Thursday, November 13, 2008

French Anarchists Charged With Rail Sabotage

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nov. 11, 2008 Time Magazine

Don't look now, but here comes Europe's violent extreme-left again. Two decades after French police busted the radical group Action Directe, which waged a bloody urban guerrilla war during the 1970s and 1980s against French business and military interests, French authorities on Tuesday nabbed a group of anarchists suspected of having sabotaged the nation's high-speed rail system over the last several weeks. The arrests aim not only to put an
end to the spate of vandalism that had wreaked havoc and panic among French travelers for the past two weeks; they may also derail any violent plans French anarchists might have been preparing with like-minded extremists with whom authorities say they were in contact in Germany, Belgium, and the U.K. (See Today in Pictures.)

The police raids took place early Tuesday morning in Paris and in four other
sites in France. A total of 20 people were arrested, and by mid-day 10 of
those had been officially placed under investigation for participating in
the spree of potentially deadly sabotage. In most of those incidents, hooked
metal bars had been attached to high-voltage electricity lines that power
high-speed trains; when the bars were snagged by passing locomotives, they
plowed a path of destruction through high-voltage power lines. A
total of six incidents of sabotage were recorded since Oct. 26, including a
coordinated operation Nov. 8 that targeted four different rail lines in
northern France and caused delays of nearly 160 high-speed TGV trains — including Eurostar service to London — leaving thousands of passengers

The sudden spate of sabotage capped nearly two years of sporadic
vandalism to French rail lines that successive inquiries attributed to
isolated, disgruntled trouble-makers. But the recent incidents showed
more skill, and their perpetrators seemed able to act at will without
detection. For that reason, French rail users were already rattled even
before the coordinated attacks of Nov. 8. The saboteurs struck in
virtually all corners of the nation without warning, and applied a high
degree of knowledge and technical ability in putting the destructive
metal hooks in place without being killed by the 25,000-volt power

After a further act of sabotage was reported Monday in southwestern France,
a decision was made to group individual investigations under the direction
of France's centralized counter-terror operation in Paris, which collated
all the information police and intelligence services had related to the
inquiries. Within 24 hours, officials had narrowed their scope down to a
group of "autonomous anarchists" whose radical positions and increasingly
restless activity — including protesting during a G8 summit in Poland
last year — had led French intelligence services to place some of its
members under surveillance.

"They speak a very radical language, and have ties to groups abroad," said
French Interior Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie in announcing the arrests
Tuesday. "Since becoming minister, I've noted the risks of the resurgence of
a violent radical left (given) the radicalization we've observed in it over
the past three or four years."

French terrorism expert Roland Jacquard thinks Alliot-Marie is right to be
concerned — especially given similarities between the accused anarchist
group and Action Directe, which carried out the unit's robberies,
assassinations, and machine gunning attacks. "Like Action Directe, these
anarchists set themselves up in out-of-the-way, rural communities where no
one would suspect them of anything more troubling than perhaps a general
ecologist lifestyle," Jacquard says. "Like Action Directe, these anarchists
used that cover for their plots, and fled back under cover once operations
were over. But like Action Directe, that escalation of activity — and its
success — raised the potential of it sooner or later evolving into more
violent strikes targeting individuals or groups of people." (See pictures of riots in France.)

Guillaume Pepy, chairman of France's state-owned SNCF rail company, didn't
go so far as to speculate about what else the group might have done had it
not been arrested. But he did say the "central role of rail travel as a
collective means of travel that France has made a priority" was also what
made it an inviting target for saboteurs seeking "to strike a blow at a
well-functioning French society."

If so, France's counter-terrorism organizations may not have seen the last
of belligerent behavior by extreme leftist groups that have largely been
dormant since Action Directe was smashed in 1987. "The economic and
financial crisis the world is now experiencing is a dream come true to the
extreme-left, especially with mainstream leftist political parties unable to
mount any real opposition to ruling conservatives," Jacquard notes. "That
brings the possibility of social unrest radical leftists may seek to exploit
— or even provoke through violence of their own."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Belgium: Two Comrades Arrested

Sunday 9 November 2008

In the night of the 6th of October, Jürgen Goethals didn’t come home. He was picked off the streets by cops, put in front of a prosecutor and locked up in the prison of Ghent.

Earlier that day, a gang of fascists were hosted once more by the tolerant city of Ghent. Something, which, was apparently not appreciated by everyone. In several places, people expressed their discord by causing damage to symbols of this capitalist society. We found out later that Jürgen is alleged of having participated in these protest actions.

The following days, several people are harassed by cops. A week and a half later, a house search takes place at the house of Paolo Melis. He is requested to report two days later at the police station for an interrogation. On this day, the 21st of October, he is arrested in the afternoon on his way home. He as well, disappears behind the bars of the Nieuwe Wandeling.

On the 9th of November, the detention of Jürgen and Paolo was confirmed. The file was sent to the correctional court; they will appear before the judge within two weeks.

We will not rest until we can embrace our comrades, how and when we want to.

Jürgen and Paolo free!

Against every form of imprisonment!

For the destruction of prison and its world.

To write letters of support:

Jürgen Goethals Nieuwe Wandeling 89 9000 Gent Belgium

Gian-Paolo Melis Nieuwe Wandeling 89 9000 Gent Belgium

For financial support: 000-3244460-04 with the mention J+P

Ghent, the night of 6 on 7 October:

Splintered glass, dripping paint. The justice palace is damaged by vandals. Ten thousand euros worth of damage according to the court. What inspired the burst of fury against one of the pillars of democracy? Destructive flames are licking the plastic garbage bins all over the centre of Ghent. Money spitting ATMs, there for the comfort of the permanent consumer, are affected by the fire. Firemen and police are running everywhere at once. Chaos and sirens on all sides.

Regional television also reports that a few rightwing students are treated with a dose of physical demoralising critique (the president of the fascist student organisation NSV receives a few well directed punches). On the St-Pieterssquare, the KVHV [catholic rightwing student organisation] organises a debate on Islam in Europe. A clique of persistent rightwing “democrats”, among others Dewinter, Dedecker etc [rightwing politicians], countered by the Islamists of AEL [Arab-European League]. A few blocks away, in a university in the Voskes avenue, the NSV (the unofficial student club on the Vlaams Belang, fascist party), celebrates the beginning of the academic year. Last year, the NSV organised a debate with Filip Dewinter as speaker. The university building where this debate would have taken place was occupied by antifascists. An attack of the fascists, led by Führer Filip was countered. The obstruction of this alleged right of free speech for fascists was not to be repeated.

So, this year, an impressive police force was deployed to let the promoters of the Vlaamsche democracy do their thing without being bothered. Since a gathering on the place and time set by them would only fall flat against a blue wall, this year, the reaction took different forms. The parties didn’t go unnoticed; Ghent was startled by a spontaneous and wayward eruption of chaos.

The political advance of extreme right in Flanders is not a coincidence. The fact that fascist organisations such as the NSV and the NSA [National Socialist Action] get a free game and are zealously protected by the police forces has deep implications.

The extreme right tosses up all sorts of “problems” that have no factual base. All over the world, the rupture line between a small, superrich elite and the masses that fight daily to survive is becoming deeper every day. Everywhere, the protectors of this elite are more and more elaborated and better equipped. Hence the colourful variants of the cops who dirty our streets (grey, purple, black, …uniforms, each of them with their specialisation). Their working method ranges from a velvet ‘social’ way to hard repression.

The discourse of the extreme right; presenting Islam as a threat for the “lightened” western world, presenting people on the run for a miserable existence as parasites, not-working as scroungers,…is meant to deviate the attention from the daily war that repeats itself between the rich and the poor.

This story is brought to us by the media who act as mouth-piece of the ruling elite and continue to distract us with “tittytainment” on television and the internet, the cult of health and such. Flanders public opinion seems to have appropriated this discourse. At the bar as well, racism is never far away. The “others” are the enemy, not the puppeteers who manipulate this theatre.

The aftermath:

Justice and the government are of course not very pleased with expressions of resistance as were demonstrated that night. For a public opinion dominated by rightwing actors, somebody has to pay. That night, one person was arrested and accused of several arsons. Two weeks later, another person was arrested on similar charges.

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

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)