No TAV is a social movement set in the Susa Valley, near the city of Turin, in the North-West of Italy. This valley is the main gateway to Italy (Milan and Turin) from Paris. Since the beginning of the 90′s, a movement has developed against the construction of a new High Speed Railway ((Treno Alta Velocità) line that would cross the valley in order to link the city of Turin with the city of Lyon. This line is part of the Trans European Network (TEN), a European project of High Speed trains network divided into 11 “corridors” (the one concerning the valley is number 5, linking Lisbon to Kiev – at least hypothetically, since Portugal recently backed out from the project and other countries on its route are in a deep financial crisis). Read the rest of this entry
October 2012, Notre dames des Landes, France.
Chris leans forward, her long fingers play with the dial of the car radio “I’m trying to find 107.7 FM“ … a burst of Classical music, a fragment of cheesy pop. “ Ah! Here we go! I think I’ve got it?” The plastic pitch of a corporate jingle pierces the speakers: “Radio Vinci Autoroute: This is the weather forecast for the west central region…happy driving to you all. Traffic info next.” Chris smiles. Read the rest of this entry
Going at the ZAD (as in « Zone Autonome a Défendre », or « Autonomous Zone To Defend ») amounts literally to be getting lost in the middle of nowhere, to arrive on a war front, to the cornerstone of a conflict between two worlds; between the dead world of a cattle/slave/consumer society they are forcing down our minds, and a world of liberty, of possibles for all those who come to built and defend it; a world of free wine and bread- and bed- to all those who oppose the regime where you get forcefully charged for all the material aspects of life. At the ZAD has been raging a long, continuous conflict suspended in uncertainty and disbelief as seen from both sides, an impossible stream of liberation at the very fringe (and yet the doorstep) of a miserable society of control, where quiet moments of comraderie and lazy living are shifting back and forth into days of wild fighting with authorities easily reminiscent of the French resistance against the Nazi occupation. It isn’t too far-fetched to describe it as a major tip of the iceberg in the ongoing social war between the consolidated totalitarian forces of corporate socialism (here, impersonated by the infamous “troika”) and the will and desires for liberation of the people that resent its many forms of oppression, just as it would be unwise to not see any relation between the Notre-Dame-des-Landes struggle and the ongoing bailout/austerity protests that are shaking several major european cities these days. It also has quickly become some sort of focus, and catalyst, for the autonomous squat and the eco-anarchist movements in Europe. Read the rest of this entry
WAITING FOR THE APOCALYPSE: The Ideology of Collapse and the Avoidance of Revolutionary Responsibility
If the question is not that of how to make revolution, it becomes that of how to avoid it.
There can be little doubt that we are living in frightening times, times in which it is easier for those who can to simply bury their heads in the sand and go on as if everything is fine. Environmental degradation, social disintegration, increasing impoverishment in every area of life – the entire array of the consequences of a social order that is monstrously out of balance – can easily lead those who think about it to believe that an end of some sort is on the horizon. It is, therefore, not at all surprising that apocalyptic perspectives have arisen on many sides and are certainly no longer limited to religious fanatics. One of the versions of this apocalyptic ideology is that which foresees the collapse of civilization within the next few decades, brought on by ecological, social and/or economic breakdown. It is this particular form of apocalyptic thought that I want to deal with here, because it is in this form that one most often encounters it in anarchist circles. Read the rest of this entry