I hate the individual who bends his body under the weight of an unknown power, of some X, of a god.
I hate, I say, all those who, surrendering to others, out of fear, out of resignation, a part of their power as a man, are not only crushed themselves but crush me, and those I love, under the weight of their frightful cooperation or their idiotic inertia.
I hate, yes, I hate them, for I sense it, I do not bow before the officer’s braid, the mayor’s sash, the capitalist’s gold, moralities or religions; for a long time I have known that all of this is just baubles that can be broken like glass.
— Joseph Albert (Libertad)
There are times in history when the randomness of some events can cause dynamic variables, able to almost entirely paralyse the social space-time.
It was Saturday night, on 06/12/2008, when the culmination of a conflict between two worlds took place in just a few moments. On one hand, the youthful, enthusiastic, spontaneous and impetuous insurrectionary violence; on the other hand, the official state institutional organ that, legitimately, claims the monopoly on violence through repression.
No, it was not about an innocent kid and a paranoid cop found in the wrong place at the wrong time, but a rebellious young comrade who attacked a patrol car, in an area where clashes with the forces of repression were common, and a cop who patrolled the same area and, out of a personal perception about the honour and reputation of the police, decided to confront the troublemakers on his own. It was a conflict between two opposing forces: on one Insurgency, on the other Power, with the main protagonists of this conflict each representing their own sides.
The murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos by the cop Epameinondas Korkoneas, and the large-scale riots that ensued, caused a powerful, high-tension social electroshock, because the image of “social peace” was shattered and the existence of these two opposing worlds was made visible, in the most manifest way, triggering situations from which there was no easy return, at least not without a creation and manifestation of events whose momentum nobody could any longer pretend they did not notice, they did not see, they did not hear, they did not take into account.
The 2008 rebellion rocked a society that, in its majority, still enjoyed their consumerist bliss and the culture of western lifestyle, and ignored the unbearable consequences of the coming economic crisis. It caused embarrassment, numbness and perceptive paralysis, since the majority of the social body was unable to comprehend whence sprang so many thousands of rioters, who were creating disturbances of such a tension.
In the aftermath of the rebellion, a number of intellectuals, political analysts, professors, sociologists, psychologists, criminologists, and even artists, each taking advantage of their own professional prestige and renown, joined the public debate, not only in order to interpret December ’08, but also to de-signify it by slandering its occurrence and condemning violence altogether, from wherever it may come, making it clear what their real social role is.
There is much more to be said about December ’08 and its insurrectionary heritage, as manifested through the dozens of direct action groups which proliferated explosively across the country, creating a front of internal threat. A period when anarchist direct action undermined the social normalcy almost on a daily basis. But what we want above all is to remember…
To remember what December ’08 was and how anarchy, having a leading role, contributed to the manifestation of dynamic situations, which gained resonance in the international anarchist movement.
To remember the time when anarchy overcame the fear of arrest, captivity and violent repression, and therefore acquired a tremendous self-confidence, moving on to actions and gestures that, until then, seemed impossible; a self-confidence which was manifested in the whole range of anarchist polymorphous action, from simple public interventions to all kinds of occupations, and from spontaneous confrontational practices to more organised offensive actions.
We want to remember our young comrade who was guilty of his spontaneity, which he paid with his life. Under other circumstances it might have been us in his place, as the same insurrectionary enthusiasm pervades us since then, and besides, EVERYONE should remember their origins instead of exorcising them.
We want to remember the beauty of paralysing the social space-time through smaller or larger social short circuits.
We want to remember how dangerous anarchy may become, when anarchy wants to…
We want to relive the days when “death shall have no dominion, and dead men naked they shall be one with the man in the wind and the west moon, and they shall break in the sun till the sun breaks down”
(paraphrased verses from a poem by Dylan Thomas).
* * *
This is the way we learn humility.
How many times have people sat
and waited alone in a house
waiting for the comrades
to come back?
The battle is planned
Every minute is accounted for
Every person knows her job
All care has been taken.
Tonight, how many guerrillas are fighting battles?
Tonight, the radio reports
the police are attempting to drive
hundreds of demonstrators back from the streets.
Rocks are flying,
you can hear the chants, the breaking glass,
the sirens behind the nervous newsman’s patter.
Not done yet.
How many have been done before us?
The line stretches back
How many are there still to do?
— The Proud Eagle Tribe of the Weather Underground
Starting with a simple observation, that there is an imperative need to draw a strategy with multifaceted anarchist action at its very core, which will collide head-on with Power and its exponents, we are confident that the contribution of yet another theoretical proposal about anarchist organisation would not be fruitful, if it were to stay within the narrow framework of ideological rigidity. If we don’t attempt to defuse our everyday contradictions through acts that will complement the entirety of liberation struggle, we are doomed to drown in the flood of introversion that pervades anarchist circles.
We believe that in order to work out a strategy – the axes of which affinity groups, polymorphous struggle and constant anarchist insurgency will intersect – our strengths, our momentum, our capabilities and our limits should be put to the test in practice. This way we will be able to set down our rationales based on actual experiences of struggle, and not theoretical acrobatics. We live the beginning of the end of the world as we knew it.
The effort of peaceful settlement of social conflicts on the part of the State is a distant past like that of economic prosperity, the models of state interventionism in economy are thrown into a waste bin – since, nowadays, the domination of multinationals and the possibility of the Capital to overcome national borders without restrictions are being institutionalised by the dominant power centres, the historical narrative of nation-states which served the capitalist development for several decades through national economies is collapsing, the technological fascistisation creates infinite possibilities for the management of human emotions, the ever increasing complexity of the social structure destabilises social automatisms and militarises social life within the metropolises, the machines for the digitisation of life de-innervate the complex critical mode of thinking of human beings and create cemeteries of consciousnesses, the images of human horror are being assimilated in social consciousness and cease to create sentiments beyond the feeling of shock.
We are in the process of a qualitative upgrade of the “civilised warfare,” where one’s happiness coexists with the torment of another; within this new environment, the kind of contemporary humans make their appearance, genetically fit to accept a sick way of life as being obvious, in a degenerate world from which all savageness of nature has disappeared due to urban regeneration and the expansive tendencies of the artificial conditions of civilisation. We live among industrial rodents that are living on a controlled diet, in a controlled environment, and are turned into social role models, after whom we must follow in order to survive.
Within this environment, anarchy acquires a strategic possibility to set fire to all forms of political representation, to become a front of open unorthodox war with domination, which will turn the diversity and pluralism of viewpoints within the anarchist community into an advantage and bring the oppressed – those who decide to break the chains of their submission – together at centres of struggle created. Oftentimes the most important observations are said in the simplest way. We want to see the world of Power get destroyed by the armed hands of rebellious men and women. So, we are overcoming the theoretical shapes, and bring the weight of discourse back to square one, to the point where the stone leaves our hand to end up on the head of a cop, the point where we decide to break the shackles of captivity, the point where subversive disposals are combatively manifested in the streets, the point where the hands of a clockwork device are aligned wanting to blow up the murderous fog of the legal order.
Reversing the predetermined dialogue flow, we do not talk in advance about the way in which we shall act but propose a coordination of anarchist action and an informal networking of anarchist projects through the vivifying strength of polymorphous action; we will thus be able to locate our mistakes and weaknesses while we measure our capabilities so as to make a critical assessment, which will form the foundations of our strategy that will favour the frontal anarchist action against all authority.
Our proposal to place the wager of setting up a multifaceted insurrectionary anarchist front is simple; an action campaign by the name ‘Black December’ which will be the detonator for the restart of anarchist insurgency, inside and outside the prisons.
A month of coordinated actions in order to know each other, take to the streets and smash the displays of department stores, occupy schools, universities and city halls, distribute texts that will spread the message of rebellion, place incendiary devices against fascists and bosses, hang banners on air-bridges and main avenues, flood the cities with posters and flyers, blow up houses of politicians, throw Molotov cocktails at the cops, tag the walls with slogans, sabotage the smooth flow of merchandise amid Christmas, loot the displays of abundance, carry out public activities, and exchange experiences and rationales around various topics of struggle.
To meet each other in narrow urban streets, and paint on the ugly buildings of banks, police stations, multinationals, military camps, television studios, courts, churches, charitable corporate groups with ashes.
To deregulate the deadly social regularity of psychotropic drugs, economic suffocation, misery, impoverishment and depression in a thousand ways, regulating our existence to the rhythms of anarchist insurrection, where life takes on meaning; into the ceaseless battle against domination and its representatives. To set fire to the fragile social cohesion and go out into the streets, being the first to strangle the monster of economy before it exterminates us through its bureaucratic mechanisms and its killers in suits who staff the command centres of the economic warfare.
Black December does not seek merely to become some days of rioting; instead, what we want is to create – through multiform and multilevel anarchist action – an informal coordination platform on the basis of which the subversive impulse will be brought together; a primary attempt for an informal coordination of anarchy, beyond the predetermined frameworks, which aspires to build on this particular experience of struggle so as to set both subversive proposals and fighting strategies in motion.
This proposal of ours is simultaneously linked with corresponding legacies of struggle beyond our geographic boundaries; some months ago, in Mexico, a group of comrades attacked the national electoral institute with an explosive device, and called for a polymorphous and dynamic anti-election campaign, for a Black June, which was embraced by a significant part of the anarchist movement. Polling stations and ministries were engulfed in flames, clashes with cops spread in streets of the cities, public gatherings were held, and texts of anarchist propaganda against the elections were handed out. A mosaic of multifaceted activity, with different political references and starting points, by which anarchy responded to the electoral circus of democracy, having as tools the principles of horizontality, informal coordination and constant insurrection; such experiences of struggle, where collective imagination and determination create liberating foci of war on the new order of things, make it clear that there’s a prospect for factual abolition of the well-known pseudo-polarity between legal and illegal, and simultaneously make anarchist projectualities timely through the fires of insurrection.
The wager of subversion remains open; the fate of this proposal lies in the hands of comrades from the whole spectrum of struggle, who will choose whether it’s worth setting it in motion.
“The first night in the cell, thoughts from his free life were traveling in the neurons of his brain at breakneck speed. He knew that captivity is the logical consequence of confrontation with an enemy holding the superior firepower on all levels.
For those who have sabotaged the rail tracks of the train of terror belonging to a social reality that in every possible way exterminates those who are putting it into question, the prison bars will be a reality; but, of course, this doesn’t mean such a reality will be accepted without a fight.
With these thoughts in his head, he closed his eyes and dreamed not what he would like to live outside the walls but the longstanding nightmare of inertia, waiting, and tampering of one’s instincts.
The next morning, facing the monotony of a captive repeated daily routine for the first time, he was already sick of being patient; he had seen it aimlessly traveling through the labyrinths of tolerance in the first signs of a covert cowardice. He locked his hatred in the suitcase of intact emotions next to his love for freedom, and handed the key over to a comrade, asking him to leave it next to the graves of murdered comrades who have fallen in combat with the enemy.
The years passed, and the only thing that prison managed to do to him was fill him with wrath, make him impatient for what is to come, make him look for ways to practice anarchist warfare; he had by then realised that the only feasible alliance is the one with the world of probabilities.
A bunch of probabilities to convince the majority of people in this society that his choice is not something between madness and a deadlock, but enough ones to make it worthwhile to wager on them for the great idea of destruction. The great idea of a head-on collision with the world of shadows and its submissives. The prison door opens, and now he knows what to do; keep the memory alive, leave no space for oblivion, never forget the comrades left behind, pick up the thread of insurgency from where it was interrupted, pour the poison of insubordination into the reproduction networks of the capitalist society.
For lasting anarchist insurgency!
No truce with Power and its puppets!”
For a Black December!
For the anarchist offensive against the world of Power!
PS. December 11th marks two years since our brother Sebastián ‘Angry’ Oversluij lost his life, during an armed bank expropriation in Chile, from gunfire of a uniformed servant of the system. We believe this Black December is a chance to honour the memory of our anarchist brother, unifying anarchist memory and abolishing borders and distances in practice.
Panagiotis Argirou, member of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire – FAI/IRF