"I Must Admit that Everything Continues" (Hegel)

Zengakuren protestor challenges a riot cop with a wooden pole

A selction of quotes from the media about uprisings, mutinies and rebellions. From Internationale Situationniste #9 (August 1964).

Submitted by Fozzie on February 16, 2023

The refusal of life in its present arrangement characterizes, to different degrees, the blacks in Africa and the rebellious youth "without a cause" in Scandinavia; the Austrian miners who have effectively been on strike almost continuously for two years, and the Czechoslovakian workers. The "festive atmosphere" of the strike in Lagos was also evident in January 1961 in southern Belgium or in Budapest. Everywhere one hears posed the obscure question of a new revolutionary organisation that has a sufficient grasp of the dominant society for it to be able to function effectively and at all levels against the dominant society: to be able to detourn it in its entirety without reproducing it in any form, "a sunrise that, in a flash, depicts all at once the form of the new world."

A commando of young Argentine Communists made a breakthrough in the realm of pirate broadcasting: the first pirating of an electronic billboard advertisement! Armed with revolvers, five young men burst into the offices of the Argentine electronic billboard company yesterday and forced the operators to broadcast Communist propaganda in the heart of downtown Buenos Aires.

Paris-Presse, 10-1-63.

Three young French students, accused of acts of terrorism, were condemned by a military tribunal this Thursday in Madrid to prison terms ranging from fifteen years and one day to thirty years. The young Frenchmen had been arrested last April. Mr Alain Pecunia, a seventeen-year-old graduate and former student at the Lycée Janson-de-Sailly, was sentenced to two prison terms of twelve years and one day each for having placed a small bomb on the boat Ciudad-de-Ibiza in Barcelona. Bernard Ferry, a twenty-year-old student at the art academy in Aubervilliers, was sentenced to thirty years in prison for having placed an explosive in front of the airline offices of Iberia in Valencia, slightly injuring two children. Guy Batous, a twenty-three-year-old student of philosophy from Villefranche-sur-Saône, who had been arrested in Madrid and found to be in possession of a bomb, was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

Le Monde, 14-8-63.

A detachment of two hundred marine soldiers had taken up position toady in front of the Union of Metalworkers in Rio de Janeiro in order to evict 1500 mutinous sailors and leading seamen. After the minute of silence that followed their arrival, the leader of the "mutineers," a small, twenty-five-year-old sailor, called out from the top of the barricades: "Comrades, I know you. I know your greatest desire is to come and join us." He then gave a signal with his hand and the 1500 rebels began to sing as a chorus "The White Swan," the national marine anthem. One soldier with a very striking northeastern appearance broke ranks, undid his belt, threw down his weapons, and entered the building. One hundred and ninety-four of his colleagues went on to repeat the gesture. At this point is became clear that the rebellion of the sailors would have grave consequences.

Le Monde, 3-4-64.

Since last Spring Zengakuren has organized a series of demonstrations against the stationing in Japanese ports of American atomic submarines armed with Polaris missiles. The protests were also directed at the same time against the Japanese government, which had decided to tolerate the Polaris missiles as part of a strategy aimed at providing Japan with nuclear arms. One of the most serious difficulties of this struggle stems from the fact that the Japanese Communist party tries to seize every opportunity to transform the struggle into an anti-American movement, which is to say a nationalist and patriotic campaign against "the occupation and the domination of Japan by the United States."

Another difflculty arises from the worker's movement, whose leadership, controlled as it is by the Socialist party, always transforms the objectives of other protests into the current struggles of the workers. Despite these difficulties, demonstrations were held throughout Japan by the students of Zengakuren, who had also protested against the Japanese-Korean negotiations, The Chinese preparations for a nuclear explosion and the French experiments in Tahiti . . . On 13 September in Tokyo, a few hundred students protested in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Toru Tagaki, the vice-president of Zengakuren, was arrested during the demonstration.

Zenshin (International Edition), November 1963.

In the Congo, Hell's Angel types are burning the missions . . . These groups have from three to seventy members whose ages range from fourteen to twenty. They are dressed in shorts and are armed with bow and arrows, machetes, and sometimes spears. They sleep during the day in the forest and meet at twilight at a previously arranged point. They move around by foot, running at moderate speeds, and can strike at places very distant from each other. Each group has its own president, sectretary, and leading officer . . . Their leader, Pierre Mulele, is said to have studied guerilla warfare in Egypt and China. He used ot be close to Patrice Lumumba, the head of the Congolese government who was assassinated in 1961. The group of youths are profoundly superstitious. They speal constantly of miniature airplanes in which their leaders travel at night and which can instantaneously transport a man from one location to another. The groups can often cover a distance of thirty to fifty kilometers in one night. They largely exaggerate their mobility . . . Amongst themselves, they call each other "comrade," and are continuously proclaiming their own honesty: "We are not thieves" . . . This seems to merit comparison with the discomfort that afflicts youths under twenty all over the world.

Observer, 19-4-64.

On the first of May students demonstrated in Prague . . . The events that took place of Friday were the result, according to official accounts, of significant factors and were not due to politics. Some people with nothing to do , "hooligans," wanted to sing, and honest passersby, having overheard the noise, observed them with curiosity or expressed their reprobation. The dispatches of Western press agencies, on the other hand, claim that the demonstrations were directed by college and high school students who were protesting against party politics . . . The Czechoslovak press aganecy C.T.K. confirmed that the incidents had taken place but did everything it could to play down the importance: ". . . At the two sites mentioned, the crowd did not exceed 1500 people. The security forces were able to re-establish order with the help of the spectators. A total of thirty-one demonstrators were arrested, among them five young women."

Le Monde, 5-5-64.

Particularly in Lagos there reigned a very curious atmosphere, very different from the atmosphere of a European city on strike. The dominant emotion was one of joy, a feeling of festivity. The employees that earn seven pounds a month (a police dog costs fifteen pounds) discovered all that they were capable of. This gave them such a sense of satisfaction that the entire movement took place in an extraordinarily good mood . . .

E.-R. Braundi, France-Observateur, 9-7-64.

The blacks are getting organized on their own. According to a detective, certain rioters are carrying small portable radio transmitters that enable them to convey information about the movements of the police forces. M. Epton, president of the Harlem "defense council" that was created two weeks ago, revealed that his organization is divided into cells. This grid pattern is designed to "help people defend themselves against the police." The "defense council" had posters printed on which the phrase "Wanted for Murder" is placed below a photograph of the police officer Gilligan who recently shot a young black man.

Le Monde, 26-7-64.

Monkey skin, duck feathers, palm leaves and fake flowers taken from cemeteries seem to me to constitute the principle elements of the uniform of the Mulelists. Fantasy is not excluded, however, and so Brillo pads, typewriter ribbons, and Christmas tree balls can also make for elegant finery . . .

At this moment, one of the "Simbas" [simba: Swahili, "lion"] standing guard spies two Europeans taking a bit of fresh air on the second floor balcony. He shouts at them in French, carried away by his own power:

"Don't you know that you have been summoned? All right then, come down here or else I'll shoot! Brothers, this is the revolution!"

The two whites obey. We all look at each other: the light-hearted tone of an urbane conversation which we had effected had suddenly peeled off like varnish, leaving behind only a permanent, insidious unease similar to a depression.

"They are playing," someone tells me sadly, "they are constantly playing, even when they kill."

Y.-G. Bergès, "8 Jours chez les étranges rebelles du Congo," France-Soir, 4-8-64.

Translated by Thomas Y. Levin. From https://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/hegel.html