Black July – text and actions against the social peace
While the situation in the rebellious Northern Part of Friedrichshain is calming down for the moment and we find time to build Rigaer 94 back up again, the social war around us is continuing with its normal intensity. We received news about the state attacks on people and squats in Thessaloniki. Here and there we are fighting against the social democracy and confront the social war with polymorphous struggle. Whether in the black July or in our daily local conflicts, we are involved in a common fight that gains power in its mutuality.
In this very moment, the greek state seems to be striking out with a general attack against autonomous structures. In Thessaloniki and in other cities, self-organized structures of migrants are especially becoming more and more endangered. While fulfilling its function as a manager of migration-streams, the state attacks those who try to move, self-determined, through a world of exploitation and oppression and who won‘t bow to it‘s authority.
Three occupied houses in Thessaloniki were affected and over a hundred people arrested. One person was killed during the eviction. In Athens, squats which are being used by migrants are also threatened with eviction. The goal is to create an atmosphere of fear, while oppressing those who are self-organising and attacking the authority of the state.
At this point, it should be remembered that the greek government is in the hands of Syriza. It is the left-radical, socialist party which is also supported by german left-wing groups and gets invited to reconciliation-events of the „movement“ like the 1st of May.
To the leftists who are shocked and stunned by these actions by the greek government – what did you expect? To think that you put so much into this and all other left-leaning governments and are now once again in utter disbelief and mumbling in chorus „but human rights!“.
The lesson once again – the clowns on the top of the hierarchy care not for you or your social democratic ideals. These attacks are to be expected and they are to be met with equally debilitating responses. We have no faith in their empty populist politic and it must be shown up for what it truly is. To expect anything from these parties is to give them the power to continue to shit on us. They feed on our social guilt and sympathies. We must fight to extinguish this power. Our attempt at organizing and living autonomously is of course a threat to those people. The state will spew humanitarian rhetoric until the reality of losing some of its power hits. The state support of migrants and refugees and any concepts of „freedom“ is shallow propaganda. Any attempt to realize autonomy is met with violence and repression and this must be expected. Any area people self-organize, build new structures and attempt to destroy state-imposed divisions and replace them with our own self-determined frontlines are a direct threat to the state.
You can walk along your pre-organized protest-route, but stray any further and your so celebrated liberties will suddenly „disappear“. The state will not allow you to have something it hasn‘t already assigned you. You must take it.
The only foundation of social democracy and all the preachers of social peace is their role in managing society. Their task is to identify social processes and detect its main actors, so as to try and buy them with promises of power. The support for Syriza, which even came from “anarchist” circles, resulted from the struggle for “counter-power”. Left parties are still recruiting new members from those movements who are obsessed with the idea of unifying all the different forms of attack and resistance into one group or organisation.
There have also been several attempts from the parliamentary democracy, concerning the conflicts around Rigaer Straße, to use „wanna be rebels“ to try and steer the struggle into a certain direction. Especially in the case of the green party, who has been showing up and trying to intervene in every neighbourhood meeting since the beginning of the year.
In this way, our place for struggle is turning into a place for politics, even though our hatred towards politicians is the foundation for self-organisation and self-defence, aka, attacks.
The green party in Berlin has invited the Riager 94 and its neighbours to negotiations with „important people“ over and over again. These invitations have been consequently declined. But the powerful know that they just need to keep searching a little longer until they find someone eager enough or at least clueless enough, to put themself forward and speak on behalf of the whole neighbourhood. We need to sharpen our senses so as to detect these offers from the powerful before they can do any damage. This search begins from within ourselves.
In a shameful display, the politicians from the ruling green party are actually comparing the three week long siege of the Rigaer straße with the events around the attempted eviction of the Ohlauer School squat in Kreuzberg two years ago. The school was mainly used by migrants and illegalised freedom fighters. The strategy of the government to counteract the growing radical structures, contained not only brutal repression and police terror, but also several offers for peaceful solutions. With this strategy they managed to destroy the Oranienplatz squat in Kreuzberg, where some people from the movement agreed to negotiate with the government. This led to them actually supporting the police as they executed the eviction of Oranienplatz.
But the Ohlauer School successfully resisted, after the fighters occupied the roof and threatened to jump should the police enter the school. Finally, the squatters reached an agreement with the green party, who wanted to avoid visions of dead bodies in Kreuzberg being connected with their party. During the following months, many of the fighters faced repression and deportation, which weakened the radical structures. Even today, the government keeps coming up with unending ridiculous lies to try and clear the school of the last remaining squatters. This absurdity is seen in their latest claim to want to evict the school in order to make room for a state controlled refugee camp.
This same strategy was used during the eviction of Rigaer 94, in which existing conflicts and contradictions within the different radical struggles, were used to try and create deep divisions. By claiming the „Kadterschmiede“ would be turned into a refugee camp for syrian refugees, they tried to undermine any attempt to combine the struggles behind the same barricade and becoming a much more powerful resistance force.
Concerning this, the Rigaer 94 wrote:
„We have to confess, that the police had good reasons to develop this insidious plan of moving refugees into kadterschmiede. The struggle against gentrification and the police have a strong history in the neighbourhood. But fights against racism are another story. Herein lies the dark side of autonomous politics: it operates within the context of wider society, it makes concessions towards the majority to gain resonance and is betraying itself in segmented fights. Of course, we are also fighting for an anti-racist neighbourhood. But in our case, when we were accused of not wanting refugees in our surroundings, it was connections from outside the neighbourhood that had to raise their voices to extinguish these claims. If this was an actively anti-racist, less Western-European neighbourhood (including us), there would be no basis to this argument.“
The Rigaer 94 called for a Black July as a strategy against the process of social peace and harmony. This informal organisation was picked up by many groups and turned into direct actions.
The Black July had a definite strategic effect, with the consequent decentralisation of the attacks bringing the berlin police to their knees. While the police had to focus their forces mainly on the besieged house and the surrounding area – plus create a 14 person strong investigation unit whose only „success“ was to arrest one of their own spies – many groups, large and small, reached for the 10 million euro damage goal. For three weeks until the last night of the siege, things burned and shattered – and not just in Berlin.
The more important and longer lasting effect than the strategic goal of recapturing the Rigaer Straße, was the moment that fear was defeated. While we execute our attacks and fight our daily fights, we are going to have to face situations in which the state will try to divide us and break our spirits. During these difficult hours, days or years, the informal anarchist offenisve will continue to carry its courage into the last corners of this earth. Be it through the iron bars of Moabit, Korydallos or isolation cells in Cologne.
We send rebellious greetings to the imprisoned fighters in Thessaloniki, as well as to Aaron and Balu in Moabit and Lisa in Cologne. We have been using the calmer nights to turn the walls of Rigaer Straße into canvases of solidarity for them and for all those imprisoned.
We raise our fists to all the freedom fighters in greek squats and the Ohlauer Straße in Berlin!