It’s May 2012 and we anarchists are occupying a very crucial position in the ongoing struggle against Control. The position of violently attacking and dismembering it! I’d like to throw in here that when I use the term violence I also mean property destruction. While it has been argued over and over again that property destruction isn’t violence, I simply don’t care anymore, I’ve come to realize that logic frames the debate in a way I don’t agree with. It’ s surely violent when the Israeli State bulldozes a Palestinian home, or when a bomb explodes in a Judges car, even if no one was injured. I’ve also consciously left out some of the other ways anarchists influence culture and resistance movements as this article will instead focus on the element of violence in todays’ anarchist movement.
Anarchists around the world have been awake and restless.
There was ELF and ALF Mexico, burning down McDonalds and Police Stations, their attacks spanning from D.F. across to Chihuahua and elsewhere, including the mass vandalism on the Telmex Company and liberation of animals. This series of actions was consequently followed up by an assortment of new bands of eco-anarchists, nihilists, individualists and Kaczinskians, each with escalating attacks, including assassination, arsons of entire strip malls and letter bombs, and all with noticeably different ideas being espoused in their communiqués. This culminated in the recent formation of the IAF and CCF “chapters” in Mexico and perhaps the non-anarchist Individualists Tending Towards the Wild with their bombings of Nano-tech sciences and Greenpeace. Some of these groups have found ways of communicating and have released joint statements. According to a reading of a hacked release from the private intelligence company Stratfor (search for “Mexico Hippy Bomber”), anarchist groups were in 2009 responsible for “more than 400 such attacks”, I think it’s safe to say that that number is growing.
Further south in the Americas there is also a growing violent anarchist offensive drawing from past movements of combatants to the Neo-Liberal dictatorships of the 70’s and 80’s as well as building connections to Native resistance to Colonization and developing more current green anarchist and egoist tendencies. This is most dramatically characterized in $hile, where the anarchist movement seems strongest. The anarchists working on overthrowing the State of $hile act as an inspiration and beacon for the anarchist movement around the world. The networking of anarchists with Mapuche warriors, their role in the student movement (dubbed the Penguin Revolution), the constellation of squats and social centers, a multiplicity of written anarchist interpretations of past struggles, the growing and vibrant combative anarcho-punk and hip-hop scene, and of course the violence. There are anarchist bombings and arsons just about every week, if not considerably more, in $hile. These too reveal a complex, interweaving fabric of diverging tendencies in their following communiqués. Letters of responsibility ranging from what could be called “the movement for total liberation” which includes ALF, ELF critiques of anthropocentrism, right on down to a ruthless egoism, that to me, harkens back to the times of Ravachol or Bonnot. But the growing movement of anarchist attackers in South America seem to be resonating with the call of the Informal Anarchist Federation (IAF), with arsons and bombings in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and $hile to show. With these bombings there has been repression, with repression, solidarity, and anarchists know that solidarity means attack. From the “bombs case” in $hile to Luciano “Tortuga” Pitronellos’ failed bombing of a bank which left him injured, there has been numerous solidarity fires and explosions for them, not only in $hile, but around the world.
If $hile is indeed an inspiration for anarchists around the world then I’m so glad Greece is there to step it up. Bank robbers in black, supermarket Robin’ Hoods (no pun intended), a black bloc attempting to storm and burn Parliament, squats in Exarchia, solidarity actions ending in the release from prison of insurrectionary anarchist Alfredo M. Bonanno, anti-fascist arsons, December 2008. Out of the anarchist space in Greece came the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire with their dozens of coordinated arsons in Thessaloniki and Athens, these were accompanied by a newly sharpened nihilist critique of Capitalism and the State. Members of CCF were eventually captured by the State, and when imprisoned issued a call. This was a new kind of call, against Maoist “Third-Worldist” guerrilla warfare, against attacking Imperialism to inspire the revolution, but for attacking Empire because it’s fun and you hate them for making your life shit. Instead of getting caught up in hierarchies and government traps, communiqués become communication for this new anarchist guerrilla, thousands of open dialogues through thousands of attacks on Control. Deep Green Resistance, with its anti-transgender feminist essentialism and Maoist authoritarian structure, will fail in the face of this new diffuse, low-intensity, anti-civilization urban guerrilla.
The call was heard in Italy with a series of arsons and parcel bombs, recently with the knee-capping of a much hated nuclear industrialist by the IAF (reminding us all of the “years of lead”) and arsons of tax offices. IAF and anarchist actions in England, with their green anarchist and insurrectionary movement, Sweden, Germany, Spain and elsewhere show anarchists’ growing capacity to take violent action with an equally coherent critique. Anti-nuclear barricades of train tracks, struggles against the TAV, charred BMWs in Berlin, and General Strike in Spain are a few examples of our recent anarchist practice.
Anarchist attacktivists (haha) in Russia have also been kicking it up a notch, with ELF sabotage spreading like wildfire in an ongoing campaign to save Kihmki forest outside of Moscow. Recently Anti-Fa linked up with eco-anarchists to fight the developers who hired Neo-Nazi’s to protect their property from the aforementioned forest defenders. Arsons, bombings and paint-bombings of police cars and stations are also becoming more and more common, as many anonymous video communiqués on youtube would support, leading some groups to openly endorse the IAF struggle as their own.
Eat and Billy are imprisoned anarchists in Indonesia recently sentenced to over a year in prison for burning a bank ATM and claiming it as an action of the IAF. Punk rock in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia is a force revealing, to me at least, the prospect of a larger anarchist resistance in the future. Australia has a growing anarchist movement, with squats, networking with Native resistance, prolific punk and hip hop rebels, Earth First! campaigns in Tasmania, extremely active anarchist graffiti crews in Melbourne, black blocs and anti-development and anti-state sabotage. New Zealand, or Aotearoa, also has a small insurrectionary and green anarchist movement, with numerous ALF actions and quite an expensive sabotage of a drill and an EF! campaign to save an area called Happy Valley. In Wellington that nations’ Capitol on the southern tip of the north island, was a bitter struggle to save a neighborhood called Te Aro from a yuppie motorway.
Anarchists in Guelph, Ontario in Canada, periodically blocking motorways with burning tires in solidarity with Native land reclamation, burning Corporations and country clubs to the ground as the ELF, the woodsquat solidarity campaign and the numerous paint-bombings and window smashings. Burning police cars and sabotaged train lines in Toronto. Montreal is right now in what appears to be daily anarchist and student riots complete with molotovs and newspaper box barricades. Nightly anarchist sabotage is quite frequent in Montreal, most of it not accompanied by a communiqué. Ottawa was active in visiting their local branches of RBC in 2010. The FFFC even set one on fire. Vancouver and the “Riot 2010” attack on the Olympics, the squatting adventures, arsons of police vans and probation centers, fighting the “community policing” center on Commercial Drive with rocks and fire. And whoever was blowing up that gas pipeline in B.C. over and over again.
Someone placed a bomb at the military recruitment center in Times Square New York and rode away on a bicycle, it happened before, I think the Mexico embassy for Brad Will, the anarchist, EF!, indymedia journalist killed by police in Oaxaca during the 2006 uprising, maybe. Railroad sabotage in Washington and Oregon, tons of broken windows of State, Capitalist and Religious buildings, arsons at banks, housing developments, police stations and meat packing plants all across the USA. Anarchists like Daniel McGowan, Sadie and Exile, Marie Mason, Jeffrey Leurs, Rod Coronado show that there were fires before. Big ones. There will also continue to be bigger anarchist fires and even more explosions and violence and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.
So here we are. We might seem like quite a violent bunch. I think we are, but there is of course something else. It’s the violence and all the other things we do as anarchists that act to make up the (A)-Team. When we win space we are quick to inhabit it and fill it with positive life-affirming activities: the pirate radio station, community garden, mushroom restoration projects, bicycle collectives, radical lending libraries, music genres, street art, publishing projects, herbal medicine, conflict resolution, squats, train-hopping, workshops, consensus decision making, communal living, an anarchist psychoanalysis, permaculture, rewilding practices. I know I said I wouldn’t go into the more positive ways anarchists have prefigured, but it is worth mentioning before I go on.
In spite of all of the positive things we anarchists do, there are those of us who also feel like masking up with a backpack full of gasoline and some sheets to burn down a Wal-Mart; maybe to inspire others, or maybe because we just plain hate the fuckers for just about every reason we could come up with and thought it would be better if there just wasn’t a Wal-Mart there anymore. Regardless, there are these people on the (A) team who will act with all they know how for as long as they know how in their war against the apparatuses of Control. It is important that they exist and continue to exist and that we vocally support them, regardless of our particular anarchist leanings and/or affiliations. I will now explain why.
By now it’s clear that anarchists have, whether we like it or not, become synonymous with a violent physical assault on class society in recent years (maybe not in Iraq or India). This is a good thing! A lot of people are really upset with modern society and anarchy has become that ancient child-like voice that says, “We love nature and all things free and wild and we want to burn everything that is built on oppression and domination, won’t you play with us?” and lo and behold, more are coming this way.
Michael Sykes, Eric McDavid, the Cleveland Anarchy Bridge! 5 (which are from now on dubbed the anti-hipster anarchists), the five more just arrested in Chicago at NATO – they will keep coming, more and more radicalized malcontents, a new generation of American born anarcho-bombers, at first apolitical or lefty goths/punks/metalheads/nerds who watched riot videos on submedia.tv and V for Vendetta, listen to Johnny Hobo, read some anarchistnews.org and realized that this life is shit and they choose to burn it up. We can’t stop these kids from exploding and burning their enemies (why would we want to?), but we can throw a wrench in the works and fuck up the State’s ability to keep locking up our young Fire Starters by actively confronting their obviously clear infiltration strategies.
Their infiltration works surprisingly similar to a part in George Orwell’s’ novel “1984” where the Ministry creates a fake resistance and then arrests Winston for being a part of it and because he was ready to act against the Oceania State-Machine. While it would be a stretch to say that the United States’ security forces are stoked about Occupy, it is clear that they fund and maneuver amongst it with general ease. This must be stopped, not just in Occupy, but also in every place and spot where people join the anarchist movement. The CIA and the Ford Foundation have been funding the non-violent non-militant left since the 1950s, the 99% Spring, an even more liberal off shoot of Occupy Wall Street, has links to these organizations. Not only were uniformed Police invited into most Occupy camps, their hired informants were pushing our young Fire Starters and next generation anarcho-bombers into prison cells with talk of smoke bombs and molotovs, and C4 and bridges.
As I have said before, I see it as a great thing that intelligent, violent anarchist attack throughout the world has opened up a space where young, angry, poor, misfits who have been dealt the shit end of the stick in life can latch onto a bigger movement that has as its’ goal the total destruction of God, the State, Capital, Patriarchy, Racism and Ecocide. We need to now more than ever, as anarchists, come together and refuse to denounce those in our movements who are the most violent and protect them by limiting the ability of the police to keep locking them up.
An example of that is Chicago, most of us stayed away, but this new generation of anarchists influenced by our anarchist counter-culture these past few years went. While of course it made perfect fucking sense to stay away from such an obvious trap: there in Chicago were these new anarchists, just looking hella awkward, but it was beautiful.
Anarchists have been busy this past little bit, but if you take a step back and look around at the movement against capitalism, you can see how everything we insurrectionist leaning anarchists have done in these past few years have resonated in the hearts and minds of the people who are the most willing to fight back. So anarchist attacktivists: keep on keeping on, not that you won’t die alone, but to fight for something is to make it your own.