While the specter of anarchism may be slumbering in Seattle, it is thriving all over the planet. Over the entire month of December, 2015, a series of informally coordinated attacks took place from Uruguay to Greece to Australia and many countries in between. Banks were burned, politicians cars were set ablaze, and other capitalist targets were incinerated or vandalized in what was called Black December.
The proposal for this coordinated series of actions came partly from Nikos Romanos, currently housed inside a Greek prison for participating in a bank robbery. In 2008, Nikos was standing beside his friend Alexis when the police murdered him. This state execution of Alexis triggered a month long insurrection across Greece that lasted from December 6th to just before before Christmas. Nikos was 16 during the insurrection, and as he got older the conditions in Greece continued to deteriorate. No one had any money, the rich controlled everything, and the police were open fascists. There was nothing to do but attack them all directly. In 2013, Nikos and his comrades decided to rob two banks to fund further activities, but in the process they were captured and later tortured by the police. Nikos now remains in prison. In the call for Black December, the authors write:
“A month of coordinated actions in order to know each other, take to the streets and smash the displays of department stores, occupy schools, universities and city halls, distribute texts that will spread the message of rebellion, place incendiary devices against fascists and bosses, hang banners on air-bridges and main avenues, flood the cities with posters and flyers, blow up houses of politicians, throw Molotov cocktails at the cops, tag the walls with slogans, sabotage the smooth flow of merchandise amid Christmas, loot the displays of abundance, carry out public activities, and exchange experiences and rationales around various topics of struggle.
“To meet each other in narrow urban streets, and paint on the ugly buildings of banks, police stations, multinationals, military camps, television studios, courts, churches, charitable corporate groups with ashes.
“To deregulate the deadly social regularity of psychotropic drugs, economic suffocation, misery, impoverishment and depression in a thousand ways, regulating our existence to the rhythms of anarchist insurrection, where life takes on meaning; into the ceaseless battle against domination and its representatives. To set fire to the fragile social cohesion and go out into the streets, being the first to strangle the monster of economy before it exterminates us through its bureaucratic mechanisms and its killers in suits who staff the command centres of the economic warfare.”
One of the first groups to respond to this call was the Movimento Insurgente Anarquista (MIA) in Brazil. The MIA appears to have formed out of the Brazilian insurrection of 2012 and has conducted several attacks against capitalist targets. In the middle of November, 2015, the group burnt down four banks in Sao Paulo and issued a statement encouraging all anarchist groups to participate in Black December. In their communique for the attack, the MIA writes:
“Republic, presidentialism, monarchy, or even social democracy. There is no alternative to capitalism that is more “humanised” because the problem is capitalism itself. We will be oppressed and exploited as long as there are capitalism, social classes and exploitation of human by human.
“Do not believe in magical solutions proposed by demagogues and opportunists. There is no alternative to the capitalist crisis that looms large on the horizon. Impeachment, coup, elections or any other palliative do not solve the structural problems that the Brazilian State presents. Only the autonomous, free and revolutionary organisation of male workers, female workers and youth can guarantee the construction of a new society towards complete freedom.”
“We will continue to violently attack the superstructure of capitalist domination. We will make gunpowder and fire our only voice in the face of injustices, for the construction and propagation of anarchist urban guerrillas that today begin to emerge in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul, in parallel with the struggle of the masses that also emerges with new revolutionary subjects.
“Our solidarity also goes out to the feminist struggle of women who marched in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro against the scumbag Eduardo Cunha and the entire reactionary mob that nowadays infest the political and economic scene with their rotten conservative and theocratic agendas. Continue to fight the good fight; the people are with you as well!”
During the month of December, a wide variety of capitalist targets were attacked. In Athens a politician for the formerly ruling PASOK party had their car burnt and the entrance to their house set ablaze. In Berlin many cars were set ablaze on the anniversary of Alexis’ execution. The MIA struck again, burning down another bank in the outskirts of Sao Paulo. In the Rhodope region of Greece, an anarchist group burnt the car of a local leader of the fascist Golden Dawn party. Two days later the Turkish embassy was attacked in Thessaloniki. A Porsche dealership in Montevideo, Uruguay was completely burnt down. On December 31st, a lignite mine was set on fire by anarchists in the Hambach forest of Germany. On that same day in Leipzig, Germany, four cars belonging to the Ministry of Finance were incinerated. And those are just some of the actions that took place. There have been dozens of other attacks throughout the course of January and the anarchist offensive continues outside of December.
Anarchism is natural, joyful, and serious. For every one of these attacks, there is a strong base of support, lovers, friends, families, projects, kitchens, social spaces, parks, neighborhoods, villages. The sum of anarchism is not an explosive device, but there is nothing to condemn in these actions, nor do these actions claim to be the answer. They are simply good. No one cries over a burnt bank or a smoldering luxury car. In fact, both of these things should no longer exist. Some people have an easier time handling this shitty reality than others. Some cannot stand the hypocrisy and need to attack it. While we might be able to go to our bullshit job, maybe our friend just wants to burn down the bank they’re in debt to. And we should let them, we should even encourage and help them do that, because no one was harmed in any of the actions listed above, and rather than see our friends suffer in a miserable job in a pointless world that is about to collapse, we should all figure out a way to stop this nightmare. Take courage from Black December and don’t forget that the secret is to really begin. You don’t need to find the local anarchists. You just need to find your friends and start from there. In fact it is best that you DO NOT seek out the local anarchists, as this horrid country is so infiltrated by federal informants and corporate infiltrators that you would only put yourself in danger. Find the people you trust, remember that your smartphone and your computer is a surveillance device, and make your plans. Good luck