The following text is intended to be the continuation of a dialogue on the tools of anarchist insurgency and the ways of organizing ourselves; a dialogue that was initiated at an international anarchist encounter somewhere in the countryside of France and now continues from a prison cell in Greece.
The opinions expressed here are my own personal views, so it should be clear that they promote a particular position on the issue. However it is not desired to have one position prevail over all the others; what matters is how the various different, yet complementary, points of view communicate and interact with each other. In the face of an enemy that’s very flexible as regards the use and multitude of means and forms of attack, the diversity of considerations and practices on the part of anarchists is self-evident. Whichever different perspectives cannot be promoted dogmatically but rather based on a rationale of multifaceted attack.
First we need to talk about the very concept of organization, a word quite misunderstood in anarchist circles.
We face an enemy with complex and complicated functions. One of the main characteristics that make the enemy powerful is the constant evolution and organization of the social paranoia we are experiencing today: a technological, military, architectural, civil, industrial, economic, scientific organization. Every aspect of this world is being organized, constantly correcting its imperfections through an intelligent system which has a great number of servants.
In the face of this condition, whoever believes that one is able to fight without organization is naive to say the least.
“In 1972, the pigs mobilized 150,000 men to hunt the RAF, using television to involve the people in the manhunt, having the Federal Chancellor intervene, and centralizing all police forces in the hands of the BKA; this makes it clear that, already at that point, a numerically insignificant group of revolutionaries was all it took to set in motion all of the material and human resources of the State; it was already clear that the State’s monopoly of violence had material limits, that their forces could be exhausted, that if, on the tactical level, imperialism is a beast that devours humans, on the strategic level it is a paper tiger. It was clear that it is up to us whether the oppression continues, and it is also up to us to smash it.” (Ulrike Meinhof)
We can thus say that whoever does not organize himself/herself will turn into a harmless aggregation that will be assimilated to the alienation mechanisms of the existent sooner or later. They will lose the combative attributes that make them dangerous for the enemy and subsequently be deported from the field of antagonistic battle.
Conversely, whoever has decided to fight this system will need to organize their hatred, in order to become effective and dangerous. So, the discussion about ways of organizing ourselves, having attributes inherent in our anarchist values, begins somewhere at this point.
The dilemma then is whether we will organize ourselves through a central anarchist organization that will be the reference point for the anarchist movement, or in a decentralized and diffuse manner through anarchist affinity groups that will maintain their political autonomy both in terms of action and collective decisions.
As regards the centralizing mode of organization I will speak in general, instead of specific, terms about who, and how, have opted for it in Greece.
If you look at it historically, these two forms of organization have always existed but never coexisted. In the Spanish civil war, anarchists were organized at the central level to combat the fascists, and the same thing happened during other revolutionary attempts.
The same is the case with most urban guerrilla warfare organizations in the past decades that approached new comrades in the context of a particular political project, thus aiming to strengthen the organization instead of an armed diffusion, where the autonomy of each individuality opens up the possibility of creating chaotic fronts of attack.
This understanding of organizational ways should not be viewed separately from the social and political conditions of the time.
The combatants of those times studied their adversary with their own analytical tools, fought for freedom and paid the price with murders, harsh prison sentences, tortures, solitary confinement wards. Those among them who haven’t renounced their values make their own critical assessment of the experiences acquired through the years, experiences which obviously deserve careful study; but if we cling to that we are doomed. What matters is what we’re doing today, in the era we live in.
So, for me, the central organization and the revolutionary centralism are ghosts we need to banish from us.
Besides, an indication of this is the fact that all the remaining central anarchist organizations have simply kept the glorious hallmarks of those times, having sunk deep into reformism while they renounce direct action and rebellion in everyday life, and have nothing to do with something pertaining to combativeness. They refuse to understand the enormous changes at the social and political level, they refuse to talk about the edges of contemporary oppression, the advancement of science, the technological fascistization, the domination of multinationals, and merely trot ideologized theories about the conflict between capital and labour out, using terms that were written one hundred years ago, in another era of capitalism.
Worse still, they refuse to act, unable to understand that if they lived in the glorious past they reminisce about they would only be extras because they would never take any risks.
Now, as regards the revolutionary centralism within urban guerrilla groups, even though I understand the causes and effects behind such a choice, I disagree with that because I believe that our goal is not to walk all together according to a common political project-program but rather to diffuse our means and urge everyone to safeguard their autonomy, thus contributing to the creation of new perceptions and possibilities for the intensification of polymorphous anarchist action.
This is why I opt for the informal organization, which I consider more qualitative and effective for reasons I will explain later. The basic component that gives tangibility to the informal organization (and not only) is nothing other than direct action; otherwise, we would be just a bunch of charlatans with dissident rhetoric.
The most important thing for an anarchist is deciding to undertake action because, in this way, the individuality breaks through the fear inflicted by domination regarding the choice of revolutionary action; when you take action, you overcome inhibitory factors that lead you to inactivity, you take your life in both hands and acquire the ability to affect to a greater or lesser extent the circumstances that define your life. Undertaking action is the equivalent of reclaiming our life that was stolen from us, thus shaping the characteristics of a free human who fights to get rid of their shackles, their social commitments, on a daily basis, abolishing the authoritarian roles imposed on them and building a culture that gestates the quality of a new life, the life of an anarchist insurgent who inflicts open wounds from razors on the contemporary world.
After having made such a decision, comes experimentation. Anarchists shouldn’t have fixed positions; they’re constantly on the move because, without moving, they are driven to self-destruction by ideological dogmatism. They reconsider things, criticize themselves, and explore the collective experience to adapt it to the current historical data. They put their hearts on ice to withstand pain, and set fire to what’s left to wipe out the traces of their past “quiet” life. From this point forward, what counts is the struggle, but also vengeance, because whoever felt violence firsthand and did not seek revenge are worthy of their sufferings.
Let’s go back to the issue of practical experimentation, that is, action with many ways, many methods and many forms.
I believe that the organization of our destructive desires should be expressed through Action Networks of high distinctiveness, where everyone will be able to read one’s own words and works, get inspired, reflect, and act alongside us or fight against us. Being (communicatively) visible is part of our purpose to bring about the maximum degree of social polarization in order to clarify everyone’s role in the authoritarian edifice, and then pass from armed critique to a critique of arms.
In my opinion, the responsibility claim is what gives meaning to an action, leads it to your desired objectives, and explains to whoever is interested in breaking the vicious circle of oppression and passing on the offensive the motives and reasons that made you do it. Simply and clearly. In a world of generalized information overload and terrorism of virtual bombardments, no action can speak for itself unless the subjects-actors speak out about it.
The high level of distinctiveness that I mentioned above is related to both invariable insurgent names and acronyms; for me invariable names in insurgent actions are of particular importance because, in this way, your actions are linked to each other, stepping up their momentum at the same time.
Furthermore, your discourse takes on greater importance, as it is connected to the consistency of your action. You have the possibility to devise strategies of insurgent action making your overall rationale understood, creating a point of reference and issuing a challenge to action, thus exacerbating the revolutionary threat, breaking up the State’s monopoly on violence, as anarchists claim their share of violence to turn it against the enemy.
Turning now to the use of acronyms, it’s similarly useful on a more comprehensive level; their main importance is their contribution to recognizing resistance that is manifested without a centre, but instead horizontally and chaotically at the same time, depending on the choices of rebels.
I think that the existence of acronyms is also important as a propaganda tool. Translation networks can do the work of a messenger between insurgent groups regardless of whether or not the latter use an acronym. Nevertheless, the existence of one or more informal networks that use acronyms and recognize one another enhances the momentum of actions placing them within an overall context, rather than something fragmentary, and creates a solid (as to its existence, that is, continuous action) structure which is anarchist and insurrectionary at its root.
Instead of an epilogue
It is clear already that in the name of “citizen security” artificial social threats are constructed in a way to provide political alibi for committing the greatest state crimes, establishing more and more practices of control and surveillance, and toughening anti-terrorism laws. All this is aimed at enabling the privileged citizens of developed countries, who have been awarded this prestigious label, to feel safe while their statist protectors massively and indiscriminately sow death around them.
This is why I envision a belligerent condition in the urban centres where every day the rebels will organize plans for attacks, creating an asymmetric threat that will tear social cohesion and political stability to bits and sow insecurity in the reproduction centres of capitalism. The smooth flow of goods will no longer be taken for granted, and the representatives of oppression will live in fear.
We have nothing to wait for, so we organize ourselves and strike the society of capitalism; revolutionary actions shape the objective conditions, let’s multiply them.
Strength to all captive and fugitive comrades
Strength to the 4 anarchist hunger strikers in Mexico*
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, Ε Pteryga, 18110 Koridallos, Athens, Greece
First published in the 3rd issue of Avalanche (November 2014).
* Transcription note: At the time of writing Fernando Bárcenas, Abraham Cortés Ávila, Carlos López Marín and Mario González, incarcerated in different Mexican prisons, were still on hunger strike. On October 17th, 2014, the comrades called off their strike. On October 31st, Mario was released from prison. Freedom for all!
Ulrike Meinhof (7. October 1934. – 9. May 1976.) was radical left-wing journalist previously worked as a journalist for the monthly left-wing magazine konkret. She was one of the founders of the RAF.
The teenaged Ulrike had a talent for writing and a strong interest in social and political issues.
“Urlike Meinhof is a historical ridle, en enigmatic women, who like most people, can only be understood within the context of her time. She siezed a historical moment and the possibilities it offered, a moment of the starkest contradictions in postwar Germanys coming to terms its partially suppressed Nazi past, the student movement of 1968, and re-unification, which Ulrike Meinhof did not witness, and could probably not have imagined.”Elfriede Jelinek,
The attempted assassination of student activist Rudi Dutschke on 11. April 1968, provoked Meinhof to write an article in konkret demonstrating her increasingly militant attitude and containing perhaps her best-known quote:
“Protest is when I say this does not please me. Resistance is when I ensure what does not please me occurs no more.”Published in “Vom Protest zum Widerstand” (“From Protest to Resistance”), konkret, no. 5. (May 1968), p. 5.
As the 1960s drew to a close, she was making the acquaintance of people like Baader, who, to her way of thinking, was making the revolution while she was sitting at a typewriter making symbolic waves. With her 1970. involvement in Andreas Baader’s jailbreak, the journalist burned her bridges behind her and became a full-fledged and full-time enemy of the state.
After Baader’s escape, West German police launched a massive hunt for the group that was now known to consist, in part, of Baader, Meinhof, Ensslin, and lawyer Horst Mahler. Then they reversed the usual flight of the Berlin Wall by slipping across it and into Communist East Germany. There the fugitives caught a plane to Beirut, Lebanon. They found their way to a refugee camp along the Lebanese-Israeli border where the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) trained its guerrillas.
In August 1970, the PFLP asked the Germans to not only leave the refugee camp but to depart from Lebanon altogether. The RAF people honored the request and returned to their native West Germany. There they assiduously worked to recruit committed radicals to their cause. About twenty new people joined.
On 14 June 1972, in Langenhagen, Fritz Rodewald, a teacher who had been providing accommodation to deserters from the U.S. Armed Forces, was approached by a stranger asking for an overnighting house the next day for herself and a friend. He agreed but later became suspicious that the woman might be involved with the RAF and eventually decided to call the police. The next day the pair arrived at Rodewald’s dwelling while the police watched. The man was followed to a nearby telephone box and was found to be Gerhard Müller who was armed. After arresting Müller, the police then proceeded to arrest the woman – Ulrike Meinhof.
After two years of preliminary hearings, Meinhof was sentenced to 8 years’ imprisonment on 29 November 1974. Eventually Meinhof, Baader, Ensslin, and Raspe were jointly charged on 19. August 1975, with four counts of murder, fifty-four of attempted murder, and a single count of forming a criminal association. However before the trial was concluded, Meinhof was found hanged by a rope, fashioned from a towel, in her cell in the Stammheim Prison on 9. May 1976.
It is tragic destiny of intelectual and journalist, activist and uncompromising antifascist. She wrote texts about outsiders( she especially concerned about institutionalized children).She worned about American oil interests in Third countries, in Iran particulary, then in Syria, Lybia, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. She wrote about Israely state and lack of understanding in Europian Left question of Jews and founding of the state of Israel as a result of British colonial policies and National Socialist persecution of Jews. In text (“Three friends of Israel”,1967.)
Quotes from Ulrike Meinhof :
“We understand connections between consumer-terror and police terror, and why German capital has an interest in the exploatation of the Persian people. But we have hardly even begun to see the conections between the profits sought by German capital and the opression of women and children.”(“Everybody talks about the weather”,1969.)
“Why do women laborers and the white-collar workers who are affected by the increasing mechanization of offices not resist if their situation is so inhuman and so obviously un-egalitarian? Where are the protests-if not by deadened and worn-out workers, then by the unions and prehaps the educated and informed women. Where are the actions of solidarity?”
“Housekeeping means isolation: “The decisions about the meat you don’t have are not made in the kitchen”(False consciousness, 1968.)
“Terror from the Left…but on a supra-provincial scale is no more human than terror from the Right.”(“Counter-Violence”, 1968.)
Tekst napisan povodom rođenja Ulrike Meinhof, jedne od osnivača njemačke revolucionarne organizacije RAF ,1970-ih, Maziotis naglašava, “Danas, u Evropi i u gradovima razvijenog kapitalizma, oružana borba je potrebnija više nego ikad.”
Pročitajte cijeli tekst pisma Nikosa Maziotisa:
7. listopada navršava se 80 godina od rođenja revolucionarke Ulrike Meinhof, jedne od osnivača gerilske organizacije RAF.Meinhof i RAF su ostali zabilježeni u povijesti revolucionarnog pokreta za oslobođenje čovjeka od zala, tlačenja i iskorištavanja. Oni su ostavili neizbrisiv trag u povijesti, za generacije pobunjenika i boraca nakon njih. Baš kao što je RAF bio inspiriran anti-imperijalističkim i anti-kolonijalnim borbama naroda trećeg svijeta, poput Vijetnama i Tupamarosa,RAF je bio izvor inspiracije ili reference za generacije pobunjenika,kao i nekolicini moje generacije. Revolucionari kao U.Meinhof napravili su izbor koji ih je doveo do odluke da riskiraju svoje živote i svoju slobodu u borbi,kao i svi oni koji su izabrali put gerilaca.
Mnogi od njih su poginuli u oružanim sukobima s psima države, preminuli u štrajku glađu u zatvoru ili su ubijeni u zatvorima. Ulrike Meinhof kao Andreas Baader, Enlsin Gudrun, Jan-Carl Raspe ubijeni zatvorenici u zatvoru Stanchaim, plaćaju cijenu onih koji su odabrali put gerilaca. Kao što je cijena koju plaća Puig Antich, Agustin Rueda, Oriol Solé, Mara Cagol, Anna Maria Ludman, Lorenzo Betassa, Riccardo Dura, Pietro Pantsiarelli, Christos Kassimis, Chrí̱stos Tsoutsouví̱s, Thomas Vaisbeker, Georg von Rauch, Mario Galesi, Lambros Foundas. Popis mrtvih je ionako beskrajna igra.
Kao što su platili cijenu i zatvorenici koji su umrli u štrajku gladju,kao što su Holger Klaus Meins i Zigkournt Debbie, članovi IRA-e,ili komunistički militanati u Turskoj koji su umrli u štrajku glađu 2000.
Dok su platili cijenu ležeći mnogo godina u zatvoru ostavši nepokolebljivi do kraja, kao što je Joli Aubry, Prospero Gkalinari ili Libanonski pobunjenik Ibrahim Abdullah koji je i dalje od 1984 u Francuskom zatvoru.
U svakom slučaju , tko god je izabrao da bude pobunjenik i da se bori na način oružane borbe i gerilski zna da put do ljudskog oslobođenja od okova kapitala, imperijalizma i države nije posut cvijećem, ali popločan smrću, u krvi, mecima, uz nasilje, zatvor, izoliran svime što nam naš neprijatelj velikodušno ‘nudi’.
Ulrike Meinhof je među onima koji su blistav primjer kako ostati dosljedan do kraja. Meinhof, poput mnogih drugih drugova koji su se pridružili redovima pobunjenika slomila je utvrđene uloge seksističkog društva koje želi da se žene podrede i pokorno slijede muškarace i nametnula je svoju poziciju za fer i jednake vrednosti sudjelovanjem u borbi sa puškom u ruci.
Mi, Revolucionarna Borba vjerujemo da je najbolji način da se oda počast drugovima koji su dali svoje živote u borbi, nastavak iste borbe u kojoj su oni pali. Danas, više od 40 godina nakon osnivanja RAF-a u potpuno različitim uvjetima,u uvjetima globalne kapitalističke krize,kakva se odavno ne pamti, vidljiviji je nego ikad nedostatak oružane akcije u gradovima razvijenih kapitalističkih područja Evrope i SAD-a.
Danas su uvjeti globaliziranog kapitalizma za razliku od 70-ih kada je front imperijalističkog rata bio u zemljama trećega svijeta poput Vijetnama i na zadnjem mjestu je bilo područje Europe gdje je punila gorivo američka ratna mašina, danas je prednji i zadnji dio društvenog i klasnog rata u istom području Evropske unije i SAD-a
Ovdje gdje se donose odluke za divljačke napade transnacionalnog kapitala protiv naroda povodom dužničke krize, to se odlučuje na vijeću socijalne pljačke, najveće preraspodjele bogatstva od dna do vrha društvene hijerarhije. To je u Njemačkoj, u Frankfurtu, gdje je sjedište Evropske središnje banke u Parizu u Aneksu Međunarodnog monetarnog fonda, u Briselu, sjedištu Evropske unije.
Danas, u Evropi i u gradovima razvijenog kapitalizma, oružana borba je potrebnija nego ikad. Da uništi kapital Evropske Unije, da potkopa sustav koji prolazi kroz najveću krizu u svojoj povijesti.Borba je danas objašnjena primjerima svih onih koji su u prijašnjim vremenima dali svoje živote ili pretrpjeli zatvor i ostali nepokolebljivi.
Cijena Ulrike Meinhof
Cijena u gluho doba društvene i klasne borbe
Cijena se ne kaje.
Nikos Maziotis član Revolucionarne borbe Zatvor Diavaton