DANCING ON THE EDGE OF THE ABYSS
» Let’s continue the assault on the existent with all means, undeterred by those who would silence us with weapons from the stockpile of reaction, be they the kick of the democratic jackboot, the empty chatter of opinion or the siren calls of the candy men of hope.»
Jean Weir. Tame Words from a Wild Heart.
«… sometimes it seems to us something so obvious that we forget to insist punctiliously on the anti-authoritarian character of anarchism and, therefore, consequently anti-systemic… Roughly anti-systemic! We are against all Authority. That is our maxim».
Gustavo Rodriguez. Talk at the Squatted Social Center «Casa Naranja».
The authoritarian offensive has not stopped in these times of pandemic, Covid-19 has turned out to be the perfect excuse to deepen social and political control, prisons being the main place of experimentation and application of these measures.
We have systematically read updates on the situation of anarchist prisoners around the world in this particular context. We have seen how our comrade Eric King, who keeps alive his permanent antagonism and his irreducible stance in Englewood prison, has been tortured by the guards and beaten by white supremacists, causing him severe physical and psychological injuries. The same happened to our comrade Dimitra Valavani, who was beaten and tortured, under the pretext that they wanted to obtain a DNA sample and, in recent days, our comrade Giannis Dimitrakis, who was also brutally beaten in Domokos prison by the prison mafia, leaving him in a serious condition, and we still do not know the consequences of this cowardly aggression.
June 11 is the International Day of Solidarity with comrade Marius Mason and with all the anarchist comrades sentenced to long sentences around the world. In the framework of this new June 11, we want to denounce what is happening in all the latitudes of the planet with our anarchist comrades in prison and present our response (without mincing our words) to concretize and consolidate solidarity with all those with whom we have affinity (in theory and in practice) who are continuing the anarchist war behind bars.
As we mentioned in the previous cases, the situation of our comrades is alarming, they are being tortured and attacked by the lackeys of the system of domination (who do not hesitate to get their hands dirty in full compliance with the orders of power) or, in certain circumstances, by their shock troops inside the prison, using prisoners who have embraced the ideas of power and capital and are willing to do anything to maintain or obtain privileges (drugs, money, impunity or hierarchies) inside the prison.
Unfortunately, our response is not putting a stop these outrages. In our times, the so-called «anarchist movement» is a fiction. They have atomized all our capacity to carry out offensive actions to put domination on the ropes and provoke the immediate liberation of our anarchist comrades in prison. Multiform solidarity cannot stop at this time, but not that which limits itself to postal correspondence with our comrades in prison nor that which begs for reforms and good treatment from our enemies.
The discourse currently heard in our circles, chanted by reformist groups, is satisfied with «demanding» reduction of sentences, repeal of laws, the improvement of conditions or the humanization of the prison by the State and its institutions.
Our struggle against everything that exists and for total liberation has never contained itself within the framework of social demands, mass mobilization and judicial reforms, showing what the path of anarchic war is. It has not been through social mobilization or judicial reforms that our prisoner comrades have gained freedom. In most cases our comrades have regained the street after serving their sentences to the last second and even after having served them they keep our fighters in prison on many occasions, as in the case of comrade Gabriel Pombo da Silva. The reprisals and hatred of domination towards anarchists of praxis does not cease. They are not content with making them serve most of their sentence, so they put them back in prison to teach them a lesson and make sure we do not dare to challenge and attack them. They try to bend us, tame us, and if they don’t succeed, they resort to kidnapping and extermination. Undoubtedly we are clear about the scenario. But some questions arise after all these conclusions: What do we expect from our enemies? Do we expect that someday they will release our imprisoned comrades? Do we think that we will manage to put those with whom we have affinity on the streets through legal reforms and derogations?
Do we assume that through social mobilization, pro-amnesty organizations and lukewarm abolitionist discourses, we will succeed in getting our comrades out of the dungeons? Do we assume that by building coalitions with authoritarian groups (where anarchist individualities only participate in the procession and pose for the photo) we will achieve our comrades’ freedom? NO, as anarchists we cannot accept any of that and much less think that this is the way to put our people in the streets.
However, we cannot remain silent that this is the discourse being imposed by authoritarian groups disguised as «subversives» with the intention of confusing and consolidating their objectives. Seeking «confluence» for a «unitary offensive» is the new directive that has been built globally in recent years. Few anarchist comrades have reflected on this, while we should be very clear about our principles and aware that we have completely opposite objectives that can never converge in any front. There are plenty of examples in the world of this new «tendency» propelling the confluence of opposites, but we will only mention what is shamefully happening in the Chilean region.
LENINISTS, ECOFASCISTS AND ANARCHISTS UNITE! It does not matter that we are antagonistic (declared historical enemies). With the ridiculous argument that the State and capital are our common enemy, completely hollow «solidarity campaigns» are promoted that are incapable of consolidating powerful anarchist action that translates into specific support for our anarchist comrades and, even less, apt for putting some of our anarchist comrades in affinity in the streets (by whatever means necessary) or unleashing permanent insurrection by promoting anarchic war against all that exists.
This text will not delve into the theoretical-practical differences between these opposing positions. Our objective is to point out any authoritarian germ present in this (contradictory) discursive unity that is being imposed in our circles in the name of a happy ending, where, through the triumphant Social Revolution, we will dance jubilantly on the ruins of capital; concealing the green instituting intentions of these organic autocrats.
In Chile, from the first moments that the authoritarian political-military groups of Leninist tendencies, such as the Revolutionary Left Movement (M.I.R.), the Manuel Rodriguez Movement (M.R.2 ), the Organised Vanguard of the People (V.O.P.), the Lautaro Youth Movement (MAPU-M.J.L.) and the Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front (F.P.M.R.) – to mention just a few and without going deeper into their various splits -, according to their security protocols, when any of their militants were detained, both the captured «cadre» and the organization disowned any relationship and cut all ties, abandoning them completely and placing the responsibility of supporting the prisoner on their closest circle (family and friends).
This occurred during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s of the last century, when it was customary practice for the «soldier» to be left in total helplessness at the moment of being imprisoned to safeguard the organic, which is why they were made aware and trained to maintain this tactic in a dignified manner. In recent decades and even in recent years, it has been observed how some of these authoritarians have decided to declare that prison has made them embrace anarchist ideas, or that they identify with anarchic warfare.
Over time they have come to sharpen their discourse even more and taken themselves as being part of the Black International and «fighters» for anarchy, but is this positioning real or does it correspond to a false discourse? In reality, it is a survival strategy, since the majority of these authoritarian organizations develop on two parallel struggle fronts, one open and legal and the other clandestine, so they continue with the old practice of abandoning their militants to their fate in order to safeguard their organization’s legal front. We think it is time to clarify things and stop considering these authoritarians «comrades» and «like-minded» in our groups, abandoning the Christian morality that invites us to show solidarity with our «fellow-human» and the hypocrisy that instigates us to «wash our dirty linen at home» (a phrase that reminds us of the arguments of the most reactionary Chilean sectors in the face of Pinochet’s arrest in London), as if it were possible to share «home» with our enemies.
Why now and not before? Why choose this date instead of waiting for a more appropriate moment? Simple, because it is always the time to reaffirm our anarchic praxis in the face of ideological distortions and the imposition of hegemonic discourse; because we still have time to rectify the path and consolidate the permanent insurrection against all authority (including that which these Bolsheviks yearn to impose at the slightest opportunity). Because it is the moment to allocate our scarce resources to OUR PRISONERS, especially when we see how the support of anarchists and anarcho-nihilists is being sought in a new way to strengthen the bases of a project that is contrary to our objectives of struggle, and how they try to make visible the authoritarian prisoners’ situation without the least political and economic cost for their organizations.
Today these authoritarian groups want to inherit from us (without our having asked for it) a backpack with their histories full of defeats and errors and even aim to bequeath us their dead in the name of the unity of the left. We anarchists and anarcho-nihilists ARE NOT PART OF THE LEFT, we are declared enemies of all authority, of all institutions, of all politics, of all that exists.
What relation can exist between Norma Vergara, Claudio Paredes, Pablo Muñoz, Claudia López and any others of the dead of the Marxist-Leninist political-military organizations, with Mauri, with Angry or with our murdered anarchist comrades? None!!! We have never walked the same path as they try to make us believe with the propaganda they saturate their means of communication with («Buskando la kalle», «ContraInfo», or their popular radios). We anarchists are not heirs of those struggles, we do not pay tribute to their dead, even less do we bow down to their commanders. Anarchists do not need them, it is they who need to confuse and recruit naive people in our circles in order to resurrect their authoritarian project by disguising their discourse.
«Libertarian», «subversive» or «autonomous», are not synonymous with anarchist as the authoritarians in Chile would have us believe, they are the denominations that the extra-parliamentary left has been using for the achievement of a «proletarian State», that is to say, for the imposition of a populist dictatorship.
We want to make our position clear and insist that it is not enough that they assume themselves to be «subversive» and tell us they identify with the Black International or that they are fighting for total liberation, for us to dedicate our scarce efforts to these authoritarian elements (while they continue to speak to us of their dead, and claim their struggle as militants of these authoritarian organizations), instead of channeling all our efforts into our prisoners.
Every time a communiqué comes out from Marcelo Villarroel claiming a mixture of Leninism, anarchism, Mapuche sovereignty and eco-fascism, and his support and propaganda group tells us they are following the revolutionary, subversive and anarchic path, it becomes clear to us how nefarious the discourse is and the true intentions hidden in the message. Or when Pablo Bahamondes («Oso»), stresses to us that his struggle is for «total liberation», while all of us who know him know that his position in the Villa Francia population was always clear, betting on the path of the Marxist-Leninist political organizations, we have no doubt that it all comes down to an opportunist strategy dedicated to ALL the naive people around the world who can address their cause.
As comrade Gustavo Rodriguez reminds us, we do not understand «why divert solidarity to people outside the anarchist struggle instead of concentrating on supporting our Gabriel Pombo Da Silva, Dinos Giagtzoglou, Alfredo Cospito, Lisa Dorfer, Nicola Gai, Monica Caballero, Francisco Solar, Michael Kimble, Eric King, Anna Beniamino, Carla Tubeuf and all the anarchist comrades who are in prison around the planet».
That is the intention of our text, to try to clarify positions to concretize our offensive and consolidate support of our prisoners, who need it urgently at this time. Meanwhile, we will carry on dancing on
the edge of the abyss.
TRANSLATION: by ACT FOR FREEDOM NOW!
DANZANDO AL BORDE DEL ABISMO
“Continuemos el asalto a lo existente por todos los medios, sin inmutarnos por quienes nos silenciarán con las armas de reserva de la reacción, ya sea la patada de la bota democrática, la charla vacía de opinión o los llamados de sirena de los dulces hombres de la esperanza.”
Jean Weir; Palabras domesticadas desde un corazón salvaje.
“… a veces nos parece algo tan obvio que olvidamos insistir puntillosamente en el carácter antiautoritario del anarquismo y, por lo tanto, consecuentemente antisistémico ¡Rabiosamente antisistémico! Estamos contra toda Autoridad. Esa es nuestra máxima”.
Gustavo Rodríguez. Charla en el Centro Social Okupado “Casa Naranja”.