The hunger strike of Romanos and the anarchist reactions


Inter Arma received and translated:

“Prison is the most direct, brutal expression of power, and like power it must be destroyed, it cannot be abolished progressively. Anyone who thinks they can improve it now in order to destroy it in the future will forever be a captive of it. The revolutionary project of anarchists is to struggle along with the exploited and push them to rebel against all abuse and repression, so also against prison. What moves them is the desire for a better world, a better life with dignity and ethic, where economy and politics have been destroyed. There can be no place for prison in that world. That is why anarchists scare power. That is why they are locked up in prison.”

Alfredo M. Bonanno, from Rebibbia prison, 20/3/1997

 If Romanos had chosen the frontal attack without tomorrow he would have used his gun -regardless of victims- to prevent his arrest after the robbery and he would have probably died fighting. The aforementioned hypothetical choice belongs to a wide insurrectional/nihilistic current and has its justifications, it is respectful and relevant to his existential beliefs, which I won’t analyze here. But Romanos chose otherwise. So, his imprisonment means a gradual and tormenting extermination procedure carried out by the state, which indeed takes its revenge, in order for me to answer to certain people (Shockault in a post in Athens Indymedia the day before yesterday) even if they don’t believe it. This is because the authoritarian assimilation and alienation always goes along with violent vengeance translated into deterrent exemplification that reaches extreme levels.

From that point on, Romanos would either accept his fate and let himself be carried away by it (this is domestication) or fight with every means at his disposal. He decided to fight, not to improve prison conditions but to improve his own survival condition. Now, if the leftists join similar struggles or decide to support similar fights (something they’ve done every now and then) for their own selfish, low or not, reasons, is of no interest (at least now). This is because when you attack, you look firstly at your enemy in front of you at the time of the attack and then you look behind you the one who is following you or joining the fight. For example, if the communists had attacked repression forces in Syntagma square three years ago, anarchists would have been next to them (I say next to them, not with them) in a parallel act of attack and they wouldn’t have left as they did. To those who claim that the progress of the hunger strike contributed in the forming of a social concencus concerning the state’s planning ( prison bracelet, video-conference etc.) the answer lies in the uncompromising choice of urban guerrillas everywhere as far as the retaliation is concerned.

However, the response of the insurectionary anarchists/nihilists is that the elation of retaliation and repression intensifies the insurgent momentum and for that reason they look for it. And the conflict as well. In the most deafening manner. “Violence, destruction and death” may not always be the midwifes of History (Shockault) but they certainly are the midwifes of Anarchy. Imagine the anarchist current in all its forms without dead throughout history! It would be a joke that would only entertain those who consider it to be exalting death. No serious struggle is bloodless and it’s funny to look for psychopathological causes that bear a strong resemblance to the methods of state’s propaganda. Unless one believes that the state and the authoritarian structures can be destroyed with jokes or banging coocking pots on the city squares. Romanos, with his determination achieved a significant retreat or rather a folding of the authoritarian aparatus. This has a multiple meaning by itself. All those who are open to the agressive, confrontational anarchist practice, insurrectionalists or not, underline this fact and continue. The rest would be good to rethink the matter of solidarity (with each and every one of the opressed with the same intensity and with their comrades) and especially the matter of methodology of action.

Nicolas Nessounos

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