“The French will only be united under the threat of danger. No one can simply bring together a country that has 265 kinds of cheese.” ~ Charles de Gaulle, 1951
France braced for ‘rebirth of violent left’
Jason Burke in Paris
January 4, 2009
The French government fears a wave of extreme left-wing terrorism this year with the possible sabotage of key infrastructure, kidnappings of major business figures or even bomb attacks.
Secret French government reports, seen by the Observer, describe an “elevated threat” from an “international European network … with a strong presence in France” after the radicalisation of “a new generation of activists” in recent years. Senior analysts and experts linked to the government have drawn parallels with the Action Directe group, which carried out 50 or more attacks in the early 1980s. Others cite the example of the Baader-Meinhof gang [aka Red Army F(r)action].
A report by the French domestic intelligence service talks of “a rebirth of the violent extreme left” across Europe that is likely to be aggravated by the effects of the economic crisis. Other secret documents expose alleged links with activists in Italy, Greece, Germany and the UK. “It has been growing for three or four years now and the violence is getting closer and closer to real terrorism,” said Eric Dénécé, director of the French centre of intelligence research and a former Defence Ministry consultant…
[Julien] Coupat has also been accused by investigators of anonymously writing a book, The Coming Insurrection [PDF], published by a little known Paris publishing house in 2007. The book, which has been translated into English and posted on US and UK anarchist websites, was found in the possession of three young activists arrested after detonating a bomb in a field. It contains instructions about sabotaging railways and other means of “destroying the power of the police, seizing local political power by the people, and blocking the economy”. A statement from the publishing house said the author was “a committee from the subversive tendency”…
Nonsense. As everyone who’s anyone knows, The Invisible Committee consists of at least 40 NZ anarchists and also a considerable number of black bloc anarchists from Europe. People from Sweden, Germany and England. These people are like football hooligans who travel the world looking for violence.
See also : “Your heads are full of rubbish because you have read too many books.” (December 19, 2008) | Cheese-eating surrender monkeys vs. very fast trains : Free the Tarnac Nine! (November 25, 2008) | Another Evil & Dangerous Woman Does Not Pass Go, Does Not Collect $200 (April 13, 2007)
Be armed. But do everything possible to make the use of weapons superfluous. Against the army, victory is political.
There’s no such thing as a peaceful insurrection. Weapons are necessary: it’s a question of doing everything possible to make their use superfluous. An insurrection is more just about taking up arms and maintaining an “armed presence,” than it is about entering an armed struggle. Weapons are a constant in revolutionary situations, though their use is infrequent or indecisive, in moments of great reversals: August 10th 1792, March 18th, 1871, October 1917. When power is in the gutter, it’s enough just to trample it underfoot.
From the distance that separates us from them, weapons have taken on a kind of double character of fascination and disgust, that only training in their use can overcome. Authentic pacifism can’t mean refusing weapons, but only refusing to use them. Pacifism without being able to fire bullets is just theorizing on powerlessness. Such a priori pacifism is a kind of preventive disarmament, a pure police operation. In truth the pacifist question is only serious for those who have the ability to fire bullets. And in this case pacifism would be on the contrary a indication of real power, since only from an extremely strong position is one liberated from the need to use the gun.
From a strategic point of view, indirect, asymmetrical action seems the most effective, the most adapted to the era: an occupation army can’t be attacked frontally. For all that, the perspective of going urban guerrilla Iraqi-style, which would get bogged down without the possibility of going on the offense, would be more to be feared than desired. The militarization of civil war is the defeat of insurrection. Though the Reds had their triumph in 1921, the Russian Revolution was already lost.
Two kinds of state reactions must be envisioned. The one of plain hostility, the other more underhanded, democratic. The first being wordless destruction, the second a subtle but implacable hostility: hoping to enlist us. We can be defeated both by dictatorship itself and by being reduced to opposing only dictatorship. Defeat consists as much in losing the war as in losing the choice of which war to wage. Both are possible, though, as was proven in Spain in 1936: the revolutionaries there were doubly defeated, both by fascism and by the republic.
When things get serious, the army will take over the terrain. The way it will commence taking action is less obvious. It would require that the State be resolutely committed to causing a bloodbath, one that at present is no more than a threat, almost like the threat of using the nuclear bomb was a half-century ago. Though it has been wounded for a long while, the beast of the State is still dangerous. It still remains that to go against the army a massive crowd is necessary, invading its ranks and fraternizing with the soldiers. Another March 18th 1871 is necessary. When the army hits the street, that’s an insurrectionary situation. When the army’s gone into action, it’s pushing the issue. Everyone will find himself or herself forced to take a side, and choose between anarchy and the fear of anarchy. An insurrection only triumphs as a political force. Politically it’s not impossible to defeat an army.