Gap. City centre. Night of the 1st to the 2nd of June 2021. Individuals break down a door at the back of a theatre converted into a vaccination centre. The door is easily broken open and they find themselves in a long corridor, which leads from the left to other rooms. A door on the right is not locked, it opens on a large room, where presumably vaccinations take place. Hastily, piles are made with the furniture that is present. Bottles of alcoholic gel are added to the petrol. A flick of the lighter, the whole thing catches fire, and the silhouettes disappear into the night. The whole thing lasted only a few minutes, enough to destroy a good part of the building.
It was a rather symbolic act, since another centre opened the same day, and according to what we know from the press, the attack of the same kind in Nyons [Haut de France] a few weeks earlier only caused a slight delay in the opening, which was quickly resolved. This shows the need to look for the heart of the monster rather than attacking all its tentacles, but let’s move on.
Having in mind that this act would be above all symbolic, we also wanted it to provoke debate. We are therefore surprised by the silence of anarchist blogs and magazines on the subject of this night and the previous one (as well as the most recent ones, since the government’s announcement on the extension of the health pass, the acts of destruction of vaccination centres are multiplying, and they are not all accompanied by signs suggesting that they emanate from reactionary or far-right circles).
Is it inconceivable that anarchists could have attacked anti-covid vaccination centres? Could it be that they did not want to risk being lumped in with the not always very nice, or even frankly problematic, critics who have gained in strength with the arrival of the pandemic? Could it be that no one was aware of these attacks, or that the target seemed inappropriate? However, at the time of the sanitary pass, and at the moment when the initially recalcitrant part of the population ends up changing its mind (to present it to the nurse…), in front of the pressure of the government and because it will be impossible to maintain a “normal” life without it, attacking the good progress of the vaccination campaign seems most relevant for those who refuse to accept the forward march of the world. It is a pity that these acts did not get the echo they deserve. So here is a text that hopes to make up for this silence, clarify a few points, and make room for debate.
If I am enthusiastic about the idea of vaccination centres being attacked, it is not because I think that the CIA is taking advantage of this to chip the population, or that the Covid virus does not exist. Nor because I think humanity should disappear, and that the virus is a fair attack on the planet’s parasites, even if this story makes one laugh. It is because, understanding Covid as a “logical” consequence of our crowded and globalized social organization, I want to fight against this capacity of the techno-industrial world to sacrifice everything to continue to exist. Also because I would like “us” to accept being sick, and even mortal, even if it goes without saying that I deplore many of the deaths of the Covid; just as I deplore the deaths sacrificed on the altar of techno-scientific progress, human or non-human animals that serve as guinea pigs, war for the raw materials that this mega-machine devours, and without which, there is no scientific research, no vaccine.
I am not interested in being part of this human herd that is forced to be healthy whatever the cost, so that it can produce and consume. I am more interested in finding forms of care that do not consist of destroying everything surrounding us.
The choice of target is certainly not consensual. Attacking the medical profession, which is active on so-called vital issues, is not a trivial matter, nor a decision to be taken lightly. But are we going to allow ourselves to be caught up in this trap that reverses responsibilities, according to which it is our attacks that harm social well-being? Do we need to repeat that it is above all this techno-industrial world that mutilates, poisons and then wants to administer its medicines by force? Attacking it at the root is still necessary, and if the level of dependence on this world is such that our actions can endanger lives (or seem to be able to do so) then it is a serious time, and we have to make some difficult decisions. We cannot wait until everyone has found the means of their autonomy before we attack the very thing that makes that autonomy ever more remote.
At the risk of playing the oracle, I would say that this dependence can only increase. So what will we do, poor souls in revolt, when the blackmail will be such that we will no longer be able to lift a finger without risking human lives? Voices, not always so far away, are already being raised to speak of the dangers linked to relay antenna attacks. Judicial enquiries have been opened following deaths during the few hours when Orange was unable to provide network to emergency numbers. The time seems to be approaching when attacking telecommunications will be seen as endangering the lives of others, in the same way as suspending a person over a bridge.
I am digressing, but in doing so I am trying to pre-empt the criticisms that are bound to arise from the publication of this statement. Also because I hope to invite reflection on how much our room to manoeuvre is shrinking, and how much we are shrinking when faced with choices that are increasingly fraught with consequences. Let’s not let the radicalism (in the original sense of the word, at the root) of our speeches and our actions be lost, on the pretext that this world we want to destroy would become vital for a large part of the Western population.
We are responsible for our actions, but not guilty of their consequences.
Wanting to destroy the techno-industrial world also means, cynically, accepting to put at risk the lives (ours included) that depend on it. I’m afraid there is no “soft method” to get out of this hell. It may seem like a no-brainer, but there is still time to improve our networks, our methods, our skills, our forms of mutual aid and care, so that attacking a social system does not mean attacking all the individuals forcibly kept inside it.
Let the deaths of covid not blind us to the horror of the rest.
Let the blackmail of the state not weaken our determination, and let the magnitude of the task not lead to resignation, but to an irrepressible desire to act.
More than ever, to those who attack AND who do not want to recreate a world as rotten as the previous one, even if it is less technological. To the others, let them know that I have no common fight with patriots or reactionaries, even if we obviously have the same targets sometimes.
A salute to Boris, and to the others kept in jail for their love of freedom.
* Note of Attaque: It is undeniable that the far right and other reactionary cults are very involved and visible in the opposition to the mass vaccination against Covid-19 (as the latter are or have been in the opposition to the installation of the 5G network, also through multiple arsons of cell towers).
It is therefore up to anarchists to clearly distinguish themselves from this nauseating background, for example by claiming their actions (a simple tag could do the trick). Indeed, even though we may sometimes aim at the same targets as these reactionaries, we will never share their goals (and it is important that this be known).
But if an action, let’s say for example vandalism against a vaccination centre, is not at all accompanied by signs that give away the intentions of the perpetrators, one could deduce that, at the very least, the likely attribution of this act to the conspiratorial extreme right (on the part of the media, for example) does not bother the said perpetrators too much.
Again, if someone has chosen not to accompany their action with words, are we sure we are the best ones to speak for them?
So welcome to this contribution, to open the debate.
[Translated by Act for freedom now!]