“And if fucking everything up won’t change the world, it’s already something to see that the rage is shared in many segments of society and that we can struggle together, without leaders and without parties to recuperate our revolt.”

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 »


Besançon: Back from the Holidays, Back in the Fight

Posted: September 21st, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Broadsheets | 1 Comment »

From Seditions: an irregular anarchist journal the Besançon area. Issue 8, September 2016.

A summer of revolts

While the end of last year was marked by social problems that caused a bit of trouble for the powerful, the summer of 2016 brought fiery revolts against this world of misery and oppression. First and foremost, these took aim at those who most obviously carry of the violence of the powerful, namely the cops and the gendarmes [military-style police].

While some go off on vacation, others stay trapped in the prison world of the ghettos. On Tuesday July 19 in Beaumont-sur-Oise in Val-d’Oise, Adama Traore was killed by gendarmes while being arrested. To conceal his death by suffocation at the hands of the pigs, the state immediately began talking about “heart troubles … respiratory troubles … pulmonary infections” and so on. Every time some dies in custody, power puts on the same grim spectacle, with the complicity of the media. This time, Beaumont and Persan [two towns in Val-d’Oise] responded with several nights of revolt, during which many municipal and state buildings (police stations, libraries, garages for city vehicles) as well as capitalist infrastructure (gas stations, supermarkets…) went up in smoke or had their windows smashed.

These attacks against the institutions and infrastructure of this society are the proof that only by destroying this world will we find justice within it. To demand that “justice be done” is to insist that the state condemn a killer in uniform who is himself tasked with maintaining order, so basically asking power to condemn itself. It’s hoping for a kind of state justice that is and always has been in the service of the rich and powerful. Even if this murdering officer were to be found guilty of voluntary homicide, the exploitation and oppression imposed by this system would continue just the same. Read the rest of this entry »