ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE ANARCHIST POLITICAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE MOBILIZATIONS OF INTERNATIONALIST SOLIDARITY OF THE PREVIOUS PERIOD AGAINST THE RISE OF THE NATIONALIST THREAT, IN THE OCCASION OF THE “MACEDONIAN QUESTION”
“Within the continuous international destabilization and the shock of the political basis of the system, the huge potential of revolutionary emancipation is generated. Against this potential, the counter-revolutionary far-right and fascist version of modern totalitarianism is already forming, in order to become the ultimate barrier to the evolution of social history, which progresses through the relentless struggle for freedom and equality. War and Fascism is the system’s response to its overall and profound crisis, to its own contradictions, which are caused by the incurable conflict imposed by its basic principle, the exploitation and repression of one human being against the other.”
From the Political Declaration of the Second Congress of the Anarchist Political Organization [November 2016]
The decay and absolute bankruptcy of the world of the state and capitalism, the way it is developing within the modern environment of the global systemic crisis, is the limit of its global integration and, at the same time, the prerequisite for the intensification of endo-imperialistic conflicts and the subsequent rise of the threat of war.
Nationalism, in this context, is called to play its special role in the ideological preparation of societies, to endorse a war conflict and in the inclusion of the repressed masses into the strategic plan of their mutual elimination.
The fascist parastate and its groups can undertake the dirty work, according to each period. Either as the forces that bring the supporters of the anti-revolt policies together into a political party, or as gangs which will murder those who resist and slaughter the immigrants and refugees, targeting them as the internal enemy and certainly as the avant-garde of the nationalist directives. The new ‘vision’ of local fascism is formed, in an effort to encompass the small Nazi groups along with their common matrix, the Golden Dawn, into a ‘mass’ nationalistic gloom with alleged ‘anti-governmental’ characteristics that focuses opposition, not in the class field and against the repressors of this world, but in the national aspect, by utilizing the rhetoric of treason.
A necessary precondition for the rise of the far-right is the diffusion of the nationalist sentiment into large parts of the society. However, the state and the bosses have and will have the first and final word in the management of the nationalist sentiment of the society.
The re-emergence of the “Macedonian issue”, as a matter of central national importance rose from a number of interconnected authoritarian needs. The bourgeoisie of the country strongly aspires to deepen the relations with its traditional allies, the Euro-Atlantic/NATO axis. Especially, in the present period that the geopolitical liquidity, which is produced by the developments in the Middle East, but also in other fronts, makes the need to attach Greece in a more direct and unnegotiable way to the West more compelling. Contrary to Greek geopolitical analysts’ claims, the main reason behind that decision was not the seeking of protection against Turkish expansionism but securing a favorable position in the share of the spoils. The Greek state wants to take part in the sharing of the energy resources of the region and for the bourgeoisie to secure the larger share.
The Macedonian issue, therefore, is the most suitable instance, and it is used as a prelude to the affirmation of the relations between Greece, NATO and EU.
In this context, APO’s collectives identified as a priority the organization of mobilizations in resistance to the state/nationalist plans.
These mobilizations started in Thessaloniki, where the first nationalist rally was called. Among the actions taken in preparation and propagation of the mobilizations, collectives Black and Red and Libertatia printed posters and published statements. Also, along with other collectives, they organized a protest and motor-demonstration prior to the mobilizations, while APO’s collectives contacted comrades from the Balkans. This led to the call of APO’s collectives to the antinationalist protest in Kamara, at the center of the city, on Sunday, January 21st, 2018, the same day that the nationalist rally was taking place.
We immediately understood the need to make an open call at the same day that the nationalist rallies were taking place. The enemy that we had to stand against, was not just the small groups of Nazis and fascists, but several aspects of the state, not just the police forces, but the whole of the national core which participated (church, army, police, cultural groups etc.).
Focusing at a bigger target than the fascist groups, as the diffusion of nationalism would produce a space, where they would feel free to move, we realized that the only way to stand against them would be to make an open call, which would attempt to bring together the social forces, the comrades, the anarchist groups and organizations, but also the entire people, who understood that the nationalist and fascist characteristics of these rallies were targeting at deceiving and promoting cannibalism between the repressed, providing, in this way, their services to the interests of the powerful. In this way, they would have the opportunity to express their opposition to nationalist rhetoric.
In other words, APO’s collectives realized that a wide social mobilization would be the only barricade against the crowd of the nationalist rally. Taking into account that the anarchist struggle is not always in the position to choose the day of conflict, our public presence during the day of the nationalist rally was a necessary commitment in support of our political analysis. We consider that the absence of the revolutionary movement from the streets at that critical day would not just signify the acceptance that we are politically and organizationally inadequate to stand against the nationalist mob, which would take over the public sphere. It would also bury any perspective to create a much needed resisting pole, since, without standing against the national/fascistic complex, we would not be able to address society convincingly enough to support the call of an antinationalist mobilization.
The size of those that responded to that first call in Thessaloniki was certainly an open bet, however, it was a possibility, a way that could be paved by walking it. This choice was not based on calculations, but was inspired by a specific political direction: the widespread understanding that a revolutionary movement should be reconciled with the idea that -till the moment of its triumph, which is just one of many historical possibilities- it remains a social minority. Being reconciled with this idea should not turn into a logic of fear, defeat or a step backwards. What could be useful for our every move is the expansion of our political and social influence, through each or our choices.
Therefore, based on this viewpoint, we consider that the mobilization in Kamara achieved many objectives, with most important the creation of a visible social, class and internationalist pole by the initiative of the anarchist movement, which, basically, was the only political force that organized the public resistance against the entire nationalist bloc. Moreover, the mobilization in Kamara revealed the chauvinist nature of several organizations, which have a left-wing point of reference, while it underlined the perplexity and inaction of the Left, into taking a stance against the nationalist hysteria. In parallel, it has put pressure in the leaders of the extra-parliamentary Left, forcing them to follow the anarchist/communist initiative, a few days later in Athens. The mobilization in Kamara formed the basis for the mobilization in Propylea/Athens a few days later, where the approach of open conflict initiated in Thessaloniki was expressed under more favorable conditions.
At this point, it is worth noting that, from our viewpoint, the mobilization in Kamara reflected also the historical root of the address of anarchist proposals to a wider social audience. If the adoption of the nationalist frenzy, as a state policy from the bourgeoisie and the political administration in the rallies of 1992, did not allow the formation of a public anti-nationalist demonstration, under the weight of fierce repression, today, 26 years later, the struggles of the anarchist movement managed to change that balance of power and realize a public protest. This is, from our point of view, a huge achievement.
At the other end, however, when plans of that scale –as the attempt of geopolitical upgrade of the Greek bourgeoisie, the upsurge of nationalism as a counterbalance for a more profitable solution, and the development, in this context, of the fascist rhetoric – are tested by the state and the parastate, the danger of a blow, especially against those who attempt to oppose them openly, is highly possible. The gap in realizing a defense plan (since the comrades of Libertatia chose to support the mobilization in Kamara, in order to stand with their comrades in the open and public demonstration against the national core) and under the police coverage and with the nationalist rally’s support, a group of fascists along with hooligans of a football team managed to burn down Libertatia squat.
The arson of a squat or even worse situations, are always probable in the battle against the state and fascism. The only way that this event, which is certainly of huge importance, would not have taken such catastrophic dimensions (equal to the damages of the building) would be by the firm stance of the movement in solidarity with the squat, letting aside the assessment to the squat’s collective – which received the blow and paid a heavy toll – or, at least, disconnecting any possible criticism (which would necessarily consist of many speculations) from the unnegotiable political and material solidarity with a structure of the anarchist movement, which was burned down by fascists.
The arson of a squat is neither something new, nor has it taken place for the first time in the 21st of January. There have been many such incidents in the past, sometimes with catastrophic consequences.
In spite of how devastating is the destruction of a squat by fascists, the next few days, after the burning down of Libertatia, showed that this brutal act of collaboration between the state, the parastate, the Nazis and the bosses, could form the ground for an upgraded conflict of the antifascist movement with the fascists and the state. Foremost, the demonstration of two thousand people showed that the antifascist reflexes could bring together the people of the struggle. At the same time, the encirclement, the exclusion and attack to the demonstration by the police, revealed the tight connections between the state, the government and the parastatal groups.
At a political level, two important processes emerged as a response to the burning down of the squat, which operated as a warning to all the fighting antifascist forces: a) the intensification of antifascist action (many actions and conflicts with fascists took place the period after), with all the people of the struggle being not just alerted, but also in a counter attack and b) the political initiative to call the anti-nationalist mobilization in Athens, against the nationalist rally which was called on the 4th of February.
The successful mobilization in Propylea/Athens was an important mobilization that brought the movement together, a point of reference and expression at the central political scene of the message of internationalist solidarity, a valuable legacy of the movement, as it made clear that the pole in opposition to states, nationalism and war can be expressed publicly. The presence of more than 2,000 people in Propylea (in a period when large demonstrations are rare) outlined that the nationalist/fascist bloc is not alone in the public space, forcing the state to function once more as the protector of fascism against the antifascists. It revealed who enemies and who the ‘friendly’ forces are, not just in ideological terms, but in the streets, where each one has to pick sides. Who stood against the national core and SYRIZA, and who became the fifth wheel of authority’s chariot.
This strategy has been a way of raising our possibilities, by bringing forces together. Though defensive, the stance of guarding the structures of struggle was necessary, if we think of it as complementary to the open mobilization. It could present (and gave in a central level) antifascist dynamics, which contributed a lot in decreasing the dynamics of the fascists. The clashes that took place after the mobilizations, in certain points, showed that those attacks did not have the prospects that the state and parastatal groups hoped for.
The next mobilization that would attempt, not just to block the nationalist threat, but also to reverse the political terms, to underline internationalist solidarity as the only solution for the people to fight against those, who steal their lives, and, at the same time, to become an act of solidarity with Libertatia squat, which had received the state’s and fascists’ blow, was the Internationalist Pan-Balkan Demonstration in Solidarity to Libertatia squat, which was called on March the 10th, in Thessaloniki.
The political context of APO’s call was based on two axes:
- a) Internationalist solidarity against the states, nationalism, war and
- b) Unconditional Solidarity with Libertatia squat.
The imperative of Internationalist Solidarity, from our point of view, is not just a slogan in our posters and banners, but is logically drawn from our initiatives and the collaborations we form in the struggle, collaborations that APO is trying to form with other anarchist and antiauthoritarian political organizations and initiatives in the Balkans and all over the world, since the first day of its creation. In this context, APO has participated in 5 consequent meetings of the International of Anarchist Federations (IFA-IAF), in Ljubljana (April 2016), in IFA Congress in Frankfurt (August 2016), in Rome (Spring 2017), in London (Autumn 2017) and has also hosted the meeting of IFA in Athens in June 2018. It has supported the two subsequent antifascist demonstrations in Sofia/Bulgaria (February 2016 and February 2017), has participated in political events, called by DAF, in Istanbul (January 2018) and in Mexico, responding to the call of Zapatista women in the First Meeting of Struggling Women (March 2018) and lastly through our meeting with comrades in Macedonia and other Balkan countries, in the occasion of organizing the mobilizations against the nationalist rallies. In terms of Internationalist Solidarity, the demonstration of March the 10th was an opportunity for the repressed of the Balkans, and beyond, to march together against war, nationalism, fascism, capitalism and modern totalitarianism.
At the same time, solidarity with Libertatia, as an axis of our call, was self-explanatory, not only for the reasons already mentioned that depict the substantial symbolism of burning down a squat during the nationalist demonstration, but also because the 10th of March was an opportunity for the anarchist –antiauthoritarian movement come together and express itself at a country-level, on the basis of Internationalist Solidarity, of defending the squats and the structures of the struggle, which are repressed by the state and parastatal groups, in order to create a dynamic political response to the rise of fascism, nationalism and state repression. A demonstration which, with its size, could place a barrier to modern brutality.
The huge demonstration of more than 4,000 people, was a central anarchist political response, while, moving at the center of the city, made its presence quite clear. The demonstration passed by the offices of SYRIZA and approached the offices of Golden Dawn, in an attempt to target those who are responsible for the rise of nationalist frenzy and the burning down of Libertatia, but also to underline the connections between state and parastatal fascist groups. The deployment of police forces for the protection of the Nazis’ offices, only a few days after the attack to the Free Social Space Favela was indicative, at a symbolic level.
Today, six months after the nationalist hysteria, within the occasion of the “Macedonian question”, and few days after the signing of the agreement between the Greek and Macedonian state, we could say that the conditions of the endo-imperialist competition in the wider region of the Balkans, Eastern Europe and South-eastern Mediterranean are becoming even more favorable for the plans of the global political and economic elite. Moreover, the attachment of the local bourgeoisie to the chariot of the western bloc of authority is even stronger, while, the rise of a strengthened fascist and nationalist core could become the ‘critical mass’ that the dominants were looking for, in order to operate as an avant-garde in the social and class clashes that will take place in the next period, due to the intensification of the capitalist and state attack against society.
From our side, realizing that the prospect of war societies, of poverty and impoverishment, of the resurge of nationalisms and social fascistization, will have destructive effects in humanity, and convinced that class and internationalist solidarity between the people, the organized counter-attack of the exploited classes and the subversion of the world of the capitalism and the state at a global level, can form the terms for the creation of a society of prosperity, equality, peace and justice, without exploitation, interstate wars and disorienting competitions, we supported with all our powers the internationalist-antifascist mobilizations of the previous period and we will continue to do so, whenever necessary. Along with thousands of people of the struggle, the antifascists, we will continue to create barricades against the advance of the nationalist mob and the fascist reserves of the state, against the attack of the global political and economic bosses against the plebeians of this world.
We salute the thousands of people, who participated in the antifascist, antiwar and internationalist mobilizations in Greece and abroad. The struggles in every corner of the earth underline that, against the International attack of the state and the capital, we must create the International of those from below, the International of Struggle and Anarchy.
We continue to struggle, whenever the nationalist bloc and the fascist scums that accompany it attempt to rise. We are sending a message of internationalist solidarity to our comrades in the Balkans and internationally. Only the empowerment of our common struggles can wipe out the fascist threat.
The antifascist and internationalist blockades will remain a bright example of solidarity and struggle, preserving the flame of Social Revolution burning and the vision of Anarchy and Libertarian Communism alive.
ANARCHIST POLITICAL ORGANIZATION-FEDERATION OF COLLECTIVES