“… And death will no longer have any power … “
In the incidents of the 5th May concerning the fire in the Marfin Bank there were three dead bank employees and thousands of “charred” truths.
The suffocating atmosphere of the heartbreaking hypocrisy of propaganda and the worn moralistic humanism of the radical movement’s Cassandras, force us to take a public stand concerning these events. This does not mean that we are talking as “specialists” of violence, or that we are “self-appointed” prosecutors or defenders of the people who attacked the bank building.
But we find it necessary that some things must be said and put in order. For this to happen, the experiential presence and understanding of what happened that day at that point is not necessary. What is needed in our opinion is a serious and responsible attitude with the corresponding submitting such revolutionary practices (such as burning a bank) to the treating and (self)critique of an actual fact (the death of three employees who were not the target of the revolutionary violence).
The revolutionary nihilism that we express implies fine thought and practice which is being built away from demonstrations of fake-cynicism “c’mon, they were bank employees, it’s good they burned them …”, but also from hypocritical wailers that seek guilty ones in order to attribute blame, orating from the position of the infalable humanist revolutionary.
But let’s start at the beginning…
In the metropolis and the parody of life that we live, death is no more than another news item, a distant piece of information among so many others, a column in a newspaper, another statistic .
Every day people die in hospitals from illnesses, in cars from road accidents, in accidents in the galleys of work, in underpasses from drugs. And they want to teach us to be immune to these numerous anonymous deaths.
Because it’s just simple numbers “three dead in a road accident, two deaths from narcotics.” They don’t “sell” in the media, they are not projected in the supposedly humanitarian wrapping, so they do not convince.
These are deaths that in a word won’t benefit the system. All TV-executioners, from the most conservative up to the most subversive, that were supposedly shocked by the three deaths at Marfin, would not be able even for a minute to face in the same manner all the anonymous deaths that the system which they faithfully serve, provokes. The truth is that based on the facts of the 5th of May, an obscene grave-robbing and a powerful trade in sentiment was set up for the interests of the system.
“Collateral damage and emotional grave robbing”
In the face of the imminent social crisis the spectacle of death caused its own short-circuit. The marches “shrank back”, the public opinion polls against the demonstrations and strikes that followed, the flowers of the Prime Minister were deposited live on tv, the cops invaded the “Zaimi” squat and the “Immigrants Center” in Exarcheia, the front page stories in the newspaper for the murderers-hooded ones began, the fascists invited a gathering outside the bank and the situation got to the point of public renunciation of “such gangs”, “individualistic nihilistic chaotic “confusionist” thought and “stupid murderers” by certain graphic clownish anarchists.
But beyond propaganda and its techniques, the fact remains a fact. Three bank employees, without being targets, died during the burning of the bank where they were working. Here’s our turn to not fall into the trap of statistics or emotional manipulation. Sure we will not speak the language of “the bad moment” and “colateral damage”. This is the language of the enemy and brings memories of the oratory of the American army and its generals in the war of Afghanistan. On the other hand we will not pretend to commemorate the death of three people who, as regrettable as it was for their families, would again be a sterile news information of the system were it not the result, in the specific place and time, of a revolutionary practice .
In a few words we will not claim any sentimental space in the “sphere of the spectacle”, pretend to be shaken via a television-instigated humanitarian delirium inside which enough people from within the radical movement were enslaved . No, we don’t act as the “hard-done devoted exclusively to the cause”, but we believe that if these three deaths had happened as an “accident” in a road incident, few would have been those to have learned it, even as news. So it is not the sad fact of death which acted as a catalyst in shaping a numb and awkward atmosphere, but the cause from whence it came. Thus, avoiding any emotional grave-robbing, we should stoop with meditation to work out the problem at its root.
It is true that if someone wants to look for brutal murderers, then he should look in the ranks of Vgenopoulos (bank owner) and his kind. His administration and his order in conjunction with the acceptance of the staff were what led them to work in a seemingly closed bank without fire protection behind locked doors. Such bastards as Vgenopoulos are instigators of dozens of physical and mentally dead workers, either in the killings of accidents at work, or the daily humiliation and conditions of employment contracts that impose discipline. Keeping this as datum, we can now face up to our own shortcomings, lacks, errors, carelessness, in order to break the emergency exit from a one-sided way of thinking that wants to blame the bosses for everything and, although it might relieve us, does not make us evolve.
What’s to blame then, for the deaths of the three bank employees?
“The revolutionary Practice of “hit and run””
Now let’s talk about options, strategies and habits. First of all, for decades now in Greece the “hit and run” is a known practice during major demonstrations. We are talking about composing small fighting groups of militant anti-authoritarians that cut off from the main body of demonstrators and attack in raids on preselected targets (banks, media vehicles, riot police) returning to the volume of the people in order to hit again or disappear. Regarding the political dimension of the practice it should be emphasized that the hit and run procedure does not belong exclusively to any particular tendency of anarchists. The “social” anarchists (mainly in the past when they constituted a more powerful component) apply the hit and run with the logic of deviating the demonstration and diffusing the conflict. In this way, as they consider, they act as the detonator of social explosion and contribute to the exacerbation of the social struggle.
The intermediate insurrectionalist trend has inherited the practice of “hit and run”, has made some ongoing organizational evolution and mainly refers to the experiential moment of conflict and relations (solidarity, self-organizing, overcoming roles) that are developed outside the dominant predefined
stereotypes. The common component of both trends is to identify corporate demonstrations as moments of social struggle, that both “social anarchists” and insurrectionalists promote through their presence and action inside them.
The new anarchy individualistic – nihilistic trend, the third pole as we’ve described, shapes a new perception in relation to social struggle and demonstrations. In the mass of tens of thousands that flock to workers’ demonstrations we do not necessarily recognize people who share the same code of values that we do or speak the language of liberation. Social mobilization is a mishmash of inconsistencies and behaviour, that covers all the territories of human thought, from peasant conservatism, to left-wing patriotism, alternatives, reformism, up to the anarchist viewpoint.
The demonstrations function as the sum of thousands of separate persons with different roads, sometimes even hostile to one another, joined either by reason or on the occasion of a guild application (like insurance laws). The vast majority of the composition of such demonstrations asks for a return to the old everyday life (before the legislation that offends their previous rights was voted) or in the more left version, the improvement of regularity with more progressive and humanitarian solutions within the limits of capitalism, or communistic statism. It is no coincidence that the main slogans of the demonstrations demand the application of fair laws against the unconstitutional measures of the government.
Even the violent diversion of a entire demonstration is often a compilation of contradictions. In the aggressive siege of Parliament during the course of 5 May, some protesters sang the national anthem, some were throwing stones, others called the riot police to join them, the Communist party identified troublemakers, others cried against those who were breaking banks and others applauded them and the anarchists were setting up barricades. A pantheon of all the behaviour with thousands of repetitions of the last 30 years.
“Revolutionary Vanguard and Revolutionary militarism”
We and our perception don’t constitute an enlightened revolutionary vanguard nor an elitist clique. Each one of us has tasted the contradictions, has rolled in them, has participated in them to the point where the need for personal and spiritual development, some different experiences, some collective discussions and observations, some interesting pages in books and manuals, individual thought and the desire for exacerbation of revolutionary action, demanded a re-think of our participation in demonstrations. For the space of thought and action that we express, we are not satisfied when conflicts just happen to break out anymore.
We believe in organized structures of impact and in clearly revolutionary viewpoints with memory, in the present and in perspective. There is no relation between the masked anarchist who “breaks and burns” because he denies the leftovers that are offered to him as life, the culture of spectacle, the value of money and a submissive consciousness, with the “angry” employee who, only when he feels a numbness in his pocket, will he raise his head just for a while. He is the same person that previously, when he considered himself comfortable in regularity, was annoyed by the “troublemakers.”
There is a huge value gap that no violence and no moment of conflict will bridge, if there is not essential awareness and self-knowledge. In this direction of revolutionary awareness we consider as contributions proclamations, texts, books, pamphlets, slogans on walls, posters. This is our own theoretical propaganda attack against a system that needs to die. And the demonstrations? Demonstrations contribute as well, but we have to see them in a new perspective. Nobody is born a guerrilla or a revolutionary, it’s a progressive process of evolution to define your life without compromise.
Demonstrations such as the one of May 5 is the necessary preliminary, the suitable lobby for those who want to come into initial contact with revolutionary violence. Through them the growth of the “hit and run”, in unfavourable conditions with hundreds of cops in the city, is a defining experience for those who want to sharpen their theoretical and practical tools in conditions of metropolitan battle. These are the suitable requirements for the practical development of other forms of action of the new guerrilla. Our goal is to organize “REVOLOUTIONARY MILITARISM”. A anti-hierarchical perception without leaders, ranks and followers that will promote the creation of small flexible battle groups of antiauthoritarians that will map the city, the targets, the getaways, will be equipped properly, will develop relationships with their respective affinity groups, will be open (with the necessary attention) to new comrades, will devise plans of attack and will use (but will not turn hostile) the “workers’-rights demonstrations” as a Trojan horse of revolutionary campaigns. So there it is not a question concerning participation in demonstrations or not, but of evolution.
We believe that only through the organised dimension of revolutionary violence the consistency, continuity, and severity that would “prohibit” the future of “failures” with such tragic results as Marfin, will be promoted. This is the only way that the new guerrilla movement will spread as a perception and practice, causing chaos in the sterile routine of organized boredom.
“The snitches and the consequences”
All this is written as a contribution to a dialectical field of thought and action between different political currents, and not in order to justify or cover something up. It is known that the specific attack on Marfin did not bear a certain ideological stamp of the political thought and content of the persons that acted there. Based on the target (bank branch), anyone of any political tendency of anarchist and not only, could set it on fire. But of course it is quite convenient for the “sharks of the auditoriums” to allocate what happened as a result to our political current.
The statements of loyalty and humanitarian missionary texts that were circulated by some anarchist collectives alongside the condemnatory certainty about the origin of the “perpetrators”, have given the ultimate emptiness of political arguments about the “nihilistic trend” that “parasite against the anarchist movement”. Their picturesqueness don’t bothers us, but when certain people reach the dangerous point of “indicating” persons in auditoriums and cafeterias just to satisfy the eager ears of the police, then these individuals will be treated as they deserve, as snitches with the equivalent consequences.
“Goal-oriented action and Autistic Failures”
Coming back to the how and why in the case of Marfin, no matter what anarchist tendency each one feels that they express as individual or as a collectivity, we must recognize that the three political movements (“social anarchists”, “insurrectionalists”, “individualists – nihilists”) have a common characteristic. The clear delimitation of goal-oriented action (government buildings, law enforcement forces, symbols of wealth). The three employees that were working during the day of the strike, sure cannot be considered enemies, but not allies either.. So in no case they can be considered as the objective of the attack.
In what we are writing our objective is not to beautify the situation nor to observe the logic of equal distances. For this, on the fringe of delimited targeting, we do not forget the autistic attacks on meaningless targets (bus stops, pay phones, kiosks, any car whatever) but we are in positionto know that this constitutes a invalid sample of irresponsibility that never substantially influenced anything. On the contrary the building of Marfin (in Korai square) as banking palace constituted a beautiful target.
We are not able to know exactly what happened there and what was said, but we know the chronic weaknesses that we believe contributed to the result. We refer to the fetishism of disorganized violence and loss of importance in the means of attack
“The Empty Guns Kill…”
To tell the cold truth, it is a matter of luck that the incident that happened at Marfin had not happened for so many years. Each rebel should shape a particular relation of comprehension and perception of the means of action he uses. All the means of action, from a stone up to a submachine gun, could just as easily turn boomerang against ourselves. This is why they say that “empty” guns kill more easily than the “loaded” ones.
“Empty” weapons are also means that their holder does not have awareness of their use or their effectiveness.
So with the events at Marfin, some “discovered America” . However for so many years the setting was similar. How many times in the past or in marches or in “night” attacks comrades burned and wounded themselves with molotov cocktails, because the bottles were poorly constructed, or because some people rushed to “hit” first. How many times were there broken heads of comrades from stones that some other “impatient” one threw from behind without even seeing the target. Also, for those who don’t have a short memory, how many times have anarchists argued with each other in demonstrations because of different attitudes and perceptions.
The examples are countless. And all imply the same weakness. The schism between theory and practice, between consciousness and action.
Revolutionary violence appears as fetishism, often reproducing patterns of macho dominatory behaviour, arrogance, roles and “specialities”. This contradiction of behaviour within the radical movement, works as a rank of power in the classification of informal leaderships.
At the same time next to this behaviour exist new comrades who inherit these relations and in their turn, but also with their individual responsibility, reproduce them like a misprint. The violence, the means, their use, their manufacture, the precautions, the experimentation, the techniques, so far were never put on the table for collective procedures to withdraw fetishism, so that knowledge and effective ownership can enter. It was the privilege of the more “initiated” who were thus “protecting” their “ranks”. Violence becomes perceptible as a game of adrenaline, an informal competition to see who “smashed” more.
On the contrary we support that consciousness is what motivates us to develop our fighting skills and knowledge so we can attack the opponent.
“During training, all the military preparations were subservient to politics:” When handling sensitive chemicals, they proposed to us to always think about ideology, and we will be able to do everything and get things right “(Ampimael Guzman – revolutionary organization Shining Path)
Alongside the fetishism of violence flowers imperfect knowledge. Some comrades ignore the effectiveness of the means of violence and their danger, and make excessive use of them, such as scenic hours of fighting from inside the university shelters, but also in unorganized attacks against riot police in Exarchia with dozens of molotov cocktails, that what usually is accomplished is to”blacken” the asphalt, while the same people, if they had discussed and were organized, could smash the cops and burn the riot cop van.
A piece of this tradition of adoration and simultaneously the ignorance of exploiting the means is also the criticism of the static “experts” of violence. A web of dismissively critical behaviour from the safe position of not participating in revolutionary practice, but covered with the excuse of knowledge of “older” experience “when things were not like now but it was better”. Suspended logics which flaunt old armed and violent experiences, each time setting the proper use of violence and the content of the guerrilla movement, are gasping to devalue any innovative thought and practice. Syndromes of a cowardly and timid way of thinking, admiring and liking what is distant inside the safe sphere of historicism and demonstrating a paper arrogance towards what tries to happen here and now.
In all this confusion of consciousness, the people who burned Marfin either didn’t see the people who were inside (carelessness, that is not the first time that it happens, such as for example in the organised night attack on the national bank in the Panepistimiou road alleyway four years ago 2-3 people were trapped on the roof ) or, worse, did see them but did not believe that they could die from a few molotov cocktails. We are convinced, without knowing them, that if someone had given them a gun, they would not have shot against the employees. So they did not want to kill them, even if there were probably some stupid-cynical voices saying “let them die, they are bank officials”.
If anything led to the events of May 5 is the abscess of a dominant tradition that has been smoldering for decades within the radical movement, and now first of all, everyone must answer to himself by making some self-criticism. Most of what is written here meets our own experiential understanding and our own shortcomings without being sophistries from some “outsiders”.
So with this reason comes the suitable spark to stimulate our thoughts and actions more, moving towards the future publication of a manifesto of the positions and values of the trend of nihilism, the anarchist – individualism and the revolutionary terorrism that we express.
At the same time, the recent communique of a “group of comrades who contributed to the catastrophic activity in the city center during the course of the May 5” demonstrates that every experience that wants to be a revolutionary one, should make it a priority to create moments and places for discussion and review. The comrades through their text, regardless of disagreements and agreements, worked directly on the process of restarting essential revolutionary dialectic.
Because the wager of revolution is not being played either with terms of military superiority or with religionistic aphorisms of empty political content. The new urban guerrilla movement is a process that “strikes” first of all at the centre of human relationships. From there everything begins.
CONSPIRACY CELLS OF FIRE
GUERILLA GROUP OF TERRORISTS