SABOTAGE AND THE GRAMMAR OF POLITICS
Esso (it)*, us, you, them
[* The Italian subtitle was “Esso, noi, voi, loro”. Esso is both the name of the company supplying fuel for war operations and the Italian word for “it”. Unfortunately, the wordplay does not translate.]
In the past few days, between Trento and Rovereto, some distributors of Esso have been sabotaged by anonymous hands. The multinational, as is known, has won the contract for supplying American military vehicles with fuel. “Gasoline of death”, so many pacifists have defined it, from the moment that the company literally enriched itself on the hides of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that the American army is prepared to massacre. A small action against the war, then. Even miniscule, if you will, but concrete, while throughout Italy it is said that disarming the war is possible. According to newspapers, the pumps were cut and the the self-service was blocked with silicone : thus there was not any danger that the fuel would go out.
The logic of Politics is capable of every form of contortion. From the Disobbedienti to Popolari, passing through Lilliput, Rifondazione and CGIL, there has been a unanimous chorus of condemnation (the right has obviously aggravated the matter). The little act of sabotage has becom an “ignoble” gesture (Rifondazione), “illegitimate and violent” (Lilliput), of “such gravity, danger and insensitivity” (CGIL), “criminal” (Disobbedienti), absolutely “an act of war” (Populari). The councilor of Rifondazione, Donatello Baldo, “in order not to lose even one pacifist”, has thrown himself into the squaring of the circle: this act of sabotage damages the gas stations while the boycott (i.e., the fact that no on gets gas at Esso) damages the… multinational. The distributors become “workplaces” which some “vandal” has “devastated” (always Rifondazione). But the arms factories that the Disobbediente threatened to blockade, aren’t they also “workplaces”?
The condemnation does not, in fact, relate to the “violent” character of these acts of sabotage (it really requires some audacity to describe the damaging of a machine that gives out the “gasoline of death” as “violence”; no one has described the unknowns who tried to block the “trains of death” with little acts of sabotage at the signal posts of the railroad lines as “violent”). What is truly intolerable for all the vultures of Politics is widespread illegal action, i.e., every practice that it is not possible to centralize in symbolic protests agreed upon with journalists and the police commissioner’s office. In fact “certain movements” are targeted that want the “radicalization of the conflict” (again Baldo) and that it is necessary “to isolate” as followed during and after Genoa. It is thanks to collaborators like Baldo that some comrades are still in prison for the revolt against the G8, and that the democratic repression spreads. The problem, for those who work hand in hand with the institutions, is not violence ( the worst violence of the state and capitalism is perfectly legal), but a movement that couldn’t give a damn for a legality that guarantees planetary exploitation and war.
For our part, we greet these little acts of sabotage with joy, with the hope that the opposition to the war and to the world that produces it throws off all control on the part of parties, unions and various associative rackets. And this relates to us, you, everyone. The grammar of rebellion has a single subject (the politician) only for those who speak the language of power.
Some anarchist anti-militarists
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