text regarding the first of may demonstration in amsterdam
Text regarding the first of may demonstration in amsterdam
First of all we would like to thank everybody who was present at the first of May demonstration on the Mercatorplein in Amsterdam. With these writings we would like to share some ideas, opinions and experiences.
From the beginning on we decided not to negotiate about our demonstration. We will never agree with the fact that you have to negotiate with the local council and/or police to take to the streets. As soon as you start with that, their demands don't stop and you are forced to walk a demonstration that is far from your own intentions. We will always refuse a dialogue with governments. We keep the honour to ourselves.
The mayor of Amsterdam, van der Laan, is a hypocrite bastard, who already tried beforehand to make the demonstration impossible. He could have simply banned the whole demonstration (and even then we would have gone to the streets), but instead he chose for a so-called liberal approach, by saying he cares a lot about the right to demonstrate and the freedom of speech. All this to afterwards claim in the media that this is a violent squatters demonstration, and have everyone beaten up before the demonstration even really started. After his blue fists and batons were done bashing into people, we were suddenly allowed to walk again – simply because we couldn't defend ourselves any more. We don't accept this bizarre logic, so we disbanded the demonstration and walked to a safe place together.
By falsely labelling it as a demonstration of squatters, we were automatically stigmatized. This demonstration had nothing to do with squatting. Not that we are against it, but in this case, we were really busy doing something else. We stood there on the street against the exploitative capitalist system, against landlords and politicians, against big businesses and the EU. We stood there as anarchists.
We want to live in a free world in which you are not judged on productivity and how much you adapt to this system. a world in which people are not obstructed by borders, authorities and capital. A world in which we are not numbers, and in which the circus of school, work and consuming until death does no longer exist. A world of solidarity, in which people are more important than profit and power.
As opponents of the current order, and as people who resist against the exploited position which they are in, we and many others are being seen as enemies of the system. One of their biggest fears is that we, and many with us, collectively break with normality; that they would lose all control they have over us. Even though we were a small group, we were confronted with such repression because they fear that larger parts of society will be inflamed.
The repression against extraparialmentary movements, and generally against people, has increased drastically in Europe over the past years. Over the last years in the Netherlands we are confronted with the same trend. What we have seen on the 1st of May is therefore not a surprise. The forces of the state were there, as always, to ensure that everybody who dares to open their mouth will be silenced. The so-called status quo is being maintained with their long batons. The violence we have seen on the street did not stop there. Away from bystanders, the arrested people were beaten further in the police vans and again in the police station, resulting in heavy bruises and concussion. In this case the crisis turns out to be a very literal new stick to beat with. They defend the system, therefore we are their enemies and they are ours.
Apart from cops, media also showed up in large numbers last Tuesday. As vultures they circled around the demonstration to satisfy their lust for sensation. The story of the ones in power is always presented without dissent, or material is cut in such a way that only one and the same conclusion is possible. Even on the few occasions where this may not be the case, publishing such material always endangers people. Do not forget that talking to press, or playing media yourself, can endanger you and others around you. The revolution will not be televised, and real life is on the streets, not on facebook or twitter. Solidarity is not spoken by microphones or cameras, but by direct participation.
In the neighbourhood of the demonstration neighbours showed clearly that their sympathy was with us and not with the cops. Tens of neighbours, of all ages, shouted words of solidarity or cursed the cops. It gives us strength that we, our message and our presence was appreciated in this neighbourhood. And that by this it became clear that our words and attitude are recognised on the street. One of the motivations behind organising the demonstration was to create a combative collective experience. Things that happened last Tuesday, or on the 1st of May in Utrecht last year, do not exclude this possibility. But the successful formulas of the past do not work any more. We have to become more creative in how we achieve such experiences. We are not victims; we want to go for the confrontation with everything that oppresses us. But on our own terms. Maybe there is only one real conclusion, which is that we have to be more creative, but we have to fight at least as hard. Not just the day before yesterday, but today, tonight, and tomorrow.
Behind the police is Capital
The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. What matter where, if I be still the same, And what I should be, all but less than he Whom thunder hath made greater?
Here at least We shall be free