Hamburg Riots - Prelude to G8 Trouble (Plus Pics)

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rata
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Jun 4 2007 19:20

Just got back from Germany. Was there originally for FAU congreso, and managed to slip away in time. Loads of comrades arrested, notably from Greece, Bulgaria and Poland. Too many Greeks present =;>

So, I can see some comrades here don't see point of this riots. I think this kind of demos are quite good for two things: First, inflicting fear to the ruling class. Even if I'm completely aware that these kind of protests will not shake capitalism to the bottom, still there is something good with the ruling class top meetings being followed by mass riots. They don't feel so comfortable, and I think that comrades who are too critical, are forgetting some things that could be learned from classics such as Clausewitz on the importance of moral forces. Another thing is that these kind of events are a great practicing place for organizing large-scale rebellions against the authorities. Experiences from this events can be used on any mass strike, or workers action against the ruling class. And of course there is no need to explain how important practice is. You wouldn't want to face tear gas for the first time on your first large violent strike, do you?

Without over-fetishizing these things, I think that easy writing off actions like those is stupid and anti-dialectic as fuck. =;> That going together with hatred toward anti-summits bullshit, summit-hoping, and summit-hoppers.

wangwei
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Jun 4 2007 19:46

You know rata, I see where you're coming from. It is a good thing that there is resistance and riot following the genocidal butchering capitalists who meet at the G-8 summit, but I'm wondering if we're not examining the form and content of the struggle enough.

I don't see the "indiginous" working class to that particular area rising up in support of the anarchist forces confronting the state. I'm wondering if this is, as some other posters here mentioned, vanguardist. I am also wondering if the term adventurist can be used.

It's difficult for me to take a position, because 1.) I'm not there and 2.) it is rooted in class conflict. I just don't see it as directly threatening capital.

I'd like to see some more discussion on what is going on there.

magnifico
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Jun 4 2007 22:51

Keep warm, burn out the disabled confused

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robot
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Jun 5 2007 04:54

From the middle of two demonstrations just a few thoughts and observations. The rumble at Rostock started, when special police units started to beat themselves into the demonstration in order to break it into two, Hundreds of people prevented them from doing this and after a some time the police fled. This was a violent but necessary response towards their aggression. About an our or more later at the other side of the (quarter of a square mile big) place there was a hit and run between anti-riot units and hundreds of (mostly) youngsters. There were more than a dozen fo attacks and counter attacks during more than two hours. Most people were unaffected by this or did not even take notice of it, because they were on the other side of the place to listen to the music or to get a snack at one of the dozens of stalls. It was quite a bizarr situation. The burning car and the pictures the media wanted, were from that second set of clashes, sometimes there was more reporters and camera equipped media folks in it than actos. The later the day, the more alcohol, as lots of people went to the nearby stalls and supermarkets, came back for another attack and so on.

I personally don't mind a burning car even if it was not a cop. Nevertheless I could not see much use in it in that special situation. Nice if the kids had fun and of course it is a always a good and necessary feeling to see the cobs take flight. But as I think that the use of violence is mainly a tactical question, from that tactical point of view the second wave of clashes was really unreflected and counter-productive. It was (of course) used as a pretext for a medial and political witch-hunt we haven't experienced for long. The anti-G8 alliance shattered within hours because even the better-williing ones could not stand the pressure imposed upon them by the media of spectacles that made them responsible for more than 1.000 injured cops and demonstrators (That ciffer is nuts, but anyhow). For the police the climated of fear has been the perfect pretext to ban or attack each of the dozen of demonstrations, blockades and other mass action they like to. And they already started doing so yesterday. From a tactical point of view it was the wrong place and the wrong time for that two hours of kiddies fun-park. But anyhow, potesting those summits is always like going to the dentist - you don't like to, but you feel you should go there and mostly your happy once it is over. Then we can continue organizing instead of beeing part of the spectacles.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 5 2007 05:49
magnifico wrote:
Keep warm, burn out the disabled confused

there's an outside chance they checked and it had no disabled badge ...

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AndrewF
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Jun 5 2007 10:45

The car is next to a disabled bay, its not parked in one, you can tell from the arrow on the sign which is basically telling drivers that all the bays from the one to the left onwards are disabled.

Anyway remember all the 'outrage' here about a similar burning car at Gleneagles which turned out to be a cop car - as was obvious enough at the time to anyone paying attention.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 5 2007 10:48

yeah at gleneagles the car burning did seem pretty discriminating tbf

Terry
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Jun 5 2007 11:05

There can be plenty of random destruction at these things, and I guess can possibly not be, depends on the people and level of organisation I guess.
I certainly wouldn't hinge a critique of it on the random destruction. Rata made a point about 'training people up' via summit protests. Well is it gonna make any difference if during a strike in Belgrade what half a dozen people there have been at a riot in Germany, and, if you think there is a value in this, one could equally travel to something like say the anti-CPE protests in France. (btw apparently the Irish security forces decided tear gas was ineffective and wouldn't be using it after trials in the 70s) As for the ruling class living in fear, yeah somehow I don't think so.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 5 2007 11:05
guydebordisdead wrote:
To not burn out the disabled persons car would be real discrimination, they're workers like you and me and the autonomes should target their shitty cars too.

black bloc

fixed

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AndrewF
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Jun 5 2007 11:18

There is a WSM member over there and they posted a brief report that gives a rather different perspective to the Sky News one
http://www.wsm.ie/story/2496

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madashell
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Jun 5 2007 12:49
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Anyway remember all the 'outrage' here about a similar burning car at Gleneagles which turned out to be a cop car - as was obvious enough at the time to anyone paying attention.

Does that look like a cop car to you?

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madashell
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Jun 5 2007 12:55
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Not sure what the corporate media are saying,but the violence yesterday was started by a specific unit of police (there are many many types,all with different approaches it seems) who were over-zealous in their treatment of the fluffier of the two marches in Rostock yesterday, tear gassing it and pepper spraying hundreds of peaceful protesters.

When militants and anarchists from the large AntiFa and anarchist blocks attempted to get through to the other march to show solidarity with those attacked and injured, the police used similar violent tactics on them,and they defended themselves as the pictures show.

This is very probably true, but honestly, if you show up at a march tooled up and wearing a black hoodie, can you really claim that you weren't planning to kick off after the police go for you? The black block being there was bound to result in a confrontation.

Which isn't an attack on the marchers or a defence of the police, but it raises a lot of questions about how worthwhile black blocks are.

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Jun 5 2007 13:01
madashell wrote:
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Anyway remember all the 'outrage' here about a similar burning car at Gleneagles which turned out to be a cop car - as was obvious enough at the time to anyone paying attention.

Does that look like a cop car to you?

Actually it looks exactly like the car torched at Gleneagles - a grey people carrier that in that case was one of a fleet the cops were using for transport. It is at least possible this is also the case here. However I'm not jumping to that conclusion and I would suggest others avoid jumping to conclusions as well.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jun 5 2007 20:51
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Saw some of the posters for this mobilisation in basque bars during the week, most were put out under the antifa banner, what does the g8 have to do with antifa?

I think antifa in mainland europe is more of a catch all, direct action orientated, anti-capitalist group than purely a set of groups who mobilise solely against the fash. If you look on youtube theres shit loads of footage of people smashing shop windows under the antifa banner, which isnt particularly progressive!

On the whole G8 pantomime if people want to take time off from encouraging class struggle in their communities and workplaces and go and have it with the police then fair play. However i think the people who spend all year publicising and organising the demos could oviously spend their time more constructively, say by picking up dog shit wink if you think of it as a big social for anarchists from around europe to get together and have a ruck then its fine, however if you think that having a ruck with the police within a 40mile radius of some heads of state is actually going to contribute to the downfall of capitalism then obviously you need to seriously reassess things.

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oisleep
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Jun 5 2007 22:23

well said that man!

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jef costello
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Jun 5 2007 22:51
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
I think antifa in mainland europe is more of a catch all, direct action orientated, anti-capitalist group than purely a set of groups who mobilise solely against the fash. If you look on youtube theres shit loads of footage of people smashing shop windows under the antifa banner, which isnt particularly progressive.

I think it's similar here in France, antifa is closely connected to skins, punks and more general anti-capitalists. Not that I know more than a couple UK antifa though.

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MJ
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Jun 6 2007 02:49

angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry
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eek

breakout
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Jun 6 2007 09:35
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if you think that having a ruck with the police within a 40mile radius of some heads of state is actually going to contribute to the downfall of capitalism then obviously you need to seriously reassess things.

No doubt. But listen, Capital cannot be fought just in our workplaces and through grass-roots community activities and it is a myth to fantasise about our strength currently with these methods of organising, however important they are. If this is incorrect why is it that militants of organisations such as the FAU and CNT join in?

When we come together in one city to fight against the violence of the capitalist system we can understand the depth of our commitment to the social revolution and put into practice our insurgence. One of the clearest positions we have is when we attack en-mass the police and the corporations on the streets.

The German police have been saying this was the fiercest violence they have been inflicted with since the 80s. The Berlin riot units were also heavily disgraced - In one specific unit of 100 they lost 30. This is incredible and shows how powerful we have become and will become. No one is talking about the reformist groups, everyone is talking about us, and they know we will not stop what we are doing. Our position is attracting more and more people because we are successfully organising a valid social tendancy that is known to be effective.

Do you seriously think that the anarchists, autonomists and others who participate in black bloc actions do not know the extent of their effectiveness, or of the limitations of anti-summit actions? Nobody has been missing the critique. You do not think that the black bloc are comrades? That we are missing some essential point? Maybe you all write such dismissive things for the sake of people who you do not think will "understand" or come to the "correct" analysis. Well, in practice things become very clear, it is only to people sitting on the fence that it seems like you need to repeat such boringly easy lines.

We are here because there is an opening for social conflict in a broad sense of what that means, and for the chance to communicate with a great many people through our actions. You will not find anyone from the black bloc spending an entire year organising for one spectacular event - it is an absurd misperception of our radical ideas and an insult to the intelligence of the people involved. You think we all risk years in jail for nothing?

I hope many of you have read/ will read the "notes on summits and counter-summits (the illusion of a centre)" by "Some Roveretan anarchists". It is still interesting after all these years since Genoa.

Sometimes reading Libcom forums I get the sense of people re-inventing the wheel without having never seen a bike...... Wishing I could participate more in this discussion, but not enough time...

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Steven.
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Jun 6 2007 09:39
oisleep wrote:
well said that man!

Seconded. There's nothing wrong with these demos kicking off, but don't spend two years organising it thinking it'll change anything.

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Bubbles
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Jun 6 2007 10:08

I'd agree with the whole practice for militant action if the g8 protesters where as organized as these folks:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=mgT39XtaNPs

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Jun 6 2007 10:59
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
On the whole G8 pantomime if people want to take time off from encouraging class struggle in their communities and workplaces and go and have it with the police then fair play. However i think the people who spend all year publicising and organising the demos could oviously spend their time more constructively, say by picking up dog shit wink if you think of it as a big social for anarchists from around europe to get together and have a ruck then its fine, however if you think that having a ruck with the police within a 40mile radius of some heads of state is actually going to contribute to the downfall of capitalism then obviously you need to seriously reassess things.
oisleep wrote:
well said that man!

Mate if you agree with the bits i just put in bold thats actually a 180 turn in opinion. Bollocks do you think its ok.

Perhaps you just saw 'picking up dogshit' and it pressed your magic button.

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Jun 6 2007 11:04
breakout wrote:
If this is incorrect why is it that militants of organisations such as the FAU and CNT join in? ...
Do you seriously think that the anarchists, autonomists and others who participate in black bloc actions do not know the extent of their effectiveness, or of the limitations of anti-summit actions? Nobody has been missing the critique. You do not think that the black bloc are comrades? That we are missing some essential point? ...
You think we all risk years in jail for nothing?

these are not really arguments though, you're asking people to trust you.

Quote:
The German police have been saying this was the fiercest violence they have been inflicted with since the 80s. The Berlin riot units were also heavily disgraced - In one specific unit of 100 they lost 30. This is incredible and shows how powerful we have become and will become. No one is talking about the reformist groups, everyone is talking about us, and they know we will not stop what we are doing. Our position is attracting more and more people because we are successfully organising a valid social tendancy that is known to be effective.

How is it effective? What has been achieved? What do you mean by lost? No one is going to shed any tears over police getting hurt but generally they ramp up numbers of casualties to get more resources, manpower, equipment etc In the same way that the biggest achievement of the Baader Meinhof gang was to increase the stregth and power of the German police and security services.

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Jun 6 2007 11:26

Now thats an interesting discussion.

IMHO i have never seen a UK media outlet (or any) say anything different about the black block over the years. If it is growing then it is not being 'talked about' here in a relative way. Nobody has attempted to look at 'what the black block want' and i'm not sure i would like the answers if they did. They are always told, 'its a tactic not a group' anyway, so 'everybody talking about' a tactic is bit pointless surely?

There are Black Block communiques, i am partial to the seattle one myself, but they aren't reproduced. The best coverage of black block politics i ever saw was in an american financial magasine* after Seattle. It looked at what the anarchist wanted and quoted websites. I've never seen anything better than that since.

*the same size and style as National Geographic - was it the economist?

ronan
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Jun 6 2007 12:17
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There is another truth: under every black mask was a smile, in every stone thrown against the common enemy there was joy, in every body revolting against oppression there was desire. We don't harbor sad passions and resentments, if that had been the case we wouldn't have fought and resisted for so long. Thus don't be deceived, look at those with whom you are connected, or whom you love; perhaps you will find one of these bodies, one of these smiles, one of these hands engaged in the struggle. Joyful passions placed in common and joined to the assault on command - such is the secret of the battles waged in the heart of the asymmetrical conflict which opposes us to the sadness of the weapons and bodies of power. Individually we are nothing, together we are a power. Together we are a commune: the commune of Rostock.
We all arrived here with a personal and collective history, a history of struggle and battle waged in every corner of the earth. We don't want this event to be perceived as a simple continuation of the old cycle of struggle which, since September the 11th, has known so many disappointments. We believe on the contrary that the 2nd of June was the signal of a powerful and determined rupture with this phase of defeat and that this battle inaugurates new offensives. That this breach permits us to flee together to the other side of the mirror, the side of freedom.
And now comrades, we block the flows...

Long live the commune of Rostock and Reddelich!

International Brigades

grin

breakout
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Jun 6 2007 12:30

I'm not asking for anyones trust with these questions, other than pointing to a truth that some of you know is a reality! Remember it!

The european and international anarchist and anti-capitalist movement is effective in terms that we are able to operate under intense police-state conditions, whilst under violent repression and still be successful in the field of the actual social clash. The record numbers of 16,000 police and 11,000 military constitutes the largest security operation in germany since World War 2, this is because of the very real threat that we are, not simply in terms of a riot but of the large scale possibility of lasting social disturbance and also the long-term implications of the networked activities which are occuring at the base!

The Black Bloc are a manifestation of this effectiveness and they are the only opposition to the G8 that matters, because their praxis finds itself in actual attack and self-organisation against the social order, i.e, it is not a simulation and it means something concrete to authority and capital.

Everyone knows this but few will admit it other than our comrades, no-one wants to face the fact that new things are occurring- that the politics are changing, that the world is changing - that everyone hates the solutions of the past and yearns to tear it all down to live the lives they always wanted. Maybe it is too much risk for some to take part in, but without drastic change there are storms ahead for everyone.

The reference to the RAF=Black Bloc maybe I could find in many newspapers, from the reformist no global left, to the conservative mainstream. So as I understand the context as it appears, it is obvious to respond that any action that works brings a clampdown, if it is pacifistic, violent, anything. We just know which is effective for us for the type of actions we want to do with the least amount of arrests with the most damage inflicted on the enemy. Do you realise that every state around the world is already looking for reasons to arm themselves - we are doing nothing if the capitalists and police think they are safe! Let them prepare, it must get worse if we ask for revolution!

The autonomous communist / anarchist movements are the only left radical groups to have survived the fall of state communism across the world and have regrouped in a practical way. We are much closer to the fruition of our libertarian ideals than any of the statist imaginings of the past - this is why we must be repressed so hard, because we have a continuity and a history of struggle to draw from. This is what is useful to understand, that Power is much more fragile than it appears. We are part of the day-to-day struggle because we are people like everyone else and we have found the methods of our self-organisation! Believe in them!

It is beyond my capabilities to claim what is singulary achieved as it is only through time that the real event is even partially understood, but what is clear is that we are a credible force that has spread and sustained itself through a variety of activities and that we are embedded at root in the population, even though we are comparatively few and our ideas are purposefully marginalised by the media and the system.

anyway, I do not find these words or this discussion so interesting, maybe I check back in a couple of hours or come back tomorrow.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 6 2007 12:47

not me guv.

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Jun 6 2007 13:50

wooooooooooooooah

crikey.

Terry
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Jun 6 2007 15:21
Quote:
if you think of it as a big social for anarchists from around europe to get together and have a ruck then its fine

OR

Quote:
however if you think that having a ruck with the police within a 40mile radius of some heads of state is actually going to contribute to the downfall of capitalism then obviously you need to seriously reassess things.

That doesn't make sense. The second option has a point to it, a purpose, albeit a wrong headed one. While the first is saying this doesn't have a positive impact, but we'll do it anyways for the craic like some kinda fashion trend or extreme sport. So in the second option you can say well there are both positives and negatives, while in the first only the negatives.
Anyone holding to the first option has more re-assesment to do I think.

These ritual riots play straight into the hands of the authorities. After all why do they seek to provoke trouble?
All it does is help create a media image that goes radical left politics = crazy violent youths in uniforms. I'm not saying you should tailor things to fit a nice media image, but there is y'know a difference between doing that and making it reallly fucking easy for them to stick you in the 'violent extremist' pigeonhole.

Not so much because of the violence per se, but because it is completely isolated with little connection to anything outside an activist sub-culture.

And it is all totally overblown by that sub-culture looking to build up a sense of its own self importance.....a while ago some dockers thrashed the European parliament * ...not that much of a stir...if it was done by a black bloc we would still be hearing about it.

* ok smashed the windows, not quite the Bastille.

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Jun 6 2007 15:35

i've gotta lend my meager support to breakout. the state needs no excuse to become violent and militarized, thats part of what makes it a state in the first place. should one shy from smacking a bully in the gob because he's afraid the bully will hit him back? of course he will, he's a bully. of course the state will rambo up, bring out the water hoses, heat rays and mech-warriors, they're the state, thats what they do. you smack the bully cuz the bully's gotta get smacked, not b/c you think you can get away with it. moreover, the fact that the state turns out its plumage for these activities shows its scared. it knows peaceful protest is shit, it knows that its social hegemony is far stronger than our organizing ability, it knows that a multibillion dollar media spectacle can muffle any photocopied zine, but it freaks the fuck out when thousands and thousands of people deny the states monopoly on force and make it known quite publicly that there are some of us who will not allow the po' to maintain that authority. force threatens the state, nothing else. a commitment to force is a commitment also to the ideologies that drive the force at best and a clear testimony to the depth of emotion at worst, either way it lets the state know that these people are no longer 'in pocket'. its not only useful, not only effective, its a model.

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Jun 6 2007 15:44

but it's just an image of struggle, a simulation. there is no militant class movement behind it so the state is not threatened at all - even if a 10,000 strong black bloc breached the fence and lynched the G8 leaders, the state wouldn't be weakened. rather strengthened, i'd imagine.