About the recent repressive strikes against anarchists and anti-authoritarians in Belgium

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 We have received and translated from French by Actforfree/sysiphus

Without a break

A short reminder about events
Anarchists and anti-authoritarians in Belgium have been hit by the repression a number of times over the past few years. The raids on five houses in Brussels, Ghent and Leuven in September 2013 are the latest episode. Three houses and the anarchist library Acrata had already been raided at the end of May. These initiatives of judge Isabelle Panou are within the framework of investigations concerning “terrorist organization, conspiracy and arson” opened in 2008. But the repressive forces did not limit themselves to raids. They have tried to recruit snitches to spy on the activities of anarchists and anti-authoritarians on several occasions.
They have used “extraordinary investigative methods”, including concealing a video-surveillance camera inside the flat of two Brussels anarchists. They also carry out surveillance, draw up reports on “the anarchist threat”, organize administrative harrassment to complicate comrades’ lives, pass on information about individuals to other police forces in the world, send out summons for interrogation, publish slander in the press etc. A number of comrades have also spent a few weeks behind bars. Anyway, putting all these things into a broader context, it is easy to see that the repression is seeking through various means to curb or paralyze the ideas and actions aimed at destroying the world of authority.
This however does not mean we are talking of a heavy repressive climate such as we see in other countries. Let’s be clear on this point: that’s far from the case. Anyway, there is nothing surprising or particular about the police having malicious intentions towards enemies of authority.
The investigations
Are aimed in all likelihood at a number of more or less intensive struggles, agitation and initiatives: the struggle against prison and solidarity with revolts inside them, that against the construction of the new detention-centre Steenokkerzeel and the machinery of deportation, initiatives and attacks against the veins of the prison-city (construction of new fast RER train lines around Brussels and public transport in general); agitation against  bailiffs, against NATO and its presence in Brussels, against the European institutions and the Eurocrats and the struggle against the construction of a maxi-prison in Brussels …

Where are we in all this?
Rather than racking our brains to analyze repressive operations of the State, we are more interested in continuing to focus our attention on what we think, what we want and what we intend to do to criticize the world of commodities and power, to encourage questioning and refusal, to spread the revolt against all that oppresses us. In fact, throughout the years struggles have taken place, even if they were often carried out in conditions not necessarily favourable and surrounded by slumps of resignation. Corrosive ideas were spread, discussed and shared, hundreds of actions, attacks and sabotage – in every form, but always hostile to power – have dotted the path of struggle and revolt. Complicities have been verified, solidarity has been expressed, affinities have been experimented and on a few occasions we were able to see a crack in the concrete of oppression and submission. Of course, the deepening and sharpening of anarchist ideas in these lands has not escaped the attention ofthe guard dogs. The critique of the quantitative fixation and the fetishism of formal organization, the rejection of all mediation and political representation have contributed to the birth of informal spaces, in affinity and autonomous, where ideas have tried to go hand in hand with practice and the offensive. Thus comrades began to open up their own path to face domination, each in their own way, fighting the political logic of politicians, refusing the paralysis of waiting and arming their minds and hands to destroy what is intolerable. It is the passionate individual connection between ideas and will, desire and critique that pushes them to act to strike the structures and men of domination at the time and in the manner they deem right and appropriate, extolling at the same time sabotage and attack as the means available to all those who want to fight for freedom. Sometimes these comrades met in the streets or in shared revolts, other rebels, others insurgents, fighting their own way against what oppresses them. If power could well be afraid of something, it is probably the possibility of an ever wider contamination of ideas and practices, of reciprocal recognition between rebels and those in revolt, the encountering of various rebellions (in prisons, in neighbourhoods, in labour camps, in detention-centres, ineducation-camps, recreation-camps , … ) that still occasionally disrupt the nightmare of a life spent working, consuming, suffering and sleeping.
Where are they?
It would be foolish not to put the pressure against the anarchists and anti-authoritarians, their ideas and agitation, within a broader context. If we look at the example of Brussels, the capital of the European Union and intersection of international relations, we can clearly see how the State and capital are stepping up their efforts and going all out to perpetuate social relations of exploitation and oppression,  adapting the environment to the needs of capital and power, transforming the city into an open prison to contain revolt and the disgust for a life of misery. The construction projects for the biggest jail in Belgium in the Brussels territory or the NATO siege, the extension of CCTV and the repressive network (new police stations, more uniforms of every kind in the streets, militarization of public transport, heavy-handed operations in poor neighbourhoods) go hand in hand with a deliberate planned policy of isolation or gentrification of popular neighbourhoods, redevelopment of the city through major property and commercial projects, extension of the European area and services for Eurocrats, diplomats and capitalists, construction of new transport routes such as the RER to oil the circulation of goods and commodity-man. It would not be an exaggeration to speak of an intensification of the war power has always waged against the lower layers of the population.  Despite its arrogance, power realizes that this carries risks of tension and revolt, uncontrollable explosions such as we could see in other countries in recent years. Despite all the State propaganda and the drug of the commodity market, despite technological intoxication and rampant stupification, the spectre of insurrection is no longer just some old thing belonging to bygone times, it is appearing again timidly in the hearts and minds of those who are tired of suffering. That is why the State is targetting those who speak of insurrection, here as elsewhere, persisting in thinking and acting in first person to undermine the rotten edifice of the authoritarian society . It’s for that reason that the State is trying to silence those who speak of rebellion and freedom, solidarity and revolution, that’s why the State might find it useful to put aside a few rebels, in order to limit their capacity cause damage in words and deeds, and to scare everyone else.
Never innocent
In the face of these strikes, our thoughts immediately fly to the many comrades around the world who are behind bars, those in revolt murdered by power, the rebels who face the State and capitalist monster daily, those who do not obey the rules of this rotten society and stand up, in the dungeons of the prisons as well as in the corridors of the prison-cities. This helps us to understand than there could never be any agreement or truce between those who fight against the reduction of our lives to those of commodity slaves, slaves to authority, work, forced labour, and those in power aided by all their defenders. In this sense, we could never be innocent.If the threat of prison is to be faced, it is also necessary to stubbornly reject the solicitations of power, and, when our struggles and ideas attract the malicious attention of the defenders of order, to be even more determined. For us facing repression is part of our rebellion and our struggle and we know that compromise or acceptance (albeit temporary or circumstantial) of mediation or political pragmatism neutralizes the subversive charge of our ideas and practices. This is not this an attitude of sacrifice or martyrdom, but a search for coherence between ideas and action, which no one will ever be able to make us renounce.
As some Uruguayan comrades facing repression said in a text recently, the defenders of order are always in search of themselves.
Where there is subversive tension, affinity, solidarity, individuality, they seek structured organizations, hierarchies, leaders and political strategies. Where there is sabotage and refusal, revolutionary violence and angry uprisings, self-organization and individual initiative, they talk about terrorism, threats to be contained and conspiracy, whereas in truth it is they who are terrorizing the exploited and oppressed, they are the ones that threaten people every day to force them to stay in the ranks, they are the ones who sacrifice so many lives on the altar of profit and power.
Basically, they are unable to understand anything about anti-authoritarian ideas because to understand someone’s thoughts and desires, you must at least have touched, perceived or imagined them yourself. As their horizon is only that of power, law and authority, they will nearly always be blind in the area of anarchy and subversion. In the face of the refusal of comrades to collaborate in their repressive work in any way whatsoever, their attitude of contempt for those who protect the established order, the guard dogs are indeed well alone in their repressive universe. This certainly does not prevent them from striking, but they will have to tread carefully in hostile areas where no one will attempt to communicate with them, while the dialogue will be opened with the revolts and potential accomplices in the battle against all authority.
We will abandon nothing
If the blows of the repression can also bring their share of discouragement or concern, we would rather work towards an affirmation of our ideas and practices. We are there and will not let go of anything. If we are remaining silent towards power, on the contrary we are sending a few words of encouragement and solidarity to all comrades and rebels. Let’s stay on the course of conflict, let’s persist in our choice of revolt and attack, let’s continue to tear away the mask of the illusion of social peace. If power intends to turn everything into a social cemetery, we will continue to burn alienated and authoritarian relationships in the shadows, to get intoxicated in disrupting the monotony that power would like to impose, to spread the virus of revolt and the will to live in this mortifying world.
Between collapsing before power, succumbing to social cannibalism or fighting headlong for that which inflames our hearts, there can be no doubt about the paths we will continue to travel.

  Some anarchist individualities

Brussels

October 2013

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