Monday 27 December 2010


I am certainly not nonviolent. All the same I can understand
someone who hates violence to the point of
wanting to banish it from their life; someone who
would never kill, would never use force in order to
be heard; who, because of their character and aptitude,
prefers not to have recourse to it. But I can
only understand all this if it is a question of individual
choice. When nonviolence is presented as a method
of struggle, a road to be followed, when individual
ethics become morals and a collective project, it
seems absolute nonsense to me, useful only to justify
lack of action and an obstacle against those who rebel,
an absolute value to impose on the weak to allow the
strong to forget them in comfort. On the edge of the
abyss, with the earth more and more under enemy
fire, the invitation to use only good manners can look
just like that. Do as you like but don’t preach to me.
That said, I am not a fanatic of violence either. I
don’t like those who boast about their own feats in
such a context, I don’t justify their apology as an end
in itself, I detest those who consider it the only solution
possible. I consider it a necessity in the struggle
against power, nothing more. Like Malatesta, I too
don’t believe in ‘placid sunsets’. I don’t believe that
the reinforced concrete with which power has covered
our existence will melt upon the blooming of the
flower of freedom lovingly planted by the spreading
of our ideas.
Precisely because I am not nonviolent I cannot stand
moralistic condemnation of acts of violence. The
hypocrisy makes me sick. But precisely because I
am not a fanatic of violence, I also cannot stand any
acritical exaltation of these acts. The stupidity of that
really gets on my nerves.
Recently there has been a great prominence of actions
of attack carried out by unknown comrades,
first against the police station of Genoa, then against
the Spanish prison regime. Taking for granted the
hysterical reaction of the media, the reaction of the
police is just as predictable. But what is the reaction
of comrades? Apart from the usual idiots given to
hindsight, the most common reaction is silence. A
necessary silence, to avoid making distinctions between
those in favour and those against such acts
that would only turn out to be useful to the police
investigations. But for too long this silence hasn’t limited
itself to reigning in the days following the attacks,
it protracts itself much longer than that. It is
no longer silence in the face of the enemy who would
like to know, it is also the silence among comrades
who would like to agree. One has passed from the
presence of a minimal form of solidarity to the absence
of any critical discussion. But why ever should
action, whatever it is, not be submitted to critical reflection?
Why a should a hypothetical debate on such
questions be seen as an obstacle, something aimed
at preventing other actions? Why could it not rather
be support, a way of clarifying the meaning of what
one wants to do, to strengthen and improve action?
For me, taking recent events as a starting point I
have decided to write and circulate this text. Its
anonymous form is not due to fear of taking responsibility
for my words, but just a way not to differentiate
myself from the other comrades in the eyes of
the repression.
Claim yes, claim no
As far as I know, not being an expert on the subject
I could be mistaken, to find the first document claiming
an attack by a revolutionary organization we must
go back to Russia in 1878. It was a pamphlet Smert’
za smert’ (Death for a death) circulated by the group
Narodnaja Volja (Will of the people) after the killing
of general Mezencov head of the Russian secret
police. Thirteen days after the murder the pamphlet
claiming it was sent to a Petersbourg daily and in the
days that followed many copies came out in other
cities and were sent to numerous civil servants. At
the time this action made a great sensation – and of
course the criticisms were not lacking of those who
thought that such means could not take the place of
the more important instrument of propaganda of ideas
and rebellion among the masses.
From then this scene has repeated itself hundreds of
times. The details, obviously, change from time to
time but the substance doesn’t change. You could
almost say that the experience of these Russian revolutionaries
became a kind of archetype, an original
model whose future manifestations in reality are nothing
but filiations or imitations. The only variation within
this schema has been brought by the anarchists who
have never considered it necessary to politically claim
their actions of attack against power. The Russian
group ‘People’s will’, in fact, although gathering ‘militants’
of the most diverse ideas, nevertheless placed
itself as a centralized vanguard. Within this organi-
zation, as a militant was to remember in her memoirs,
there was a discussion as to whether the program
to be followed was to be that of ‘forcing the
government to allow the people to freely express their
will to reconstruct political and economic life without
obstacles… or whether that organization must first
move to take power into its own hands, to then decree
a constitution from above that was favourable
to the people’.
With such premises one can well see their need to
claim, to communicate the reasons for their actions
to the masses whom they intended to elevate and to
the enemy whose counterpart they believed themselves
to be. After all, that group wanted to address
the people in that nearly all its members came from
the more well off classes, and negotiate with constituted
power in their name, to the point of sending a
letter to the heir of the Tzar to advise him on what
politic to follow. But when one doesn’t want to represent
anyone, nor places oneself as anyone’s coun-
terpart, why circulate communiques? If one thinks
that action of attack against power must nevertheless
have as a horizon the social revolution, and not
be its parody in the form of armed struggle against
the state, what can the aim of a specific armed organization
It doesn’t seem to me that anarchists in the past distinguished
themselves by claiming actions. The anarchists
who sacrificed themselves by carrying out
individual deeds like Bresci and Caserio didn’t do it
for obvious reasons. Neither did the comrades who
had intended to undertake more continuous activity
such as Ravachol or Henry, nor those who united
themselves with them and others in armed action: Di
Giovanni didn’t do it, neither did Durruti or Ascaso.
And the reason must have been quite obvious. Desiring
a revolution from the base, not imposed or
thrown down from above, all of these anarchists considered
it opportune to act in the shadows keeping
themselves away from everything that could take
them into the limelight. They preferred the reasons
for their actions to come from the base, that it was
the movement itself to express them, rather than take
advantage of the clamour raised to spread them from
above, like the official message of those who had
made a revolt to those who hadn’t. The significance
of an action, if it is not made clear by its social context
could be found in leaflets, newspapers, reviews
and within theoretical debates developed by the movement
as a whole, not in the communique of one single
organization. I’ll give an example: if the movement is
able to express its theoretical critique of prison, when
someone then passes to a practical critique there is
no need to write a communique explaining the reasons
for it. The reasons for its gestures are clear
already comprehensible. When someone wants to
claim one’s responsibility it is only because they want
to put themselves on show. The attack on the Genoa
police headquarters, for example, was so significant
(for the choice of objective and the moment) as to
make all words superfluous. Why was a communique
circulated that said nothing but banalities?
It is true that the Angry Brigade constitute a kind of
exception, still being a question of anarchists claiming
their own actions. Not by chance, precisely that
experience seems to constitute a kind of model for
many comrades who are attacking power today. Yet,
unless one wants to throw oneself into attitudes of
emulation, the example doesn’t seem repeatable to
me. On the one hand it is impossible not to bear in
mind that the Angry Brigade should be inserted into
the historical context within which it matured, that is
in the 70s. In an era in which numerous Stalinist
groups were seminating terrible ideological bricks to
propagandize their own political project and were
lending themselves to taking over the dimension of
armed attack, it doesn’t seem strange to me that some
anarchists wanted to distinguish themselves by not
running the risk of involuntarily working for others.
From the choice of name to that of objectives, to the
style of the communiques, everything tended to distinguish
itself from the mess around them. But once
the whole Stalinist ideology had been surpassed, why
characterize oneself in the anarchist sense, what is
the point in continuing with this self-representation?
Perhaps in countries like Spain, where all the actions,
including anonymous ones, are immediately
attributed to the Eta, but certainly not here in Italy. In
fact for years actions of attack did not produce any
communiques, except sometimes something very
brief and simple and that refused the use of any acronym
of identification. It should be superfluous to
explain the reasons for this: an action can only belong
to everyone if nobody attributes it to himself. As
soon as it is claimed and given an identity, a kind of
separation is created between those who carried it
out and everybody else. Moreover, it should not even
be necessary to remember the danger inherent in
any claim. It is dangerous to consign it, to send it,
and above all it is dangerous to write because the
more one writes the more indications one gives to
the police (all anything but hypothetical danger, given
that there exists at least one negative precedent that
struck anarchist comrades). An anonymous attack
does not allow anyone to emerge and does not facilitate
the police’s repressive work.
If the reasons for anonymity have been expressed
more than once, those against it haven’t. For a few
years now things have changed without there having
been any debate on the subject. In any case it is very
difficult today for an action not to be accompanied
by a beautiful communique, followed by slogans and
signatures. Why? Silence… And so, carrying on like
this, doesn’t one end up in vanguardism? The risk is
so evident that among the very authors of claims there
are those who proclaim themselves to be against
vanguardism, in the hope that it will be enough to say
so in order to be so. But ‘to excuse yourself is to
accuse yourself’. It is the method itself that is
vanguardist and, sometimes, also the explicitly de-
clared contents (as demonstrated in the afflicted communique
of the ARA following the attack on Palazzo
Marino). It matters little if the slogans incite social
war rather than the dictatorship of the proletariat. It
matters little if the signatures change continually.
That just demonstrates that anarchist ‘vanguards’ are
more elastic than the Stalinists, but nevertheless feel
the need to distinguish themselves from the rest of
the movement.
It is not enough to take the Angry Brigade as a starting
point to resolve the problem. I know perfectly
well that the Angry Brigade affirmed ‘We are not in
a position to say whether any one person is or isn’t a
member of the Angry Brigade. All we say is: the
Brigade is everywhere. Without any Central Committee
and no hierarchy to classify our members, we
can only know strange faces as friends through their
I also know that their participants did not consider
themselves an organization or a single group ‘but an
expression of rage and discontent…’. But all that
just shows the good faith of these comrades, their
preoccupation not to present themselves as a vanguard,
but it doesn’t demonstrate whether they actually
succeeded in their intentions. A signature that
wants to be a symbol of generalized anger doesn’t
make sense. For everyone to be able to recognize
himself or herself in it the actions and the words explaining
them must be understood and shared by everyone.
You can’t offer a general collective identity
and claim that each one renounces their individuality.
That can only be done if the actions realized and
the words spoken remain at a level that is so low as
to limit dissent as far as possible: very simple exemplary
actions accompanied by maximalist slogans. All
that – given that it might be worth it – can only work
for a brief period, after which other factors intervene
that are a part of any process that makes the
continuation of the experiment impossible: there are
those who want to move on to more powerful instru-
ments, who want to strike more selective objectives,
who want to express more precise concepts… Even
the ALF, who struggle for a motivation that is basically
simple and univocal such as animal liberation,
saw their first defections as soon as they began to
expand. Some other animal liberation groups – tired
of the confusion of the project, the minimalism of the
objectives, the declarations of the spokespersons –
formed. Not only, but, it is the worst aspect, all of
these groups saw themselves forced to give themselves
a new name to avoid being included automatically
in the main cauldron. Because the instrument
of claiming is a strictly political one, with all the harm
that that implies as long as one remains in anonymity
one can do what one wants, without involving or exploiting
others. But as soon as some emerge, they
also force the others to come out so as not to be
considered mere army columns. This mechanism of
identification/assimilation can only be avoided through
anonymity, the diversification of means and fantasy
in the choice of objectives, otherwise, no matter how
many precautions one may take, one could never
prevent the media from putting it into act (so much
more than with the communiques that one sends precisely
to them).
What objectives?
The vanguardist logic is rigid, as soon as one adopts
it, it is applied everywhere. It is enough to think of
the choice of objectives, the depressing road that
throughout the years has led from an anonymously
slain pylon to a letter bomb – with letter included –
sent to the television. In the first case they want to
sabotage an enemy, jamming the functioning of its
system by putting a peripheral structure out of use.
It is a question of a practical action of attack, perhaps
a little fastidious to bring about, but without putting
anyone at risk. In the second case one just wants
to be talked about, make publicity for one’s own firm,
and that is why they turn directly to the doors of the
Rai [Italian equivalent of BBC].. It is just a symbolic
action, far easier to realize, and if the risk of being
wounded falls to some unfortunate postal worker or
TV employee… who cares. It seems that it is not
only the Jesuits who think that the end justifies the
means but also some anarchists. And concerning letter
I have been unfair. I said that those who send them
just want to be talked about. I forgot to add that, self
gratification aside, they also want something else to
be talked about. For example the prison conditions
of some anarchists and rebels imprisoned in Spain.
The Russian revolutionary socialists in 1878 had a
similar preoccupation. In one of their famous documents
they wrote: ‘If the press don’t defend the prisoners,
we will’. Today there are the groups of the
5C [one of the informal Fai groups]. Anarchists, not
revolutionary-socialists. Anarchists like May
Picqueray who in 1921 sent a parcel bomb to the
American ambassador in Paris to protest against the
silence that weighed upon the incarceration of Sacco
and Vanzetti. The action was very successful because
the abuse committed by the American government
finally became publicly known, launching a
struggle that had had difficulty in taking off.
But after taking act of the similarity between past
and present, one must have blinkers on not to see the
colossal differences. The Russian socialists killed the
chief of the secret police following the death in prison
of one of their comrades: a death for a death, exactly.
The French anarchist, to make public the infamy
of American justice, struck the maximum representative
of the American government present in
France. Today, the anarchists of the 5C send their
presents no less than to the workers of the Rai or the
secretaries of Spanish travel agencies. The difference
should leap out at us. Of course, those materially
responsible for the penitentiary regime that is
being imposed on the comrades are far away and
probably too well protected to be reached, whereas
the interests of the Spanish State are everywhere
and can therefore be struck. But are these interests
embodied in the employees working in travel agencies?
And because one insists on making an impact
on the media, how can one ignore the fact that the
great means of communication only amplify the words
of the rebels if they can distort their meaning? And
how not realize that such actions make this operation
of distortion all too easy? By sending incendiary
letters left and right one will undoubtedly make them
talk about the comrades detained in Spain, everybody
will talk about them, but in what terms? In the
terms imposed by the media, of course, who will rush
to reinforce the idea already implanted in many that,
after all, if these prisoners have such unscrupulous
champions, perhaps they deserve harsh regimes.
The trouble is that those who think that they are further
ahead, more radical than everybody else, think
so for a very precise reason. This consists in the use
of certain instruments: those who talk just chatter,
those who attack with weapons are acting. All those
who support armed struggle are in love with their
instruments, they love them to the point that they
cease to see them as such and to see them as an end
in themselves, their reason for being. They don’t
choose the means best suited to the end they want to
achieve, they transform the means into end in itself.
If I want to kill a fly on the wall I use a rolled up
newspaper, if I want to kill a mouse I use a stick, if I
want to kill a man I use a revolver, if I want to demolish
a building I use dynamite. According to what
I want to do, I choose the means that I consider most
adapt from all those that I have available. The armedstrugglist,
no. He doesn’t think like that. He wants to
use his favourite instrument, the one that gives him
most satisfaction, that makes him feel more radical,
that allows him to bask in his media celebrity, and he
uses it independently of the aim he has given himself:
he shoots flies, machine-guns the mouse, dynamites
the man and if he could, would use a nuclear
bomb to blow up the building. For the armed-strugglist
the radicality of the struggle does not consist of its
extension and depth and its capacity to question social
peace. For the armed-strugglist, radicality is only
a question of fire power: a calibre 22 handgun is less
radical than a 38, which is less radical than a
Kalashnikov, which is less radical than plastic explosives.
That is why, thirsty for fame and rendered
obtuse by his own technical idolatry, he sends incendiary
letters to simple employees to combat the Fies
prison regime. He does that because it is the only
thing he knows how to do; technics do not accompany
intelligence but take the place of it, and so one
doesn’t even stop to ask for a second whether the
means is suitable for the end one wants to attain. As
far as scruples are concerned, he doesn’t have any
for the simple reason that in his head everything is
split up into black and white, without nuances of colour.
On the one side there is the State, on the other the
anarchists. There is no one in the middle. If one isn’t
anarchist one belongs to the State, so one is an enemy.
The exploited are responsible for the conditions
that they put up with just as much as the exploiters
who impose them on them: they are all enemies, so
that’s their problem.
Strangely this typically militaristic logic is gaining
ground among certain anarchists, among whom there
are even some who support the Palestinian kamikaze.
Incredible if one thinks that such levels of
abjection were far even from the Russian revolutionaries
at the end of the nineteenth century:
vanguardist authoritarians yes, but with a rigorous
ethic, ready to kill an exploiter but without touching a
hair of any of the exploited. And if the authoritarians
took this care, think of the anarchists! The examples
in this sense are many: even Schicchi, well known
also for his fiery language, was capable of going back
to where he had left a bomb in order to defuse it
when he realized that some passerby might have been
But the image of the anarchist of the past, the perfect
gentleman, is too goody goody, not very gratifying
for some anarchists of today. There are anarchists
who only manage to give a sense to their lives
if they feel they have been struck by public con
tempt. The more something is condemned, the more
they are attracted. The more the newspapers and
the judges depict anarchists as unscrupulous people,
the more they rush to fill this role. Devoid of any
prospects of their own, they let themselves be told
by their enemies what they are and what they must
Another consequence of what is happening is the
total overturning of the meaning of the term
‘insurrectionalist’, which today is coming to be used
as a simple synonym for ‘violent’ or even simply beyond
dialogue with the institutions. Anarchists who
put bombs are insurrectionalists, anarchists who break
windows are insurrectionalists, anarchists who clash
with the police are insurrectionalists, insurrectionalist
are the anarchists who contest the demonstrations
of the political parties and so on. Not a word about
ideas. In a certain sense one is repeating exactly what
happened at the beginning of the century with the
adjective ‘individualist’. Once there was the convic
tion that anyone who supported violent individual acts
was an individualist, then this term came to be applied
more or less everywhere and often out of place.
In the frenzy of events, who stopped to clarify the
confusion that was spreading? Recourse to individual
violence is not at all a typical characteristic of individualism,
so much so that there were also pacifist
individualist anarchists (such as Tucker) or nonviolent
(like Mackay). And again, was Galleani an individualist
perhaps? Yet he was a supporter of individual
actions… as was Malatesta in certain circumstances.
And there have also been communists in
favour of individual acts. Unfortunately the equivocation
became rooted to such a point that there were
even those who declared themselves individualist even
though they were not at all (as did Schicchi in the
Pisa trial). Misunderstanding, incomprehension… it
is better not to add to such confusion. That the media
do it is quite obvious and comprehensible. But
why should we do it too?
Insurrection is a social event. It is not the challenge,
a singular duel with the State launched by those who
believe that the mass are just sheep waiting to be
sheared. Recourse to violence is inevitable and necessary
in an insurrectional project, just as it is before
(because the social aspect of insurrection can never
be carried to justify waiting). Therefore, also now.
But this violence cannot separate itself from the rest
of the project, it cannot take its place. It is violence
that is one instrument at the service of the project,
not the project that is in the service of violence.
Whoever thinks that an insurrection isn’t possible,
having lost (or never had) faith in the possibility that
the exploited will rebel, should realize the distance
that separates them from any insurrectional project.
If he wants to fight his private war against power,
because that is what it has become, let him do so, but
without passing this off as social war. If he wants to
go down in history for his actions, because this is a
question of pure self-gratification, then let him sit under
the glare of the media, but without claiming to have
the whole movement behind him.
It’s obvious that anybody is free to do what he or she
likes. Someone who thinks that they are above criticism
and should be applauded, understood and followed
without even having bothered to explain the
reasons behind their methods, is a lot less so.

Translated from Italian May 2007 and published
by Elephant Editions, this text first
appeared on the website Anarcotico in 2003.

For Riotous Assemblies not Reasonable Dissent (UK)

The atmosphere of UK State repression and ‘queen’s peace’ was definitively broken on the 10th November 2010, when the Millbank Tower, Conservative Party HQ, was stormed by a mob of malcontents, during a demonstration against student fees.

The roof-top scenes of occupation and property destruction dispelled the long-held belief that the cops have the upper hand on the streets of the United Kingdom, and especially in the open-CCTV-prison of London. Something much more occurred that day than the complete trashing of the ruling political party’s headquarters in the capital city – an aching festive class violence was openly expressed and transmitted everywhere via global media, to all others in resistance around the world.

Again this incredible force was experienced on 9 December, and it still only felt like the beginning.

The opportunity of this moment is the opportunity for mass social rebellion. And within this is the necessity for those that consider themselves already a ‘politically conscious’ and ‘active’ class to know when to keep silent, when to step aside and to recognise that the opportunity being presented to them is to divest themselves of their own redundant, prescriptive and obstructive attachment to their own models of theory and action.

Numerous ‘interactions’ (‘direct action skillshares/trainings’, ‘meetings’, calls for a centralising ‘Network’/Platform) have popped up over the past couple of weeks during the student uprisings. There is certainly value in telling people to mask up in demos, for example, or what to do when arrested, but is there really a value in ‘teaching’ rebellion, aside from the need of those teaching it to assert their own ego and present themselves as experts in struggle? In the recent riots, the crowd didn’t need to be trained or incited to attack police vehicles and occupy or destroy buildings, it occurs anywhere the people feel confident enough to resist openly en masse.

The anti-capitalist ‘struggle’ in the UK has, in the last ten years, largely produced nothing worthwhile aside from myriad activist quangoes and some nice careers. If we need to fill any holes in our political identities, let’s fill them with curiosity. No sooner does authentic fury explode in the streets, then activist initiatives spring up seeking to manage it, to democratise it, to control it: the beauty of the unknown is at once crushed into the machinery of the leftist bureaucrats. Rolling out the decades failing interminable script, – action medics, people’s kitchens, workshops, email lists, ad nauseam – and calling upon the controllables – climate camp, social activist groups, federations, reformist single-issue campaigns; all the tranquilising themes – so that the social managers can attempt to make it palatable and compliant to their careerist manipulations, as frightened of the uncontrollable as the state.

In the last five years, very few of the ‘conscious political’ class – the activists – have succeeded in getting out of a kettle nor finding their projects developing into one of attack. Because – as the young people and the angry know – to get out of a kettle requires a project of chaos and attack. And that is precisely what the activist cannot and will not engage in, beyond the symbolic.

Why? Because the activist project is not about rebellion nor about chaos. It is primarily a project of reigning in, of taming the unruly desire to break out of all constraints, to specialise it, professionalise it and rationalise it.

The activist project is the maintenance of a self-aggrandising, elitist and fictitious movement. It is a policed theatre of diversion and deference organised by social managers and leftist incompetents. It is an easily infiltrated and repressed illusion full of substitute activities for the well-meaning to waste their time with. How useful for the State to have open umbrella organisations of activism which can pressure people into certain types of conforming and exploitable democratic behaviour, all under the double-speak banner of ‘inclusivity’, ‘consensus’ and ‘diversity of tactics’. Activism is ‘political’ thought and ‘political’ engagement as an impediment to real struggle.

It is the very experience of embedding oneself in a ‘politically-conscious’ scene and the rules that are built up within it that can lead to paralysis and counter-revolution. In the moment when you need to defend yourself, pick up and throw stones or set fire to a target or barricade, those already entrenched in a morass of theories, debates and dubious ideas of alliance and affinity, many of those who imagine themselves holding some kind of blueprint for social change or revolution and feeling the need for ‘intervention’, pause, and back off from the clash.

We will not attend any “anti-cuts” activist gatherings nor will we send ‘delegates’ as if we were some organisational department or cheap NGO. We are not for continuing any of the structures or concepts given to us by democracy.

Those who would ‘intervene’ must take some time to ask themselves whether they simply wish to constrain within their own limits of thought, understanding and action, an emerging rebellion. Let the young people create new, unpredicted pathways. Let us break our own patterns, and then destroy that most insidious police force – that within us which wields batons of ideology, and which hides it’s own impotence, historical inefficacy and fear behind crash barriers of ‘necessary infrastructure’ and ‘organisation’. We want the time to see what comes out of real chaos. Out of rebellion into freedom.

Formalising a struggle too early leads to the death of that conflictual tension; without formalisation there is only social force, which cannot be repressed through its representations, it spreads and detonates social conditions through existing class conflicts and rage. It eventually finds fluid form in informal groupings of affinity through which we can communicate as equals, rather than as stereo-types. Self-management of our struggle, not our everyday drudgery, begins through organising attacks; it is in the highly charged space of the attack – the experience of freedom – that the individual and collective mind, realising in an instant its volition, power, self-determination and willful vitality, can escape dated concepts and forms.

We are not suggesting that we’ll not engage in the student uprisings – or any other uprising – but we’ll do so with the aim of meeting others with whom we might share a theoretical and tactical affinity for the purpose of social revolution.

We know who we are, what we think and what we desire. We’ll continue acting as we always have, alongside and within the coming storm. Understanding these parameters of our own consciousness and practice of engagement, what we plan for is to ride this new social energy, to enable it to give more power to the attacks that we anyway make, and hope that by contributing alongside the new rebel class – not by intervening in its development, we can broaden the struggle without imprisoning its potentiality within the usual cage of reasonable dissent, activism and identity politics. We wish to leave space for others to do the same. It will not be the case that if we attended a meeting of students, we would succeed in persuading them all to our vision of rebellion or of an alternative future world. Nor is there any possibility that at such a meeting, we would be persuaded suddenly to a position of reform or non-violence. As far as we are concerned, the system can only be fought through widespread violent means at street-level, blockading and sabotaging the flow of the economy, spreading the distribution of resources to the social majority and halting wage slavery through mass force.

As we are seeing, the anger is encompassing those people who are not part of the student movement, but have every reason to hate the police and the system.

No more will we remain concealed, once again we can draw a clear line between ourselves and the enemy, the exploiter class.

We call on all those who have made a decision to attack to develop our efforts and interlinked struggles at the base. Let’s forge an aggressive push against the global system and it’s representations.

For the spread of the riots.

Some uncontrollables

- / Greek translation: Συνελεύσεις των ταραχών, κι όχι μια δικαιολογημένη ανυπακοή – Λονδίνο, 16/12/2010

Friday 17 December 2010

The false friends of the Commune of Tarnac

translated from cette semaine

Indy Nantes, Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 18:47

[All that is argued here, despite strong similarities with simple gratuitous and wicked nonsense, is actually taken from the text we are speaking about, an interview given to Le Figaro, the Sunday newspaper and other policy interventions like the La Chaine Parlementaire ]

A few days ago, a supposedly libertarian website published a call dating from December 1st signed " Friends of the Commune of Tarnac”. You can read it here:

Every day many of us look for info and news on the net about social conflict: stories of struggle, strikes, occupations, riots in the streets, the prisons and detention centres, action communiques, or theory to enrich our analysis. Each seeks what they need in their struggle for their own emancipation, aware, however, that the Internet is not a neutral tool.

But to fall upon such a disgrace, ..and we would not have made such a fuss about it if it had been an advertisement for the Abbé Pierre Foundation. That call out for subscription gives nothing to our struggles and revolts, it is just an appeal to poor people struggling in their daily lives (the email addresses and the sites chosen for the publication of this text show), to give their money for the golden retirement of a few radicals resigned against any effective insurrectionary upheaval and retreated into the outbacks. Far be it from us to condemn those who can't hold out, losing the hope and energy to do physical battle with this world, so long as they don't come begging for pennies to fund their activist holiday that could instead be used for the development of struggles and theoretical and practical tools such as brochures, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, places, banners, leaflets, etc. The question of money is rarely discussed among us ... But yes, all that is expensive, especially when very few people produce and many benefit. And we do not all have "endowments" with tax exemptions, generally many of us pay little or no taxes at all.
First, the call for subscription begins with a phrase that has a knack for getting us angry, "We are not writing to you today to tell you about the dark procedural maze in which justice is seeking to enclose some of us, and we are still trying to get out of.” Good thing you were not talking of your strategy any-means-are-good defence, of the cynicism that characterizes your media appearances. Good thing you do not throw back in our faces your dirty scale attitude, explaining to honourable anti-terrorist judge that instead of arresting you, he should have explored "the German trail” (leading to arrests and interrogations in Germany). To explain to the whole world that you're just nice intellectuals and drawing room philosophers who only discuss the world around the fire, daisies in their hair, proclaiming your innocence everywhere while comrades bet to assume all the possible terms and categories of the enemy, languishing in the hole at the same time as you did. And we pass over your media community front with deputies, senators, mayors, judges, cops etc.. to scrape the bottom of the barrel of the left and find a new republican and citizenship cause for your vile characters. It is indeed tempting to imagine this sturdy one wearing glasses, in jeans and red sweater that the State accuses of being a dangerous terrorist, but who serves you a chocolate cake, especially since when we were younger we loved batman. "All means are good for getting our friends out of prison," it was said, in that case you only have to denounce or denounce your other friends for the alleged acts.
"If we have moved to Tarnac it is of course for its old tradition of resistance to central authority, popular mutual aid, and rural communism that survived there. "You forgot to mention that if you installed in Tarnac it's also because Gerard Coupat, having amassed his fortune in small death laboratories of the pharmaceutical industry, graciously offered you a property and a few companies. But is Gerard broke now? So it's now up to us to fund your "grocery-bar" and "workers' meals" at 12 € as you presented them to your friends in show business a few months ago. But we know that you are "athletes of the mind", you will find out a way to get a few young people who lack perspectives who at other times would have swelled the ranks of a Woodstock or Krishnas to swallow all that.

"Now we are embarking on the installation of a sawmill and a wood shop to build low-cost habitats for those who come to repopulate the plateau. The project is clear, start a new settlement on the style of rural post-sixty-eighters, who indeed, if we draw any record, would really have successfully revolutionized the world.

Let me be clear, if you want to ensure your escape from the social war (we avoid class along with you) by milking cows, good for you, but do not come begging to those who struggle and live in the vast majority of cases in precariousness.

Hold up the editions de la Fabrique, go get the money where it lies, empty the wallets of the bourgeois who have supported you and with whom your moving account of Poujadist teletubbies, model traders, innocence itself, persecuted by a power so unfair that your small eco-human business threatened with its claws of freedom. And please, at the same time as you stop racketeering us (emotionally and financially), stop taking with you all that is young, naive and sincere in making them believe that the revolution will be made by producing one's own drywall (placo-platre) bio.

"Now something tells us that it is not the State which, under present circumstances, will support us in this worthy direction." We will pray that other emergent circumstances in which the State might wish to finance your small holiday camp, but maybe only strategically, making entryism into Club Med could enable you to build a Tarnac Club Med reserved for the left of the left. A strategy that would therefore trigger an insurgency without having to go through too subversive means such as the petition. Undoubtedly, your mentor, Blanqui, if he were still alive, would come and strip ducks at your side.

What we can admire in you is that you do not do things by halves, with you a simple call for financial support becomes a "structure", "an endowment fund”, which will allow us (really, thank you) "to give money and deduct two thirds of our donations from your taxes," be careful however not to let Habitat compete too much with Humanism on the charity market, which also works to bandage the wounds of this world and gets tax exemptions. "It aims to collect and redistribute funds to initiatives for reinvigorating the plateau." Because yes, our regions have talent!

Comrades! If you really have money to burn, send it instead to solidarity funds and local initiatives that you want to see existing. But for the realists, those who want to act here and now for the coming insurrection, simply fill out this form:

Angry antiauthoritarian

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Lecce, Italy - Sentence of the Nottetempo appeal trial (9th December 2010)

14 December 2010

As usually goes with the justice of the system, things turned badly for the comrades on trial: not only have some of the requests of the public prosecutor been accepted but those who had been acquitted in the first grade of the trial have also been charged.
The story is by now well known. Operation Nottetempo started in May 2005 when searches were carried out all over Italy and five comrades from Lecce were arrested and detained for almost two years in preventive arrest. The main reason for this judicial operation against anarchists was the tenacious struggle the comrades had undertaken against the notorious detention centre for immigrants Regina Pacis (which eventually closed down also thanks to that struggle), run by the church and situated in Salento (Lecce), the southernmost area of the Puglia region (southern Italy).
After a long series of hearings during which various squalid witnesses for the prosecutions gave vent to delirious declarations, the thesis that the comrades were part of a subversive association with the aim of terrorism had been rejected. However, due to strong pressures from the powerful local clergy and their political allies, four of the twelve accused had been charged with organised crime, two with specific crimes and the others had been acquitted. Unsatisfied with this result, which was insane in any case, public prosecutor Lino Giorgio Bruno presented a request for appeal as it was his intent to have the Lecce anarchists sentenced to subversive association. After all, it was the career of this ignominious servant of power that was at stake. He hoped he would become famous as the magistrate who finally managed to have anarchists condemned according to article 270 bis of the Italian penal code (subversive association with the aim of terrorism), a task many of his Italian colleagues had failed on numerous previous occasions.
Therefore, after a few years of postponements, the court of appeal has finally come to a new staggering conclusion: all the twelve anarchists originally accused have been sentenced to article 270 (without bis), i.e. subversive association without aim of terrorism. The heaviest charges have been inflicted to the four comrades condemned in the first grade, with one of them considered as the founder of the “association”, while the other two charged on that occasion have seen their sentence increased and the acquitted in the first trial have been given sentences rangi
Sentence of the Nottetempo appeal trial (9th December 2010)
As usually goes with the justice of the system, things turned badly for the comrades on trial: not only have some of the requests of the public prosecutor been accepted but those who had been acquitted in the first grade of the trial have also been charged.
The story is by now well known. Operation Nottetempo started in May 2005 when searches were carried out all over Italy and five comrades from Lecce were arrested and detained for almost two years in preventive arrest. The main reason for this judicial operation against anarchists was the tenacious struggle the comrades had undertaken against the notorious detention centre for immigrants Regina Pacis (which eventually closed down also thanks to that struggle), run by the church and situated in Salento (Lecce), the southernmost area of the Puglia region (southern Italy).
After a long series of hearings during which various squalid witnesses for the prosecutions gave vent to delirious declarations, the thesis that the comrades were part of a subversive association with the aim of terrorism had been rejected. However, due to strong pressures from the powerful local clergy and their political allies, four of the twelve accused had been charged with organised crime, two with specific crimes and the others had been acquitted. Unsatisfied with this result, which was insane in any case, public prosecutor Lino Giorgio Bruno presented a request for appeal as it was his intent to have the Lecce anarchists sentenced to subversive association. After all, it was the career of this ignominious servant of power that was at stake. He hoped he would become famous as the magistrate who finally managed to have anarchists condemned according to article 270 bis of the Italian penal code (subversive association with the aim of terrorism), a task many of his Italian colleagues had failed on numerous previous occasions.
Therefore, after a few years of postponements, the court of appeal has finally come to a new staggering conclusion: all the twelve anarchists originally accused have been sentenced to article 270 (without bis), i.e. subversive association without aim of terrorism. The heaviest charges have been inflicted to the four comrades condemned in the first grade, with one of them considered as the founder of the “association”, while the other two charged on that occasion have seen their sentence increased and the acquitted in the first trial have been given sentences ranging from one year to one year and eight months imprisonment. The court has also decided that all the accused are guilty of having instigated the imprisoned immigrants of Regina Pacis to committing crime, referring to two episodes when the immigrants had revolted and some had attempted to escape. It is therefore crystal clear that the real goal of this court is to condemn the struggle against Regina Pacis and, to a larger extent, any other struggle of this kind.
Waiting for the comrades involved to give us further details, we can just express our total disgust at this miserable public prosecutor, his repugnant associates in the local political scene and the shameful clergymen of Lecce.
It won’t be a court or any other servant of power to stop the exploited from revolting.
Fire to all prisons!!!
An accomplice of the accused anarchists
ng from one year to one year and eight months imprisonment. The court has also decided that all the accused are guilty of having instigated the imprisoned immigrants of Regina Pacis to committing crime, referring to two episodes when the immigrants had revolted and some had attempted to escape. It is therefore crystal clear that the real goal of this court is to condemn the struggle against Regina Pacis and, to a larger extent, any other struggle of this kind.
Waiting for the comrades involved to give us further details, we can just express our total disgust at this miserable public prosecutor, his repugnant associates in the local political scene and the shameful clergymen of Lecce.
It won’t be a court or any other servant of power to stop the exploited from revolting.
Fire to all prisons!!!
An accomplice of the accused anarchists

Thursday 2 December 2010


Pierleone Porcu

Solidarietà rivoluzionaria, “Anarchismo” n.72, May 1993, pp.8-9

There are many ways to demonstrate solidarity to comrades who are being criminalised by the State, each one of which is a direct expression of the way one intervenes in the social clash in general.

There are those who see solidarity as lending a social service to this or that arrested comrade, and that is the way they carry out their activity: looking for lawyers, sending money and clothes to prison, visiting and so on. This purely humanitarian solidarity also translates itself into the constitution of defence committees and relative campaigns aimed at influencing public opinion.

Then there are those who see solidarity in a strictly political key and play at making a heap of “distinctions” aimed at not compromising the image of their own activity. So for reasons of opportunity they defend and show solidarity to those who declare themselves innocent, not to those who Claim responsibility for their actions.

Others still, if they see there is something to be gained in terms of political propaganda, immediately bring out flyers and leaflets in formal solidarity with the comrade or comrades arrested, i.e. they declare solidarity in words, while in practice there is no trace of it.

Then there is solidarity in an ideological context. This is the case of the marxist-leninists in the revolutionary combatant party version. They show solidarity with those with positions similar to their own, and are in contrast with those who do not share or recognise their political line or strategy, often using censorship and ostracism against those they consider inconvenient.

What do we think we should mean by revolutionary solidarity then? The first aspect is that of seeing solidarity as the extension of the insurrectional social practice one is already carrying out within the class clash, i.e. as a direct demonstration of actions of attack against all the structures of power, large and small that are present in one's own territory. And that is because these should to all effects be considered responsible for everything that happens in social reality, including therefore the criminalisation and arrest of comrades wherever they are. It would be short-sighted to reduce the question of repression against comrades to something strictly linked to the legal and police apparatus. The criminalisation and arrest of comrades should be seen in the context of the social struggle as a whole, precisely because these are always the hasty material means used by the State to discourage radicalisation everywhere. No matter how great or insignificant it might be, every act of repression belongs to the relations of the social struggle in course against the structures of dominion.

The second aspect is that each revolutionary comrade should be defended on principle, irrespective of the accusations made against them by the State's legal and police apparatus, in the first place because it is a question of snatching them from its clutches i.e. from the conditions of “hostage” they have been reduced to. Moreover, it is also a question of not losing the occasion to intensify the attack against the “law” intended as the regulating expression of all the relationships of power present in constituted society.

The third aspect concerns the refusal to accept the logic of defence that is inherent in constitutional law, such as for example the problem of the “innocence” or “guilt” of the comrades involved, and that is because we have many good reasons for defending them and no one can justify the political opportunism of not doing so. We cannot and must not consider ourselves lawyers, but revolutionary anarchists at war against constituted social order an all fronts. We aim at radically destroying the latter from top to bottom, we are not interested in judging it as it does us. For this reason we consider any sentence made by the State vultures against proletarians in revolt, and all the more so if they are comrades, to be a sentence against ourselves and as such to be avenged with all the means we consider opportune, according to our disposition and personal inclinations.

The fourth and final aspect concerns our attitude towards the arrested comrades, whom we continue to behave towards in the same way as those not in prison. That means that to revolutionary solidarity we always and in any case unite a radical critique. We can and do show solidarity with imprisoned comrades without for this espousing their ideas. Those who show solidarity to imprisoned comrades are not necessarily involved in their opinions and points of view, and the same thing goes for us as far as they are concerned. We actively support all imprisoned comrades in all and for all, but only up to the point where what we do for them does not come into contrast with or contradict our revolutionary insurrectionalist way of being. Ours is exclusively a relationship between social revolutionaries in revolt, not that of bartering positions. We do not sacrifice any part of ourselves, just as we do not expect others to do the same.

We think of solidarity as a way of being accomplices, of taking reciprocal pleasure and in no way consider it a duty, a sacrifice for the “good and sacred cause”, because it is our own cause, i.e. ourselves.

Starting from these premises, of primary importance in the development of one's anarchist insurrectionalist action, revolutionary solidarity takes on meaning as such, because we would show simple material support to any friend who ends up in prison.

Revolutionary solidarity is an integral part of our very being as insurrectional anarchists. It is in this dimension that it should be demonstrated incessantly, precisely because it contributes to widening what we are already doing.

Pierleone Porcu

The Virtue of Torment

from Revolutionary Solidarity, Elephant Editions

La virtù del supplizio, “Anarchismo” n. 74

Aldo Perego

Prison, a physical territory distinct and separate from the rest of social life and what it represents and determines, seems to occupy a reserved space in our thoughts and minds.

The law is a concentrate of the way society has chosen to regulate its conflicts (by force and through image), whereas prison sums up what directly crushes and oppresses us. For us it is a question of understanding how and where one can act to put an end to all the filth of survival, including facing the problem of the destruction of prison and the law. And in order to put an end to the law it is also essential to stop thinking and talking in its language, that normally used to denounce the “abuses” of power. By so doing we certainly don't want to contest the prisoner's possibility to demand to be treated properly when tormented by the screw. But by shutting oneself up in particular wrongs (the screw's abuses) without considering the monstruosity of the very existence of prison, the prisoner finds himself drawn into a perverse accountancy: what does it mean to ask for the right to be treated properly? Would any individual whatsoever not prefer not to be treated at all?

The other side of the law

Law as the right of an individual to obtain or do such and such a thing, or as a whole including texts and legal practices. The latter apparently include and guarantee the former. So the democratic procedure always consists of padding out law with the rights of man, whereas any law we might benefit from is itself a dispossession, a search for ourselves in something other than ourselves. But what do laws define? Freedom conceived of only in negative terms: “my freedom ends where another's begins”. A vision of the individual as a territory limited by others, a vision of small proprietors, precursors of the famous “my body belongs to me”. It is not by chance that the temporal dimension, a fundamental human value, is lacking in these concepts.

Every right is by nature both a principle and a practical means of exclusion and privation. Whoever says right says exchange, because the law is these to organise a measured repartition of rights and duties and, in the case of damage, it prescribes the amount of compensation. A right always belongs to a miserable proprietor, because he needs a property title for something he is afraid of losing or that could be taken from him. Law is always aimed at governing a community which is incapable of living as such, in order for it not explode completely.

Law is also an ideology: a mental and rational construction that serves to justify the real social function of justice.

Today law is a precise quantifiying coded instrument which determines and points out what each individual, including each civil servant, must do. The police are held to respect very severe regulations and at the Same time they are continually having to break them in order to function. Legal control of their work is a fake: everyone knows the pig uses particular techniques in order to function and to exert pressure, which judges nearly always close a eye to. No matter whether it is applied to the investigator or the common citizen, the law does not prevent excesses, it merely keeps them within reasonable limits so as not to put the social order and institutions at risk. In the same way a prison sentence serves to circumscribe the revenge of the injured party by keeping it within the Limits that have been established and applied by a third party “above the party”, as all societies dispose of norms to allow those in power to regulate their arguments, legitimize their power and obtain the consensus of the exploited.

The Bible does not define, it lists, justifying such an operation with the unknowable and inscrutable divine will concerning what one should and shouldn't do. The modern era also supplies a definition of man on which to organise its social rules. The same goes for the law, with the pretext of establishing what is right and what is wrong. Hence the classification into good and bad. Innocence and guilt are attributes of the legal mechanism as they contain a judgement (which the person concerned is heartily invited to interiorise). Now, to understand and live the crudest acts (rape, murder, torture) does not mean to judge them. Whoever sits in judgement is action in the name of something that goes beyond the social relations which determined these same acts.

Precisely in the Same way as morals do in interpersonal relations, the law applies a pre-established norm to a conflict or violence to solemnize the trauma, defining it in order to exorcise it. In this logic it is necessary for there to be a guilty party, not just someone responsible as guilt penetrates the guilty, becoming their whole being. This is complete when the law claims to judge not only action but the whole person in the light of their action, reinforced with an analysis of the motivations, psychiatric reports and personality tests.

The law and Democracy

The sphere of State control is extending as rights increase, as it is necessary to have them respected and to sanction transgressions. The tendency of democratic society is to penalise everything. It has a clause and a punishment for every form of violence from the slap of the parent to rape. The extension of rights is synonymous with generalised criminalisation. It is claimed that violence has been banished from all social relations. But that reinforces the monopoly of violence that has been “legitimised” by the State, which is infinitely worse than any other kind. The law does not eliminate violence, it normalises it. Like democracy, it constitutes a filter to intolerance and violence alike.

Like democracy, the law functions on the basis of reason without having recourse to force. But for this reason brute force is also necessary in order for it to express itself, for any discussion to take place on its own terms. In the Same way democracy bases itself on the refusal of the violence it has generated and which it needs in order to perpetuate itself.

And so this filter also affects radical action, when it enters a court for example, rendering it incapable of proposing anything other that what is acceptable to the law. However, that is not a reason for not acting, or for regretting having acted, but rather for doing it knowingly: no revolutionary intervention can exist within the ambit of the law. The legal apparatus separates the accused from the discussions that concern him by delegating his power, as is continually done in democracy, to a few of its representatives: in this case to lawyers.

The worst thing is that, because the trial is public, one is convinced one is controlling the law, whereas it is really the law that is controlling the public. The Image that comes from the court carries an essential, hypnotically repeated message: violence is the monopoly of the State. And when conflicts between parties lead to confusion and uncertainty it is the State that sorts things out: “I also have a monopoly of truth”. The trilogy “police-justice-media” must therefore be analysed as a whole. Even if the game between the three partners overturns it is still able to absorb any scandal. There is a scandal when it transpires that someone has broken the rules: but such an accusation presupposes one's remaining inside the game. The real rupture would be to break out of it.

No denunciation, no blinding glare of truth contains on its own the strength to threaten the existence of social institutions and relations.

The social prison

So, why take up the question of repression and the law? Certainly not just because of the existence of the primary, essential, exemplary horror of the courts and prisons. We have no need to seek a peak of horror in order to put the whole of society in question, as that would fail to supply us with elements for getting to the roots of exploitation and alienation. Moreover, a scale of atrocities would be inconceivable. The prisoner in jail, the soldier being trained for fighting in the mud of a trench, the worker who has an accident at work, the peasant who toils sixteen hours a day, each one has a number of good reasons for finding the ultimate horror in their own condition.

In effect a solid, efficient society knows how to cover up a relationship of oppression with the honey of partial satisfactions. Is the humanisation of work not one of Capital's constant programmes? And then, in a “free” and democratic society it is not necessary to simply produce wealth, it is necessary above all to “find a job”. In prison too they now understand that no one should stay idle any longer: the prisoner will be conceded a job in order to “earn his time”, and will be allowed to move himself, “fall up his time”. The concept of the inflicted sentence alone is now historically and culturally out of date. So these same subjects who failed to fulfill and “ennoble” their existence when they were outside the walls, now find themselves with an occupation that offers considerable advantages to themselves and the State.

The penal institution is necessary to the class society, no matter how many or how few prisoners it holds. The idea of an eventual suppression of it is a pure illusion, just as the idea of an economy managed from the Base is, the existence of firms where the wage earners could “self-manage” their own exploitation (a horror worthy of the most sanguinary dictatorships). Prison has an indispensable symbolic function. The reclusion of the few not only recalls the existence of the norm that has been violated, but also functions as a point of reference, a rough border of the limits not to be ventured beyond.

Today’s society is one of maximum impotence and generalised assistance. The whole of existence now requires intermediaries, so there is a proliferation of public services whose function is assured thanks to a network of induced needs. The State fills the void of existence with the instruments that it uses to control at the same time as it maintains structures like prison as places of social dumping. Of course, this function could be assured in other ways. A society that was capable of reforming itself would do so with lower costs (social and accounting), but it would still maintain that function in some way.

Superficial critiques that are incapable of conceiving of an end to the law consider that it can and must be maintained, at best without intervening, imagining a future society without violence and attributing the violence of today to the misdeeds of the class society. This has been the dream of many enlightened partisans of all the schools of thought desirous of a “perfect” world.

A separate mechanism for the resolution of conflict by projecting an image and excluding the individual, the law will never be abolished even though its functions may be entrusted to another entity that is not above people and is far more maleable, revocable, submitted to elections, or controlled by popular assembly. A spontaneous form of justice with flexible laws or even without any text at all would not for that cease to be machinery dividing good from evil independently of and against social relations. It makes no difference to us whether judges be bureaucrats or not, the penal Code rigid or adaptable. It is the very notion of law that we want to destroy Even if the law changes daily with the “evolution of customs” it does not change its function.

No matter what the opinion folk say, the social order wins every time one votes, in the Same way that no matter what the jury vote, the very existence of the law is what constitutes the victory: it does not need anything else.

Just good boys and girls?

The modern legal apparatus is extremely rational and scientific as it ostentates its superior “impartiality” through the application of procedures which weigh up the possibilities conceded to the accused and their defence almost to the milligram. It can even allow itself to be scrupulous to the individuals who are obliged to submit to it: it controls them, despoils them completely, having acquired full powers over their existence. Its very existence is a victory as it constrains everyone, including those like us who contest it, to play according to its rules.

Only the incorrigible political lefty zealot can consider a sentence or an acquittal to be a victory or defeat of justice. And it is no wonder that it is precisely those who refuse to criticise the law as such who do not understand or accept the nature of Democracy, Fascism, Antifascism, and so on. Just as they participate in elections or claim immigrants' right to vote. They call for working class juries instead of “bourgeois” judges. Their perspective is not at all that of destroying justice as such, but of democratising it like everything else. However, one sees there, tragically or comically, the reproduction of the characteristics of justice and its prison corollary. This often takes place among the exploited themselves, which gives an idea of the extent of the problem.

At times some might feel obliged to pass over to the enemy camp and argue in legal terms, but that never constitutes a victory And anyway it is always a task that is best left to the lawyer. For example, a public action capable of raising doubts, waving the scarecrow of a clamorous “legal” error and some good work by the lawyers during the debate can even Force the judiciary to renounce coming down heavily an the accused, but that does not alter the fact that in any case the law has acted according to its own rules by obliging us to respect them. Moreover, an institution that is capable of admitting its mistakes is an institution that strengthens itself.

In the same way a Court that acquits, like one that convicts, is still a Court. It would be hard to imagine anywhere that the disinherited have less power than in a court. An exceptional case could arise from pressure exercised on the judiciary by a social movement, for example when a crowd gathers demanding an acquittal precisely in the same way as a police station can be besieged by hundreds of demonstrators demanding that those arrested be freed, but this pressure is external. It is always elsewhere that the strength of the exploited can constitute itself.

All the same, eradicating the conviction that the only way to obtain benevolent treatment by the legal apparatus is to busy oneself from the inside to show up the social inoffensiveness of those caught up in it is often an arduous task

Yes, and in theory we are all convinced that the best way to solidarise with an act of revolt is to commit another. Many are capable of applauding and praising a successful action, and there is no lack of comrades ready to put this maxim into practice by reproposing it, thereby contributing to its generalisation. Any act of subversion goes far beyond its actual outcome, in good as in evil. On the contrary, regularly when things “go wrong” and the authors of the act of rebellion are singled out or arrested, it does not occur to anyone to act in turn. Solidarity no longer concretises in our action but in the reaction to the actions of others, in this case, those of the judges.

So we prefer to wait, listen to lawyers' advice, the arrested comrades' declarations, the completion of investigations. We wait to see how things are going as though what mattered before was our desires and our attempts to realise them, and now it is simply a question of getting our comrades “out”.

Not intending to act instrumentally, getting comrades out of prison is undoubtedly our primary aim. All the same, it is necessary to evaluate the means one intends to use and to be aware of their nature and Limits.

Instead it turns out that it would seem more becoming to put the usual critiques of the law aside. Forget the bellicose declarations of war against society, and limit oneself to being just, and consequently to having an innocent person acquitted, freeing a sick comrade, or considering what in other circumstances we would accept as gestures of revolt, as nothing but childish pranks. But is that really what we want? To appeal to the humanitarian sentiments of those we despise?

In the face of the law and the fear it arouses, it seems that we are incapable of doing anything other than recanting ourselves and what we say we desire.

Rebels and revolutionaries when we are free, once we are in the hands of the enemy we are only capable of showing the innocuousness of the actions we carried out.

Power puts subversives, anarchists, in prison because as such they are “socially dangerous”. Is painting them as inoffensive lambs all we can do to get them out?

Are we cynical? Are we making an apology for sacrifice? Nothing of all that. We are simply tormented by a question that is beginning to worry us — are we just good boys and girls?

Revolutionary Solidarity

from Elephant Editions pamphlet Revolutionary Solidarity

introduction by

Daniela Carmignani

The concept of solidarity is not only used and abused by the various reformist syndicalist and humanitarian movements and even power itself, it is also sadly emptied of any content by many anarchists. The levelling is such as to reveal a symbolic attitude worthy of the Church but which allows us to put our conscience at rest.

Counter-information and propaganda in the lead, demonstrations (true processions), then nothing, provoke a feeling of powerlessness, a pernicious frustration that sees justification open the way to resignation.

We discover that everything crumbles there where the mentality of the group and quantity thought it was strong. Nothing changes as we enter a vicious circle with mournful calls to a miserable bartering with the State one wanted to fight.

When individuals find themselves alone at night, no longer supported by “collective strength”, the arms of Morpheus transform the imprisoned comrades one wanted to support, to whom one wanted to express one’s solidarity, into a real nightmare with no escape.

So! Should we no longer show solidarity to imprisoned comrades given that it serves no end?

Never! A movement that is not capable of looking after its comrades in prison is destined to die, and that at a high price under atrocious torture.

The reflection must be made in other terms. What does it mean to express revolutionary solidarity? Basically the reply is not all that difficult.

Solidarity lies in action. Action that sinks its roots in one’s own project that is carried an coherently and proudly too, especially in times when it might be dangerous even to express one’s ideas publicly. A project that expresses solidarity with joy in the game of life that above all makes us free ourselves, destroys alienation, exploitation, mental poverty, opening up infinite spaces devoted to experimentation and the continual activity of one’s mind in a project aimed at realising itself in insurrection.

A project which is not specifically linked to the repression that has struck our comrades but which continues to evolve and make social tension grow, to the point of making it explode so strongly that the prison walls fall down by themselves.

A project which is a point of reference and stimulus for the imprisoned comrades, who in turn are point of reference for it. Revolutionary solidarity is the secret that destroys all walls, expressing love and rage at the same time as one’s own insurrection in the struggle against Capital and the State.