In Support Of Activists
At The G8
04 June, 2003
The iron fist
of police brutality is still preventing us from piecing together the
entire puzzle of events surrounding the Sunday blockades of the G8.
And yet, the usual suspects are at it again. In the past 36 hours, some
sections of the entertainment industry (also known as the corporate
media) have happily jumped into their usual role: a campaign of disinformation,
criminalisation and intimidation. This is happening in direct support
of the state terrorism being exercised, as we speak, against thousands
of people in Lausanne, Geneva and Annemasse. We are again confronted
with a fine fabric of half truths and more-than-half lies, posing as
the 'neutral' and 'objective' account of the G8 blockades.
Sheer urgency precludes a response to all the details of this nebula
of falsehood. We have prisoners to defend, lungs to decontaminate and
good stories to tell. However, one illusion that needs to be dispelled
right now is the ritual separation between 'good' and 'bad' protesters,
manufactured yet again by the corporate media in all its sensationalist
glory. Le Matin, celebrating its greatest achievement to date in the
art of rabid inflammation, tells us in a blood-red headline that 'the
black blocks destroyed the dream of the pacifists' in Lausanne. Have
they ever considered the possibility that the two share the very same
dream? 24 Heures rushes to quote the rehearsed and predictable denunciations
by the self-appointed 'leaders' of the 'altermondialistes', that ridiculous
cadre of middle-aged, middle-class, white, male opportunists, most of
whom might as well be picking the scraps from under the banquet table
in Evian. As if to enforce this image, pictures of masked 'casseurs'
are faced, on the opposite page, by the smiling faces of their holier-than-thou
categeurs. And Le Temps, in the most shameless show of superficiality,
characterises the 'casseurs' as anarchists and fascists at the same
time, as if two such diametrically opposed ideologies could coexist
in any space of political expression. And so on and so on, as it has
always been, lies without end, amen.
Enough of this farce.
This declaration of solidarity is written by friends who participated
in the non-confrontational parts of Sunday's blockades in Lausanne.
We are speaking in our name only, not in the name of the Aqua or Pink
and Silver blocs, which have disbanded. Still, as far as the stupid
divisions created by the corporate media go, we would definitely be
perceived as the kind of 'good' protesters that they so like to cuddle.
We want to say the following, loud and clear: For us, the only division
worth talking about is that between the people of the world and the
masters of death and exploitation. The only 'ring-leaders' that need
to be exposed, isolated, and removed from their position of menace to
society are George Bush, Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi,
Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schröder, Jean Chretien and Junichiro Koizumi.
Our determination to disrupt their yearly feasts of power is matched
only by our contempt for that other handful of losers in suits who,
instead of fighting for the starving millions of the global South, came
to Evian in order to kiss the hands of the torturers.
The blockades were undertaken by a very large number of people, with
different expectations and sensibilities. But it was abundantly clear,
at least to us, that everybody was agreeing to operate in full solidarity.
This was made clear not only by the written declarations of the different
blocs, but also from the abundant will to coordinate our fluid actions
on the ground. The fact that some of us chose not to engage in highly
confrontational tactics (whether for reasons of principle or of prudence)
does not mean that we automatically refuse to cooperate, and defend,
those who did choose higher levels of confrontation. We are constantly
looking for ways to live with our differences, so as to continue acting
together for a world of freedom, justice and peace.
We challenge the corporate media to reproduce a single quote or sound-bite
from Sunday in which someone who actually participated in the Lausanne
blockades denounces another participant.
There is talk of fascist infiltration of the various black blocs. Since
Genoa these claims have become certain people's knee-jerk reaction to
high levels of confrontation, but we are prepared to look at the facts.
Indeed, from what we saw on Sunday in Lausanne, there was an enormous
presence of fascists on the streets. They were all wearing police uniforms.
These thugs almost killed one activist, directly beat and tortured hundreds,
and left thousands more injured: bruised by rubber bullets, traumatised
by concussion grenades and poisoned by highly potent chemical weapons.
The corporate media subsumes, under the single category of 'violence',
(a) the occasional erection of a barricade and its defense with a few
bottles and sticks, and (b) the continuous assault on unarmed masses
of people with tear gas, flash-balls and icy gushes of water laced with
pepper spray. This is an insult to human intelligence, even if the latter
is as low as that of corporate journalists, Leninists and cops.
All the blockade actions that took place in Lausanne had the clear objective
of obstructing the arrival of G8 delegates. The difference was only
in tactics. A clear dimension that they all had in common, however,
was the reclamation of our urban spaces. Whether this is done through
a sit-in, a street party, or symbolic assaults on corporate property,
we have the common goal of cleansing our living space from its contamination
by capitalism and the state. We want our streets back, but we are tired
of asking politely: we just take them.
Finally, we find it absolutely preposterous that the media is willing
to play this divisive game after seeing the amazing levels of solidarity
that were present during the police repression of activists in the Bourdonnette
camp on Sunday afternoon. For long hours in the blazing sun, surrounded
by fully armed police, protesters who earlier in the day had oriented
themselves to vastly differing levels of confrontation all maintained
a non-violent, collective resistance to the police's attempts to intimidate
and isolate us. We were constantly making decisions together by consensus,
chanting slogans in each other's languages, freely sharing among us
the precious little food, water and cigarettes that we had, and protecting
people that we had never met before from arrest and brutalisation as
if they were our own family members. We simply cannot believe that the
journalists who saw this happen were not blown away by our level of
cohesiveness and strength. We know that we were.
To sum up: you can talk all you want, but for us the G8 blockades were
a master-class in revolutionary solidarity. They were the creation of
a movement more united than we have ever seen it in our lives. We have
discovered, together, that the colours of resistance can combine in
a beautiful rainbow if we just try. Let the sounds of samba and breaking
glass harmonise, because this movement has something stronger than guns.
It has a memory.