We came across this written article (communique) a while back, and lob it here into the mix of debate as we think the issues it addresses are of concern to some anarchists and radicals in the Bristol area. So read on if the mood takes you….
[Note – we found the original English translation here, whilst the original in Spanish on Barcelona Indymedia is linked to here.We decided not to add any images, as there were none with the original.]
Communiqué for Anarchist Actions in Barcelona and Response to the Nihilist Comrades
With this communiqué, we wish to claim the following actions, as part of a struggle for the destruction of the State, Capital, patriarchy, and any system of domination, a struggle for the free creation of voluntary and solidaristic relations at the global and local level; in other words, a struggle for anarchy.
May 5, at night, we told a child the story of the maquis and the anarchist struggle against Franco and against democracy.
May 13, we cooked a healthy meal for a comrade who has a chronic illness.
May 17, we wrote a letter to a comrade imprisoned for participating in a riot.
June 12, we took care of the infant of some friends who suffer economic precarity and the imposed obligation of wage labor.
June 16, we spoke publically with our neighbors about the need to burn the banks and attack the police in order to realize our dreams.
June 19, we told some leftist activists that the masked-ones were not police infiltrators but ourselves, and that it was necessary and good to mask up and take the streets with force.
June 20, we gifted vegetables from our garden to friends and neighbors, without money or exchange.
Why do we claim these actions? In the last months, we have also barricaded roads with dumpsters, burned banks, injured journalists, smashed shop windows, and attacked cops.
For us, the attacks against the system are essential to our struggle. But we’ve fooled ourselves. A struggle does not consist only in attacks. The attacks are NOT more important than the need to care for ourselves, to preserve and spread our collective history, to create relations based in the gift, solidarity, and reciprocity, to imagine new worlds and new struggles, to confront our isolation and establish subversive and honest relationships with people outside of the categoric and political ghetto in which the Spectacle hides us.
With a long memory, it becomes apparent that we have lost several times in the past, and that the hardest of all is the historical fracturing and the loss of our own memory of struggle; it’s having to start from scratch. Hyperalienation, against which nihilism is a logical response, is nothing more than the result of defeat in past struggles. We find ourselves in a totality which must be destroyed in its entirety, only because nothing remains of what we built up in the past. So as not to lose everything every single time we rise up, we have to sustain ourselves, not as isolated individuals but as a commune, a collective and multigenerational struggle. And this cannot be accomplished with a singular prioritization of the attacks.
The hierarchy of tactics belonging to the Left was minimally transformed within nihilism: they took the head of the spear, the actions that were supposedly more important, as the only ones that mattered, and forgot about all the rest.
It is a patriarchal and counterproductive vision. It is the forgetting of all the actions—first disappeared by the patriarchy, then by capitalism, and then by the supposedly anticapitalist Left—that are necessary for life and for struggle as well. The most aggressive tactics only make sense and can be sustained and repeated in a complex of actions of all types, as long as they are libertarian and direct.
By not understanding that struggle means carrying with us a new world that is waiting to be born in the ashes of the dominant system, we transform ourselves into mere weapons against capitalism, in tools dedicated to destroy, without the other things that human beings need to live and fight. It is capitalism that wishes to treat us as tools We should not do the same.
The truth is that we are overjoyed to learn of the attacks of the nihilists and other comrades. We know very well that bravery and rage are two of the most important things in order to rebel. Specifically in Barcelona, it seemed an error to us that in the last year fewer illegal attacks were realized as more opportunities to participate in broad spaces appeared. Naturally, the rise in attacks—carried out by nihilists and by more “social” comrades—pleased us. And at the global level, we laughed to find out about the kneecapping of the director of Ansaldo Nuclear in Italy, and we were inspired to read the letters of comrades (nihilist and other) imprisoned in Greece who have not submitted to fear.
But too many times we’ve seen comrades who, departing from desperation, impatience, and alienation, threw themselves recklessly into the war against the State that all of us live daily. They always ended up dead or in prison, and often after less than a year. And then what happened? The others, the comrades who survived, did everything we could to support each other and to support the prisoners, to not forget the slain, to not let the repression win, to not lose all our strength and not allow a historical fracture, so that we don’t lose our collective memory of struggle.
But little by little this memory is lost, and every three or four years a new group appears that neglects all the other tasks of the struggle to dedicate themselves solely to the destruction of our common enemy. And when we support them but also criticize, or sometimes without even that provocation, they call us cowards for dedicating ourselves to other tasks (even though we also are in the riots or the nighttime actions), for differing with them ideologically and not glorifying their group or informal federation.
They don’t know how many times they have already lost because one task they neglect is the transmission of memory.  Instead of a memory that is profound, alive, and strategic, they only have their martyrologies. And then we have to watch as our friends and comrades are turned into symbols—and ultimately weapons—of ideology. Some of the dead comrades were nihilists. But in the nihilist martyrology comrades who belonged neither to one side nor the other, or who were clearly from the other side in this stupid division between “socials” and “antisocials” (like Lambras Foundas) are also recuperated, and their names and images are used to encourage attacks, total destruction, without stopping to reflect on their errors or the actual projects and desires of these comrades when they were alive.
It’s clear that we have to fight and this includes the possibility of death or prison. But this does not mean having to celebrate death or prison. Suicide is also a form of resistance, but it is not revolutionary.
It’s clear that we have to remember our dead and our prisoners, but this does not mean converting them into martyrs and heroes.
In conclusion, we want to criticize the current state of anarchist literature, disproportionately based as it is on superficial communiqués with no context, analysis, or reflection, that only value the attacks and not the other tasks that we have to carry out in order to remain alive and powerful.
Obviously, it’s helpful to find out about clandestine actions done by other comrades. It gives us strength and joy to read that some symbol of power has been smashed or burned. But it is much more useful to think (and write) about strategies of conflictivity, according to each moment and place, instead of encouraging a quantitative vision of struggle. We refuse to convert our rebellion into a mathematical equation to measure our rage: the more blows and fires we produce, the stronger we are; the greater the economic damage, the more powerful the action. This is the thinking of an economist, a general, or a simpleton
For all these reasons, we decided to write this communiqué to claim a series of actions we consider just as important in the current situation as the attacks. They are actions we do every week, normally without thinking twice or announcing it on the internet. We publish them now to visibilize a personal worry and a weakness generalized throughout the anarchist space.
FOR ANARCHY AND ALL THE TASKS OF THE STRUGGLE!
[footnote 1: For example, “neither do we remember the past, because we hate it… we destroy the present.” from the communiqué of “Anarquistas Nihilistas” of Barcelona, April 25, 2012]