September 2, 2010

From the highlands of Limousin

Filed under: english — translationcollective @ 9:36 pm

This summer 200 people met for one week in Tarnac. From of their discussions emerged the following communiqué,

Standing up he says: “The counter-insurrection is not only the doctrine of intervention of western armed forces in Afghanistan, it’s the very nature of all government. The injection of such and such elements of language into circulation, urbanism, organized distraction, economic fables, everything emerges from the fear of losing control over the populations.” She responds to him: “Where I come from the government has such a fear that the people will begin to organize themselves due to the crisis, that they force the unemployed to run free bike-repair workshops in the streets, to recuperate used objects and to patrol the streets together with the police. The territory is occupied preventively.”

Some hours and one load of bread from the oven later, someone else says: “Me personally, what strikes me is that from autumn 2008 until now such a crisis of capitalism has provoked so few movements besides in Greece. Ten years ago there was a whole ‘anti-globalisation movement’ that attacked a well behaved system, and now that everything proves this movement righteous, there is nothing on the rise, and there is so little tried out. That, in these moments, everyone clutches their endangered social positions is understandable, but that the militants and the activists remain confortably installed in their minoritarian position rather than questioning their own sudden paralysis, they prefer to consider that they are totally justified and that they have nothing to do other than continue refining their radical posture on specialized websites or sipping their beers on the terraces of some hip café. That’s what’s completely hallucinatory.”

And still another: “There is no more money, there is no more work. The only thing to do is to appropriate the techniques and means of survival, and not only of survival but of winning. Of course, there is the global police who are paid to protect this immense sadness that is called ‘economy’ and this sort of conspiracy of stupidity that is called ‘capitalism’. It’s obviously a big semantic operation to call terrorists those who still have the courage to meet internationaly, searching for the answers to questions posed by everyone, albeit in isolation, each in his place. What can we do to not be starved by the governments? How do we dismantle the gears of the worldwide police machinery? They can truly treat us as terrorists, but it’s no use. It is evident that there is no ‘we’, whoever might meet as we do these days posing the same questions, would arrive, without doubt, to the same responses. That which must be done is not that of forming constituent assemblies to represent ‘the people’, but to create, everywhere, local assemblies – to snatch back everything that makes life possible from the structures and devices of power, everything that they have taken away from us. The material means, so much as capacities to communicate, so much as the capacity to defend ourselves as well. Our lives are the raw material of their power. If we take back our lives, if we cease to ask for permission, if we resolve our affairs for ourselves, if we organize ourselves on eye-level in order to break the dependecies that afflict us… if we do this, then no struggle against the reigning folly can be again reduced to the self-management of misery.”

And that one there in front, the one who has just arrived: “If we look at the economic cycles in the West over the last fourty years, we realize that there is an alternating of crisis and recovery- of crisis that are always more severe, and recoveries that are always weaker. The present disintegration is not circumstantial, its everlasting.” And this one, who says: “A communiqué must be written to everyone out there who hasn’t yet resigned to disaster’s horizon, saying that we met, that we don’t give up to fear, that the intimidation campaigns led under the cover of anti-terrorism will finally run aground in the grotesque, and that the moment has come to abandon every defensive position.

It is a strange assembly. 200 people from everywhere, from everywhere in Europe and still farther away. It is difficult to say who it was, what is bringing them together there, in Tarnac, for this week of work, of discussion in different languages and of partying, of this week of communal life, studying, drunkenness and joy. One has to be a little bit crazy, to feel an unexplainable trust in the future of revolt, or to not give a shit at all despite the sceming of the police to decide to meet, there, in one of the most surveilled and sketchy places in France and to seriously exchange ideas about the revolutionary possibilities of the present. That’s what we did. We know that there are new raids being prepared on (what the secret service and the badly informed people call ) ‘l’ultra-left’, the radical left. They will not push us neither into clandestinity nor into harmlessness. Our reasons are in everyone’s minds, and our aspirations are in everyone’s hearts.

From the depths of the barn a voice adds: “You fight us, you strengthen us. You don’t fight us, we strengthen ourselves. Masters of the world – you’re done.”

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