From Ill Will editions
A quick and dirty English translation of a review of The Invisible Committee’s Now from yesterday’s Le Monde. Along with an interview with Julien Coupat and Mathieu Burnel with Le Monde.
A report from France
It appears that the French Republic is reaching a tipping point, a fundamental break with the way that rule has functioned here for three decades. Everything indicates that the political legitimization of racism and violent policing must either lead to tyranny or provoke an uprising. These two forces—tyranny and revolt—define the moment we are experiencing in France today. The confrontation is now permanent. In the following report, the second installment in our series leading up to the French elections, we explore these developments and the prospects for revolutionary movements in France.
Counter-arguments for those who no longer want to contribute to the spectacle of the end of the world, but to the end of the world of the spectacle
Translator note: translated from a pamphlet found in Paris and available online. There have been several texts circulating in the past month critiquing cameras in demonstrations, some online and some distributed as leaflets in the street. This one is perhaps the fullest articulation of the anarchist (but not just) argument against filming revolt.
Me: Stop filming or I smash your camera.
"But pictures are just raw information. They only show facts."
The photographic re-transmission of facts depends on the point of view in which the person taking the picture situates themselves, which makes it subjective even though it claims objectivity. Proof through pictures is a lie, not so much because it speaks falsely but because it claims to be true. To try to be a spectator, neutral and exempt from the power relations at play can only be an illusion, because it is in itself a way of taking sides, though indirectly.
Some analysis of the French Military Industrial Complex, why it's important to resist war, and some possible points of intervention
As the carnage in Syria continues, deaths are now counted by the hundreds of thousands. The large popular uprising that began in 2011 to overthrow the Assad dictatorship has been drowned in blood for five years under the passive, stunned gaze of the entire world. A real slaughter, with whole villages razed to the ground and a war of extermination waged against a population already decimated by hunger and privation. The insurrection was skillfully transformed into a civil war by the various international factions of power who are fighting over the resources, reconstruction contracts, and domination of the populations. Blood is spilling in the Middle East and Africa. The state, commanders, and bosses, whether they be dressed in suits, uniforms, or religious clothes, are dividing the booty at the expense of millions of peoples lives. And Europe as well is beginning to smell blood and gun powder, to once again get used terror and to khaki uniforms in the streets. Racism and nationalism are spreading, with millions of refugees are turned back at the borders, tens of thousands drown in the Mediteranean, die in trucks, or are expelled or locked up. War invades our lives ever further and constrains our present and our future.
Damien is an anarchist arrested on Wednesday, December 7 in Bretagne, charged with attacks against the Chambre of Commerce, a Jaguar dealership, and other targets during a demo that took place on April 14 between Paris’ 10th and 19th districts during the mobilization against the Loi Travail. This letter was published on January 7 and was intended as a contribution to a public discussion about how to engage with the justice system, in a bid to break the isolation that it seeks to impose.
When I heard that on January 9 in Paris there was going to be a debate about justice, I wanted to try to contribute by letter, but because I’m not allowed any visits or phone calls, I don’t have any details about the subject of the debate. The theme of justice is tied to many issues, like repression, authority, and incarceration, as well as obviously questions of defense or attack, resignation or dignity, inaction or vengeance.
This is a personal choice belonging to each individual and I don’t want to lecture about it or present myself as a martyr or hero, which I am not. So I will speak only of my own choice, one that isn’t motivated by the specter of revolutionary duty, but by desire, my own need to feel more free, more dignified, and more alive than my jailers permit.
Damien was arrested on Wednesday, December 7 in Bretagne, charged with attacks against the Chambre of Commerce, a Jaguar dealership, and other targets during a demo that took place on April 14 between Paris’ 10th and 19th districts. This is his first letter out since being denied bail.
I’m writing from Fleury, where I’m being held in preventative detention. Since the charges against me are, as usual, totally boring and unimaginative, I wanted to offer a different telling of the lovely spring night of revolt, written by some true lovers of disorder, so that my comrades have an accurate and realistic depiction of what I’m alleged to have done: “Reportback on April 14: hold in the rage too long and it bursts out like it should”
Although by now the Jungle of Calais has been destroyed, these two texts by Paris Sous Tension are still very relevant for understanding the situation of migrants in France today from an anarchist perspective. Many of the migrants were moved from the Jungle to various detention or housing centres, but all of those spaces are temporary and they will soon be back with the others in the camps that appeared or grew following the Calais eviction. In November, several thousand people were evicted from the Stalingrad neighbhourhood of Paris, where a camp had grown on the grassy medians of busy commercial streets. With right-wing politics ascendant here in the lead-up to presidential election in the spring, it is likely that the attitude of the state towards the migrants will harden and that the two strategies described in these articles, repression and management, will take on an increasingly violent character.
A first-hand account of an unpermitted march by the cops in Paris
For the past four days, the police have been illegally protesting in the streets of Paris each night. On Wednesday (October 19, 2016), their meet-up was set for 9:30pm in Republic Square. Some friends decided to go down and show their opposition to the gathering. First off, we were very few, at most fifty, and not nearly enough to confront the growing crowd of police, from 200 to a thousand. Here’s the story of a strange night caught between the state of emergency and the scent of mutiny.
The atmosphere was strange, there in Republic Square, where on one side a rally of Colombians was wrapping up, while on another a Jewish celebration was being held, and where a skatepark has sprung up in the same place where the General Assemblies for Nuit Debout were held this spring.
All the police cars that we watched arrive weren’t there to monitor the march, but rather to take part. Then the mobile gendarmerie got their riot gear out and made several attempts to encircle anyone who looked like a counter-protester.
In this period of war and of generally heightened tension, the unbearable conditions under which we’re made to live are maintained by fear. Fear of losing your job and of coming up short at the end of the month, fear of police, fear of prison. This feeling is driven home by the indefinite extension of the state of emergency and by locking away for ever longer those who remain recalcitrant. And yet, there are so many reasons to revolt against this world of cash and cops, and so no wonder that many people don’t give in to resignation and continue to take action against it all, in small groups or in a crowd, by day or by night.
Because the social war against the deadly rule of state and capital, there can be no truce: attacks against borders, rebellions in jail, escapes from detention centres, sabotage against the construction of airports or of high-tension power lines. Ransacking schools, burning construction equipment or the cables that permit the flow of information and transportation. Destroying campaign offices, riots following yet another police killing, daily hustles to avoid wage slavery… Beyond any law, whether earthly or divine, this routine disorder is able to flourish freely.