A recent communique by the Circle of Fire anarchist collective and the Anarchist Bulletin BLACK FLAG on the events of May 5th in Athens.
ANARCHY IS STRUGGLE FOR LIFE,
FREEDOM AND DIGNITY
The general strike on May 5 against the harshest financial anti-social measures imposed the last decades became the moment for the expression of a combative social and class dispute of the entire bankrupt political-economic system. That day, we witnessed the manifestation of the accumulated popular rage and resentment, which is more and more threatening to explode, shattering not only this country but even the whole Europe, passing beyond the borders the dominators have drawn.
Especially in Athens, the demonstration of about two hundred thousand protestors, walking the open ways of struggle and through the ruptures created to the deceptively omnipotent regime by the revolt of December ’08, headed to the parliament and repeatedly clashed with the forces of repression, threatening to storm the building in waves.
As anarchists, workers, jobless and youth, continuing our mobilizations and our long-lasting struggles, we chose to participate in the demonstration of 5th May through our own political blocs, contributing from our part to the broader social and class struggle.
Nobody knows how much more the thousands of people could have achieved that day in the streets of Athens if a tragedy hadn’t taken place; a horrible event that was disruptive and catastrophic for the struggle, and an unexpected present for the state, its forces of repression and its propaganda mechanism who used it in order to slander the struggle and intensify their repressive attack in the streets, re-establishing their forces and the consent around them.
It was the murder of three bank employees caused by the arson of Marfin bank in Stadiou street. An atrocious act which was the end of a race of arsons by unknown persons who were moving in an estranged and hostile towards the demonstration manner, using it for hitting targets right next to the blocs, showing no interest in whether human lives were in danger by their actions.
The state is definitely the first responsible for this event, as well as for a series of everyday crimes. With the attack the state is launching against society, it is more and more creating the conditions of a kind of cannibalistic war of all against all; conditions in which eventually anything can happen, even the inconceivable.
Of course, also, the tragic outcome of the arson in Marfin bank, where the three victims and other people were trapped, has largely to do with the fact that the owner of the Bank forced his employees to work in a day of general strike inside a building which had its doors locked and had not any necessary precautions, such as fire safety measures and emergency exits. Yet, given that Vgenopoulos (the bank owner) is a capitalist, member of a class which, by definition, consists of cruel exploiters and murderers, his indisputable culpability cannot be an excuse for those whose actions led three working people to death.
Nor the claim that these people were working the day of the strike can be an excuse for their loss, since this was not an issue to be solved by anyone self-appointed, but an issue of the employees themselves, or their co-workers and of any probable strikers’ committees; and, in any case, the response to situations of unintentional or intentional strike-breaking couldn’t ever be what happened on the 5th of May.
Of course the masses of demonstrators, anarchists and anti-authoritarians among them, who became a human flood in the streets of Athens that day and confronted state repression with tactics of disobedience and social counter-violence are not to be held responsible for the triple murder. That murder came as an ultimate result of an irrational, meaningless and needless violence which is promoted by an autistic, un-political and anti-social concept that has become a parasite to the anarchist – antiauthoritarian movement, sucking its blood and disparaging it, leading it to criminalisation and social isolation. It is a concept that is elitist, hostile and antagonistic towards the resisting society as much as against anarchists; a concept whose emptiness is covered by the ideological rags of a individualistic-chaotic-nihilistic muddle which has, after all, embodied “values” and mentalities that belong to the world of Domination.
That outrageous event made the crowds of demonstrators freeze and emptied the streets of struggle at the most crucial moment for the social resistance. The wounded regime gained time to recover and re-organise its forces as much as it could. At the same time the lackeys of the regime, the media, literally acted as tomb-raiders, exploiting the deaths to promote the state’s ideological and repressive campaign against the people who struggle, and especially against the anarchists whom they attempt to charge with situations completely irrelevant to them.
Anarchists have absolutely nothing to do with what happened in Marfin bank, and could never have done such an action, ignoring human lives. It is also true that anarchist comrades and other protesters, although they were being threatened and physically assaulted, tried as much as they could to hinder inconsiderate attacks and to put out fires wherever lives were in danger.
No matter how much some would wish, we will not shoulder any collective responsibility for situations completely strange to us, which undermine and corrode our struggle and that would annul us as anarchists; nor will we be silent, hiding our complete opposition to such situations. Our political responsibility lies in the fact that, despite our clear conflict with those situations, we were not able to deal with them and politically isolate them as effectively as it should have been done; and in the fact that we have to create the terms to do so from now on. For this reason all of us are called to have a clear position, given that the tragedy in Marfin is a crucial moment and a crossroad for our struggle.
Moreover, it is our responsibility to act in solidarity and collectively in order to repel the slanderous attack by the state and its lackeys, and to continue fighting in political terms, in terms of a movement, within the community, together with its resisting parts.
As anarchists we have a lasting, multiform solidarity activity within the social-class struggles, always on the side of workers, youth, migrants and refugees, and other oppressed and resisting people; and in no way will we stop doing so.
We will not tolerate the denigration of our struggle, which is a struggle for life, freedom and dignity against death, enslavement and humiliation both of the individual and of society; a struggle against inequality, hierarchy and injustice, against any form of exploitation and oppression.
We don’t forget the three dead workers
EVERYONE TO THE STREETS!
No peace with the bosses – Wage slavery is terrorism
The struggle continues… for social revolution, anarchy and communism
We express our solidarity with the people who were beaten and arrested by the police on 5th May and we stand by the side of Zaimi 11 squat in Exarchia which was evacuated after a police raid during which eleven comrades were arrested.
Anarchist collective Circle of Fire
Anarchist Bulletin BLACK FLAG
10 May 2010