Contra Info is an international multi-language counter-information and translation node, an infrastructure maintained by anarchists, anti-authoritarians and libertarians who are active in different parts of the globe. More »
Contra Info is an international multi-language counter-information and translation node, an infrastructure maintained by anarchists, anti-authoritarians and libertarians who are active in different parts of the globe. More »
Anarchist Panagiotis (Panos) Aspiotis was wanted since March 2013 on firearms possession charges (“violation of the Arms Act”). In October 2015, he appeared voluntarily before the authorities. He was remanded and sent to a prison located far from Athens (his former residence). During these months in prison, he has refused to give the police a DNA sample.
On Saturday, February 6th 2016, Panos Aspiotis was transferred from Nafplion prison to Athens, where he is scheduled to appear before the investigating judge Eftichis Nikopoulos (special appellate judge against terrorism) on Monday the 8th. The comrade was expected to be moved to Koridallos prison, but was brought to the Prisoner Transfer Division instead. He was separated from other prisoners and taken into a cell without surveillance cameras, where he was attacked by hooded cops of the anti-terrorist unit, who tried to take a sample of his DNA by force. He was beaten and kicked repeatedly in the head, ribs and body. The comrade resisted their first attempt by swallowing the DNA swab. The cops continued beating him, even after they forcibly took DNA sample from him.
SOLIDARITY WITH ANARCHIST PRISONER PANOS ASPIOTIS.
Received February 4th:
We hung a banner in solidarity with Sean Swain’s struggles against the prison system in Ohio. Despite repeatedly being transferred and having his communications cut off, Sean remains uncompromising in his pursuit of freedom, putting his life on the line in struggle against the state. We keep his words and deeds with us as we carry out our own struggles against prison society.
Fundraising, letters, demonstrations, banners, graffiti, and direct attacks form a bright tapestry of revolutionary solidarity. Let’s always be searching for new ways to break down the isolation of imprisonment and build complicity through the prison walls.
Submitted to Return Fire in the last month of 2015, as part of the challenge to create diverse Black December activities. Return Fire take full responsibility for delaying publication while we awaited corrections, which we now amended into the text and formated for release. Big love from our trench to the comrades standing proud in the Turin courts around this very time. Shouts to the fighters who carry on beyond the Black December timeframe and harry the dominators in all corners of our lives. Freedom. R.F.
– solidarity with Silvia, Costa & Billy
Note from Return Fire: We transcribed the following essay, submitted by ‘Radical Interference’, which unfortunately cannot fit into our upcoming Volume 3 (Winter 2015-2016). We are happy to see that the invitation from the Greek dungeons for a Black December campaign (to re-intensify our insurrectionary fervour while not forgetting to “exchange experiences and rationales around various topics of struggle”) was taken up in this form, so as to broaden and develop the offensive against modern domination. Solidarity and strength to Silvia, ‘Costa‘, ‘Billy‘, Marco, Adrián, Nicola and Alfredo, and to the rest of the comrades in our struggle. In the spirit of ‘Avalon’; always present in our memories and active hands. Let’s extend the energy of Black December beyond the New Year, through the trial that starts in January and the proposed week of mobilisation, and onwards on the path of total liberation. Winter Solstice, 2015
INTRODUCTION AND DEDICATION IN ANTICIPATION OF THE TRIAL ON 13th JANUARY 2016
At this time, as the wheels of this monstrous society continue to grind on, and the scattered insurgents make to throw what they can beneath the tracks to slow it down in whatever way, we are left with some questions. These are questions that, in our opinion, deserve more thought and provocation than they usually assume in the circles of anarchists, rebels and land-defenders. Namely; it is clear that mobilisations (independent of any timeframe), such as those for our imprisoned or fallen, are a practical necessity in order to constitute diverse forces that are ready to face and understand the consequences of any struggle that materially contests the ruling order; in other words, so that repression lessens in its power to stop us in our own tracks.
However, before the usual propaganda and agitation that takes aim at agents or facades of the state, at the prison-industrial complex and its readily-identifiable mercenaries, the bigger question is: what exactly is captivity, today? What is domination, in its most contemporary sense? What facilitates these abominable things, which naturally our passions are also fully inclined to assault?
Scratch the surface of everyday life in the (especially Northern-)European metropolis and the territories that feed them, and the material gears that form that ‘Great Cage’ can still be plainly seen if you know where to look; CCTV cameras being only the tip of the technological iceberg. But already, works are underway to make the chains that bind us less immediately perceivable; yet all the more comprehensive.
In this essay, we will be speaking about a project, a threat, that, it must be remembered, has not yet come to pass in its depicted scope. This carries not a few problems; the techno-critical sphere is already frequently wracked by morbid fascination with the most fantastic projections from the mouthpieces of those developers of domination. A potential fault of this over-activity of the imagination is a kind of self-paralysis, and the needless spread of debilitating fear among those with whom we are reaching for through our publications and communiques. Basically, falling for the hype of techno-science, and acting as if the worst were already here, we terrorise ourselves and those who would like to act – often at the expense of adequately assessing the technologies that are already with us, and studying their flaws and openings for disabling. This detrimental habit is augmented by a deleterious hostility towards the critiques of technological-industrial society, that is still sadly shown by many sectors of the more-or-less radical oppositional tendencies of the world.
With this in mind, throughout what follows, the strongest impression we would like to impart would be – cracks still exist in the walls that surround us, and will continue to…. if we seek them out and force them open. As the glut of action from all across the world in this month alone shows, and from a wealth of perspectives and targeting, the attack is not only feasible, but ever-present. The reason we find it important to dedicate this amount of words to the topic in hand is, simply, that these spaces for insurrection and creation are however diminishing, and it is (understandable fear of) the technological apparatus of modernity and its powers of surveillance, regulation and investigation that is largely responsible. In fact, history regularly teaches us that once designed and perfected, it is usually a matter of time before any given innovation in the hands of the ruling order is deployed to its full and repressive potential; to the degree that the rulers can afford and believe they can get away with. The question is when, not if.
Moveover, if we take a deeper view of technological systems, as being culturally manifest also through the behaviour and conditioning of their human conduits, we can see that the populations in many parts of the world are becoming groomed and prepared to accept (if not actively carry out) what we at least see as great challenges to our rebel drives in our times. Thinking back to how proletarianised the unfolding of the industrial revolution, urbanisation and pacification of the last few centuries has already left us, a prime concern for those who value agency and ability apart from the cloying traps that are set in our way must be to prevent an even more profound disempowerment.
Thus, we’re conscious of the risk of hyperbole, but convinced that ours is the challenge to go up against the transforming field of domination, before we are overrun. To see, with clear eyes and a ready hand, what we as excluded, deskilled, but most of all as aspiring oppositional forces, are and will be faced with.
Furthermore, we are considering this topic at a time when Costantino ‘Costa’ Ragusa, Silvia Guerini and Luca ‘Billy’ Bernasconi are soon to stand trial together for the second time. In 2010 they were intercepted by the forces of law as they went equipped, as Earth Liberation Front–Switzerland, to attack the nano-technology centre that IBM (a global computing major) were then building with the Federal Polytechnic University of Zürich. Now back in Italy following years of incarceration, inter-prison hunger-strikes and lucid defiance, they will be prosecuted, on charges with “terrorism” enhancements, for preparing for that same explosive/incendiary action from “Italian” soil. All three have not stopped defending the necessity of direct action against the expanding techno-sphere, whether during the Swiss trial or upon release and deportation.
Like them, we want to see the active celebration (and thus, defence and extension) of what is still wild in this world expanded to include what is profoundly and immediately threatened by the latest technocratic toxicity, broadening the usual rubric of “radical-ecological” discourse; and it is to Costa, Silvia and Billy that this text is dedicated.
….“Nano-biotechnologies are the latest path beaten by the techno-industrial capitalist system in the plunder and devastation of the Earth. These paths, like all the previous ones (think of the Industrial Age), are presenting as miracles what we can easily imagine are destined to turn into nightmares. These technologies are born from the new vision of the world of the computer era that has substituted the mechanistic one of levers and gears with a mathematical one of information bits, where the whole of reality must fit into one algorithm. This new vision has now taken root as it is more suited to the needs of the present system. In asserting itself, it has opened up hitherto undreamed possibilities for science to carry out what the moment and self-cannibalism of the system are urgently pressing it to do: appropriate everything in the universe and break it down into its smallest, infinitesimal components, into ‘bits’. In other words, to achieve some universal basic unit with which scientists can reduce the whole of the existent to a level of interchangeability and equivalence, so that through the engineering of this new (inaccessible up until now) raw material it will be able to make anything in the universe usable for the needs of power. These technologies are therefore the pillars upon which the system will be able to re-arrange the processes of production and supply that are vital to its growth, a growth to infinity on a planet that has already been plundered beyond the limits of its possibilities. And, as in the case of GMOs [Genetically Modified Organisms], the convergence of the sciences is the latest promise of a development trend that is supposed to tackle the ecological crisis that ecocidal progress itself has taken us to”….
(Billy, Costa, Silvia)
Innovators in the computing world are promising a new industrial revolution in the coming years. One that would transform science, technology and society – indeed, even the biological reality of human being on the planet. A planet whose organic flows and cycles are already totally reeling and undermined with catastrophic effects, exactly due to the cancerous way of life which resulted from the last industrial revolution. Nano-technology, the applied science of manipulating matter at a scale that is far past microscopic, plays an indispensable role for the emerging era. Beyond redesigning the gene structure of living creatures, techno-science also now redesigns the molecular structure itself to give new forms and materials. At the nano-level, entirely different properties and reactions (for example those of say, gold) come into play than would have when in molecularly-undisturbed forms. The hopes of the industrial leaders are in the wide range of new applications and abilities that nano-scale modification can bring to almost any matter, from manufacturing incredibly light and strong metals, to injecting nano-machines into the human blood stream to treat the diseases of civilisation, to synthesizing fuel sources. Add to this the predictions of being able to “edit” living DNA, as well as radically redesign current objects and processes, and the outpouring of homilies to this-or-that novel structure of the near-future are never-ending.
One of the more tangible widespread applications of nano-technology (which, despite the horrific implications and cataclysmic predictions you can easily find in a short web search, mainly has thus far remained temporarily in the field of cosmetics, sprays of nano-particles for automobiles, anti-bacterial screens etc.) is in the field of computing. Albert Swiston, of the Lincoln Laboratory, made the following predictions on the future of computing and nano-tech:
….“You might look at a future where you don’t have computers at all. The computing power you need is just woven into the fabric of your shirt, or maybe it is in your ring, or your watch. Maybe that device connects automatically to some screen next to you, or some projector you carry with you. Maybe you won’t even need a display – it will just get piped straight into your eyeballs”….
(Albert jointly led a project to infuse micro-particles with nano-crystals, invisible to the naked eye, to combat counterfeiting of currency, luxury goods and electronics, to protect the flows of wealth and capital.)
The major corporations in the computing field have been working at the nano-level for many years; certainly not limited to the aforementioned torch-bearers at IBM. To take Hewlett-Packard as another example; the nano-technology team of their advanced research arm HP Labs boasts a long history of scientific breakthroughs, major patents and seminal publications in its field. Nano-mechanics are a main area of interest to HP Labs; they are developing ever-smaller and more sensitive micro-mechanical sensors and actuators. They pride themselves on blazing a trail for computing beyond the silicon of conventional electronics into the realm of molecular-scale electronics and nano-scale structures with whole new properties and applications. But what does all this mean, beyond faster operating systems and communications?
….“First, our world is becoming instrumented. The transistor, invented 60 years ago, is the basic building block of the digital age. Today, there are nearly a billion transistors per human, each one costing one ten-millionth of a cent. There are 4 billion mobile phone subscribers, and 30 billion radio frequency identification tags produced globally. Because of their increasing sophistication and low cost, these chips, sensors and devices give us, for the first time ever, real-time instrumentation of a wide range of the world’s systems – natural and man-made, business and societal”….
….“Second, our world is becoming interconnected. Very soon there will be 2 billion people on the Internet. But that’s just the beginning. In an instrumented world, systems and objects can now “speak” to one another, too. Computational power is being put into things we wouldn’t recognize as computers. Indeed, almost anything – any person, any object, any process or any service, for any organization, large or small – can become digitally aware and networked”….
(Sam Palmisano, while CEO of IBM)
II More »
The big news for today is evidently the verdict of the trial against our comrades who are having their houses taken by eminent domain. Without surprise, the judge refused to transfer the affair, as the defense lawyer had asked, questioning the constitutionality of the trial. The judge declared the farms immediately evictable, along with three families who don’t have their main residence on the zone. He “gave” a two month delay to the others. He did refuse Vinci, whose lawyer had asked for exorbitant daily fines if the families stayed: in this way, the judge puts the concrete responsibility of eviction onto the public powers.
Now it’s up to us to organize for the abandon of the airport project in the coming weeks. We won’t let anyone get evicted and we have every intention to resist together!
General assembly tomorrow at the Vacherit to talk about what’s next and to prepare the big demonstration of February 27th.
So. There’s an anti-nuclear protest site at the west coast of Finland. And it’s holding an action week between 22th of April – 1st of May, 2016, while celebrating its first anniversary of existence. What’s all this about? To put it all in a simple nutshell:
Fennovoima is a Finnish nuclear power company established in 2007 by a consortium of Finnish power and industrial companies thinking it’s a mighty good idea to put up a nuke plant at Pyhäjoki, a small municipality at the west coast of Finland – by any means necessary. Fennovoima’s project nearly faced its much wished-for doom when German energy giant E.ON, the main investor of the project at that time, decided nuclear power is bad business and withdrew its money in 2012.
Rosatom is Russian state corporation: it’s the only vendor in the global markets that offers the nuclear industry’s entire range of products, both civil and weapons. It’s led in an authoritarian manner by a nine-person strong supervisory board, elected single-handedly by President Putin – and naturally, famous for projects riddled with mafia connections, massive delays and accidents.
Fennovoima-Rosatom was born when Rosatom marched in to save Fennovoima: after E.ON left, it was the only investor willing to participate. Fennovoima needed a financial saviour – and Rosatom aimed to polish its reputation with a project in the west. It’s all about the geopolitics, you know: it doesn’t hurt Russia to place a geopolitical footprint to a region close to Nato-favoured NEAT military test area in northern Sweden and of that much-talked about Arctic oil.
The Pyhäjoki protest camp saw daylight on April 2015, when first clear cuts started at Hanhikivi peninsula. While legally shady ”preparing works” advanced, the camp held its ground at the very construction site for five months, blocking the works, causing the local police complaining they haven’t got the resources anymore to deal with the protestors. At the same time newspapers were filled with news of sabotage and general mischief. In September 2015 the eviction of the camp took place, taking a full eight days to get the last climber out. After the eviction the camp relocated to a site offered by a local land owner, roughly 4 km outside the construction site. Direct action and general mischief – still in program.
We know its a bit of a madhouse here, as you get to face with one go the whole current Russian administration, Nato-West, a nuclear energy giant, private security firms and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland. But hey, ho told not to aim high? On April 2016 the camp holds its first anniversary – and it’s time to pump up the gear. To be mad enough to bring the concept of mass civil disobedience to Finland in this scale. The goal is simple: to flood the construction site with people – and hold it as long as possible. May the nearby regions also be filled with all sorts of anti-nuclear, anti-capitalism, pro-all-things-good actions. We tip our hats to diversity of tactics – and summon all of you ecofreaks, antimilitarists and others to join us.
Schedules and infobits:
22-23th of April: Opening party! Music! People! Fun!
26th of April: Chernobyl memorial day – and the big action day. Along the week other activities possible.
1st of May: You get the drift. We bet you do.
For the whole week there will be workshops, lectures and skill sharing stuff to keep you busy.
The conflict against RWE at hambacher forest has intensified with every day since the beginning of this new year.
Many individuals embracing a diverse variety of tactics have been hard at work bringing anarchic mischief to the mine.
Some elements of practical refusal from the occupiers of the forest include:
* The continuous barricading of the roads used by security and construction vehicles, as well as structural damage to the bridges they use with fire and pick axes.
*Tree-spiking and the placement of “potential improvised explosive devices” in threatened areas of the forest, as well as more and more barricades, platforms and tree-defenses deeper in the woods.
*The technological apparatus of RWE such as pumping stations, radio-masts and electrical transformers being set aflame almost daily.
*Sabotage of coal-transportation infrastructure, such as short circuiting the power lines running above the train tracks and burning of electrical components alongside the railway.
*Numerous attacks with stones, slingshots, fireworks and molotov cocktails against the mines security forces, either ambushed on their patrols, or directly confronted at checkpoints. Many of these acts have now been carried out in revenge for the attempted murder, hospitalization and subsequent imprisonment of one comrade on the 21st of January.
Of course this has not gone unnoticed by the cops, who have openly acknowledged the area surrounding the mine as “outlaw territory”. For over a week now, surveillance of the forest occupation has increased, with helicopters hovering above for some time almost every day, and sending groups of cops in riot armor into the forest. They also make many attempts to ID-control people who are coming to the forst from the train station.
It should go without saying that we will not be intimidated by the presence of some vans of cops, skirting fearfully around the woods. Every time, the helicopter has been greeted routinely with fireworks, and one cop car which ventured a little too deep into the autonomous zone was smashed up, as was the vehicle sent to retrieve it.
Day and night, we lay in the woods, watching, waiting, ready to strike at any moment, and should you imprison or strike down any one of us, as you now well know, there will be consequences, here in Germany, or anywhere else in the world where RWE spreads its sickening tentacles.
It is now of importance to address that of course RWE is not just responsible for opencast lignite mining and deforestation in the Rheinland in Germany, RWE, its subsidiaries and accomplices are to be found everywhere. Their projects, their offices, their cars, their machinery, our targets, are to be found everywhere.
They are responsible for the running of coal mining operations worldwide, such as the collaboration with Hrvatska Elektroprivreda to run the Plomin coal-fired power station in Croatia, the lignite and gas-fired Mátra Power Plant in Hungary, where RWE is the 2nd largest competitor in the national electricity market, with shares in the ELMŐ/ÉMÁSZGroup, FİGÁZ and TIGÁZ. They also seek to expand the development of the coal industry in the Asia-Pacific region with offices opened in Singapore, and operations based out of their offices on the 22nd floor of The Plaza Office Tower in Jakarta, Indonesia.
RWE also makes a killing (literally) from its part played in the increased development of the atomic menace, running and servicing nuclear power stations across the world, with the collaboration of the Technical Association of Large Power Plant Operators and VGB Power Tech.
And what would RWE be, without its contributions to the industry of hydraulic fracturing and the construction of gas-fired powerplants such as the CCGT power plant in Denizli, Turkey, with the aid of Turcas Petrol and Metka, or increased oil and gas exploration in Poland, under the banner of RWE east, whose central offices are located at Limuzská 12/3135, 100 98 Prague 10, Strasnice, Czech Republic.
RWE Innogy, the subsidiary complicit in the farce of greenwashing industrialism, which boasts of “renewable” or “sustainable” energy operations. With this approach, RWE feeds the insatiable hunger of the industrial leviathan and at the same time satisfies the manufactured needs of those “benevolent” and “conscious” consumers, so that they too may spend all their lives in the glow of artificial light, with dead eyes staring blankly into screens, as they attempt to distance themselves from the harsh realities of the mechanised and systemic dominion that they depend on and contribute to, whilst at the same time sacrificing themselves upon the altar of the “green economy”.
With biomass power plants, solar, wind and hydro farms – all highly dependent on the same ecocidal methods used in their production, operation and maintenance, such as the extraction of rare minerals for circuitry and other sophisticated technologies and the burning of immense amounts of fossil fuels just to keep them in working order and fully integrated into the electrical grid – in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland the USA, and many other countries (which are listed conveniently on their website, along with the locations of their offices and so on).
RWE are also working together with Siemens to build virtual power plants… “What the fuck is a virtual power plant” you ask?
According to RWEs web page “A virtual power plant is a link-up of small, distributed power stations, like wind farms, CHP units, photovoltaic systems, small hydropower plants and biogas units, but also of loads that can be switched off, in order to form an integrated network. The plants are controlled from one central control room.”
With this, Siemens and RWE seek to create an interconnected, easily controllable and digitalized electrical grid, so that the functioning of capitalism, and the smooth flow of profit and products can be managed with ease, by some cabal of technocrats, plugged in, locked away, working towards the total control and destruction and of the natural environment which all life is dependant on.
In the words of Siemens-puppet Thomas Zimmermann: “With this technologically leading system, RWE will be well equipped to meet the challenges of an increasingly digitalised energy world.”
RWE is also making major contributions towards the approaching technological singularity, which seeks to encompass all aspects of life under one suffocating, automated, artificial reality. With the aid of its research project “E-DeMa”, they are working on projects such as “smart homes” and “smart meters”, so that each individual/familial consumer-unit is completely integrated into the automated capitalist-industrial machine.
Plugged in permanently one can use their “smart” phone to manage their levels of electricity consumed, turn heating and lights on and off whilst slaving away at some mindless job, simultaneously booking in appointments and sending “emoticons” to their so-called “friends” on disgracebook, ordering the latest automated vacuum cleaner to keep the prison-home sterilized, all from the comfort of your place of employment-imprisonment, working for digital money, to spend on mind numbing drugs and healthcare, and the latest distraction, all kept safe and secure under the surveillance of countless corporations, working hand-in-glove to spy on, collect and database every aspect of your life… all this for your security, all this in the name of convenience.
Of course this dystopian vision of the future offered by RWE and the nerds of the techno-industrial system is only available for those those eager to comply and bend themselves to the will of another, and those privileged enough that the increased development of this technologically driven society has not already landed them in prison or some distant mass grave.
We conclude this text with a call out to all cells and chaotic individualities tending towards the international anarchist offensive against power, for the direct attack against RWE, its subsidiaries, its partners such as Siemens and VGB Power Tech and their projects.
Our targets are everywhere. Opportunities present themselves everywhere.
From expensive, isolated and indefensible pieces of infrastructure on the edges of the prison-cities, such as power lines, substations, transformers, wind/solar/hydro farms and so on, which if destroyed will all have a wide knock-on effect, to the densely packed clusters of targets in cities, such as offices and groups of vehicles parked outside, CCTV surveillance cameras, telekomm masts and electrical boxes full of fibreoptic cables line the streets, begging to be sabotaged, shattering the hold of civil normality for a time, perhaps long enough that some will look away from their glowing screens and see the fire of chaotic anarchy on the streets. With a little research, the homes of the technocrats are uncovered, and their daily lives can be ruptured at any moment, their ostentatious cars burning on their driveway, windows shattering in the night.
With easily reproducible and simple methods elaborated in the numerous communiques of anarchist action cells, such as the placement of a single firelighter cube, or the indiscriminate application of bolt cutters, crowbars, rocks, hammers and molotov cocktails, our targets are all too easily destroyed.
Our targets are everywhere. Our tools are many, and the automatons of order cannot be everywhere at once.
In solidarity with imprisoned warrior Fledermaus.
For international coordination and combative anarchy!
Translations are welcomed.
– Some anarchist
Squatters of London Action Paper (SLAP!) is a new London freesheet for squat news, actions, history and events. Paper copies soon available at Freedom Bookshop in Whitechapel and 56a Infoshop in Elephant and Castle. (Read Slap! First issue pdf)
We are pleased to announce our Winter European Speaking Tour across France, the Basque Country & Spain.
Friday 29th January – Dijon | 7pm | Eternel Detour, 16ter rue de Fontaine-lès-Dijon, Dijon
Saturday 30th January – Grenoble | 12pm | Parpaing Paillette, 104 avenue Ambroise Croizat, Saint Martin D’here
Saturday 30th January – Lyon | 8pm | l’Atelier des Canulars Canulars Workshop, 91 rue Montesquieu, Lyon
Sunday 31st January – Marseille | 7pm | Le Raccoon, Place du Lycée Thiers, Marseille
Monday 1st February – Toulouse | 5.30pm | Self-managed Social Centre of Toulouse (CREA)
Wednesday 3rd February – Pamplona | 6pm | Iruñeko Gaztetxea, Konpania Kalea, 3, Pamplona
Thursday 4th February – San Sebastian | 12pm | EHU Gipuzkoako Kanpusa, Donostia
Thursday 4th February – Zarautz | 8.30pm | Putzuzulo, 20800 Zarautz
Saturday 6th February – Bilbao | 5pm | Izar Beltz Social Centre, Bilbao
Sunday 7th February – Gijon | 5pm | Centru Social La Llume. C/Nava 1 (Esq. Avenida de Portugal), Xixón, Asturies
About the Talks
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) was the most powerful and effective international grassroots animal liberation campaign the world has ever seen. After more than a decade of using innovative and groundbreaking activism against Europe`s largest animal testing laboratory HLS, the campaign finally ended in 2014, following years of state repression and the imprisonment of dozens of activists.
This presentation will analyse and critically reflect on the history, tactics and repression of the SHAC campaign. It will look at the importance of SHAC and what can be learned from the successes and failures of the campaign. There will be discussion of the use and effects of repression on the animal liberation movement and how this is affecting our activism today. We will learn about the importance of solidarity and understanding the role of the state when fighting dominant industries and how we can work differently to make our activism more sustainable and resilient to repression in future. The presentation will include the personal stories of one of the SOCPA7 defendants and an ex-prisoner from one of the earlier Conspiracy to Blackmail cases.
There will also be information on the ongoing SHAC case against Sven and Natasha, who are currently waiting to be extradited to the UK for their trial and face up to 14 years in prison.
For more info:
Received January 25th:
18.1 – 24.1.2016: Loads of JCDecaux bus stops along one of the busiest roads in Helsinki were painted with ZAD slogans.
We want to express our solidarity to the defenders of the ZAD and also our indignation towards the French media that is spreading anti-ZAD propaganda.
There won’t be an airport!
This Friday, January 22nd, at dawn, people decided to blockade the road passing through the middle of the construction site for the new Eurorennes train station and in front of the women’s prisons’ main entrance.
Bins were overturned, oil spilled and the following text plastered on the jail walls and site fences:
This morning, we’re blocking this road with help from some bins tipped over and spilled oil…
Because “the city of tomorrow”, wedged between the business district’s megalomaniac construction site that is Euro-Rennes, its future LGV high-speed rail and Europe’s largest women’s prison, represents itself exactly as dreamt up in the offices of Rennes Métropole’s project.
Because we don’t have the same dreams.
Because a few minutes of congestion will always be derisory compared to the hours, months and years spent in cages. That these few minutes enable anyone to lift their head from their daily routine and realise it.
Because it makes us laugh when we imagine a prison guard having a hard time going home after spending the night locking people up, or a yuppie missing their €120 TGV for their business meeting in Paris.
Because on the other side of this road Euro-Rennes kick out the poor to build hotels, offices, alternative cinemas, lofts and trendy bars. That the computer-generated images, which flourish on the neighbourhood’s giant billboards, give an idea of the population on the make: young suited tie-wearers, very white, very rich, hurriedly walking on the slick walkways.
Because they want the whole city to resemble this, and this makes us puke.
This morning, we’re blocking this road.
Because only a few kilometres from here, at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, the State and Vinci want to build an airport. They’ve decided to evict those who oppose it today, as tomorrow – with their planes and runways – they intend to evict those who don’t have the right papers.
Because the State everywhere imposes its projects by money, cops and media propaganda, always crushing the poorest and undesirables in the process. With the state of emergency, it gives itself the means to again unleash a little more.
Because right now, loads of people are mobilising against the airport and its world, multiplying the actions, and we want to contribute. It is possible to fight, everywhere and directly, in different ways, as a few or as many, against these institutional structures and these companies that spoil our lives.
Because this world that they’re building isn’t ours, and we don’t intend to let them do so.
We prefer a thousand times over a lively neighbourhood where we meet, we give each other a helping hand and we sound off with neighbours on a scrap of wild wasteland over a bbq; to a parade of wheeled suitcases dragging their suits on the video-surveilled tarmac.
We prefer a thousand times over spaces where we’re experimenting with ways of living, residing, feeding ourselves, fighting and relating with one another differently; to the prospect of control towers, vast eco-labelled hangars and their gantry vigipirates.
Against the airport and its world, its LGV and its jail.
On January 21st 2016, Maria Theofilou (life companion of imprisoned bank robber Giorgos Petrakakos; sister of anarchist communist prisoner Tasos Theofilou) was released from Koridallos prison under restrictive conditions: monetary bail of 5,000 euros and obligation to report to her nearest police station twice a month.
Received January 24th:
In mid-January Fennovoima-Rosatom announced that their geopolitically and environmentally funky plan to build this Putin’s own little western nuclear power plant is running and sticking with set timetables ”just as planned”. Well. How to put this nicely and in a constructive manner? (And on second thought: why should we even bother to try?)
It’s naturally easy for one to say that things and timetables are advancing ”just as planned” – when every single time something fails, delays and in general fucks itself up this creative conglomerate simply deletes the original date and copy pastes in a new one. (I mean, it isn’t strictly lying, isn’t it: to promise that one will stick with a timetable?) Everybody’s happy – and especially those Finnish tax payers, that’s for sure!
Let’s give you guys a couple of examples. During spring 2015 Fennovoima-Rosatom announced that the fencing surrounding and locking up the area of this planned nuke plant of doom would be perfectly finished on May 2015. Well, despite the hard working of the Lithuanian cheap labour shipped in they had almost finished erecting it on September 2015. On a similar tone the work for the planned harbour of this plant of doom – deep enough to offer nesting space for any given Russian warship, believe me – was declared to start on June 2015. Some brave words about ”hundreds of workers” earning their bucks around the site during that summer were also mentioned.
Well, they almost got that one right, too. Almost. In that June 2015 Fennovoima-Rosatom did not even have the needed permissions to start even the dredging works – with that one they only could move on at September 2015. The harbour work itself is still just words on a paper, as are the mentioned brave words about ”hundreds of workers” – I bet we all know how they like to pretend these projects are always just about ”creating jobs”.
What is now been done at the Hanhikivi Peninsula are the infamous ”preliminary” or ”preparing works”, groundlaying and stone setting that, unlike the nuke plant of doom itself, do have a permission to proceed – thanks to a certain Minister wined and dined well in Moscow (try asking him about these trips in an interview and oh man, there’s a blush) and a few carefully commissioned municipality characters. Building permit for the plant itself, then again, is another story: Fennovoima-Rosatom has not even filed for it yet. The application for the permit is still work under construction. (Yes, I repeat: they are laying the ”preparing works” before anyone’s even bothered to apply for a building permit for that nucleat power plant – but surely there’s no corruption in Finland and everything’s done by the book, as always?)
The beauty of the current situation is the vulnerability of the construction site itself. What’s been done there now is a big-scale landfill operation – and there’s only one road sturdy enough to carry those big-ass vehicles in and out of the site. So imagine what happens when someone by some mens brings that road to a halt? Well. The whole shit stops from rolling.
And that’s what we did on 22th of January. Some concerned citizens climbed on to trucks doing the deliveries, putting it all to a total halt. And we think we’re gonna keep on doing this for a bit longer. More info coming in later, as per usual.
10:30 AM police had detained both of our photographers from the scene. One was following the unrolling event from the forest side of things and another about 50 metres away from the event site, standing at a side of a public bicycling road. Conclusion: they do like censorship in here, and they do not like to end up in social media.
11:30 AM more police cars and another cherry picker were brought in. Soon after the protestor sitting on top of a truck was taken down and detained.
12:30 PM one protestor is still at it. He has lingered into the structures of the crane vehicle and refuses to come out. Around 11 AM police gave an ultimatum: “come out voluntarily or we will have to hurt you”. They started driving the vehicle on walking speed to a parking spot at the roadside and killed the engine. Police has grabbed gloves and some other pieces of clothing from the protestor, trying to literally freeze him out. it’s currently -5C out here, plus the lovely sea breeze.
1 PM The police arrived to the site from 10 AM on. Approximately 10.15 AM a selection of more high-ranking Fennovoima-Rosatom boss representatives arrived: white helmets and sparkling clean high-vis clothes that haven’t seen a day of work gathered to have a pow-wow with the police. At 10.30 AM a humly saying expensive looking SUV arrived, spitting out a grumpy and confusing fella with civi clothes and a big “ROSATOM” -text at the back of his jacket: maybe he was just confused that protestors are not simply being shot or taken out by proper OMON troops?
Summary in German
Received January 23rd:
To the defenders of the ZAD,
Solidarity from anarchists in so-called ‘Melbourne, Australia’- the never-ceded indigenous land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, stolen and occupied by the genocidal settler-colonial state.
In response to recent threats of violent eviction by the French State, actions were taken at several locations in Melbourne, the city built on the stolen lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, in colonised Australia. The actions targetted the French consulate and offices of companies of the VINCI corporate-family linked to the proposed destruction of land at the Zone-A-Defendre [Zone to Defend].
The French consulate was attacked with paint and its locks were stuffed and glued.
For information see zad.nadir.org
After the major offensive on Rigaer 94 by 500 cops, SEK, a K-9 unit and a helicopter, the northKiez of Friedrichshain is still under siege. There are constant controls all around Rigaerstraße and the streets are patrolled by massive swathes of cops.
We take the attack on the night of 13.01.2016 on Rigaer 94 and the assault on Liebig34 on the same evening as an attack on all of us! It is an affront to all of us that resist, organise, plan, act and network every day; against all those that cannot pay their rents anymore and get displaced.
To the cops and politicians speculation to be able to force us into capitulation and resignation by repression we respond: Forget it! We will not yield a centimeter! Now more than ever!
We are calling everyone, to go out on the streets with us on February 6th to fight against ‘danger zones’, police terror and displacement.
Call to action:
Saturday 6th February 2016 | Berlin
Gathering at 16:00 in front of Wagenplatz Rummelplatz, Gürtelstrasse 26
Demonstration at 17:00 (be on time!)
Yesterday (21.01.2016) RWE security guards hit activists with a car as the latter were defending the ancient forest against logging operations (see video below). Two activists were kidnapped. One was successfully de-arrested, the other, Fledermaus, was beaten and handed over to the police, accused of assault, and will likely stay imprisoned in Aachen for the next 3-4 weeks at least. The arrestee was not given medical treatment and is suffering from severe back pain, whilst not revealing his identity to the authorities.
You can send him letters to this adress:
In the video, activists can be seen driving the logging operations out of the site, and then being scattered by a security SUV zigzagging on the bridge towards them. Activists say stones were thrown in both directions.
In other news, EmmA was released from prison today. He reports: “The prison walls are covered with Hambi Forst Bleibt! [Hambacher Forest remains] graffiti and the inmates I spoke to are in solidarity with our struggle. Prison is shit but the forests are stronger than its walls. I feel good, and ready to go back to the forest, to defend what is wild by all means necessary.”
RWE is the gravedigger of Rhineland.
Show solidarity! Come into the forest. Join the Action Week (January 22th – 31th, 2016)
January 21st via Hambacher Forest:
Several activists blocked the way and initially made the RWE people leave the forest. Shortly afterwards it came to clashes between security guards and the activists. Objects such as stones flew in both directions. Then one of the security guards of RWE cried to his colleagues: “Out the way, out the way, I‘m gonna run‘em over!”, climbed into a jeep and drove high speed to the activists. They tried to dodge the car, then he weaved his way from side to side over the entire width of the road. He injured several activists.
Two security guards rushed towards the activists and arrested two of them, which could be freed by a quick intervention. One activist who was too injured by the jeep, was unable to escape. He was laying on the earth, was caught by security guards, dragged into the back of their jeep and was kidnapped. A short time later an ambulance came into the forest…
The mobilisation in recent days has been tremendous: thanks to the strength of the demonstration on Nantes’ outskirts, but also due to the actions and gatherings multiplying in dozens of other French cities. It’s clear that the anti-airport movement is denser and livelier than ever. This is because it’s become emblematic of so many other struggles against social and environmental destruction, the loss of agricultural land, climate change, the commodification of land and our lives. It’s also because it sprouts the discovery of inhabiting the world in other ways.
However the government confines itself in its deafness. The farmers and inhabitants of the zad are still threatened by eviction. The beginning of the airport project work is still announced in the short term.
The movement therefore calls for the continuation of actions for the coming weeks, and to pay particular attention to the judgement handed down on January 25th.
All components of the struggle also call for a day of massive mobilisation on February 27th. This mobilisation will be under the banner of stopping eviction threats against farmers and inhabitants of the zad, as well as the airport project’s definitive abandonment.
We invite all committees and supporters to very strongly mobilise from now for this date. We appeal for you all to give it the widest possible diffusion starting from today. We invite everyone from the region, from all corners of the hexagon [of France], and beyond, to organise convoys and buses to reach this big mobilisation.
The forms and meet ups for the 27th February will be defined by the movement depending on the context. A more precise call-out will come following the outcome of the trial on January 25th.
Those who cultivate and live on the zad will never leave! There will never be an airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes!
The General Assembly of the movement, January 19th
Next general assembly of preparation for the February 27th mobilisation: Tuesday 26th January at 8pm, at the Vacherit. Meet up at 7pm to prepare the assembly.
In its mad race for profits, capitalism throws more and more people into precariousness and makes our environment increasingly unliveable. Faced with scolding anger and misery sown into anything that goes, the state invests in maintaining order and builds new prisons.
At a time when the people are constrained to tighten their belts, the government finds billions to strain us even more by building high-tech prisons, where it experiments with new forms of torture (sensory and human contact deprivation)
For the ruling class, the advantage is twofold: the construction contracts provides its juicy profits and security apparatus, thereby ultra-developed, allows it to maintain its privileges and to perpetuate this oppressive and destructive system.
The federal government’s Masterplan foresees the construction of seven new prisons in Belgium. One of them, the maxi-prison, crystallizes opposition in recent years. The government plans to build this mammoth prison on the Keelbeek site, in Haren, located on the northern outskirts of Brussels.
A few statistics of the maxi-prison project:
Since the announcement of the maxi-prison construction, the reactions are numerous. In Haren, the neighbourhood committee informs inhabitants and mobilises itself against the project. On the streets of Brussels, the maxi-prison revives anti-prison rage and well inspired groups strive to end the project through a series of direct actions. In Anderlecht, [Le Passage], a local space of struggle against the maxi-prison is open to inform, discuss and organise itself.
During the summer of 2014, the Keelbeek site was occupied to prevent the project’s progress. The Haren ZAD (Zone to Defend) was born. Among the tree houses and vegetable garden, the opponents experimented with another lifestyle, self-managed and solidarity based. The site occupation ended in September 2015, following the forceful eviction of occupants, conducted by Brussels police. But even today, a rebellious handful occupy a site adjacent to Keelbeek and several of Haren’s abandoned houses.
This growing popular unrest upset the government’s plans who let its pack of guard dogs loose in an attempt to stifle dissent. Numbers of struggling comrades experienced raids, tailing, wiretapping, intimidation and infiltration attempts. But faced with the determination and solidarity, the repression proves to be powerless.
On May 20th 2015, the consultation committee’s public hearing was held regarding the maxi-prison project in Haren. The committee’s opinion wasn’t even binding, the referendum farce didn’t deceive many people. The same day, around a dozen people therefore decided to express their opposition to the project, outside of Power’s marked paths, and manifest within the Building Agency. The maxi-prison model, exhibited in the entrance hall, is destroyed during the action.
This institution, the Buildings Agency, corrupted up to its neck, is responsible for managing the Belgian State’s property assets and coordinating the construction of new prisons. Without waiting for permits, the Buildings Authority tried to repeatedly start work on the Keelbeek site. But each time, construction machinery was fended off by opponents.
While its project is threatened from all sides, Power seizes this opportunity, in an attempt to weaken the resistance, and now four of us find ourselves on the judicial bench for “organised destruction of personal property”. This is the first trial of an action against the maxi-prison. Following a postponement, the first hearing is set for January 22nd 2016 in the Brussles Law Courts. For this type of act, the anticipated penalties range from 1 to 5 years imprisonment, while the Buildings Agency are claiming €40,000 in damages and interests.
Far from paralysing us, this trial is an opportunity to reaffirm our anti-authoritarian stance against all forms of power, whether political, media or judicial. They’re part of the problem, not the solution. And with your complicity, this trial will be another opportunity to throw some paving stones on the prison morass and to make slip a few cogs in the machine.
Let’s continue the struggle against prisons and the world they protect!
And to manage the legal costs, we also call for your financial solidarity.
If you collect a few coins by scraping the bottom of your pockets, or passing a collection pot at your activist meet ups, then thanks for bunging them this way: BE66 5230 4745 8943 (bank account number in the name of “soutien procès maquette” [model trial support])
Brick by brick
January 18th 2016
Happy New Year, Family and Friends! Many, many thanks for so much support and care over this year from both long-standing friends and new pen pals. I feel very grateful and am always humbled by the encouragement and resources sent my way by folks who are doing so much already to increase our collective chances for survival. The news has been full of stories about someone winning the big money pool that has accumulated for the US Lotto – but the most important “win” has nothing to do with money. I am betting on the movement to win big this year: in getting more control over their communities and defending against police brutality and racial inequality, in winning more victories for animal and in the defense of wild spaces, in creating social relations based on respect, dignity and compassion for all people… irregardless of their race, orientation, creed or gender presentation.
Thank you for coming together today, to hold up those members of our community who struggle so hard behind walls to keep their sense of self intact. Sovereignty over our selves, our bodies is essential for any other kind of liberty to be possible. By reaching out to trans prisoners, you affirm their right to define themselves for themselves – and defend them against the overwhelming voices who claim that they do not exist, that they must allow others to define them. In the isolating environment of prison, this is toxic and intimidating, and amounts to the cruelest form of psychological torture. By offering your help and solidarity, you may just save a life. I know that for the last year and a half, as I have struggled to assert myself as a transman, as I have advocated for the relief of appropriate medical care for my gender dysphoria – it has been the gentle and loving reminders of my extended family of supporters who have given me strength and courage to continue. Please join me in offering this help to so many others who need it to keep going. Never underestimate the healing power of a letter, those letters have kept me going…and I want to pass that gift on, if you will help me.
Thank you again for coming together on this day, for connecting to those on the inside who truly need you, who need you to see them as they really are and striving to be. Until the prisons are gone, we need to work hard to support those of us inside – especially those of us who are not always as visible to the rest of the world. We are always stronger together.
Contra Info 2016
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