An image from the future (Ende Gelände 2016)

Here is 1500 people getting into a power plant in Germany last weekend and almost temporarily shutting it down.*

Back in the days, people tended to storm the parliaments, the winter palaces and so on. For sure those buildings still keep some of their aura: They still attract the odd demonstration every now and then, the talk is still that this is where power is at. But really, what these buildings and the people in them primarily tend to do, that is, their political function, is to channel our resentment and feelings of powerlessness. And thus, they succeed in keeping us distracted.

This being said, the focus of the strongest movements in our part of the world today have really shifted a lot. So it seems like there is a trend the last years which basically means: instead of storming the governmental buildings, storm the railways, the checkpoints, the borders and now the power plants. It has been said recently that power is in the infrastructure. It does seem like this is where Ende Gelände gets a lot of its strength from … it’s hitting the proper targets.

It’s been a long time since I felt the kind of collective power and joy I did this weekend.

One extraordinary thing about this movement is that this is the second time in a row that it is winning basically all of the tactical struggles. Last year it entered the mine and kept it shut down for 24 hours. This year it was double up. In many ways, this is the primary task of zombie capitalism: to not let movements win any immediate goals like these. Government can live with huge economic losses, ineffective production, empty labor and destruction of wealth, as long as no alternatives to the system begin to feel reasonable and achievable. Direct action movements that believe and affirm other worlds than the world of money and control are obviously a threat in this respect. They organize to immediately realize the things they believe in. Thus the police is there to never let these movements win the short-term tactical fights. It just makes you feel too strong, too hopeful… Which is exactly what I felt this weekend. Just think of how extremely rare it is for a movement to set a goal like “Hey, let’s publicly announce to storm a coal mine or a power plant and shut it down for 50 hours” and then get away with it. That it is so rare is obvious, even when you are in the middle of it. It probably took me a whole hour after we had seized the rail tracks and conveyor belts from the mine before I actually believed this was our final target. “There must be something wrong, how did we get here with so little effort? Did someone make a mistake? Have we been fooled and will be ambushed any minute?”. It just seemed unbelievable. The day after at Europe’s 10th largest point source CO2 emitter, the nearby lignite coal power plant Schwarze Pumpe (which the rail tracks were not supplying coal to anymore), people must have had a similar experience: No one on the blockade had hoped to reach this far. When people where suddenly behind fences inside the power plant area, then inside the administration buildings, and then (for the really adventurous) the coal reserve chambers, surely the thought must have come over most people’s minds: Which plug does one pull to make this thing stop? No one knew. For sure, this last weekend raises the bar for what is possible to achieve at mass actions, and next time someone might have done the research. It would take some effort to source the knowledge and discretely spread it inside the movement, but it would be worth it.

So in 2015 around 1500 people took part in the mass action to enter the coal mine. In 2016 around 3500  blockaded several points of the infrastructure, seized the machinery in the mine for two days and stormed the power plant. Let’s begin to imagine what we can achieve when we most probably double our amounts and get 7 or 8000 people together to do direct action against the fossil economy next time.

For your information, Ende Gelände is having a camp in August to strategize the next step. If one wants to take part, it should be possible to find out how. Otherwise, we’ll see you in spring 2017.

* Oh, if the video seemed really intense, this is only because it was that peak moment in some days of action where most of the time most people where just lying on straw, making conversations and eating snacks. Everyone at every level of confrontation should be able to take part in this. As for the impact, we still need precise data from the three days of action in Lusatia, but the best I have gathered is: During the second day (after 24 hours of blocking the supply lines going into the power plant), the first block stopped running and the power plant shifted down 2/3 of it’s potential on the second block to be able to keep a low fire running for as long as possible. (It is very expensive to let the fire die out and start the plant up again from nothing). All in all most of the supply lines to the plant were blocked for 48 hours and even after folks left the blockades, the power plant could not run at full power since, according to a Vattenfall spokesperson, they had to do repairs after the masses of people coming in to plant.

Dismiss all anthropology as eurocentric to be able to once again begin with Plato, Descartes, Heidegger etc.

Why do so many white revolutionaries not read social theory and philosophy from outside the European tradition? Here’s a long quote that puts the question in the context of anthropologists, but the issue is basically the same. The quote is from the foreword to the first volume of HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, a great journal by the way.

In a world where North Atlantic powers are growing less dominant and even in the old imperial centers, society grows increasingly diverse, maintaining the old, purely Euro-American centric forms of knowledge seems increasingly untenable. But at the same time, the sheer mass of our accumulated knowledge of different intellectual traditions is simply overwhelming. It’s not just our greater access to the world’s written intellectual traditions, from Medieval Islamic mysticism to African philosophy. Anthropology has revealed, from Cameroon to Vancouver Island, Yemen to Tibet, an apparently endless array of what can best be called material philosophies, often extraordinarily sophisticated reflections on the dilemmas of humanity, sociality, and the cosmos that are simultaneously inextricable from forms of material existence, none with any particularly privileged claim over any other. It was an excess of wonder. How could anyone possibly have command over all this knowledge? One wonders, indeed, if the reaction by scholars of other disciplines was a tacit, but nonetheless very real, sense of panic. There was just too much to know. But neither could all these other traditions simply be ignored: would not that be Eurocentric, even racist? Even to select one over another seemed unwarranted—by what criteria? To include all would be simply impossible.

In such a context, the anthropological auto-critique of the 1980s was made to serve a purpose for which it was never intended. In fact, anthropology has been since its inception a battle-ground between imperialists and anti-imperialists, just as it remains today. For outsiders, though, it provided a convenient set of simplified tag lines through which it was possible to simply dismiss all anthropological knowledge as inherently Eurocentric and racist, and therefore, as not real knowledge at all. This allowed those who wished to write histories of love, or truth, or authority to once again begin with Plato or Aristotle, proceed, perhaps, through Descartes or the Marquis de Sade, and end with Heidegger or Derrida, without ever acknowledging the existence of perspectives from outside the tradition of Continental philosophy. Often—more often than not, in fact—this revival of an exclusive focus on the Western philosophical tradition comes framed as a critique—but as a critique that must necessarily be internal to the tradition because it is held that those trained in contemporary universities somehow cannot think outside it. In the end, even anthropologists have come to follow suit, abandoning any attempt to create theoretical terms that arise from their own ethnographic work, but borrowing those developed by thinkers drawing exclusively on the Western philosophical tradition. Finally, the approach has been tacitly acceptable to intellectuals who identify with other non-Western traditions partly because it reinforces structures of authority, since it allows that other “civilizational” traditions should, once acknowledged, also be seen as similarly emerging top-down from a written intellectual tradition rather than bottom-up, from material philosophies, as a more anthropological approach would have suggested.

Another reason it has been so easy to parochialize ourselves is the very nature of contemporary Homo Academicus . Ethnographic theory is slowly realizing the necessity of turning its gaze within, towards an ethnography of everyday theory , uncovering how knowledge is produced in micro-daily interactions between students, faculties, departments and funding bodies. There is a wide dissatisfaction with the fragmentation of the discipline in directions serving the passing tastes of funding bodies—clearly, one factor behind the extraordinary outpouring of support that HAU has received since its inception. Ethnographic depth is increasingly superseded by the recourse to a game of concept-of-the-month—the uncanny, the abject, affect, biopolitics—each concept undergoing relentless exegesis and being displayed with pride during PhD writing-up seminars, only to be abandoned for the next term rediscovered in Spinoza, Heidegger, Rorty or Bataille. Reflecting on the brilliance of a work like Malinowski’s Coral gardens and their magic never seems to be quite as “cool” as quoting a new and unknown term from a European philosopher, one which can cast an interesting new game of lights and shadows with the dark cave where anthropologists are regarded to be still dwelling, playing meticulously with their rococo ethnographic figurines and primitive paraphernalia. In such a world, name-dropping becomes almost everything. The fact that it usually reduces academics to the embarrassing situation of considering themselves hip for recycling French theorists from the period of roughly 1968 to 1983, in fact, exactly the period of what we now call “Classic Rock” (in other words, for reading to the intellectual equivalents of Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin) seems to go almost completely unnoticed.

To tips til at have en fortrolig gruppechat

To tips til dem, der gerne vil kunne chatte mere fortroligt. (Teknisk info forneden). Jeg er ikke ekspert, men prøver bare at samle noget info.

CRYPTOCAT

Chatrum som de fleste kender det, bare at al kommunikation er krypteret.

Nye medlemmer i chatrum kan ikke læse bagud (dette gælder også hvis man lukker og åbner computeren). Adgangskode er navnet på chatrummet, så det skal deles derefter. Kræver ingen godkendelse for at blive medlem af chatrum. Medlemmer kan dog verificere hinandens identitet, så man er sikker på man chatter med dem, man vil snakke med. (OBS: Kommunikationen rejser ikke gennem web, selvom programmet kører i browseren, så navnet på grupperummet bliver ikke logget som IP). Især velegnet til kortvarige informationer.

How-to:

  1. Installér plugin i browser (findes også til iPhone)
  2. Åbn program fra add-on liste. Træk evt. ikon op ved siden af dit browserfelt for lettere adgang.
  3. Indtast navn på chatrum (nyt eller et eksisterende, som du har fået navnet på)
  4. You’re in. Det er ligesom ofir-chat i halvfemserne.
  5. Evt. verificering: Tryk på medlems navn for at se fingerprint, ring den anden op og læs koden op. Hvis den stemmer er der ikke nogen forstyrrelse af linjen. Alternativt, find på et spørgsmål som kan verificere den andens identitet (ideelt: et spørgsmål, der er meget let for den anden at besvare og vanskeligt for andre, mao. noget indforstået eller information der ikke bare kan googles).
  6. Privat chat. Klik på hvem som helst af medlemmerne for at chatte privat med den person.

 

TEXTSECURE / SIGNAL

Krypterede beskeder ala sms, som også kan bruges til gruppechat.

Mange bruger allerede programmet, så det letter anvendeligheden. Fordi chatten foregår som ellers på textsecure, kan man læse bagud, inkl. nye medlemmer. Gruppechat kræver at medlemmer har Textsecure/Signal på deres telefon. Arkiverede beskeder kan slettes let, hvis ens mobil er i risiko for at blive konfiskeret (hold finger nede på random tråd, tryk vælg alle, tryk slet). Også velegnet til klikken, sportsgruppen, basisgruppen eller andre bander, der jævnligt har brug for at aftale tider og steder til at mødes.

How-to:

  1. Installér program enten via GooglePlay eller AppStore/iTunesStore.
  2. Følg instruktionerne. Sæt evt. en passphrase efterfølgende: Vælg settings –> Privacy –> Enable passphrase.
  3. For at oprette gruppechat: Settings –> New Group – > vælg medlemmer.
  4. Så er der kvalitetstid til hele familien.
  5. Nye medlemmer kan tilføjes inde i gruppechatten via settings: Update group → Add member.

Begge alternativer opfylder kriterierne:

  • Krypteret hele vejen fra bruger-til-bruger (encrypted in transit).
  • Udbyderen logger ikke samtaler, kan ikke engang læse dem i real-tid (krypteringsnøgler arkiveres lokalt hos brugeren)
  • Verificering af kontakter via fingerprint eller et simpelt spørgsmål, kun ens kontakt forventes at kunne svare på.
  • Programmets kode er offentligt tilgængeligt og kan derfor gåes efter i sømmene. Siden Snowden ved vi at corporate alternativer fra fx Skype, Apple, Google osv har fået installeret ”bagdøre” i koden, så kommunikationen kan læses af NSA og deres allierede alligevel.

For mere teknisk info: Secure Messaging Scorecard

Brud 1 & 2 om ‘Kommunisering’ næsten udsolgt

Brud blev så lang at den måtte kaldes et dobbeltnummer. Den har været ude i nogle måneder nu og er næsten udsolgt. Det er altså sidste chance for at skaffe sig et eksemplar. Man kan ikke bare trykke nogle flere, print-on-demand agtigt – forsiden er et træsnit, trykt på i olie; indmaden er lavet på risograf i tre farver og master-siderne ligger i skraldespanden.

Dobbeltnummeret indeholder bl.a. bidrag om Pariserkommunen og kabbalistisk skabelse, med profetier fra natten og feltnoter fra Istanbul, personlige beretninger og 25 teser. Oversættelser bl.a. af David Graeber (Grundkommunisme), Endnotes (om begreberne Spontanitet, Formidling, Brud), Anna O’Lory (selvorganisering i Grækenland), Tiqqun (fra Indføring i Borgerkrigen), Claire Fontaine og det Delhi-baserede kollektiv Faridabad Majdoor Samachar.

Skriv til brud [snabel-a] riseup.net og bestil et eksemplar. Bogen kan også skaffes i to bogcaféer i Svendborg, så vel som Møllegades Boghandel og Solidaritetshuset i København.