Here's a communique of an anarchist collective in Athens about the role of the ESF, the Libertarian Anti-authoritarian Anarchist Forum and the anarchist demo in the morning of 6 May, the riots during the anti-war march the same afternoon, and the political consent of the ESF to state repression. Out of the 17 people arrested, 8 are facing felony charges and 4 are now imprisoned. Solidarity actions are planned the next days in Athens...
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Anti-state and anticapitalist struggles cannot be repressed or manipulated, they don't compromise and they don't apologize
In the past years, international summits of the global political and financial bosses triggered events of resistance that explosively brought to limelight the variety of struggles bursting around the world - from indigenous communities to the capitalist ghettos - against the state and capital.
The gathering of thousands of people in the streets of Seattle, Prague, Genoa, Thessaloniki and elsewhere gave a new blow to these struggles, opposing to the globalization of domination the globalization of resistance 'from below': the fight for a world without exploitation and oppression, without borders and prisons.
This reality of revolted people from different countries joining behind flaming barricades, transforming those cities into battlefields between the society and its tyrants, deprived the dominators of the alibi of social consent to their criminal plans and undermined the illusion that they're omnipotent.
Facing this expanding wave of resistance, the State resorted to the foundation stone of its existence, institutional and physical violence, and simultaneously it promoted the emergence of 'leading personalities' - such as leftist intellectuals, politicians and bureaucratic unionists - to be recognized as 'representatives' of the people who resist. From the very beginning the aim was to neutralize social resistance by incorporating it into the limits of the system, while state repression - having the reformist's consent - would selectively target those who sabotage this perspective. In this context, any form of resistance that remains uncontrolled by manipulating mechanisms is labelled as 'criminal' or 'terrorist' activity.
The "world social forum - WSF" as well as the european one, the 'ESF', is the result of two coinciding factors: the first one is the pursuit of the State to suppress the struggle 'from within' and the second one is the attempt of social-democratic and left political parties, unions and organizations to buy out a new privileged position in the system, pretending to be the voice of the 'anti-globalization movement' and using its strength as means to promote their political careers. The WSF and ESF are structures built 'from above' in order to control and manipulate the resistance movements created 'from below'.
Anarchists and anti-authoritarians, either acting in international demonstrations together with thousands of insubordinate people or locally, in the various fronts of social-class war, have always fought for the self-organization of the struggle and the total rejection of the state and capitalist institutions. Thus, they antagonized from the start the intentions of the Reformist International to substitute resistance in the streets with 'alternative' hierarchical institutions - institutions that want to set limits on the struggle claiming either the restoration of old Authority models or the beautification of the existing structures and undermine in this way the perspective of social liberation.
This conflict between the perspective of revolt and the perspective of incorporation to the system is present in every moment of the social antagonism. It is the same conflict that was expressed during the 4th European Social Forum in Athens, which was organized on 4-7 May by local bureaucratic trade-unions, reformist groups, NGOs and the left parliamentary party of 'Synaspismos' in the leading role, together with similar groups from Europe. Their purpose is to persuade the people who, suffocating in the world of the bosses and looking for ways to resist, are attracted in such meetings inspired by events like those in Seattle or Genoa, that the world can really change through the old or new institutions of the regime.
Parallel to other encounters and antagonistic to the intentions of the ESF, anti-authoritarian collectives organized the same days in the Polytechnic School the Libertarian, Anarchist, Anti-authoritarian Forum, creating a space for people to express the variety of experiences, views and dimensions in the anti-authoritarian struggle, with open discussions on issues such as biotechnology, capitalist globalization, the 'anti'terrorist crusade, the institutional crisis of democracy, labor, prisons, drugs, counter-information etc.
The peak of this encounter was the anarchist demonstration that took place on the morning of Saturday 6 May, with more than thousand comrades defying the numerous police forces and marching with main slogan: NO OTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE AS LONG AS THERE'S STILL STATE AND CAPITALISM.
These activities disturbed the state which in the last period has been launching, through the media, an intense disinformation campaign to criminalize anarchists. The main point of this campaign is the myth that the anarchist struggle is supposed to threaten the society instead of the state, which is presenting itself as the guard of social safety. The state's aim is to obstruct the influence that anarchist theory and action have in the social struggles and to gain social consent for repression.
The organizers of the ESF were also annoyed by these activities, as their aim is the political hegemony in the context of resistance - that has to be bound to their reformist demands - as well as the hegemony of their methods in the streets that certain moment.
This hegemony of the social-democratic mentality was disputed by the riots that spread - spontaneously and unorganized to a large degree - from anarchists and insubordinate youth, in the anti-war demonstration organized by the ESF the afternoon of May 6. The attacks against state and capitalist targets and the confrontations with the police showed to the state that no structure of manipulation can succeed unhindered in its role and damaged the political investment of the ESF in that protest that was planned to be a spectacular contribution to class pacification. What the events revealed was the collaboration between manipulation and state repression.
ESF groups inflicted unprovoked violence upon demonstrators who were not inside their blocs and whose only 'mistake' was that they didn't conform with the ESF's organizing committee (and their's only) plans for a pacifist demo. It's important to mention that anarchists and other demonstrators attacked specific targets, such as the riot police and their vehicles, banks, the U.S., British, Italian and French embassies, the police headquarters, the courthouse, the E.U. office, the greek parliament and ministries. In no case did they attack the people participating in the ESF demo or even the 'special guard groups', as the ESF representatives claim in their blatant lies. On the contrary, it was the ESF 'special guard groups' who hit or tried to hit people participating in the riots, having the unbelievable nerve to call them 'fascists' (!) the very moment they were throwing them on the ground or pushing them towards the cops. And of course demonstrators defended themselves against this unprovoked violence.
The moment the demo was finished, the slandering of the people who participated in the riots and the attempt to de-politicize the events begun. The most characteristic example is D. Stratoulis, representative of the ESF and prominent member of 'Synaspismos' party, who appeared on TV together with police officials. There, he labeled social anti-violence as 'raw/blind violence', he explained to the audience the distinction between real and not real anarchists (!), he accused the minister of public order that he undermines the events and blamed the police for not confronting effectively the 'trouble-makers'.
The fact that the ESF harmonized its voice with the voice of the police and the media (exceeding them actually), offered the state the necessary political consent to proceed with repression. This consent was immediately reflected on the severe charges for the 17 persons arrested, on the persecution of 8 of them for felonies and the imprisonment of 4, as exemplary punishment and as means of intimidation for everyone who fights outside the boundaries of the regime.
The ESF representatives - like the president of 'Synaspismos' who stated that 'The endless peaceful march of the ESF positions Athens next to Seattle, Genoa and Florence - in the history of the movement against capitalist globalization'- know very well that what really happened in Seattle and Genoa was endless confrontations with the police, tear-gas and barricades, and not just pacifist fiestas led by members of the parliament. Now, like back then in Genoa, on the one hand they scream that all radicals are 'provocateurs' and on the other hand they exploit and impropriate the incidents of revolt - even the memory of Carlo Giuliani whom they would call 'provocateur' if he was alive - as they also know well that their idea of mutilated pale manifestations are unable to inspire even their followers.
The ESF made an official statement accusing 'groups who used other demonstrators as a shield of protection against the Police', when in reality it's themselves who attempt to use all demonstrators in order to negotiate a better position in the balance of power inside the political system. They accuse those who attacked state and capitalist targets for 'extreme political despotism', when it's them who have beaten even each other for the leadership of the ESF, and have given their consent to the state's despotism, requesting the most severe punishment for the arrested. It's also them, the representatives of the ESF, who first slander the people who resist and then come to defend them as victims of repression, in order to gain another political alibi.
Against state repression being renewed by the political consent offered by the social-democrat reformists of the ESF, we oppose collective resistance in every front of the social-class war, we fight to make the dream of revolt a nightmare for the state, the bosses and their lackeys.
SOLIDARITY TO THE PEOPLE PERSECUTED FOR THE EVENTS OF 6 MAY FREEDOM FOR THE 4 IMPRISONED
THE STRUGGLE AGAINST DOMINATION WILL EITHER BE SELF-ORGANIZED, ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN AND ANTI-INSTITUTIONAL OR NOTHING!
Open assembly of anarchists/anti-authoritarians
10th May 2006