donderdag 26 mei 2016

Unions protest in Brussels - Firm confrontation with the Cops

Last Tuesday the 24th of May the Belgian workers movement (the "socialist" ABVV/FGTB, the christian ACV and the liberal ACLVB) organized a national manifestation in Brussels. Around 60.000 people gathered to protest against the austerity policy and reforms of the Michel-government. Special target of the manifestation was the Minister of Work, Kris Peeters, who wants to flexibilise the 38-hour working week (the so-called 'Loi Peeters', borrowed from the French 'Loi Travail/El-Khomri' and the very militant resistance against it).

A delegation of the ACN/AKN traveled to Brussels to join in on this protest. Not to join the usual circus of the union-bureaucracy, but to support the independent struggle of the workers. Although the whole demonstration was mostly orchestrated by the system-unions, the massive presence of disgruntled workers and activists proved the Belgium workers movement is alive and still has the potential to become a revolutionary force of interest. As long as they liberate themselves from the yoke of the reformist union- and party bosses! 

Thousands protestors fill the streets of Antwerp

The demonstration started with the usual walk through the city center towards the South station. Fireworks were, as is the tradition, ignited and along the way the RVA (employment service) and PS ("socialist" party) offices were besmirched with paint bombs. Notable was the absence of the dockers of Antwerp during this protest. Did they deliberately avoid this manifestation, because the unions helped to abolish the law Major? A combatant and excited atmosphere prevailed among the many protesters. The unions themselves had employed over a thousand security people to keep the manifestation under control.

KVA Office hit by paintbombs and smeared with graffiti

Arriving at the South station the protest turned grim in no time after the cops, under the threat of bat beatings and 6 (!) water canons, tried to push back the flocking crowd. A motley collection of workers, anarchists and local youth gave a proper response to this police provocation, by setting up an improvised blockade with several crush barriers. The coppers were treated with a rain of stones, pyrotechnics and bottles. During the short confrontation that followed, the police chief of Brussels, Pierre Vandermissen, was knocked down by a militant (there seems to be a trend throughout Europe, where militants deliberately target higher police cadres (-> targeted actions), such as in London in Nov. 2015, in Paris and in Nantes). In the fights that followed the cops were able to arrest several comrades.
Cops try to drive back protestors under the threat of bats and watercanons
Preparations for first charge
'Hero of the day' - Chief of Police goes K.O.
With the help of water canons the militants were pushed back under the bridges of the train tracks. Because of a lack of force and cover of the masses (most protesters went straight to the train station, once arrived at the endpoint - set-up of the unions?), this quickly turned into a stand off with the cops, where the stone throwing was from time to time answered by one of the water canons. The resurrection of some barricades proved useless, and more cops closed in on the protesters from three different sides, only leaving open a small gateway to the train station. After this it quickly came to a climax, where most protesters left towards the station.
Watercanons force back militants

Three cops were wounded during the confrontation. Eight protesters were injured by the police violence and another fifteen were arrested. The bourgeois press did what was expected of them, and used this confrontation caused by the cops to criminalize the entire manifestation. Instead of condemning the police violence, the reformists of the union bureaucracy were the first to put the blame on 'the anarchists'. It is clear that for these reformists the class struggle may only be waged within the boundaries that the capitalist order imposes!

Stand off with the cops
Militants set up barricades
Although this national manifestation was less massive and/or militant than its predecessors, all the signals for a hot summer are there. The coming months several actions, strikes and protests will be held against the scandalous austerity politics and reforms of the Michel-government. We will follow these events closely.








woensdag 18 mei 2016

Refugee crisis? System crisis! - Plea for an entrism in the anti-Refugee Resistance

As national-revolutionaries we strive first and foremost for national and social liberation, by means of a revolution. Only in a situation of a severe systemcrisis this revolution could really succeed.  

Untill this time we need to use all current contradictions within the system and each form of discontent, in order to build revolutionary cadres and to realize a grounding in the masses.

Where there is discontent and unrest, there must be national-revolutionaries to stimulate and exploit this. By doing so we must not put forth our national-revolutionary message, but the concrete discontent, which on a longer term will turn into rebellion.   

Therefore we must reach towards the masses, because only through their participation we can overthrow the vested capitalist system. 

To do so national-revolutionaries must organize themselves within civilprotests and demonstrations, to transform these into happenings of rebellion and uprising!

An important instrument is it to -if needed undercover - infiltrate local civil initiatives and protests, in order to get into key-positions. Cultivate friendships, relations and built out a radical basis (with for instance local youth, footbal supporters, etc.). 

By our presence within civilprotests, demonstrations and other activities we can introduce a dimension of serious resistance within an otherwise timid and directionless movement, so as to convert the indecision and reluctance of the masses into direct action! 

The State, the cops and local politics study and anticipate constantly on the developments surrounding the protestactions against mass immigration. More often the cops fall back on repression as preventive measures to avoid civil disobedience. It is important to respond to this and to always be one step ahead.    

Therefore it is absolutely necessary that we keep on improving our tactics and capacities. This is a constant process of selfreflection. Plan your actions well and work out specific goals. After each and every action gather, to see what has been accomplished in regard to these goals and seek for improvements. Learn from your mistakes and be creative!   

The more effective our movements will become, the more repression from the State we can expect. Be discrete with information, the cops might always be listening and work on a 'need-to-know' basis within your group. Mix your unobtrusively and anonymously in the protests. All information that leaks out in regard to our activities, is a step ahead for our enemies!  

At this moment the asylum debate is dominated by reactionary rightwing forces, who try to canalize the popular anger into a direction which is desirable for the system. Reactionary parties and movements - like the PVV and Pegida - have made the islamophobic NATO retorics of the 'War on terror' their own and embraced zionism. They don't want to overthrow the system, they want to perpetuate it!

Their reactionary agenda is opposed to that of ours. Co-operation with them is therefore no option and we can not tolerate these reactionaries in our own ranks. We need to refute their lies through persistent work on the streets, in the neighborhoods and communities. From here on we have to neutralize the zionist poison and anchor ourselves in the masses as the only revolutionary alternative for this thoroughly rotten system!

Against State and Capital! - Forward to the National and Socialist Revolution!

As a consequense of the massive flows of refugees who come from the Middle East and Africa, the EU expects millions of new immigrants for the coming years . This mass immigration and the alienation of the European nations and its cultural areas, serve the ruling class on several levels.  

In first instance the employment potential of the Third World is delivered straight at the front door of the big capitalist corporations. The wagecosts for the capitalists will be decreased because of a saturation of the labourmarket and this way the workers are forced to work for a pittance. Therefore it does not suprise us that employers-organisations across Europe are currently calling in unison that foreigners must be put to work as soon as possible. However, after years of economic crisis with mass unemployment as its consequence, this will only deteriorate the ethnic relations. 

On the long term this mass immigration serves another goal for the ruling class. The massive influx of huge groups of foreigners, will lead to an insuperable cultural, social and urban disintegration, that will break open the achievements of the bourgeois democracy. By means of the current asylum policy the ruling class makes the European peoples and cultures cooperate in their own destruction.

Throughout Europe we can see an increasing resistance from the basis against mass immigration as a result of this. The opressed masses - the big losers of globalisation - are evermore resisting against the arrival of hordes of aliens who steal 'their' jobs and social security. Reactionary demagogues like Geert Wilders are fanning the fire for their own electoral gain, however their national chauvinism does not provide a solution. They only combat the symptoms, but refuse to denominate the cause - namely capitalism.    

We cannot blame foreigners for trying to find a better live elsewhere, they too are disappointed. They only serve as scapegoats to conceal the problems the capitalist class has created. In their search for the Golden Calf, they have become willing instruments for the ruling class. The welfare of the indigenous people, nor that of foreigners from far places, are of no concern to the internationally organized capital. Their social needs are just instrumentalized by the capitalists, in order to enrich themselves over the backs of the working masses.  

However, the 'anti-refugee resistance' represents much more than a reactionary chauvinism or an expression of 'xenophobia'. It is the expression of a more general discontent about the capitalist system and its symptoms (of which mass immigration is one). It represents a great deal of the justified worries that live amongst vast parts of the population. More important, this anger and discontent is not only aimed at these foreigners, but also against the authorities, the State apparatus and its armed extension (the cops). 

These ever further increasing tensions within society as a result of a radicalizing resistance against the policy of the ruling class, does have a revolutionary potential. A popular uprising against the capitalist system can destabilize and weaken this system. However, our support for this tendency does not come without critizism. Our tasks is to resist all reactionary elements within this tendency to create an awareness amongst our fellow countrymen. The foreigner is not our enemy, the capitalist system is! 

A revolutionary consciousness rarely occurs spontaneously. Even popular movements with an initial reactionary nature may constitute a first step towards a revolutionary political organization. We can try to proclaim the revolutionary truth from our ivory towers, but let us rather go onto the streets and move amongst the masses. Our task as revolutionaries is to consciously participate in these processes and to therefore lift it on both a political as well as an organizational level.   

We do not have the illusion that this movement can be entirely undone of its reactionary elements, but firmly believe that these events may contribute to a political upheaval that offers us revolutionary perspectives. Here lies an important task for us: The building of a revolutionary organization and the development of revolutionary cadres within this popular resistance.

woensdag 4 mei 2016

Stop TTIP? Yes, we could have...

How a potential day of action ended in nothing

On Saturday the 23rd of April over 50.000 activists gathered in all enthousiasm in a united mass demonstration to give a strong signal against the meeting of President Obama and Chancellor Merkel to promote the talks about the TTIP-Treaty. The ACN/AKN called earlier this week to join this day of action, to give a militant signal against this Treaty. Therefore a delegation travelled to Hannover.     

At the Opernplatz - the startpoint of the demonstration - the massive scale of the organisation rose directly to our attention. On a big stage, with project screens to follow the speakers live from further away, a good soundsystem and all kind of infostands from all kind of political parties and organisations. Next to the parliamentary parties such as Die Linke, SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, there were also many activists from parties and organisations, such as the reformist workerparties DKP, the MLPD and its youth movement REBELL, the Arbeiterbund für den wiederafbau der KPD, the SADJ and the Turkish DIDF, the pascifist anarchistische Graswurzelrevolution, Ökologische Linke and many more present, who eagerly distributed their papers, pamflets and other propaganda material to the many thousands of demonstratorsd that kept coming. Next to these activists there were also many bourgeois activists from ATTAC, anti-nuclear energy and other enviromental organisations like Greenpeace and anti-fracking organisations aswell as anti-drone and sigital provacy activists. Also teh Unionjs were present like Ver.Di and the IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt/Bergbau-Chemie-Energie/Metall.

Ofcourse we can give a long report on all the banners and protestsigns that were carries, or giva a substenciated critizism on the speeches of the many (petit-bourgeois) speakers and talk about the demonstration route, but this was not why the ACN/AKN participated this day.

Despite the huge numbers of protestors and their messages not a single real blow was made towards Obama, Merkel and their TTIP plans. Expected militant actions - like with Blockupy in 2015 - did not take place. How is this possible? Maybe because the demonstration was held one day in advance of the meeting between Obama and Merkel, which held militants away to give them a message (both were in london and Turkey this day and thus would not directly be confronted with militant resistance)? On sunday a smaller demonstration was organized in the city, but this would not top the attendance of saturday. But a Black Block is useless if it is not supprted by the masses (like the 50.000 on a saturday). Was this all a set up? The cops seemed perfectly happy this saturday and did not seem to expect any serious threat what so ever. This protest - not matter how good and important its theme was - could not beat dent in a pack of butter, even if there were 2 million people present.

Next this msised chance from the militant 'left' to make its statement today, the absence of 'rightist'militants also a sad given. Why national-revolutionary activists did nothing with this day of action against TTIP beats us. Such a Free Trade Treaty - which breaks down social rights and the enviroment on a huge scale - seems to be a perfect theme to agitate against - especially a Trade Treaty with America. Sadly the nationalist scene remained stuck this day in very sectarian commemorations, instead of using these protests (thus among the masses) to break free from the political ghetto. Even with a separate day of action within own movement nothing was done.  

Hopefully better chances occur in the near future against the TTIP, where militants from both the 'left' and 'right' of the political spectre can make combatant use of.

- Some anticapitalist / anti-TTIP demonstrators

Left: Greenpeace activists give a clear signal against Obama, Merkel and their TTIP-Treaty on the Union building of the DGB. Right: Does TTIP really bring hope? The propaganda of the metal lobby looks like it can only exist with the help of the police State. 

Left: Still a relevant slogan >> Who have betrayed us? The socialdemocrats! <<< CDU/CSU, SPD! >>> Right: International solidarity was not an empty word here.

1st of May Plauen: Militant action during the 'Arbeiterkampftag'

Under the slogan >> Destroy capitalism! For a German socialism!  << a delegation of the ACN/AKN travelled to the East-German city of Plauen, to participate in the struggle of the autonomous national and socialist movement during this laborday. Over a thousand comrades attended this demonstration organized by the political party 'Der III. Weg'. 

The autonomous 'Antikapitalistisches Kollektiv' called for the formation of a Black Bloc on this demonstration. This Black Bloc had a strong anticapitalist character, emphasized by the many slogans on banners and flags. The East-German comrades certainly emphasized the social aspects of national socialism. And this Bloc did exactly what it was supposed to do, when a confrontation with the cops emerged!  

At first it seemed to become a peacefull protest, like so many other demonstrations in the BRD. An obedient walk under the supervision of a massive amount of riot police. However, during the demonstration a comrade was hit by a flying object, possibly thrown by a counter-protestor, which severely injured him. Remarkable was the fact that only a handfull of comrades stayed behind to provide support, during which the first aid of the organisation did an excellent job. About one hundred meters further the other protestors were stopped by the cops. A striking detail is that it took about 20 minutes until the police forces called for medical care.

This incident was directly used by the cops to block the demonstration. As a reaction the Black Bloc tried to force a militant but unexpected break through against the riot police. A good and direct reaction against the cops. However, a point of criticism is that this decision was made without feedback, which led to some comrades being stunned. With a shower of pepperspray and tofa strikes, the cops managed to stop this break through and drove it back with the support of a watercanon.    

The willingness to actions and amount of preparations was remarkable. Some comrades were well prepared for the streetfight (handshoes, ski- and sunglasses, disguise) and were able to keep the cops away through good reactions to their tactics. This was strengthened by the use of flagposts, protest- and traffic-signs, garbage containers and anything else present. This however still couldn't prevent the cops from dispersing the Black Bloc. This led to a surrounding by the riot police, who by now had called for heavy materials.  

Der III. Weg-bosses forced a 'spontanious demonstration' in consultation with the cops. In fact this was not much more than a walk under strict police control back to the trainstation Oberer Platz, where the demonstration was dismantled after a long wait.  

Some lessons can be learned from these events: 

- Our own first aid was able to help the wounded before the spontanious actions, but as soon as more people amongst the demonstrators became injured because of the cops, they were unable to keep up because of undercapacity. Other demonstrators were only able to give very limited help through improvisation with bottles of drinking water. Active and efficient help was slow because of a lack of medical knowledge. 

- The 'Bloc-experience' of many comrades was insufficient. For instance; some tactics were not properly understood or incorrectly applied because of limited knowledge and/or miscommunication. We are talking about strategies such as hooking in, the formation of a protective mass for fighting comnrades in the front lines, etc. Eventually mass hysteria took over and the fight was left to a handfull of militants. Because of this we can conclude that the militant actions in the long run took a defensive attitude, because the Bloc was not able to strikingly and massively break out. This certainly is something to analyse for the different affinity groups which were present on this demonstration.    

Remarkably no arrests were made this day (at least as far as we know). The phonenumber for help for the detainies seemed unnecessary, but nonetheless a very good organizational part of the demonstration. Despite some small points of constructive criticism, this certainly was a very combative demonstration. 

Hopefully this is a prelude to a more militant and more organized autonomous resistance against the system and the cops in the BRD!