Attaque receives and transmits:
The revolution… but only with tzatziki sauce ?
On August 10, 2014, you published a letter by Damien Camelio on your blog, as you have done on other occasions over the past month. However, this time you added a « precision » which is quite disgusting. This is indeed a statement of dissociation.
It’s sweet to say that your « support for Damien is unconditional », only to stab him in the back immediately afterwards. Indeed, you go on to say that you remain « critical with respect to the form of action he claims » and that your political activity (political ? Damien, like many others, did not do politics, he put his life on the line !) « is essentially based on propaganda. » That amounts to, « We’re the good guys. While we support Damien, the villain, we do not do this and that ». Which is also saying that « if by any chance this and that were (still) to happen, it wouldn’t be us. So gentlemen investigators, you are kindly invited to look elsewhere. » Your dissociation is extremely serious, and the silence in which it is taking place says a lot about the state of things in the French « revolutionary » milieu.
I will not go into the attacks that Damien was sentenced for or the claims that go with them, nor the (different) positions he has taken since his incarceration. That is not the issue. What I would like to discuss with you here is the attitude that we should have in the face of the threat of repression that follows attacks. To start with, do you know you do not have to fully share what a prisoner (or any comrade for that matter) thinks and says, or to publish their letters ? You have already written in the past about your position against the choice of attack. Why bring it up again now, on a prisoner’s skin ?
The Perpignan CNT-AIT has also released another of Damien’s letters. They have seen fit not to publish certain parts, but they have not dissociated themselves from him, nor from what he said or did. Probably as CNT, they do not share the methods in question (just like you). But unlike you, they have the elegance to keep their mouths shut, perhaps to better open them at some other time, i.e. in a direct discussion with Damien, or privately. So as not to make the work of cops easier for them. Damien has also written to comrades in Paris, asking them to publish his communique addressed to the Socialist Party and the government. Not agreeing with this approach, they have not posted it on the anarchist websites that they participate in. But they still began typing out this letter to publish it on Indymedia (site of free and anonymous publications), as a minimal gesture of support for an imprisoned comrade (although, in the meantime, the letter came out elsewhere).
Have you ever thought about the fact that if what Damien (or anyone else) says does not suit you, there is another solution ? Quite a respectable way to behave. Silence. A public silence that does not prevent comrades from thinking, analyzing, criticizing, acting differently. A silence that does not leave those who have opted for coherence, or other choices than yours (that of respectability) alone in the face of State repression. A silence that says nothing (explicitly at least) to the enemy.
Have you considered the fundamental fact that words, as well as silence, are important ? That we cannot say anything and everything under the guise of « critique » or « freedom » ? Sometimes for someone, this is not « counter-information, » but their very life. You have just relayed the news about the Italian comrades Adriano Antonacci and Gianluca Iacovacci, sentenced to long terms for a series of attacks. Are you aware of the controversy that took place in the Italian anarchist movement because the silence of a large part of that movement was seen (correctly, in my opinion) as a form of distancing ? And you who indirectly give your support to the two comrades, what do you do when someone tries to put the same great ideas into action, right here in France ? This is not just information, it is no longer a question of choosing logos with crossed machineguns or photos of fires (bragging). Here it could be that the DGSI [french secret service] start to get interested in what some blogs transmit as « news. » Indeed, if you make yourselves the French loudspeaker of a certain tendency of anarchism, what wonder if someone, around Levallois-Perret [the secret service’ headquarters], starts looking at your blog and eventually at your selves ?
AAA12 is one of the few French language blogs where you can find communiqués of groups of the FAI / FRI, upon which you write, « anarchist armed struggle mainly rests […] » (really ?!). You say publishing their letters « helps us to understand in what context etc. ». Thank you, but be aware then, it may well be that one day some people more consistent than you decide to emulate news of the « anarchist armed struggle » that you publish, and go to the attack. Not on the internet, but for real. Because there are people for whom this is not just imagery, words, aesthetics or counter-culture.
And if one chooses to translate and publish communiqués of attacks around the world, one cannot be surprised when someone here in France decides to go to the attack, we also risk getting into the sights of justice. Anarchist « propaganda » is essential, but it is not a hobby for surfers looking for thrills, and above all, it is not always free. Molotovs in Tarbes are less exotic, less heroic, perhaps less is said about them on the ‘counter-information’ sites than the Phoenix Project, but it is also more concrete, here and now. Above all, that might cause some trouble with the police …
So, what do we do ? When you come out of the virtual world, when the bombs remain on the screen and we begin to face the world that actually surrounds us, where things can really get complicated, what do we do ? That is the question. We hide our head in the sand when the knife gets a little too close ? We say that we are nice people (and so the wicked are the others) ? We argue that what is good in Greece and Chile is not so in France ? Because « the conditions are not ready blah blah blah » ? And then how do you explain that you do not agree with molotovs in Pau, but agree with burning cars in Germany ? Is the German « context » so different from the French ? You only like revolutionary attacks if they take place far from home, in other countries or in the past ? Why else stress such strong dissociation from certain acts, when they reach (what a cheek !) some 350 km from Rodez [hometown of AAA12] ? The revolution is only okay with tzatziki sauce ? It’s too comfortable.
You say your « political activity is mainly based on propaganda as it seems more necessary than ever to develop revolutionary consciousness. » All right … but what do we do when we have developed a revolutionary consciousness ? We manage blogs ? We organise « people’s boxing » tournaments ? We quietly await the great day ? We go to the country and set up « communes » ? Or we try to put our ideas into practice, attack, here and now, in France in 2014, without hiding behind the clumsy excuse of a « social context » that will never be favourable ? And when a comrade is in jail for attacks, we support him, saying that we do not agree with what he did ?
The first thing, the fundamental thing, in my opinion, is to not abandon our comrades when they are in the eye of the storm. Not back down, not dissociate oneself.
God save me from my ‘comrades’.
« Antifascist Autonomous Anarchists. » All that ? Really ? And does that not give you any problems ? Do you not see any contradiction between these three concepts, so different and sometimes conflicting ? I suspect not, because you have no problem about posting on your blog claims of grenade attacks in Greece or explosive attacks in Chile next to a text that shows us the falsity of conspiracy theories about chemtrails (thank you so much, what a relief !). Or a text written by the comrades of the CCF on a comrade who died as he was putting a bomb in front of a school for prison screws, next to the account of the union demonstration of entertainment casual workers…
Words are important, choosing to relay some information (and not other) means wanting to act (or not) in a certain way within the social war. Do you give the same importance to union demands and unmediated revolutionary attacks ? For too many people in either case it is nothing but virtual news that is equivalent in the nothingness of pseudo-freedom to consuming « information » without any consequences in real life. But I would like to know what the imprisoned comrades of the CCF think about the struggles of the entertainment casual workers. Or what anonymous comrades who attack the existent, from Prague to Madrid, think of the need to educate ourselves about the ineffectiveness of homeopathy. It might turn out to be amusing …
Incidentally, a small example of the distortions caused by the superficiality of a revolutionarism of the web. Paris and Nantes are in France like Rodez, and we all speak the same French. A little more attention to claims of attacks would save you some crude mistakes. To be more precise : it is good to translate the Interarma counter-information bulletin. But if the Greek comrades give a wrong location (and later correct it) you do not have to think that attacks claimed on Indymedia Nantes necessarily happen in Nantes, especially since the communiqués specify the locations. You also relay news of another attack that took place in the Paris region, but as it was possible to read, it was just one lorry of a collaborator of the prison system, only one, that went up in smoke, and not more ! A few small translation errors are nothing serious, but here it is somewhat comical, and more important, it gives an idea of your attention to what is happening around you.
Unfortunately, there are things that are less funny. And dissociation is one of them. Did you not ask yourselves, when writing your « Precision », what some terms can mean for the cops who read your blog, also them ? What would happen if other sites were to take positions similar to yours ? What, in this case, would the dignified silence of those who refuse to dissociate themselves mean ? Maybe you haven’t asked yourselves that last question, so here’s the answer : it would mean the risk of jail for those who do not dissociate themselves. If everyone or too many people dissociate themselves, those who do not are de facto pointed out as being the culprits.
Congratulations « comrades » ! That is precisely the support that many comrades, and Damien among them, need ! Damien who, no matter what one might think of how his actions were carried out and whatever one might think of his declarations, did not limit himself to « informing ». Moreover, it gives a certain impression of misery on your part to say that everything you do is « propaganda » while you cram images of grenades, cars on fire, machine guns everywhere … anyway, the excitement of virtual violence will pass with the arrival of adulthood.
However, that is your own confusion. The basic point of this letter is something else. You say you do not agree with the fact of throwing Molotov cocktails at a prison, a church, an army barracks (if all that is in France, of course !). Very well, this may also be a position of yours. There are plenty of « revolutionaries » who spend their whole lives writing volumes to justify the fact that they do not move a finger. But … they do not publish lists of claims of bomb attacks ! Have you seen Damien’s letters (or those of the CCF) on the website of the Anarchist Federation ? No, their position is clear. Very much questionable, but clear and consistent. And yours ? By choosing to convey certain theoretical positions, information on certain prisoners, claims of certain attacks, you are disseminating a certain idea of anarchism. And there you are ! That could perhaps help attract the attention of the watchdogs of the State. That surprises you ? You may also receive emails from morons who talk about « passing to action » … don’t worry, it happens ! You are not responsible for the messages that you receive, and you do not have to reply, right ?
Words are important, we cannot expose other comrades for the sole reason that we want to avoid a possibility (?) of repression. In the « freedom » of the internet, everything can seem easy, light, everything can seem the same … Distances are cancelled and risks too … It’s fun, if you’re looking for cheap thrills. But reality is heavier, it requires difficult choices which, in many cases, you cannot go back on. In this muddy swamp known as the French « revolutionary milieu », one has lost the meaning of the importance of words and silences, which means that criticism of ideas as much as acts is required. Meanwhile, some positions say a lot, to cops and judges, about ourselves and others. That’s why some talk stinks. That is why you must learn to shut up.
Finally, again, some comrades are paying with years in prison, others have paid with their lives, for their desire to destroy this world. No one is forced to risk as much, if they don’t feel it. But for all those who call themselves revolutionaries, it is a duty to respect some « discretion ». It is a duty not to dissociate oneself, not to betray, to avoid exposing companions or comrades to repression. We have a duty to try to be consistent.
An anarchist without adjectives.
[Translation : Act For Freedom Now !]