Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Elsewhere in Europe - Like Greece

I attended a packed meeting at MayDay with Peter Gelderloos, the author of "How Non-Violence Protects the State," a book many people like, as did I. Most came to hear him talk about this issue, but he mostly talked about the 'war on terrorism' and what that means. Gelderloos seemed to want to talk for hours, and had difficulty with answering questions - perhaps he doesn't do that, of course. Chugging water nervously, he gradually ground to a halt. He did talk about anarchist events in Barcelona and ... Greece. In Greece, one pro-anarchist neighborhood does not allow police to even go into it. Fine and good.

However, given recent events in Greece, I can't help bringing this up. During a massive demonstration of the Greek labor movement, some anarchists lit a Marfin bank on fire and three bank workers died. Dispatches from the Greek left said some leftists in the demonstration helped the Greek bank workers get out of the burning building, or aide them after they did.

Now I don't know about you, but I know people that work in banks, or for banks. I work for a bank. And they, and we, are not all billionaires. Some bank workers in France are even in unions. Most tellers and clerks make pretty low wages, and my guess is the 3 dead in Greece are not billionaires, or even millionaires. So I have to ask the appropriate 'anarchist' comrades who might 'herald' this sort of thing (and I am fully aware that there are pro-capitalist anarchists, lumpen anarchists and pro-working class anarchists, among others) how they think killing bank workers might advance the struggle? I know there are certain kinds of anarchists who don't want to work, and don't. They live by stealing things (even books, as I have carefully observed, from non-profit bookstores) - which we in the Marxist movement call 'lumpen' behaviour. Now this activity played into the hands of the capitalists quite clearly by blackening the left and working class movement against austerity and the banking system. And encouraging police action. Not to mention killing three people in our class. Now the Marfin bank was also responsible for forcing people to work on the day of this mass demonstration, and of course, it is ultimately the PSOK and the Eurozone polity and banking system responsible. But that does not change what happened.

So I'll tell you what. You try to light a bank on fire that I happen to be working in at that particular moment? And I get out? I will find your skinny ass ... and make sure your anti-working class attitude gets NO traction except in-traction. OK?

3 comments:

Dresden Scott said...

Agreed. Tailor the tactics to suit the situation.

AA said...

QUOTE They live by stealing things (even books from non-profit bookstores)UNQUOTE

On a side note I want to add -- and in this I'll no doubt be backed up by Earl Balfour -- that a lot of the people who come to Mayday are a bunch of worthless bums. To say that these wankers comprise the US left is to abuse language.

Red Frog said...

The thieves have a pattern. Young, white, male. Don't make eye contact. Sit and read as much as possible. Carry book around store. Move to behind the free flier rack. Then, look around, and when no one's looking, pop out the door.

These people don't hang around Mayday.