Reproducibility, propagation of attack against power and some related points

“The media image of the ‘terrorist’ works together with the police to defend social peace. The citizen applauds or gets scared, but always remains a citizen, that is to say, a spectator. The ‘armed struggle’ presents itself as the superior form of social confrontation. The one who is militarily more representative – according to the spectacular effect of the actions – therefore constitutes the authentic armed  party.  The  State  from  his  side  has  every  interest  to  reduce  the  revolutionary  threat  to  some  fighting  organisations  as  to  transform  subversion  into  a  pitched  battle  between  two  armies.  What  domination  fears  is  generalised and anonymous revolt […]”

“One thing is that anarchists have weapons, a much different thing is to be an armed group. […]”

On the 11th of March 2009, a video with the title 19 seconds  of  social  war  was  anonymously  uploaded  to  the  web. Three anonymous fighters with their faces covered show  the  easiness  and  efficiency  with  which  it  is  possible to attack those who destroy your life. To attack a bank  in  a  few  seconds,  two  hammers,  a  spray  can  and  determination  are  enough.  Maybe  at  the  moment,  the  most notable aspect of the video was the acceptance it got on youtube, it was enough to look to the comments to have an idea of this. But actually, the most notable in our opinion, was the wave of sabotage actions that happened in the Mexican capital (and certainly also in other regions) after the spreading of this video. The propagation of sabotage had nothing accidental about it, it was due  to  the  simplicity  with  which  this  symbol  of  domination  was  attacked  and  the  facility  by  which  certain  means could be acquired, this means: reproducibility.

For  long  time,  the  majority  of  sabotage  actions  which  flooded  anonymously  and  informally  –  or  some  with  claims – Mexico City and other regions of the country shared a characteristic that went beyond any claim. This characteristic  was  that  the  attacks  were  realised  with  easily reproducible means that are therefore accessible for any comrade, or for anybody who feels the need to attack what is oppressing and exploiting us. Also today, many attacks are realised in this way, which is strengthening their propagation.

In  an  insurrectional  and  informal  struggle  project  that  intends  to  propagate  itself  on  a,  let’s  say,  social  level,  but  also  amongst  comrades,  an  as  necessary  as  indispensable  element  is  reproducibility.  Concretely,  reproducibility means that acts of sabotage are realised with means  (incendiary  devices  bombs,  explosive  weapons  or  other  tools)  that  can  be  easily  made  and  used,  and  that can be easily acquired by anyone. The intention beyond this is that sabotage might be in reach for anyone, that each person might get access to attacking what is oppressing  him  or  her  and  that  one  doesn’t  have  to  go  looking  for  an  already  formalised  (or  sometimes  spectacularised) group to learn how to do thing. Reproducibility  is  about  the  individual  himself  or  herself  finding  the means to act, meeting up with comrades in affinity with who he or she shares knowledge, discussing things trough and stepping on to action.

When we speak about informality, we are not only speaking about it as an organisational method of the anarchist struggle,  we  are  also  speaking  about  it  as  a  means  by  which  the  individual  acquires  absolute  autonomy  and  therefore  doesn’t  have  to  submit  to  the  ideology  of  a   group  –  groups  that  are  often  of  authoritarian  colours,  but  go  well  camouflaged  as  “libertarian”  or  “autonomous” and insert themselves in this necessity to pass on to the attack, taking over anarchist projects or individuals to later on submerse them in a logic of submission to a central apparatus. But it is precisely through discussion, thinking and critiques that the individual meets the need to converge with other singular individuals, or with other collectives that themselves are consisting of individuals.

Reproducibility also encourages the radicalisation of the individual  or  collective  acts  of  attack,  extending  to  the  maximum the autonomy amongst individuals and collectives, generating, when one desires, an informal coordination  in  which,  outside  of  the  logic  of  dependency  or  acceptance, one could also come to share the knowledge of each comrade concerning sabotage.

Some particular realities

Gasoline, glass bottles, burned oil and rags are easily acquired. Also other materials with which one can attack the system and its cops can be easily found. For us, all means  that  are  in  accordance  with  the  ends  are  weapons that can be directed against power. Maybe some are more  destructive  than  others,  but  no  any  means  gets  ideological  overrating  over  another.  For  example,  guns   over molotovs, or dynamite over home made incendiary devices. Also, the reproducibility of the attack depends of  the  particular  characteristics  of  each  place.  For  example,  in  Bolivia,  where  black  powder  and  dynamite  can be found on any market, on almost any place, these materials  are  easily  acquired  and  makes  that  their  use  during revolts in such places is very common.

In our context, dynamite was much used during the Magonist  revolts  in  the  north  of  the  country,  because  the  possibility to acquire it was very easy as the north is a mining region.

Although  in  current  times,  the  acquiring  of  explosive  materials is usually a bit complicated, we could mention that in the case of the Oaxaca insurrection, home made explosives  were  widely  used  in  the  form  of  “coyotas”,  which are basically party firecrackers with nails attached to  it  as  shrapnel.  They  were  extremely  harmful  for  the  cops who were repressing the revolt on the barricades.

Nevertheless, this reality of daily war, of drugs and arms trafficking,  this  need  of  the  State  to  keep  the  country  in  a permanent war zone, makes the acquiring of short and long guns, grenades or whatever you want possible. In addition, society is used to its use and familiar with its use: in many cases, you learn it from when you are a youngster, be it for defence or for other reasons. So the use of guns to hit power, or their use during a generalized revolt or a conscious insurrection, is very likely. And again, the example of Oaxaca (as well as other revolts that are less known) illustrates clearly what we are saying.

For the moment, we do not want to enter into the discussion on ethics and morals concerning the use of guns or the disarmament of society. We are no pacifists, but neither  are  we  warmongers.  Nevertheless,  we  can  affirm  that reality has shown us that the society in arms in this lasts years has only massacred itself, something that is obviously in the interest of the State. But as anarchists

we  go  in  another  direction:  we  go  towards  the  need  to  attack power with all means that are in accordance with the  ends.  The  use  of  guns  is  in  accordance  with  anarchist ethics. Here we are speaking of revolutionary action,  of  conscious  acts  of  sabotage  and  their  easy  and  efficient propagation to destroy power.

For the destruction of the myth of specialization and professionalism: neither spectators nor actors.

With  all  the  rubbish  that  the  system  spreads  through  television, cinema, theatre and fiction books, an image has been created of the saboteur as a professional of violence. An image of a professional saboteur that, maybe unwillingly, is complemented by the visual propaganda of some guerilla armies or radical urban guerilla groups (leftist, marxist-leninist or also anarchist) in which their members  appear  with  machine  guns  and  other  heavy  weaponry  in  an  attempt  to  have  an  impact  in  the  eyes  of  the  State  and  of  society;  or,  with  their  own  words,  to propagandistic ends. But we can also add to this the image of the “reckless hero” that some comrades create around the figure of comrades who in the past (and the present) took action.

Taking out of the debate the fact that in certain moments anarchists – and any person who is rebelling – need to learn the use of guns (something that in Mexico, as we said  in  the  previous  paragraph,  is  more  common  than  learning  how  to  read)  and  learn  fighting  strategies  on  the countryside or in an urban setting, this type of armed visual propaganda is nothing more than a hindrance to the propagation of attack and sabotage on wide levels, in  the  social  context,  outside of  our  circles  and  before  all, autonomously, for the following two reasons:

  • Firstly, because the image of the professional of violence leaves aside all those who want to attack, but are not finding the  so-called  adequate  means  to  attack  the  system (whatever the case might be, because the majority  of  it  has  to  do  with  spectacularity),  and  this  makes  that  these  individuals  desiring  to  attack  stay  immobile  and spectators.
  • Secondly, because the visual propaganda of the professional saboteur generates an abyss between the individual, the organisation and the organisations. The individual feels the need to attack, but believes that in order to do so, he needs to belong to a professional urban guerilla group, to a systematic organism, or that he has to create an organisation that specialises itself in this and leaves aside other aspects of life where intervention is also necessary. When he  doesn’t  find  the organisation  to  back  him up, or when he finds himself in the impossibility to use certain means, again there is immobility and spectators, because the individual stay immobile facing the im-potence of not being “on the level” of attacking the State. It  is  clear  that  everybody  is  capable  of  looking  for  the  means he or she wants, there is no doubt about that, but my comment, apart from being based on experience and of knowledge about other experiences, projects itself specifically in when this type of visual propaganda leaves on the side not only the comrades who in one way or another have access to manuals and other things that older comrades  have  left  them;  I  am  speaking  concretely  about  a  comrade that is isolated (whatever that might mean) from the movement, or about a person who is an “ordinary” citizen” but has decided to stop being it and attack, who then find themselves many times in an impossible situation.

But the myth of the specialist or the professional of violence has other bad breaths

Many times, together with the propagation of this type of  visual  propaganda  (more  concretely  by  comrades,  leaving aside the image that the State creates of terrorists),  you  have  also  the  fact  that  one  believes  that  the  more  specialisation  the  attack  requires,  and  the  more  the  means  of  attack  are  specialised,  more  damage  is  done  to  the  infrastructures  of  power  (meaning  by  this  persons and things). The practice itself showed that this is not true and that this is many times a projection.

The  comrades  who  in  2011  attacked  the  Wal-Mart  of  Buenavista  in  the  central  zone  of  the  Federal  District,  give during an interview for the book “Que se ilumine la noche” a clear account on how just some easily acquirable elements and determination were needed to cause mayor damage to the infrastructures of power. A glass bottle,  gasoline,  condoms  as  a  time  delay  and  pills  of  ammonia  sulphate  were  enough  to  cause  the  total  destruction  of  the  Wal-Mart.  Another  example  could  be  mentioned  of  the  comrades  who  in  Tijuana  burned  31  new patrol cars of the municipal police. Some short guns to  cover  the  retreat,  a  car,  some  litres  of  gasoline  and determination  where  enough.  We  are  just  mentioning  these two examples because of their supposed “spectacularity”  and  huge  damage,  leaving  aside  the  hundreds  of  sabotage  actions  that  are  being  realised  with  molotovs or home made devices consisting of plastic bottles, matches, cigarillos and gasoline.

Also, the myth of the professional of violence or of specialization is often supported by another factor: to be or to want to be always at the height of the system.

By always wanting to be at the height of the system and to  wage  competition  with  its  armies,  besides  falling  in  the trap of measuring ourselves with the same stick as the  system  is  measuring  us,  the  attacking  group  ends  up  being  a  mirror  image  of  the  armies  of  the  system,  even ending up considering the armed act or the guerilla group an end in itself and not a means to attack – giving often  more  valour  to  guns  and  its  iconography  than  to  other means of intervention.

When  sometimes  it  has  been  said  that  groups  end  up  begin  a  deformed  mirror  image  of  the  State  itself,  one  is  also  speaking  about  the  vainglory  and  the  overestimation given to guns, to rifles, to explosives. These elements,  that  should  just  be  tools  of  the  revolutionary,  end  up  becoming  his  identity,  loosing  his  particularity  as  an  individual,  delegating  his  own  identity  to  a  false  identity  supported  by  a  commercial  instrument-icon  of  the  system  like  weapons  –  instruments  that  one  uses  out  of  necessity,  far  away  from  all  fetishism  towards  them. Weapons are a commodity and the best we can do with them is to render them… usefully useless.  As anarchists, I believe this strongly, we are against the fetishism of arms and against any organisation (or acronym) that converts itself into something identitarian and that ends up with denying the individual or the individuals. Our only identity is our own individuality, our only iden- tity  are  we  ourselves  and  this  can  be  seen  reflected  in  mour words, thoughts and acts, that flow together as one.

So then, what do we want and what are we proposing?

Concerning the attack against the structures of the State and Capitalism, but above all against Power, we desire a propagation of attack, of sabotage and of the insurrectional  perspective.  What  we  are  looking  for,  is  the  intensification of the social war day after day. That every person who feels the need to attack the State, Capitalism and Power does so, getting, above everything else, out of the idle position of spectator or of the immobility due to a lack of means.

Concerning anarchist organisation, we propose an informal organisational method, that is therefore in constant development  and  self-criticism,  a  method  based  on  affinity  and  not  on  delegation  or  systematic  agreement.  An organisational method built starting from the needs that we experience in our immediate surroundings. An informal method that doesn’t place any organisation or acronym above the individual, but where the organisation stays subjected and submitted to constant practice and constant thinking, just as action is. An organisation based  on  the  informal  method  of  struggle  that  can  be  capable to propagate itself and be reproduced in qualitative terms.

Concerning  the  use  of  guns  and  explosives  (easily  acquired  in  this  territory),  a  struggle  consistent  with  the  acratic  principles  and  with  informality.  An  acting  that  cuts  in  a  slash  with  the  vainglory  of  guns,  that  breaks  with the fetishism created around the armed sabotage; a  consistent struggle that by attacking power destroys the discourse that places the armed act above other acts of sabotage, and a critique on the fetishism of illegality. Through acting, break with the commercial discourse on guns, mirrored by the big vanguards and militant armed organisations who are placing their militants in a game of power, mirrored in every aspect of their organisation. This is what we want to say by seeing oneself through the  deforming  mirror  of  power.  We  are  not  proposing  a  structured  armedist  struggle,  but  a  direct  struggle  against power in its totality, a struggle that is capable to propagate and to reproduce itself. And if guns are easily acquired, may their use then be consequent and always as means, never as a goal.

The  social  war  is  a  constant  reality,  the  individual  or  collective attack is also so, better when this reality propagates  even  more,  disperses,  spreads  out  through  the  whole territory. And to contribute to this, the means of attack easily reproducible and easily acquired should be the perspective of concrete attack that accompanies our struggles for anarchy.

For  an  informal,  anonymous  and  autonomous  practice of attack against power

Negación #8 Septimbre 2016 -Transalte by Avalanche anarchist magazine #8, Europe

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