29.10.11

Two videos about Greece NOW: "The war in Athens, Greece" by Dimitris Meletis // "Crisis in Greece" by Brandon Jourdan






VOID NETWORK
presents

The war in Athens, Greece
by
DIMITRIS MELETIS 

a new video using original footage from 
National General Strike
in 19 & 20 October 2011, 
exposing the role of Communist Party of Greece
and including short fragments of people 
expressing their fears, their anger,
their determination to continue fighting for 
Freedom, Dignity, 
Economic-Social-Political 
Equality



more videos from Dimitris Meletis:
 





VOID NETWORK
presents

Crisis in Greece
by BRANDON JOURDAN

a short video including original footage from Athens during the week of National General strike in October 2011, during the Global day of Action in 15 October and interviews from TPGP (Greek group from autonomus antagonistic movement) as also Indignados from Athens General Public Assembly / Parliament Syntagma sq. 

more videos from Brandon Jourdan:

25.10.11

Void Network political announcement for the Greek National Strike in 19 & 20 Oct. and the role of Communist Party of Greece / KENO ΔΙΚΤΥΟ :Πολιτική Ανακοίνωση για την Γενική Απεργία στις 19 & 20 Οκτ. 2011 και τον ρόλο του Κομμουνιστικού Κόμματος Ελλάδος σε αυτή

More than 200.000 people in the National Strike demonstration in Athens


Stalinists of the Communist Party of Greece & Police protecting the parliament 


Stalinists attack against the radical social movement





Stalinist's beating random demonstrators






              


The Movement strikes back!







After Stalinists retreat people attack the Police

Support a Global Strike!






KENO ΔΙΚΤΥΟ: Πολιτική Ανακοίνωση για την Γενική Απεργία στις 19 & 20 Οκτ. 2011 και τον ρόλο του Κομμουνιστικού Κόμματος Ελλάδος σε αυτή

H συγκέντρωση της 20ης Οκτωβρίου 2011 στην πλατεία Συντάγματος, χαρακτηρίστηκε από την ανοικτή και ξεδιάντροπη κατασταλτική παρουσία του Κ.Κ.Ε., της Κ.Ν.Ε. και του ΠΑ.ΜΕ., οι οποίοι σε προφανέστατη συνεργασία με την ελληνική αστυνομία, βρέθηκαν να προστατεύουν την Βουλή από την έκφραση της κοινωνικής οργής και να συγκρούονται με ένα κομμάτι των διαδηλωτών που πρόσκεινται  κυρίως στον αντιεξουσιαστικό, αναρχικό και ελευθεριακό χώρο.

Η σύγκρουση ξεκίνησε -αναπόφευκτα-, όταν το κίνημα «Δεν Πληρώνω» επιχείρησε να περάσει μέσα από τους αυτόκλητους «προστάτες» της συγκέντρωσης για να πλησιάσει την Βουλή, και αυτοί απάντησαν με βίαιη απώθηση του κόσμου προς τα πίσω. Σε αυτό το σημείο έγινε φανερό σε όλους ότι η αρχική εξαγγελία του ΚΚΕ για περικύκλωση της Βουλής δεν ήταν ήταν τίποτα άλλο από την οργανωμένη περιφρούρηση του Κοινοβουλίου που επιτεύχθηκε με την μονοπωλιακή κατάληψη του Δημόσιου χώρου μπροστά από τον άγνωστο Στρατιώτη και την απαγόρευση της παρουσίας όλων των άλλων οργανωμένων πολιτικών, κοινωνικών και συνδικαλιστικών ομάδων                                                                         

 Αυτή η συμπεριφορά που εκφράστηκε με την προκλητικότατη παρουσία των κρανοφόρων-παλουκοφόρων μελών των ΚΝΑΤ από το πρωί, ήταν και η σταγόνα που ξεχείλισε το ποτήρι και οδήγησε σε γενικευμένη σύγκρουση του αντιεξουσιαστικού κομματιού της συγκέντρωσης, με την «Περιφρούρηση»- μηχανισμό ελέγχου του ΠΑΜΕ. Όταν τα μέλη της περιφρούρησης διαπίστωσαν πως παρά τις προσπάθειές τους, ο κόσμος όχι μόνο δεν υποχώρησε αλλά τους αντεπιτέθηκε πολλές φορές, τρέποντας τους τελικά σε φυγή προς το πάνω κομμάτι του Συντάγματος, κάλεσαν ως σωτήρες τους τα ΜΑΤ, τα οποία επιτέθηκαν από το κάτω μέρος της πλατείας, χρησιμοποιώντας χημικά για να διαλύσουν την συγκέντρωση και καλύπτοντας με το «στρατιωτικό» τους ειδικό βάρος τις κινήσεις του ΠΑΜΕ έως την αποχώρηση του.

Είναι πραγματικά πολύ λυπηρό το γεγονός πώς σε αυτή την συγκέντρωση ένας άνθρωπος έχασε τη ζωή του από ανακοπή καρδιάς - και όχι από ρίψη αντικειμένου από τους αναρχικούς όπως είχαν αρχικά βιαστεί να τυμβoρηχήσουν τα σταλινικά όρνεα πάνω από την σωρό του προσπαθώντας να χρησιμοποιήσουν το θάνατό του για πολιτικές σκοπιμότητες.

Ο μεγαλύτερος σε συντριπτικό ποσοστό βαθμός ευθύνης για όσα συνέβησαν, βαραίνει αποκλειστικά το Κ.Κ.Ε., και το ΠΑ.ΜΕ. Τα απολιθώματα του σοβιετικού ολοκληρωτισμού έδειξαν το πραγματικό τους πρόσωπο! Οι μάσκες έπεσαν για το Κ.Κ.Ε., το αριστερό δεκανίκι του Αστικού συστήματος, το οποίο ήδη από την Βάρκιζα το 1945, την εξέγερση στο Πολυτεχνείο του 1973- με την πρώτη καταγγελτική ανακοίνωση της Πανσπουδαστικής περί "προβοκατόρων φοιτητών", αλλά και τη δράση του στα μετέπειτα γεγονότα του κινήματος (Χημείο 1979, θάνατος Κουμή –Κανελλοπούλου 1980), το χτύπημα του αντιεξουσιαστικού κομματιού στην πορεία του Πολυτεχνείου το 1998 και παράδοση των μελών του στην αστυνομία, καθώς και μύριες άλλες στάσεις και καταστάσεις, συνεργάστηκε άγαστα με τον κρατικό μηχανισμό ενάντια σε κάθε πραγματικά αγωνιζόμενη και ακηδεμόνευτη φωνή.

Ο ρόλος του είναι σαφής. Στόχος του είναι κάθε ελεύθερος άνθρωπος (όπως ήταν πάντοτε ο στόχος κάθε δεξιού ή αριστερού ολοκληρωτισμού). Αυτή τη φορά όμως το παιχνίδι καταστολής και εντυπώσεων που επιχείρησαν απέτυχε παταγωδώς. Οι μέρες της κηδεμόνευσης και των ψευδοεξωσυστημικών αστυνομιών των κινημάτων έχουν φτάσει στο τέλος τους! Το ΚΚΕ, με δυσκολία πείθει πλέον για οτιδήποτε κάποιους έξω από το «μαγαζάκι» του, για αυτό και ο σεκταρισμός αλλά και η απομόνωση του από το κοινωνικό κίνημα είναι και θα είναι η τελική του κατάληξη.

Μέσα στην φοβερή κρίση που η κυριαρχία και το παγκόσμιο κερδοσκοπικό κεφάλαιο προβάλλει πάνω στην πλάτη του ελληνικού αλλά και μεγάλου μέρους του παγκόσμιου πληθυσμού, τα κοινωνικά υποκείμενα που συνθέτουν το αληθινό μέτωπο του αγώνα, δεν χρειάζονται, ούτε προστάτες, ούτε καθοδηγητές, ούτε αυθεντίες.

Η ΟΛΙΚΗ μάχη, απέναντι στην παγκόσμια κυριαρχία και το φοβερότερο εκμεταλλευτικό και καταστροφικό σύστημα που γνώρισε ποτέ ο πλανήτης, περνάει και πάνω από κάθε ένα παρακλάδι του, υλικό και ιδεολογικό. Το ΚΚΕ, και τα ιδεολογήματα του, καθώς και οι εντολοδόχοι αποβλακωμένοι από την συνεχή πλύση εγκεφάλου οπαδοί και μέλη του, δεν είναι παρά ένα κομμάτι του στρατοπέδου της κυριαρχίας. Εχθροί της ελευθερίας, στηρίγματα του Αστικού κόσμου που υποτίθεται πολεμούν αλλά στην πραγματικότητα διασώζουν.

Θα μας βρουν απέναντι τους σε κάθε επίπεδο. Κοινωνικό, πολιτικό, πολιτισμικό.                         

Ο καιρός των ολοκληρωτισμών έχει τελειώσει και οι σκλάβοι ξυπνούν παντού, από την Αθήνα και την Ρώμη, έως την Ν.Υόρκη. Γραφειοκράτες και Καπιταλιστές τρέμετε! Το κύμα που έρχεται θα σαρώσει όλα τα κομμάτια της κυριαρχίας, μαζί και το δικό σας!

Ας μην ξεχνούν όλοι αυτοί οι χιλιάδες αγωνιζόμενοι άνθρωποι που βρέθηκαν στον δρόμο εκείνη την ημέρα και ο αγώνας τους λοιδορείται και διαστρεβλώνεται από την προπαγάνδα και την λασπολογία των άθλιων Μέσων Μαζικής Ενημέρωσης και των γελοίων δημοσιογραφίσκων που με το έργο τους υπηρετούν τα μεγάλα οικονομικά συμφέροντα ότι η αλήθεια δεν βρίσκεται στις οθόνες της τηλεόρασης, η αλήθεια βρίσκεται στους δρόμους.

Ο ΑΓΩΝΑΣ ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑ ΔΕΝ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΠΛΕΟΝ ΣΤΑ ΧΕΡΙΑ ΤΩΝ "ΕΙΔΙΚΩΝ"

Ο ΑΓΩΝΑΣ ΣΥΝΕΧΙΖΕΤΑΙ...


KENO ΔΙΚΤΥΟ
http://voidnetwork.blogspot.com


Void Network political announcement for the Greek National Strike in 19 & 20 Oct. and the role of Communist Party of Greece


The demonstration of October 20, 2011 in Parliament Square / Athens Greece during the National Days of General Strike (19 & 20 Oct.) , marked by the open and shameless repressing presence of the Communist Party of Greece & communist party supporters Worker’s United Front (PA.ME.). In an open collaboration with the Greek police they tried to protect the Parliament from the expression of the social anger and they came in conflict with the radical, antiauthoritarian, anarchist and libertarian part of the demonstrators.
 

The class between the two fractions began, inevitably, when the social movement "Not Paying"  attempted to pass through the self-appointed "protectors" of congregation to reach the Parliament perimeter. The Stalinist guard of Communist Party responded with violent repression against them forcing the people backwards. At this point it became obvious to everyone that the original announcement of encirclement of the Parliament by the Communist Party was nothing else than an organized guarding of Parliament manifested by the monopolization of the occupation of public space in front of it and the banning of all other organized political, social and trade union groups.
 This behavior was illustrated by the provocative militant presence of the organized members of  the  Communist Party since the early morning, and it was the straw that broke the camel's and led to widespread conflict between them and the antiauthoritarian part of the demonstration. 

When the militant members of the stalinists found that despite their efforts, the people didn’t declined but they were counter attacking them instead, many times, they eventually retreated, escaping to the upper part of the Parliament perimeter! After that, their leaders called for the support of the riot police, who attacked people’s united resistance using the downside of the square, throwing heavy amounts of chemicals to dissolve the fighting crowd and back up their Stalinists allies’ departure.
 

It's really sad that during this demonstration a man died from heart attack - and not from a thrown object by the side of the anarchists as the Stalinist vultures propagated in first place, trying to use his death for political considerations.
 

The overwhelmingly largest degree of responsibility for what happened in 20th October 2011 demonstration remains solely to the Communist Party of Greece & communist party supporters Worker’s United Front (PA.ME.). Fossils of Soviet totalitarianism which showed their real face for one more time! The masks have fallen for the Communist Party, the left crutch of the bourgeoisie, and revealed their betraying and manipulative role against the social revolutionary popular movements from the Civil War in 1945 until today.
 

Stalinist’s role is clear. Their aim is the suppression of every person’s free voice (as always was the goal of every right or left totalitarianism). This time their efforts of suppressing methods totally failed. The days of guardianship and policing the movements have come to an end! The sectarianism of Communist Party of Greece has isolated itself from the social movement, completely!
 

In this terrible crisis that the sovereignty and the global speculative capital relies on the back of the Greek and world's population, the radical social subjects constituting the true face of the struggle, need not, patrons, mentors, or pundits.
 

The TOTAL struggle against the global domination of the most terrible exploitative and destructive system the planet ever seen passes over each of regime’s branches, either material or ideological. The Communist Party, with its ideological constructions, and its brainwashed followers and members, is just one part of the authority. They are enemies of freedom, supporting the world of their masters, which is bourgeoisie undoubtedly.

We will stand against them on every level. Social, political and cultural!.
The totalitarianism’s era is over and the slaves wake up everywhere from Athens and Rome, to New York and London. Bureaucrats and capitalists be dread! The wave that comes will sweep all the pieces of global sovereignty, along your own!
 

Let's not forget all those thousands of people who were fighting in the streets that day and their fight distorted by the propaganda and mudslinging of the pathetic corporate media and their ridiculous journalists. These media’s statements are serving the large corporate interests!

The truth is not on the television screens! The truth lies in the streets...
 

THE STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM IS NOT IN THE HANDS OF THE "SPECIALISTS"
ANYMORE



THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES  ...












18.10.11

International Movement Solidarity Message from Athens Greece: OCCUPY PLANET EARTH / 15 Oct. Global Day of Action - 19 & 20 Oct. National General Strike in Greece
































This is a message of International Solidarity from Athens Greece for all the People around the World fighting against Totalitarianism, Inequality & Exploitation


All of us, the millions of angry, rebel, indignant that we met in the streets and squares of the Earth in the summer of 2011, we know now where the Parliaments and Corporations are leading us. The humiliation of work, the depletion of social wealth, the destruction of the Planet,  the war and the existence of borders, the economic-social and political inequality, the massive  stupefaction and the exploitation transform the society in a concentration camp for obedient , “flexible” and hypnotized  slaves.

Points of intersection between the world of slaves and the world of FREEDOM are all our needs and all our desires…  Although all these are a source of joy, love, co-existence and brotherhood for us,  for the State and Market laws are just merchandise and sources of profit.
The Health, the Water, the Education, the Electricity, the Social Culture, the Art, the Information, the Communication, the Natural Environment, the Housing, the Public Space as they become fields of marketing and exploitation  they also become ​​fields of social war.
 A war of daily survival, a constant struggle between the world of humanity & mutual care and the world of profit… A Social War between the world that knows how to share the pain and the joy and the world that knows how to grab, how to impose and to conspire.
A war between the world of Money and the world of Total Freedom, Social Solidarity and the End of blackmailing coercion.

These two opposing worlds have become obvious. Our plans are at war with their plans. Here, Now, Always and Everywhere! We will create countless, small and large dissident collectivities which will based on shared desires and needs and they will cause direct rifts into the way we live, the way we think and the way we fight.

We Will Take our Lives Back in our hands. We Will OCCUPY PLANET EARTH!
We Will not Live Like slaves!

Void Network
[Theory, Utopia, Empathy, Ephemeral Arts]
Athens,London,New York,Rio De Janeiro
http://voidnetwork.blogspot.com



Aυτό είναι ένα μήνυμα Διεθνούς Αλληλεγγύης προς όλους τους ανθρώπους που αγωνίζονται σε όλο τον Κόσμο ενάντια στον Ολοκληρωτισμό, την Ανισότητα και την Εκμετάλλευση

Όλοι εμείς τα εκατομμύρια των εξεγερμένων, των οργισμένων, των αγανακτισμένων που συναντηθήκαμε στους δρόμους και τις πλατείες της Γης το καλοκαίρι του 2011 πλέον ξέρουμε καλά που μας οδηγούν τα Κοινοβούλια και οι Εταιρίες. Ο εξευτελισμός της εργασίας, το ξεπούλημα του κοινωνικού πλούτου, η καταστροφή του Πλανήτη, ο πόλεμος και τα σύνορα, η ανισότητα, η μαζική αποβλάκωση και η εκμετάλλευση μετατρέπουν την κοινωνία σε στρατόπεδο συγκέντρωσης για υπάκουους, «ευέλικτους» και υπνωτισμένους δούλους.                                                                                   
Σημεία τομής ανάμεσα στον κόσμο των Δούλων και τον κόσμο της Ελευθερίας είναι όλες μας οι ανάγκες και όλες μας οι επιθυμίες που ενώ για εμάς είναι πηγές χαράς, αγάπης, συμβίωσης και αδελφοσύνης, για τους νόμους του Κράτους και της Αγοράς είναι απλά εμπορεύματα και πηγές κέρδους. Η Υγεία, το Νερό, η Εκπαίδευση, το Ηλεκτρικό Ρεύμα, η Κοινωνική Κουλτούρα, η Τέχνη, η Πληροφορία, η Επικοινωνία, το Φυσικό Περιβάλλον, η Κατοικία, ο Δημόσιος Χώρος καθώς γίνονται πεδία εμπορευματοποίησης και εκμετάλλευσης γίνονται και πεδία Κοινωνικού Πολέμου. Ενός πολέμου της καθημερινής επιβίωσης, μια διαρκής μάχη ανάμεσα στον κόσμο της ανθρωπιάς, της αλληλοβοήθειας και της φροντίδας και τον κόσμο του κέρδους… Ανάμεσα στον κόσμο που ξέρει να μοιράζεται τον πόνο και την χαρά και τον κόσμο που ξέρει να αρπάζει, να επιβάλλει και να επιβουλεύεται. Ένας πόλεμος ανάμεσα στον Κόσμο του Χρήματος και τον Κόσμο της Ελευθερίας, της Κοινωνικής Αλληλεγγύης και του Τέλους των εκβιαστικών καταναγκασμών.                                                                              
 Οι δύο αντίθετοι κόσμοι έχουν γίνει πλέον φανεροί. Τα σχέδια μας και τα σχέδια τους είναι σε πόλεμο. Εδώ, Τώρα, Πάντα και Παντού!  Να δημιουργήσουμε άπειρες μικρές και μεγάλες αντικαθεστωτικές  συλλογικότητες που θα βασίζονται στις κοινές επιθυμίες και ανάγκες και θα προκαλούν άμεσες ρήξεις στον τρόπο που σκεφτόμαστε, στον τρόπο που ζούμε και στον τρόπο που αγωνιζόμαστε. 
Να πάρουμε την ζωή μας στα χέρια μας. Να μην ζήσουμε σαν Δούλοι!





ΚΕΝΟ ΔΙΚΤΥΟ / πολιτική ανακοίνωση Φθινόπωρο 2011
http://voidnetwork.blogspot.com
contact : voidinternational@gmail.com

14.10.11

15 OCT. 2011 UNITED FOR GLOBAL CHANGE>>>>> OΛΟΣ Ο ΚΟΣΜΟΣ ΜΙΑ ΠΛΑΤΕΙΑ : ΣΑΒ. 15 ΟΚΤ. ΣΥΓΚΕΝΤΡΩΣΗ-ΣΥΝΑΥΛΙΑ / ΚΥΡ. 16 ΟΚΤ. ΣΥΝΕΛΕΥΣΗ / ΤΕΤ. 19 ΟΚΤ. ΓΕΝΙΚΗ ΑΠΕΡΓΙΑ




























Στις 15 Οκτωβρίου οι λαοί σε όλο τον κόσμο βγαίνουμε στους δρόμους και στις πλατείες. Από την Αμερική ως την Ασία , από την Αφρική ως την Ευρώπη ξεσηκωνόμαστε για να διεκδικήσουμε τα δικαιώματά μας και να δείξουμε στους πολιτικούς και την παγκόσμια οικονομική ελίτ που υπηρετούν ότι εμείς οι λαοί θ' αποφασίσουμε για το μέλλον μας.
Δεν αναγνωρίζουμε τις κυβερνήσεις γιατί λειτουργούν για το όφελος των λίγων, αγνοώντας το ανθρώπινο και περιβαλλοντικό κόστος που πληρώνουμε όλοι.
Δεν είμαστε εμπορεύματα στα χέρια των πολιτικών και των τραπεζιτών.
Εκατομμύρια ανθρώπων συνεχίζουμε να γεμίζουμε τις πλατείες όλου του κόσμου καταγγέλλοντας το υπάρχον πολιτικό και πολιτειακό σύστημα, τη διαφθορά και την οικονομική εκμετάλλευση.
Παίρνουμε τις ζωές μας στα χέρια μας συμμετέχοντας στις λαϊκές συνελεύσεις και δείχνουμε την αντίθεσή μας στα μέτρα λιτότητας που μας επιβάλλονται, στην ακύρωση των ονείρων μας και της αξιοπρέπειάς μας.
Αυτό που συμβαίνει στην Ελλάδα τώρα, είναι ο εφιάλτης που περιμένει και τις υπόλοιπες χώρες στο μέλλον.
Η αλληλεγγύη των λαών είναι το όπλο μας.

15 Οκτωβρίου 6.00 μμ, 
συγκέντρωση και 
συναυλία στο Σύνταγμα.

LIVE CONCERT
19.30 - 20.00  ΓΛΑΡΟΣ (political folk)
20.00 - 20.45  NASTAZIA & THE 
                 JAZZARUARS (swing)
20.45 - 21.30  GADJO DILO (swing)
21.30 - 22.15  NALYSSA GREEN (alternative)
22.15 - 23.00  LOST BODIES (post-punk)
23.00 - 23.45  AERA PATERA (dada)
23.45 - 24.30  ΑΠΟΦΟΙΤΟΙ ΜΟΥΣΙΚΟΥ 
ΛΥΚΕΙΟΥ ΙΛΙΟΥ(παραδοσιακά- traditional)
24.30 - 01.15  ΔΗΜ. ΠΟΥΛΙΚΑΚΟΣ 
                         &HIS BAND (rock)
01.15 - 02.00  ΒΑΣ. ΠΑΠΑΚΩΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥ
02.00 - 02.45  SCREEMING FLY (rock)
02.45 - 03.30  ARMADA IV    
ΧΟΡΟΣ (dance) : Αthens Swing Cats
ΠΟΙΗΣΗ: Μ. Πολέντας, Τ.Σαγρής, Σ.Δουτσίου, Γ.Ραουζαίος
Poetry by M.Polentas, T.Sagris, S.Doutsiou, G.Raouzeos
πριν και ανάμεσα στις εμφανίσεις των συγκροτημάτων θα γίνονται: 
*προβολές και ζωντανές συνδέσεις με το Κίνημα των Πλατειών σε όλο τον κόσμο
* Θεατρικά Δρώμενα από την Ομάδα Καλλιτεχνών Πλ.Συντάγματος

For more info about Global Day 
πληροφορίες και παγκόσμιος χάρτης για την 15 Οκτώβρη στην οποία συμμετάσχουν περισσότερες από 952 πόλεις
info and map about the 15 Oct. Global day of Action that is taking place in more than 952 different cities:




+
16 Οκτωβρίου 
8.00 μμ,  
Πλ.Συντάγματος:

Συνέλευση των 
συνελεύσεων και 
δικτύωση των πλατειών

+
19 Οκτωβρίου, 
συμμετοχή στην 
πανελλαδική και πανεργατική 
απεργία
11.00 π.μ. 
συγκέντρωση στο Σύνταγμα

Τώρα μιλάμε εμείς.
Λαϊκή Συνέλευση Συντάγματος
















 On October 15, people from all over the world take the streets and the squares. From the USA to Asia, from Africa to Europe, we rise up to assert our rights and show politicians and the global economic elite they serve, that we, the people, will decide on our future.

We do not acknowledge governments because they function on behalf of the few, ignoring the human and environmental price that we all pay.

We are not merchandise in the hands of politicians and bankers.

Millions of people keep on filling up the squares all over the world thus denouncing the present political and state system, corruption and economic exploitation.

We take charge of our lives by participating in People’s Assemblies and showing our opposition to the austerity program imposed to us, the deletion of our dreams and our dignity.

What is happening in Greece now is the nightmare that other countries will experience in the future.

Solidarity of the people is our weapon.

October 15 at 18:00: Gathering and concert at Syntagma Square.

October 16 at 20:00: Assembly and squares’ networking.

October 18: Participation in the Pan-Hellenic and the all-workers strike.
11:00 Gathering at Syntagma Square.

It's now time for us to speak!

The People’s Assembly of Syntagma Square

11.10.11

Crackdown in Spain (Wave of Arrests Sweeps Barcelona) by Peter Gelderloos










The message went out to a thousand phones on Monday morning, the 3rd of October: the first of the arrests from the Parliament blockade had taken place. Four undercovers snatched him up as he left his house. A protest was called for the same day, at 7 o’clock in the evening, Plaça Catalunya. Two more arrests soon followed. The news quickly spread via telephone, internet, and word of mouth. Several meetings are called to share information and organize the response. By the time people started gathering in the hundreds for the protest, a fourth arrest had occurred.
Back in June, the popular rage that has been growing in Barcelona, in tandem with other parts of the world, coalesced once again as 200,000 people blockaded the Catalan Parliament in an attempt to prevent the passage of the latest austerity laws. These laws cannot accurately be called cutbacks, for in addition to slashing healthcare and education, they augment the ranks and arsenal of the police and continue the urbanization projects that tailor the city to the needs of tourism and social control.
This was not the first round of reforms to hit Catalunya, and in fact the Socialist Party was already voted out of power for inaugurating the crisis measures, so now it’s the conservatives’ turn to continue the same policies. Half of the people never voted for any of them, and an increasing number of these have been taking to the streets to win back control over their lives in an escalating series of strikes, protests, occupations, and popular assemblies that have spread across the Spanish state. The media and the academics have referred to this phenomenon as the movement of “indignados,” the “Real Democracy Now” movement, or the 15M movement, but in reality the feeling on the street is increasingly closer to rage than to simple indignation;  its politics are much more heterogeneous and in large part more anticapitalist than a narrow, naïve call for a “real” democracy, whatever that means; and the activity ascribed to it predates the 15M—or 15th of May—plaza occupations. Threads of the ongoing defiance run continuously back through the joyful Mayday riots in the wealthy neighborhood of Sarrià, the January 27 general strike that was called only by anarcho-syndicalist and far-left minority unions, in an unprecedented move demonstrating a new boldness, the September 29 general strike that reached massive proportions on a countrywide level and in Barcelona erupted in a daylong insurrection, which itself evoked references to and drew on experiences from an entire history of struggle against dictatorship and against the democracy that replaced it, a struggle that not everyone has forgotten.
On June 15, for the first time in much too long, politicians remembered the taste of fear as people blocked their path and harangued them, assailed them with insults, spat on them, threw trash, and in at least one case, attacked them with spraypaint. Many lawmakers had to be flown in by helicopter, and only in the face of undeniable public opposition and with the help of an army of riot police were they able to pass the reforms. For at least one day, the lies of democracy were put in their place, and the curtain masking the reality of social war was parted.
People who participated in the blockade, who got to reap just a brief moment of revenge against the wealthy, hypocritical politicians who are intent on taking everything, went home that day with a general feeling of jubilation. All that changed as soon as they tuned back in to the official reality, and checked out the news the next day.
In the stateless, communal majority of human history, shame played an important function in upholding community norms, based generally on ideas of mutual aid. The person who did not share, the bully and would-be authoritarian were shamed and prevented from spreading social relations based in competition or domination. In a postmodern, media-driven world, shame is instrumentalized by the mass media and used to uphold the relations and values that benefit the owners of society.
Pacifism, as it has arisen in the Real Democracy Now movement, is little more than an uncritical reliance on the media of the ruling class and a reproduction of the shame and values they inculcate. People who had been participating in social struggles here for years were surprised, in May and June, to suddenly find that other protestors would throw themselves in front of banks to protect them from vandalism, or in front of riot cops to protect them from insults and the throwing of trash. Evidently, breaking the windows of a bank or fighting with the police is more shameful than the homelessness, the hunger, the debt slavery, the murders, and the torture the banks and police are responsible for.
By July, after newcomers had had to face off with police to defend occupations or block the eviction of neighbors who couldn’t pay their mortgages, more and more people were dismissing nonviolence as a hopelessly inept tool for accomplishing goals that were not compatible with those of the ruling class, and what’s more, they began to see it like the rest of us, as an indignity and an insult to the history of revolutionaries here who have fought bravely and on their feet against fascism, against capitalism, against power in all its forms.
But in June, many people were still hypersensitive to what the media were saying about us. The same people who went home with a smile on their faces awoke with a frown to encounter the media’s predictable hysterics. The forceful protest of the day before was presented as a travesty, a source of profound shame for some fictive national community that included, altogether in one happy, democratic family, those who consumed the news and were losing access to healthcare, and those who broadcast the news and had private healthcare. People began to backpedal, to deny what was being signalled as shameful, in a word, to betray themselves.
The police took advantage of the boom in video footage at protests and the dissolution of the line between journalists and protestors, with the proliferation of alternative media. They gathered and seized all the footage they needed, and began identifying suspects. The media cried out about impending arrests. But curiously, the arrests never came.
On inspection, the police strategy is tried and true: make the people police themselves. As long as the two primary ingredients—pacifism and sensitivity to the media—exist in abundance, the mobilization of shame and fear by the press will divide a movement and redirect it towards dialogue, leading it straight back into the hands of the politicians whom it rejected at the very moment of its birth. Where heavy-handed arrests might have strengthened the movement’s resolve and united them behind the bravest sector—those who had gone face to face with riot cops and politicians—the soft hand of the media sowed doubts and handed legitimacy to the most cowardly and opportunistic.
Needless to say, it came as a shock when the police began their wave of arrests in early October, nearly four months later. But the underlying motives soon came to light. The order to make the arrests did not come from the Catalan police, but from higher up—all the way from Madrid, in fact. In response to the supposed inaction of the Catalan authorities, Manos Limpias—a fascist organization—brought a suit to the Audiencia Nacional, a supreme court in Madrid that often metes out political repression. The Audiencia Nacional then ordered the Catalan police to arrest all twenty-two people they had identified in footage, charging them with various offenses under the statute covering “assaults on democracy.” Possible sentences range from six months to eight years in prison. Curiously, this seems to be the first use of the law protecting democracy, which was passed after an attempted military coup in 1981. Yet another example of progressive laws used for political repression, like hate crime laws used in the US against those protesting the police or homophobic churches.
By the second day, ten people had been arrested. In each case, they were taken to a facility on the outskirts of town, near the immigrant prison, booked, and given a citation to appear at court in Madrid. Lawyers in Madrid soon got the list of all twenty-two suspects, and those whom police had not yet been able to locate went to the Barcelona courts to see if they could get their citation without being arrested. They were stonewalled, and after hours of waiting, went downstairs to a café. Suddenly, riot police surrounded the café and arrested the other people on the list. Like all the others, they were subjected to biometric photos, to be added to police databases for automatic and remote facial recognition.
As the arrests became known, a pattern quickly emerged. Whereas the media had previously trumpeted the certainty that protest “leaders” and those involved in convening the Parliament blockade would be charged in addition to the worst of the troublemakers, all of those arrested were people from the grassroots, acting outside of any organizational framework, and nearly all of them were anarchists. But because the arrests had been imposed by higher authorities and had not been immediately accompanied by any PR action on the ground, the media did not have any strong directions from police regarding how to report on the occurrences, and they fumbled and did their best to explain the arrests, in their typically cloudy, sophomoric, and professional way. As such, the detainees were labelled as members of the movement of indignados, rather than being singled out as “bad protestors” and “antisistema.” (Given that anarchism has not been erased from Spanish history, the media cannot use “anarchist” as a depoliticized, pejorative, and scary term; thus they invented the label “antisistema” or “anti-system” to refer to people who reject dialogue with the political system, though the connotation is overwhelmingly one of rebels without a cause).
Not only were the police and media caught flat-footed in carrying out and justifying the arrests, what’s more, the situation was stacked against them. Radicals are harder to isolate in today’s political climate, at least in Barcelona. Within the neighborhood assemblies, workplace struggles, and occupations of the hospitals facing cutbacks or closure, the old political divisions have lost much of their meaning. Anarchists and other radicals who were once easy to isolate now form an integral part of new networks of neighbors and coworkers acting together in solidarity.
The October repression has deepened the practice of solidarity among a wider group of people. The thousands who have taken to the streets to protest austerity measures are returning to the streets out of a shared loyalty and a growing awareness of the mechanisms of social control. At Monday’s spontaneous protest, called the same day as the arrests began, nearly one thousand people gathered in Plaça Catalunya and then marched down Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s principal commercial street and tourist attraction. That night, the spectacle of consumption was interrupted by the forceful chants of the protestors, and every single bank and chain store along the route was decorated with graffiti against capitalism and against the police. Those who automatically whipped out their cameras to film the crowd, unwittingly drawing a line between participant and spectator, were yelled at: “haven’t you learned anything? Twenty-two people are facing prison because of your photographs!”
Three days later, another protest was held. This time, perhaps 3000 people showed up, some of them having marched all the way from their neighborhoods, blocking all the streets along the way. Again, energy was high, and the chants that rang through the air showed a greater political maturity than was common back in May. “It’s not a crisis, it’s capitalism!” “Slashing healthcare is murder!” “No one represents us!” “Politicians go to hell!” “Not one step back! Against repression, direct action!” “The cops kill and torture!” “The media aim, the police shoot!” “We were all at Parliament!” And my personal favorite, “Let’s burn down Parliament!” Mustapha, a Saharan immigrant who was killed by cops in a nearby town just a short time earlier, was also remembered in many of the chants. People were drawing connections between the political system, the economic system, and the repression, and calling for unmediated action.
Only twice did I hear someone sing out the old, leftist favorite that used to predominate at protests: “They call this democracy but it’s not,” but every time the radical refrain of “Yes it is!” arose in response, louder than the original chorus. Finally, the march arrived at the Interior Ministry, where cops were booed and insulted, and kept on their toes with a loud firecracker. At one point, an alternative journalist filming inside the crowd was physically ejected. He claimed that by filming what the police might do he was protecting us, but this old line fell on deaf ears. There’s already one person in Barcelona in prison for defending himself against a cop, arrested and convicted with the help of a journalist’s footage, and now there are twenty-two more people facing prison. Meanwhile, for all the busted heads, all the cases of torture, all the killings, and all the independent journalists on the scene with cameras rolling, there isn’t a single cop doing time.
People are starting to wake up. What has always been obvious is starting to become visible. Twenty-two people have to travel to Madrid to go to court this Tuesday for doing what most of us dream about. The politicians who got spit on, and the bankers standing behind them, are hoping to make an example out of those twenty-two. But for us, the assault on power they stand accused of is an example of bravery, an example of truth, an example of hope.
Those in power who want to lock them in a cage for years just for challenging their authority are losing their hold on us. Those who favor dialogue with the powerful have lost their credibility. Those who fear to attack them have lost their relevance.
When thousands of people here and in other cities around the world took up the call once more for “revolution” and for “freedom,” governments, spectators, and opportunists expected this would exhaust itself in the same old reforms. But there’s a growing number of us who mean what we say.
When all the old rules are rejected, everything becomes possible.


Peter Gelderloos is a very good friend of Void Network and the author of How Nonviolence Protects the State (South End Press) and Anarchy Works (Ardent press). He currently resides in Barcelona.
The article appeared at CounterPunch in October 10 2011
http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/10/crackdown-in-spain/