Their Wars, Our Dead: Statement on London Attacks

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Jul 23 2005 15:44
Their Wars, Our Dead: Statement on London Attacks

Their Wars, Our Dead:

A Statement by The RAGE Collective (Reading Based Anarchists & Anti-Authoritarians) following the London Bomb Attacks of 7th and 21st July.

As anarchists and anti-authoritarians, but more importantly as human beings, we deplore and condemn the bomb attacks carried out in London. In a personal context we feel nothing but sadness and we extend our deepest sympathy and solidarity to the loved ones of those who were killed, and to all those who have been hurt both physically and mentally in these attacks. In a wider social context we are angered more than ever, both by the attacks themselves and by the social aftermath, and it is this anger we wish to give a context to here.

We believe it is important to attempt to understand what terrorism is, what lies behind it and what it means for our societies. We present some of our thoughts here, but these are by no means definitive and we invite people to send us other analyses and to critique our position.

Terrorism is fundamentally a tool of power, used to terrorise a population into submission. The aim of the terrorist is to create fear and use this to exploit us, to gain some power over us, as a means to influencing our societies. Of course terror is not only used by those seeking power, but also by those that already wield it. We argue that terrorism is the fundamental basis of all government (state, corporate, religious and other) as fear of violence is central to all authority. At heart terrorism is a tactic of oppression, control and coercion used solely by the powerful and the power hungry. As anti-authoritarians and anarchists it is this use of violence to control ordinary people that enrages us, at least as much as the personal tragedies experienced.

Real people everywhere, like you and us, are terrorised into submission. The state (Government and associated apparatus) uses propaganda and the threat of violence (both physical and mental) to instill fear into our societies, to terrorise us into consenting to their rule without dissent or resistance. Meanwhile other terrorist groups use violence to intimidate us into giving de-facto support to their cause, into pressurising our governments, corporations and societies to comply with their demands. Many of the worlds terrorist groups are organised by governments and corporations to subvert democracy, swaying people’s political choices in their favour. Many others are not directly controlled by these institutions, but effect the same results; the terrorising of ordinary people in an attempt to influence and control us.

Who are the terrorists? Who are the victims? Worldwide the story is the same. Forced to live in societies based on hierarchy and authority, it always us who are attacked and die, our loved-ones suffering the aftermath, whilst the powerful are constantly rewarded with greater wealth and privilege. Each explosion bolsters their position; every death strengthens their status. They never fight their own wars and never suffer the consequences of their decisions. Religious and political leaders lie to their followers, deceiving young men and women into murdering other ordinary people in London, New York, Madrid and elsewhere. As the tragedies mount, their leaders gain yet more influence. Meanwhile, our Governments lie to us, conning our friends and relatives into becoming soldiers, forming armies to murder ordinary people in far off lands, stealing their resources and enslaving them to the machinery of global capitalism. As we die on every continent on Earth, wealth and power is siphoned from South to North and East to West, from the bottom of society to the top.

So what is the choice offered to us? We are instructed to support one group of terrorists or another, Blair or Bin Laden, Capitalism or another fundamentalism. Yet there is no real conflict between them - in effect the terrorists and the state support each other at every turn. The terrorists validate the state's terrifying propaganda, providing a pretext for ever-more repressive laws, infrastructure and technologies of control. The terrorists inspire us to join national armies, thus giving the state the human resource they need to continue their violence at home and abroad, allowing them to consolidate their power and to continue the rape and pillage of other peoples lands. And, of course, this in turn creates a bitter resentment of the 'rich, white west', giving the terrorists the human resource they need to continue their campaign of violence, leaving carnage on our streets.

We see that everywhere it is always their wars, and always our dead.

This is what causes our rage. Yet across the world glimpses of hope spring up, inspiring us to live and love. We know our enemy. We respond to the terrorism of power and capitalism in the best way we know how, with direct action and solidarity. We protest, delegitimise, sabotage, disrupt and rebel. We do not consent to be led like lambs to the slaughter, we will not kill our own or die for another’s cause. We mobilise for justice, autonomy and dignity. We move to reclaim control over our own lives and our communities; to create self-organised, autonomous, non-hierarchic, ecological alternatives to a life dominated by bosses, governments and other terrorists. As we know our enemy, we also know our own kind. Our solidarity is extended around the world to every person whose dream is not power, but simply the joy of real life itself, everyone in their own way, without coercion, without domination. We refuse to live in fear and we will struggle for what power fears most - one day, we will live free.

Please publish, reproduce and distribute. We can be contacted at reading-anti-g8@cyber-rights.net