Tuesday, November 24, 2009

(anarchist solidarity, revolutionary solidarity, or what ewer you choose to name it)

To start talking about my point of view on solidarity maybe is the best to say what i consider, and also what i don't consider to be an act of solidarity. In text that follows are just some of my chaotic thoughts laid down on paper, and it should be seen like that, and not as a recipe that should be followed. I would like to see it as a starting point for discussion, and beside all, one of the main motives for writing this is a need to discuss on this topic with comrades.
For me solidarity is an act of mutual help between friends, comrades, or simply, people who (maybe don't even know each other in person, but) share the same affinities, act of help or support when there is need for this, and this act can be expressed in many different ways.
While practicing acts of solidarity with my friends and comrades, and also being in situation while others shown their solidarity to me, I was able to experience the joy of breaking the walls that are dividing me from other comrades (no matter are they my friends, or simply people I share the same affinities with), but it also opened new questions.
While doing this, am I actually helping someone (because it is not so hard to make a wrong move and instead of help, to do absolutely contrary), and how to make my help more efficient?
Solidarity is a weapon.
There are few reasons why i see solidarity as a weapon.
First of all, it is exactly what is not expected from us to do by authority. By the system rules and capitalist reality, which impose on us domestication and alienation, we are supposed to be passive observers of our own misery. Just another brick in the walls which divide us and make impossible to develop real honest relations between each other. By practicing solidarity, we take another step into nonconformity and we directly attack this rules imposed on us, and doing so we break the walls that divide us. Let's not fool ourselves, these walls are manny, some of them obvious, but there are still so many things we should take in case, because we are all affected by our surrounding...

Also solidarizing with other comrades, be with comrades in clutches of state repression, or with comrades working on some project, we help them to make their struggle possible or more efficient. While trapped in dungeons of state, they can continue maybe some of their activities, or find another ways of struggle from inside, but without help from outside, I'm afraid it's not possible. Comrades working on some project very often depend on financial limitation or the infrastructure that is available to them, so helping them with raising money, or simply giving them space or infrastructure to use, helps them not to lose too much energy and time, so they can concentrate more on the project. It also helps them not to abandon idea while feeling weak, or without help from other comrades they would not be able to carry on the project.
Since I live in surrounding where struggle for mere existence is activity which takes the most of people's energy, and where infrastructure is not available if you are not highly privileged, (which is reflecting on the number of active people) so there is no much space for activities which attack the existing order and rules imposed by the system, i can notice a need for solidarity, and i can say for sure that without communication and support from comrades which are in "better" position i would be forced to stop with most of my activities. This simple and honest communication, and support of comrades which recognized the need for this, not only helped me in technical way, to be able to carry on the projects i'm involved in, but it gave me additional motivation and energy, which is needed (believe me) when you live in narrow-minded surrounding, where there is only few people which you can count on, (or discuss with, to arm your desires, and articulate your believes and needs) where you are openly endangered not only by repression of authority servants, but also by other political enemies, like nazis or other fascists by who you are outnumbered, in danger just because of the way you look, and especially your political (anti political) engagement.
This kind of reality is most common in east european countries where anarchist activities and mere existence of idea itself barely survives, and its survival in many cases depends on communication and mutual support (solidarity) between comrades very often placed in big distance.
Also this kind of reality brings something which i certainly do not consider as solidarity, demonstrated by so called comrades.
As eastern europe is often destination of many travelers, many of them from western european countries and US, canada, where the "movement" is much more "developed" and bigger, and some concrete signs of its existence are visible on every day basis.
From my experience, most of this people come with the attitude "we know it's so" and they act and behave according to that attitude. That is something which i absolutely don't see as solidarity, even though many are trying to name it so.
"We have come to show you how things should be done..." without trying to understand the situation of the surrounding, (they are visiting at the moment) and which is for sure much different from the one they are coming from, where they have gain their experience. This kind of approach is not just stupid and naive as it seems at first look. This is pure expression of racism, cause the same idea is taught in school, that people from economically developed countries worth more because of their education and better living standard, and that they should be in mission to "help" those less developed.
No, we don't need an anarchist experts, anarchist organizers, anarchist missionaries... , we need comrades and friends with who we can act together, discuss, and learn from each other, and we can help each other if it's needed and possible, but this relations must be free from any kind of hierarchy, and false morality. It has to be spontaneous and based on mutual understanding...

Very often solidarity is expressed in situations like imprisonment of comrades, or threats of evictions of the squats, or other forms of repression imposed by authority.
Should we wait this things to happen to start to solidarize each other? To improve solidarity as a weapon we should not let ourselves to be timed and guided by actions of the authority, this is something that will constantly keep us behind. For sure i do not mean that those affected by dirty hands of repression apparatus (demonstrated in any way) should be forgotten at any moment.
To end my observation i will quote italian comrades "Il silverstre" who explained this very well in their periodical "Terra Selvegia": Repressive plans brought about by the Italian government against anarchists aim not only at stopping the many acts of sabotage that are continuously carried out all over the country, but they are also and mainly aimed at destroying any internal enemy of the State and securing a long period of social peace.
Article 270bis is the most effective means they have to achieve this goal. Moreover repression, besides striking hard, is also taking a series of preventive measures.
The mega investigation used by judge Marini is now split into a great number of small investigations resulting in preventive arrests, closure of anarchist places, etc. It is no longer a question of 270bis, but of a great number of
smaller investigations conducted in many towns, which are apparently different from one another but actually come from the same source and have only one goal, to inflict the
greatest possible damage on the anarchist struggle.
To consider the question of article 270bis as a
unique repressive project, however, would represent a partial and quite dangerous approach. In fact, if we remain stuck to a defensive strategy, we would risk running behind repression and inevitably remaining behind it. Furthermore, to focus all our energy on anti-repressive campaigns would result in neglecting the struggle. This does not mean to
forget the solidarity towards those hit by repression. It means, on the contrary, that when a squat is closed down or a paper is persecuted, instead of organising gatherings
among anarchists, we should try to conquer that squat back and to support that paper.
Solidarity is a weapon, not a shield behind which to hide oneself.

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Solidarity Poster for Polykarpos Georgiadis and Vaggelis Chrisohoidis (greece)

did anyone speak of a
“…A handful of capitalists
have organized a criminal gang
and have kidnapped the proletarians,
demanding for ransom
their labor force,
merchandising their human activity,
their time (which is turned into money),
their own being itself…”
to vaggelis Chrisohoidis and Polykarpos Georgiadis
who the persecuting authorities, exactly because they denied to betray values and people,
accuse them as participators in the kidnapping of industrialist Milonas
anarchists from Serres from north-greece

Anarchists solidarity protest outside Korydallos prison, the main prison in Athens, at the time of the change of the year. This protest happens every New Year's Eve for the past six years. This year more than 400 people took part in the protest that interacted with the prisoners inside through shouting mutual slogans and fireworks. The main slogan was "The passion for freedom is stronger that your prisons".
Watch live streaming video from agitprop at livestream.com

A society that punishes/the condition of incarceration/the prison of the mind/the prison as punishment/the rage of the damned will sound on the ruins of prisons/those denying obedience and misery of our era even within its hellholes/will dance together on the ruins of every last prison/with the flame of rebellion avenging whatever creates prisons.

To the prisoners struggle already counting one dead and thousands in hunger strike across greece, we stand in solidarity and anger until the destruction of every last prison.



Keny Arkana - La Rage English Subtitles

1976 - 2000 Greek Anarchists Fight for Freedom

(December Riots in Greece)