My decision to travel to Europe was taken lackadaisically. There had been some indications that nation-states on the Continent were being stressed from a number of different directions. First, the movement of upwards of two million refugees from the Middle East, specifically Syria, through the social-democratic European heartland is challenging the legitimacy of both the economic and security structures of numerous states.
The oil strikes and blockades, which are now being reported more in the international press, have been ongoing since Thursday 19th, and with increasing strength. On Thursday we heard it was not possible to get cash or oil in Rennes, since the ATMs were smashed during the manifestation, and the refineries were on strike. This is an explicit case in which the actions of casseurs support the actions of a strike. Every day there has been news of another refinery blocked, a new one evicted. They are often reoccupied. Road blockades are too many to count. The headlines suggest that the union, the CGT, has the power to block the country, and Manuel Valls has reproached them for the same crime. On Tuesday Minister Bruno Le Roux (the leader of the Parti Socialiste inside parliament) seemed to move on the law, saying it could be modified, but head of FO Jean Claude Mailly, wrote back with the minimal demand of retraction. On thursday morning, a senior CGT member reported having received personal and intimidating text messages from a government minister.
May 1, 2016. Like every Sunday there is the market at la Place des Fêtes. Like every May 1 it is the super-market of the libertarian organizations. Always the same routine, the same resigned faces, the same sad slogans, the same mythomaniac banners (“Kill Capitalism,” “Strikes, looting, sabotage”). This year some individuals decide to break this routine, and anarchism invites itself to the libertarian procession.
‘No, we do not want to catch up with anyone. What we want to do is to go forward all the time, night and day, in the company of Man, in the company of all men. The caravan should not be stretched out, for in that case each line will hardly see those who precede it; and men who no longer recognize each other meet less and less together, and talk to each other less and less.’
Frantz Fanon, The wretched of the earth.
13th November 2015, some madmen of God descend from their heavens in Paris and aim at crowds, slaughtering around 130 people. Some days before, two of them explode in a Shiite neighbourhood in Beirut, killing more than 40. Few weeks before that they blow themselves up during a demonstration in Ankara, leaving 102 dead. This is terror. Even the toughest ones are forced to admit that this time they are afraid. Afraid to be in the wrong place at the wrong time the next time it happens. Afraid to lose a close one to such a fortuitous death.
From Freedom News
State of Repression
The build-up to the COP21 set the tone for the entirety of the counter-summit. Although the recent mobilisations against global summits have been met with ever increasing repression, the increased powers provided by the state of emergency allowed the French State to exercise its full control over the COP21. Indeed, the aftermath of the Paris attacks created a window of opportunity for the ruling class to criminalize all expressions of revolt through an array of anti-association and protests laws.
From The Brilliant
In this episode of the Brilliant, we begin by discussing briefly what made us first call ourselves anarchists: Aragorn! talks about being realistic by demanding the impossible while Bellamy almost mistakes the episode for a therapy session. We then spend a good bit of time on the Paris attacks, an effort which mutates into a discussion about how we frame analyses of distant events. Finally, we use a thoughtful and lengthy critical e-mail from a listener as a point from which to wander through the subjects of revolution, “changing the world”, pessimism versus passivity, and the meaning of joy.
We received the following report from the group that produced the French version of To Change Everything, Pour Tout Changer. They describe the situation in Paris before and after the attacks of November 13: the intensification of xenophobic discourse, the repression of homeless refugees, the declaration of a “state of emergency” as a way to clamp down on dissent, the preparations for the COP 21 summit at which demonstrations are now banned, and what people are doing to counter all this. It offers an eyewitness account from the front lines of the struggle against the opportunists who hope to use the tragedy of November 13 to advance their agenda of racism and autocracy. With demonstrations forbidden and the COP 21 summit around the corner, what happens in Paris will set an important precedent for whether governments can use the specter of terrorism to suppress efforts to change the disastrous course on which they are steering us.
Communicators and governing authorities, who can no longer sell the “security” which they are manifestly incapable of delivering to any of their subjects, have thus pounced on the latest Parisian massacres in order to recast their rhetoric. “We are at war,” they tirelessly repeat, with the slight giddiness that always accompanies the manipulation of a new toy.
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