Never Forgive, Never Forget

Neither Heros, Nor Martyrs

Sprühschablone als Teil einer Kunstaktion an der Todesstelle, 1997.

Conny in Göttingen, Silvio in Berlin, Carlo in Genoa, Dax in Milano, Thomas in Dortmund, Carlos in Madrid, Rick L. In Magdeburg, Jan Kucera in the Czech Rep., Feodor in St. Petersburg, Alexis in Athens, and the list could go on and on and on.  We single them out because the names are likely to inspire thoughts, memories, and emotions in your minds.  But these are neither heros, nor martyrs.  They were simply militants, activists, young revolutionaries who had the misfortune of being killed because of their ideas, either by Fascists or by the Police, the State`s private army. They were not singled out, nor were they involved in activities beyond the realm of what most activists/militants of the extra-parliamentary left expose themselves to.

Conny was no different.  On the 17th of November she and others were alerted to the presence of Nazi skins in Göttingen.  For this reason, a group of antifascists gathered to chase the Nazis out of the city.  They were observed by plainclothes police, who gave chase to the antifascists and called for re-enforcements.  Once they had gathered enough officers, the murderers went on the offensive.  After commenting on police radio “Jetzt machen wir sie platt” they attacked the group of antifascists with batons and pepper spray.  All this happened on the Weender Landstrasse.  During this confrontation, Conny was chased into oncoming traffic on the busy avenue and struck by a car.  She was killed immediately.  People who rushed to her aide were greeted with threats such as „you can lie down next to her“ by the cops.

Any militant antifascist or revolutionary activist could have found his or herself at that time in that place.  In those dark moments of the social war where the State, either by choice, by accident, or because of increased resistance, briefly takes off the mask of “modern, peaceful, and democratic” and briefly reveals the true nature of its existance, and its weapons for survival when the mirage of social consent falls apart.  Namely none other than overwhelming force, violence, and a brutal defense of its monopoly of it.

Many will argue that this is not representative of “our” modern institutions.  That these are “bad apples” (in the case of murdering cops), or “fringe elements” in the case of murdering Fascists.  Or even worse, some will argue that “there must have been a good reason” (in the case of murdering cops), or that “it was a conflict between youth gangs” (in the case of murdering Fascists).  These opinions, while tempting and to many also comforting, are dangerously ignorant of the true nature of State power.

The State: Violent and Dangerous

The modern state no longer relies on brute force and intimidation to secure its daily existance.  History has proven this method to be highly ineffective in the long run, and the advent of industrial society and the consumer model have rendered it, at least in the “first” world, unecessary.  Instead the model of rule via overwhelming force has been replaced with the framework of rule through social consent.  A much less brutal, and indeed more effective, model is provided by the tapestry of elections, social services, benign cultural campaigns, etc. which are charachteristic of a modern first world country.

And though the state takes great care to maintain this image, it is in the end precisely that: an image.  The true nature of the state, and of power in general, is that of rule via overwhelming force and violence.  And it is precisely this nature which is exposed in every confrontation with the State.  It is to violence and force which the State resolves when faced with challenges to what it presents as acceptable parameters of dissent.  Sometimes the violence of the State stems from real challenges to its authority and the status-quo, as witnessed recently in the Greek uprising.  Other times it has the purpose of attempting to restore order and keep the socially and economically marginalized quiet, as it often does in the uprisings in the French banlieues.  In other cases, it is the result of the repressive arms of the state not being in line with the will of the political class and taking their role too seriously.  Greece again provides here a recent example of this.  A long media and police propaganda campaign against anarchists resulted in the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos, but not because this represented the will of the Greek state and political class.  Rather, it was the action of an overzealous police officer (nicknamed “Rambo” by his colleagues) which in the end caused the Greek status-quo to be shaken to its core.

The murder of Conny is probably a similar case.  The German state had no need to murder Conny, and indeed the Police and the city of Göttingen certainly did not benefit from the ensuing conflict and attention. Yet in a country where, both then as well as now, the apparatus of state and police make regular sport of the beating, persecuting, surveilling, and demonizing of those with radical politics, can it really come as a surprise that sooner or later, somebody is seriously injured or killed?

Attack is the Best Defence

We seek a radical transformation of society.  Nothing more and nothing less than the destruction of this socio-economic order based on the pillars of state, capital, and patriarchy, and their replacement with the principles of libertarian communism, and the simple yet scandalous basis of “from each according to his/her abilities, to each according to his/her needs.”   It should be more than clear that, when searching to challenge the monopoly of violence of the state and create situations of open rupture with its reality and order, conflict, repression, and consequences are inevitable.  When demanding the abolition of your opponent, dialogue and negotiation are seldom effective tools.

Therefore, we consciously reject the roles of victim, beaten, murdered, jailed, prosecuted, isolated, and marginalized which this society so often offers to us.  Pleas to public opinion as to the injustices of the status quo are a futile sport.  Our safety as individual militants and our strenth as a contestatory force will come from our collective power as a movement.  Intervention in social and class struggles, which serve to reach new people, radicalize struggles, and create important bonds of solidarity to which we can appeal in times of repression.  The erkämpfung, verteidigung, and aufbau of freiräume, places in which we can not only reach new and young people, give life to an antifascist and revolutionary counterculture, but also retreat to in times of trouble.  Building a revolutionary movement, promoting vernetzung and cooperation, solidarity, and most importantly developing the strengh as a movement to show the state that its actions will not always go without consequences.  Once again here we have to look towards the recent example of the insurrection in Greece, which if nothing else, has certainly achieved that cops will now think more than twice before they again point a gun at a comrade.

In contrast to this, the State treats activists of the extra-parliamentary left in Germany the way it does, plain and simply because it can afford to.  It can arrest us massively, and the outcry is minimal.  It can carry out hausdurchsuchungen and show trials in the most scandalously arbitrary way, and sees that it suffers little to no consequence for its actions.  It can treat our demonstrations like prisoner transports, in which protecting our identity is forbidden, defending ourselves from being attacked by the uniformed thugs all around is is forbidden, and even in what we say or write we are controlled.  And should the demonstration attempt to break out of the prisoner transport, it can beat, pepper spray, and arrest us with little to no consequence.

Our challenge is to break this monopoly of violence, while at the same time exposing and confronting the much greater systematic violence which behind the smile of democracy, is the inevitable basis for the existing order.  The violence of exploitation, the murder of “workplace accidents,” the torture of slaving lives away at alienating and meaningless jobs, the physical and psycholigcal torment to which migrants, prisoners, and other “marginals” are subjected, and the list could go on and on.  What is clear is that the apparent peace of our society is built on the suffering of those deemed expendable, and the overwhelming force which sits at the ready should these “marginals” get out of hand.

For an End to Violence!

Class society knows no peace. It is by definition a constant war.  Our weapons in it are class consciousness, collective organization, solidarity, and mass militance.  Our best tribute to those killed by the state is to be found not in candles, commemorations, or martyrdom, but in laying our grain of sand towards the continuation of the struggle against the conditions which make such deaths not only possible, but inevitable.  Struggle iwth us for a society in which the domination of human over human is abolished.  Come to Göttingen on 14.11.2009!

Our Tribute … Continuing the Struggle!
Never Again Police Terror … Death to State and Capital
For the Social Revolution and the Classless Stateless Society

antifaschistische Aktion Burg
antifaschistische Aktion Hannover [AAH]
antifaschistische Aktion Lüneburg/Uelzen
antifaschistische Jugend Bochum (AJB)
antifaschistische Linke Freiburg (ALFR)
antifaschistische Linke Fürth [ALF]
antifaschistische revolutionäre Aktion Berlin [arab]
Antifa Info Pool (Hamburg)
Antifa Syke
autonome Linke Magdeburg [A.L.M.]
Politcafé Azzoncao Bochum
freie ArbeiterInnen-Union (FAU) Bielefeld/OWL
Jugendantifa Göttingen (J.A.G.)
Infoladen NmK Karlsruhe
next Steffi Karlsruhe
northeast antifascists [NEA] Berlin
organisierte Autonomie (OA) Nürnberg
radikale Linke (RL) Nürnberg
red and anarchist Skinheads (RASH) Berlin/Brandenburg
revolutionäre Perspektive Berlin
siempre antifascista
sozialistische Linke (SoL) Hamburg
sozialrevolutionärer Block Giessen