radical space. This is because that while it is a development that does not at all promise to promote the revolutionary project, nor even a frank confrontation with the elite, many in the space see the exit from the euro deterministically as “a step that brings us closer to the revolutionary goal” since it “will relieve us from the yoke of the big imperialist powers” such as Germany. The tragedy of this view, and the heavy cost it would bear not only for the space, but also for society itself, we can approach in all its heavy weight if we try to see in practical terms what it means to implement a Grexit. This development was avoided at the last minute but did not disappear as a prospect and possible realization in the near or later future, and requires clarification here and now for all the political objectives and goals of the anarchist space, especially now that the trend of “drachma” has developed into coherent political entity, threatening first of all to digest -if it can swallow- the portion of the space that, until the agreement and the “betrayal” of the ‘no’, was favorably inclined towards Syriza. And this is not only because the situation itself requires a revolutionary perspective, but because first and foremost we need to avoid the height of an internal political drama and second, and most importantly, to avoid the peak of a drama for all of society.
The only rupture that could come and was averted at the last minute, as I wrote previously, was not that “from the government resisting the creditors”, as some in the movement wanted to believe. It would be one with the “partners” throwing Greece out of the euro. And this Grexit, do we realize what it would mean politically, economically, socially? Those who have reduced the exit from the EU to a guiding political direction, how do they perceive the sequel to such a possibility, since the crisis itself brings the country close to exit without much special effort on the part of the left government? And when it became clear that exit from the euro was promoted vigorously and systematically by a large part of the European economic and political elite, that elite of course having its continuity plan for Greece, in what terms and with what targets can we see this development as a positive for “the intensification of class conflicts”, as beneficial for struggle? Or is it that the de facto acceptance as a positive development a Grexit -in whatever fashion and however it arrives- and the belief that by itself it would “liberate revolutionary dynamics”, is this gradually leading to a total societal integration and a resignation estranged from revolutionary projects?
To make clear what I mean, I need to make a return to recent political developments. In short, the government decided to proceed to the referendum when it was at an impasse both on the part of the lenders, and on the side of internal party conflicts. I believe that everyone now realizes the original plan of the government was to exert a pressure on the lenders to sign an agreement in a slightly modified shape from the existing one, believing that they would not reach the edge of the cliff due to the “inability of Europe to risk a Grexit”. With this plan months passed, all the time increasing the financing needs of the Greek state and making it increasingly difficult for the government’s position to hold. As the stalemate deepened, monetary reserves had dried up and the government realized that the “honorable compromise” would become dishonest compromise and that lenders do not bluff, and the government was coming closer and closer to the possibility of leaving the euro, reasoning that it could come as a result of a deadlock on the side of the “partners”, and for which the responsibility would be European, and not their own. This solution, as demonstrated by the events, was promoted by part of the European economic and political elite, with leaders of the governments of the North, but was processed and concretized by all the EU leaders, including the European Commission, which prepared the most complete report dealing with it.
The government wanted an agreement at any price, and only the different policies and the threat of conflict inside the ruling party created obstacles to achieving it. And the referendum’s guiding strategy was for the ‘no’ vote to lose, and not the opposite, since this would legitimize the government to overcome the contradictions inside Syriza and would legitimize the agreement based on the “people’s verdict”. And that explains all the phrases of Tsipras both during and upon completion of the referendum: “From this referendum there will be no winners and losers”, “we do not want a break”, “we do not want division”, “Come Monday and we’re all together “, and much more. But much of the organized movement and political militants, with the ‘no’ of the government, celebrated at Syntagma or perhaps were ravished while Tsipras explained as clearly as he could that the ‘no’ for the government was irrelevant. To tell the truth he did his best to defeat it. And the result was that it brought a very difficult position for the government to manage, which now had to convince lenders that the ‘no’ was, after all, “yes to the euro” as propagandized by the entire European political elites and political parties of the local constitutional establishment, that it was “no to no agreement”, “no to rupture.” . . .
The rupture with lenders, still defended by some former officials of Syriza in current conditions, opens serious questions that must be answered. What does it mean, practically, the Grexit offered by lenders? Generally it constitutes a kind of economic, political and social quarantine for Greece, where things will look more like a failed state with refugees that survives on the medicines and canned foods of Europeans in exchange for a “partial remission of debt”. It is the bankruptcy of a state. This is currently proposed by Schauble and by the European Commission.
A number of useful lessons can be learned through the facts and it should not be skipped, concerning the positions adopted by some anarchists against “German imperialism”, which they set as the peak of their activity. These reflections come to respond, with seriousness and composure, to some questions raised through recent events. Ultimately what does ‘German imperialism’ want for Greece? Within or without the euro and the EU? What does ‘German capital’ want to do in Greece? And where is the conflict of interest with ‘Greek capital’ when the latter wants desperately to keep the country in the euro? Why was Grexit a common target for a portion of the German government and a portion of the leftist government? And not for some Grexit different from that promoted by Schauble, since neither side anywhere saw subversive action as a plan amidst such a development nor was there a different proposal to exit the euro. This is quite simply because it didn’t exist. It is obvious -and this is proved not by a long ideological confrontation, but by particularly stubborn historical events- that some people’s method of analysis leads to problems, since in this way they cannot even deal with reality, let alone try to make predictions. And because each climax of subversive action involves broader proclamation of the struggle to which we invite ever-larger sections of society to participate, each time we aim at something as the main enemy, this is the target that most involves our aims of wider subversive crisis and has little potential to resist that.
Therefore, if one sees as the principal enemy another European state, and specifically its policy in a given period (in this case Germany) where precisely is the revolutionary perspective of a wider subversive social struggle? Is Germany, or German imperialism as is claimed, the main enemy of Greek proletarians? And if German policy did not apply a strict monetarist view and impose on the weaker eurozone economies austerity policies and fiscal discipline, if it followed the suggested direction encouraged by many of the transnational (like Soros) economic elite and many of the political elite (including Keynesians, including Varoufakis), exerting a hegemonic imperialism through policies of redistribution of the surpluses of the North, would it still be the same enemy of the Greeks? Will you find any real basis to it, or it is mainly rhetoric, this German imperialism? And why does the whole mob of rulers worldwide exert fierce criticism of German policy, by charging it with the very fact that it refuses to fully assume the role of a hegemonic imperialist power in Europe, and that this refusal is a major reason for the fact that European crisis deepens more and more? And after all, who places the social and class revolution in a project that can include all the domestic elite, as they apparently also “suffer from German imperialism”?
I am deeply convinced that the comrades who adopted and promoted these positions would do well to review them in light of new developments of class rule in our time and the new features of the crisis, for which methods of analysis imported from prior historical periods are not sufficient. . .
[NOTE: the text continues further in this vein, but as we’ve covered the major events of the past year, this is the end for this selection of excerpts. . .]
Inter Arma received and translated:
We’ve never fit into the laws, the rules, the habits of this world. Besides, it remains too “small” for us to fit in. We loved real life and freedom and these are what we will always fight for. And if today we’re on the 28th day of hunger strike, with the risk of losing our lives, from now on, it is because a life with no dignity, is simply not life at all. What could be more undignified if we did not defend, if we did not fight for those people who, for no benefit, no political theses and choices, they stood by us morally, all throughout our imprisonment, remaining Humans. So, this time we are fighting for them. To avoid their becoming the side effects of a war that they have never been accomplices in. So, let the arrows of democracy target its real enemies again. Once more, democracy saw to me being away from my comrades, as they all are spread out to different hospitals and prisons. But my heart and my soul is with them, every moment. Their strength is my strength during the struggle we together started and together we will end.
NOW AND FOREVER.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF GERASIMOS AND CHRISTOS TSAKALOS’ RELATIVES
SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY WITH THE DEMANDS OF THE POLITICAL PRISONERS ON HUNGER STRIKE
WHOLEHEARTED COMRADELY GREETINGS TO THE COMRADES ABROAD WHO, ONCE MORE, THROUGH THEIR WORDS MADE TO NULLIFY THE DISTANCES AND STAND NEXT TO US
STRENGTH AND CONTINUATION TO ALL THE MOVES OF SOLIDARITY OUTSIDE THE WALLS
Member of the R.O. – Conspiracy of Cells of Fire – FAI/IRF
TEXT ANSWER OF NIKOS MAZIOTIS MEMBER OF REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE IN CALL ON 10/11/2014 THE SPECIAL APPELLATE INVESTIGATORS TO ATTACK OF THE BANK OF GREECE FOR THE SCUFFLE IN MONASTIRAKI AND THE EXPROPRIATION OF BANK.
As I stated after my arrest on July 16, members of the Revolutionary Struggle does not apologize to the dogs of the state, ie the cops and judges mercenaries and servants of the rich and capital. I never apologized many times they tried and imprisoned me, because in reality me and the organization I belong to, the Revolutionary Struggle we are the prosecutors and you are the defendants. Those who was sentenced me to 50 years in prison, those with a bounty of 1,000,000 euros, those who imprisoned me to judge me again, do it on behalf of the rich, the supranational capital of the IMF, the EU and the ECB on behalf of lenders and banks who drink the blood of the Greek people. If we want to put things in their place, those who accuse me are the real criminals and terrorists. Those members of a structured criminal and terrorist organization called state commit crimes against the people, commit crimes against humanity. They are responsible for mass killings of civilians since the social policy of genocide and euthanasia implemented, led 4000 people to suicide. It resulted in deaths from diseases, the lack of medicines, deprivation of medical treatment, from malnutrition. They are responsible because their politics has led an entire population to poverty misery and humiliation. It resulted in thousands of people searching the garbage to eat or depend on soup kitchens. Thousands of people are homeless because they lost their homes and their property due debts and seizures by banks. It resulted in thousands of people searching the garbage to eat or depend on soup kitchens. The capital and the state murdering and robbing the people as well as the judges, and security forces are accomplices of these crimes. That is why all of these, the capitalists and their political agents, members of the Governments and parliamentarians who voted and supported the memorandum agreements should sit on the figurine to stand trial and to apologize, and it will be done only if a Social Revolution overturn the criminal status. Only an armed people throw them out of power.
Member of the Revolutionary struggle
The text below Nikos Maziotis, member of Revolutionary Struggle, suggests creation of meeting of solidarity for all political detainees and prisoners fighters.
Text below from Nikos Maziotis, member of Revolutionary Struggle, to the open assembly of Anarchists / anti-authoritarians against the specific conditions of detention in which proposes the transformation in a solidarity meeting for all political detainees and prisoners fighters. At the same time an open call to all comrades and companions of the anarchist / antiauthoritarian domain to participate and support this endeavor.
In the short term will announce the date and location where will be the first meeting to explore possibilities to set up Solidarity Assembly.
The text is sent to all political detainees and imprisoned fighters.
Comrades – companions, this text address you concerning prisons type C, and my proposal for the transformation of that meeting as much as concerns the issue of solidarity.
Comrades – companions, passing legislation of the prison type C is an expected development in the repressive attack of the state against the armed Revolutionary Organizations, against armed action. Subsequently the legislative changes and reforms that have been under way for about 14 years is directly linked to the political and economic conditions, applicable for years internationally, and none other than the “war on terror” and the neoliberal reforms intended to impose the dictatorship of the markets, its doctorate of supranational capital.
As Revolutionary Struggle, since the beginning of our activities in 2003, I believe that we properly analyze the political and economic conditions in the early nineties when we started our activities, conditions relating to the globalization of the capitalist system. Both the “war on terror” launched in 2001 following the attacks on the United States , and the neoliberal reforms that conduced and were designed dictatorship of transnational capital is not only the economic and civilian-relevant nature of globalization. The system, therefore, in order to impose the dictatorship of markets proceeds at increasingly harder crackdown tends more and more totalitarian.
In Greece the same year we opened the Greek economy to transnational capital after so-called scandal of 1999. The stock market integration in EMU, in the Eurozone in 2002. It is therefore no coincidence that at the same period, even to lag behind Western Europe and the US, the Greek State is proceeding to legislate the first anti-terrorism law in 2001, the law Stathopoulos. The law was voted after pressure from the US and Britain and targeted members of the armed Revolutionary Organizations and more specifically the 17.N, which was the only guerrilla organization active at that time. This law was named “law against organized crime” and it was done with obvious purpose to serve the tactics of the state, trying to deconstruct the political characteristics of armed revolutionary organizations, to depoliticize and clean of ideological language action and to present them as a ordinary criminal offenders . Under this law are accused all been on trial for 17November and ELA in 2003 and 2004 respectively.
Despite the fact, however, that this law targeted members of the armed Revolutionary Organizations, the state uses the hardening for general of law enforcement regarding illegal incriminations, who condemned the aggravating provision for “criminal organization” posing almost disuse incorrecttional the device of “conspiracy.” And this has resulted in an increase of total sentences. But do not confuse cause and effect. The law Stathopoulos, the first anti-terrorism, was made primarily for members of the armed revolutionary organizations, but the result has been generalized to apply to cases of organized delinquency.
Three years later, in 2004, the law Papaligoura, during the government of Karamanlis and New Democracy, the second anti-terrorism law, is to clarify things after talking about “setting up a terrorist organization” and “terrorist acts”, which “in a manner and to an extent circumstances, it is possible to harm the country and destroying the fundamental constitutional political and economic structures of the country.” Despite the fact that the system does not recognize political enemies, the law Papaligoura recognizes the existence and activity of armed organizations that threaten the fundamental constitutional, political and economic structures of the country thereby bringing political reality features in the action. The same law is also aggravating the device of “address terrorist organization” in order both to increase the penalty for those accused and convicted as directors or heads of “terrorist organization” and to confirm the status that there is no other form of social organization apart from the existing hierarchical organization of today’s society, dominated by capital and the state. Under the law Papaligoura, who was voted after US pressure on the eve of the Olympic Games in 2004, made all the trials of armed Revolutionary Organizations in both the Revolutionary Struggle and the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire.
The lawmaking thus for prisons type C is the coherence and consistency of the two anti-terrorism rules of 2001 and 2004, and the 2003 law that establishes international cooperation in police and judicial level in the field of counter-revolutionary armed action between Greece, the European Union and the US. This law fills a gap in Greek repressive policies and is made to align with the European Union and the US, as in Europe and the US apart from the anti-terror laws that are from the 70s and 80s when many countries facing serious problem due to action of armed Revolutionary Organizations, there are prisons with special detention regime for members of these organizations.
The same happened in Turkey in the early 2000s prior where prisons were built – type F, primarily for members of the leftist Revolutionary Organizations engaged in armed struggle, and we all remember the struggle of prisoners members of these organizations who were on hunger strike to death or set themself on fire to prevent their transfer to prisons F.
We should make A / A space to do the obvious and see things objectively. The C-type prisons are primarily for those accused of armed struggle, whether assume political responsibility for their participation in organizations belonging to or deny the allegations. And this does not detract from the fact that in these prisons they will keep convicts serving long sentences and other offenders who have been convicted by the Law “criminal organization”. It is completely inappropriate that a written text of the Convention on the C-type prisons “to construct the guilty.” Let us not seek some idioma where there are none. The lawsuits are against comrades for participating in a “terrorist organization” for “terrorist acts”, which could harm fundamental constitutional, political and economic structures of the country, trials are aimed at specific sentencing armed revolutionary organizations at a time, and this regardless of whether these trials are comrades who deny the charges. Being an anarchist is not a sui generis at least for now.
However, both the anti-terrorism legislation and the prison in which they intend to isolate us give a clear signal to the A / A space and society from the side of the state. That whoever chose the armed struggle as a form of action will have a predatory criminal treatment, if arrested, and kept in a special status such as C-type prisons, and that’s why the state is aware of the hazards of armed struggle, especially in the conditions of the global economic crisis that has erupted in 2008 when the regime, the economic and political system is legitimized in, which has lost the social consensus enjoyed before the crisis, and because in these conditions the armed struggle is subversive and destabilizing factor for the system . And this regime have confessed factors referring to the Revolutionary Struggle and were arrested in 2010 when for the first time with the recent arrest of Anarchist Anthony Stamboulou accused of participation in the Revolutionary Struggle where the Minister of Public Order Vassilis Kikilias connect direct action or the threat hits of the organization with the destabilization of the system in a particularly sensitive time for it.
The legislating prison type C as consistency and continuity of the state repressive attack against militants who have opted for armed struggle, intended to break them through the isolation of members of the armed revolutionary organizations and those accused of involvement in these organizations, are intended degrade them as political entities and to elicit statements and renunciation of armed struggle
While in Greece through the recent reforms to the prison of type C, the changes in the penal code and criminal procedure relating to the armed struggle, there are no such rules in Italy provided the disclaimer while providing information to alleviate the position of the prisoner this would pursue here a more indirect way. Staying in prisons type C in addition the minimum of four years under the law will regard the unrepentant after the prosecutor who will determine the continuation or not of a residence after four years, will decide on not only on importance of the acts but also of the character and personality of the prisoner. It therefore goes without saying that anyone who is unrepentant and irremovable in the options to which struggle was in prison would consider a threat to public order and security, and will be extended indefinitely in detention in prisons type C by the end of his sentence.
The action against the prison of type C can only be part of solidarity with all political prisoners and imprisoned fighters located in the Greek jails and prisons of type C. This is regardless on diversity of cases, whether the prisoners have taken political responsibility for their participation in the organizations they belong or belonged or accused of involvement in guerrilla organizations and deny the charges, whether anarchists accused of bank expropriations.
Companions, comrades just because the action against prisons type C can only be a part of solidarity with all political prisoners and prisoners fighters I propose the transformation of the Assembly for C-type prisons in a solidarity meeting for all political prisoners and prisoners fighters , not only to those convicted or accused of involvement in armed rebel groups but also comrades and companions that faced state repression of other forms of struggle, demonstrations, sit-ins, street clashes with police.
It is contradictory and paradoxical to mobilize against a prison type, and can not show solidarity with their fellow prisoners for the C-type prisons. It is a serious political deficit there are dozens of political prisoners and imprisoned fighters and not a solidarity meeting for them. Solidarity is a political position and attitude. It is a key element of a movement or a political space that wants to have kinematic characteristics. Solidarity means that the detained militants and forms of struggle they chose for this and have been in prison are part of the common struggle, of the struggle for the revolution for anarchy and communism. Solidarity means that we believe that the armed struggle and guerrilla warfare is part of the struggle and movement for the Social Revolution. Anyone who disagrees with this principle, there can not be in solidarity or play with solidarity with his companions and comrades who are prison and advocating armed struggle as an option struggle.
This does not mean that solidarity, the space or the movement can not do critics on the positions of the reason or for actions of armed Revolutionary Organizations, provided such criticism is made in good faith with a purely political arguments rather than mud, hybris and aphorisms . To ultimately prove that “solidarity is not a identification” is sincere and not an excuse and those who disagree condemn the armed struggle and guerrilla warfare, but to have the political courage to say so openly and publicly and selective ‘solidarity’ for those who claim innocent and deny the charges, while turning their backs on those who advocate armed struggle and assume political responsibility for their participation in the organizations they belong to.
Solidarity is not selective because otherwise there is no solidarity. Solidarity has criteria personal, friendly, relatives or family. Solidarity is not the distinction between the innocent and the guilty, not the distinction between assumptions of organizations or individuals. Solidarity does not make distinctions between Anarchists and Communists prisoners, nor has national characteristics. Solidarity is not the separation of the forms of struggle, the promotion of the dipole ” mass or armed struggle”, “legality or illegality”, the separation of armed struggle and the movement, or the dividing line between “confrontational but non-armed track of anarchy ‘and “armed anarchist section.” I repeat that solidarity has only one political criterion, that prisoners and forms of action chosen as the armed struggle, guerrilla and any other form of action that were found in prison is part of the common struggle and movement for the overthrow of capital and the state, for Social Revolution. Those who does not apply this criterion are informers and renouncers like Corcis who denounced companions in case of N17, without pressure, violence and torture and Giotopoulos condemning the action of 17 N in court.
I therefore propose to transform the Assembly for C-type prisons in solidarity meeting for political prisoners and imprisoned fighters. Not only those imprisoned for armed action but also for any form of struggle. The solidarity actions of this assembly it is logical that they shall include it in their activities in relation to C-type prisons.
It’s time to put each partner and each comrade in front of their responsibilities and take a clear and explicit position on the issue of solidarity. Any subterfuge demonstrates that solidarity is not only a weapon, but that is a word empty of content. It’s a corpse in the mouth enough. So I invite all companions and comrades inside and outside of prison to take a stand and put them politically to open up a dialogue on the proposal to create solidarity assembly.
If Anarchist – antiauthoritarian space wants to forget the prisoners of the state and let them just rot in jail and then forgets the same struggle.
Nikos Maziotis, member of Revolutionary Struggle
The text was written on the occasion of the birth of Ulrike Meinhof, one of the founders of the German revolutionary organization RAF, 1970, Maziotis stresses, “Today, in Europe and in the cities of developed capitalism, armed struggle is more necessary than ever.”
Read the full text of the letter of Nikos Maziotis:
October 7th marks the 80 years since the birth of revolutionary Ulrike Meinhof, one of the founders of the guerrilla organization RAF.Meinhof and the RAF as well remained in the pantheon of the history of the revolutionary movement for the liberation of man from evil, oppression and exploitation. They left an indelible mark in the history for the generations of rebels and fighters after them. Just as the RAF was inspired by anti-imperialist and anti-colonial struggles of the people of the Third world, such as Vietnam and Tupamaros, RAF was a source of inspiration or reference for the generations of rebels, as well as several of my generation. Revolutionary as Meinhof made choice that led them to make decision to risk everything, to risk their lives and their freedom in the game, like all those who have chosen the path of the guerrilla.
Many of them were killed in armed clashes with the dogs of the state, died on hunger strike in prison or killed in prisons. Ulrike Meinhof as Andreas Baader, Enlsin Gudrun, Jan-Carl Raspe murdered prisoners in the prison of Stanchaim, paying the price of those who chose the way of the guerrilla. As the price paid by Puig Antich, Agustin Rueda, Oriol Sole, Mara Cagol, Anna Maria Ludmann, Lorenzo Betassa, Ricardo Dura, Pierre Pantsiarelli, Christos Kassimis, Chris Tsoutsouvis, Thomas Vaismpeker the Georg Von Raouch, Mario Galezi, Lambros Foundas. The list of the dead is the game anyway endless.
They paid the price like those prisoners who died in a hunger strike, such as Holger Klaus Meins and Zigkournt Debbie, members of the IRA, or a communist militants in Turkey who died in a hunger strike in 2000.
As they paid the price lying down many years in prison and remained unrepentant to the end, as Joli Aubry, Prospero Gkalinari or Lebanese rebel Ibrahim Abdullahwhich is still since 1984 in the French prison.
In any case, whoever chose to be a rebel and fight in the way of armed struggle and guerrilla knows that the road to human liberation from the shackles of capital, imperialism, and the state is not covered with flowers, but paved with death, blood, bullets, with violence, prison, isolated with everything our enemy generous ‘offers to us’.
Ulrike Meinhof among those who are a shining example of how to remain consistent until the end. Meinhof, like many other comrades who have joined the ranks of the rebels broke established role of sexist society that wants to subordinate women and dutifully follow the men and imposed her position for a fair and equal values by participating in a fight with a gun in a hand.
We, the Revolutionary Struggle believe that the best way to honor comrades who gave their lives in the struggle,is to continue the same battle in which they fell. Today, more than 40 years after the founding of the RAF in a completely different conditions, in terms of the global capitalist crisis, such as is not remembered for a long time, more visible than ever is the lack of armed operations in the cities of the developed capitalist regions of Europe and the United States.
Today the conditions of globalized capitalism is opposed to the 70’s when the front of the imperialist war was in Third World countries such as Vietnam and the last place was the area of Europe where were fuel fillings for the american war machine, today’s front and back part of the social and class war is in the same area of the European Union and the United States.
This is where decisions are made for the savage attacks of transnational capital against the people on the occasion of the debt crisis, this is deciding at the Council of Social robbery, the greatest redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top of the social hierarchy. It is in Germany, in Frankfurt, where is the headquarter of the European Central Bank, in Paris in the Annex of the International Monetary Fund, in Brussels, the headquarters of the European Union.
Today, in Europe and in the cities of developed capitalism, armed struggle is more necessary than ever. To destroy the capital of the European Union, to undermine the system that passes through the greatest crisis in its history. The struggle today is exemplified by all those who in earlier times gave their lives or suffered imprisonment and remained unrepentant.
Price Ulrike Meinhof
The price in the dead of social and class struggle
Price is unrepentant.
Nikos Maziotis member of Revolutionary Struggle Prison Diavaton
Translation: Revolution Sociale
I want to begin this letter with a huge hug for all the compxs who are on the run, all those who are fighting for their liberty, and all those who are locked up and for whom this world of domination is trying to quell their rage. There is no cell, no wall, no authority to whom I give enough power to quiet my rage and my desire for liberty. I’ve had these feelings since I was a little one and now, in my heart and my head, they are stronger than ever, and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think of you guys, my friends. I can imagine, and they tell me as well, that the situation outside is very precarious. This doesn’t surprise me, as us deciding to be in conflict comes with repression.
It isn’t simple, it isn’t easy, and there are many emotions that are all mixed up, but the specific emotion that we all have in common is our force; individually and collectively. No-one can cage this feeling—neither a prison nor a border. Friends, I am thinking of you all with much love, especially Marc, who is locked up in a prison in Kingston, and I’m thinking of the compxs from the che who were tortured by the comite Cerezo, of the cumbia ballerina, and of Tripa, Amelie and Carlos.
Let’s stay strong, regardless of the distance! I feel a little weird writing a letter without any specific destination, I have the feeling that I’m writing to a galaxy that seems a little bit far away. I want to say one thing: I want to be clear that I am not writing this letter to retain support or to portray myself as the victim. My intention is to use the pen and paper to communicate with friends, and to share analysis. I think that the situation of being imprisoned is a very special opportunity to get away from the ‘fetichisation’ of prison and to make it a reality in a contextual manner. Today, I am writing this letter from Santa Marta, but who knows what is next.
When we were arrested, January 5th 2014, to me, it was a bit of a joke, with the 7 cop cars blocking the street, it felt a bit like a scene from a play, and from this moment onwards, this feeling never left. Everybody has their role. I remember this moment, at 2 or 3 in the morning, when we were transported from the PGJ to the scientific centre for tests. We were three, in 3 different cars, with 2 cops on either side of us, and with a minimum of 10 cop cars with their lights flashing in the deserted streets of DF, and with the scientists who were still almost asleep when we arrived at the Centre. It was such a show; CSI Miami in Mexico.
And the Arraigo Centre, ouf! This was the most theatrical thing I’ve lived through in my whole life. When we got there, the street had been closed off for our arrival. The men with their soap-opera muscles and machine guns were outside in the street, as well as inside the car with us. I couldn’t stop laughing—laughing at their authority that I don’t even have the smallest amount of respect for, laughing at the way they take themselves so seriously. “Ken and Barbie” with federal police uniforms. And the prisoners, who don’t have names but instead have the good luck of having a colour. Mine was orange. The worst was that the girls in my cell were taking on the roles of submission, of fear, and of authority between each other, so seriously, as if they were in an audition for a Hollywood movie.
Sorry to the people who think that I’m making everything seem absurd, but, this is the way it is! A joke, the playing of a role. And here, in Santa Marta, there are many neighbourhoods from A to H, there is a ‘park’, apartments, and neighbours. There is a corner store, sex workers, drugs everywhere; there are people who reproduce the gender roles of ‘girls and boys’, and there are also tons of babies. There is a school, a doctor, a court. There are studies to classify us in Santa Marta, there is corruption, formal and informal power, schedules, and many emotions, many histories, lots of time to share together, rage, and definitely lots of cigarettes and coffee to share.
If it isn’t already clear (here my spanish fails me a bit), but now, Santa Marta is my new city, ‘A’ is my new neighbourhood, 107 is my new apartment, and Amelie, my neighbour. For me, this is clearer than any theory.
And so, I end my letter.
A note: First, I wrote this in spanish* because, it’s sometimes easier. So, I also want to give a big thanks to all those who do the translation, I will try to translate other letters into francais and English. This is the first letter I’ve written in a long time because in the Arraigo centre it was very difficult; pens, like everything else, were prohibited! For me, it was important to write this letter with a touch of humour and sarcasm, not because I want to minimise the impact that prisons can have on people, but to minimise the impact prison can have on me.
What I tried to express, in simple spanish (I hope to one day master it) (I also hope it’s understandable), is that since my imprisonment, the elements that have had the most impact on me have been the game of roles and city-prison, prison-city. I won’t lie to you—it isn’t always easy, we are surrounded by barbed wire, but there is one thing I am certain of and it’s that freedom starts in our heads, regardless of where we find ourselves. In mine right now, there’s a lot of rage, a lot of force, and yes, despite everything, there is more freedom than ever. Thanks to the friends who came to visit! To those who took our collect calls. To those who are organizing, despite the tensions. To those who nurture the fire and who attack this rotten society RAGE AND ANARCHY!! (A) And solidarity with Marc, the compxs from the Che, Tripa, the witch cumbia dancer, Amelie, and Carlos.
Fa Santa Marta, Mexico, March 14, 2014
And Happy March 15! (A)
*The letter was originally written in a combination of french and spanish.
To write to Fallon/Amelie:
Centro Feminil de Reinsercion social Santa Martha Acatitla
Amélie Trudeau / Fallon Rouiller
Calzada Ermita Iztapalapa No 4037
Colonia Santa Martha Acatitla
Delagation Iztalpalapa C.P. 09560
Lettre de Fallon
Je veux commencer cette lettre par un gros câlin pour tou-te-s les camarades en fuite, tout-e-s celles et ceux qui se battent pour leur liberté, et tou-te-s celles et ceux qui sont enfermé-e-s et dont ce monde de domination tente d’étouffer la rage. Il n’y a pas une cellule, un mur, une autorité à qui je donne assez de pouvoir pour faire taire ma rage et mon désir de liberté. Ces sentiments, je les ai depuis que je suis toute petite et maintenant, dans mon cœur et dans ma tête, ils sont plus forts que jamais. Il ne se passe pas un jour sans que je pense à vous, mes ami-e-s. Je peux imaginer, et on me dit aussi, que la situation à l’extérieur est très précaire.
Ça ne me surprend pas, car nous avons choisi d’affronter la répression. Ce n’est pas simple, ce n’est pas facile, il y a plein d’émotions mélangées, mais il y a une émotion en particulier que nous partageons, et c’est notre force, individuelle et collective. Et ce sentiment, rien ne peut le mettre e n cage, ni une prison, ni une frontière. C’est avec beaucoup d’amour que je pense à vous, mes ami-e-s, et spécialement à Marc, qui est enfermé dans une prison de Kingston, aux camarades du Che qui furent torturé-e-s par le comité Cerezo, à la sorcière danseuse de cumbia, à Tripa, à Amélie et à Carlos. N’en soyons que plus fort-e-s, peu importe la distance ! Je me sens un peu bizarre d’écrire une lettre sans destinataire précis, j’ai l’impression d’écrire à une galaxie qui me semble pas mal éloignée.
En disant ceci, je veux être claire sur le fait que je n’écris pas cette lettre pour obtenir du support ou pour me poser en victime. Mon intention est d’utiliser la plume et le papier pour communiquer avec des ami-e-s et aussi pour partager des analyses. Je pense que le fait d’être emprisonné-e est une opportunité très spéciale de laisser tomber la fétichisation de la prison et d’actualiser cette réalité de manière contextuelle. Aujourd’hui, j’écris cette lettre depuis Santa Marta, mais qui sait qui sera le ou la prochain-e ? Quand nous avons été arrêté-e-s, le 5 janvier 2014, pour moi, c’était un peu comme une blague, avec les sept chars de flics qui bloquaient la rue, j’avais l’impression d’être dans une pièce de théâtre, et depuis ce moment-là, la sensation est restée. Tout le monde joue son rôle.
Je me rappelle du moment où, vers deux ou trois heures du matin, on nous transportait du PGJ (Bureau du Procureur Général de la Justice *ndt) au centre scientifique pour des tests. Nous étions trois, dans trois voitures différentes, avec deux flics de chaque côté de nous et un minimum de dix chars de flics qui nous escortaient en faisant aller leurs gyrophares dans les rues désertes du DF, et avec les scientifiques qui dormaient presque quand nous sommes arrivé-e-s au centre. Un vrai show. CSI Miami à Mexico. Ah, et le centre d’Arraigo, ouf! Ce fut la chose la plus théâtrale que j’ai vécue de toute ma vie. Quand nous sommes arrivé-e-s, la rue était fermée pour notre venue. Les hommes avec leurs muscles de télé-romans, et avec leurs mitraillettes étaient dehors, dans la rue, et aussi dans le fourgon avec nous. Je ne pouvais pas m’empêcher de rire – rire de leur autorité pour laquelle je n’ai pas le moindre respect, rire de la manière dont ils se prenaient tellement au sérieux. « Ken et Barbie » en uniformes de police fédérale. Et les prisonnier-e-s, qui n’avaient pas de nom, mais qui avaient la chance d’avoir une couleur. La mienne était orange.
Le pire était que les filles de ma cellule avaient adopté les rôles de la soumission, de la peur et de l’autorité entre elles, si sérieusement, qu’elles donnaient l’impression d’auditionner pour un film hollywoodien. Désolé pour les personnes qui pensent que je tourne tout au ridicule mais, c’est vraiment comme ça ! Une blague, un jeu de rôles. Et maintenant, ici à Santa Marta, il y a plusieurs quartiers allant de A à H, il y a un «parc», des appartements et des voisin-e-s. Il y a un dépanneur, des travailleuses du sexe, des drogues un peu partout. Il y a des gens qui reproduisent les rôles de «filles» et de «garçons», et il y a aussi beaucoup de bébés. Il y a une école, une clinique, un palais de justice.
Il y a des études pour classifier la société de Santa Marta, de la corruption, du pouvoir formel et informel. Il y a des horaires et aussi beaucoup d’émotions, beaucoup d’histoires, beaucoup de temps pour partager des expériences, de la rage, et certainement beaucoup de cigarettes et de café à partager. Eh bien, je ne sais pas si je suis claire (mon espagnol n’est pas parfait) mais maintenant Santa Marta est ma nouvelle ville, «A» est mon nouveau quartier, 107 est mon appartement et Amélie, ma voisine. Pour moi, c’est plus clair que n’importe quelle théorie. Ainsi, je vais terminer cette lettre. Une note: Comme la première, je l’ai écrite en espagnol parce que, déjà, c’est parfois plus facile. Alors, je veux dire un gros merci aux personnes qui feront la traduction, j’essaierai de faire la traduction de mes prochaines lettres en français et in English. Cette lettre est la première que j’écris depuis un bon bout de temps parce qu’au centre d’Arraigo c’était plus difficile, les stylos étaient interdits, comme tout le reste ! Pour moi, c’était important d’écrire cette lettre avec une touche d’humour et de sarcasme, non parce que je veux minimiser l’impact que peut avoir la prison sur les gens, mais bien pour minimiser l’impact que la prison a sur moi.
Comme j’ai essayé de l’exprimer, avec un espagnol simple (j’espère un jour le maîtriser mieux)(j’espère aussi que c’est comprenable), les éléments qui me marquent le plus depuis ma détention sont les jeux de rôles et la ville prison, prison-ville. Je ne vous cache pas que c’est pas toujours facile, que oui on est entourées de barbelés, mais y’a une chose dont je suis sûre c’est que la liberté commence dans notre tête, peu importe où on se trouve. C’est que dans la mienne en ce moment, y’a beaucoup de rage, beaucoup de force et oui, malgré tout, plus de liberté qu’il n’y en a jamais eu. Merci aux ami-e-s qui viennent nous visiter ! À ceux et celles qui prennent nos appels a frais virés. À ceux et celles qui s’organisent, malgré les tensions. À ceux et celles qui continuent à faire naître le feu et à attaquer cette société pourrie.
RAGE ET ANARCHIE ! (A).
Et solidarité avec Marc, les camarades du Che, Tripa, la sorcière danseuse de cumbia, Amélie, et Carlos.
Fa Santa Marta, Mexico, 14 mars 2014.
Et bon 15 mars !! (A)
Pour écrire à Fallon et Amélie :
Amelie Trudeau/Fallon Rouiller Centro Feminil de Reinsercion social
Santa Martha Acatitla Amélie Trudeau / Fallon Rouiller
Calzada Ermita Iztapalapa No 4037
Colonia Santa Martha Acatitla Delagation Iztalpalapa C.P. 09560
Carta de Fallon
Yo quiero empezar esta carta con un abrazo muy grande para todxs lxs compxs que estan en fuga, todxs lxs que estan luchando por sus libertad y para todxs aquellos que están encerradxs y a quienes este mundo de dominación intenta acallar nuestra rabia. No hay una celda, un muro, una autoridad a quien yo le otorgue bastante poder para acallar mi rabia y mi deseos de libertad. Tengo esos sentimientos desde pequeña y ahora los tengo más fuertes que nunca dentro de mi corazón y mi mente, son más fuertes que nunca y no pasa un día sin que yo piense en ustedes, mis amigxs. Yo puede imaginar, y me dicen también que la situación afuera es muy precaria. No me sorprende que para quienes decidimos estar en conflicto afrontemos la represión. No es simple ni tampoco es fácil, hay muchas emociones que se mezclan pero hay una emoción en particular que tenemos en común: es nuestra fuerza, individual y colectiva. Nadie puede encerrar ese sentimiento, ni las fronteras ni las prisiones. Amigxs pienso en ustedes con mucho amor, especialmente para Marc quien está encerrado en una prisión en Kingston,a los compxs del che que fueron torturados por el grupo Cerezo, a la bailarina de cumbia, a Tripa, a AmeElie y Carlos. ¡Seamos fuertes , no importe la distancia! Me siento un poco rarx de escribir una carta sin destinatario preciso, tengo la impresión de escribir a una galaxia que me parece un tantito lejana. Dicho eso, yo quiero estar clara con el hecho que no estoy escribiendo esta carta para tener un apoyo ni para ponerme en una situación de víctima. Mi intención es utilizar la pluma y el papel para comunicar con amigos y también compartir análisis. Yo creo que el hecho de estar en la cárcel es una oportunidad muy especial para salir de la “fetechizacíon” y de actualizar esta realidad de manera contextual. Hoy estoy escribiendo esta carta desde Santa Marta pero quien sabe quién es la proximo/a. Cuando fuimos arrestadxs, el 5 de enero de 2014 para mí era un poco como una broma, con las 7 coches de policía que estaban bloqueando la calle, me sentía en una escena de teatro y dese ese momento, ese sentimiento de ser parte de un teatro no se quita. Todxs tienen su rol. Me recuerdo ese momento cuando fuimos transportadxs de la PGJ a el centro científico por los exámenes a las 2 o 3 de la mañana. Estábamos los 3 en 3 coches diferentes con dos policías a cada lado de nosotrxs y con un mínimo de 10 coches de policía que nos seguían con “Top Flash” en las calles desiertas del DF y con lxs científicos que casi estaban durmiendo cuando llegamos al centro. Era un puro teatro, un CSI Miami a México. ¡Ah, y al centro de Arraigo, ouf! Eso era la más teatral que yo he vivido en mi vida.
Cuando llegamos, la calle estaba cerrada para nuestro arrivo. Los hombres con sus músculos de telenovela y con las “metralletas” afuera, en la calle y también dentro de la camioneta con nosotrxs. No podía parar de reírme, de su autoridad por cual yo no tengo un minimo de respeto, reírme de la manera y del serio que ellxs piensan que son. “Ken y Barbie” con uniformes de policía federal. Y los presos, que no tienen nombres pero que tienen la suerte de tener un color. El mío es naranja . Lo peor ahpí era que la chicas de mi celda estaban tomando el rol de la sumisión, del miedo, y el rol de la autoridad entre ellas , también de manera seria como si ellas estuvieran audicionando para participar en una película de Hollywood. Pido una disculpas a las personas que piensan que yo convierto tomo todo como una broma pero, asi es! Una broma, un juego de rol. Y ya, aquí en Santa Marta hay varios barrios del A a H, hay “parque”, departamentos, vecinas.
Hay tiendas, trabajadoras sexuales, drogas en cada lado, hay gente que reproducen los roles de “niñas y de niños”, hay muchas bebe también. Hay una escuela, un médica, un jurídico. Hay estudios para clasificarte en la sociedad de Santa Marta, hay corrupción, hay poder formal e informal, hay horarios y hay muchas emociones, muchas historias, mucho tiempo para compartir, experiencias, rabia y cierto muchas cigarrillos y café para compartir. Pues no sé si estoy clara (el español me falta un poco) pero, ya, Santa Marta es mi nuevo ciudad, es mi barrio, el 107 mi departamento y Amelie, mi vecina. Para mí eso, es más claro que cualquier teoría. Así, me voy a terminar con esta carta. Como la primera, yo lo escribo en español porque, ya, a veces es más fácil. Entonces, yo quiero también decir gracias a la gente que hacen la traducción, me voy a intentar de hacer la traducción de las otras cartas en francés e inglés.
Esta carta es en la primera desde un buen tiempo, al centro de Arraigo era muy difícil, las plumas estaban prohibidas, como todo! Para mí es importante escribir esta carta con un toque de humor y sarcasmo, no porque quiera minimizar el impacto que la prisión tiene sobre las personas, ni para minimizar el impacto que la prisión pueda tener sobre mí. Lo que trato de expresar, en español simple (espero un día manejarlo a la perfección) /(espero que también sea entendible), ya que mi encarcelamiento, los elementos que más impacto han tenido sobre mí ha sido el juego de roles en esta prisión-ciudad. No les mentiré – no es siempre fácil, estamos rodeadas por alambres y rejas, pero hay una cosa en la cual estoy segura y es que la libertad empieza en las mentes, independientemente donde nos encontremos. En la mía, ahora hay mucha rabia, mucha fuerza y sí, después de todo, hay más libertad que nunca. Gracias a todxs lxs amigxs que nos visitan! A aquellxs que toman nuestras llamadas por cobrar. Y aquellxs que se están organizando a pesar de las tensiones. Para aquellxs que nutren el fuego y atacan a esta sociedad de mierda RABIA Y ANARKÍA!
Solidaridad con Marc, lxs compas del Che, Tripa, la bruja bailadora de cumbia, Amelie y Carlos.
Fa Santa Marta, México, Marzo 14, 2014
Feliz Marzo 15 (A)!
Escribirles: Centro Feminil de Reinsercion social Santa Martha Acatitla Amélie Trudeau / Fallon Rouiller Calzada Ermita Iztapalapa No 4037 Colonia Santa Martha Acatitla Delagation Iztalpalapa C.P. 09560
A month after my arrest I still remain sunken in thoughts trying to find moments of calm and clarity, so I can finally put the pen down to write a couple of words. My mood changes at the speed of light, it goes up and down non-stop and is finding it hard to find a steady point to hold on to. The account of what happened in Nea Filadelfia sickens me, the renewed conclusions that come out hurt me, the realization of what exactly happened kills me. I relapse when listening to daily boring and endless discussions evaluating months, years, charges and all the other relevant matters. We know very well why we are in here and the reason is definitely not for some common criminal practices just like we know that from now on, time does not necessarily roll with us counting down to the exit.
That afternoon of April, one fucking mistake of ours was more than enough to enclave us and stay there to haunt our dreams. In one moment the universe was de-stabilized, the hands of the clock turned back and the flow made a sudden reverse. One fucking conspiratorial rule was not followed that day -in a series of many followed- and this was more than enough for the thugs of the anti-terrorist force to catch us. In a -as much as the term is allowed- unsuspecting moment the bastards got the upper hand. Four people, a circle of anarchists, a cell in Koridallos. A series of arrests that took place these last years in front of us were enough to trouble us but not to make us realize the surgical accuracy and consistency our moves require in the frames of security. What is required for sure in this cases is the strict alignment of attack and security and obviously I am not talking about making discounts on the first part. We saw imprisonments, we saw numerous prosecutions coming to people from nowhere, we knew very well about discreet and indiscreet surveillances but still the bad moment came. Let me be the last sucker that gets caught, I will be glad, I would accept it as an honour to manage to write the epilogue in such a long history. This is why you comrades out there, while conspiring your plans, look at each other and say: “We will do better than them. They got to the impossible, we will dare the unthinkable!” And this promise might secure you the ticket to the sky…
These imprinted thoughts are a retreat before emotions, more of a soul deposition than an “obligatory” deposition of speech, an attempt to find already existing common worlds and an individual redefinition on exterior factors, which all together and each one separately anticipate the absolute. The words in here want to communicate directly with the insurgent heart out there. A heart which was shot from authority at the peak of its innocence and since then was scared for ever. It was shaken, wounded and bled endlessly but a strange thing -destined to be revealed later- saved it. And this heart did not cease, but was only left to not feel anything, except hate. Time passed however and slowly slowly it started feeling some interior processes. A tough dual between numerous insecurities and their overcoming, were evolving with the intensity increasing rapidly. It wasn’t long before the inevitable came and this heart broke and overflowed, releasing from its depths a mysterious, new substance in abundance. As a result an unprecedented feeling was born which gradually revealed the hidden lust of life, the refusal. A new condition of life is established which is freely translated into war with authority, conscious and permanent and a general unwillingness for anything besides that. This heart still beats hard…
The existing condition amongst us, pleads for only one thing, destruction. No analysis can can give it an precise description but only confirmation. The socio-centric analyses ignore a basic fact for the reading of “objective reality”. They ignore out of naivety that is, that authority in the form of exploitation as meant by many today, begins where the individual ends. Authority which characterizes the existent around us, pre-exists in the individual as a basic element which defines its existence, like an instinct which defines its survival. Authority in other words is not a metaphysical element which one morning came to infect “free” society, authority is an element of nature as sure as life and death. The socialized individual therefore, as much as it fights it, it equally carries it. The infamous revolution therefore, is nothing more than the overcoming of this contradiction. The revolution is an endless motion cycle, a spiral of life and the most honest element of the individual which represents better than any else its general organizational dead-end besides itself, without the existence of any kind of exploitation. The cop, the judge and all the other shit therefore, are nothing more than roles of enforcement/survival which result from our individual continuation, from our extension to the other individual. The possibility of a liberated and without authority society which some prefix for tomorrow is an imagination of the mind, an illusion of hope for the naïve and the dangerous who while realizing the existential gap of the repeated daily life in the world of authority and want to cover it with something more substantial, they do not realize the authority of lying, depravity and wretchedness resulting from the exploitation of the purest intention of an individual who is looking for a way to express spontaneously, directly and without inhibitions, the accumulated oppression and rot shared out by mass society, this disgusting world of accumulated authorities. Authority is neither good, or bad, not small or big. It is one and contagious, widespread like a flood.
In the war of contradictions and towards the vocal commands of the authoritarian camp, refusal holds a special position. It speaks the language of its own desire, which is on its own its intervention, its truth and absoluteness among many.
We must say: “I am the organization, and I am the society. I am the property, and I am the economy. And only I can destroy them.” At every moment we must agitate, provoke, ignite and detonate. The next we must spit at ourselves for not accomplishing anything. There is no limit as long as we look up, except for the earth under our feet.
We must fall into the fire together with the molotov. So we burn, melt and from the ashes be reborn as an amalgamation stronger from the fire.
We must seek a life beyond the trodden. When a path seems familiar to us we should go off it and look for the unknown, the wild, the free one. We must glance at the horizon and say: “I am coming to you even if we never meet.”
We must know the yesterday but not look back in time even for a second. A moment is enough to do the damage, to trap you in a designated life you have lived before.
We must dispute the given, we must reject the vested. Our motive to get up in the mornings must be the deconstruction of the ideology. Or else tomorrow will find us rotten and history will find us finished.
We must renew ourselves. Know what to throw away and what to keep. See what we have acquired till today in our journey and say: “What we have, is what we are. And starting from now we will demolish the foundations of this world.” And renewal becomes regeneration.
We must have time as our ally in the struggle. With courage to say: “Hated world I will not give you even an hour of work. And when your miserable life tires you, I will find the opportunity to ‘lift’ all of your surplus value.” The monster, creates monsters.
We must as well among others recognize the irony and its provocations. Not so much in the part that says: we fight the authoritarian world with its own means and we want to flatten human civilization with tools invented and found in our hands, but the other part which says: fuck yeah, this is what I desire even if the whole fucking universe is against me. Irony on one side, loads of right on the other. No matter how you look at it, civilization is a gigantic crime. If we want something, it is a life without any elements from this one. If we want freedom, we want it wild. Not primitive, new-found.
No matter how many words are said, how many literature volumes are written romantically describing resistance, how many books with heroic stories of insurrections are printed and reprinted over the centuries, how many revolutionary poems, how many preachings of orthodox anarchy, how many wild misanthropic cries or beautiful melodies of unity travel to the ends, how many passionate and graphic chants are shouted loud and send shivers and how many clear as day propositions of struggle and ready made recipes of liberation -let alone abstract manifestations of refusal- and fill thousands of pages of communiques, the world of practices, violent actions, the “dirty” only war can give meaning to whatever theory around the clash with authority. The dynamics of the actions, direct and sudden interventions on the existent is what symbolizes the anti authoritarian justice and sets the terms in the endless hunt of free life. Informal and autonomously the anarchist struggle has a pulse, militantly intrudes into enemy time-spaces destroying structural elements of the opposite world and unties us like real revolutionary community which has abolished barriers and borders triumphantly, evolving thus the individual conscience to the unpredicted as the sole matter.
From prison now, through a condensed and tough social reality, I come even closer to my responsibilities dealing with the consequences of my choice to follow a provocatively beautiful and strange journey to the world of factual refusal. A new test, harder and more dangerous awaits me around the corner now. With my thought on the fighters who “left” early because they dared, those who their daring journey, included a sudden and long stop at the institution of “correction”, the “incorrigibles” in here who did not expect to see me but in reality joyfully awaited me because this is how fucking things go, those stubborn ones who I entered the gate of the institution with, those stubborn ones outside who ridicule their phobias everyday and those who simply do not understand what means law, police, death, and smiling go ahead to the unknown, I clench my teeth and after a deep breath I start again from zero…
1st wing Koridallos prisons
This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 at 5:47 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.