Shit likes to rub with shit –Published in Ricochets, No. 7, June 2015 (Brussels)

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Shit likes to rub with shit –
Against the maxi prison, its supporters and its false criticsricochets7-page-001
Mid-May we were treated to a small avalanche of shit in the press. Journalists flocked to throw their light on the struggle against the maxi-prison. Scandalized by the fact that this struggle does not take legal paths and advocates direct action and self-organization to prevent the construction of the new prison hell, it does not address institutions and politicians but blazes its trail into the poor neighbourhoods of Brussels (and not only) and has nothing to share with journalists and everything to discuss with other rebels, they have not hesitated to describe it as “urban guerrilla” and the inevitable “terrorism” .
For the two years that this struggle persists, unlike all the political cliques and benevolent citizenists, we have not minced our words: to prevent this maxi-prison we need to conduct a direct offensive combat. Organize ourselves outside any formal structure, speak out in our own areas of struggle and in the streets (and not in front of the microphones of journalist hacks or sitting quietly around a table with our enemies), act through direct action and sabotage against the companies that want to build this maxi-prison and against all that encloses us in this city that looks more like an open air concentration camp each day.
It does not surprise us that this struggle proposal, and the sympathy and enthusiasm that it generates among all those who are sick of everything to do with this rotten system, displeases power greatly. The fact that it displeases reporters, these amplifiers of the voice of power, only makes us smile. That it makes developers and builders of this work of repression nervous is quite logical.
If they thought they could build this prison safely and applauded by everyone to make money on other people’s misery, they made a big mistake. If our response to the press has been to ignore them coldly and continue our struggle far from the cameras and the places the media like to gather like vultures (the hacks well know that they will be welcomed with stones in the neighbourhoods and so they rarely venture into them without the protection of their buddies in uniform), that of others opposing the maxi-prison has been very different.
As for the “symbolic occupation” (their own words) of the terrain of the future maxi-prison, many people have felt the need to declare in front of the cameras that they are opposed to “criminal acts” and are “pacifists.” So pacifist that they prefer to rub shoulders with magistrates (they even belong to the civic platform against the maxi-prison, these same judges who every day condemn people to die in jail), elected officials, journalists, cops rather than be associated with the “scum”, “criminals”, “illegal immigrants”, the “poor” and the “violent”.
“This amalgamating must stop,” said a spokesman of the legalistic opposition (who thinks he can stop the maxi-jail with shots of citizen participation, petitions, interviews, playful actions). Well, oddly, we agree: a deep abyss separates those who struggle autonomously and directly, agitating in the neighbourhoods and acting both by day and in the night, from those who prefer official conferences, a smaller maxi-prison, a few carrots. Day after day, action after action that abyss is widening: either you fight against the power that wants to impose this maxi-prison or you lick the ass of power, its laws and its defenders, regardless of the “good intentions” that you imagine they have.
“We have nothing to do with these actions” stated an “occupier” of the land in Haren, speaking of acts of sabotage against the companies and those responsible for the maxi-prison project. If he was already probably making an amalgam in assuming the right to speak on behalf of all the other occupants, he tried to torpedo a fundamental aspect of our struggle proposal: solidarity between rebels, hostility against the State and its henchmen. If others have claimed, still on invitation of the hacks, that self-organization and direct action “discredit the struggle,” the answer comes almost alone: but what struggle are you talking about? Not ours anyway.
Published in Ricochets, No. 7, June 2015 (Brussels)
Translated by Act for freedom now!

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