Filed under: war-machine | Tags: anarchy, Athens, austerity measures, crisis, glezos, Greece
“Long battles erupted today at the Athens protest march against the measures. The GSEE union boss was heavily beaten by protesters while battles with the cops developed for 3 hours all across the centre of the city after riot police attacked anti-Nazi resistance symbol Manolis Glezos
The demo called by ADEDY, the public sector umbrella union, and GSEE, the private sector umbrella union, started gathering at 12:30 in Syntagma square, after another 10,000 strong demo by Communist Party umbrella union, PAME had ended its own demo and marched to Omonoia square. Soon around 10,000 people gathered in Syntagma, a large number considering there is only a 4 hour stoppage and not a strike today.
All was quiet until the GSEE union boss Mr Panagopoulos took the microphone to address the protest. Before managing to utter more than five words, the hated union boss was attacked by all kinds of protestors who first heckled him and threw bottles of water and yogurt on his face and then attacked him physically like a giant swarm. With bruises, cuts and his clothes torn, the PASOK lackey struggled his way towards police lines, as the people attacked again and again. Finally he managed to hide behind the Presidential Guard and up the steps of the Parliament where the hated austerity measures were being voted. The crowd below encouraged him to go where he belongs, to the lair of thieves, murderers and liars.
What the bourgeois media call the “lynching” of the union supreme boss became a prime subject of infight within the parliament with the government accusing the Radical Left Coalition that the attackers originated from its block (GSEE itself blaming KOE, a Maoist group of the Coalition), a half-truth at best. The Communist Party has refused to condemn the attack, only noting it disagrees with it. This is the first time such a high ranking union boss is attacked at a rally that its union has called, and the act is widely believed to mark a new era in union history in greece. The initial phase of the attack against the union boss can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJW33W9t0bw&feature=player_embedded
Soon after the beating of Panagopoulos, small skirmishes started between protesters and riot police forces in the form of body-to-body battles in front of the Parliament. During one of these incidents, riot cops attacked Manolis Glezos, the heroic anti-nazi resistance fighter who had lowered the nazi flag from the Acropolis during the german occupation. The elderly man was trying to help a man from being arrested at them time and had to be removed from the battle scene in an ambulance as tear gas fired directly on his face caused him serious pneumonic problems and he remains in serious condition in hospital (for a video of the attack see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FX3S3I7Nos&feature=player_embedded).
The attack on Glezos gave the signal for a general attack of thousands of people against the cops, many of who were wounded during the battles which included rocks, sticks but no molotov cocktails. During the clashes 5 people were arrested, 2 of who are accused under the anti-hood law, while the rest with small non-criminal breaches of the law. During the clashes many riot shields and helmets were taken from the cops and burned along with other flaming barricades on the streets. 7 cops are reported by the police as heavily wounded, some with knee-cap and other bone breaks.
Due to extended use of tear gas at around 14:00 the atmosphere in Syntagma square was so unbearable that among chanting “the cops are not the children of the workers, they are the dogs of the bosses”, the demo turned into a protest march with the direction of the Ministry of Labour, half a km south of Omonoia square. At reaching Propylea more clashes with the police took place, while a sole high-ranking cop was isolated and beaten by the crowd. Further down on the way to Omonoia, protesters attacked a riot police squad that was guarding the National Legal Council. The riot police squad was cornered and attacked by means of sticks rocks and flares, before being forced to retreat inside the building after one of its members was captured by protesters and repeatedly trampled by the angered crowd.
The march then continued to Omonoia and from there down Peireaos street where banks, economic targets and expensive cars came under attack, before the march reached the Ministry and the protesters tried to break its central doors. More clashes with the police ensued and the march turned back to front and decided to march once again to the Parliament. On the way, cops came once again under attack by protesters with many riot policemen wounded and retaliating by means of tear gas. After reaching the Parliament, the march refused to desolve and took once again to the street in a bravado of resolve, until it reached Propylea where it came to an end. After the end of the march 6 more people were detained while taking refuge to the Social Security Headquarters, but have been released without any charges against them.
In Salonica, upon reaching the gates of the Ministry of Thrace and Macedonia protesters pulled down the heavy iron fences of the Ministry and moved into its front yard where they were confronted by riot police who made use of tear gas amongst flaming barricades.
Finally, the workers of the National Printing Units have occupied the premises and refuse to print the legislation imposing the austerity measures. Unless the legislation is printed there, it is not legally valid. Meanwhile the occupation of the State General Accountancy by layed-off Olympic Airways workers continues. The workers have also permanently closed off Panepistimiou street (the equivalent of Oxford street in London), at the heigh of the building, with all traffic diverted by side-roads.
A general strike by ADEDY and GSEE has been called for March 11.”
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: anarchy, Athens, austerity, crisis, Greece, mass strikes, riot
This is essentially more fuel to an explosive situation…
According to Forbes:
“ATHENS, Greece — Clashes broke out in central Athens Friday during a protest outside parliament as lawmakers prepared to vote on austerity measures to deal with Greece’s debt crisis.
Protesters chased the ceremonial guard – dressed in 19th century uniform – away from the Unknown Soldier’s Tomb, threw stones and clashed with riot police, who cleared the area with tear gas and baton charges.
No injuries or arrests were immediately reported.
The clashes came as about 5,000 demonstrators gathered to protest the euro4.8 billion ($6.5 billion) package that will hike consumer taxes and slash pay for public sector workers by up to 8 percent.
Just before the attack on the two military guards and their escorting officers, during which demonstrators smashed windows and kicked the guard posts, masked youths attacked the head of Greece’s largest trade union who was addressing the crowd.
GSEE head Yiannis Panagopoulos traded blows with the rioters before being escorted away.”
About the insane austerity measures and incredible pictures of riot police guarding the parliament being beaten up and mass strikes throughout Greece.
Filed under: Milwaukee area | Tags: march 4th, milwaukee, occupy everything, out of hand, rowdy, snowballs, student activism, students, UWM, we are the crisis
According to Fox6news:
“WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee and UW-Milwaukee police arrested 16 students Thursday afternoon during a protest over tuition hikes at the UWM campus. It was to be part of a national day of action for tuition rights.
Some 150 students taking part in the rally marched to the office of UWM’s chancellor. When they charged the officer, officials say the rally got out of hand.
Students threw snowballs at UWM police. The UWM police returned with pepper spray.”
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: california, occupations, occupy everything, riot, UC-Berkeley
This describes the events shown in the pre-game video (posted below) which happened a week ago.
According to the Bay Area News Group:
“BERKELEY — Yet another student protest turned violent at UC-Berkeley late Thursday and into Friday morning, when more than 200 people spilled out of a dance party on campus and trashed university buildings and smashed windows along Telegraph Avenue.
Forty-five officers from several law enforcement agencies responded, including the Berkeley and Oakland police, and the California Highway Patrol, officials said. At least two people — current and former students — were arrested.
Now there is much concern that Berkeley’s on-campus violence could be a harbinger of far more damage next Thursday, when demonstrations against education budget cuts will take place all over the state.
“We know there”s going to be a lot of emotion associated with this,” said University of California-Berkeley police Capt. Margo Bennett. “It’s going to be passionate.”
Others fear the protests scheduled for next week may be overshadowed by rogue protests aimed at issues other than the prohibitive costs of higher education. But on Thursday night students attended what was to be a low-key event called the Rolling University. It was part of a series of teach-ins on state and UC budgets and other education issues, followed by a dance at Sproul Plaza. About 11 p.m. trouble started and police were called.
By the time police arrived they found someone had cut a chain on the fence surrounding Durant Hall, a former library in the center of campus that is closed for renovations, and hung a banner reading “March 4″ above the entrance to the building, a reference to Thursday’s statewide “Day of Action” to protest education budget cuts.
At least 10 people were found inside the building. Several windows had been broken, graffiti was sprayed on interior walls, portable toilets turned over and construction equipment thrown around.
Crowds outside the building continued to swell, and by about 1:30 a.m. Friday, people began to clash with baton-swinging police, throwing bottles, setting trash ablaze and breaking several windows on Telegraph.
The action finally ended just before 4 a.m., police said. “We certainly hope this won’t happen again on March 4,” said university spokeswoman Janet Gilmore.”
Filed under: Milwaukee area | Tags: anarchist, CCC, discussion, milwaukee, new school, occupations, occupy everything, theory
The theme for this month coincides with a mounting wave of occupations and conflict about to hit California, New York and other areas.
2pm Sundays at the CCC (732 E Clarke St.)
Mar. 7th – Pick ax (movie screening)
Mar. 21th – 20 Thesis on the Subversion of the Metropolis
Mar. 28th – Nights of Rage (only available at the CCC)
Physical copies of the texts are available at the CCC for free.
(more supplementary readings will be posted soon, as well as updates on the developing situation regarding the occupations)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: berkeley, california, occupations, occupy everything, pre-game, video
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: after the fall, california, occupations, occupy everything
From After the Fall:
The parting words of After the Fall– at once both a summation and a call– present the occupations in the past 6 months as a “vulgar and beautiful” destabilizing force within a larger arena of forces, at times nomadic and imperceptible, at other times spectacularly, with declarations and attitude.
Still, the finale of welfare state social services, the numbing terror of disaster, displacement, the colonial politics, the social death of civic life, the logic of representation, the endless reproduction of modern misery, the absent future, the crises of capital, the Afghan offensive, the government in a box– none of this deserves the elegance of any of the words we printed in this publication. They deserve a swift, merciless street fight.
After the Fall.
We will not be free when we are educated, we will be educated when we are free.
Society has reached the stage of potential mass unemployment; and mass employment is increasingly a manipulated product of the state and state-like powers that channelize surplus humankind into public works, including armies and official or semiofficial political organizations, in order to keep it at once alive and under control.
LEO LÖWENTHAL, UC BERKELEY PROFESSOR, 1949.
Before the Fall we felt it briefly, in each hour and a half interval: the ten minute grace period between classes, waiting for a lecture to begin, assigning ourselves one uncomfortable chair amongst 130 other uncomfortable chairs, and so began the telling of human History—grand, anecdotal, scientific, relevant or apropos of nothing. And just as we felt this loss, it disappeared. So we laughed, we fell asleep, we posed calculated questions, we watched a bald man every three days in a nice shirt pacing back and forth in an auditorium, the lights went dim, the lights came up, we collected ourselves, ate potato chips and a sandwich. We are kept alive, vaccinated, some even plump, yes, but we feel our surplus status. Excess. Excessive. This excessiveness animates our underlying dissatisfaction. That we do not matter: our private morals, decisions, attitudes, preferences, manners—that we are kept so absorbed, busy forever arranging these abstractions into purchases, identities, further abstractions on the future, sacrosanct opinions on the past. We are governed by the abstraction of the future and a grand or alternative History, sure, but we are also governed by these abstractions of the present.
That is the crisis, a lost faith in an inhabitable future, that the work ahead is as limited as the work in place now: the absent future, the dead future, the unemployment, the anxiety. For an economy that so often drains meaning from the immediate present for an imaginary future, a loss of faith is crisis. A surplus population of students, writers, photographers, freelancers, philosophers, social theorists without a doubt—but also increasingly of engineers, scientists, lawyers, businessmen, politicians. The economy that animates the university is an engine that produces irrelevance. That the economy itself provokes such a crisis of faith is testament to its own inner operating procedures, and perhaps to its own grinding contradictions.
And yet in the Fall something broke. Students and staff made a different claim on the university. We were not convinced that a dead future could be renegotiated through a “New New Deal.” We were not easily chaperoned to the endless deferral of “Sacramento,” we did not hide from the rain, we did not quietly suffer the eclipse of the university by the county jail system. Our faith in a future abstraction was not renewed; it was replaced by faith in one another in the present.
The movement should exist for the sake of the people, not the people for the sake of the movement.
AIMÉ CÉSAIRE, 1956.
Secure at first food and clothing, and the kingdom of God will come to you of itself.
GEORG W.F. HEGEL, 1807.
To put forth empty slogans to “Save the University” in a moment of student occupations is as misguided as calling to “Save the Prison” in a prison riot—redemption in this case would be to restore the status quo: the exclusions and incarceration, the slamming gates of the university and the warehoused social death of the prisoner.
They function as opposite poles on a spectrum of class reproduction. The university—an arm of the economy and state—in all of its exclusions and exclusivity, its funding schemes and governance, is bound to and dependent upon the prison. Certainly this was momentarily evident when we snuck a glance behind the theater of scripted rallies and petitions and discovered the batons and tasers of riot cops, county jail and county court, and a multimillion dollar administrative public affairs media campaign aimed at criminalizing students. In this way there is no “outside” to the university: there are no “outside agitators” as the public relations office declares. For us the only outside agitators are the administration, its police, capital and the state.
During the Fall, students occupied in order to cast the administration, its police, capital and the state as the outside—to reconfigure the sides—the “insides” and “outsides”—of a struggle. We knew fundamentally there was no ‘outside’ to the university—the university is yoked to San Quentin, computer factories in China, deforestation in Indonesia, mineral mining in the Congo, nuclear energy in Russia, green capitalism in Sweden, coffee houses on Telegraph, intellectual property rights in India, coked up hipster parties in Echo Park, and weed farms in Mendecino. Perhaps this is the university’s appeal as well. It is a world. Everywhere, connected to everything.
So we thought it was a matter of subtraction: to take ourselves and these buildings with us to transmit a message that “We will get what we can take,” that “Everything belongs to everyone.” Among some, the reaction was predictable. “Only children can take everything.” “We must all make sacrifices.” “Our leaders are doing their best and making difficult choices on our behalf.” Another world is unpopular. And yet we found, despite mistakes and despite successes, that another world was recharting the global map: solidarity messages and actions from Pakistan, Japan, Ireland, Germany, Austria, South Africa, Chicago, New Orleans, New York City.
And now we move outwards, towards the ways in which the university is maintained: compulsory labor, the rented homes of university students and workers, the police violence in these neighborhoods. We gravitate towards the Miwok tribe in Stockton, CA who in January this year occupied their headquarters after being served eviction papers. We gravitate towards the January 21st attempted occupation of a Hibernia Bank in downtown San Francisco in a struggle against homelessness, the occupation of Mexico City’s National University in the late 90s, the 2009 summer-long Ssangyong auto plant workers’ occupation in South Korea. We gravitate towards the young people who last year set fire to downtown Oakland to show they were still alive, to reveal a spark of their own relevance in the shadow of the police execution of Oscar Grant Jr. and so many others. We recognize ourselves in them. For all of our apparent differences, how we have been classified and filed under the logic of capital, race, gender, citizenship, ad nauseam, we know these categories do not guarantee a politics– we know our differences and commonalities are more complex than what is allowed in this world. Our faith is sheltered there, housed in mutual recognition, in building-seizures and confrontations.
The present, due to its staggering complexities, is almost as conjectural as the past.
GEORGE JACKSON, 1971.
Over the past semester an important set of critiques were leveled at actions we gesture toward throughout this paper and any group engaged in direct action. The editors of this paper hail from different social movements and moments and frequently disagree. We cannot write a collective statement with positive prescription. What we do know is that all liberatory social movements benefit from the destabilization of the university as an institution, as both a dream factory of class mobility and an engine of profound inequality.
A social movement is a counter-force within an arena of power. At its best a counter-force destabilizes that arena and creates social and political openings, in the moment and in its wake. The longer a crowd exists the more dangerous it becomes. It’s there, in those openings, that we find fertile ground for broad and interpersonal solidarity, trust, dreams of the future, collective desire for anything. That is where we build our positive prescription, our visions. Meaningful, useful dreams are only dreamt in struggle, in the spaces opened and left behind by the fight.
The Fall was that kind of moment—a reemergence of new and old formations shaped around new and old realities and ideas. The creation of tactical and strategic openings. The real, if momentary, blockage of institutional policy and systematic violence. The necessary polarization; the flowering of new solidarities and the nourishing of the old; the possibility of generalized direct action, social ruptures; students and all the rest living in a more meaningful present instead of an institutionally-imposed, indebted future. Those currently in power want nothing more than the reproduction of stability and unquestioned legitimacy, the guarantee of an unchallenged control that lasts forever, the disparities each of us have tried to fight as though they were separate and separable catastrophes.
And so after the Fall we are left with some openings: March 4th is one among many. We’ve built, seemingly by vulgar and beautiful chance, a party. The occupation. The mob. A mobile force. A machine. This is to say many of us are you, and likely many of you are us. We are all bound together merely by inhabiting the same arena; many of “us” are people of color, queers, counter-settlers, 1st generation college students, service industry workers–traumatized, beat down, brilliant, and tender.
But we are also adventurists.
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: alfredo bonanno, anarchist, anarchy, bank robbery, italy
From Denver ABC:
“Athens, 25 feb. – Alfredo Bonanno, the Italian anarchist over 70 years old imprisoned last October following an accusation of concourse in robbery of a bank in Trikala, is suspected of being the author of another robbery carried out last July at Argostoli, on the island of Cefalonia. Bonanno’s lawyers contest this accusation.
According to police sources cited by the media, Bonanno, with a false beard and wig, would have been recognised by one of the witnesses on the basis of a cctv video, while he robbed the Bank of Cyprus, pistol in hand, 6 July in Argostoli. The information has been partially confirmed to Ansa by a spokesman of the central police station, according to which “an old Italian is considered author of the robbery at Argostoli, which rendered 26 000 euros”. The spokesman did not give Bonanno’s name directly but implied that it was him.
Joanna Kurtovic, the Greek lawyer of the old Italian imprisoned in Korydallos (Athens), has expressed her doubts concerning the identification on the basis of a video and a critique of the way this accusation was made public. Bonanno, who suffers from diabetes and has cardio-respiratory problems, is one of the main theoreticians of anarcho-insurrectionnalism (sic). He was arrested at the beginning of October with the Greek anarchist Christos Stratigopoulos following the robbery of a bank in Trikala, for 47 000 euros. The Italian was later arrested in an hotel where the police found the proceeds of the robbery. Bonanno’s defence is that he received the bag from Stratigopoulos, without knowing what it contained. His version, the lawyer points out, has been confirmed by Stratigopoulos, who has taken full responsibility for the robbery. The judge, apparently due to Bonanno’s previous record, already having been sentenced in Italy, did not believe him and sent him to prison awaiting trial.”