June 25th 2007, Heiligendamm

June 25th 2007, Heiligendamm

- Searches in Berlin
- German radicals clash, police hurt
- autonomously gazing after the g8
- Spin and rumours at the G8
- Federal Republic of Germany: Denial of Entry
- London G8 debrief meeting notes
- Anti. Anti Capitalista!

Searches in Berlin

Early this morning homes of left wing activists were raided once again in accordance with the German'terror' section 129a. Several apartments were attacked early this morning by a Berlin police squadron and masked SWAT officers. The officers acted quite violently told eyewitnesses .
The Federal Office of Prosecution(German:BAW) claim the raids are in accordance with section 129a and those carried out last thursday in Hamburg and schleswig Holstein.
An omininous nameless 'terrouist unit' with an anti militaristic background is being sought-it supposedly caried out arson attacks against german military vehicles in the northern germany two years ago.
In reality of course the BAW's aim is to criminalise and weaken the left which has been strngthened by protests against the G8 summit. Since the 'Radikal' raids ten years ago there hasnt been so many attacks by the state against the left wing movement. After years of preoccupation with alleged Islamists the radical and militant left now appear to be heavily manhunted by state powers.
It is important that these attacks are reponded to.
To show general solidarity with those affected there will be a spontaneous demonstration at Kottbusser Tor, Berlin, 9pm. Yet the registered protest cannot be the sole response. Organise and show solidarity!Create actions,form groups, fight back!
We are all §129a! Anticapitalistic Resistance is not criminal, its necessary!
German radicals clash, police hurt

German radicals clash, police hurt

BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) - More than a dozen police officers were injured on Sunday when they broke up clashes between right- and left-wing extremists overnight in the northern German port city of Rostock, German police said.
Police said that during the night there was an attack on a shop frequented by right-wing extremists. The shop has previously been targeted by left-wing extremists, they said.
"The police arrested 40 people from the right- and left-wing spectrum," Rostock police said in a statement. They have been charged with disturbing the peace, causing bodily harm, damaging property and other crimes, it said.
Police were called to the scene shortly before midnight on Saturday when a large group of left wingers, some dressed in black, was spotted heading towards the shop.
When police attempted to intervene and prevent a violent clash between the rival groups, the police were attacked by around 150 leftists with stones and bottles, the statement said.
Of the 200 police officers involved, 14 were injured. The statement gave no details about their injuries.
Before a summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in nearby Heiligendamm earlier this month, thousands of anti-capitalist protesters converged on Rostock where they engaged in violent clashes with police.

autonomously gazing after the g8

one of us, 17th of june 2007
a text written in the hope of an empowering self-critical debate in autonomous and anarchist circles about what happened and what didn´t happen during the protests against the g8...
one swallow doesn´t make a summer
there it was again for a moment: the exalting feeling that we really can attack sometimes, that we are lots, at least here and now courageous and determined. a spirited beginning, a promising prelude. besides legitimate critique of friendly-fire-rocks thrown from row 57 (and the regret that we didn´t make it into the inner city): after rostock many people i met were quite pleased with the resoluteness of the black block, a twinkle smiled at me from so many eyes. no-one would be able to misinterpret this symbolic challenge of capitalism into an appeal to those in power.
not so much might have changed for comrades, who went home after that and followed the things to come mainly through the media. they could not compare the accounts with their experiences, they did not realise that a mean little paradox saw the light of day. while the battle of rostock grew bigger and bigger in the mainstream media, while everyone was talking about the black block and even the most ugly smear-sheets started speculating about a renaissance of the autonomous, our own organising process quietly collapsed. no matter no-one outside realised that - those who were there know it. the aim of this text is to take away the power from this paradox and to reclaim it for our own future actions. therefore i think it necessary to overcome the multicoloured silence, that i found characteristic of the autonomous movement as i experienced it during the days of heiligendamm - to overcome it at least afterwards, in the evaluation of the protests. critique is love.
long, steep, and often stony is the way
maybe it is not only bad having destroyed the already a bit musty-smelling myth of the strength of the german autonomous. aside from the refreshingly offensive actions in rostock on the 2nd of june, we have to admit that almost all of our practical plans failed. also on an organisational level we did not exactly cover ourselves in glory. the generally announced "autonomous decision-making" inside the mixed camps that we had been discussing over and over again just didn´t happen. lots of internationals waited days and days for comrades of the german dissent! spectrum to share more detailed information with them, to get them involved in orienting discussions. the infosystem didn´t meet our expectations and was not able to make the knowledge of the small insider groups available for the bigger collective - lacking bigger assemblies our comrades now were depending on personal contacts even more. moreover, after the press started stirring things up against the black block only very few still dared to publicly advocate autonomous positions. this was not the least important reason why the interventionist left, being heavily under pressure, all of a sudden stood as the only voice of the radical left - a monopoly that we would usually never accept. instead of coming to common evaluations and actions as autonomous, radical left and anarchists in heilgendamm, we preventively disappeared in more than one dimension.

apart from this, seen on a larger scale the protests have not been without successes. there were many situations the police did not have under control. despite some unpleasant taste this is true as well for block g8. lacking their own plans, lots of autonomous and anarchists supported and participated in these actions. in the end some blockades were worked out spontaneously, withdrawing cops from the sitting blockades. actions like the police car being wrapped in tape and carefully deflated kept the spirits high. the sheer masses of people sitting on the streets and roaming through the forests turned the days into something more than the state could have wanted. nonetheless there is something perturbing about the "mood swing" in police strategy that - after the show of rudeness at the beginning of the week - occurred just in time for the arrival of the g8. the pictures of the masses of people marching through the fields carrying pace-flags are to me far too compatible with the self-righteous image-cultivation of germany as an oh so democratic country. on the other hand the endeavours of the government not to appear as a police state to the world public opened up rooms to manoeuvre that we could have used much more effectively. although foreseen by some, we did not manage to collectively talk about what we want to do in this case. the possibility to self-consciously anticipate this situation and to tow state power into a catch 22 situation with our actions was already way off the horizon at that time. as regards the autonomous part of the movement, protest meanwhile came to a halt more or less completely, one just went along with the others...or waited for the next plan that was going to fail.
far from an entirely different entirety
as you can see from this niggling, i guess that we have to confront serious questions in the days to come. ok, the last thing i´m interested in is to brand personal shortcomings, the key point is to politicise our understanding of our acting and not-acting. to first of all grasp what happened: to think about how all the things that did not happen are related to developments maybe not fully understood so far, to strategies of domination and peace-keeping to which we obviously haven´t found answers yet. speaking less abstract this means for example: how do we counter a police strategy that is not devoted to prosecuting per se all offences, but tries to get some of us to cooperate, to win their support for co-management in the name of the rationality in power? the rationality of a technique of domination that does not depend on ideological consent as long as the flows are not seriously interrupted. a rationality that suggests that militant anti-capitalism can go together well with a life inside of capitalism undisturbed by the authorities of law and order, as long as, yes, as long as "it" keeps within bounds. i guess we all had talks like this the last days. scissors in the mind [internalised contradictions] - absolutely nothing new, but still, seen against the backdrop of prevailing high-tech concepts of control and the frightening extent of social isolation obtained in society this remains a major problem.
how can we deal with a police strategy, that again and again wants to impose this fear in each and every one of us that eats up all collectivity - is it ME, ME, ME targeted by the camera? is there a microphone taping my voice? - a strategy that again and again wants to implant the timid question into our hearts, whether the moment of liberation that i am fighting for right now will end 10 or 20 minutes later in an arrest backed up by police videos. one answer to that for sure still is the "just do it!" of our clenched fists. and this is what we experienced in rostock on saturday: that there can always be situations where the cops run away from us, where they have to instrumentalize fire engines to break our lines in the first place, where we manage to collectively jump across their techniques of isolation and intimidation.
fucking british conditions
alas, there were also lots of moments during the following days where our communication failed, moments where we anticipated possible repression and denied ourselves to conspire beyond our small circles as international black block. how much more collective fighting strength could have emerged if we had better used the time to exchange different ideas in discussions, to develop actions and turn them into the eminent concerns of all of us - instead of only ordering each other to meeting points here and there in the last minute. at this point we should really think about how to challenge our paranoia, which is paralysing us already on the level of discussion. all the caution so predominant in this country for good reasons must not lead into lonely anxiety and collective silence, or else the other side has won. in order to act collectively we have to recognise each other as militants somehow, to meet for real here and there and to exchange. and by the way: we were talking about street blockades. no-one planned to kill the american president. the risk was limited.
the problem continued into the camps in general, into alliances and the wider public: apart from the declaration of the international brigades and one sympathising newspaper interview there was only silence to be heard from the radical left after saturday. the black block simply seemed to no longer exist. in the tv-show of sabine christiansen speculation was made as to whether it had been in the forests the whole time...as amusing as it is to read expertise articles about "what makes the hooded man tick?" in the yellow press, in the end we were also not visible for unorganised and potentially new comrades in the camps. the autonomous assembly that was established on the reddelich camp on tuesday came way too late and was not really attended by german groups. except maybe in wichmannsdorf dissent! did not manage to establish itself any forum, and apart from some individuals dissent! no longer had any influence on the debates in the interventionist left or the larger alliance. Given this situation, remarkably few dissociated themselves from us. obviously the concept of the big alliance of the interventionist left bore some fruit. at least in rostock the vast majority of the protesters kept together surprisingly well.
besides avoidance of repression another cause of the non-existence of autonomous structures could be described as a kind of organisational rigidity. in view of the 1000s of people to come it was for sure understandable, that - as potentially nervous hosts - we initially were seeking refuge in the security of plans. too bad that after a while we forgot to think about some really important questions like transport and communication. in nearly all working groups a strong tunnel-view with a tendency to autism developed. for sure it was due to the chronic shortage of manpower that, additionally to all the things that needed to be done, we spent lots of time permanently mobilising each other, to try and get each other volunteered for ever new task. maybe we should have met in-between some day for a mid-term review [in heiligendamm?], to check our structures and modify them according to actual needs. also for this we would have urgently needed an autonomous assembly. in retrospect it can be said that some organisational things could have been handled more easily, as a lot of situations above all depended upon spontaneity anyway - unfortunately this was something we had quite often lost already.
personally i was shocked about how close the situation here got already to the preventive invisibility, that we realised in great britain two years ago. contrary to all lessons we wanted to draw from gleneagles, we as well were not present in situations in a guiding way, but rather often exuded some undefined uncertainty in our relations to our comrades from other countries, up to open distrust. as pretty good children of the spectacle quite a few activists here wavered back and forth between some abstract euphoric enthusiasm for using harder means in street-fight situations than is usually common here - and the reflex to think of everyone as more or less insane and irresponsible who than in reality wanted to use these means close to them. this contradiction is not always easy to understand for our comrades, could only be insufficiently discussed in the situation and should be scrutinised more closely "amongst us" as well.
there must be some kind of way out of here
asking myself where to go from here in the time to come, i start to helplessly mumble a bit. the only things coming to my mind are in direction of more common experiences and discussions, less facade and less blabla. to better keep demands at some lower levels, before we only get dizzy and everything breaks down again. no plans anymore for the moment, and if there will be some, than very minimal and immediate and above all meant to do it ourselves! small things, maybe an initiative concerning demo-culture: for example to break out of the intimidating practice of assistance in police controls on the way to a manifestation. my heart is bleeding each time i see comrades walking separately with hands up to the police to get searched. we don´t have to put up with that! if the cops were the only ones lining up at the announced starting point of the demo, if they would have trouble again and again with unwilling protesters all around them, they might in the long run think to stop that shit. another point are arrests from out of the demonstration: the cops themselves say that this situation basically is difficult for them. too bad we often make it easier for them doing nothing or taking pictures, which is not better - if people successfully resist, we don´t need videos of it that can later be confiscated. instead of resigning and documenting arrests we should do our utmost to prevent them. the risk of getting arrested for "rescuing prisoners" diminishes if a lot of people do it and anyways, so what?
how much safer could we act knowing our comrades will do their best in the situation to free us? besides our comparatively elaborate defensive techniques, we could think again about how to prepare something for a demonstration. to have some spray-paint with us just in case some opportunity arises, for example. we could think about how we could mix or open up our rows here and there to give people protection and support who want to do things or already did things. in rostock the civil police did not dare to make arrests from within the crowd, and what was possible there will basically be possible in other places as well. there are innumerable possibilities to get our demos out of the defensiveness of endless debates about the length of banners. we can demand the withdrawal of the cordon (maybe otherwise people could cause some trouble to them from outside), we can refuse to leave central crossroads until all those arrested are out again, we can think about ways to push back the cameras of the cops, or to quit cooperation completely if necessary. meaning: not to announce demos anymore if the conditions grow too intimidating.
there are for sure a lot more proposals. the second one on this piece of paper is to create a group-crossover-forum to enable us to discuss about things like that, to bridge the actual split in multiple channels and organs. open meetings are one possibility, but they bear some disadvantages. what do you think of freely vagabondizing pamphlets, read, spread and answered all over town, criss-crossing all scenes and teams? if the unrealised plan b on friday in berlin showed something, its that we as autonomous, radical left and anarchists need to basically sort ourselves out anew, if we want to see some collective action happening here and there. crossover exchange could help us to get rid of the often frustrating halfheartedness in realising ideas that are not our own. it would be nice to see well-received proposals of some groups vigourously turned into action also by others, instead of taking the first chance to retreat.
be it as it may - whether we like it or not, there seems to be no other way - so let´s go on fighting pigsystem

plan b continua - vive la commune des brigades internationales


Spin and rumours at the G8

With proper wars it is a well-known occurrence for one side's propaganda department to try and spread the most horrific stories about the other party. The opposition are depicted as brutal barbarians who ravage children and should be opposed at all cost. In military jargon this is known as 'psyops'. During the protests against the G8 in Heiligendamm there were clear indications of a similar strategy. In this case the infamous ''black block'' played the part of the barbarians. This is a biased summary of the misinformation and its effect.
(citation): A number of persons were arrested because they were carrying a banner with the slogan, "Free All Prisoners!" as they passed by a prison on their way to a demonstration. The Police judged this as incitement to actively help people break out of prison. Source: http://de.indymedia.org/2007/06/185126.shtml )
(A proper layed-out version of this article with links and pictures can be found here: http://www.globalinfo.nl/content/view/1270/41/)
NB: Many links in this article link to German language sources.
Two years ago, during the protests against the G8 in Gleneagles in Scotland, we had to pay an unexpected visit to the police station in Stirling because one of the Dutch activists had lost his passport. While we were in the waiting area we saw an electronic news display on the wall constantly making announcements about the protests. To our surprise there were horrendous stories about violence against the police, which I almost certainly knew were not true or at least grossly exaggerated. Suddenly that classic urban myth popped up: demonstrators had supposedly attacked one of the officers with a knife! At almost every large confrontation between police and protesters this story surfaces, although there has never been any evidence of it actually occurring.
During 'Heiligendamm' two police officers supposedly suffered knife attacks.(http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/g8-gipfel/ausschreitungen_aid_62322.html). As usual some of the press willingly repeated this report without checking if it actually happened. You can count yourself lucky if there is any mention it is based on a police report (1). It is remarkable that the media almost never ask for proof. These rumours are mostly launched amidst an enormous chaos of events, giving the reporters no time whatsoever to check on statements. If they did they would find the police unable to present the alleged 'victims', because they don't actually exist.
When the dust has finally settled it only concerns one incident among many, not worth rectifying or investigating. You certainly don't want them considering that sort of thing and then constructing 'evidence', which happened for example in Genoa during the G8 protests there in 2001 (2).
The imaginary stabbings are only a small part of an entire arsenal of lies and rumours about the protesters that seeped into the world. When the opening march on June 2nd ended in intense rioting the floodgates opened. Media which had originally been suspicious of the state-organised army of repressive forces did a u-turn to directly opposing standpoints. Some of the protesters were supposed to be 'capable of anything' and it was a good thing the police had taken preventative measures to protect civilians and politicians against these savage hordes. Again, to the attentive observer, these events turned out to be mostly staged. The riots had indeed been intense, but no more serious than the average clash involving autonomes. In the reports by the mainstream media however it seemed the end of times was near. This reporting was actively fed by the police and other authorities who produced ominous reports about thousand injured, many of them seriously, including over 400 (433 to be precise) police officers. The high point was (again) the Berlin paper Der Tagesspiegel which ran a headline about 'a rain of rocks splintering riot squad helmets' (http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/Landespolitik-G-8-G-8-Gipfel-Proteste-Gewalt;art124,2315377). Of the Berlin police alone 18 officers were supposed to be in hospital with serious injuries.
These reports lead to grotesque scenes whith the police managing to elevate themselves to the role of victims (http://www.jungewelt.de/2007/06-12/052.php). The online chronology of Der Spiegel (http:www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1581,486256,00.html) only reported every pitiful mention by the police as well as a battue of the police by the autonomes ([15:31] Einzelne Gruppen von Polizisten werden von Autonomen regelrecht gejagt.)
Days later some newspapers managed to deconstruct the story and found it had all been severely exaggerated. Every scratch and every blister had been included and the most serious injury sustained by an officer (a broken leg) had been caused by his own colleagues stumbling over him when they ran down a staircase while hunting for protesters. Two days later, according to the right-wing weekly Focus (http:www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/g8-gipfel/rostock-krawalle_aid_62405.html) no-one was in the hospital anymore. This kind of rectification however never makes the front page. Meanwhile the image was already firmly in place and politicians and even spokespeople of NGO's like Attac (http://sat1.de/news/index.php?action=showarticle&article_id=122761&sourceurl=/politik/) were falling over one another demanding tougher (!) measures against the protesters. A police union even demanded the employment of rubber bullets. This wave of real or pretended indignation still continues. Politicians have announced they will take further measures against what they call the ''black block'', like constructing special databases and a ban on dressing uniformly in addition to the long-time ban on face coverage already in place.
For a considerable time the largest repressive operation in years had been taking place. All kinds of police departments as well as the army had already come to the aid of the police, who were already prepared to the hilt with 16.000 personnel and all technical equipment available. Legally also they had little cause for complaint: the freedom to protest had been drastically reduced in many areas. The smear campaign was meant to make the population and the media accept the repression, and preferably embrace it. The reports were probably also meant to incite the officers themselves to take stronger action. They are human too, and sometimes question the justice of their 'work'. A continuous stream of propaganda about the opposition's maliciousness has to keep them motivated. A fourth target group of this stream of false reports are people considering joining the protests. If they believe this might be life threatening or there might be football-hooligan-like situations they don't support, they might decide to stay at home.
There was much discussion among the protesters about the cause of the riots on Saturday afternoon. Rumours about police provocation quickly abounded. The more radical segment of the activists had already been harassed for weeks, for example by the raids on 40 apartements on May 9th (http://www.globalinfo.nl/content/view/1238/30/) and on May 25th at a march against the EU-ASEM summit in Hamburg. This didn't just happen in Germany: on May 5th an entire bicycle demonstration was arrested in Utrecht (Netherlands) (http://www.indymedia.nl/nl/2007/05/44231.shtml)(3).
As Heiligendamm drew closer the vice-like grip of the measures instated by the police tightened. It was clear that bomb would eventually burst. But the 'blame' of course isn't entirely on one side. The ''black block'' attended as usual and was rather large in Rostock (many sources estimate around 2000 people, some even 5000). These were people who no longer wanted to let themselves be pushed around and some probably felt like finally taking a stand against the police. (4)
It was typical that there had been almost no incidents during Saturday's entire demonstration, including the "black block" (with the exception of one broken window at a Sparkasse bank and one at a supermarket, the origin of which was not clear). It is however interesting to investigate why things got out of hand at the closing manifestation in view of all the cameras.
A few incidents suggest police provocation. Firstly there was a lonely police van parked in the middle of the protest marches' route, while all other vehicles had been put safely in a guarded parking lot. There are striking film images of this ((http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RPR0nM9W5o). Also compare the reports on Spiegel TV (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN6TZjY4l4M) in which at first a picture was painted that "the entire centre of Rostock is being smashed up by the "black block" (supposedly consisting of a mixture of neo-nazis and Iranian women?) and then mainly showed people blaming the police for the escalation.
When the riot didn't kick off at the lonely police van the famous pseudo-arrest incident occurred. While not much is happening an undercover police officer inside the march looks around and suddenly attacks a person dressed in black, pushing him to the ground (film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo4iuhTxFZM). Some pushing and shoving ensues and a riot police 'hundertschaft' lined up nearby charges at the demonstration. People get angry, start throwing things, and the riot can begin. After that the riot police units and protesters were at it for hours. Every time things seemed to calm down riot police units attacked anew. There has been a lot of debate about this incident (for example http://de.indymedia.org/2007/06/180552.shtml). Most likely is that also the two supposed ''black block'ers' were actually police officers. The prisoner doesn't make any attempts to escape the arrest. The purpose of this operation would be to incite the crowd.
These events mainly took place in one single side street along the harbour square which was broken up to provide missiles. Some cars were turned upside down and one of them was set on fire. For days that one Ford was the main image on TV and in the newspapers.... To continue that thread towards all protesters against the G8 seemed child's play.
Spin machine
The big spin machine could be set in motion. Suddenly (the source turned out to be the German press agency DPA) a horribly mistranslated quote by one of the speakers on stage at the closing manifestation appeared in the media. Walden Bello, a well-known representative of the critical Southern globalization vision, had words put into his mouth claiming he had called for violent resistance ( http://manila.indymedia.org/?action=newswire&parentview=141258), to "bring the war into the demonstration because with peaceful means we will accomplish nothing". This suggested that Bello (and with him the entire organization of the march) was calling for violent resistance. In reality Bello had called attention to the war in Iraq and argued for the protest to include this because "without peace there can be no justice". Hundreds of media repeated the DPA-version. Media activists immediately got to work publicising this scandal and spreading the true content of Bello's speech, which lead to an apology by Der Spiegel, but the damage had already been done.
Up a gear
In the following days the police, who suddenly thought themselves covered by massive support from the public, press and politicians, employed pretty much all means a their disposal to disable further protests. Protesters were continually being pulled from their cars and searched, demonstrations for which permits had previously been issued were made impossible and continually surrounded by large police forces. There are too many examples to list them all, but take this one as an indication: http://de.indymedia.org/2007/06/181323.shtml.
It was clearly thanks to the protesters that things didn't escalate further. On the way to a demonstration-with-permit at Rostock airport Laage one of our two buses was stopped for the n'th time and everyone was arrested (including a mother with a three year old child who were also put in cages, ID'd and photographed! http://www.indymedia.nl/nl/2007/06/45200.shtml). Even the always calm and quiet photographer U. was roaring with anger that next time he would be throwing rocks.
Here you can see how an entirely peaceful demonstration (commemorating the Lichtenhage pogrom of 1992) is messed up by the police: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Okxtq4VzWUE&mode=related&search=
A recurring phenomenon after Saturday's riots was police units attacking small groups of protesters to arrest people. Pepper spray and batons were used and caused many injuries. Peaceful situations kept getting transformed into chaos and panic. Even the local S-bahn trains (see film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8XwT20nI60) on which activists traveled from one march to the other were repeatedly stopped and raided by riot squads.
New urban myths
All of this only scetches the context in which the rumours were released. A new high point was for example a story in Monday, June 4th's Berlin Tagesspiegel (http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/g-8-gipfel/G-8-Gipfel;art2648,2315470) predicting that Saturday's riots were only child's play compared to what was yet to come. Remember, the blockading of the G8 itself hadn't even started yet. The journalist in question, Frank Jansen, quotes an anonymous 'hochrangiger Sicherheitsexperten' (renowned security expert) claiming to know that protesters are using 'fruit containing razor blades or stanley knives' as ammunition. This story is soon repeated by many other media. (5) The story mentions other absurd weapons like enormous catapults made of athletics training equipment and supposedly being assembled in the action camps. Again, there is not a shred of evidence and afterwards the police has never shown any of these contraptions to the media. A version of this story, about a potato with nails in it, appeared on local newspapers MV Regio's website. A picture was published of a similar potato which according to the newspaper had been 'displayed' at the Reddelich action camp (http://www.mvregio.de/show/39029.html). In no time other media report this as fact.
In retrospect it is clear to see how the bizarre accusations often are a back and forth passing play between the press and the police. At a press conference or via the website (http://www.polizei.mvnet.de/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=3923&Itemid=265) a police spokesperson reports a gruesome bit of news, one of the media takes it up (and perhaps mentions that it is a police assertion): DPA: "Laut Polizei vermummen sich Autonome und bewaffnen sich mit Molotow-Cocktails und Steinen." Then Spiegel Online and NDR-tv repeat it and present it as fact (http://de.indymedia.org/2007/06/182346.shtml).
Criminalising clowns
One of the most bizarre urban myths concerns the clown army who form a specific problem for the police. They are not just being funny but actually take part in many of the actions: making the police look ridiculous, getting in the way and sometimes breaking through police barriers. The police had been warned in advance by the secret service about the clowns, who according to the service are a lot more dangerous than they pretend to be. An attempt was made to make the clowns look dangerous despite their hilarious outfits. Many clowns carried water pistols (after all, an army carries weapons) which they passionately sprayed at both activists, onlookers and police. Soon the rumour was spread that the clowns' water pistols didn't contain water but a scary acid (http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,486816,00.html).
In retrospect this horror story could of course not be maintained. Asked about the background of this accusation the police version was that they had noted 'stripes on the uniforms' of the officers who had been sprayed. Upon investigation however these turned out to be caused by soapy water. But by then the rumour had done its job. This story might well have been especially constructed to make the police take stronger action against the clowns.
On our way back to the Netherlands we met a large group of Bavarian riot police in a parking lot on the motorway, they were also on their way home. We couldn't resist confronting them with the front page of the (Hamburg) paper Morgenpost, which broadly ran the story of the police provocateur who was exposed when he was collecting rocks and trying to incite the protesters to attack the police. The returning officers' retort was a pathetic story about how terribly frightening their profession had been over the last couple of days and the 'clowns-with-acid-guns' soon surfaced. We were convinced they actually believed it....
After Saturday's riots and the media storm that followed the situation seemed grim and fairly hopeless. Yet later on the atmosphere slowly changed again. One important reason for this was that the activists didn't allow themselves to lose the plot and by the thousands they just went to work doing what they had come to do: building the camps, holding actions and demonstrations and preparing for the blockades. This shows the importance of having well organised movements, and also that part of the population is quite politicised. During the first three days the situation was nevertheless dramatic, because of the severe repression described earlier. An important switch came on Wednesday when the first blockade-actions were executed. The massive marches by determined and cheerful protesters, outsmarting the police and striking throughout the entire area surrounding Heiligendamm, made a strong impression on the onlookers, press and fellow protesters. In addition the ban on demonstrating which had been instituted for the entire 5 km zone around Heiligendamm was rendered useless by people voting with their feet. Thousands upon thousands entered the area with the police unable to stop them. It remains bitter that in several places the police still responded with brutal violence. The feeling among the local population was also much better than was previously feared. Despite mentions in the media (like in the Dutch Volkskrant) that the population was hostile towards the activists, there were many expressions of the opposite. Many houses sported protest flags. Local people supplied water and food, and in the evening they handed out wood for the campfires. Even farmers whose fields were flattened by protesters walking through indicated that they mainly blamed the police.
Another important event was the discovery of a group of police infiltrators at one of the non-violent sit-down blockades. They were busy bringing in rocks and tried to get the protesters to attack the police. However they did this so clumsily that the protesters became suspicious and started shouting they were police. They were surrounded and one was overpowered and recognised as an plain-clothes officer from Bremen (http://de.indymedia.org/2007/06/183831.shtml). He was almost assaulted but activist lawyers accompanied him to the police and handed him over. Many media witnessed this incident. At first the police denied the plain-clothes officers were theirs, but after a while even they couldn't stand up to the massive amount of evidence to the contrary and were forced to admit the men were infiltrators. The police continue to deny these infiltrators' instructions were about incitement and provocation, claiming they were just gathering information as usual, but by now no-one believes this anymore. Many see this as evidence supporting other observations of police officers dressed in plain clothes actively trying to incite.
What to do?
Of course the activists did not sit still during this media frenzy. A well-equipped indymedia centre in Rostock was working full time publishing their own reports or correcting the commercial media. Various other media activists and bloggers (http://www.trueten.de/archives/2333-G8-Zivilpolizisten-Urheber-der-Randale.html) threw themselves into the fray. But the playing field was far from level (also see a previous sketch: The Media gets the Massage: http://unspintheg8.org/media-gets-massage-uneven-battle-over-media)
It remains fascinating that the mainstream media systematically exaggerate militant actions by protesters and pay very little attention to police violence. At the end of the action-week about half the population of the action-camps was sporting bandages and splints as a result of police activity. Even our older American clown J. sustained a broken finger on the final day. A number of people were seriously injured, some of them by the water cannons (http://de.indymedia.org/2007/06/184909.shtml). At least two people are in danger of losing an eye. Have you seen any of this covered in your media? Or any of the innumerable smaller incidents like when a group of clowns were surrounded for an entire afternoon at a McDonalds on the way to Bad Doberan and forced to hand over all of their money as bail (http://de.indymedia.org/2007/06/184653.shtml)? The hundreds of arrests with no legal basis, the inhumane conditions in the cages on the industrial estate which were supposed to pass for prisons, the many incidents involving journalists or doctors being arrested by the police? At most the scandalous torpedoing of the Greenpeace boats received some media attention, but other than that it was utter crap.
The stupidest way to respond is by immediately becoming defensive and distancing yourself from 'the violence', like quite a few spokespeople for NGO's and various left wing parties did. Continuous discussion about the chosen means of action is obviously necessary, but it became very clear in Heiligendamm that if we want to change the world we should not allow ourselves to be dictated by the government and the media. The most important victory of this G8 mobilisation is that the actions and blockades were executed so succesfully. Now it is time to learn from this experience and to further strengthen the structures.

Also see the survey by the exellent Grundrechtekomitee: http://www.grundrechtekomitee.de/ub_showarticle.php?articleID=243
A good survey of the reports about the G8 by the German mainstream media can be found at the Badespasz website: http://www.jpberlin.de/badespasz/presse/wp/ The unsurpassed website gipfelsoli has set up an archive of the reports about repression: http://gipfelsoli.org/Repression Here is an English summary of police repression: http://de.indymedia.org/2007/06/185126.shtml
There are many analyses of the repression and the media lies to be found, for example at: http://de.indymedia.org/2007/06/184905.shtml and http://gipfelsoli.org/Repression/2923.html and http://gipfelsoli.org/Repression/2890.html and http://www.jungewelt.de/2007/06-06/040.php This analysis: http://de.indymedia.org/2007/06/183628.shtml adresses how a naive reaction to media-manipulation can lead to a distancing from more militant forms of action.
And finally it needs to be said that not all mainstream media should be tarred with the same brush. there were some positive exceptions. Germany has a few progressive newspapers that reported differently (Junge Welt, Neues Deutschland, Jungle World. The Tageszeitung mainly howled along with the mainstream wolves...). Of the 'quality press' the Süddeutsche Zeitung provided a more balanced reporting. While one lokal newspaper Nordkurier committed mainly blatant propaganda for the G8 and the authorities, the other - Die Ostzeezeitung or OZ - appeared to be a relieving exception. Also see this hilarious report by the BBC: http://www.unspintheg8.org/bbc-two-journalist-wonders-why-anyone-bothers-travel-g8-flash-version

Notes (1) Not only right wing papers traditionally slandering protesters like Bild or Focus, but also 'quality papers' like Financial Times Dld: "Mindestens ein Polizist wurde verletzt, als ein Demonstrant ihn mit einem Messer angriff." http://www.wissen.de/wde/generator/wissen/services/nachrichten/ftd/PW/207683.html or Der Spiegel: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,486256-6,00.html Der Spiegel (in its online version) played a peculiar part in the reporting by systematically almost literally passing on the police reports.
(2) Immediately afterwards a police spokesperson claimed that during the scandalous raid on the Diaz school one of the officers was attacked with a knife. The knife was supposed to have been deflected by the officer's bullet-proof vest. This clearly slashed vest was presented to the media together with the knife supposedly belonging to the 'attacker'. During later court cases however it was proven this knife could never have made the cut in the vest. Two molotov cocktails presented by the police as having been found in the school turned out to have been planted by the police themselves during the raid.
(3) The mass arrests, after which people were kept in inhumane conditions, caused little or no consternation with the press or politicians. Some of the detainees were among the people who were refused entry at the Germany border (http://www.indymedia.nl/nl/2007/06/45088.shtml). This points to a cooperation between the Dutch and German police, using completely illegal blacklists.
(4) The many mysterious stories about the ''black block'' form part of the criminalisation and smear campaign against protesters. The ''black block'' is of course not a tight knit organisation at all, but a not very secretive demonstration-tactic: by dressing more or less the same and taking other preventative measures you can prevent being forced to follow the police's whims. It enables the group, or members of it, to execute actions which would otherwise be impossible. The level of militance is usually kept within conscious limits and, unlike those of the police, there have never been any fatalities caused by this group's activities. For more background information see the book 'Les Black Blocs' by Francis Dupuis Deri or 'Autonome in Bewegung' (AG Grauwacke). Also see: interview with a Berlin autonome in the July 4th edition of the Züddeutsche Zeitung: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/deutschland/artikel/2/116885/print.html
(5) Via the newspaper's office I got the e-mail address of the journalist concerned and politely asked him for his contact information so I could ask him a few questions about his story. So far he has not responded.

Federal Republic of Germany: Denial of Entry
Federal Republic of Germany

Federal police inpection
Denial of Entry
On 04.06.2007 at 21:30.

X Issued by border control in accordance with art. 23 of Schengen Border Code in


Before the signer Conen, PHK [rank: Hauptkommissar]
Name: X

born: X

Sex: male

Nationality: Dutch

Living in: X

Identification document: Dutch passport, Nr.: X

Coming from: the Netherlands
is herewith informed of this finding against him:
According to §14, paragraph 1 federal police law associated with § 6, paragraph 1 sentence 1 and § 6 paragraph 2 mobility law (EU), in view of an actual and sufficiently serious threat against the fundamental interests of German society, this Denial of Entry is hereby issued.
[justification see page 2]
[Page 2:]
Mister X attempted to travel into Germany on 4-6-07. According to him, his aim was to take part in the gathering in Rostock (Germany) to take part in the demonstrations against globalisation in conjunction with the G8 summit in Heilgendamm.
According to information obtained from the Dutch police, Mister X is politically associated with the left wing. According to this information, there is a possibility that Mr. X would take part in non-peaceful demonstrations.
At the time of this check he was peaceful and was not drunk. Furthermore he was not in possession of any weapons or dangerous items. On the other hand, we note that it is normal for violence-prone people planning riots to act calmly on their way to their destinations. Furthermore, we must give weight to the fact that at significantly important political events such as the G8, the risk of escalation greatly rises. Riots are usually spontaneous, occurring at the location of the event. Journeys to theses events are usually made alone or in small groups.
Considering all of these circumstances, a significant danger that Mr. X will behave violently must be taken into account. The internal and external interests of Germany concerning the G8 summit would be endangered. This denial of entry rests on the legal claim stated on the previous page, according to the judgment of the issuing administration.
Lesser measures would not have been sufficient in this situation, and a Denial of Entry order is an appropriate measure during the time of the G8 summit.
[Bottom of page 1:]
A protest against this Denial of Entry may be filed at Federal Police Office Kleve, written or verbally to be transcribed, within one month.
According to § 80, paragraph 2, Nr. 2 VwGO (Verwaltungsgerichtsordnung: rules applying to the administrative court). A petition against this Denial of Entry may be filed, to the administrative court in Düsseldorf, in order to be granted interim legal protection according to the rules of the administrative court.
Mister X received a copy of this document and was advised regarding existing legal remedies.
Person concerned: refused signature
Executing this order: Conen (rank: PHK)
Responsible for the correcness of translation: Pohlmann (rank: PHK)

London G8 debrief meeting notes

Yesterday there was a G8 mobilisation debrief meeting in London. Here are some of the things that were said.
We also decided to have a broader 'What next' type discussion at 4pm, Sunday 24th June - Ramparts main hall. This can turn into a bit of a social in the evening to relax and socialise. More information to come.
The Camps
* amazing organisation at the Reddelich camp, especially given the numbers of people. Lovely showers, hot food always available etc.
* good to have dry nights before action - encouraging sensible pre-action behaviour
* was a shame there was no eco-feeling to the camp - but this would have involved a massive extra effort and is probably impossible for a camp that size.
* Reddelich camp was simply too big to be blocked by the cops.
* Rostock camp had a very different atmosphere - strange mix of communist groups, punks, parties, leftist groups, NGOs, music.
Information for actions
* flows of information to the protesters was very good - especially with info points on the roads/towns etc.
* information on the camps a bit more problematic - very good to have the ticker up on the board, but wrong information wasn't always corrected.
Indymedia Dispatch
* really good!
* People used the information from dispatch to plan their actions, accessed sometimes by mobile phones, especially when on actions in Rostock.
* Was very helpful in gaining some perspective of what was going on elsewhere, often difficult in these situations. This also helped morale!
* There was other information available on the camps which wasn't reported on dispatch, perhaps because it wasn't easily verifiable. Was dispatch not hooked into these sources, or just unable to verify them and so couldn't use them?
* But disappointing that pretty much only "Indymedia friends and family" were ringing in with their reports. Indymedia being seen as a service-provider, not as dependent on everyone's contributions.
* media centre was very effectively blockaded
* lots of little blockades
* very strong mass walk-out on the Thursday morning (9am)- 2-3000 people - amazingly all kept together trekking for hours through fields and forests.
* Blockade on West gate - allowed to stay because there were other gates open, way for the cops to keep an eye on us, keep us from causing trouble elsewhere. Reinforcements were brought in when the mass moved along the fence. By then they had to use the ferry ports to get people in.
* At the other gate - the middle gate - those who went there were charged and tear-gassed.
* People were unable to get to the town Vorderborhagen at all.
* Very upsetting that there were some on the camp telling people not to get involved in the mass walk-out because it was 'just about killing cops'.
Plan B
* in Berlin the biggest group was about 200 people but were outnumbered by the cops. Had a Reclaim the Street party - was fun apparently.
* difficult - perhaps impossible - to get the same people to do both rural blockades and urban actions - too tired, and logistics of transporting that many people from the fields to the city.
* City action could have been framed as another type of blockade - blockade of the circulation of capital and police forces. Could use local city issues.
* Could have done the two things simultaneously, but not involving the same people.
Block G8
* lots of problems (didn't really go into in this meeting) - except to say 'they would block people who broke their guidelines before blocking the roads? wtf?'
* but were amazingly organised
* there was a split! One group left to go to the other gate.
Camp security
* stupid young inexperienced people trying to fight the cops at the camp - vvv bad
Flash Radio/ other media
* worked well that they'd organised all their stuff before and so weren't relying on others. Where they were relying on others (e.g. for power supply) problems occurred.
* media bus had solar power so less power cut-out issues
* Indymedia tent at Reddelich not up to previous standards!
* Not enough people to use the IMC in Rostock near the harbour (not the Evershagen one)
International organising
* began 2 years ago
* but seemed to die down after a bit
* but didn't feel like internationals were involved in the organising
* felt like about 70% German, 30% internationals there - good work! And broad range of nationalities present.


After G8: G8-evaluation in Amsterdam 30/06-01/07

In the weekend of June 30 and July 1st there will be an extensive evaluation of the actions against the G8-summit in Heiligendamm. This will be in de broeinest. There will also be debates about the effects of the actions and perspective for the future.
It will start on Saturday at 13.00 hours with an overview of the events. After that we will show unique images, partly made by activist journalists who took part in the mediabus. Then we will zoom in on more specific themes like media, repression and the preliminary activities in the Netherlands. The second day, on Sunday, will start at 14.00 with a debate about the political effects of the protests and the international and local networks that were involved. After another round of films and pictures, we will end with an exchange of opinions on the future of international anticapitalist movement.
Language will be mostly English, or with simultaneous translation to English.
Entrance is free, donations are very welcome. Journalists and undercover policemen are requested to contact first before mingling with the public.
Het broeinest can be found at Plantage Doklaan 10-12 Amsterdam (http://www.broeinest.info) More info on: http://www.dissent.nl and http://www.globalinfo.nl Email: infodissentnl@multipleks.org
More details on the program (in Dutch) can be found here: http://www.globalinfo.nl/content/view/1268/30/

A. Anti. Anti Capitalista!

It was the linking of the arms, over 200 hundred rows made up of 8 to 12 people each and a sister from Berlin who whispered 'because of the snatch squads' that reawakened my dormant thoughts on 'the black bloc'.
The Black Bloc is very much alive in Europe. Thanks to the rather successful abilities of these anti capitalists to come together and get angry, there have been riots throughout the 'vieux continent' during the last couple years.. Many. And at the anti-G8 protests this past week, riots were the topic of conversation on quite a few people's lips. Maneuvering nationality, the various communities, collectives, federations and groups of anarchists and autonomists who gathered and lived together in Riddelich-the 'radical' camp a couple kilometers away from where the oligarchs of the G8 were meeting- and who presented their experiences and thoughts on the subject.
With pride les 'totos' from France shared stories of helping start the spontaneously resistance after Sarkozy's election leading to over 100 cars burning, the riots that occurred in the banlieues, as well as the fights against the CPE. Folks from Greece told their stories of the fierce battles in Athens from the universities and various blockades they organized against the State. Hordes of fighters that descended from Copenhagen reminded people that street fighting was still on going since Ungdomshuset eviction two months ago and after Rostock, Saturday June 2nd, the Germans had another riot to add to their canon1, as well as the almost had riot of Plan B(erlin) of Friday the 8th. Alas, those of us from the small North American brigades had very little to offer in terms of experience sharing.
Having the occasion to participate in a shock therapy insurrection was obviously enough of a incentive to come together last week against the G8, but there was the underlining pretext of anarchists being able to have a collective report back on their various experiences of the last year or so. To tentatively sketch out conclusions as well as to immediately take action. The first demonstrations and the first 'upsurges'- came out of an understanding of what methods to use with the German cops, but above all what strategies are used by the various tribes- the British, Italian, French, German, etc. The debate no longer centered around abstract scenarios but rather came out of experiences that were absolutely real.
For some, the riot ended the myth that the German 'Autonomen' had disappeared, supposedly gone were the helmeted rebels of the 80's, while for others, all it took was the impressive cohesion of the 'German' bloc and its imposing defensive configuration (that was lacking in many of the other savage teams and who could easily be broken apart from their gaps and holes in their lines). Regardless, they were in the multi hundreds, our German comrades who hadn't seen such a large masked contingent in a decade. Indisputably there has been a change in what can be a given on the international front between the black bloc and all the various police apparatus's and those they protect.
What could have possibly caused such a change? If repression (post-911) could have caused in one form or another a reflect rejection of offensive tactics these last few years, how do we understand the sudden determined resurgence? In Europe no less, where the methods of control are being used in ways, that historically, are without precedent? It seems relevant to ask why North America, again, is flailing in its ability to join in this regained enthusiasm for riots?
The last time we went to a 'black bloc' demonstration in Canada was a while ago, whether one explicitly called for such in Ottawa during 'Take the Capital' (in 2002) or one that implicitly suggested for you to wear black and blend in with your fellow brother and sisters that were pissed off, such as the West mount demonstration in Montreal organized by Clac Logement (may your revival be swift and expedient!) in 2004. Sure there have been the crumbs of riot resistance that have swirled around Canada in the last 6 years-there were punks who smashed some windows after the annual COBP demonstration against police brutality this past March 15th, but there certainly was not an unspoken decision in the minds of anarchists to come together and get angry and use the tactic of 'striking at the heart of capitalism and making them very scared', as an impassioned Italian put it during one of the frequent 100+ attended spokes council meetings for autonomist affinity groups. That time has seemed to pass by us, unbeknownst to us as to why. One reason we are assuming, and putting out there is because the discourse has been severed, and the conversations don't happen because people don't really believe it is a possibility. Even with the student strike of 2005, nightly barricades at the CEGEP Vieux Montréal and the different blockades and occupations, we cannot recall a premeditated move towards a riot. Burning cars and fighting the cops in Canada? Well there was Queens Park and Quebec City (abit none of us ever called these events Plan Q) but these seem to be distant in memory and out of reach for us to build upon. How do you show, either collectively or individually that capitalism and that the whole system that upholds it is sucking our souls and killing millions of people around the world? The national mythology of Canadians being moral, kind, and above all peaceful people leaves very little room to articulate rage and anger.
After Genoa the perspectives for riots seemed beyond reach for most anti-capitalists around the world. But voilà! a couple years later, with a heavier handed police presence than ever seen before, the movement seems to have refound its abilities to use riots as a tactic. We suggest that the different dispositions in Europe and North America towards the present climate, certainly is impacted by the repression incurred to different forms of organizations. There is a direct link that must be established between the various modes of organization, the types of relationships we live, and our disposition towards riots.
A riot played out reveals certain types of links which are essential in its mode of operation. The mode of spontaneously organizing into small affinity groups-thus the black bloc being only one possible manifestation- we can find at the heart of each smoky taking over of the streets, whether it be recently in Algeria or in the banlieues of France. No doubt affinity groups (like a gang of friends) never stopped being the central means of organizing aspects of ones daily life for the majority of anarchists in North America, but it seems it has been drained of its content, in terms of a organizational form to launch or elaborate upon a revolutionary strategy. When are we ready to come to terms with the fact that affinity groups don't really go beyond collective living, leisure time, and for those who are lucky emotional support? Maybe this mode of operation had its strength taken away after the severe blows of repression were given, that were felt by many radicals, creating a condition that got folks favoring models less disposed towards direct confrontation, and more towards organizations and models that are more formal and 'open' organizations that have been created after those of the 'anti glob-militant' structures in hopes of not getting clobbered. As well, the idealization that often exists towards Assembly structures does not create a disposition for elaborating riot tactics. This reaction within 'activism' does not seem to have had the resonance on the continent east of the Atlantic. Maybe it's from having a longer tradition of autonomous movements, more critiques of radical democracy as well as more mutual aid- cooperative modeled groups (extreme gauche, situationalist).The swift resurgence of black blocs at this recent G8 summit is primarily the result of a strong attempt to reestablish some consistency to the type of relations it functions through, and to give it strength again. It actualizes out of ones point of view towards riots, the war that is being fought and how to fight it. This position requires that one must consider organizing to carry an offensive in the streets that is no longer simply symbolic, to not remain stuck in the standard form of the 'demonstration'.
Similar to love, a riot can sometimes take us by surprise, when we think we are not prepared, but that if one has an open disposition towards love, like riots, it will allow one to seize the opportunities, and the situations. It would be in vain to say that we can prepare a riot, though we can at least prepare for riots: do what it takes to help ignite the fire.
If the global elites picnics' continues to be the pretext for meet, greets and confrontations, it seems that there is no longer any possible ambiguity: simple anti-globalization activism is no longer acceptable. One can no longer cling to 'another world is possible' but rather must elaborate on ideas and actions for a 'world that is antagonistic because it wants nothing to do with this destructive system'. No more leftist, hollow indignant demands, but real affirmations. In Québec, we have been feeling this ambiguity from the anarchist movement becoming less blurred. The breakdown of the CLAC is one indicator. We are touching the end of a cycle, and we must find or rediscover forms, and establish new links. We can no longer avoid the questions surrounding taking an offensive position. 2
Recently with blockades in 6 Nations, Tandenagah and Grassy Narrows rightly going up for demands anyone with a basic understanding of colonialism of Turtle Island would view as legitimate, have been of course been portrayed in a racist, non sensical, a-historical barbaric way by the corporate media, and the main stream left by and large continues to be silent on these serious attempts to criticize and curb the on going gobbling of capitalism. There has been a concerted effort by anti-capitalists, radicals and anarchists to develop relationships, links and work in solidarity with these communities but I have not attended a solidarity action where the undercurrent was to take it back and get the establishment more than a little worried.
Plan B(erlin) was the decision to get the heck out of the demobilizing zone of fields and forests that surround Heillingdamm and bring the fight to the city. During the time of the G8 there were 9 helicopters that flew over us at all times, hundreds of tanks, dogs, horses, thousands of police, a jet and an unknown amount of undercover agents that added to the massive fence that made the wall of QC seem like an architecture undergrad class project in comparison. Plan B did not lead to a riot in Hackesche. Markt. But it did lead to the rich tourists, locals and merchants feeling very uncomfortable in this nouveau ultra yuppie area in east Berlin, where only 17 years ago one could find squats and couches to rest on during the on going nightly street parties. Thanks to gentrification one would be hard pressed to realize the rich history of the neighborhood between the now situated Häagen-Daaz shop, Mercedes' Benz showroom and glitzy clothing stores. Instead of a riot we got a hovering helicopter and hundreds of national and city police. Arguably it would have been a suicide mission to try to 'start the riot' as we were practically on a 1:1 ratio of black blockers to cops. And they do have the guns. But from 9pm till 3am, that part of town didn't have the same ignorant life is beautiful feel of bling bling and consume till you vomit that so many similar upper class neighborhoods around the world carry with them. . No. There was the strong stench of resistance; that this system isn't working and people are not going to be remain silent. Maybe plan B was not the utopian full scale riot, where the residents and workers came out and 'the masses' take to the streets but last night, while watching a little of the old TV, seeing Italian brothers and sisters lighting the match in their city with Bush's arrival (bravo!) a comrade from Poland let me know that, well, 14 cars burnt on Friday was better than none, a welcomed surprise to me.
There is going to be another student strike in Québec soon. There will be another G8 in Canada in 2010, the same year the Olympics will be in British Colombia. Will radicals and anarchists be talking about organizing riots? Will we be wearing black and linking together to make sure that the police cannot break us and take one of us?
There is still time to reflect, but we can't hold off forever. The situation is must too critical. New methods are being drawn into our practices, and there are theories and studies that let us peer into the cracks that will be widening soon. In France, what has been heating up, and recently bubbled over could be felt in various texts and actions on a lesser scale beforehand. While not surveying every single new publication, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to see there is increasing interest in people like long time forgotten Blanqui, an agitator from the XIXth century who was a riot advocator, who has been recently republished with a new preface, bringing new light to his ideas. As well, there is the bestseller, maybe thanks to the sexy title 'the Insurrection to come' that people are buying and talking about. In Québec, the latest expanded version of 'Les Black Blocs' by Francis Dupuis-Déri has just been published by Lux Edition, and in Toronto, A.K Thompson will soon publish 'Black Bloc, White riot: Anti Gloalization and the genealogy of dissent' both being books that focus their discussion on tactics within the Canadian context. We very much hope these will encourage debate and discussion of strategy and tactics. We say it often, we are living in the belly of the beast. We must ask ourselves what will it take to get angry and fight? If it is not rioting in the streets, what is it? If the time of the black bloc is dead in Canada, what is to replace it? Or are we to let our sisters and brothers in Europe make the rich and the Establishment nervous without us?
Sincerely, Two companer@s from the Calisse Brigade. June 10th, 2007
Further reading: 'Maintenant, If faut des armes', Auguste Blanqui, Réédité par la Fabrique Éditions, Paris, Févririer 2007
L'insurrection qui vient, par Le Comité Invisible, La Fabrique Éditions, Paris, Mars 2007
Les Black Blocs' par Francis Dupuis-Déri Lux Edition, Montréal, May 2007
'Black Bloc, White riot: Anti Globalization and the genealogy of dissent', by AK Thompson To be published, Toronto, September 2007