"And finally, without doubt,these charges target a combative approach to anarchism that takes the individual, affinity, and informality as its starting points."

Marseille: Anti-gentrification myths and lies for welfare case workers

Posted: May 22nd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Broadsheets | No Comments »

Texts translated from issue 5 of Du Pain Sur La Planche [1], published in March and distributed in the streets of Marseille. The first text is a short but incisive critique of liberal anti-gentrification organizing that seeks to set out a positive local identity that needs to be protected from change (which, under capitalist social relations, can only be a lie); the second is a reflection on the role of the welfare bureaucracy in building a docile workforce and maintaining social peace.

This wonderful neighbourhood…

In the early morning on the way to work, X is passing through the market in the Plain[2] when she hears shouting. She has to elbow her way through to get close enough to understand what’s happening. A woman, surrounded by several men (four “stall holders”), is blocked in by a motionless crowd. These assholes are insulting and threatening her, punctuated with disgusting sexist comments. Though isolated among these jackals and their accomplices, she stays strong and holds her ground. Just beside her, an old man is being abundantly berated by another merchant, who says that he’s already warned him, that he doesn’t want to see him around, that he’s already stolen things several times: if he comes back, he’ll kick his ass. It seems the woman has been singled out by these four horrible people because she defended the old thief. Running ever later and rightly furious now, my friend X tries to find others to help her tell the stall holders to fuck off. But in vain. One of the few responses she received was that “it livens things up”. Hard to conclude anything positive from this anecdote that combines “class” violence with sexism and regular old assholery and that makes visible (yet again) the petty cowardice of crowds. There is one thing though: the attitude of the person who got in the way of something she found disgusting and X, who tried to ease the pressure on her and offer her a way out. Read the rest of this entry »


1917: An anti-war revolution

Posted: May 14th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Broadsheets | No Comments »

Translator: Text from the April 2017 issue of Canons Rompus, a revolutionary anti-war journal published in France. Not tied to a specific ideology, this journal engages a critique of the state by analyzing the role of the military in politics, society, and the economy. This text is interesting in that, departing somewhat from their usual anti-war stance, it appears to say that the Russian withdrawal from World War 1 represented an abandonment of internationalist principles and led to the consolidation of the Leninist “revolutions are the internal business of states” ideology that continues to operate today (in the pro-Assad opposition to the Syrian revolution, for instance).

Exactly one hundred years ago, in March 1917, the Russian revolution began.

This revolution, lead primarily by farmers, workers, and soldiers, set off a world-wide revolutionary wave and kept the working class’ hopes alive for decades…

We want to draw attention to the role played by war in sparking the revolution and in its continuation, as well as on the importance of the question of peace, starting in the very first street demonstrations. Read the rest of this entry »


On Not Voting and Anti-Electoral Attack

Posted: May 4th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Broadsheets | No Comments »

Two texts from Blasphegme #4, a mural journal that started appearing around Paris on April 4. The first text is an individualist rejection of electoralism and the society that goes with it and the second is a brief round up of attacks against electoral infrastructure in the month before its publication.

I don’t vote!

Source: https://blasphegme.noblogs.org/2017/04/je-ne-vote-pas/

I don’t vote. Because I don’t want to choose a master, to choose who will decide in my place what’s right for me, who will force me to respect their choices, who will present those choices as my own. I don’t want the majority to determine the conditions of my servitude, I don’t want to the cattle to build the fences that enclose them and select those who will rule over me as well, regardless of what I think.

I don’t vote because I don’t want the world they force on us. I don’t recognize the idea of the nation, of peoples, or of citizenship, because states always manage to construct identities that give the illusion of a unified population. My nationality, the language I speak, and the colour of my skin in no way determine who I am, and I don’t recognize the borders of the state in which chance saw me born. In the same way, I don’t want to hear about any “common good”, because I don’t want to be part of any community – I don’t want to be bound to anyone and I want to choose those with whom I build my life. Read the rest of this entry »


On the French Election: No bosses, no nations! No Le Pen, no Macron!

Posted: May 3rd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Broadsheets | 1 Comment »

Two texts from issue 9 of Paris Sous Tension, published this week, responding to the ongoing French electoral circus.

No bosses, no nations! No Le Pen, no Macron! [1]

Source: https://parissoustension.noblogs.org/ni-patrie-ni-patron-ni-le-pen-ni-macron/

Everyone knows the results of the first round of the presidential elections [2]. For us, this isn’t what matters. That millions of people still bother to go vote shows that we are still living in a society largely made up of obedient citizens and not, alas, of free individuals. But how could this surprise us when we know of the whole range of institutions – starting with school – that continue, year after year, to reproduce such creatures. That a majority of them gave their support to an ex-banker (a veritable messiah of the coming capitalism) and to a disgrace (a populist demagogue who plays on the hatred and resentment that drives so many of our contemporaries) reminds us that we truly have no hope of sharing anything with such people. And sadly, it shows where resignation, everyone-for-themselves, identification with the national community, the abandonment of all hope of revolution, and the erasure of historical memory can lead. Nothing surprising. But let’s leave the pessimism for later.

That night, several hundred people showed their refusal of the elections, their unequivocal and unconditional defiance towards the person who will reach the throne. Several unpermitted demos wove their way throughout north-east Paris, moving through Bastille, République, Stalingrad, Belleville, Ménilmontant… With the practice of, as much as possible, directly attacking everything that, within their way of seeing the world, doesn’t have a good reason to exist,: riot cops, military vehicles, banks, insurance agencies, advertising panels, surveillance cameras, real estate agencies, various businesses… [3] Read the rest of this entry »


France, Proud Exporter of High-Tech Death

Posted: February 3rd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Broadsheets | No Comments »

From Paris Sous Tension #8

As the carnage in Syria continues, deaths are now counted by the hundreds of thousands. The large popular uprising that began in 2011 to overthrow the Assad dictatorship has been drowned in blood for five years under the passive, stunned gaze of the entire world. A real slaughter, with whole villages razed to the ground and a war of extermination waged against a population already decimated by hunger and privation. The insurrection was skillfully transformed into a civil war by the various international factions of power who are fighting over the resources, reconstruction contracts, and domination of the populations. Blood is spilling in the Middle East and Africa. The state, commanders, and bosses, whether they be dressed in suits, uniforms, or religious clothes, are dividing the booty at the expense of millions of peoples lives. And Europe as well is beginning to smell  blood and gun powder, to once again get used terror and to khaki uniforms in the streets. Racism and nationalism are spreading, with millions of refugees are turned back at the borders, tens of thousands drown in the Mediteranean, die in trucks, or are expelled or locked up. War invades our lives ever further and constrains our present and our future. Read the rest of this entry »


Brussels: Imagine for a moment… Reflections on two recent strikes

Posted: December 29th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Broadsheets | No Comments »

from L’Imprévu, #1, Dec 2016 [1]

Imagine for a moment… You’ve been wearing yourself out over years of work in a steel mill, eight hours a day doing something that doesn’t interest you, just sweating in the noise and heat, between the grey walls of the factory, until you’re physically and mentally depleted. And all that for… Really, why? To fill the pockets of shareholders, the same people who would throw you back out on the street at a moment’s notice if things stopped being sufficiently “profitable”. Bad enough in itself, of course, if not a downright tragic, humiliating, revolting scandal.

This kind of thing is the daily reality of a unbelievable number of people throughout the world (worse still, it’s the normal course of things) and among them, the workers in the ESB steelmill in Seraing who, to top it off, were denied their last two months salary — the miserly pay that you depend on to live and that makes you accept the daily torment of work.

In April, some workers were quite reasonably sick of the management’s bullshit and decided to turn their anger into action. Some members of management found themselves forced to work a bit of overtime, and one of them got a serious talking to. The police intervened to save the poor suits. A few hours later, a night team, though quickly assembled, decided to take action. Not to produce merchandise and further enrich the boss, but rather by finally doing a something useful in the factory: a large part of the work space (notably the offices) were ably destroyed using a forklift, which also caught fire shortly after. As well, several cars belonging to the bosses suffered broken headlights. Destroy what destroy us, that’s what it’s about; and that’s precisely our point.

The next day, a union rep appeared on scene to show off his nervous face for the cameras and to condemn these joyful acts of human dignity. Well of course, a union rep is, in a way, there to protect the factory: even when he seems nice, he’s still a cop. When the decisive moment arrives, it’s clear to see which side he’s on. The unions were much more excited about the prison guards strike in Brussels and Wallonia that lasted several weeks [2]. Unlike the prisoners.

Imagine for a moment… Locked up inside the bare walls of a prison, deprived of freedom and at the mercy of fickle and unscrupulous people who make their living locking others in concrete cages. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, they go on strike as well. Not because they’re sick of slamming the cell doors day after day, but because they want a better salary and more colleagues to help them in their grim task.

The unions and leftists supported the strike, but there is a fundamental difference between these two methods of putting pressure on the boss:  there are the strikers who block or destroy the machines, and thus the production of merchandise, and those who put the lives of prisoners at risk. Because when the screws go on strike, the prisoners don’t get showers, visits, or yard time [3]. Everyone spends the whole day locked in their cell, with the intolerable consequences that follow. In many places, the prisoners didn’t just suffer through the strike without doing anything and some unrest broke out. In the Tournai, Arlon, Huy, Landtin, and Andenne prisons, the prisoners responded by burning their cells, flooding the units, trashing the hallways, etc. Saturday May 7, a devastating mutiny rocked the Merkplas prison in Anvers. Whole wings were destroyed and burnt by the insurgent prisoners. Walls were leveled, fences torn down, whole units ransacked. Between striking guards and prisoners in revolt, it’s clear which side we’re on.

In these times, when the atrocities of this world are more obvious with each passing day, where we ask ourselves how many humiliations the oppressed will have to take before waking up, events like those in Seraing and in the prisons teach us a thing or two things: they may well put our backs against the wall, but there is always a way to recover our dignity. That’s why we can’t let the unions be our compass, but should rather be guided by our own strength, courage, inventiveness, and rage.

Endnotes

1] As far as I know, this French-language broadsheet, produced by anarchist in Brussels, does not have a web presence. Theiy direct the curious to Acrata Infoshop and offer the email address imprevu at riseup dot net

2] This strike started at the end of April 2016 and lasted over a month, before the state agreed to grant a pay raise and hire almost five hundred more screws and creating 1400 new spaces of prisoners

3] Or, often, regular medications, access to medical care, appropriate food, fresh clothes…


War among the Poor & the Daily Beep: Texts from Blasphegme

Posted: December 17th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Broadsheets | No Comments »

blasphegme2

Texts from the second issue of Blasphegme, pasted up around Paris in December 2016

War among the poor

Translators into: This text is a response to the death of Zhang Chaolin on August 7, 2016, following a violent robbery by three teenagers from the neighbourhood, one of over a hundred similar robberies targeting people who look Chinese in the past year. The narrative around this is that black and brown youth in poor areas see the Chinese residents of those same areas as more prosperous and single them out for robberies that often turn violent.

This summer, a man died after he was the target of a racist attack. We might be surprised not to have heard this mentioned by the professionals of the anti-racist cause, leaving the state and its representatives to take the lead. And if the irritating demand for “truth and justice” was not made, we can be sure it wasn’t for a good reason. On the one hand, the professional anti-racists ignored this story and on the other, associations from the so-called “Chinese community” took advantage to draw lines between groups of people, while the state was happy to play the anti-racist card, going so far as to inaugurate a plaque in honour of this man a few weeks ago.

Those who have always sought to oppose racism without trying to make a profession of it recognize that all the various waves of immigrants (and not just them) [1] have experienced the racism latent in a large part of the population (immigrant or not). It seems ironic, then, that the “anti-racist” ideology (and here we don’t mean the state, who during this same time is forcing out migrants in Paris and Calais) only takes into consideration certain expressions of racism, while leaving aside others. As if some deaths and assaults were more serious than others, some racisms and discriminations more serious than others. Read the rest of this entry »


Anarchist texts on the Calais Jungle

Posted: December 12th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Broadsheets | 1 Comment »

Although by now the Jungle of Calais has been destroyed, these two texts by Paris Sous Tension are still very relevant for understanding the situation of migrants in France today from an anarchist perspective. Many of the migrants were moved from the Jungle to various detention or housing centres, but all of those spaces are temporary and they will soon be back with the others in the camps that appeared or grew following the Calais eviction. In November, several thousand people were evicted from the Stalingrad neighbhourhood of Paris, where a camp had grown on the grassy medians of busy commercial streets. With right-wing politics ascendant here in the lead-up to presidential election in the spring, it is likely that the attitude of the state towards the migrants will harden and that the two strategies described in these articles, repression and management, will take on an increasingly violent character. 

“I don’t want to go there. That camp is a prison, a sneaky way of imprisoning us.”
from Paris Sous Tension, January 2016

In Calais, the year 2016 begins in the same way the previous ended: by further repressive measures against the undersireables (undocumented people, outlaws, rebels…), by declarations of war against them by the government and its police. All with the explicit support of the most despicable segment of the population, those who have turned to xenophobia to soothe their miserable existence and who rejoice to see the government — who, in their opinion, never does enough —  go all out and resort to drastic measures. Those who, when things get serious, always line up behind the state and demand as the price of their passive adherence that the order be restored. Their only concern is to preserve their small comforts, their precious bank balance, their precious car and daily routine, their precious space of mental peace that all allows them to live their lives without paying attention to the world around them. Read the rest of this entry »


Blasphegme: An anarchist broadsheet on the walls of Paris

Posted: October 8th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Broadsheets | No Comments »

blas[From the first issue of Blasphegme: An anarchist broadsheet on the walls of Paris. It’s been getting pasted up around the city in the past month]

Introduction

“I spit on your idols, I spit on your gods, I spit on the homeland […] I spit on your flags, I spit on capital and the golden calf, I spit on all religions: they’re jokes, I don’t give a shit about them, I don’t give a damn. They only exist because of you, leave them and they’ll fall apart.
You’re resigned, but you’re a force —  you don’t even know it, but you’re a force nonetheless, and I cannot spit on you, I can only hate you… or love you. Beyond all my other desires, I want to see you shaken from your resignation in a terrible awakening into life. There is no future paradise, there is no future, there is only the present.”
Albert Libertad, To the Resigned, 1905

Blasphegme: A neologisme designating a blasphemy delivered in the form of spit (or phlegm) on all religions, whether monotheist or polytheist, whether  the religion of the state or of capital, the religion of work or of the ego.

The blasphegme spits in the face of all gods and of all prophets, with no distinction between the various collective delusions that poison us, that keep us in awe of a higher power before which we must kneel.

The blasphegme is the individual expression of non-resignation in the face of a society that leaves us no time to breathe, using the power dynamics between individuals to keep the cattle calm, too busy competing and acting out our frustrations, products of lives that have known only the coercion of laws made to regulate social life.

This journal aims to agitate, to spread anarchist ideas, to spread seeds of subversion in a daily life as boxed-in as graph paper.

We’re not trying to teach, rather we hope to spark debates on the ideas that matter to us and that seem essential for any individual seeking to liberate themselves, here and now, from all that shackles that keep us from soaring high. Read the rest of this entry »


Clermont: Revenge of the weeds: On attacks against schools

Posted: October 3rd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Broadsheets | No Comments »

From La Bourrasque, an anarchist broadsheet of critique and agitation written in Clermont and the surrounding area. Issue 2, Juin-August 2016.

A little something for the back-to-school season…

Revenge of the Weeds

We still remember those nasty, horrible people who, in 2005, during the three weeks of rioting that rocked the banlieues (1), vandalized “their” schools. Groups of rebels smashed up this idea of schooling, blew apart the framework of social integration (2), set ablaze the whole democratic symbol of a national education. These images were seen around the world and many onlookers were deeply impacted by the scenes of civil war and the reactionary rhetoric of the journalist-cops. There had always been attacks against schools and they haven’t stopped since. Each year, we can count a good twenty of them that get ransacked. These revolts are less visible today than in 2005, but sometimes the ruckus still manages to reach us from the other side of the bars. If we were to really spend five minutes reflecting on what this institution represents, would we be so surprised to see it targeted by those who refuse to submit?

The school, with its perimeter wall, its yard, its cameras, and, coming soon, its metal detectors, is nothing but a reduced version of the prison. Its priorities — bow to authority, stay in your place, say thank you — must be fully internalized before stepping out into the real world. Discipline is strict and the child is brought into line using punishments or rewards. Education is a garden stake, straightening up the weedy plants they could grow into. Read the rest of this entry »