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(en) Athens: The ESF, the L.A.Anarchist Forum+march, the 6May riots and 4 prisoners

Date Wed, 17 May 2006 12:56:05 +0200 (CEST)

[Here's a communique of an anarchist collective in Athens about
the role of the ESF, the Libertarian Anti-authoritarian Anarchist
Forum and the anarchist demo in the morning of 6 May, the riots
during the anti-war march the same afternoon, and the political
consent of the ESF to state repression.
Out of the 17 people arrested, 8 are facing felony charges and 4
are now imprisoned. Solidarity actions are planned the next days
in Athens...]
* * * * *

In the past years, international summits of the global political and
financial bosses triggered events of resistance that explosively brought
to limelight the variety of struggles bursting around the world - from
indigenous communities to the capitalist ghettos - against the state and

The gathering of thousands of people in the streets of Seattle, Prague,
Genoa, Thessaloniki and elsewhere gave a new blow to these struggles,
opposing to the globalization of domination the globalization of
resistance ?from below?: the fight for a world without exploitation and
oppression, without borders and prisons.

This reality of revolted people from different countries joining behind
flaming barricades, transforming those cities into battlefields between
the society and its tyrants, deprived the dominators of the alibi of
social consent to their criminal plans and undermined the illusion that
they?re omnipotent.

Facing this expanding wave of resistance, the State resorted to the
foundation stone of its existence, institutional and physical violence,
and simultaneously it promoted the emergence of ?leading personalities? -
such as leftist intellectuals, politicians and bureaucratic unionists - to
be recognized as ?representatives? of the people who resist. From the very
beginning the aim was to neutralize social resistance by incorporating it
into the limits of the system, while state repression - having the
reformist?s consent - would selectively target those who sabotage this
perspective. In this context, any form of resistance that remains
uncontrolled by manipulating mechanisms is labeled as ?criminal? or
?terrorist? activity.

The "world social forum - WSF" as well as the european one, the ?ESF?, is
the result of two coinciding factors: the first one is the pursuit of the
State to suppress the struggle ?from within? and the second one is the
attempt of social-democratic and left political parties, unions and
organizations to buy out a new privileged position in the system,
pretending to be the voice of the ?anti-globalization movement? and using
its strength as means to promote their political careers. The WSF and ESF
are structures built ?from above? in order to control and manipulate the
resistance movements created ?from below?.

Anarchists and anti-authoritarians, either acting in international
demonstrations together with thousands of insubordinate people or locally,
in the various fronts of social-class war, have always fought for the
self-organization of the struggle and the total rejection of the state and
capitalist institutions. Thus, they antagonized from the start the
intentions of the Reformist International to substitute resistance in the
streets with ?alternative? hierarchical institutions - institutions that
want to set limits on the struggle claiming either the restoration of old
Authority models or the beautification of the existing structures and
undermine in this way the perspective of social liberation.

This conflict between the perspective of revolt and the perspective of
incorporation to the system is present in every moment of the social
antagonism. It is the same conflict that was expressed during the 4th
European Social Forum in Athens, which was organized on 4-7 May by local
bureaucratic trade-unions, reformist groups, NGOs and the left
parliamentary party of ?Synaspismos? in the leading role, together with
similar groups from Europe. Their purpose is to persuade the people who,
suffocating in the world of the bosses and looking for ways to resist, are
attracted in such meetings inspired by events like those in Seattle or
Genoa, that the world can really change through the old or new
institutions of the regime.

Parallel to other encounters and antagonistic to the intentions of the
ESF, anti-authoritarian collectives organized the same days in the
Polytechnic School the Libertarian, Anarchist, Anti-authoritarian Forum,
creating a space for people to express the variety of experiences, views
and dimensions in the anti-authoritarian struggle, with open discussions
on issues such as biotechnology, capitalist globalization, the
?anti?terrorist crusade, the institutional crisis of democracy, labor,
prisons, drugs, counter-information et.c.

The peak of this encounter was the anarchist demonstration that took place
on the morning of Saturday 6 May, with more than thousand comrades defying
the numerous police forces and marching with main slogan: NO OTHER WORLD

These activities disturbed the state which in the last period has been
launching, through the media, an intense disinformation campaign to
criminalize anarchists. The main point of this campaign is the myth that
the anarchist struggle is supposed to threaten the society instead of the
state, which is presenting itself as the guard of social safety. The
state?s aim is to obstruct the influence that anarchist theory and action
have in the social struggles and to gain social consent for repression.

The organizers of the ESF were also annoyed by these activities, as their
aim is the political hegemony in the context of resistance - that has to
be bound to their reformist demands - as well as the hegemony of their
methods in the streets that certain moment.

This hegemony of the social-democratic mentality was disputed by the riots
that spread - spontaneously and unorganized to a large degree - from
anarchists and insubordinate youth, in the anti-war demonstration
organized by the ESF the afternoon of May 6. The attacks against state and
capitalist targets and the confrontations with the police showed to the
state that no structure of manipulation can succeed unhindered in its role
and damaged the political investment of the ESF in that protest that was
planned to be a spectacular contribution to class pacification. What the
events revealed was the collaboration between manipulation and state

ESF groups inflicted unprovoked violence upon demonstrators who were not
inside their blocs and whose only ?mistake? was that they didn?t conform
with the ESF?s organizing committee (and theirs only) plans for a pacifist
demo. It?s important to mention that anarchists and other demonstrators
attacked specific targets, such as the riot police and their vehicles,
banks, the U.S., British, Italian and French embassies, the police
headquarters, the courthouse, the E.U. office, the greek parliament and
ministries. In no case did they attack the people participating in the ESF
demo or even the ?special guard groups?, as the ESF representatives claim
in their blatant lies. On the contrary, it was the ESF ?special guard
groups? who hit or tried to hit people participating in the riots, having
the unbelievable nerve to call them ?fascists? (!) the very moment they
were throwing them on the ground or pushing them towards the cops. And of
course demonstrators defended themselves against this unprovoked violence.

The moment the demo was finished, the slandering of the people who
participated in the riots and the attempt to de-politicize the events
begun. The most characteristic example is D. Stratoulis, representative of
the ESF and prominent member of ?Synaspismos? party, who appeared on TV
together with police officials. There, he labeled social anti-violence as
?raw/blind violence?, he explained to the audience the distinction between
real and not real anarchists (!), he accused the minister of public order
that he undermines the events and blamed the police for not confronting
effectively the ?trouble-makers??

The fact that the ESF harmonized its voice with the voice of the police
and the media (exceeding them actually), offered the state the necessary
political consent to proceed with repression. This consent was immediately
reflected on the severe charges for the 17 persons arrested, on the
persecution of 8 of them for felonies and the imprisonment of 4, as
exemplary punishment and as means of intimidation for everyone who fights
outside the boundaries of the regime.

The ESF representatives ?like the president of ?Synaspismos? who stated
that ?The endless peaceful march of the ESF positions Athens next to
Seattle, Genoa and Florence? in the history of the movement against
capitalist globalization?- know very well that what really happened in
Seattle and Genoa was ? endless confrontations with the police, tear-gas
and barricades, and not just pacifist fiestas led by members of the
parliament. Now, like back then in Genoa, on the one hand they scream that
all radicals are ?provocateurs? and on the other hand they exploit and
impropriate the incidents of revolt ?even the memory of Carlo Giuliani
whom they would call ?provocateur? if he was alive- as they also know well
that their idea of mutilated pale manifestations are unable to inspire
even their followers.

The ESF made an official statement accusing ?groups who used other
demonstrators as a shield of protection against the Police?, when in
reality it's themselves who attempt to use all demonstrators in order to
negotiate a better position in the balance of power inside the political
system. They accuse those who attacked state and capitalist targets for
?extreme political despotism?, when it?s them who have beaten even each
other for the leadership of the ESF, and have given their consent to the
state?s despotism, requesting the most severe punishment for the arrested.
It?s also them, the
representatives of the ESF, who first slander the people who resist and
then come to defend them as victims of repression, in order to gain
another political alibi.

Against state repression being renewed by the political consent offered by
the social-democrat reformists of the ESF, we oppose collective resistance
in every front of the social-class war, we fight to make the dream of
revolt a nightmare for the state, the bosses and their lackeys?



Open assembly of anarchists/anti-authoritarians
10 May 2006

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