“I attack, therefore I am” by imprisoned anarchist comrade Nikos Romanos (Greece)
“The proposal unfolded, the rebellion was generalized, some people undertook to respond to the call, fighters were active and the clock started to move: with different activities ranging from roadblocks, blockades, marches, closing of schools, explosive attacks everywhere, arsons, and other acts. All was called forth by this insurrectionary project, a coupling of theory and practice in action, a convergence between thought, analysis, action and proposals for destruction.”
– From a responsibility claim of anonymous comrades in Mexico for three bomb attacks against targets of authority, in the framework of Black June
For us, the month that passed was a testing ground for the informal coordination of anarchist action, at the same time being an experimental attempt for a political coexistence of comrades from different political origins and outlooks, who while maintaining their political autonomy would contribute to the realization of a subversive plan oriented around four key political directions: direct action, diversity of tactics and theories, the desire for a common coordination, and informal organization.
The campaign of Black December was a gathering point for the strategic direction of informal organization and to restart the continuous anarchist uprising in our own territory and internationally. This is why I think it was worthwhile, both for the prospects of enlarging anarchist attack and to look for paths where anarchist practices will meet, so that everyone who participated in this subversive undertaking will not just stay where they are, but will look for the right means to ensure the continuing informal coordination of anarchist action, defining our own coordinates within the social war and thus shaping those conditions that will allow us to strengthen and empower a polymorphic front to diffuse the seed of continuous anarchist insurrection in the metropolises of the world.
“Black December – Political conclusions and creative equations”
In the endless hours of the dead and desolate dimension of prison, often we are trying to analyze the data of external reality despite the minimum of stimuli that reach us. The observation, study, treatment, and monitoring of events unfolding in a parallel space-time is a condition which should not be treated in a narrow way, but rather treated with persistent attempts to connect with companions outside the walls who wage their own battles against authority.
I have the impression that hardly anyone will be able to argue against the fact that, in general, and for various and often mutually independent reasons and causes, anarchist circles show a sharp decline in their activities. The issues that were able to develop strong independent dynamics were few, and there is a common feeling among many comrades that in the last three years those dynamics have been most reflected during hunger strikes by imprisoned fighters.
If you consider both the level of the actions that occurred during these joint struggles and the open texts that followed (when these retain the necessary sobriety and composure) we can observe a common space, a collective subversive orientation. The positive valuation of these periods of dense anarchist action sees them characterized by informal coordination, diversity of actions, and the autonomy of each collectivity and individual that took part in these struggles. Apart from this positive assessment, there was the unpleasant sensation of unfulfillment in the fact that soon afterwards there was a return to normality.
The widespread desire for anarchist disruption of daily routine to expand in duration and to put forth its own strategies was a key subject of discussion and study, but it still remained suspended and missing. Somewhere there was born the curiosity to seek the appropriate theoretical tools so that these features could occur throughout autonomous action campaigns which would not revolve around hunger strikes but around thematic struggles that would be a collective decision. In this way there would be a chance to develop destabilizing initiatives that would contribute to the intensification of anarchist conflict with the world of authority.
One such attempt was the campaign of Black December, which set out to create an open framework for action within which would be tested the informal coordination of anarchist action, the creative coexistence of comrades from different origins and ideological positions, a dialectical overcoming of theoretical bottlenecks so as to create a reverse dynamic in opposition to the culture of ideological entrenchment, as well as the abolition of the distinction between legal and illegal, and the creation of an emerging perception of convergence- so that the hierarchy of means of struggle can be eliminated through the practice of anarchist diversity, so that each integral part will make up the totality of anarchist resistance.
This proposal, beyond the initial issues raised, was not intended to restrict the campaign of Black December. Instead, as written in the original text that was submitted, the perspective was a gamble to form an informal anarchist platform inside and outside the walls. This project would put into effect the experiment of informal organization, while keeping open all those features which would not allow it to become the “property” of a certain trend or a specific anarchist practice, but instead to become a vehicle for all those comrades wishing to transform anarchy into a real risk to the system.
A meeting point, a fermentation, an exchange for coordination and communication, to be a springboard of thinking and acting for the intensification of the anarchist struggle. The Black December campaign contributed much content to the discussion of revolutionary tactics and showed this through the polymorphic action that it developed. Black December was a communication link between diverse anarchist practices worldwide. A small drop of anarchy which wants to evolve and cause the same impetuous events, to spread the feast of destruction on every inch of land where power strangles the wild beauty of unbridled freedom.
So the thread of anarchy and direct action was able to associate comrades from Greece, Italy, Colombia, Cyprus, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, the US, Uruguay, Australia, Peru, Ecuador, and Belgium, through dozens of polymorphic anarchist actions. Texts from imprisoned comrades, counter-information and propaganda actions, banners in prison wings, militant demonstrations and clashes with police, arsons, bombings and vandalism at enemy targets, events at squats and social centers, the publishing of anarchist works describing the insurrectionary experience, times of direct actions, manuals and theoretical analyses of various viewpoints, all contributing in their own unique way to a polymorphic front of informally organized struggle that internationalizes experiences and goes on the offensive.
If one tries to escape from a sterile perspective that only sees its own jurisdiction as the center of the world, then they will be able to see that in fact in this call there was no “ideological hegemony” of any anarchist tendency in regards to any another; instead, by studying the theoretical content of the actions, perhaps they will realize that this campaign developed momentum precisely for the very reason of its openness.
Moreover, if one looks back to the past, both the near-term and distant past, one will see that whenever there was attempted a separation of a current of anarchy in a manner distinct and competitive with all the others, this has led to the politics of entrenchment and introversion, resulting in a short time of loss of momentum. This naturally occurs because when you remove the terms of the dialectical discussion, you automatically remove any field of fruitful confrontation through which different theoretical concepts can develop their potential. Following in the footsteps of such logic, one is forced to absoluteness in discourse, not as a means of self-determination, but as a technique of polarizing struggles- yet this applies only to words, as the real world offers us a multitude of contradictions, conventions and contradictory facts on which it is impossible to answer on the basis of a fully-formed absolute theory. So this leads to creating distances between theory and practice, which as they are exacerbated lead each of us to deal exclusively with the spectacular display of events and not their content.
So in conclusion, this call did not promote separatism, and not because we believe that the majority of anarchist circles are a healthy environment -rather facts show the opposite to be the case- but because we felt it both strategic retreat and political weakness to allow a comfortable working space to those who infest the body of anarchy. On the other hand we can not define ourselves based solely on political references and negative aspects of some “other”.
Moreover, with words and our actions we do not remain indifferent; on the contrary, we stake our position starting as individuals, to flow into the collective of those who are on the side of negation, a position that on the basis of a comradely invitation communicates the essence of the problem and the project for the absolute destruction of the existent, giving the subversive impulse that every struggle needs.
“Some thoughts on the criticisms against Black December”
Unlike the false impression created by some, we never had the illusion that an insurrection would erupt, as riots most often happen in the nature of randomness and not in response to a text, nor was the rationale of this political proposal only to expand the dynamics from some clashes between rioters and police. If this wrong impression had no relation to the original call, then those who made this criticism probably did not read carefully enough the original texts, nor were they interested enough to hear the recorded speeches at public events in anarchist squats and self-organized radios, as this had been sufficiently emphasized explaining the whole political rationale of the proposal.
Regarding another issue that has emerged as a critical point, which relates to the relationship of imprisoned anarchists to anarchist communities who daily fight authoritarian rottenness, it is important to clear up some perspectives in a radical direction that will not fuel further fragmentation within anarchist circles. Well, before I experienced the misfortune to find myself in prison, there was an attempt by some anarchists to consolidate the perception that anarchist prisoners are not some sacred cows above any critique- instead they constitute an integral and living part of the anarchist struggle, like every anarchist who fights the bastions of the state and authority. In this way they also participate in anarchist developments, contribute their words and their actions during struggles, with the same possibility of submitting proposals and publishing critiques as comrades outside the walls.
On the inside of the walls, therefore, in a period dominated by fragmentation and exacerbated political and personal controversies, there was a contribution without grandstanding rhetoric to overcome personal differences and theoretical rigidities, so that the center of gravity could be shifted to where the heart of anarchy must be, in constant battle with power. This call was issued with open characteristics, not addressed to any single trend of anarchy, but left for anyone who felt either the need or the desire to follow this call to act with the conditions and the way they chose.
This is why the call was left exposed for everyone to appropriate as they wanted. As this specific action campaign did not revolve around any personal demands, it could not have had a person-centered character. As prisoners and so of necessity unable to have our bodies run freely in the wild paths of continuous anarchist insurrection, the only way for us to connect with the world of struggle outside the walls is the mutual fermentation between us, and thanks to this fermentation we sought communication with those collectives and individuals who believed or hoped that a dialogue, an agreement, would be fruitful. The absurdity of the situation is not that some responded to us and some did not, but the fact that others accused us in retrospect of seeking no agreement.
That campaigns of struggle as in Black December may have as their theme invoking the memory of our dead comrades in no way means that they attempted a resuscitation of past insurrectional events. Collective subversive memory was, is, and will continue to be a vital part of polymorphic anarchist struggle. The blood of our comrades will never run dry on the pages of dusty books, which form the ideological alibi of inertia for the official intelligentsia of the “radical” aristocracy, but will continue flowing in the veins of fighters currently arming their minds and their hands on countless occasions to manifest in every way, possible and impossible, their hatred against the world of power and its minions.
The memory of the armed anarchist minority and rioters murdered by uniformed assassins is a memory that reminds us that when we take up arms and attack the order of legality, it is above all else a stance of responsibility and consequentiality for our dead, for those who gave their lives in the struggle and for the struggle. It is this memory that reminds us that anarchy must be dangerous for authority, violent and absolute against the exponents of enslavement, sharp and guarded against anyone who tries to soften its characteristics.
Therefore, invoking the memory of our dead is an invitation to struggle, nothing more and nothing less, a moment of struggle on the route of uncompromising anarchist rebellion in the wilderness of social subordination.
“For an informal anarchist platform, in theory and practice”
“The international anti-authoritarian insurrection is therefore based on a progressive deepening of mutual understanding between all subscribing to it. This is undoubtedly a revolutionary meeting, to the extent that it will be directed to the exchange of information on the mutual work that each member, each group, each structure, and so on, carries within their own spatial reality.”
–From the work “Anti-Authoritarian Insurrectionary International – Proposal for a Conversation” that, among other considerations around informal organization for anarchist comrades, comes from distant 1993
In starting a lively dialogue between comrades who recognize that we are on the same side of the barricades, it is advisable to make clear what we want to achieve and why we champion the informal organization of anarchist action. Informal organization is our way to transform our anger about the civilization of authority into a coordinated wave of attacks, disrupting the monopoly of violence of law and order. Through informal organization we focus our aims and call forth insurrectional conditions which, if desired, can be concentrated on objective goals, thus multiplying their potential. While maintaining our political autonomy, without subordinating our perceptions to any centralized structure, at the same time we are giving help and space for the development of individual and group initiatives so that the collective imagination of comrades can grow creatively, without being subordinated to the political will of one political trend.
We believe that the development of anarchist structures and infrastructures which will network and communicate with one another across the wide range of anarchist struggle is the first step to implement a strategy, at the root of which is our desire not to postpone for tomorrow our rebellion against money, property, hierarchy, apathy, reformism. And this is for our fight against the war of organized capitalism, which aims at our complete subjugation to the dictates of the establishment, a twisted authoritarian establishment that crushes anyone who tries to resist. Through the informal organization of anarchist war, we desire to tear down the social identities that would have us to remain only workers, students, prisoners, or migrants, and to build revolutionary communities where we develop a new human approach in organization, practices and relationships, an inseparable existential experience of our participation in the war against authority.
After many thoughts and discussions between comrades both inside and outside the walls, we put on the discussion table an idea which was not an established doctrine- on the contrary, it is a fraternal invitation to its deepening and development by the thoughts of all the comrades who wish to participate in the dialogue. We want to create an informal anarchist platform on which a dialogue develops between comrades from all fronts of the anarchist struggle- wanted comrades, anarchist prisoners, squats and self-managed spaces, anarchist collectives, guerrilla groups, and autonomous individuals- on this patchwork of different concepts and choices will join all those who want to promote the anarchist struggle in informal ways by declaring war by any means necessary against authority. To avoid misunderstandings, the term ‘platform’ does not attempt a connection with the political tendency of anarchy that is rooted in libertarian communism, but denotes the creation of an informal starting point of coordination.
The main aim of this project is none other than the coordination and development of anarchist insurrection in all fields of social life where it can grow. We do not want the creation of a centralized organization, we only want to improve our effectiveness- and to do so requires the creation of an informal communication network of coordination and exchange of thoughts, which at the same time will be visible in broadcasting its own signal in the anti-state war. Through this venture comrades occupied buildings, propagated anarchist ideas, clashed with cops and fascists in the streets, lit fires to melt the frigid desire for slavery that spreads within the social body, raised arms against the defenders of exploitation- all were able to participate equally in an anarchic exercise which does not promote organization as an end in itself, but instead coordinates horizontal and informal anarchist activity, records political viewpoints, proposes strategic and thematic struggles, diffuses the perception of continuous anarchist insurrection in those young comrades who are carriers of the virus of antagonism, attempts to lay the foundations of healthy political coexistence and synthesis of different political views, all while recognizing the sincere contribution of every outlook in the struggle. Simultaneously through such a venture we recognize all forms of struggle as part of our larger struggle, and in practice we remove the separation between legal and illegal, and can bypass all sorts of “pundits” and “specialists” within the movement. We build bridges between comrades, recognizing everyone as equals in the dialogue between us, and in this way an anarchist squat, a jailed comrade, or an arson group acquire the same weight and are not categorized by the spectacular presentation of these respective means of struggle.
That is why the only agreement required is our desire for the effective support of continuous anarchist insurrection manifested by all means, raising flaming barricades against the outright onslaught of capitalism. Consequently, the open call for partnership in the ranks of an informal anarchist platform is not directed at specific comrades from one anarchist tendency, but for anyone, given only that they are not condemning any form of struggle and are believing in flexibility and the advantages of informal organization. At once it becomes clear that this project is competing with ideas of central organization and centralized functions, and politically hostile to those who are trying to sneak through the back door with political party statutes and attitudes (without this meaning that this specifically seeks to create a dualism to move the center of discussion only around models of organization) while at the same time it starts promoting informal coordination and networking of informal anarchist ventures wishing to collide with state, capital and the social relations they reproduce.
“A recording of key points of Anarchist Agreement”
As said above, the three principles that shape this informal anarchist platform are autonomy, diversity of means of struggle, and coordination, always in the context of informal organization.
Autonomy: Because we consider that the theoretical concepts of everyone and their practices should not be homogenized under an umbrella policy but instead be displayed in public, thereby contributing to the development of an anarchist dialectic. Pluralism within anarchist communities should be an enrichment of anarchist thought. There are times when the theoretical contributions of affinity groups complement their particular viewpoints and this evolution spans the spectrum of radical critical thinking. But even if there are disagreements and discrepancies, contradictory points of each concept can and should serve as an occasion for further enrichment or some revisions, if of course such a confrontation is carried out in a mutual understanding environment that does not aim at degradation of an opponent within the movement.
Simultaneously autonomy ensures the absence of hegemony that can be expressed in a dominant fashion in more concentrated models, or even in informal anarchist groups. Only in the latter case, the poison of power will be limited to where it started and will not be able to diffuse further. Autonomy enables us to contribute to forging a combat strategy (of course given that this is desired) with our own political profile and own political practice, thus contributing to a wider framework which gathers strength and multiplies the effects of maintaining a strategic alliance using the concept of autonomy. Making a comparison, we can say that each campaign of struggle is like a white canvas where the only limit is the border of the frame. Every anarchist group paints in their own special way and adds their own touches, filling in the most beautiful way the diversity of anarchist struggle.
Diversity: The polymorphic diversity of the anarchist struggle is often a misunderstood concept, which is sometimes used as an ideological alibi for the repudiation of dynamic actions, and sometimes is invoked as a process which should be the sole reason for the political support of urban guerrilla actions. But both these thoughts refuse to enter the core of the concept, where the diversity of anarchist struggle is the only possibility for enhancing its own capacities for struggle. The means of anarchist struggle, from printed propaganda all the way to weapons, are dead objects if one does not attempt to give them meaning and the desired subversive content. Because anarchist activity is defined as such when it contains in its essence the ingredients of rebellion and conflict with any authority.
So diversity is the recognition of all forms of struggle as paramount and of equal importance. Faced with a complex reality we must be able to unlock those analytical tools that will enable us to avoid facing the world through dogmatic approaches. Every anarchist action disseminates messages and creates conditions and stimuli in a complex and structured society. Anarchist interventions alter the course of events, tracing chaotic paths of collision with any attempted forms of manipulation and oppression. That is why every means of struggle used is connected to all the others, creating an unbroken conceptual chain which is the only credible prospect for the conversion of anarchy into a real risk for the state and the bosses. So when concepts are promoted that do not understand this indivisible wholeness, then phenomena of fragmentation are created that produce reformism, self-referentiality, fetishism of weapons, or ideological setbacks, depending on the place and the location of the link on the chain that is broken.
Because if anarchy is disarmed and can not maintain and strengthen its armaments that will allow it avenge itself on the rulers for all the rottenness of this world, we will reach an alternative option in the future: to be utilized, as so many other revolutionary forces before, to revitalize the system. It is historically proven, moreover, that capitalism and bourgeois democracy use to their advantage this possibility of assimilation in opposition to radical projects. Because, with the same logic, if one does not comprehend the urban guerrilla as another necessary and indispensable means of struggle in the quiver of every anarchist, we are doomed to a strategy of retreat in the overall struggle from the moment that there is created a two-speed movement: at the end, one part of the movement will be fully hit by repression, and the other will return to the literary clubs of harmless academic chatter.
Coordination: It is the space-time point where diffuse anarchist activity synchronizes and directs its powers to a specific goal, whether it concerns the hunger strike of an imprisoned comrade or a campaign of action around a selected theme. Our choice is to coordinate the practical expression of our desire to strike the authoritarian edifice in a timely and decisive manner. Informal and horizontal coordination dramatically increases the dynamic of actions of anarchists, since they gain more weight and become more threatening if they are part of an organized plan that has been based on informal agreements of joint action by anarchist groups and individuals.
The coordination established automatically maximizes the potential of actions within the overall context in which they are being conducted. Simultaneously through informal coordination we are able to arrive at an interaction between us, since the thoughts of everyone on the issues are placed in a complementary and not in an antagonistic manner with all the others. The choice of informal coordination does not imply our mandatory convergence in all proposals or in the specific struggle thematic proposed. Moreover, our autonomy covers us from such an occurrence, thus giving the opportunity to follow different strategies in certain periods where there may not be agreement about the proposed thematic action.
“Instead of an epilogue. . .”
Comrades, the dawn of this new age arriving with the most relentless and revolting visage, while we are in the throes of condensed historical development, in this period of voracious capitalist development that destroys and flattens out all life on this planet, we simply can not speak of revolution and anarchy without promoting a consistent method of struggle that with its antagonism will make wounds on the seemingly invulnerable body of sovereignty. We live in changing times, from which can be born a liberating perspective. In this age in which we live we must make a definitive divorce with hesitation and procrastination; every lost minute, every wasted moment is ground won for the enemy. The war of all against all that capitalism promotes is not a figure from the apparently safe distance of the capitalist periphery, but a living reality experienced by millions of people who literally have had their lives thrown away on the trash heap, reported upon through statistical data extracted by technocrats and military analysts, all of which shows how economic policies and their developments are opening up fronts of a warzone. It is beyond my understanding how anyone who wants to be called an anarchist can remain unconvinced of the urgent necessity for the escalation and increase of revolutionary war, simply by taking a look at what is happening around them. Against the blind violence of wars between states, we propose the violence of insurrection that blows up social conventions. Let’s definitively break with the modern culture of subordination and degradation.
The stances of each person are not views of an objective and standoffish neutrality, they demonstrate choices and attitudes related to the logic of societal conditions. Those who postpone for tomorrow in every possible way attacks against representatives of power, only give a breath of life to domination and its organization of mass extermination.
From our side, the proposal submitted did not assert a monopoly over anarchist action, but gave a view of informal organization and the possibilities we can get if we are serious and persistent in our intentions and our actions to cut the Gordian knot of introversion. We want to form an international informal coordination that will be the bridge between public and conspiratorial action, that will be the next developmental step for polymorphic anarchist struggle, attempting to fulfill and qualitatively deepen all the relevant historical experiences of the past.
The fact that this text comes to an end does not mean that it dealt in detail with all the issues and thoughts it set out to deal with. Moreover, the aim is not to become one rigidly demarcated proposal, but a bet on a struggle that will be enriched and will move through actions, thus basing its direction on the one thing that can be held to be essential, the endless movement and creative destruction of the anarchist struggle.
“Hm! And how the fools will scream: stubborn anarchists! Who can understand the storm that roars in our minds? Who could be aware of our hunger for pleasure, for life? Who can understand our defeat stemming from human cowardice?
We are alone. We did not find comrades ready to participate in the struggle for the recovery of life. That is why we lost. And one of us vanished. The other remains with his eyes stuck on the horizon. He could not, and did not depart. This is our destiny.
Will we find comrades? Otherwise, each of us in his own way will disappear silently or rowdily from the scene of the world.
A chapter is closed. A chapter of struggle, hopes, illusions. The end, however, has not yet come. As these strange, unusual lives come to an end, we get to a point where we realize that it would have been better if they had never been born. And that’s all there was to say.” –Bruno Filippi
Strength and solidarity to all anarchist prisoners!
Let’s organize the uncontrollable freedom of human dignity!
Anarchy means attack!
This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at 1:54 pm and is filed under Autonomy.