|Revolt burns in us on this day, Monday May 16th, because to live is to rebel. Thus, in the spirit of solidarity with those in struggle in Greece, we blocked a busy intersection in the business district of Seattle during rush hour with a banner that read: “Revolt burns in us. The time is now. From the first sparks, we are with you.”This intersection is outside an office of Goldman Sachs, architects of the financial crisis that set the stage for the IMF takeover of Greece.
Hundreds of leaflets were afloat as the citizens gaped, open mouthed, but our actions are not for them.
This brief halt in the normal movement of the city traffic was a small gesture committed out of our hatred for this world.
The time is now.
From the first sparks of rebellion we conspire because the only reason to live is for a dream of what is not.
We are with you. Not out of pity or duty but because solidarity is our weapon.
The flier read as follows:
There is a war in the streets of Athens.
The war is with us in Seattle, too.
Last week in Athens, one could hear it in the sound of police truncheons cracking skulls. Around fifteen people would be rushed to the hospital. One remains in a coma. He may not survive.
He is not the only one on life support. The war in Athens is one in which the future of global capitalism is at stake. Decades of routine exploitation has driven Greek society into a deep crisis, and now the Greek state, conspiring with the International Monetary Fund, expects that the Greek people will have to give up more of their lives to keep the parasitic regime afloat. Those wounded had been marching in the street, demonstrating in conjunction with the general strike of May 11th. As has come to be common, countless workers refused their roles in turning the gears of the economy, reclaiming their lives by choosing sides in the war.
The violence of the police reveals the State’s desperation to clear the streets, to return people to work, and to protect the rich. They seek to maintain the normality of everyday life; they mask their war with peace. But social peace itself is only a weapon in the war–a weapon used to disarm us and keep us from finding ourselves and one another in struggle.
For those in Greece resisting domination, the police’s attack only reaffirmed the war: sparking riots, daring physical attacks against police forces, and occupations that subverted university campuses into centers for resistance. The doctors at the hospital where the attacked are being treated released a statement condemning the government and expressing solidarity with those who resist.
But other forces leap to take advantage of the emerging battlefield. Since May 11th, fascists gangs have been carrying out orchestrated, violent attacks against immigrants. Where anarchists find solidarity in the struggles of all oppressed, fascists are trying to exploit the explosive situation to build hatred of who they call “foreigners.” Fascists stabbed and killed a Bangladeshi man, firebombed a Pakistani family’s home, and have attacked many other immigrants. They are also collaborating with the police to carry out attacks against anarchist social spaces. Anarchists and anti-fascists have responded by actively combating the fascists in the streets, even as the police defend them.
The particulars of the battles raging in Athens may seem so distant–separated from our realities in the Northwest by more than half the globe. On any given day, the streets of Seattle do not resemble a war zone. But the facade of social peace is a thin one. Hidden plainly in the towers of downtown, financial institutions like Goldman Sachs–chief architects of Greece’s current debt crisis–orchestrate global misery with pen strokes and mouse clicks. Only months ago, hundreds of people flooded the streets of Seattle over and over to oppose the murdering Seattle police, who continue to kill with impunity. And also in February, fascists in Spokane attempted to bomb a public celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr Day.
Capitalism and domination are a tapeworm insidiously wound throughout every piece of our environment, and even ourselves. Fascism may at times appear distinct from the clean functioning of the healthy body of this parasite, but in reality it is only its rotten underbelly. Even as its putrescence affronts the healthy tissue of the state, which responds with its own antibodies, they reinforce one another in their mutual attacks against all who desire real freedom. It may feel impossible to find and dig out the root or the tip of the worm, but we find all around us opportunities to hack at its body. We take action to express solidarity with our friends and comrades in the struggle in Athens. But we act also for ourselves, because we recognize that their war is also ours.
Against the lie of social peace.
For social war!