Taking authority apart August 2016 – Switzerland


avalance-image[In July 2016, an incendiary attack took place against an urgency telecommunication tower stat ion belong­ ing to the Zurich Police. As explained in the following article published in the biweekly anarchist newspaper Dissonanz issue 34, a repressive situation followed this sabotage with different house searches and one anar­ chist comrade wanted. Apart from the need to open up a space for solidarity with this wanted comrade and the anarchists from Zurich, this article draws up, ac­ cording to us, a crucial point for anarchist insurrec­tional projectuality: the idemification of the enemy. The deepening of this aspect, in thought as in action, seems to us of concern for every anarchist who vants to find herself or himself at daggers drawn with the ex­ istent and is looking for ways to disorganize the forces of authority and acceptance.]
A month has passed since the attack against the anten­ na of Zurich-Waidberg, a month of suspicious silence from the side of the media and the authorities. Only last week the first details have started coming to light, and we have learned from the media that the attacked anten­na was no thing less then the urgency radio system of the Zurich police, which is supposed to be a back up in case the normal radio system wouldn’t function any more. A fire destroyed the cables at the basis of this antenna, causing hundreds of tho us and of franks of damage, and putting the antenna out of service  “for several  days”. We also learned that an international warrant has been issued against the comrade the cops are looking for [see Ding Dong, it’s the State in Dissonanz, n°32).
In the light of this new details, the silence that followed this sabotage isn’t surprising us, because what has been touched by this attack, is a raw nerve that has embar­rassed the whole of the police forces of Zurich, showing their vulnerability. What could have happened if at that moment, for one reason or another, there would have been a break down of the radio system  of the cops? Without the use of the radio to communicate, transmit orders and info rmations, the police of Zurich would probably  have been  seriously limited  in its capacities
 to coordinate and react, creating a favourable situation for anyone who has some scores to settle with this so­ ciety. But let’s go a step further. And what if such a sabotage would have taken place during moments of social tension, for example during the riots in Bellevue a few years ago or the ones in the Europa-Allee? When the defenders of order are not able to coordinate, they would have faced serious trouble to retake control of the situation and guarantee a return to normality. These riots, instead of swift riots of some hours, could maybe have had enough oxygen to spread in space and time. Even their characteristics could have transformed into something different: by creating a cartography difficult­ ly controllable by the authorities because of their inca­pacity to coordinate, they could have opened up new spaces of thought Europa-Allee, and then? What do we want? How do we want to live? Questions that would have got practical and immediate answers on the spot. The problem of gentrification  for example is linked to the problem of wealth, of those who have and those who haven’t, and without the protection of the police forces, expropriation by those who haven’t could have been an answer. The revolt could even have gone beyond the single issue of gentrification, putting into question pri­ vate property, and therefore one of the roots of the so­ciety of authority.

Facing the injustice and the abuse of this society, we feel often impotent. In the end, transforming society is an almost impossible objective, so what can a single per­ son then do about it? Without giving it to much thought, we surrender ourselves to traditions, rituals, collective identities and repetitions of acts simply because it is what has always been done. The quantity of people in the streets, of the provoked damage and of the injured cops become parameters of success or not fo r a demo n­ station. We do not want to admit that only measuring the quantitative side isn’t anything else than an illusion we create for ourselves in order to keep on repeating the same rituals. The logics of “ten today, hundred tomor­ row” prevents us from looking beyond our own nose, to see that something else can be done, that even a small act can more drastically change a situation than perma­ nent repetitions of recipes “which proved themselves”. We think it is necessar y to develop the capacity to look beyond all these rituals and convenient habits which are atrophying our capacity of imagination as to find also other ways of acting.
The silence that followed this attack has therefore been the fig leaf that tried to cover up a simple truth: the su­ periority in numbers and weaponry do not count a lot when facing human intelligence and ingenuity. A bunch of cables put on fire onthe right moment and on the right spot by a singular person has the strength of taking a whole army apart, of transforming a situation that might seem static into something new, different and unforesee­able. Now then, if one thinks about the fact that society as a whole can only function thanks to the presence of infrastructures that allow the circulation of flows, transformations, electricity, commodities, persons, …, about the fact that these infrastructures are present everywhere in the physical space, a whole world of possibilities to act and interact opens up in front of our eyes.
These last months, we have seen how a small fire on the right spot can also paralyse “half of Swiss” [see Para­ lysing everything, in Dissonanz, n° 30], how the burned cables of an antenna can also put out of functioning a part of the communication systems of the police: what could have happened if these sabotages would have taken place on particular moments and interacting with other events?
State, economy and authority are not at all abstract and untouchable, it is enough to find weak spots, it is enough to have a little bit of spirit and imagination. For those who know where to look, the king is naked and vulnera­ ble. We wish the comrade who is on the run good luck, wherever he might be.
from : Avalanche no 8

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