julij 16, 2017

Forming An Antifa Group: A Manual

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Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Anti-fascist groups, often called “antifa,” are popping up all around the United States, and a number of people have asked us for advice on forming a group. Because antifa work is different from other forms of radical organizing, and because the antifa groups themselves are changing, we have written down some of our suggestions, based on years of experience. However, this article has been written in a very fluid political situation (February 2017), and some of these specifics may or may not be relevant in the coming months and years.

This essay covers a number of points, including: the advantages, disadvantages, and obligations of working under the anti-fascist banner; questions involving anonymity and visibility, both in person and online; self-defense and firearms; working with problematic people and dealing with infiltrators; state repression; and actions to take as anti-fascists.


The first question is: Why are you forming an “antifa” group? The label has advantages and disadvantages, and you should consider this before adopting it. The antifa name gets you a certain level of brand recognition and built-in credibility, but it also includes certain obligations and distinct disadvantages.

If the purpose of your group is to do public organizing where your members are clearly identifiable—organizing anti-Trump rallies or supporting refugees and immigrants—using the antifa label and the traditional antifa symbols will likely lead to blowback that could be avoided by naming your organization differently. “Las Cruces United Against Racism” will not draw the attention that calling yourself “La Cruces Antifa,” and using traditional antifa symbolism, will.


The primary disadvantage is that fascists will try to identify members of your group and cause you physical harm.Staying as anonymous as possible is the easiest way to minimize this. Members’ pictures may appear on white power websites with any personal information they can find, and many anti-fascists have been injured, even killed, doing this work. If you are exposed, you will also be remembered by fascists for several years. (Keep in mind that anti-fascists who are not white men have been targeted more heavily by fascists: women garner greater online harassment, and people of color have been singled out in fights.)


If you form a local antifa group, you will be expected to do a few things:

1) Track white nationalist, Far Right, and fascist activity. Your group will be expected to document fascist groups and organizing in your area. This means gathering information on who is doing what, and knowing the makeup and key players of the various groups that are active.Once information is verified, antifa groups periodically release this information in a publicly available format. It is also crucial to alert any intended targets about specific threats you find while doing research.

2) Oppose public Far Right organizing.If the Klan or the National Socialist Movement hold a public rally, if AltRight speakers come to town, or if the Daily Stormer holds a meet up, you will be expected to organize a counter-demonstration. If they hold postering or sticker campaigns, you should not only take down their materials but also put up your own; public outreach campaigns should likewise be countered.

3) Support other anti-fascists who are targeted by fascists or arrested for antifa-related activities. This could include supporting regional groups, or organizing benefits and fundraisers for prisoners and injured comrades.

4) Build a culture of non-cooperation with law enforcement. If you have any intention of working with the police, FBI, or other agencies; or if you publically condemn anti-fascists who break the law: don’t call yourself an anti-fascist. The cops will be Trump supporters; do not collaborate with them.


Both the authorities and fascists will be interested in your group’s membership, so you should consider the question of public visibility carefully before you start. We strongly recommend against antifa groups being organized using the open, public model of most contemporary activism because of the risk of infiltration. If an emergency situation—such as responding to fascist public event—calls for public meetings and a traditional mass organizing activist model, this should be kept separate from the long-term group structure.

In fact, we recommend that you stay anonymous both while forming and until your first action. Anonymity is your best defense, and you should keep it intact as long as you can. Develop your group, get on the same page, and decide what you want to focus on. Also, note that once groups are formed, it’s very difficult to change the type of person who is in the group. Whether this is about gender, age, race, or counterculture—it will be hard to alter later on.

Use a “closed collective” model: this is a membership-based policy with no open meetings. Don’t allow new people to walk in off the street. Instead, develop a process for researching and vetting people who want to be involved.

One extreme option is to function as a group but not give yourself a name, and not tell fellow activists what you are doing. Once you have a name, fascists will try to figure out “who is in the group.” Not having a public face makes your actions even more anonymous. If people are being targeted, for example after a conflict with fascists, a publicly known group will draw attention first. If there is no public presence, or no formalized organization with a name, this will complicate the process of identification and retaliation.

Consider using a cell model whenever possible, in which one member meets with others when required. For example, you might need a public face to talk to other groups, club owners to convince them to cancel Nazi bands, to meet people to receive information they don’t want to share online, orto table at events. To limit exposure, make sure one person is designated as the semi-public face, even if they never admit they are a group member. This limits how many people can be exposed.


As part of staying anonymous, you should carefully manage your online presence. We recommend only using Twitter; it limits the amount of personal information you expose and makes tracking your connections more difficult. Facebook presents numerous, major risks for the security of your members and supporters.A recent doxxing of “antifa” was the result of information bigots culled from people who had interacted with an antifa facebook page. The targets were not even antifa, just sympathizers, but they were identified via facebook.

Websites imply that your group is more legitimate, and should be used especially if you want to doxx local fascists or put up group statements. Again, if you don’t have a group name, you may choose not to have any online presence.

Individual members, when possible, should get off social media, especially facebook, altogether. Where they don’t, they should maintain strictly separate personal and political accounts.


Antifa groups engage in self-defense work. While most antifa work does not involve direct confrontation, and the amount of confrontation varies from group to group, sometimes it is necessary. Your group members and the supporters around you should be prepared.

We recommend regular martial arts training for anti-fascists, as well as for the larger radical community. It’s a good place to meet people who are serious about this.

Find out what the laws are in your city and state about a variety of self-defense weapons and make sure to practice with, and carry, everything that is legal— whether that is pepper spray, retractable clubs, or other devices.In some cases, what is legal to carry for self-defense is considered assault with a weapon if used in an offensive capacity.Laws vary community by community and ideally a lawyer should be consulted regarding this.


A word about guns. Ask yourself: Can another weapon suffice instead of a gun? If you do choose to own guns, engage in regular practice. A gun can give you a false sense of security and if you’re not in practice, you’re more likely to be injured than if you don’t have one. Keep in mind that gun shops and range owners themselves are often connected to right-wing political groups.

If you choose to engage in firearms training, make sure everyone understands basic gun safety—as well as local laws—when it comes to owning, transporting, and potentially using firearms.

Above all, don’t front with images of guns unless you own and are ready to use them. Which is better: to pretend that you have guns and then have one pulled on you when you are unarmed, or for fascists to try to roll on you without realizing you are armed?

However, if right-wingers have been threatening people in your area with guns, or have already shot people, we recommend you arming yourselves immediately and getting concealed carry permits, where possible.For more information, see “Know Your (Gun) Rights! A Primer for Radicals.”


A diversity of people are joining the anti-fascist movement today, which both strengthens it and broadens its base. However, people may float into your circles who put your core goals and membership at risk, and so here are some warnings:

1) Some people use the antifa name as a way to promote their specific political views, especially members of some ideologically driven left-wing groups. If someone is more interested in recruiting people to their own group than doing anti-fascist work, get rid of them.Same with someone who seem to be interested in being publicly identified as antifa so they can gain public acclaim. Real antifa strive to remain anonymous—that’s what the masks are for!

2) Insist on mutual respect. Some people will be more interested in identity politics than others, and some people will be new to all of these discussions. This diversity is a healthy development, but establish a minimum level of respect that must be observed for all group members. Disputes over patriarchal behavior tore antifa groups apart in the 1990s. Work to create a culture of mutual respect and support that can also help bring in new people.

3) Avoid those who insist you must “follow their leadership” because of their identity, or who lay out a preset plan based on experiences from a decade or more ago.The Far Right threatens a broad range of identities. Also, this is a new situation, and nobody knows what the correct course of action is.

4) Be wary of people who just want to fight. Physically confronting and defending against fascists is a necessary part of anti-fascist work, but is not the only or even necessarily the most important part. Macho posturing and an overemphasis on picking fights and physical combat can be reckless, un-strategic, and unnecessarily dangerous for your group.

5) Drop people who have loose lips and openly talk about illegal actions around people they don’t know, or who pressure newer and younger people to engage in illegal activities. Antifa work is intense and potentially dangerous: We face threats from both the state and the fascists. If someone in your group likes to brag and talk about various illegal actions they have done or plan to do, especially when they are in public settings (including meetings or people who aren’t in the core group), quickly remove them.

Be particularly vigilant against anyone who attempts to pressure young or new members to carry out actions that might put them in unnecessary danger. This is a classic provocateur move with the potential to bring a group down.

Make good group dynamics and security culture part of your chapter’s inner dynamics and when people make mistakes, remind them in a good way that they have done so. For those that can’t get with the program, show them the door.


Over the years, we have dealt with a variety of infiltrators. Sometimes they are random contacts. Sometimes they are fence sitters in the punk rock and skinhead scenes who are known to people in both fascist and anti-fascist circles. On one occasion, a black man tried to get involved with antifa groups, but ended up being affiliated with a neo-Nazi party and was feeding them information. AltRight supporters in particular can be from the same social demographic as many left-wing activists, and have infiltrated several meetings and demonstrations, including January 2017 planning meetings in DC before the protests at the inauguration. You will have to screen out and deal with them.

If people contact you and ask to meet, ask yourself: Do you need to meet with them? Vet them first. Consider asking them to show ID or reveal other personal information before any in-person meetings.


The state sees anti-fascists as an enemy. Activists will be monitored and the state will not hesitate to jail people. Until now, U.S. antifa have been spared the harsh repression that the animal rights and radical environmental direct action groups received, which included terrorism charges, long sentences, and harsh prison conditions. However, because Trump is allied with the AltRight, this has the possibility of changing soon, and antifa may face increased targeting on a federal level.

In the past, police tended to show up in large groups at public demonstrations to prevent clashes between antifa and racists. This may no longer be the case (as happened in Anaheim in February 2016), or police may start openly taking the sides of racists in public conflicts. This happened in Seattle in January 2017 when an AltRight supporter shot an activist at a demonstration; police refused to arrest the shooter.

Prepare legal support ahead of time; make sure you know a lawyer who is willing to represent anyone who is arrested.A trial lawyer, if necessary, can be found later. Get used to doing political prisoner support.Many anti-fascists are in prison around the world, and they would like our support now.Remember: It may be your turn later. Contribute to the International Anti-Fascist Defense Fund, and apply to it if members need financial help with legal, medical, or other expenses.


The anti-fascist movement has come from multiple theoretical currents; it is based on an agreement on tactics, not ideological uniformity. In the U.S., most activists are anarchist, although a few are Maoist or anti-state Marxists. (In other countries, the movement is predominately Marxist.)There is a general agreement to live and let live regarding political disagreements that would be divisive in other activist circles.

Other than tracking and countering fascists and white supremacists, it’s your choice what your group wants to focus on. Some antifa groups pay a varying level of attention to other radical right-wing forces, such as the anti-immigrant movement, the Patriot and militia movement, Islamophobes, Men’s Rights Activists, homophobic organizers, etc. Regarding what radical movements you actively support, it’s also your choice who you want to make your ties to.Today, this is commonly to Black Lives Matter and other activism against police oppression of the Black community, immigrant and refugee movements, work with prisoners, and Rojava solidarity work.

Working with other groups can be challenging. It is not uncommon for liberal activists to immediately smear anti-fascists as violent thugs who delegitimize their movement, and others will be willing to inform the authorities if they suspect illegal actions are being taken. However, a few will be sympathetic—and we have run into a number of people who privately have told us they were antifa in the past and understand the need for this approach.

However, in general we have found that, unless there is an existing relationship with a more mainstream organization, they will almost always reject collaboration if you approach them as an antifa group. It’s best to build relationships prior to any request for working together, or if this can’t be done, to approach them under a different name (“Las Cruces United Against Racism”). In general relationships with Black Lives Matter and immigrants rights groups have been positive. However, be sure that any conflicts with fascists are done in a way that does not draw police repression onto these activists: keep a separation in time and space.

On the national level, your group can affiliate with the Torch Network if you are in agreement with their points of unity: www.torchantifa.org.


Now that you have a group, what do you do?

1) Establish an online presence

If you are a public group, establish an online presence. Again, we recommend limiting this to a webpage and/or twitter. If you make a facebook group for an event, make sure you set the invite list to private: many people have been doxxed based on information from invites. For some more ideas on basic online security, see: https://itsgoingdown.org/time-beef-defense-against-far-right-doxxing.

2) Start monitoring

Find out about your local Far Right groups and collect information about them, including organizations, names, pictures, addresses, and work places. These can include AltRight activists, KKK, Nazi skinheads, neo-Nazi parties, suit-and-tie white nationalists, anti-Semites, Islamophobes, anti-immigration activists, Patriot and militia groups, and others. The SPLC’s Hate Map lists groups by state, although itwill be incomplete. You can also look at established national groups such as Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Partyand see if they have local chapters in your area. Also, reading reports by other anti-fascist groups may give insight into who is recruiting in your area.

3) Stickering and wheatpasting

If racist groups are stickering or flyering in neighborhoods, organizepatrolsto tear them down. Use a scraping tool, as there have been occasional instances of razors being placed behind the stickers. Create anti-fascist stickering, flyering, wheatpasting, and graffiti campaigns of your own.

4) Doxxing

After doing your research, present information about racist organizing in your community. The information you release should present enough information to convince an average reader that the target is clearly a racist. Information should include, if possible: a picture, home address, phone number, social media profiles, and employment information. Be sure to include organizational affiliations and screenshots showing concrete evidence of racist and fascist views. Follow up the doxx with a pressure campaign: call their work and try to get them fired, and inform their neighbors through flyering or door-to-door campaigns.

When you present your intel, you’ll have showed your hand, however, and generally it’s difficult to collect more after that. Also be aware that you will enrage your target by naming them: you might have been ignored as a public group for a year doing antifa stuff, but once you refer to a local racist by name, they will fixate on you.

Make sure your intel is correct. You will lose credibility and create unnecessary enemies if you list a home address or work place that the fascist is no longer associated with. The majority of research can be done online, but some things can only be verified in the real world.

5) Event shutdowns

Pressure venues to cancel racist or fascist events. Make sure you have your dossier on the subject prepared beforehand to present, as the first question will always be “How do you know they are a racist?” Approach venues with a friendly phone call, as often they are not informed about the politics of events at their space. However, if they don’t cancel immediately, they will almost always need to be pressured. Collect phone numbers, emails, and social media contacts and call for a shutdown. (We have found that it is helpful to make easily sharable graphics and short videos.) Threaten a boycott of the venue if they event goes on, and follow through on this. In Montreal, one racist concert was cancelled after antifa physically blocked the entrance.

6) Self-defense trainings

Set up an antifa gym or regular self-defense trainings. Some groups set up two parallel ones: one mixed gender, and one women/trans/gender non-conforming folks. In addition to providing skills, trainings are good ways to increase confidence and meet new people. (An antifa gym network exists in Europe.)

7) Events: benefits and tabling

If your group has a public presence, table at events with anti-fascist literature, stickers, buttons, patches, etc. This is particularly important in cultural scenes where fascists are recruiting, to help organize resistance to them, as well as to reach out to new participants and pressure fence sitters.

If you have a friendly political situation, throw benefits to raise funds. Concerts are a favorite, but be creative! The anti-fascist movement is going to need a lot of money, and it’s better to collect it before rather than after it’s needed. Also get in the habit of having letter writing nights and doing other support work for anti-fascist and related political prisoners. Consider donating to the International Anti-Fascist Defense Fund, which collects funds for prisoners around the world.

8) Demonstrations

If racists are having public rallies, organize mass demonstrations against them with allied groups who are willing to work with you. You can also join other demonstrations, such as Black Lives Matter or for immigrants and refugees, with antifa flags and banners—though he sure to be respectful of the organizers and not get in front of their message. Take photos with antifa banners, blur the faces, and put them on social media.

In general, antifa work should be a certain set of practices within the broader radical movement against white supremacy in particular, but hierarchy and oppression in general. Antifascism is not a stand-alone ideology; it is a piece of a whole, just as prisoner support is. Fascists, after all, don’t just threaten people of color—they also are against Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ people, immigrants and refugees, feminists, leftists, etc. Make sure that antifascism is a part of the other movements in our society towards liberation.


Especially if you are new to the kinds of activism where police and others may be targeting you, be sure to familiarize yourself and your comrades with security culture protocols, and to implement online security measures, from the start. It’s common for groups to be more open early on and closed in later; try to avoid this dynamic by starting out with your cards close to your chest, and keep playing them that way throughout the game.

It is best that individual members leave social media. This is a double-edged sword, but it will provide more protection if antifa avoid facebook and similar platforms.

Also keep in mind that some security measures are primarily aimed at keeping you anonymous from the fascists, but might not do much to shield you from the deeper resources of the state. The FBI has much greater surveillance resources than the local police, who in turn have more resources than your local white power crew.

Some applications that can help you with security include Signal (text and calls), KeePassX (password manager), TOR (internet browser), Pad.riseup.net (“real time collaboration of text documents”), Jitsi.org (web conferences), PGP (email & document encryption), Mailvelope (encryption for webmail),OwnCloud (alternative to dropbox and googledocs),and PowerBase (database solution). In addition, spend some time removing yourself from search directories.

An extended discussion of security culture and digital security is beyond the scope of this primer, but starting points have been included in the reading list below.



Security Culture: A Handbook for Activists

What is Security Culture?

Security Culture for Activists


How to Trump-Proof Your Electronic Communications

Digital Security Tips for Protesters

Security in a Box: Digital security tools and tactics

YOUR PHONE IS A COP: An OpSec/InfoSec Primer for the Dystopian Present

YOUR PHONE IS A COP 2: Getting Arrested with Your Phone

Time to Beef up Defense Against Far-Right Doxxing

Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment

How to Remove Yourself From People Search Directories


It’s Going Down

Anti-Fascist News

Three Way Fight

Idavox / One People’s Project


International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund

Global Antifa Prisoner List


TORCH Antifascist Network

Affinity Groups: Essential Building Block of Anarchist Organization


#TrumpTheRegime: Resources and Ongoing Resistance to Trump and the Far-Right

Bloc Party: How to Join the Resistance Interview & Zine

Recipes for Disaster: An Anarchist Cookbook

How to set up an anti-fascist group

Resources for anti-fascist action


julij 14, 2017

Reportback #NoG20: A week in #Hamburg

After being under siege for weeks, the army of cops and the delegations of the G20 member states finally left Hamburg. Apart from necessary and legitimate resistance against social injustice and capitalism, its important to know that the German state did everything they could to escalate the NoG20 protests. One could say the state used the G20 summit to see how far they can go. Its to early to say how things will develope in the coming months but fact is that politicians are trying to use the clashes in Hamburg to go after everything what they consider as the left. For this article we used a lot of information from our NoG20 live blogs, an article by Lower Class Magazin and other reliable sources. Last but not least; the results of the summit shows that the global elite are devided, for the first time they did not manage to agree on a final statement with all subjects in it.


Image: Clashes in the Schanze district at July 7 (Image: Lower Class Magazin)

You will find all No G20 stories here.

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Many people were surprised that the German government decided to host this years G20 summit in Hamburg . There are many active autonomous and other leftwing groups in the harbour city. So protests were expected from the very beginning. In the months before the summit politicians stated that there would be no ban zones for protests, Mayor Olaf Scholz even said that the G20 summit would be “a festival of democracy”. From the beginning disinformation was part of the strategy of Germany’s ruling class, who seem to live in a parallel society that is drifting further and further away from real life.

In the weeks before the G20 summit, an army of cops occupied Hamburg. People were randomly checked by cops on a daily basis and there were helicopters in the air. The athmosphere in the city changed, there was growing anger, even many conservative CDU voters wanted the cops to leave. At the end of June first activsts from outside Hamburg started to arrive and beside the “no protest zones”, it became clear that the state’s strategy was to demobilize and obstruct the NoG20 protests by attacking its infrastructure. Police authorities stated again and again that they won’t allow protest camps were people can sleep, eat, debate and regenerate, knowing that such camps are a key element for protests that will last for multiple days.

On July 1 a convoy from Wendland (Germany) was stopped and searched by cops in Hamburg-Harburg. After more than 3 hours the cops announced that they wont allow the convoy to drive to the Schanze district (First Tweet below). Although the red and blue ban zones were not in effect yet, the cops were already starting to restrict the freedom of movement. This was one of the first repressive actions against NoG20 activists where cops caried out an operation which is in breah of law. Not really surprising but the way the cops again and again openly breached laws before the protests even started was the preface of things to come.


Image: On July 1 a convoy from Wendland (Germany) was stopped and searched by cops

In the night of July 1 on July 2 the administrative court of Hamburg decided that police authorities have to allow tents to sleep in the protest camp at Elbpark Entenwerder after the verdict by the constitutional court earlier this week. The court stated that activists can start building the camp on July 2 at 12:00pm. But the cops decided to ignore the court verdict and blocked the road to Elbpark Entenwerder at 11:45am.

At 12:28pm lawyer Klingner spoke to activists in front of Elbpark Entenwerder which was still blocked by cops, he said “this is a coup against the judiciary.” Shortly after that activists started to build a camp at the street in front of the blockade by cops. During the standoff between cops and activists in front of the entrance of Elbpark Entenwerder, cops in full riot gear violently stole a shield with the text “Dudde you old toilet brush”. A little bit later they repeated this action after activists brought a new shield with the same text. At 02:47pm representatives of local authorities came to the standoff to negotiate with the organisers of the camp. At 03:00pm the negotiations were over because local authorities ignored the court verdict by refusing to allow tents to sleep and only half of the space for the camp. Camp organisers had to refuse this unlawful “offer.” Instead the activists decided to stay on the street.

On the same day there was also a reformist demo in the city center of Hamburg. After the demo people started to build a protest camp at the square in front of city hall. At 08:00pm cops started to evict that camp. Shortly after that cops suddenly gave up their blockade at the entrance of Elbpark Entenwerder. Immediately people entered the park and started to build up the protest camp.

But the cops continued to ignore the court verdict. Although they finally allowed people to build up the protest camp, police authorities stated that they would not allow tents to sleep at Elbpark Entenwerder. Again and again police spokespersons stated that they will never ever allow a protest camp where “militant rioters” can retreat, eat, sleep and regenerate. They kept giving statements like this although they knew this was nothing else than a coup against the judiciary. We dont want to celebrate the court verdict here, but its important to know that politicians and the director of the G20 police operation, Dudde, openly breached the rule of law which they claim to protect. About one hour after the cops gave up their blockade, they threatened to evict the camp again. Around 11:00pm hundreds of riot cops in full gear stormed the camp to confiscate 11 tents. Journalist Marteimer reports that several people including journalists were injured during the police operation in Entenwerder. Her press card was slapped and she was beaten in her belly. She also got pepper sprayed. A cameraman was told by a cops: “Film me and you will collect”. When Marteimer asked a police spokesman why she and other journalists were attacked, he said “Yes, and? I can’t do anything about that.” Police authorities asked the court for a new verdict and stated they would CONSIDER to respect a new verdict. This was unprecedented in Germany.

Several people were detained during the violent action by cops and one of the injured people was badly injured and brought to the intesive care unit of a hospital in Hamburg. This person is still in an artificial coma. This all happened days befor the first stone was thrown. The actions and statements by state authorities and its representatives made clear that they would escalate things. They did everything to supress any kind of protests, including peaceful protests. Public opinion was now turning against the violent and illegal actions of the police and Hamburg’s state interior ministery. Although the authorities did not change their position, activists didn’t gave up and published a statement with an ultimatum demanding to allow activist to build up camps until July 4, 10:00am or live with the fact that activists would start building wild camps across Hamburg.

The ultimatum passed without any reaction of local authorities. A few churches allowed people to build camps on their property. The “Schauspielhaus” theater offered places to sleep after it was occupied and football (soccer) club St. Pauli allowed people to sleep in their stadium. Although riot cops violently evicted a wild protest camp near Wohlers park (video below), it was a major defeat for the state and its lackeys in uniform.

In the evening of July 5, tweets were going round that local authorities didn’t impose any stipulations to the organisers of the anti-capitalistic Welcome to Hell demo. The director of the G20 police operations, Dudde, was also responsible for the police attack against the Rote Flora demo in 2013. More and more people realised that Dudde would not let the Welcome to Hell demo march. In the evening cops again and again attacked peaceful people who were mainly partying in Hamburg during and after the “Rave against G20” demo. Considering the amount of people and the ongoing police attacks things were astonishing peaceful on the side of the protesters.

At July 6 the Welcome to Hell demo wanted to march in downtown Hamburg. At 04:00pm several thousand people started gathering at Fischmarkt. The crowd was growing fast, around 20.000 people came to the demo. After several speeches and live music, the front bloc with a Welcome to Hell banner started to line up at 07:00pm. The front of the demo was formed by a 2000 people strong black bloc. Many people with masks but peaceful, not even firecrackers went off. Somebody who had drunken way to much alcohol and threw a bottle, was even excluded from the black bloc. Behind the front bloc thousands were waiting to start the long weekend of protests against the G20. People started to march but didn’t came far, the cops stopped the demo after about 50 meters. 4 water canons and many many riot squats in front and at the side of the demo intimidated and threatened the protesters. At the beginning the cops were willing to negotiate: “Put off your masks and you can march.” A big part of the black bloc actually did put off their masks but instead of allowing the demo to continue,  the cops suddenly attacked the demo with water canons and many riot squats without any warning. They kicked, beaten and peppersprayed and pulled people from a wall. The masked riot cops in full gear started an orgy of violence in a way that, and thats not an overstatement, it wouldn’t have surprised anybody who was at the scene, when people would have been killed. After the cops had violently dispersed the crowds, they started to hunt people around Fischmarkt. During this hunting scenes, people started to defend themseves for the first time after days full of police violence. Bottles and stones were thrown to the unleashed goon squads in uniform. Hundreds of people were injured during this police attack, a few of them badly. It was a legitimate and necessary act of selfdefense.

It was interesting to see that the cops didn’t seem to have a plan how to handle the outflow of people after the attack. Thousands of people moved to other parts of the city center, where others were on the streets as well. The cops started to lose control. During the night hours there were first clashes, the first windows were smashed and the first cars were set on fire. Considering the scale and the brutality of the police attack against the demo, these first clashes were not really big.

In the morning of July 7 a group of about 100 people attacked several police vans, shops and banks in the Altona district. Several cars were set on fire. An eyewitness told NDR that the cops ambled behind the fully masked group and that he had the impression that the cops did not want to interfere.

At the same time people tried to block the harbour and the socalled “red zone”. From different points of Hamburg people started to march towards the locations where they wanted to block the G20 summit. Although theses marches and blockades were all peaceful, again the cops didn’t allow any kind of protests. Even outside the “red zone” the cops stopped and ruthlessly beaten up every protester they could get. Protesters from the camp in Hamburg Altona had to deal with at least 15 people who were badly injured after a brutal attack by thugs in uniform.  Riot cops were hunting people and several people tried to escape and climbed over a scaffold. The goons in uniform pushed the rest of the protesters against the scaffold  which then collapsed. At least 15 people were badly injured; broken arms, legs and ankles. In the morning hours German finance minister Wolfgang Schäubele had to cancel a G20 meeting because of the blockades. Melania Trump could not take part at the partner program of the G20 and a Japanese delegation was blocked and had to return to their hotel.

In the afternoon thousands started to gather at Millerntor for the second wave of blockades. People wanted to march towards the Elbphilharmonie, where the G20 heads of state wanted to enjoy Beethoven and drink champaign. Again cops attacked peaceful protesters to prevent any kind of protests. People were beaten up with batons, pepper sprayed and kicked. The cops were going crazy again in a way even European hooligans would shock. From this moment people started to defend themselves again, in order to keep the cops on a distance. This all happened befor the massive clashes on friday night. Before shops were looted and before the deployment of SEK squads with machine guns. The video below shows the parallel society the heads of states are living in.

On friday night cops were confronted with the first massive and militant response  at Pferdemarkt and the Schanze district. Again riot cops were hunting people at Pferdemarkt, masked activists started to build barricades and attacked the cops and water cannons. People fought back: determined, organized and again and again. First they forced cops to leave the Schanze district and later the cops were forced to retreat to the uttermost part of Pferdemarkt. Immediately people secured the streets with barricades after they had driven out the cops. The determined resistance was also able to keep water canons on a distance. Again and again the cops tried to take these streets back, but without success. The riot squads that were send in had to retreat multiple times after being attacked with stones and bottles by masked militants. A little bit later the first shop was looted. The first shops that were looted were clear targets; REWE (supermarket chain in Germany), Budnikowsky, a boutique, a Carhart-store and an 02 shop. None of them long-established shops in the Schanze district, but all part of the ongoing gentrification in the district. But from that moment on things started to go wrong. Instead of destroying the bottles with alcohol in the shops that were looted (a must in situations like these), people took them and started to drink. With free alcohol available other people came to the district. More and more organised militant groups retreated and instead there were more and more onlookers, machos and drunken people on the streets. After the organised groups had left the area. even a few fascists appeared in the Schanze district, normally a nogo area for them. The attacks against the cops became uncoordinated, daring and useless. The language became raw and a few journalists were attacked. From that moment on the cops could have easily retaken the Schanze district without any special squads with machine guns. There were no organised groups anymore to defend the district against the cops. There were many people in the area around Rote Flora, but most of them were partying, others were sitting together to have a chat. Many people were dancing on music that came out of open windows from neighbours. The cops were observing the situation from a distance and from the air and decided not to interfere. In other words; The cops were watching when people started looting small shops and people who were drunk started to attack neighbours. Finally, after hours, the cops started to clear the Schanze district. The deployment of German SEK squads and Austrian Cobra squads with machine guns wasn’t necessary, which was probably the reason why police authorities “asked” journalists not to film the police operation. They also “asked” journalists not to takes pictures. There are reports that SEK and Cobra cops pointed their guns on neighbours (Facebook link) and journalists in a few cases. The police operation didn’t take very long and there was no serious resistance anymore.

The escalation by police authorities and the massive clashes on the night before, did not scare of 75.000 people (some reports even estimated more than 100.000 people attended) to come to the final NoG20 demo. The cops attacked a huge kurdish block because of a giant YPG flag (which is banned in Germany), but had to retreat again and people could continue the mostly peaceful march with the YPG flag.

The G20 summit itself had no spectacular results. With China, France, Germany, the UK and USA the worlds biggest arms exporters are part of the G20. In the final document of the G20 summit in Hamburg is written about what the G20 call “forced migration”: “We seek to address the root causes of displacement.” But ofcourse that doesn’t mean the G20 member states will stop exporting arms in war regions like for instance the middle east. Capitalism has many victims. The neo-liberal policies of the G20 causes poverty in many parts of the world, which are not only forcing people in the south to migrate, but also creates a growing number of people being marginalized in the north. If we take the G20 by its word, sentences in the G20 summit final document like the sentence above sound like a request to abolish the causes of “forced migration” which can only mean that we have to abolish capitalism. We should continue to work on that.

Today, Wednesday July 12, there are still 51 people imprisoned. On Saturday July 15 there will be demonstrations against repression to demand the release of all prisoners. One of the demonstrations will start at 02:00pm (14:00) at train station (Bahnhof) Bern, Switzerland. A second demonstration (Facebook link) will take place in front of the JVA prison in Hamburg-Billwerder, 04:00pm (16:00) at the Dweerlandweg.




junij 28, 2017

#NoG20 Plan of Action for the International Anticapitalist Demonstration

Latest information about the Welcome to Hell demonstration in Hamburg on July 6th.


Originally published by G20 Welcome To Hell

You will find all No G20 stories here.

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Goal of the demonstration

With a large international anticapitalist demonstration we would like to offer the many people who are coming to the protests against the G20 summit to Hamburg a platform for our varied and fundamental criticism of the ruling circumstances on the eve of the direct actions against the infrastructure of the summit and the capital. When the most powerful government officials and the greatest war-drifters come to Hamburg St. Pauli, we will already be there: in our camps and centers, on the street, in the houses, in the neighborhood, and all the city. The left-radical pre-evening demo on Thursday shall be a first strong expression of our irreconcilable criticism.

After we built and settled our camps in the city in the days before, the summit of solidarity and the first gatherings and actions took place, we see the international anticapitalist demonstration as a prelude to the „hot phase“ of the direct actions and blockades against the G20 summit. We would like to use the demonstration to invite our international comrades and those who are still arriving to Hamburg to come to the city early and to make visible for the first time how many people oppose the Hamburg summit on the streets and see the enormous strength that we can develop together. It is also a matter of trying together at an early stage, of reevaluating our areas of movement and action, of reacting rebelliously and relentlessly to the repression that is taking place during the summit, whether it is in the form of precontrols, massive police presence or preventing demonstrations.


Preliminary checks? Not with us!

We are firmly assuming that the cops, as announced, will carry out so-called pre-controls during the summit and so also before our demo. This means that they will try to search your bags and you for „dangerous items“ as well as „protective clothing“. These include e.g. protectors, helmets, but also hose cloths, etc. This practice is so far not practiced in Hamburg and is intended to be an intimidation attempt and an authority demonstration. In other cities, this practice is already repressive normality. We do not want to accept such controls and we will resist them! So do not just walk in affinity groups during the demos and actions, but also go there in groups. Take the measures! The larger the groups, the more difficult the execution! We suspect that the controls will take place widely in the area around our showground. Thus, expect controls even if you arrive with the subway on the Reeperbahn etc. Be solid and do not be intimidated! Support people who are to be controlled and block control points!

Fulminant rally

For a great kick-off at the Fischmarkt St. Pauli from 4 pm, we invited numerous comrades and activists from all over the world to tell us about their local battles. On a large stage, different live bands will appear. The pre-demo rally is a fixed and important part of our demo. Here, we will convey our contents loudly and confidently, and hope to convince some who are perhaps still unsure about the demo to come to the Fischmarkt.

The Goldenen Zitronen, Neonschwarz, Johnny Mauser & Captain Gips will play live on the stage from 4 pm and accompany the prepared program with further surprises. On the edge of the rally, there will also be soli drinks and food. The concerts and contributions begin on time at 4 pm !

Activists from different countries are reporting of their struggles and self-organization, of state repression, of sexism and homophobia, of racism, of anti-semitism and of the old and new far-right movements. We are united in the struggle against capitalist conditions, which we no longer want to endure.

At 6:30 pm, the program will move to the loudspeaker and the demonstration will start in the Hafenstrasse at Park Fiction.

The demo

From 7 pm, the demonstration will start moving into Hafenstraße. We are striving for a large, loud, diverse and solidarity demonstration, which runs its planned route through St. Pauli. For a colorful expression, a large organized black bloc will attend, which will walk at the front of the demo. We will make our resistance visible in the city. On the demonstration there will be several blocs (including a FLTI * bloc) and several loudspeakers. We call for the creation of affinity groups for the demo and the coming days and to network and organize as well as possible with further groups and blocs. Especially for the front part of the demonstration we urge to go in chains. Our goal is to carry out our demonstration as planned. We want to walk with the demo, we want to be loud and angry. We wish the demo as a militant joint prelude to the days of resistance. We will not let us harass by the cops and want to find a collective approach to the harassment that they have for us. In this sense, we would also like to have a responsible attitude towards our formulated goal for the demo.

At this point we would also like to emphasize once more that we want to be in the streets with comrades at our side with a clear head and have no understanding for the consumption of alcohol and drugs at our rally and demonstration!

If the cops attack the demonstration or individuals, we will defend ourselves solidly and responsibly and try to continue the demonstration as long as it is reasonable.

In the event of an early demolition of the demonstration or the scenario that the police do not let us get out of the Hafenstrasse, we call for a massive flow into the streets and squares in the neighborhood!

Plan B – Reclaim St. Pauli

It would not be the first time that the police declared St. Pauli and the Schanzenviertel as occupied zone and prevented registered demonstrations. But we also remember vividly the powerful demos for the Lampedusa group or the effective and uncontrollable protests against the so called “danger area”. Whether wild demos, rallies or reclaim-the-streets-party – we take over the „blue zone“!

The demo should be a joint prelude for all of us, which will enable us to start the next few days. This moment of collective self-empowerment – within the exclusion scenario that the city and the cops have been trying to create for weeks – we also want to go in the case of Plan B. That is why we call to keep together in a case of the premature termination of our demo, to be spontaneous and unpredictable and to move in large groups, loud and visible. Because we take the street when, how and where we want!

For those who need a retreat in such a scenario to come down, discuss and orient themselves, we point out that there will be different information points throughout the city throughout the summit. But please respect that these points are not supposed to be places from which actions are started, as these should be safe retreats for people who need them.

Stalk in large groups or as a demo through the district and invite everyone to come along. On the eve of the blockades we explore St. Pauli with our friends from all over the world and show that we are there! We take the city back by being together on the road, unforgiving with the existing conditions and full of longing for a solidarity society. We can not be stopped, either by the shitty cops or by a „blue zone“ free of fundamental rights!


junij 27, 2017

Anarhisti i imigranti na pragu socijalne revolucije u Grčkoj

Dok tvrđavu Europu od izbjeglica ‘brani’ Turska, grčki anarhisti u Solunu i Ateni u skvotiranim javnim zgradama stvaraju samoorganizirane, solidarne centre za prihvat izbjeglica i migranata. Nedavna represija državnog aparata nad izbjegličkim skovotima, u situaciji grčke krize koja je u nekoliko proteklih godina poprimila jasne karakteristike klasnog rata, nosi u sebi iskru socijalne revolucije.


Foto: upute u skvotu Orfanotrofio

U Bruxellesu je 20. ožujka 2016. postignut dogovor u između EU i Turske kojim se adresira problem izbjegličke krize. Ugovor definira protokol po kojem se ilegalni imigranti u Grčkoj, ukoliko ne zatraže azil ili im on bude odbijen, deportiraju u Tursku. Za svakog tako deportiranog sirijskog imigranta, EU se obvezuje primiti drugog iz turskih izbjegličkih kampova. Dogovor je potpomognut omotnicom u iznosu od 3 milijarde eura, liberaliziranjem EU viznog režima za turske državljane, te obnovom pregovora za članstvo Turske u Uniji.

Paralelno s potpisivanjem diplomatskih sporazuma odvijala se i militarizacija državnih granica. Nakon početnih iskaza europske međunarodne solidarnosti, granice su se brzo zatvorile te podigle ograde i bodljikava žica. Pored toga, redovnoj graničnoj policiji društvo u patrolama počele su praviti razne vojne i paravojne jedinice (primjerice u Mađarskoj i Bugarskoj). U svega nekoliko dana, tisuće izbjeglica i imigranata postaju ilegalci zatočeni na srpskom, grčkom ili makedonskom teritoriju. Privremeni (i u velikoj mjeri samoorganizirani) kamp Idomeni na grčko-makedonskoj granici prisilno je zatvoren, a izbjeglice koje su u njemu našle trenutno utočište protjerane su prema Ateni ili prihvatnim kampovima diljem Grčke.

No, razdoblje potrebno da se europska birokratska mašinerija pokrene za raspoređivanje svojih službenika (nekih 2300 sudaca, zaštitara i prevoditelja), grčki anarhisti i pripadnici antiautoritarnog pokreta iskoristili su za organiziranje izbjeglica i imigranta po skvotiranim javnim zgradama. Ti transformirani društveni centri u kratko vrijeme uspijevaju primiti izbjeglice i to na način koji je po humanosti iznad standarda u detencijskim centrima. No, budući da djeluju u okvirima borbenog i klasnog samoorganiziranja, izvan postojećih državnih i civilnih struktura, postali su prijetnja postojećem poretku. Utoliko je državno nasilje koje je uslijedilo protiv njih bilo očekivano.

Slučaj solunskog skvota Orfanotrofio

U prosincu 2015. grupa anarhista, dotad angažiranih na pomaganju izbjeglica u kampu Idomeni, zauzima napuštenu zgradu nekadašnjeg solunskog sirotišta ‘Megas Alexandros’ u vlasništvu Grčke pravoslavne crkve. Sirotište skvotiraju s jasnom namjerom da od njega učine sklonište i sigurno mjesto za okupljanje imigranata i lokalnog stanovišta, kolektivni prostor koji će poticati jednakost i samoorganizaciju bez nadzora državnih institucija ili nevladinih organizacija.


Foto: Orfanotrofio, Thessaloniki

Vlastitim snagama, anarhisti, lokalno stanovništvo i imigranti od zapuštenog prostora stvaraju društveni centar Orfanotrofio s 80 kreveta, kuhinjom, ljekarnom, prostorom za djecu, kafićem i vrtom! Organiziranje svakodnevice centra kao i solidarnih ili političkih akcija provodilo se na tjednim sastancima svih stanara i korisnika centra. Pokrenuti su redoviti sastanci s pravnicima oko sređivanja potrebne dokumentacije za imigrante, kao i akcije prikupljanja solidarne pomoći u vidu hrane ili odjeće, u čijem su doniranju naviše sudjelovali susjedi, također aktivni i u društvenom životu centra. Uzimajući u obzir jezične barijere, svi su sastanci bili višejezični, uz pomoć volontera-prevoditelja. U svakom aspektu djelovanja i općenito života centra Orfanotrofeia vidljiva je antifašistička ideja da se nikoga, bili oni izbjeglice ili imigranti, ne diskriminira zbog njihove vjere, zemlje porijekla, obiteljskog ili pravnog statusa.

Samo 7 mjeseci nakon pokretanja centra, krajem srpnja 2016., policijska operacija prekida rad Orfanotrofia te Nikisa i Hurriye, druga dva solunska centra za izbjeglice i imigrante. U evikciji prisilno su izbačeni svi trenutni stanovnici centra, njih 50-tak, pri čemu su 4 državljana EU i jedan državljanin Grčke uhićeni i optuženi za nelegalni posjed i uništavanje privatne imovine! Potpomognuto crkvenim obećanjima da će na istom mjestu pokrenuti gradnju novog humanitarnog centra bivše je sirotište, koje je bilo privremeni dom za mnoge izbjeglice, teškom mehanizacijom srušeno i pretvoreno u šutu u samo par vrućih solunskih dana.


Foto: rušenje skvota Orfanotrofeio

Iznenađujuće, petorica optuženih oslobođeni su svih optužbi na sudskom ročištu održanome 31. svibnja 2017. U prilog presudi išla je i činjenica da je gotovo godinu dana nakon evikcije Orfanotrofeija, na mjestu nekadašnjeg skvota i dalje ležala ruševina. Obećanja pravoslavne Crkve o građevinskoj investiciji prokazana je kao puka farizejska laž te je postalo jasno da je motiv rušenja društvenog centra i izbacivanja imigranata bilo nešto drugo. Cilj operacije bio je, dakako, eliminiranje društvenog potencijala da se mimo tržišta, države i religije organizira solidarna zajednica koja nadilazi nacionalne i jezične barijere, te spaja lokalno stanovništvo i strance u njihovoj svakodnevnoj borbi.

Otpor u srcu Atene

Akciju evikcije skvotova za imigrante policija nije ograničila samo na Solun. Atena je krajem prošle  i početkom ove godine također bila poprište nasilnih konfrontacija između interventne policije i samoorganiziranih kolektiva. Situaciju u kojoj se država obračunava s anarhistima i izbjeglicama fašisti su jedva dočekali. U kolovozu 2016. molotovljevim koktelima napali su atenski skvot Notara 26 u kojem se nalazilo oko 130 osoba, mahom izbjeglica s djecom. Žrtava nasreću nije bilo, a vatra je brzo ugašena.

Notara je nekada bila zgrada Ministarstva rada koju su, poput solunskih skvotova, zauzeli anarhisti i pretvorili je u funkcionalni centar gdje se izbjeglicama pruža smještaj, osnovna medicinska pomoć, besplatna odjeća i informacije. Slične kolektive nalazimo posvuda po gradu: Oniro, Spirou Trikoupi, Underground Railroad ili City Plaza (bivši hotel na sedam katova u kojem je sigurnost i zaštitu našlo oko 400 izbjeglica), da nabrojimo samo neke. Prema nekim izvorima, u Ateni čak 3000 izbjeglica (gotovo dvostruko više od broja kojeg mora primiti RH!) prebiva u petnaestak tako okupiranih zgrada. Riječ je o napuštenim zgradama koje su se nekad koristile za javne funkcije, poput škola ili bolnica koje je smanjujuća država odbacila, a da bi ih slobodarski pokret transformirao u centre solidarnosti i samoorganizacije. Naravno, sve je postignuto osloncem isključivo na dobrovoljne priloge i volonterski rad, bez korištenja fondova EU, pomoći grčke države ili darovnica kapitalističkih dobročinitelja.


Foto: plenum u skvotu u Ateni

U takvim se kolektivima odvija život nalik na onaj kojeg su izbjeglice morali napustiti: organiziraju se vjenčanja, pokreću zadruge, uče strani jezici, djeca pohađaju školska predavanja, a neki od najmlađih čak su i rođeni u njima. Aktivnosti nezamislive u okruženju državnih detencijskih centara, zapravo koncentracijskih logora ograđenih stražarskim tornjevima i bodljikavom žicom. S druge strane, solidarnost, dostojanstvo i privatnost minimum su koje skvotirani centri nude izbjeglicama. I to je upravo ono što, pored otvorenog političkog rada i primjene direktne akcije, skvotirane centre temeljno diferencira u odnosu na detencijske centre: njihova učinkovitost u postizanju konkretne zaštite i socijalne integracije izbjeglica!


Foto: kuhinja u skvotu Notara, Atena

Međutim, sve to nije zaustavilo državnu represiju nad samoorganiziranim centrima. Štoviše, u grčkim je medijima nedavno objavljena informacija o donošenju sudske presude za iseljavanje tri atenska skvota koja zbrinjavaju izbjeglice: City Plaza, Papoutsadiko i Zoodoxou Pigis 119. U zajedničkom priopćenju kojeg su potpisali ostali skvotovi, sudska je presuda shvaćena kao napad na izbjeglice i nastavak represivne kampanje protiv slobodarskog pokreta. Mogući odgovor na te planove samo je jedan: solidaran i aktivan otpor! Prosvjed koji je održan u petak 23. lipnja ispred grčkog Ministarstva imigracija predstavljao je ujedno i međunarodni poziv za akcije solidarnosti sa skvotovima kojima prijeti evikcija.

Perspektiva socijalne revolucije na jugu Europe

Iako je prošlo više od godinu dana od početka dogovora između Turske i Europske unije, situacija se samo pogoršala za imigrante koji pokušavaju stići do europskih obala. Empatija javnosti za utapanja u Mediteranskom moru otupila je, pa ona više ni nisu tema za mainstream medije. No u isto vrijeme, europski fašisti otvoreno organiziraju pomorski lov na imigrante i na društvenim mrežama prikupljaju financije za tu svrhu. Vlade srednjoeuropskih država upravo dogovaraju novu militarizaciju granica (Hrvatska je također u dealu, naravno), a deportacija imigranata nastavlja se odvijati daleko od očiju medija i javnosti. Proces primanja azilanata u države EU sukladno dogovorenim kvotama ide sporo, ostavljajući tako konkretnu pomoć izbjeglicama u zadatak civilnom sektoru i humanitarnim organizacijama, koji limitirani kapacitetima, donatorskim pravilima i zakonskim okvirima, ne mogu ponuditi rješenje za europsku izbjegličku krizu.

U takvim okolnostima, grčki anarhistički, antiautoritarni i militantni lijevi pokret uspješno gradi funkcionalne socijalne strukture koje putem samoorganizacije i direktne akcije istodobno osnažuju njihove korisnike (izbjeglice i lokalce) te kritički propituju kapitalističku logiku kriminalizacije imigranata. Projekt izgradnje i umrežavanja takvih antikapitalističkih struktura u šire društvo otvorena je prijetnja dominantnom sistemu koji ga vidi kao socijalni virus s potencijalom rapidnog širenja. U grčkoj krizi, koja je u nekoliko proteklih godina poprimila jasne karakteristike klasnog rata, takav pokret može lako zapaliti iskru socijalne revolucije – cilj svih anarhista.


Foto: sukobi na Pyro St., Atena, povodom evikcije izbjegličkih skvotova

Represivna reakcija države prema skvotovima za imigrante u potpunosti odgovara njenoj ulozi u očuvanju postojećeg stanja i zaštite privatnog vlasništva i kapitala. Činjenica da je na čelu države Syrizina, načelno lijeva vlada, donekle otežava primjenu brutalnijih metoda protiv imigranata i anarhista koji uživaju povjerenje, ili barem simpatije, sve većeg dijela grčkog društva. Čak i uz pomoć drugih centara moći poput Crkve i medija (kao u slučaju solunskog skvota Orfanotriferio, kada su nasilnu policijsku raciju pokušali prikazati kao legitimnu i opravdanu), Tsipras nije spreman riskirati društvene nerede u kojima bi se našao na pogrešnoj strani barikada, stoga neće (niti može) okončati pitanje socijalnih skvotova za imigrante. To će anarhističkom i antiautoritarnom pokretu otvoriti dovoljno manevarskog prostora i vremena da nastavi s pripremama za radikalnu socijalnu promjenu, u kojoj su društveni centri tek jedan od potpornih stupova solidarnosti i samoorganizacije.

Okidač za grčku revoluciju postat će vjerojatno neka civilna žrtva oborena policijskim metkom  ili fašističkom batinom, u budućem napadu na skvotirani društveni centar. Klasno osviješteni neredi koji će buknuti nakon toga proširit će se Grčkom i tako prisiliti ostatak europskih članica da vojno interveniraju. Kada prvi NATO razarač uplovi u atensku luku s namjerom da zaustavi daljnje napredovanje ustanka, znat ćemo da je socijalna revolucija, slična onoj koja raste u brdima sirijske Rojave, konačno stigla u Europu!

Porfirije Petrovič, 26.6.2017, #MAZ

junij 22, 2017

Court Permits #NoG20-Camp in #Hamburg – Legal Team Info

The administrative court in Hamburg ruled that the ban of a No G20 protest camp in Stadtpark in Hamburg is inadmissible. Police authorities announced that they will appeal against the court decision. The legal team published information about the legal situation for No G 20 activists.


Submitted to Enough is Enough

The court confirmed its own decision of June the 7th and again allowed a protest camp in Stadtpark in Hamburg from June 30th until the 9th of July. The court motivated their decision that police authorities need to prove that there is a “police emergency” to ban the protest camp. According to the court police authorities failed to do so and the police press department instead stated in German media that the preparations for the G 20 police operations are going well. Police authorities announced that they will appeal against todays court decision.

The legal team published information about the legal situation for No G 20 activists;

Together against repression – also during the protests against the G20 Summit in Hamburg

Political actions often result in problems with the police forces. The Legal Team (EA) is an anti-repression structure supporting you during and after actions. If necessary, in cooperation with solidary lawyers.

The legal team can be contacted under the following number: +49(0)40 432 78 778

This number is NOT A helpline service.

Some hints to effectively counter the repression of the protests to be expected:

during the months before the G20 summit:
  • The repressive forces are preparing themselves for the G20 summit as well, namely with attempts of chatting up, house searches, telephone tapping, surveillance etc. Do not let yourself become intimidated, clean up at home and try to keep any incriminating material outside of your private rooms. Encrypt data carriers and your email and SMS communication.
  • Make yourself familiar with friends, comrades and confidants about any situation you might be confronted with and make arrangements for the joint behaviour and your forms of actions. Also talk about your fears.
  • Exchange your complete names and dates of birth. Memorize the information to be able to speedily inform the EA in case of emergency.
  • It makes sense to take precautions in the event that you will be taken in custody and you may have to spend more than 24 hours in a cell. Who shall be informed? Which dates have to be cancelled? Who will take care of what?
  • Tell people and/or initiatives in your city about the time you are going to leave and of your planned return.
During the action days:
  • It is recommended to take along dark, uniform clothes without particular characteristics (such as patches etc.) and a cap, base-cap.
  • Leave any and all needless data at home (address book, calendar etc.)
  • If you don’t want to do without mobile, get an inexpensive demo mobile with as little stored data as possible.
  • No alcohol, no drugs at actions and demonstrations.
  • Take along eye-rinsing solution and first-aid kit and familiarize yourself with the handling. Take along a second set of clothes.
  • Take along medicines you need regularly in a sufficient amount (guideline: action period + 3 days) and also your health insurance card.
In case of arrest/detention:
  • In case of an arrest/detention, you will be obliged to state your name, your registered address and date of birth. Take along your identity card, passport, visa, residence permits or similar documents. Legal note: if you fail to state your personal data, this will be regarded as an administrative offence and may result in an ED procedure (ED = fingerprints, photos) and even to a detention awaiting trial, depending on the charge involved.
  • In any case, refuse to give evidence. Irrespective of what police is asking for, don’t say anything – it would only harm you and others. Refusing to give evidence is a strong offensive approach wearing down and diffusing police interrogations. The refusal is your right and you cannot be forced to give evidence. They will still try to make you talk with tricks. Do not engage yourself in supposedly harmless discussions and do not comment to the charge made – no matter how absurd it is. Do not make any statement regarding the charge to any other fellow inmate as well.
  • Do not sign any paper. There is no reason for it and may be harmful in case of doubt. You will also get back your belongings without signature.
  • Call the EA. You have the right to a successful phone call, demand this vigorously. Caution: the phone will be tapped, only state your name, date of birth, the place you are and what you are accused of. Do NOT state, what you did or what you didn’t do. In case of doubt, let the EA ask questions.
  • It happens, that you will be subjected to an „ED procedure“ at the police station. This will include fingerprints and photos, up to a collection of physical characteristics. In this case, the procedure must „match“ the allegations – in case of a standard charge, such as „disturbing the peace“, the taking of fingerprints, for example, is not allowed, because this will not help to „clarify facts“. Do not voluntarily cooperate in the ED procedure! Do not walk around in front of the camera („Motion Profile“), do not change clothes for the photo. Do not „voluntarily“ hand over DNA samples. These can only be taken with your approval or upon a judicial decision. File an objection against this. This must not be signed by you as well.
  • You may be kept in police custody until the end of the following day. Upon a judicial decision, however, up to 10 days. Reasons for this would be, for example, emergency response/preventive custody: „in order to prevent the imminent commitment of an administrative offence of considerable importance for the general public or the commitment of a criminal offence“, or the enforcement of a prohibition of access or stay.
  • If police wants to enforce a detention awaiting trial, you will be put before a judge. Urge for legal assistance. Only use the lawyers of the EA. If you are before the judge without a lawyer or only with a police lawyer, insist on a lawyer of the EA and always repeat this request (e.g. „This is not my lawyer, I herewith request a lawyer of the EA and I want to call there“). Do not make any statement here, this is also your right here.
  • The EA will take care, together with lawyers, that you will be out of detention as fast as possible. This will not cost you anything.
  • As soon as you are out, make sure to quickly inform the EA (check out).
Arrest/Detention of young people
  • Legal definition of young people: persons older than 14 but not yet 18 years old.
  • In case young people will be arrested,. the parents or guardians, respectively, must be informed. If these cannot be contacted, the emergency services for children and young people in Hamburg will be informed. If you are on the way with adult friends, try to get a power of attorney from your parents, transferring the educational right to them for the period of the action days. This will enable these persons to collect you.
  • It is not allowed to arrest young persons at all without any charge against them or who do not considerably disturb the operations. If it is impossible to hand over these young people to a guardian or to the Youth Welfare Office, they must be supervised outside police custody. It is not allowed to accommodate young persons together with adults.
  • Often, police officers fail to do so, which might be in the interest of the person involved.
  • It is not allowed to subject persons under the age of 14 to an ED procedure or an interrogation.
Special conditions in the Federal Republic of Germany:
  • It is prohibited to carry or wear objects protecting the body against police violence (helmets, protectors etc.) and weapons or face masks are not allowed. Be careful and consider well, what you plan to use in which situation.
  • Police forces often use close escorting (side escorting) for assemblies, trying to intimidate through presence. It happens, that pick squads enter into demonstrations as a provocation. Pepper spray is used very frequently, also batons and water canons with irritating substances, no rubber bullets.
  • Demonstrations are accompanied by police in uniforms and in civilian clothes. Keep this in mind, if you plan to become active out of the demonstration. Arrests will be made, in particular through plain-clothed policemen even hours or days later. If possible, leave the place and change clothes after actions.
  • Check, whether you got a health insurance in the Federal Republic of Germany and – if not – take out a foreign travel health insurance.

If you get problems with the repression authorities at a later stage, contact your local anti-rep group or the Hamburg EA.

junij 19, 2017


nog20 international

PDF: International No G20 Newsletter June 2017

DOC: International No G20 Newsletter June 2017

*** A final info sheet with all numbers and contacts updated will be circulated a few days before the protests. So please stay tuned via the channels provided in this Newsletter ***

Dear international friends and comrades,
In only three weeks we come together in Hamburg from across Europe and the world to protest against the G20´s spectacle of power. Just three weeks until we fill the streets and squares of Hamburg to show that another world is necessary; that it is possible starting with our solidarity on the streets; and until we reject the exploitation, social precarity, wars, ecological devastation and social division that the world’s 20 most powerful leaders and their delegations will organize.
This parade of monsters should decide our future? No, they don’t represent us. It is not just the Trumps and Erdogans, the Temers and Putins, the Modis and Zumas, the Merkels, Mays, Junkers and Macrons. No, the monster is a “system”. A system based on the exploitation and systematic appropriation of work, wealth and land of the many by a few – in its neoliberal form represented by Merkel, Macron and the EU’s transnational elites, and in its nationalist reactionary form represented by the authoritarian, racist and sexist Trump, Erdogan and King Salman. They are two sides of the same coin.
What is at stake in Hamburg is nothing less than the future of our Planet Earth. We already know that their negotiations will not solve any of the current and upcoming wars and military conflicts, will not stop the devastation of the continents, and will not help any of the millions fleeing from war or poverty or those who face impoverishment in the richest economies (see http://g20-protest.info/category/calls/english/).
We know that many of you are planning to come to Hamburg. Others might not make it, but want to follow the news, organize solidarity actions and disseminate information. This is why we’ve compiled as much information as possible in an international newsletter to give you a good overview. However, please be aware that things may change quickly: to stay updated follow us online (see 5 below).

In this newsletter:
1. Overview of the political situation in Hamburg: a compact week of protests against their summit

2. The planned activities: what is planned when, where to go, what to expect, how to participate and where to get more information

3. Logistical matters: accommodation, travel info, bus coordination and where to get information.

4. Legal help and police matters: what you need to know in case of repression, important numbers and helpful information.

5. How to stay tuned for updates and support us: where to find last-minute information and support the activists.

1. Overview of the political situation in Hamburg: a compact week against their summit.
On Dec. 1 2016, the German government took over the presidency of the G20, with many G20 ministerial meetings along the way and the G20 summit itself taking place on July 7 and 8 in Hamburg city centre. It is not only the overall politics of the G20, but also the current representatives of the G20 who will come to Hamburg which need to be criticized, confronted and protested against. Therefore, several initiatives, political groups and representatives of civil society formed a G20 platform and started to organize and coordinate protests with the idea of forming a broad alliance, a transnational convergence of the many under the motto “Solidarity beyond borders” against the G20 and against its global organization of power.
A variety of activities have already taken place in Hamburg and around the G20 ministerial meetings (not to forget the massive protests in Brazil and Argentina these days, both part of the G20). But in Germany for example, in March when the G20 finance ministers met in Baden-Baden; or last week in Berlin, when hundreds of protesters led by anti-racist and refugees groups opposed the Merkel/Schäuble “G20 Compact with Africa,” partly because it will become a feast for multinational corporate privatization at the expense of taxpayer subsidies, partly because the “Africa Partnership Conference” was also clearly about how to secure better the borders of Europe. Other protests will take place in the week before the summit itself (e.g. on July 2 with a “wave of protest” going through Hamburg: see http://www.protestwelle.de).
However, the G20 platform encouraged all groups and networks to organize protest activities against the G20 in a “compact week“ of debate, direct action and a demonstration that gives a picture of how many and how diverse we are. The aim of this compact week is to be in the Hamburg city centre, when “they” are there, to have our protests and critique heard and seen, and to practically link different forms of action and critique.
Of course, such an approach of solidarity, connection and convergence is usually not welcomed by those in power – especially not by the city government of Hamburg. Often we meet bitter opposition to our rights to struggle, to assemble and to protest, from the police or the state. Activists are criminalized and presented as vandals, legal orders are issued restricting the freedom of assembly and movement, a discourse that prioritises “security issues” and fear above the question of democracy and free speech is launched.
In Hamburg, we now see a red-green government delaying talks on / negotiations for public camps for activists. We see a red-green government issuing a broad legal order that declares Hamburg on July 7 and 8 specifically to be a democracy-free zone, outlawing any assembly, movement or camp for July 7 and 8 in an area covering almost all of Hamburg city centre and around (see here for a map). Importantly, the demonstration on Saturday is legally registered and will take place!
There is now a public outcry against repression in Hamburg. Reaching beyond those who are active in the No G20 protests, a “campaign for the right to assembly” has formed and will publish a call for support. Church members will call for “round tables” and public debates, and more will hopefully follow soon. Furthermore, we will of course fight this order through the courts. We will go to court to support each assembly and demonstration that might be affected. Besides, we are building as broad alliances as possible – with all those who don’t accept living in a city that outlaws democracy. And we claim that the right to assemble and the freedom of movement are best preserved when practiced on the streets of Hamburg by as many people as possible.
In 2017 the Bastille stands in Hamburg! Let us be many, let us be loud, let us send a strong and visible sign across the world that we reject the G20 and the politics they represent and practice. Let us demonstrate that another world is necessary, and indeed, is possible and that we are already building it (for the international call to join the protests in Hamburg see http://g20-protest.info/).
We are saying that they don’t represent us – not in Hamburg nor in Africa, the Middle East or Asia, the Americas or elsewhere in Europe and the world (http://g20-protest.info/category/general-information/open-letter-to-hamburg/). We will fight these orders and this discourse through legal processes, by public interventions, and by building broad alliances with movements, civil society, organizations and NGOs, so that tens of thousands of people will be in Hamburg in early July: at the alternative summit, the camps, the transnational demonstration, the mass blockade, the numerous civil disobedience actions as well as many other initiatives and happenings. We will meet, discuss, and practice our vision of a world of freedom, equality and solidarity!
So now, please take some time to look at the variety of activities planned so far. We will be on the streets, we will find accommodation for all of us, we will be together and we will say loudly: Solidarity beyond borders instead of the G20!

2. The protest week in detail: the main activities planned so far
The social centre collectives are gathering all information on all activities and will publish a map and a reader for all of us to use.
See also:
Links for general overview: http://g20-protest.info/category/week-of-protest/ or https://www.g20hamburg.org/en
Links to maps: protest map (http://g20-protest.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/G20-city-protest-map.jpg)
map of the blue zone (http://g20-protest.info/category/material/)

Wednesday, July 5th
10:00-21:30 – Global Solidarity Summit (Day 1)
More than 50 initiatives and organizations from Germany and abroad are inviting people for the international “Global Solidarity Summit“. As an answer to the G20 Summit on 7 and 8 July, the “Alternative Summit“ will bring together and amplify our criticism, discuss alternatives and, above all, build alliances and develop strategies for the implementation of a policy for global solidarity. There will be 11 panels with international guests, e.g. highly renowned economist Jayati Ghosh, globalization critic and winner of the alternative Nobel Prize Vandana Shiva from India and the leading Kurdish politician Salih Müslim from Rojava. In addition to the panels, there will be numerous discussions and practical workshops.
The location is the Kampnagel, Hamburg
Further information and detailed program: http://solidarity-summit.org/en/

18:00 – Night Dance Demonstration
Organizers: Alles allen (Everything for all is a collective of political hedonists)
Starting from Landungsbrücken (for a map click here)

Thursday, July 6th
10:00-21:30 – Global Solidarity Summit (Day 2)
11:30 – Meeting for international activists:
Here is the space to exchange final questions, concerns, updates within the international circle. Location to be announced but it will be at the site of the Global Solidarity Summit.
15:00 – Final action plenary (until the demo starts):
A general assembly for the Block G20 / Colour the Red Zone activity (Friday) with last-minute information, organizing, Q&A (with translation into English for the international activists) – probably in the camp, location will be announced
19:00 – “Welcome to Hell” demonstration:
“International anti-capitalist demonstration against G20 summit called by the autonomous and anti-capitalist alliance “G20 – welcome to hell!” The demonstration will start with a great opening meeting. There will be cultural, musical and political contributions. From 7 p.m., the demonstration will be approaching the red zone and the final meeting will be held a stone’s throw from the summit’s location in the exhibition halls.”
Starting from: St. Pauli Fischmarkt, Hamburg (for a map click here) Call and further information: https://g20tohell.blackblogs.org/international-anticapitalist-demonstration/

Friday, July 7th
The first day of the G20 summit and the day of disobedient mass actions throughout the city!
Block G20 – Colour The Red Zone
“Together with tens of thousands we will reclaim the streets in the heart of the city. Residents and activists from various countries will jointly block the summit meeting. We will organize ourselves in several fingers or similar structures, acting autonomously but in coordination. From all directions we will surge towards the sites of the summit meeting, to the trade fair (Messehallen), to the City Hall and the Elbphilharmonie, in short to the Red Zone that will be sealed off for the meeting. Where the police will be in our way, we will find alternative paths to our goal. Where necessary we will overcome obstacles and possibly break through police chains. We will go as far as we get. Already on our way to the Red Zone, we will demonstrate our societal alternatives through diverse and creative forms like raves, assemblies and the occupation of public spaces and vacancies. We reserve the right to stay overnight.“
Call, action picture, action consensus and important updates: http://www.blockg20.org/en/

Shut down the logistics of capital!
“Hamburg and its harbour is an important hub for the German export economy and the global goods traffic – and because of that, the perfect venue to disrupt the state and capital. Neither will ever be able to provide a better life for all. We are calling to use the international mobilization against the G20 summit to inflict as much pain as possible on a world where commodities can move freely overseas while at the same time migrants are dying by the thousands in the same oceans.”
Information and updates: https://shutdown-hamburg.org/?lang=en

Student strike – Youth against G20
Student strike with demonstration called by a coalition of social, internationalist, trade unionist and antifascist youth groups, organizations, initiatives and individuals.
Call, information and updates: http://jugendgegeng20.de

19:00 – Colourful Critical Mass
“We don’t car!” (twitter: #cmasshh). Stop the lines of cars of the G20 with a huge bicycle tour, promoting environment- friendly movement.
Starting from Moorweide (S- Bahn Dammtor) (for a map click here)

3 to 9.30 pm – Dialogue-Event “We need to talk: Debt20 meets G20″
organized by erlassjahr.de / Jubilee Germany; at the GLS Bank Hamburg (see also http://erlassjahr.de/termin/wir-muessen-reden-debt20-meets-g20/)

7.30 to 10 pm – “DiEM25@G20
“Constructive Disobedience! Resistance in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism“ – a public discussion with Renata Avila, Angela Richter, Aral Balkan, Srećko Horvat, Michael Hardt, Yanis Varoufakis (video), DiEM25 DSCs + special surprise, at the Audimax of the Universität Hamburg, Von-Melle-Park 4, 20146 Hamburg

Saturday, July 8th:
11:00 – Mass demonstration
Central, internationalist and anti-capitalist mass demonstration “Solidarity without borders instead of G20” on the second day of the G20 summit with numerous blocs of different political coalitions and spectrums. Open to everyone who shares our outrage and our hope and wants to take to the streets of Hamburg with us in a loud, colourful and diverse demonstration. The goal of the march is to demonstrate the strength of the alliance in its variety and unity. The march will start together and arrive together (see the demo vision at http://g20-demo.de/de/bild-unserer-demonstration/, for now only available in German)
Starting from Deichtorhallen at 11 am with a (German/Turkish) opening rally with speeches from all parts of the alliance and welcoming words in different languages by international participants (for a map click here).
Join the international representative block right at the front of the demonstration to highlight the global dimension of the No G20 protests. Bring your banners and symbols. A contingent / bloc of the alliance and international delegations, activists and comrades will open the march. Please make sure that you bring posters, banners and signs that tell the world what you want to say in your language, and that help to demonstrate that our alliance, the resistance and protest against the politics of the G20 is indeed international and global.
The closing rally will take place at the Heiligengeistfeld in St. Pauli with a huge stage, cultural/music acts and famous speakers from different regions of the world – the women’s movement / Black Lives Matter, US; the Kurdish movement of Rojava; the climate justice movement from Colombia; and Hamburg’s Right to the City movement. Information, demo picture and updates: http://g20-demo.de/en/start-2/

3. Logistical Matters
Many of you come from far away and travel in larger groups. Here you can find some updates on bus coordination, the information system, accommodation – and how to make early contact with those organizing these matters.

Arrival and bus coordination:
If you are travelling in a larger group or convoy, get in touch with us through international [at] g20-2017.org. Let us know where you are coming from and when, so that in case you experience problems with the police we will be notified. Please include an email address or phone contact for a reliable contact person for the busses from each region. Please notice that this contact address for busses is not appropriate for further safe communication! The task now is to establish the necessary contact with all the busses so that we can then establish communication for later on the trip itself. Shortly you will find this mail address for the busses on the NoG20 International website too (see: http://g20-protest.info), together with a contact phone number.
If you want to participate at the BlockG20 action on Friday, make sure to be at the Camp in Hamburg by 15:00 at the latest for the final action plenary!
Please be also aware that for the G20 the Schengen treaty is suspended. We do not know to what extent the police will prevent activists from crossing the border into Germany. But be prepared for police controls! If you are a larger convoy, you might want to think about bringing press and parliamentarian observers from your countries/regions with you, or at least be in touch with some.

First meeting point:
At Arrivatipark (“Neuer Pferdemarkt” outside the blue zone: for a map click here) you can gather first information, orientation and craft your own protest materials.

There will be accommodation for you! Two camps are being planned: one by an autonomous preparation group (the so-called “anticapitalist camp”) and one by a broader coalition for everybody. Both have registered campsites with the city of Hamburg: the autonomous “anticapitalist camp” at the Stadtpark and the “spectrum-wide camp” at Volkspark Altona. It has been a long process of fighting, going to court, and negotiating, and we are doing everything possible to have a camp take place; if not, there will be alternatives! Both camps should provide – aside from camping and eating possibilities – political barrios and space for common discussion, final action trainings and plenaries.
For updates and information: http://g20-camp.de/ (spectrum-wide camp) and https://g20camp.noblogs.org/ (autonomous “anticapitalist camp”).

Info hotline and Info channels:
We will have a NoG20 (international) info hotline established for the days starting with your trip (more or less) and ending when you are home or when the last busses have crossed the border. This will be posted on the website (https://g20-protest.info) a few days before July 5, so please stay tuned. The hotline will give you info when needed, and will arrange for legal support in case of troubles with the police on your journey.
There will be infopoints at specific, crucial points in the city (e.g. the central station) as well as a reader and map with all available information.

4. Legal matters
As we know from the previous international mobilizations and protests, preparing for legal matters is of crucial importance. Take your time therefore to check out legal information on the blog of the G20 anti-repression structure: https://g20ea.blackblogs.org/en/ in various languages.

There will be a legal team (twitter: @EA_hh) operating, a demonstration watch /monitoring by the Committee for Basic Rights and Democracy (including people from the OECD Assembly Rights Working Group as well as parliamentarians), a medical team and out of action areas watching out for us and helping us, and people waiting outside the “Gesas” (pre-charge detention center).

We also recommend reading this article about German police history and tactics: https://linksunten.indymedia.org/de/node/212864
Legal info in various languages: https://www.rote-hilfe.de/downloads/category/8-legalinfo-in-other-languages.

The emergency telephone numbers in case of arrest etc. will be published in the days immediately before the G20 protest week and your trip. Please check with the mailing lists or us if you can’t find them, since you should have them before your trip.

5. Stay tuned for updates and support us
Things change quickly; many things will be decided and finalised only in the last days before the actions and demonstration: so get in touch with us and stay tuned!
For last Info, telephone numbers, action maps etc:.
Subscribe to the mailing list by sending an email to international [at] g20-2017.org
Check our homepage: https://g20-protest.info
Check Facebook (@g20international) and Twitter (@NoG20_Inter)
If you want to participate in the BlockG20 action, make sure to be at the final action assembly on Thursday, July 6 at 15:00!

Support us:
Solidarity Tickets for international activists
We are trying to raise money also to support activists from other European countries with their travel costs by selling so-called solidarity tickets (http://g20-protest.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Solitickets-Bunt.pdf): you can transfer money directly to this bank account and print out the solidarity ticket for yourself (or wait until Hamburg to get a nice one printed):
Name: Adelante e.V.!
Reference: “Soliticket”,
IBAN: DE53430609671168858400,

Donations for BlockG20:
Name: Verein Bewegungsfonds
Reference: “Aktion”
IBAN: CH07 0900 0000 6187 7407 8

Donations for the Global Solidarity Summit: http://solidarity-summit.org/en/spend/

Donations for the Demonstration:
Name: Hamburger Forum e.V.,
Reference: G20 Gipfel
IBAN: DE32 4306 0967 2067 3173 01,

Media coverage, social media, mobilization material.
Please support us during the protest days through your social media. The Twitter hashtags are: #NoG20, #towardsG20, #BlockG20
Please spread the call and news, download and put up posters, and help with anything we haven’t thought of yet. If you have any questions around this please contact us (international [at] g20-2017.org).
Other Support:
We do need your help not only to prepare everything in advance, to get in touch with us, to inform us about your plans etc. We will also need people who can give a helping hand during the protest week itself – whether it is at the food kitchen, with translation or in the kids’ area. Please keep your eyes and ears open when people ask for help.

If you have any question don’t hesitate to ask at: international [at] g20-2017.org
We are looking forward to seeing you all and sending out our message to the world:
Allons enfants! In 2017 the Bastille stands in Hamburg!
International NoG20


More info on: http://g20-protest.info/

junij 10, 2017

Corbyn and the #UK Election; A New Day For Electoralism?

The recent UK election handed the socialist leaning Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn a minor though not insignificant victory. Once again many on the left are discussing the tactic and value of strategies focused on voting and electoral change and advocates for this are eager to present the moment as a major break through. But we think it’s important to understand the counter arguments and especially given the recent memory of Syriza in Greece – the “Coalition of the Radical Left Party” which ran on a platform of anti-austerity and once in power quickly caved in to demands from the EU and bankers. This article is by our comrades with the Workers Solidarity Movement in Ireland

Originally published by Black Rose Anarchist Federation

By Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird

Voting has just ended in the UK election. Many people are consumed with hope that Corbyn could win and implement his reforms “for the many, not the few”. For those of us who work with the broad left, it is inevitable that the topic of elections and voting will come up. Heated debates can occur between those of us who would rather ignore the electoral circus and those who strongly believe in using it as a vehicle on the road to a new society.

Before beginning, it is important to clarify the misconception that anarchists are against voting. We have absolutely no problem with voting – how else could we make decisions? We are against a system that allows for us to tick a box every four or five years which gives whoever received the most X’s to make decisions that affect our lives in a fancy building miles away from us. Politicians once elected do what they like because we can neither mandate nor recall them.

This is a system that divides us into a massive majority ruled by a tiny minority, and that allows for power, wealth and privilege to be concentrated into the hands of that minority. We believe that this democracy is a farce devoid of any real choice; that this form of voting creates the illusion of change while simultaneously reinforcing our current oppressive system. Rather than us being against voting in this system, it is more accurate to say that we are against peddling the belief that any lasting meaningful change can be achieved through engaging in something that has been designed to constrain us.

Genuine radicals who campaign for Corbyn do so under the illusion that his election campaign will significantly boost social movements in a way that putting their campaigning work into workplace, community, and other organizing would not.  Not only is there no evidence for this but the experience of previous electoral campaigns is that failure often demoralizes and demobilizes such movements, as happened after the failure of Bernie Sanders, and success often demobilizes and then demoralizes such movements when the moment of disappointment or betrayal arrives, as happened with Syriza.

The huge amount of energy invested might mean something can be harvested for the future. However the past suggests that only slim pickings are left when the that energy shifts elsewhere. Counterexamples that are sometimes cited, such as Chile under Allende prior to the coup, are not movements built out of electoralism but rather movements which opened up the space for electoral success as a consequence of their own strength.

The nature of an election campaign means there is little space to prepare activists for defeat or betrayal. All hope has to be entrusted in the candidate and even soft criticism has to be avoided lest it deter voters. Elections are not fought and won around the slogan of ‘our candidate although flawed is somewhat better than theirs’ but through insisting that yes indeed they can perform miracles.

This article has been written in response to a piece written by Paddy Vipond titled “Anarchists, It Is Our Duty To Vote”. Throughout I have summarized his arguments before I have dealt with them and so it is not necessary to read his article to understand this one. These headings have been taken from his article and follow the same structure.


The most common argument that anarchists make about elections and their legitimacy is that a vote represents a vote of confidence in this system. This is one of the weaker anarchist arguments against voting, one that any electoral leftist could argue against with ease when issues such as damage limitation come up, and so I was surprised that it did not appear in this article. Instead it argues that the anarchist belief is that voting legitimizes the government – rather than the system. His argument against this is that “governments take their legitimacy regardless of voter turnout”. This is very true. However it is also an argument I have never seen an anarchist make. I am thus not familiar with it as an anarchist argument against voting.

Of course if you vote for the Tories and they make it into power then that is legitimizing the Tories. But if you vote against them and they make it into power anyway, that is hardly legitimation. No one, let alone any anarchist, would argue against that because it is a basic logical conclusion. Rather, as anarchists we argue that through voting you are legitimizing the system. Through voting you are expressing faith in the “democratic” systems put in place. If the Tories win despite you voting for someone else you are required to respect the “democratic process”. Of course, there are many other reasons, systemic reasons in particular, why the Tories could very well win this election and many more, effectively argued by Andrew Flood in this article.

Vipond next goes on to illustrate a strange hypothetical scenario where the voter turnout is at 0%. In this scenario, the 0% turnout means that the ruling government remain in power and therefore that a dictatorship takes hold. Not only is this hypothetical situation unhelpful in being unlikely in the extreme, but anarchists don’t aim for as few people as possible to vote. In the US, only 40% of the population vote in the elections. While there are a variety of reasons behind this, active and deliberate disenfranchisement being one of them, much of it is because people simply don’t see a purpose in voting. If a real aim of anarchism were to reduce voter turnout, then the face of every anarchist should be completely covered in egg as it would be bizarre for anyone to claim that the US is a shining model for anarchism. In reality it is a country where the masses have been driven to despair and apathy; we have no interest in this kind of society. As anarchists we don’t want 0% turnout, it’s not our aim. Our aim is a society where we are transformed from passive observers to active participants in making political decisions about our lives.

Further along this section Vipond claims that any principled refusal to engage in electoral voting, is “a selfish badge of honor”. He claims that through not voting we are trying to absolve ourselves of any responsibility of the political mess we find ourselves in. I would like to assume positive intent on his behalf here, and so I’m left with no alternative than to believe that this argument is based on the author’s personal experience with anarchists local to him. This attitude is certainly not one prevalent in the Irish anarchist scene. This seems to be a description of an attitude the author dislikes rather than addressing any positions we hold as anarchists against voting in electoral politics, though.


In this section of his article Vipond does not actually offer any solutions to the unfairness of the system, which he acknowledges. Instead, Vipond makes arguments about how withdrawing from the system does not make it fairer and does nothing to change it. This is hardly a groundbreaking observation. However anarchists do not argue for withdrawal from the system; we argue for its dismantling instead.


Oddly Vipond claims that anarchists argue we should abstain from voting because of the time required (i.e. the cost) to educate yourself on parties, policies and representatives. I am concerned again about the personal experiences that this writer has had with other anarchists as it hasn’t been an argument made by any anarchist organization I am aware of. Organized anarchists spend quite a lot of their time organizing in opposition to the current order. This includes familiarizing ourselves with ruling – and otherwise – parties, policies, and representatives. We know this system very well, it’s why we oppose it and work towards a new world. It would be ludicrous for us to want people to have no knowledge or understanding of how broken and oppressive the system of the ruling parties is. Only through this understanding of the system will people struggle against it..

When discussing elections and costs, an argument that is typically made by anarchists is that if we were to engage in them, and perhaps even to use them as a platform for our ideas, it would come at too high a cost. This is a cost associated with electoralist campaigning rather than personally voting, and has  nothing to do with investing time in researching our opponents but rather in reinforcing the idea that “someone else will fix it” which is rampant in our society. As argued by Alan MacSimoin in this article: “Elections are about leaving the vast majority of people in the role of passive observer of political life rather than active participants. Anarchists want to see working class people take an active role in bringing about change in society. Participation in electoral politics has the opposite effect. The cost is too high a price to pay.” I highlight this as yet another major omission and lack of understanding on the part of the author of what the anarchist arguments against voting are.


In this section the author argues that “the reality is that voting does change things and there is absolutely no denying that.” On the contrary, we can deny that. Voting attempts to provide the population with the illusion of change while in reality it reinforces the current system. A policy here and there may change, the faces may change, but the system of a wealthy minority ruling a poor majority remains.

So then what happens when voters in England are faced with two opposing choices between a socialist and a bloodthirsty Tory? A situation we now see with Corbyn and May. How could a broke anarchist student possibly resist the allure of supporting someone who would scrap university fees? I’ll admit, I’d probably vote for him if I lived in his constituency simply because I can’t afford my university fees and I will do anything to try to get out of paying them. I remain unconvinced, however, that he can deliver any lasting and meaningful structural and political change, especially with the Blairites in his party who might as well be Tories who will attempt to thwart him at every opportunity.

True power does not rest in parliament. Members of Parliament (MPs), Teachta Dála (TDs – elected members of parliament in Ireland) and otherwise are little more than the “committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.” The markets dictate what decisions are made in parliament rather than parliament dictating to the markets. We cannot elect the revolution because capitalism has a backup if any of its opponents do make it to parliament. This backup comes in two forms: the first is the soft force of economic terrorism (the markets), and the second is the much harder force of a military coup orchestrated through the secret state. These arguments have been articulated in more detail by Andrew Flood in this article on Syriza.

I’m also cautious of this being seen as unchecked pessimism, as this is not my motivation. Capitalism is all about quick fixes, about the speed of service, about receiving something in an instant, this is deeply ingrained within us. So when we are presented with a quick fix, a vote to make all our problems disappear, of course we are going to be viewed as pessimistic when we maintain that it’s not going to work, that we have to build a more sustainable resistance. Rather, we would prefer people didn’t spend their time getting sucked into this system of parliamentary democracy in the first place and instead fought against it and for a new world.

To return to the article, Vipond makes an astounding claim that voting has played a major role in social change since the beginning of the 20th Century. This is not true. It is a shocking erasure of the mass movements that lie behind every great social change. Societal change occurs in our mass consciousness long before it is reflected, through the pressure of those masses, in parliaments and other ruling class institutions. In these instances it was not voting that was effective, but the work that occurred on the streets, within homes and workplaces and other places in changing opinions.

So, Why Vote?

In this section Vipond argues that non-voting protects the state, therefore implying that voting weakens it. I don’t see how participating in something that makes people believe that their vote every four or five years gives them any input into their lives does damage to a system based upon the furthering of this belief. The author seems to think that stating that voting is “a right enshrined by law” would convince anarchists to vote. Given the widespread awareness of the unfairness of the rule of law in anarchist circles, which has seen many anarchists imprisoned for acting against it, I think Vipond is barking up the wrong tree with this argument.

The author then proceeds to make an argument for damage limitation, and of course if you are in a constituency where it is a neck and neck competition between a UKIP candidate and Labour candidate no one could blame you for voting for Labour and if I was in such a situation I would probably do so. But to do so without actively fighting – capacity permitting – against the conditions that has led to such a dangerous level of UKIP support is shirking of the highest order by anarchists.

This argument naturally leads to one of choosing between the lesser of two evils. We saw very recently in the US where voting for the lesser evil eventually gets you. It led to a choice between a “pussy-grabbing” living breathing manifestation of all oppression and a war-mongering symbol of capitalism and imperialism. When all you can envisage as your role in changing society is constantly choosing between the lesser of two evils in this society, it allows for those who represent that evil to push their boundaries. Instead of the levels of evil decreasing the opposite occurs.

Vipond goes on to make an attempt at pragmatism by advocating “evolution through the ballot box whilst awaiting the necessary conditions to enact a revolution in society.” Organized anarchists don’t sit around “awaiting the necessary conditions to enact a revolution in society”, we work very hard to try to create them. History has shown us that when fighting for these conditions to be realized with electoralism as one of those tools, we see fighting becoming subservient to electoralism. Those of an electoral persuasion involved in campaigns are forever on the lookout for opportunities to get their profile out there, or are trying to find ‘leaders’ who could perhaps contest the next election. This isn’t necessarily done out of ego, it is done because those who subscribe to this ideology believe in using the platform of elections to advance their own ideals.

The remainder of the article is an argument for the benefits of reform and pushing parties to the left through voting. This reinforces the illusion that there is power in your vote. Fighting this illusion is a cornerstone of anarchist belief and action.

The article lacks a comprehensive understanding of how this system operates and how voting ties into it, as well as a basic understanding of the anarchist arguments surrounding voting. In many instances he argued against arguments that no anarchist organization would ever make. When we argue against voting we don’t mean that abstaining is the route to anarchism. We make this argument to try to highlight the scam that is voting and to encourage people to make political decisions and actions in other ways and to become directly involved in building communities of resistance and support. We have absolutely no interest in encouraging apathy. Yet Vipond seemed to imply this was the aim, or at the very least a direct consequence of anarchist campaigning that we are willfully neglectful of.

The most dangerously inaccurate statement made in this article is the claim that “voting in elections is not only a duty of anarchists, it is the single easiest weapon at our disposal”. After highlighting all of the negative effects that voting can have – of course exceptions can be made such as the case of UKIP vs. Labour that was mentioned – it is clear that voting in parliamentary elections is far from our single easiest weapon. Indeed it is clear that it is the single easiest weapon of the ruling class in fooling us into thinking we have any say in this society.

Whoever is voted in tomorrow, we still have a world to win and that fight will continue until every institution and manifestation of oppression is dismantled. While institutions of oppression remain we have a fight on our hands; while we’re still placing an X in a box every couple of years in the belief that this is true power or democracy we are not free.

Here’s to solidarity among all those who suffer and who struggle for change: “It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.” – Audre Lorde

This article originally appeared as “Anarchists, Is It Really Our Duty To Vote?” and the spelling has been modified for a US audience.

#BuildMovementsNotElections #BuildPowerFromBelow #Corbyn

junij 9, 2017

Statement of #CityPlaza squat against the threat of eviction


Statement of #CityPlaza squat against the threat of eviction (En, De, Sp, It, Fr & Gr)


City Plaza will not bend

“Resist the immigration and
passport bureaus
the frightful flags of states
and diplomacy
war weapons factories”

Michalis Katsaros

The court order for the evacuation of the Refugee Accommodation Space City Plaza is the latest scene in the repressive management of refugees and the solidarity movement. From the closure of the borders to the shameful EU-Turkey deal, from the prisonlike camps to the evacuation of squats, a policy of casting refugees as a peculiar enemy is being articulated. An enemy that must be dealt with by direct and indirect state violence. The violence on the bodies of foreign nationals breeds fear in the minds of the locals and sinks the entire society deeper into barbarism.
Over the past 14 months, City Plaza, along with all the other refugee housing squats, is a “crack” in the public space where the repressive and racist discourse against refugees is constantly reiterated. City Plaza has not only proven that refugees and locals can live togather in harmony and with dignity. It also signifies, along with other similar initiatives, that there is a Europe that is different to the Europe of the Eurogroup and Frontex. A Europe of solidarity, struggle, humanity. And it is precisely this that is a nuisance to those in power.

We will not be afraid, we will not bend, we will not back down.

We are calling on mass support for City Plaza and all refugee squats by any possible way.

Refugee Accommodation Space City Plaza


City Plaza ne se pliera pas
“Resistez aux administrations des étrangers
et des passeports, aux drapeaux terribles des états
et a la diplomatie,
aux fabriques des matières de guerre”
Michalis Katsaros

L’ordonnance du procureur pour l’évacuation de City Plaza Area est le dernier épisode du traitement oppressif des réfugiés et du mouvement de solidarité. Depuis la fermeture des frontières a l’accord honteux avec la Turquie, et des camps de prisonniers a l’évacuation des squats, s’élabore une politique proclamant les réfugiés come un ennemi singulier. Un ennemi qui doit être traitée par l’utilisation directe et indirecte de la violence de l’État. La violence sur les corps des étrangers cultive la peur dans l’esprit des indigenes, plongeant une société totale dans la barbarie ..

Pour 14 mois, le City Plaza, tout comme les autres occupations pour le réfugiés constituent une « dissonance » dans l’espace public où se répéte sans cesse un discours répressif et raciste sur les réfugiés. City Plaza n’a pas seulement prouvé que les réfugiés peuvent vivre avec la population locale en harmonie et avec dignité. Il donne également le signal, ainsi que toutes les autres opérations similaires, qu’il existe une autre Europe que celle de l’Eurogroupe et de Frontex. D’une Europe de la solidarité, de la lutte, de l’humanité. Et,c’est exactement ce signal qui dérange principalement les dirigeants.

On n’a pas peur, on se pliera pas, on ne reculera pas.

Nous appelons au soutien massif de City Plaza et de touts les squats des réfugiés.

Espace d’ Hebergement des Réfugiés CITY PLAZA


Il City Plaza non si arrende

“Resisti alla burocrazia dell’immigrazione e dei passaporti
Alle spaventose bandiere degli Stati
Alla diplomazia
Alle fabbriche di armi da guerra”

– Michalis Katsaros –

L’ordine del tribunale per lo sgombero del Refugee Accommodation Space City Plaza è solo l’ultimo atto di uan serie di attacchi repressivi nei confronti dei rifugiati e del movimento di solidarietà internazionale.

Dalla chiusura dei confini al vergognoso accordo tra Unione Europea e Turchia, dai campi di prigionia agli sgomberi degli spazi occupati, si articola una politica mirata a rappresentare i rifugiati come un nemico. Un nemico che va combattuto con l’uso diretto e indiretto della violenza di Stato. La violenza sui corpi degli stranieri genera paura e fa sprofondare la società in una ancora più profonda barbarie.
Negli ultimi 14 mesi il City Plaza, insieme a tutte le altre occupazioni abitative di rifugiati, ha rappresentato un’anomalia nell’uso dello spazio pubblico, opponendosi alla costante riproduzione del discorso repressivo e razzista contro i rifugiati. L’esperienza del City Plaza non solo ha dimostrato che i rifugiati possono vivere in armonia e con dignità insieme alle persone del luogo ma, insieme alle altre iniziative simili, rappresenta la concretezza di un’Europa diversa da quella dell’Eurogruppo e di Frontex. Un’Europa di solidarietà, di lotta, di umanità, che dà fastidio a chi sta al potere.

Non abbiamo paura, non ci arrendiamo, non faremo un passo indietro.

Lanciamo un appello per un sostegno incondizionato al City Plaza e a tutte le occupazioni di rifugiati.

Refugee Accommodation Space City Plaza


Das City Plaza wird sich nicht beugen
“Wehrt euch gegen die Pass- und Ausländerbehörde,
gegen die furchtbaren Flaggen der Staaten
und die Diplomatie,
gegen die Fabriken für Kriegsmaterial”
Michalis Katsaros
Der Gerichtsbeschluss zur Räumung der Geflüchteten Unterkunft City Plaza ist ein weiterer Schritt in dem repressiven Management von Geflüchteten und Solidaritäts Bewegung. Von den Grenzschließungen bis zu dem EU-Türkei Deal der Schande – von den Gefängnislagern bis hinzu den Räumungen von Besetzungen, es wurde eine Politik Geflüchtete als Feinde zu vertreiben genutzt. Ein Feind der mit direkter oder indirekter Staatsgewalt bekämpft werden müsse. Gewalt an Körpern fremder Nationalitäten, die Angst in den Köpfen der Bevölkerung erzeugt und die Gesellschaft noch tiefer in die Barbarei stürtzt.
Über die letzten 14 Monate, ist das City Plaza, ebenso wie all die anderen Besetzungen zur Geflüchteten Unterbringung, ein Störfaktor im öffentlichen Raum, gegen eine Kulisse der konstanten Wiederholungen repressiver und rassistischer Diskurse gegen Geflüchtete. Denn das City Plaza hat nicht nur bewiesen, dass Geflüchtete und Anwohner*innen harmonisch und in Würde miteinander leben können. Es zeigt auch, gemeinsam mit anderen, ähnlichen Initiativen, dass da auch ein anderes Europa ist, dass anders ist als das Europa der Euro-Gruppe und Frontex. Ein Europa der Solidarität, des Widerstands, der Menchlichkeit. Und genau das ist es, was für die Machthaber*innen eine Störung darstellt.

Wir werden keine Angst haben, wir werden uns nicht beugen, wir werden nicht klein bei geben.
Wir rufen auf zu massiver Unterstützung für das City Plaza und alle Geflüchteten Squats, auf jedem nur möglichen Weg.
Geflüchteten Unterkunft City Plaza


City Plaza no se rendirá.

“Resistir en contra de la burocracia de las migraciones
las espantosas banderas de los estados
y la diplomacia
las empresas de guerra”

Mijalis Kacharos

La orden de desalojo del Refugee Acomodation Space es la última escena de intento de represión del movimiento organizado entre refugiados y voluntarios. Desde el cierre de las fronteras hasta el pacto de la vergüenza entre la UE y Turquía; desde el encarcelamiento en los campos hasta el desalojo de los espacios ocupados, está siendo articulada una política global que convierte a los refugiados en nuestros enemigos. Un enemigo que debe ser combatido, directa o indirectamente, a través de la violencia estatal. Esta violencia sobre los “extranjeros” es la que fomenta el miedo entre los locales, introduciendo a la sociedad más profundamente en la barbarie.
Durante los últimos 14 meses City plaza, junto con los otros espacios ocupados por refugiados, es la primera “grieta” en el contexto internacional en contra de la constante repetición del discurso racista y represivo hacia los refugiados. City Plaza no solo ha demostrado que refugiados y locales pueden vivir en armonía y con dignidad juntos, sino que también existe una Europa diferente a la del Eurogrupo y Frontex. Una Europa basada en la solidaridad, la lucha y la humanidad. Esto es precisamente una molestia para aquellos que están en el poder.

No tenemos miedo. No nos rendiremos. No vamos a echarnos atrás.

Pedimos apoyo masivo para City Plaza y todos los espacios ocupados.

Refugee Acomodation Space City Plaza


“Ἀντισταθεῖτε στὶς ὑπηρεσίες τῶν ἀλλοδαπῶν
καὶ διαβατηρίων
στὶς φοβερὲς σημαῖες τῶν κρατῶν καὶ τὴ
ἐργοστάσια πολεμικῶν ὑλῶν”
Μιχάλης Κατσαρός

Η εισαγγελική εντολή για εκκένωση του Χώρου Φιλοξενίας City Plaza αποτελεί το τελευταίοι επεισόδιο της κατασταλτικής αντιμετώπισης των προσφύγων καθώς και του κινήματος αλληλεγγύης. Από το κλείσιμο των συνόρων ως η Συμφωνία της Ντροπής με την Τουρκίας, και από τα στρατόπεδα-φυλακές ως την εκκένωση των καταλήψεων, αρθρώνεται μια πολιτική που αναγορεύει τους πρόσφυγες σε έναν ιδιότυπο εχθρό. Εχθρό που πρέπει να αντιμετωπιστεί με την άμεση κι έμμεση χρήση της κρατικής βίας. Η βία στα σώματα των ξένων καλλιεργεί τον φόβο στα μυαλά των ντόπιων, βυθίζοντας συνολικά την κοινωνία στη βαρβαρότητα.

Εδώ και 14 μήνες το City Plaza, όπως άλλωστε και οι υπόλοιπες προσφυγικές καταλήψεις, αποτελεί μια «παραφωνία» στο δημόσιο χώρος όπου επαναλαμβάνεται διαρκώς ο κατασταλτικός και ρατσιστικός λόγος για τους πρόσφυγες. Τo City Plaza δεν έχει μόνο αποδείξει ότι οι πρόσφυγες μπορούν να ζήσουν μαζί με τους ντόπιους αρμονικά και με αξιοπρέπεια. Δίνει το σήμα επίσης, μαζί με όλα τα ανάλογα εγχειρήματα, ότι υπάρχει μια διαφορετική Ευρώπη από αυτήν του Eurogroup και της Frontex. Μια Ευρώπης της αλληλεγγύης, του αγώνα, της ανθρωπιάς. Κι αυτό ακριβώς το σήμα είναι που ενοχλεί κυρίως τους κρατούντες.

Δεν πρόκειται να φοβηθούμε, δεν πρόκειται να λυγίσουμε, δεν πρόκειται να υποχωρήσουμε.

Καλούμε στη μαζική στήριξη του City Plaza και όλων των προσφυγικών καταλήψεων.

Χώρος Στέγασης προσφύγων City Plaza


Originaly posted onCityplaza

junij 8, 2017

Times of resistance – International meeting with citizens resisting democratic regression in Europe – 9-10th of June 2017 in Belgrade

vreme otpora

What connects the social movements and protests which emerged in  different countries in Europe in the past few years, is the discontent of citizens towards incapacitated or alienated institutions they depend on.  Beside the right-wing appropriation of discontent, which leads Europe to further disintegration, social movements and protests against inequality, racism, authoritarian usurpation of power and for the defence of basic  human rights show how far the regression of democracy has gone and point to the obsolete or corrupted mechanisms which are not resisting the wave of conservative counter-revolution.

Our conference is the initial event of a solidary action, putting together methods, ideas, programs, experiences, chances and obstacles, in order to build a stronger front for democracy. Critical thinking, resistance and international solidarity are the fundamental values of Europe, which we evoke to rethink our common future and overcome the consequences  of

the de-legitimization of democracy. Democracy has been taken for granted, but it is a practice that has to be thought through and developed every day. That is why we invite movements and protests which carried and continue to carry the idea of democracy in the streets and squares throughout Europe, reclaiming public space and public good, to meet and find common ground for future wider actions, to transform the memory of freedom into its social reality.

Democracy will either revolutionize or fall to  counter-revolution.


Center For Cultural Decontamination (CZKD) in cooperation with CCFD-Terre Solidaire




Greetings by the team:

Borka Pavićević, Aleksandra Sekulić, Florent Schaeffer, Clémence Beugnot   Video Overview of recent movements and processes in Europe by Ivica Đorđević and Adam Ranđelović


Introduction speech by Igor Štiks



All around Europe large movements have emerged. Why? In which political context? Analysis and critical views on several recent citizens’  protests.

•  Michał Sutowski — Krytyka Polityczna, Warsaw

•  Özge Çelikaslan — bak.ma, Istanbul

•  Filip Jovanovski — FRU Faculty of things that can’t be learned,  Skopje

•  Irena Pejić — Mašina, Belgrade

• Jelena Veljić — Social Center Oktobar, Belgrade

Moderated by Borka Pavićević and Aleksandra Sekulić —   CZKD


Coffee Break



In the past few years the social injustice, corruption, election frauds and media censorship gave reasons to people for protests, solidarity actions, strikes. Resistance in the streets and in the workplace can trigger change, either in the realm of political mechanisms or in a new form of solidarity for future actions.

• Klementyna Suchanow — Polish Women’s Strike and International Women’s Strike, Warsaw

• Mateusz Kijoswski — KOD Committee for the Defence of Democracy,   Warsaw

• Iva Čukić — Ministry of Space, Belgrade

• Damir Arsenijević — Workers’ University, Tuzla

• Andreea Petrut — Demos, Bucarest

• Matija Medenica — Marks21, Belgrade

• Ljubica Slavković — Ne Da(vi)mo Beograd

Moderated by Florent Schaeffer — CCFD-Terre Solidaire and Aleksandra Sekulić — CZKD

Lunch time


CULTURE IN RESISTANCE — Panel discussion

How the experience of the independent culture and its emancipation during the transition can contribute to establishment of a dynamic public mobilization field around social and political issues? The examples from Croatia can be a starting point for the discussion.

• Mirela Travar — Alliance Operation City, Zagreb

• Aleksandra Sekulić — CZKD


Coffee Break


“STORIES OF THE STREETS“, ISTANBUL — Presentation by Özge Çelikaslan Social movements and human rights activism in Turkey through research on video activism, documentation and digital archiving of political  acts.


Coffee Break



Migration is one of humanity’s most basic instincts — to go in search of new horizons. If we use the term crisis, it is appropriate to speak about the crisis of the fundamental European values and the regression of European vision regarding    the dealing with the refugees. It is inclusivity that brings security — belonging, not belongings.

• Žarka Radoja — Journalist, Belgrade

• Aleksandar Obradović — Philopolitics, Belgrade

• Ifigeneia Kokkali — Expert in Refugee Education, Greece

• Sara Kekuš — Center for Peace Studies, Zagreb

Moderated by Lola  Joksimović  — CZKD



Workgroups, networking, informal  meetings


Lunch time



Plenum discussion and articulation of a common  declaration

The open gathering of all, “plenum”, has been a form of organizing the students’ rebellions in Zagreb in 2009 and Belgrade in 2011. During 2014 protests in Bosnia, plenums became for months a public space to bring citizens back to politics and take collective decisions.

Summing up the shared views and information about the initiatives, examples,histories of resistance, we invite our colleagues and wider public to a free discussion in the form of plenum. The equal treatment of all the participants and the direction of the discussion will be moderated by Igor Štiks. Our hope is  to come up with a declaration on our future solidarity and potential modality of common actions.

Moderator of the Plenum discussion: Igor Štiks

Rapporteur: Clémence Beugnot — CCFD-Terre Solidaire

Simultaneous translation will be provided for this plenum.


The program including participants’ biographies is available here.





Ono što povezuje društvene pokrete i proteste koji su nastali u različitim državama u Evropi proteklih nekoliko godina, je nezadovoljstvo građana prema nesposobnim ili otuđenim institucijama od kojih oni zavise. Osim desničarskog prisvajanja nezadovoljstva koje vodi Evropu u dalje rasipanje, društveni pokreti i protesti protiv nejednakosti, rasizma, autoritarne uzurpacije moći i za odbranu bazičnih ljudskih prava pokazuju koliko   daleko je otišla regresija demokratije i ukazuju na zastarele ili korumpirane mehanizme koji ne pružaju otpor talasu konzervativne kontra-revolucije.

Naša konferencija je inicijalni događaj solidarne akcije, spajajući metode, ideje, programe, iskustva, šanse i prepreke kako bi se izgradio jači front za demokratiju. Kritičko mišljenje, otpor i međunarodna solidarnost  su fundamentalne vrednosti Evrope, koje mi evociramo kako bismo preispitali našu zajedničku budućnost i prevazišli posledice de-legitimizacije   demokratije. Demokratija se uzima zdravo za gotovo, ali to je praksa koja mora biti dobro razrađena i razvijana svakog dana. Zato mi pozivamo   pokrete i proteste koji su nosili i koji nastavljaju da nose ideju demokratije po ulicama i trgovima širom Evrope, ponovo preuzimajući javne prostore i javno dobro, kako bismo se sreli i pronašli zajedničko tle za buduće šire akcije, kako bi se sećanje na slobodu pretvorilo u društvenu  realnost.

Demokratija će se ili revolucionalizovati ili pasti u kontra-revoluciju.


Centar Za Kulturnu Dekontaminaciju (CZKD) Beograd u saradnji sa CCFD-Terre Solidaire




Pozdrav od strane tima:

Borka Pavićević, Aleksandra Sekulić, Florent Schaeffer, Clémence Beugnot

Video pregled nedavnih kretanja i procesa u Evropi — Ivica Đorđević i Adam Ranđelović


Uvodni govor Igora Štiksa


PREGLEDI NEMIRA — Panel diskusija

Širom Evrope javili su se veliki pokreti. Zašto? U kom političkom kontekstu? Analiza i kritički pregled nekoliko skorašnjih građanskih  protesta.

•  Michał Sutowski — Krytyka Polityczna, Varšava

•  Özge Çelikaslan — bak.ma, Istanbul

•  Filip Jovanovski — FRU Faculty of things that can’t be learned,  Skoplje

•  Irena Pejić — Mašina, Beograd

• Jelena Veljić — Zadruga Oktobar, Beograd

Moderatorke Borka Pavićević i Aleksandra Sekulić — CZKD


Pauza za kafu



U prošlosti, nekoliko godina društvene nepravde, korupcije, izbornih krađa i medijske cenzure su dali ljudima razloge za proteste, solidarne akcije, štrajkove. Otpor na ulicama i na radnom mestu može da izazove promene, ili u sferi političkih mehanizama ili u novom obliku solidarnosti za buduće  akcije.

• Klementyna Suchanow — Štrajk žena Poljske i Međunarodni štrajk žena, Varšava

• Mateusz Kijoswski — KOD Komitet za odbranu demokratije,   Varšava

• Iva Čukić — Ministarstvo prostora,  Beograd

• Damir Arsenijević — Unverzitet radnika, Tuzla

• Andreea Petrut — Demos, Bukurešt

• Matija Medenica — Marks21, Beograd

• Ljubica Slavković — Ne Da(vi)mo Beograd

Moderatori Florent Schaeffer — CCFD-Terre Solidaire  i Aleksandra Sekulić — CZKD


Pauza za ručak


KULTURA U OTPORU — Panel diskusija

Kako iskustvo nezavisne kulture i njene emancipacije tokom tranzicije može da doprinese uspostavljanju dinamične javne mobilizacije oblasti oko socijalnih i političkih tema? Kako samoorganizovani mediji otvaraju prostor za refleksiju borbe novih generacija i održe svoju kritičku slobodu? Primer Hrvatske može da bude početak rasprave.

• Mirela Travar — Savez udruga Operacija Grad, Zagreb

• Aleksandra Sekulić — CZKD


Pauza za kafu


„PRIČE SA ULICE“, ISTANBUL — Prezentacija Özge Çelikaslan Društveni pokreti i aktivizam ljudskih prava u Turskoj kroz istraživanje video aktivizma, dokumentacije i digitalnog arhiviranja političkih  činova.


Pauza za kafu



Migracija je jedan od najosnovnijih nagona čovečanstva – da traga za novim horizontima. Ako koristimo termin “kriza”, treba da govorimo o krizi osnovnih evropskih vrednosti i regresiji evropske vizije u suočavanju sa problemom izbeglica. Uključenost donosi sigurnost – pripadati, a ne   posedovati.

• Žarka Radoja — novinarka, Beograd

• Aleksandar Obradović — Philopolitics, Beograd

• Ifigeneia Kokkali — Stručnjak za obrazovanje izbeglica,  Grčka

• Sara Kekuš — Centar za mirovne studija, Zagreb

Moderatorka Lola Joksimović — CZKD



Radne grupe, umrežavanje, neformalni sastanci


Pauza za ručak



Otvoreno okupljanje svih, „plenum“, je bio oblik organizovanja pobuna studenata   u Zagrebu 2009. godine i 2011. godine u Beogradu. Tokom protesta u Bosni    2014. godine plenumi su mesecima služili kao javni prostor za vraćanje građana ka politici i donošenja kolektivnih  odluka.

Sumiranjem zajedničkih pogleda i informacija o inicijativama, primerima, istorijama otpora, pozivamo naše kolege i širu publiku na slobodnu diskusiju u obliku plenuma. Jednak tretman svih učesnika i pravac diskusije će moderirati Igor Štiks. Mi se nadamo da ćemo doći do deklaracije o našoj budućoj solidarnosti i potencijalnoj modalnosti zajedničih akcija.

Moderator Plenarne diskusije: Igor Štiks

Izvestilac: Clémence Beugnot, CCFD–Terre Solidaire

Simultano prevođenje će biti dostupno za ovaj plenum


Celokupan program sa biografijama učesnika možete preuzeti u PDF formatu ovde

Program možete preuzeti ovde, a biografije učesnika na ovom linku. 


maj 29, 2017

15M Appropriations and Revolutions: Fragmentary Visions in Spain

Perhaps the most radical legacy of 15M lies in the ways in which the expansion of self-managed forms of life have reshaped subjectivities, which in turn feed back into those forms.  ¨With 15M”, writes Carolina León, “like a slap of turmoil and spring with its precariousness, I knew that their existed a politics in each one of us, and that was an experience of transcending solitude.  … [T]he “revolution” has already triumphed, because it allowed a countless number of people to get out of themselves, to concern themselves with more than what belonged to them and pursue the discussion about living together.” (Carolina León, Trincheras permanentes, 11-2)  But to so speak of “revolution” does presuppose that it be re-conceptualised (the dogmatism on this issue by some anarchists is precisely the reason why Tomás Ibáñez thought that it was a good thing that 15M was free of anarchist organisations); a re-conceptualisation that is called for even if within anarchism, the idea of revolution as a single, insurrectionary event was always accompanied by a notion of social change that imagined revolution as emerging from expanding initiatives of self-management.



Originally published by Autonomies

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe so they are able to read what is going on and for documentation only.

Revolutionary change, the revolution, should begin from this moment on, beginning with the undoing of the authoritarian relations in each instant and place of daily life, breaking with the logic of obedience that power, every form of power, tries and will try to impose on us, resisting, practicing disobedience and giving the example of how we desire to live, for it is and will be these actions, including “the smallest actions of protest in which we participate”, that are those which convert themselves “into the roots of social change”.

Octavio Alberola, Revolución o colapso

On the 15th of May, a few thousand marched in Madrid to the Puerta del Sol to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the movement that would come to be known simply as 15M.  Smaller observances were held in other cities.

Almost a week latter, on the 20th, Podemos would rally over 10,000 in the same square, signaling an allegience to this recent past, but also demonstrating its divorce from it.

Tomás Ibáñez, the anarchist, writing of 15M in 2011, stated that the “worst that could have happened to 15M, and the future of social struggle, would have been for it to have allowed itself to be led by the libertarian movement … or that it have assumed as its own the principles and objectives of the the libertarian movement.” (Ibáñez, Anarquismos a contratiempo, 269)  The “worst” thing, he qualifies, excluding 15M ending up in the hands of some left-wing, extreme left-wing or nationalist political parties.  The rise of Podemos would seem to confirm the worst.

A Podemos political rally is an exercise in controlled demagogy.  The spectacle is staged, each moment generating ever greater emotional reaction and expectation.  The event begins with the expected political folk music, followed by the entry on stage of the nucleus of the Podemos parliamentarians: their age young, their appearance “cool”, they hold each other, smile and punch the air with their fists … “los compas” some in the crowd cry out, “the comrades”.  These are the ones who will lead the assembled to justice and freedom, they are the ones who will sweep away the corrupt, bring order to the State, enforce and pass laws in defence of the citizens, the people, the “fatherland” [“patria”: the word will be repeated without end]  At first, they could almost pass as a rock band, readying themselvs for a grand concert; but no, they are “our” warriors, our “justicieros” in whom faith must be had.  Then come the speeches, often written, seemingly rehearsed, each strictly timed to keep things moving quickly.  Thought and reflection are not expected.  The sequence of speakers itself alternates between parliamentarian and ordinary “citizen”/”worker”: unemployed, student, fisherman, longshoreman, and so on.  The refrain, to be read in the bodies and voices of the common man and woman: Podemos is the party of the people.  The order of the politicians is itself sequenced from the least well known to the leader.  All are presented as heros, indefatigable fighters for our dignity.  The cheering, the chants, follow rhythmically.  Nothing is left to chance, to spontaneity.  When the leader finally does step onto the stage, the crowd explodes in euphoria; it is Pablo Iglesias, white shirt, jeans, long hair held loosely in a pony tail, left hand raised in a fist, moving, pacing in a circle on the square stage like a boxer about to meet his opponents: the enemies of the patria, of the people and of their honest work, and of those who wish to work; the thieves, the crooks, the liars who sack and pillage the country.  Finally a man to fight for us, someone worthy of our trust.  And it is this that Iglesias asks for: faith in him, in his party, in his revolution.

The distance is great that separates the multiple and mass assemblies of 15M in Sol and the Podemos orchestrated show.  However politically limited and fragile the assemblies were, they were assemblies, largely open, horizontal, self-organised and self-managed.  And if they sometimes lost themselves in the self-confession of speakers, as individual after individual took the microphone, what was said was direct, pained or joyful, reflected or impulsive, to be then embraced or rejected by the very many who listened.  Those gathered before Podemos were not asked to listen but to react, in reflex, to words, names, slogans.  The speakers were chosen, pre-selected; those assemblied were the audience.  But so that the latter did not feel themselves entirely passive, they were greeted as the people, the speakers humbled themselves before them, thanked them for their presence, and recalled to everyone the history of their presence:  that as the assembled people, they were the direct descendants of the occupations of the squares of 15M and, even, of the country’s popular uprising against fascism in 1936.  And yet the truth strained, the lie was there for everyone to see.

Iglesias said to all of those present that they would be able to tell their children where they had been on the 20th of May, 2017, for the spirit of History was with them.  The motivation for the gathering was ostensibly to justify and gather support for the future introduction of a motion of no confidence in parliament by Podemos, to bring down the government of the Mariano Rajoy.  This would not be the action of a political party, but of the people, those assembled in Sol, and by extension, in the imaginary of the those gathered, the assembly of all of the people of spain.  The demonstration was thus both testimony of the synchrony of the party and the people, and justification of the party as the party of the spanish people.

The no confidence motion however will fail in parliament.  The party leadership knows this, for the majority of the political parties have denounced the exercise.  What game then is being played out?  In part, it would seem to be one further effort by Iglesias to undermine and fracture the Socialist Party (PSOE: Partido Socialista Obrero Español) that holds its leadership primary elections on the same weekend.  In other words, it is another act in the play in which Podemos seeks to situate itself hegemonically on the “Left”, to thus lay the basis for the conquest of political power.  The “historic” day in Sol then was but theatre, with the “people” as the extras for a game that will be decided elsewhere.  And when the show was over, those in the square could do little more than return home.  Indeed, to so gather the people, Podemos was obliged to rent some one hundred buses to freight people into Madrid from all over the country.  It is not that there is a distance between Podemos and 15M; there is an abyss. (El País 21/05/2017)

Carlos Taibo, in a recent chronicle on the occasion of the 6th anniversary of 15M, could still say, with justice, as he has said repeatedly in the past, “that the 15M that we have known until today has maintained a proud, and fortunate, engagement with self-organisation at the basis of society, in neighbourhoods and small towns, before the paraphernalia of endless entities remote from, and foreign to, what occurs in our daily life.”  For the same reason, 15M has visibly demonstrated itself to be distant from leaderships and personalised power. (Carlos Taibo, “Desde Abajo, Sin Separaciones: Seis Años del 15M”, madrid15m, Nº 58, May 2017)

Podemos is not 15M in political costume.  And if Podemos could not exist without 15M, 15M is not reducible to Podemos.  That Podemos has drained away activism from non-party political militancy is no doubt undeniable – for reasons which cannot be simply swept aside.  Podemos however is nothing more than “a return to reformist politics and this presages, undoubtedly, some social changes of greater or lesser importance.”  What has to be asked though is what is the nature and value of these changes.  That social-democratic reformism can bring about positive changes for ample sectors of the population – though never for the whole population, and more importantly, on a global scale, only ever for a minority – seems undeniable.  But at what price?  If the latter includes “the consolidation, revitalisation and perpetuation of the system that it reforms, then it is not certain that the price is not excessively high”.  And does not such a reformism also contribute to the domestication or deactivation of the multiple struggles that have marked the last years and upon which new political parties like Podemos support themselves?  The Podemos circuses, rather than being affirmations of authority, may prove themselves instead to be spectacles of a phantom life.  (Ibáñez, 279-81)

To consider 15M as Taibo does, that is, as at least in part an autonomous movement aspiring to generalised self-management,  renders any comparisons with Podemos and its capacity to mobilise on the streets, with the party shining brightly while 15M fades into historical oblivion, misplaced.  If 15M began with the mass occupation of city squares, and continued “visibly” in large public protests for another two years, the emphasis on self-management invites us to look elsewhere, at the proliferation and intensification of groups of direct action and collective mutual aid which have since 2011 emerged and/or developed outside the shining light of the spectacle of politics.

Perhaps the most radical legacy of 15M lies in the ways in which the expansion of self-managed forms of life have reshaped subjectivities, which in turn feed back into those forms.  ¨With 15M”, writes Carolina León, “like a slap of turmoil and spring with its precariousness, I knew that their existed a politics in each one of us, and that was an experience of transcending solitude.  … [T]he “revolution” has already triumphed, because it allowed a countless number of people to get out of themselves, to concern themselves with more than what belonged to them and pursue the discussion about living together.” (Carolina León, Trincheras permanentes, 11-2)  But to so speak of “revolution” does presuppose that it be re-conceptualised (the dogmatism on this issue by some anarchists is precisely the reason why Ibáñez thought that it was a good thing that 15M was free of anarchist organisations); a re-conceptualisation that is called for even if within anarchism, the idea of revolution as a single, insurrectionary event was always accompanied by a notion of social change that imagined revolution as emerging from expanding initiatives of self-management.

The question of revolution can be approached from any number of perspectives, but a reflection that appears in Carolina León’s essay Trincheras permanentes is valuable here.  Writing about the acampada of the Puerta del Sol in Madrid in 2011, she finds in the characterisation of the occupation and its multiple, daily assemblies as the realisation of politics, in the sense that Hannah Arendt gives to the term, an unsustainable contradiction.  If, for Arendt, politics depended on labour and work, it was not reducible to either or both of these.  Politics, as the public space of appearing and self-creation, rests upon the satisfaction of physical needs secured privately through labour and work, but does not share in the latter’s qualities.  The private sphere is a space of hierarchical authority, patriarchal authority in ancient greece, whereas the public space of politics is free and equal.  So different are the two, that the colonisation of politics by society (that is, the private management of life made public), that has become for Arendt the fundamental character of modern politics, translates into the death of politics.  What Arendt though assumes is that the private satisfaction of needs is a-political, or worse, anti-political, when it is in fact eminently political.  It is politically that the ways and means of needs satisfaction, and which needs are to be satisfied, are determined, all of which in turn shapes the space of politics.  Arendt in other words assumes the separation or divorce of politics from other spheres of life, when they are, on the contrary, overlapping and mutually sustaining.

León brings this forward in the expression of the “impure agora”.  “The squares rather than Chimeras, were very real.  They were not however delimited spaces separated from life, nor pure places of deliberation.  They were mixed spaces that reproduced themselves through the concrete and unavoidable labour of bodies.  Not of all, nor equally and without grabbing the same attention of other facets of the event.  The tasks that its maintenance demanded remained below, buried beneath the visibility of the debates, working groups and the assemblies of thousands of people.  And not everything was idyllic: in an experience of such intensity, tensions, bad stuff and criminal offenses such as sexual assault, also occurred.  The diversity was brutal because of its very openness.” (León, 160-1)  And if the acampadas were finally lifted, along with their specific politics, it was fundamentally because they could not be sustained, that is, physically reproduced.  In León’s terms, politics and care collided.  The question then becomes, for her, and I believe for any radical, anti-capitalist politics, how can the two be brought together, reconciled, so to speak (for they are in fact always together, with politics though parasitically feeding upon the many hidden activities or labours of social reproduction).

If “care” is understood as the discrete, daily and indispensable actions attending to the “needs of the body”, that provide what is essential for the perpetuation of life and if “politics” is any collective activity that produces a “common world” (in both cases, paraphrasing León, 156, 165), then the crossing of these two terms-activities-agencies is best captured in the notion of a form-of-life: of life lived and shaped collectively in and through itself in relations of affinity (it is friends who care for each other), and in affinity and/or tension with other forms-of-life.

In its most radical expression, 15M has entrusted to us a concept of life as politics and politics as life.

We have to abandon the idea that there is only politics there where there is a vision, a programme, a project and a perspective, where there is an end, decisions to be taken and problems to be solved.  There is no true politics except where it arises from life and makes of it a determined, oriented reality.  And that is born from those who are close …

comité invisible, Maintenant