Tag Archives: edition

UK: 4 new releases from green anarchist zine Return Fire (PDFs)

Just now we’ve sent out the PDF versions of our recent releases, for downloading and printing (for past issues, see 325). To summarise, there’s the full length edition of Return Fire vol.3 (Winter 2015-2016), full of news, theory, poetry and antagonism (download 48MB pdf here; in low-res here); a companion piece consisting of our ‘glossary’ entry for the issue, on Colonisation; an imposed and print-ready version of ‘Smarter Prison?’ as a supplement to vol.3, which we received from ‘Radical Interference’ and released for December of 2015; and lastly, we’ve uploaded one of the feature texts from vol.3, ‘The Veil Drops’, to theanarchistlibrary.org as a separate file for reading and reproduction. Also, there is both colour and black-and-white versions of the cover included, in case some comrades want to do their own printing.

Return Fire vol.3

A continuation of our project to bring incisive anarchic content from around to world to an anglophone readership. New editorial content, reprints of things we’ve found useful, artwork, action listings, foraging information, the usual.

There’s a few previously-untranslated articles in this issue. For example, one is an extract from the latest cover story of Italy’s eco-insurrectionary periodical Terra Selvaggia, on ‘The Advance of Urbanisation’ and, simultaneously, cracks opening in the concrete which we could utilise… Annie Archet meanwhile tells a life-story of evading identity, in Portrait of the Invisible Woman in Front of Her Mirror. To name some out of the texts we’ve assembled from selections of pre-existing ones, David King looks at the reductionist and patriarchal implications of modern reproductive technologies in ‘Into Her Inner Chambers’, and Nicola Gai speaks to acting within ‘The Maximum That Our Abilities Allow’ (from his contribution to the founding issue of the Croce Nera Anarchica).

The content we have harvested whole includes The Intensification of Independence in Wallmapu, John Severino’s poignant reflections on a project within an indigenous Mapuche community; The ‘Wild’ as Will and Representation, about commodified and alienated approaches in the urgent need for land reconnection, simply signed M.; and Sean Dunohoe’s harrowing (if limited) polemic against the Close Supervision Centres within the British prison system. (We note that this year the organising collective for the June 11 project of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners has called for a focus on such units wherever they are in the world; hence we’d like to dedicate this version in that direction.)

As for our usual columns… We take a retrospective look at some Global Flash-Points of insurgent activity in the months following our last volume. Rebels Behinds Bars covers the State’s aggressions against our comrades, and the latter’s thoughts on topics from surviving incarceration or repression to (anti-)organisation for the attack on authority. ‘To Create & Maintain Their Wealth’ and ‘Sensuality, Magic & Anarchist Violence’ address gendered and speciesist domination through reviews of Silvia Federici, Arthur Evans and Jason Hribal.

The Poems for Love, Loss & War are from Rydra Cosmo, Henry Zegarrundo, Natasha Alvarez and other appreciators of all things feral. For our Memory as a Weapon segment, we’ve used Unsettling America’s spellbinding telling of civilisation’s spread through Europe from the south and beyond, and subsequent trajectory, in The Witch’s Child.

And of course, much more! (All prisoner addresses and also some court-case news is now up to date in the PDF version.)

Colonisation

This time, we ended up printing the ‘glossary’ separately to the main body of the zine. This sizeable essay could be a stand-alone on the subject (one which we feel to be both key and misunderstood by anarchists in much of the world) and distributed as such, but is also relevant to several items in contents of vol.3.

‘Smarter Prison?’

Newly laid out in A5 imposed format, this exploration of the ‘Internet of Things’ and the technological ideology which it advances was first submitted to us during the Black December mobilisation. (We’re happy that since then, Silvia, Billy and Costa, who are referenced in ‘Smarter Prison?’, have been told they will not face trial again for their thwarted attack on the IBM facility.) The struggle against the nano-world continues…

‘The Veil Drops’

This is a reader on counter-insurgency through the lens of ‘crisis’, the social and de-civilising. It’s the longest editorial piece from vol.3, and up on The Anarchist Library for wider accessibility.

Until next time,
R.F.

“To the customers – Insurrection and Doublethink”

To the customers
Insurrection and Doublethink

To those who…

To those for whom the end of civilization is a bookstore or grocery business;
To those who consider insurrection as a breach in the monopoly of falsehood, representation, power;
To those who are able to sense that behind the dense fog of the “crisis” there is a theater of operations, maneuvers, strategies and therefore the possibility for self-promotion;
To those who launch “attacks” in order to occupy seats in the municipal council;
To those who seize the propitious moment to display themselves in the mass media;
To those who don’t seek accomplices, but political friends;
To those who don’t desert, but who infiltrate;
To those who mock the refusal to participate in this world;
To those who organize others into a party, perhaps – why not – into a historical party;
To those who intend to give life to a revolutionary force, as long as it’s institutional.

A contribution to a debate that has need of
a single way of thinking shared by all…

II

«By spreading his tail this bird so fair,
Whose plumage drags the forest floor,
Appears more lovely than before,
But thus unveils his derrière.»
Guillaume Apollinaire, The Peacock

The Invisible Committee’s second book, like the first, was published in France by the same publishing house, La Fabrique, whose name is a homage to workerist ideology. Its animator is Eric Hazan, a real character of an editor, as well as a historian and philosopher. Beyond being, of course, a bitter enemy of the constituted order, although his First Revolutionary Measures (the title of one of his books written together with the zombie of Kamo, who, some whisper, was also dug up on the plateau of Millevaches near Tarnac) has not completely managed to make people forget his latest counter-revolutionary measures (his electoral propaganda in favor of the socialist François Hollande, later elected prime minister). Like the preceding work, To Our Friends is also part of the battle series of La Fabrique editions, the same series that includes works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao, Blanqui, Gramsci, Robespierre, as well as three titles from Tiqqun … But Hazan doesn’t only have eyes for the grandpas and grandsons of authoritarian revolutionary thought: his 2010 catalog can also brag of Les Mauvais Jours Finiront: 40 ans de combats pour la justice et les libertés (The Bad Days Will End: 40 Years of Fighting for Justice and Liberty), the title that, with the piquant communard-situ flavor, serves to spice up a hot dish from an author as insipid as the Judiciary Union. Well? What’s strange about this? Nothing, considering that in 2003, Hazan had already distinguished himself for the publication of the diary of the founder of the National Police union, who spent twenty years doing this «good job in which one helps people and protects society», while in 2005 he published the book of an auxiliary doctor of the police who desired to let the public know what it takes to care for the health of the arrested in the police station.

In short, as you’ve understood, Eric Hazan is a revolutionary, well-read and lacking prejudice.

The back cover of the Invisible Committee’s new book, along with listing to whom it is addressed, concludes with the by now inevitable affectation of humility, a genuine trademark of certain movement areas. This new editorial effort is simperingly presented by its authors as a «modest contribution to an understanding of our time». Now, it is already annoying to hear a scholar complimenting himself for his erudition, or a muse bragging about her beauty, or a strong man asserting his strength. But modesty? To flaunt one’s modesty is to fall into the most flagrant hypocrisy, it is bellowing out one’s conceit. But, as we will see, the Invisible Committee is the supreme master of contradiction.

Starting with an ostentatious humility, the I.C. is announced with great fanfare. In the original promotional press release for the book in France, we actually read: «In 2007, we published The Coming Insurrection … A book that has now ended up being associated with the ‘Tarnac case’, forgetting that it was already a success in bookstores … Because it isn’t enough that a book be included in its totality in a file of an anti-terrorist investigation for it to sell, it is also necessary that the truths it articulates touch that readers due to a certain correctness. It must be acknowledged that a number of assertions by the Invisible Committee have since been confirmed, starting with the first and most essential: the sensational return of the insurrectionary phenomenon. Starting in 2008, a half-year has not passed without a mass revolt or an uprising taking place to the removal of the powers in charge … If it has been the sequence of events that has conferred its subversive character to The Coming Insurrection, it is the intensity of the present that makes To Our Friends an eminently more scandalous text. We cannot content ourselves with celebrating the insurrectional wave that currently passes through the world, also congratulating ourselves on having noticed its birth before others … To Our Friends is thus written at the peak of this general movement, at the peak of the experience. Its words come from the heart of disorders and are addressed to all those who still believe sufficiently in life to fight. To Our Friends wants to be a report on the condition of the world and of the movement, an essentially strategic and openly partisan writing. Its political ambition is boundless: to produce a shared understanding of the times, at the expense of the extreme confusion of the present.»

Advertising language knows only the absolute superlative. The words of this presentation sound so lacking in modesty as to be inappropriate if addressed to potential friends, usually not so inclined to welcome such arrogance. But perfect if one intends to address potential customers luring them with the promise of strong emotions. Isn’t it true that every new product that gets put on the market is presented as if it were a «masterpiece», an «experience you don’t want to miss», a «unique sensation»? In 2006, an essay on the propaganda of daily life that appeared in France, published by Raisons d’agir editions, also pointed this out, declaring that «Another symptom of the influence of advertising is the inflation of hyperbole, particularly in … book and film reviews (…) Journalists make the jobs of the copywriters of the advertising agencies easier, littering their articles with enthusiastic formulas, rich with adjectives … The incestuous relationship with advertising contributes to making [of language] a tool of programmed emotion, an impulsive language, just as on describes ‘an impulsive purchase’.» Curious – but we are not at all surprise – that the author of this essay, entitled LQR, is precisely Mr. Eric Hazan, who in the costume of the essayist lashes out against this invasion of advertising into the language that in the costume of editor he welcomes with the aim of programming readers to the impulsive purchase of his products.

Putting aside the poverty of self-promotional gimmicks, such a conceit brings to our minds some considerations of an old and well-known Italian anarchist, who mocked the «sweet mania of all idolaters. Thus, marxists attribute everything to Marx, and one passes for a marxist even if one says that bosses rob the workers (ah! so you admit the theory of surplus value, they shout at you in a triumphant tone) or if one affirms the millennia-old truth that to assert reason force is required. If you say that the sun shines, the mazzinians will say that Mazzini said it, and the marxists will answer that Marx said it. Idolaters are made this way.» The Invisible Committee is also made this way, it is an idolater of itself. It only remembers the disorders that broke out after its book was blessed by FNAC or Amazon – not even the insurrections and rebellions that exploded starting from 2007 were due to it, not even the rebels who rose up throughout the planet, did so because they were aroused by reading its text. And what about what happened, for example, in Oaxaca or Kurdistan in 2006, in France or Iran in 2005, in Manipur (in India) or Syria in 2004, in Iraq and Bolivia in 2003, in Argentina in 2002, in Algeria in 2001, in Ecuador in 2000, in Iran in 1999, in Indonesia in 1998, in Albania in 1997 … not to mention the ongoing revolts that break out in countries impenetrable to western information like China?

Let the low-down scoundrels of the Invisible Committee resign themselves. They have predicted nothing, they have not discovered and announced anything new. Storms don’t break out to confirm the words of the meteorologist. There have been insurrections throughout history, and they have no need of anyone to theorize them in order to explode. Neither revolutionaries who discuss them in their autonomous publications, nor intellectuals who transform them into logos of success on the publishing market. So if the I.C. brag about being aware of the insurrectional phenomenon before others, then they have to ask themselves who these others are: their competitors in the climb in sales ratings for titles of political critique? Toni Negri who obsesses them so much in the competition for theoretical hegemony of the extreme left, or Stéphane Hessel who incites to the civic insurrection of consciences, or Naomi Klein, icon of the anti-globalization movement, whose books have all sold many more than them, clearly because .. they have articulated even more correct truths?

However it may be, we admit it, the Invisible Committee has achieved a first. Before others, it has commodified insurrection.

But in case advertising hyperbole isn’t successful, emotional participation intervenes. In the book’s preface, the rugged members of the Invisible Committee enthrall their readers with their personal confidences, making the readers participants in their adventurous life: «Since The Coming Insurrection, we’ve gone to the places where the epoch was inflamed. We’ve read, we’ve fought, we’ve discussed with comrades of every country and every tendency. Together with them, we’ve come up against the invisible obstacles of the times. Some of us have died, others have seen prison. We’ve kept going. We haven’t given up on constructing worlds or attacking this one.» It is here that that sensation of deep embarrassment, almost shame, for someone else comes out. The strength of anonymity is in its ability to unburden the meaning of an idea or an action from the identity of the one who formulates it or carries it out, returning it in this way to a full availability in its universal essence. But what is there to say when it gets used only to take the license of claiming or boasting about who knows what undertakings? Who is the Invisible Committee out to impress when – certain that no one could refute it – it evokes its omnipresence in disorders, death and prison suffered by its members, its irreducible tenacity? Such boastfulness might impress its customers, but it provokes everyone else to savage sarcasm. We also take for granted that the collection of author’s rights has allowed it to make insurrectional tourism, or rather to compete with pacifists and leftists, the police and journalists in rushing headlong to wherever there were outbreaks of revolt. But we still doubt that the I.C. has discussed with comrades of every tendency (okay, let’s not be too persnickety: «and every tendency» except for those who don’t adore them). Finally, who among its initiates is dead and how? It doesn’t say, this way making fantasy fly. Is the Committee speaking of those fallen on the field during insurrections? Or more simply of the dedicatees of this new book? Maybe Billy and Guccio and Alexis were all part of the Committee? And which of its members ended up in prison? The hacker Jeremy Hammond?

We strongly doubt it, but it is completely useless to dwell on such questions. After having been the self-proclaimed spokespeople of the «historical party» of insurrection, nothing remains to the Invisible Committee but to inspect its properties, coopting the revolt of others through the use of the royal «we» that makes it reflect on «global action by our party», or to recall that on «May 10, 2010, five hundred thousand of us flooded into the center of Athens.» Just as in the past the intellectuals of the Situationist International bragged of expressing the revolutionary theory, maintaining in defiance of ridicule that their ideas were «in everyone’s heads – it is well-known», in the same way the intellectuals of the Invisible Committee brag in the present of expressing the insurrectional event, maintaining – in equal defiance of ridicule and feeding off of the slogan of Anonymous – that they are legion and are everywhere on the barricades erected over the planet. It is well-known!

Here it is: the last peacock of the zoo of the extreme left, utterly intent on opening its tail with phosphorescent feathers to put itself on display before its public.

Extract from “To the customers”, available as soon as possible.

[In Italian: “Ai clienti – insurrezione e bispensiero”, 88 pages;
requests for copies can be sent to: nosennemis (at) gmail.com]

Afterword to new Italian edition of “At Daggers Drawn”

Note from Contra Info: We publish the following English translation as we received. We reiterate that we may diffuse contributions regardless of whether or not we agree with any given views. We’d just like to point out that the 2012 Spanish edition mentioned below is also one we have opted to diffuse, here.

AI FERRI CORTI

afterword

Beaten Daggers

Published in May 1998 by NN editions, created seven months earlier by some anarchists that had taken part in the experience of the weekly Canenero, in the course of 17 years, this pamphlet has gone around the world, having been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, English (with editions in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia), French, Dutch, German, Swedish… Since it has nourished much reflections, furnished ideas, reinforced inclinations, raised doubts, as well as provoking irritation (the concept of the «existent» above all, in its unbridled totality, has shown itself rather indigestible to those who aspire to administer at least something of what is the state), one can affirm that in its own small way, At Daggers Drawn has made its contribution to the spread of an autonomous anarchist insurrectional perspective. A perspective at the same time irreducibly hostile to «little reforming steps» and not at all charmed by «a revolt for a few close friends to the sound of pyrotechnic fires and badly put together slogans». Born from the refusal of the false alternative between citizenist reformism or vanguardist armed-strugglism, these pages therefore maintained the necessity and the immediate possibility of an insurrectional poetry made by all, not to be confused either with sad political propaganda or with bombastic communiques laying claim to actions.

Considering its respectable international fortune, it’s bewildering that At Daggers Drawn has not been reprinted in the place where it first appeared. And yet, it is precisely in Italy that this text has had the least resonance, victim of “identitarian” prejudices and rancors nourished by a large part of the so-called movement in the face of the environment in which it arose, as well as a substantial lack of interest toward any deep examination and critical debate about this. In fact, in 1998, the insurrectional idea was viewed with a certain deprecatory pity by the militants of various schools – all desirous of a peaceful «exodus» into a «non-state public sphere» – who in most cases considered it a fortune that could occur in an exotic Chiapas and, in the worst case, a cataclysm that could strike a rough Albania. As if insurrection were only able to raise the social question at the distance of an ocean, and usually through authoritarian organization, force instead in Europe to manifest in ephemeral and frightening explosions of blind fury. Ceasing to linger over every possible distinction between insurrection, uprising and riot, the events of the last 17 years have made such convictions waver, but without managing to completely deny it. As heady as it is in its persistence, the Greek fire seems to be an exception in the midst of the norm of «Arab springs» or «liberated Kurdish territories» on the one hand, and French racaille or English riots on the other.

This said, it is undeniable that the strong convulsions to which the whole social order is prey at the start of this third millennium have extinguished the smug smile of many subversives in front of those who dare to call for insurrection here and now. Yesterday’s skeptics are transformed into today’s enthusiasts to the point of making it become a downright international best-seller on the editorial, media, and militant marketplace. The reason is easy to understand: the social peace that accompanied the 1980s and 1990s, in its most inflated and complacent aspects, is terminated. The virtual wealth is not able to compensate for the real poverty, the supermarket shelves may even gleam with goods, but their consumption is no longer accessible to those who find themselves forced to tighten their belts. Or almost everyone. Today voluntary servitude is still certainly majoritarian, solidly majoritarian, but it has lost its air of stupid innocence. Discontent, malaise, and indignation spread everywhere in an unstoppable way, causing worry, panic, but also some hope for a counter-charge. These feelings of frustration will get pacified in a new institutional social cohesion or, in the face of the relentless succession of «political scandals», «financial crises», «ecological catastrophes», «religious wars» … will they finally provoke a generalized hostility?

But then, if the insurrectional theory is back on the table, why does it seem that At Daggers Drawn has not left a trace and memory even among the anarchists themselves, precisely in Italy? Continue reading Afterword to new Italian edition of “At Daggers Drawn”

[Greece] ‘War Against War’ by Xipolito Tagma – English edition 04/2015

War Against War’, an antimilitarist brochure by the collective of total objectors to military service Xipolito Tagma (‘Barefoot Battalion’ in Ioannina, Greece), is now available in English.

Click image to read / download / distribute the pdf.

All texts were translated from the 1st Greek edition (03/2011), without any chronological adaptation of the facts and dates displayed. Only footnotes and the chapter “Declaring Our Objection” were added.

Xipolito Tagma would like to thank L. for the English translation, and plan to translate the brochure also in Spanish.

[Greece] “Proper Is Theft”, from the 4th issue of the Barbarian review

Wondering about “anarcho-tourism”, and my (A)-experience of Greece, I’d like to focus on a non-glamourous part of it. Not that I am not interested in the demonstration techniques, or conspiracy theories, or terrorists’ accusations, nor that I want to be the boring one either. Moreover, it is a complicated task to get some knowledge about what is really going on politically here concerning the different groups and places of our little anarchist world. So, I find it easier to talk about everyday experiences and practices. Individual practices, but shared practices in the milieu. To be clearer: this article is about the current way of living that I used to have in France and that I am trying to go on with here, in Athens.

Take a ticket, let’s say, for Larissa or another station on the way for Athens… It will be half of the price. But it is very risky to take the train from Thessaloniki without a ticket.

So, as a newly-settled barbarian, I have to say that my first conversations with friendly people I met here were about taking the train for free. I was in Thessaloniki, and after being kept in the police station for 3 and half hours because I was on my way to a demonstration, I asked my co-captives how they handle going to Athens for free, or for less money. This way of travelling, a condition of going back and forth to places for political reasons – demonstrations, gatherings, seminars, etc. – is also a way of living, a kind of everyday practice that makes me part of the community I belong to.

~ Ways and means: Improvisation, preparation, equipment, etc. ~

First, let’s talk about the practice itself. As to sneaking on the train, experience says that there is no rule. To me, everything’s played out once the doors are closed, and I don’t have a ticket. Afterwards, it is all about improvisation.

This first time, I found allies. I recognized them from a political event – not really anarchist – and told them straight away my condition. They helped me. One of them just dropped his ticket close to me after the controller followed me while coming back to my seat from the toilets. We felt kind of forced to socialize after that. I gave them a lot of cigarettes.

The second time, the train was so full of servicemen that I just crossed the controller’s way. In France, we enjoyed those kinds of extraordinary occasions like a crazy guy who gave his “crazy-guy-certificate” as a ticket and ran all over the place – I had the information from the controller himself! – or a guy dying in a wagon…

Also, in regards to the state of exception, the position of the foreigner helps: if you get a fine, you don’t care. That’s what my roommate told me when we talked about controls in the metro. “In Greece, if you are a young man, you can go to prison during your military service if it appears that you are a compulsive ticket-skipper. And of course you get a big fine.”

I would prefer not to be caught anyway. And it never gets that easy, though, like buying something at the supermarket. In France, we have those expressions about stealing when you have to admit that you felt uncomfortable: either you piss on yourself, or you shit on yourself (se pisser dessus/ se chier dessus). The first means you stole the thing, and the second means you put it back, or worst, you bought it. Here, I piss on myself every time. But every time I go to the supermarket, I have to get something for free, most of the time feta cheese. Even if I am obviously followed – in three months, it happened to me twice…

To the happy few: En bref, je suis tricarde.

When you decide to be a compulsive thief, you have to be organized. Hence, you need some preparation, knowledge, techniques, strategies. At first, when I came to Greece, I had this joyful feeling of being in a country of cheaters. Everybody is kind of an outlaw: locking the electric counter, or not wearing a helmet, or smoking just next to the sign that forbids it, or writing whatever you want on the walls, etc. This is the state of mind, then comes the preparation like wearing the right clothes, especially the shoes (those grown-up shoes you use only to go to weddings, burials and… the supermarket). Continue reading [Greece] “Proper Is Theft”, from the 4th issue of the Barbarian review

[Book] Presentation & Introduction of “Against Democracy”

Rabble have published an English translation of the preface and introduction of the book “Against Democracy” (Contra la democracia, 92 pages, edited by Coordinated Anarchist Groups – G.A.C.: Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados): an analysis of both parliamentary and alternative democracy as an expression of the system of domination.

You can read it here.

Athens: Letter of captive anarchist Spyros Mandylas from Koridallos men’s judicial prison

September 4, 2013

“Others unthinkingly followed the paths learned once and for all, to their work and their home, to their predictable future. For them duty had already become a habit, and habit a duty. They did not see the deficiency of their city. They thought the deficiency of their life was natural. We wanted to break out of this conditioning, (…) in search of new passions.”
Guy Debord

A short chronicle of my arrest

On Thursday night, July 11th, 2013 cops of the anti-terrorist force barged in the anarchist hangout Nadir, in Thessaloniki, once again. I was arrested and immediately transferred to the anti-terrorism headquarters in Athens where I got the news that, three hours prior to my arrest, my comrade and friend Andreas Tsavdaridis was also captured outside his home in the district of Stavroupoli, Thessaloniki. I was asked to give fingerprints, DNA sample and photographs but I refused to collaborate, and they took those by force. Shortly afterwards, they notified me I was being charged with all of the attacks that had occurred in the context of the Phoenix Project until that point (Acts 1, 2, 3, 4). I refused to sign any police paper, or talk about anything. Six days later, I was able to communicate with Andreas, who told me the exact same things had happened to him. What’s more, the police announced that the ten imprisoned members of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire were also charged as instigators in the Phoenix Project case.

Operation “Armed Joy”

From the moment I was transferred in Athens until the early hours of the next day, cops were conducting a search in Nadir… They confiscated the squat’s server, among other items. However, they focused their attention on the library, as they “discovered” the book Armed Joy with a gun holster depicted on its front cover (a Greek edition of La gioia armata by Alfredo M. Bonanno was published by Nadir squat in June 2013, and the proceeds will go to support imprisoned anarchists). That’s when a large house search began, both in the library and the rest of the squat. They collected fingerprints, cigarette butts for DNA analysis, empty beer bottles and other small objects from the entire library space, in an attempt to find the pistol itself which is depicted on the book cover…

“Covert surveillance”

The Phoenix Project was initiated on June 7th, 2013. It was a call of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire/Consciousness Gangs/Sole–Baleno Cell/FAI-IRF for the regeneration and dynamic resurgence of urban guerrilla warfare. From that day to the 12th of July (the day of my formal indictment), various cells of the FAI-IRF network claimed four attacks. Continue reading Athens: Letter of captive anarchist Spyros Mandylas from Koridallos men’s judicial prison

Italy: An invitation from the AS2 wing of Alessandria prison, 10.12.2012

two

To break out of the encirclement!

We ask comrades to send us new publications produced by the anarchist movement in Italian, English and Spanish. We also invite those who have printed leaflets, posters, articles on our case to pass them on to us and of course to keep us informed about the different struggles that are carried out in Greece, Mexico, Chile, Spain, Bolivia, etc. For anarchy as always! —Nicola and Alfredo

Nicola Gai
Alfredo Cospito

Carcere Circ. San Michele, Strada Casale 50/a, IT-15122 Alessandria

source

Japan: Solidarity event for the Revolutionary Struggle case in the IRA anarchist infoshop in Tokyo

A free event of international solidarity will take place on Saturday, November 24th, at 19.00pm (local time) in the anarchist infoshop Irregular Rhythm Asylum, which is located on 1-30-12-302 Shinjuku, in the special ward Shinjuku-ku of Tokyo, Japan.

A comrade from Switzerland, who is an active member of the Bremgarten Cultural Centre, will present the particular anarchist project at the formerly squatted KuZeB, thus opening the discussion.

This evening is a chance to get together and talk about the anarchist urban guerrilla group Revolutionary Struggle as well as the current situation in Greece, in the context of the callout for international solidarity and action by the Athens solidarity assembly (contact mail: RScase[at]espiv[dot]net). Another topic of discussion may be the general strike against austerity that took place on November 14th in several southern European countries.

The main event is organized by Tokyo-based anarchists, who will read excerpts from proclamations of the Revolutionary Struggle group in Japanese. Furthermore, they will make a reference to the chronology of action against the State/Capital by the same group, and share information with the attendees about the trial sessions that have been held in the terror-court of Koridallos prisons so far.

Greek-speaking solidarians have already begun to translate several responsibility claims of the Revolutionary Struggle group into Japanese, in collaboration with Japanese-born comrades. This compilation of translated texts is expected to be finished by February 2013. The Irregular Rhythm Asylum will help in the printing of the edition.

When the discussion on 24/11 reaches an end, anarchist comrades intend to carry their banners and chant slogans in order to hold a demonstration to the Shinjuku Station, along with all people gathered in the infoshop. So, you are invited to participate in the event and then take to the streets.

SOLIDARITY CROSSES THE BORDERS

Sources / Contact info: i, ii, iii — Map in both Japanese and English here.

Spain: 10th Anarchist Bookfair of Madrid, from November 30th to December 2nd

Yet another year, making this the tenth edition, those of us who have been planning the Anarchist Bookfair in Madrid decided to again make possible this convergence for the exchange of resources, experiences and communication that advocates for a different way of understanding reality and practicing subversion. Like every year, the meeting will take place in the Escuela Popular de Prosperidad (located on 19, Luis Cabrera Street) on November 30th and December 1st and 2nd, 2012.

This meeting aims to be a point of communication and diffusion of our ideas. So, during the three days of the event, we will hold constant activities such as talks, debates, etc. which may reflect a small part of experiences, ideas or struggles that were developed in recent years. In addition, we will organize a permanent display of written material by more than 30 publishers, booksellers and distributors from various different places.

Without further ado and expecting to see you all in the bookfair, we now say farewell, but not before we encourage you to attend the event and make this kind of meetings something permanent and practical, which can become a means for both approaching realities and transmitting useful experiences amid our confrontation with everything that dominates us.

A salute

Women as spoils of war

From the antimilitarist brochure ‘War Against War’ by the collective of total objectors to military service Xipolito Tagma (‘Barefoot Battalion’ in Ioannina, Greece)

Rapes in wartime can be committed and have indeed been perpetrated by organized armies, paramilitary and fascist groups, and various fundamentalists. Sexual abuse and rapes against girls and women have evolved into a systematic weapon of war and repression. In these phenomena of sexual violence, gender oppression is associated with militarism and the highly patriarchal-structured military corps. It is a common premise, moreover, that just as wars have a gender, the masculine gender, so does the murderous machine of the State, the military. Of course, this doesn’t imply that women are spectators to all this violence; on the contrary, in the majority of cases they are the assault victims.* Women’s rape at war must be seen in the light of the patriarchal organization of national fantasies that are set in operation. The more blatantly patriarchal the national narratives are, the more useful is the weapon of rape for the attackers, and the more exterminating for their targets.

Rape as a means of war may have different origins. In many cases, rape could have been a result of the direct orders of senior army officers, or simply an incentive of the soldiers themselves, or both combined. What’s certain is that these rapes are counted as a component of military victory or defeat, but cannot be exhausted in these connotations. In any case, what gives a meaning–importance to these rapes is a common imaginary: that of ethnic cleansing or otherwise ‘reproductive genocide’, or generally of the destruction of bonds within the adversary society; in other words, first and foremost the destruction of this society’s imaginary significations that are related with the existence of its subjects. During the war in Bosnia–Herzegovina, for example, the pursuit of ethnic cleansing became obvious when women fell victims to mass rape and torture, captivity and forced prostitution by Serb soldiers and paramilitaries. This pursuit was, of course, an explicit command of officers, but it would have no effect without the active involvement of soldiers, nor would it reach such monstrous proportions as it did.

The humiliation and rape of women of the ‘enemy’ in the condition of war acquires the significance of humiliation and rape of an adversary nation as a whole. Obviously, the meanings attributed to women and femininity in general from the nationalist socialization are also intermingled here. Such meanings apply, on the one hand, to the woman’s characterization as the nation’s womb, the one responsible for the nation’s perpetuation (i.e. the birth of nationalists and, why not, willing soldiers), and on the other hand, as the one who must remain chaste, honest and committed to the family, which is the core of the nation. All these features are considered inviolable and self-evident by any nationalism (and any nationalist). Therefore, soldiers rape women and dissolve families of others in order to ‘protect’ their women and families. Woman holds an important role as metaphor, e.g. the ‘mother homeland’ or the aforementioned ‘homeland–nation’s womb’. Women are, thus, something for which a soldier is instructed to go to war (e.g. ‘we go into battle for the sake of our women and children’), an object that exists to be protected (as does the rest of the man’s property). On the other hand, women are the ones who receive the fiercest attacks by the troops, nevertheless are the largest part of civilian population, and most of them uninvolved in the decisions and planning of wars.

Rape at war is not the exception but the general rule that relies on nationalist hatred and male supremacy, the basic elements found in the ideology of the military and warfare. Thus, our antimilitarist stance is based on the universal objection to these elements, always against ‘our’ State and nationalism, but also against male privilege and stereotypes.

* According to official figures, rapes for military purposes were committed in all known wars of recent years: in the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Liberia, Peru, Somalia, Mozambique, Sudan and Uganda. The examples given in a draft report of the so-called ‘Committee on Women’s Rights and Equal Opportunities’ of the European parliament are those of Berlin in 1945, when the Allied forces entered the city, and rapes reached 110-800,000; 20-50,000 rapes in the former Yugoslavia during the civil war in the 1990s; and 250-500,000 war rapes in Rwanda in 1994. All of this concerns only estimates and ‘official’ figures, which in fact fail to assess the size of ‘evil’, as in any disaster. Needless to say, rapes have always been—and still are—one of the most powerful and timeless weapons in the hands of the Greek State and nationalism.

TIOJ: Statement by comrade Matthew (October 7th, 2012)

This Was Our Job. But it’s not anymore.

Three years to the day of the first post to This Is Our Job, I’ve decided to end this particular anarchist project in order to devote myself to other anarchist projects. Primarily, I want more time to spend on the translation and preparation of book-length releases to be published through memory_lapse press, which is my own small printing initiative.

I’m still not sure what the first few books, if they ever do see the light of day, will consist of. Insurrectionary anarchism has meant a lot to me over the past four or five years, but in all honesty it’s also had certain negative effects on me that I need to distance myself from. So perhaps the books will deal with topics both confrontational and constructive, contemporary and historical, but always holding fast to a core of antiauthoritarianism and its undying relevance to those who can truly see the world through its veil of falsehoods, still certain that it should, can, and will be a far better place.

I have some things to say about the current shape of insurrectionary anarchism as a current within a broader antiauthoritarianism, as well as the role and effectiveness of what’s come to be known as counterinformation as a means of spreading the news and discourse stemming from anarchist insurgency. I must admit that I had reservations about going ahead and openly sharing what I wanted to say, but as this is my last post, I might as well make it everything that it should be.

Ever since my first exposure to insurrectionary anarchism, I’ve gradually distilled certain aspects of the theory behind it as essential and discarded the rest. To me, a fecund anarchist insurgency is diffuse, illegal, offensive, strategic, consistent, and ethical. Its primary aim should be to attack the physical infrastructure of repression, thereby reducing and eventually crippling the ability of that repression to function. What follows from this is not a wholesale destruction of every element of society as we know it, but the opening of space into which constructive anarchist initiatives can flourish. As domination is pushed back, liberation moves forward.

Yet in practice, this isn’t quite what I’ve been observing for the most part from action groups and individuals engaging in insurrectionary anarchism. Despite my enormous respect for their heroism in putting their lives on the line to attack the brutal irrationality of power, many of them have been seriously deficient when it comes to target selection and technical execution.

Without pointing the finger at specific examples of attacks that I’ve found rather pointless—attacks that were seemingly carried out solely to get a communiqué some exposure on the Internet and allow the participants to flex their muscles a bit, even if just for show—I feel that basic strategy isn’t being taken into consideration by those engaging in anarchist insurgency. This is leading to the lengthy imprisonment of many comrades, often in exchange for negligible infrastructural damage, and that is an unsustainable equation for a tendency already so marginal that it can only be considered the avant-garde of the avant-garde.

When attacking a target, a good first question to ask is: how much of a role does this specific target play in repression (or even, to what extent am I personally repressed by it?), and how much would its destruction hinder that repression? It’s a simple question, yet a review of most of what constitutes insurrectionary anarchist attack these days clearly demonstrates that it goes unasked.

The state deploys specific front-line repressive elements: police (precincts, vehicles, and other equipment), courts (and the buildings that house them), and prisons (including the private corporations and state agencies that manage them). The next line consists of intelligence agencies and their physical infrastructure (offices, vehicles, computer and communications networks, etc.). Finally, there is military infrastructure and all that entails.

On the capitalist side, repression flows from the financial industry, the advertising industry, and the manufacturing and retail industry, among others. But let’s take the financial industry as an example. Causing minor (or even major) damage to an ATM or bank branch is, to a banking conglomerate, largely equivalent to a mosquito bite. The true operational infrastructure of capitalism resides in offices and corporate headquarters, and while these targets may be difficult to access, they shouldn’t be neglected outright.

Yet such state and capitalist targets are rarely if ever attacked. Is it because the potential prison sentence for gluing shut an ATM card slot is far less than that of setting fire to a police helicopter? Is it a lack of vision, ambition, ability, resources? I wish I knew. All I can say for sure is that by attacking what I would deem to be low-value targets—targets whose repressive value to the system is so low that it may as well equal zero—insurrectionary anarchism is falling into the same trap as all the other anarchisms, relying solely on hackneyed routines that lead nowhere beyond the subcultural ghetto of those already involved.

As an adjunct to the above critique, I want to say something about bombs. I think it’s clear that the use of bombs by insurrectionary anarchists should either be discarded altogether or left to those who truly have an expert grasp on the fabrication of safe and effective improvised explosives. How many times have we read about bombs either not detonating at all, detonating at the wrong time and harming random passersby in the process, or detonating as planned yet causing ineffectual damage? This doesn’t even take into account the comrades who have already been killed or seriously maimed by the premature explosion of bombs they intended to use on targets. I feel strongly that, instead of bombs, a concerted effort should be made to use well-designed portable incendiary devices, since a potent raging fire will always do more damage than a low-strength explosion.

Now to counterinformation. My main frustration with This Is Our Job has been that very few people read it. Perhaps the blame for that is my own, as there might have been things I could have done to promote it more. But the dilemma remains: if the goal of counterinformation is to spread—as widely as possible—news and discourse stemming from anarchist insurgent action, then counterinformation itself must reach further than it does at the moment. I don’t really know how to make that happen, and that deficiency has troubled me for most of the three years that This Is Our Job has been active. I’m not privy to what kind of traffic other counterinformational sites have been getting, regardless of language, but I can say that my own numbers have been positively anemic.

So, given all of the above, it seems apt to put an end to the project at this particular point in time. The archives will stay online, in both the former and current locations. I will always try to fulfill any requests to retrieve specific pieces that were posted at some point. And I still welcome submissions for translation from the Greek- and Spanish-speaking milieus to the usual e-mail address: tioj[at]thisisourjob[dot]org. Perhaps they might make their way into a book at some point.

Finally, I want to thank all the comrades who took the time to read the site regularly and who contacted me personally to keep me informed, coordinate work, send me pieces for translation, or just say hello. I only hope that one day, somehow, we can meet face-to-face to share a drink, a meal, an embrace, and the whispered intimacies of our passion for liberation.

Up the rebels, always.

—Matthew (This Is Our Job)

North America: Combustion Books now free to anarchist prisoners

Combustion Books, an anarchist publishing collective based out of New York City, announced that they are making everything they publish or distribute (like titles from Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness) available for free to anarchist prisoners in North America. Get the details here.

All profits received from “These Burning Streets” will be passed along to imprisoned anarchist Kelly Rose Pflug-Back until she is free.

Click on photo to read Kelly’s poems and other texts…

Prison address:
Kelly Pflug-Back
Vanier Centre for Women, P.O. Box 1040
665 Martin Street, Milton, Ontario
L9T 5E6 CANADA

Case background: i, ii

Athens: “Ink stains”, communiqué by SMED, base union of workers in the field of translation, editing, proofreading and subtitling in Greece

Note: Contra Info translation network is neither a collective of “certified specialists”, nor affiliated to the SMED itself, therefore only disseminates the following communiqué to make a very typical case of employer’s immunity in Greece wider known.
Truism No.1
Melani (“Ink”) Editions delegated the translation of a book to a colleague, after having approved sample of her work, agreed on her payment and signed a lawful agreement. However, following the translation’s delivery, “mistakes” and “deficiencies” were discovered (how extremely rare, odd and outrageous in our work…), so the translator was asked to correct the translation herself, in other words to do unpaid work for the publisher’s sake, which ought to be delegated to a practicing editor in the first place. The employer was killing two birds with one stone. We are, of course, well aware of the fact that the publishers (who otherwise show excessive interest in the quality of their books) would like to find (or rather construct?) the ideal type of worker, the person who will do all required jobs for the price of one: translator, editor, proofreader, even typesetter/layout designer and typographer/printer; perhaps also vendor, carrier and warehouse worker —an inexpensive and useful multi-tool, and above all dumb, as all tools ought to be.

Truism No.2
For a year and a half, although the lady publisher had the translation in her hands, not only refrained from publishing the book, but did not care to even start paying the predetermined fee to the translator for her work (i.e. the immense amount of 120 euros per 16 pages of a highly densely written original text, for only the translation of course; the editing was considered the worker’s nonprofit offering to the enlightened boss), despite the fact that the colleague could all the while constantly be reached. When finally the “Association of Translators, Editors and Proofreaders”/SMED intervened in favour of the colleague, demanding her immediate payment in full, the publisher stated that it is only reasonable that she cannot pay the agreed, citing, among several innovationisms (see below), some standard lines: the market conditions, the economic difficulties of her own, the drop in sales, even… the plight of the country. Moreover, it is known that, as far as book publishers are concerned, translators and editors—oddly enough when it’s the time to be paid—are portrayed as “collaborators” who “have” to bear the damages of businesses, if not of the very country itself, namely to share the losses, while they never share the profits.

Next to all these trivialities, however, also some brilliant originalities appear:

Innovationism No.1
Even before SMED’s intervention in the case, the publisher had already announced on the editions’ website that the book is due to be published, translated by… the publisher herself(!), although the agreement with the colleague remains in force and the translation is ready since a year and a half. The colleague protested, and the publisher hastened to hide the post in question from her business website. A promising start for the even more imaginative sequel:

Innovationism No.2
After successive meetings, discussions and controversies, the publisher refused to settle the colleague’s payment, this time in a definitive manner, arguing that the translation is “bad” and in need of “lots of revisions,” for which “there is no money.” She was merely implying a fez (Turkish work used for unpaid debt) under the guise of quality. So, when you earn a living as a translator, not only should you become an editor of your work, too, but also if the publisher doesn’t want to, he/she might not pay for your work. Whether an employee will be paid for work already done, in these gloomy times of violent circumvention of any kind of rights, depends entirely on the employer’s moods and appetites. Nevertheless, everyone can realize the obvious: if a translation is no longer good or satisfactory, and becomes “bad” and “unacceptable”, depends solely on whether the publisher wants to pay or not. “Errors” can be “discovered” in any translation, and are nothing but pretexts for publishers so as to speculate at our expense.

Innovationism No.3 (a venomous one)
The publisher, in an unprecedented move, had the nerve to send to the colleague an extrajudicial document, asking for compensation for escaped profits due to the non-publication of the book and the loss of the rights issue that had been granted from the foreign publisher. This is an unheard demand. A publishing company is asking for compensation from an eternally indebted translator for not publishing a book for which the sole responsibility lies with the company itself. No reference whatsoever was made to the “escaped” (for a year and a half) fee of the colleague, neither to all of the tricks to which the publisher has resorted in order not to do the obvious: pay in full the colleague’s fee for the translation.

The messages are clear by now: Firstly, owners of publishing companies can refuse to pay translators and editors at their own discretion, on the pretext of the “poor quality” of their work. Secondly, colleagues who claim their fees are likely to be found in courts. Thirdly, workers that do any job not only won’t know if they’ll get paid for it, but they better wish that they won’t have to pay their employers out of their own pocket.

Faced with this “civilization” of unpaid labour, of every fez and extrajudicial order, the civilization of our impoverishment, we respond with the civilization of solidarity, collectiveness and dignity. SMED will continue to struggle until the full payment of our colleague for her work, helping her by all unionist and legal means. No intimidation will go unanswered; no publisher will continue to represent the “culture bearer” at the expense of practitioners and workers who toil to ensure the production and quality of books and prints.

None colleague should be left alone
Now and ever, united against the undervaluation of our work

smed.gr / syl.smed[at]gmail[dot]com

Northern Ireland: 4th Belfast Anarchist Bookfair on 28th and 29th of April 2012

The 4th Anarchist Bookfair in Belfast, Northern Ireland, will take place on 28th and 29th of April 2012, from noon to 5pm at The Centre, Little Victoria Street, Belfast.

There is a range of meetings planned and a varied range of book stalls from a host of anarchist and radical publishers and organisations. There will be some workshops as well and vegan food provided.

After-bookfair social meeting will start at 7pm in order to get to know each other and get in touch with other activists.

Stalls confirmed from Organise!, Just Books, Anarchist Federation, Workers Solidarity Movement, NI Co-op Forum, Anarchist Studies Network, Na Croisbhealaí Café.

Lisbon: Anarchist Bookfair – 25, 26, 27 May 2012

The 5th Anarchist Bookfair in Lisbon will take place from 25th to 27th of May, creating a space for debate, meeting and socializing, open to all.

The aim is to deepen and spread anarchist ideas, as a realistic attack on this exploitative, authoritarian and anthropocentric society, by encouraging independent publications, creating spaces for discussion and exchange of ideas that enable alternative projects and autonomous ways of life.

Starting from nonconformity against all forms of domination, we continue to promote libertarian though and reject any political mediation.

We believe in an experience that respects the uniqueness and the differences among each individual and group, in a peaceful relation with the biosphere. We believe it is possible to think another form of reality and act upon it.

Anarchist Bookfair 2012
Faculdade de Belas Artes de Lisboa (Faculty of Fine Arts, Lisbon)

Switzerland: New anarchist library in Zurich

FERMENTO anarchist library

– Library (Lending and consultation)
– Archive (old and recent publications from several countries, documentation of struggles and people, etc.)
– Distribution (leaflets, posters, brochures, recent editions, etc.)
In German, Italian, French, English and other languages
– Photocopiers and work space
– Coffee, tea and other beverages

Opening times: Wednesday 17.00–21.00 / Saturday 14.00–19.00
Events will be announced via leaflets and mails. To stay updated, for questions and donations, please contact bibliothek-fermento@riseup.net

Location: 10, Rosengartenstraße, 8037 Zürich
Tram 13 to ‘Wipkingerplatz’ / Bus 46 to ‘Rosengartenstraße’
or Zug to ‘Bahnhof Wipkingen’

Opening on Saturday, March 10th, 2012 — 14.00 to 22.00

This library will be a meeting place; between freedom-loving people and ideas; between rebels of the present and rebels of the past; between social struggles here and elsewhere. A meeting place between all those who reject this society, which is based on the principle of authority, and the very idea of anarchy, which is based on solidarity and self-organization. Between those today who are looking for ways to fight their oppression, and for traces to these ways that others have already left behind. Between those who want to understand and revolutionize their local and international reality that produces more and more social conflicts.

Today, as more and more people realize that the emotional and material misery will only pile up, and that society has always been about that; today, as we experience how even more people demonstrate once again the courage to uprise against this misery, we want to open this library in order to give new space to an old question: that of social revolution.

And this question is not a cause of a party or an ‘organization’, absolutely not! It is the cause of us all, as individuals, all who are tired of politics’ deceptions, who no longer accept delegation, bosses or leaders. It is the concern of all who want to fight for their own ideas, their own perspectives and their own lives.

The books in this library should be neither goods for mere amusement, nor materials for mere study, neither old stories for an escape in nostalgia, nor ideologies in search of followers. They should be ferment, leaven of ideas that cause the social mixture to simmer and stimulate the thirst for action. They should be a tool; towards the subversion of the prevailing regime and the construction of free relations.

in Spanish, Portuguese —sources 1, 2

Croatia: Eighth Anarchist Bookfair in Zagreb

The Eighth Anarchist Bookfair in Zagreb will take place
from March 30th to April 1st, 2012

Anarhisticki sajam knjiga (ASK) is an annual anarchist event that aims to become a long-term, developing project. It takes place in Zagreb every spring, as a local resource for anarchist and libertarian books and other publications. ASK also aims to open discussion on subjects that are important for the anarchist movement, or for the local community. The idea for such a bookfair is not new, but is based on the positive experience of other Anarchist Bookfairs. In many different situations, these bookfairs have proved to be important events and meeting places on both local and international levels. This is why ASK needs your help —support this event with solidarity and participation!

If you can’t visit the bookfair, you can consider sending some free publications, posters and other material. Also, you can consider sending books and other publications for sale; ASK will organize stall for all of the people that would like to present their work at the bookfair.

Contact about details, address to send stuff to, etc.: anarhisticki.sajam.knjiga@gmail.com and ask-zagreb@net.hr.

source / more info ask-zagreb

Revolutionary Struggle trial solidarity zine

CLICK ON THE COVER TO READ THE PDF...

‘Revolution is the only solution
for the complete exit from the crisis’

A collection of letters, texts and communiqués from the armed group Revolutionary Struggle and their accused. Released during their current trial in Athens and intended to be one more nail in the coffin of the legitimacy of the State and the capitalist system.

FREEDOM NOW FOR ALL PRISONERS
HONOUR FOREVER TO LAMBROS FOUNDAS

by Actforfreedomnow – Boubouras

İstanbul Book Fair, November 12th–20th

From November 12th to 20th, we’re at the Altıkırkbeş stand with anarchist prints in the İstanbul Book Fair

If you come to the İstanbul Book Fair that takes place for the 30th time, you’ll have the opportunity to encounter anarchist underground editions at one section of the Altıkırkbeş stand. There will be hardcopies of Kıyamet, Asiye, Anti-copyright-tr, GÖZEL, Veganarşi, Yabanıl, Vahşiye Dönüş, Vahşinin Günlüğü, Vejetaryen, Son Durak, Yeryüzüne Özgürlük, Zulmü Görüntüle and Uygarlığa Karşı fanzins, as well as things like cd’s, pins etc. at the stand.

This year we published the 3rd Compilation of Uygarlığa Karşı (Against Civilisation) that contains END:CIV documentary and pdf’s of Kıyamet fanzins which were published in 2011 and Veganarşi and Vejeteryan fanzins which were first published in 2000/2003.

If you come by we’ll also have the opportunity to meet with you.

See you…

PS. You’re free to steal anarchist prints or take them for free but to act with solidarity is more free…

InternationalAforum

source, more info in Turkish