Two autonomes from Berlin and another from Hamburg received summons to appear as material witnesses on 16 and 17 July, respectively, in the so-called Tarnac Affair. They were summoned to give testimony against nine comrades (the "Tarnac 9") in the framework of a major series of investigations in Paris. In November 2008, nine people were arrested in France on the basis of anti-terrorist laws following the sabotage of the railroad network when nuclear waste was going to be transported during a strike by French railroad workers.
Demonstrations were organized in Berlin and Hamburg on the occasion of the summons.
In Berlin, the 50 people who met before the French Embassy were surprised to see a yellow, high-spirited ape the height of a human being -- an orangutan -- with a placard against the transport of nuclear wastes attached to it ass. The orangutan joined in the demonstration and, in a clearly female voice, spoke up. A quarter of an hour later, while preparing to leave the demonstration, the ape was arrested. Perhaps the sensible reader won't be surprised: under the disguise was one of the witnesses. She was taken to the headquarters of the federal police for the Tempelhof region, where she was detained for several hours. The participants in the demonstration took the same route to support the people who had been questioned.
Under Section 55 of the Penal Code, the second witness refused to respond to the questions of the judge and was freed after 16 hours, without any charges being made against him. The person arrested during the demonstration then had to be heard.
The two German judges and the four French judges were surprised to see her in her ape costume. She only carried this accoutrement under her underwear and the functionaries preferred their witness to be wearing yellow fur and somewhat ruffled, rather than half-nude. And so it was in that state that she faced the astounded judges for two hours and refused to make any declaration whatsoever.
Such is the narrative of a successful action that can serve as an example of how to refuse to give in to a judicial proceeding. It is always fitting to give an appropriate response to governmental theater.
The Franco-German atomic mafia: cut the connection!
The repeated breakdowns at the nuclear power facility in Kruemmel, reported in today's newspapers, emphasizes what has been obvious for decades to the German and French anti-nuclear movement: atomic energy is not controllable! The fight against the use of atomic energy, against the construction of nuclear power plants and the mining of uranium (in Canada, for example) -- a fight conducted at many levels and by different means -- is a fight against a technology that is dangerous to life itself.
Nuclear energy policy at the international level
Franco-German cooperation in matters of nuclear energy is distinguished by a very long tradition. Ever since the 1970s, German atomic wastes have been treated at the processing plant in La Hague before being transported via CASTOR to Gorleben. It was also 30 years ago that Siemens began collaborating closely with French industrial groups to develop and build nuclear power plants. The enterprise of the French State, EDF, is the principal actor in EnBW, an enterprise based in southern Germany that manages many nuclear plants.
Despite many breakdowns and accidents at French power plants, such at those at Tricastan last year or the recent ones at Kruemmel, which is near Hamburg, the industrial groups and the [two] governments have pursued costly endeavors and have even extended the utilization of atomic energy, despite its dangers. Thus, the French nuclear group Areva has constructed new reactors in France and China; the German group EON has constructed one in Finland; and RWE is responsible for the construction of a Russian model in Bulgaria. In this framework, the security of the population is secondary. The priority of the capitalists is to secure their profits. In Bulgaria, the reactor is situated in a region that presents important seismic risks. For decades, all sorts of radioactive and toxic materials have been deposited at the "burial" site in Asse, though it is publicly well known that the infiltration of water into this site has rendered it inappropriate for such usage.
In Bulgaria as in Asse, it is as clear as source water that the politicians and the scientists of the nuclear industry have been bought. And this business is well worth the cost for the Franco-German nuclear mafia: the operation of 17 German power plants earns a [yearly] profit of more than 200 million euros for the four German groups in the energy sector. To get that money, the nuclear industry -- not just in Europe, but everywhere in the world -- thinks little of human life. Nevertheless, it isn't the criminal energy [technology] of the industrial groups that is prosecuted by the Franco-German justice system. No, one instead criminalizes people because a few hooks were thrown over the high-tension lines of the rail network as a way of finally stopping the madness of the nuclear mafia.
International resistance pushes the authorities out of the woods
In November 2008, while German nuclear wastes were being sent via CASTOR to Gorleben in Lower Saxony, protest and resistance actions took place in France and Germany. Many demonstrations, blockades of railroads and sabotage of the lines in Germany and France caused damage exceeding several million euros. More than a thousand trains were delayed. It was only thanks to a police operation of exorbitant cost, and after more than 20 hours of delays, that the convoy reached the intermediary storage site at Gorleben, which is nothing other than a well-ventilated potato barn.
In Germany, signal-switches were put out of service. In France, sabotage of the high-speed lines spread chaos throughout the week-end traffic of the SNCF. Many trains were halted; more than a thousand were delayed. The cause: two metal hooks suspended from the high-tension line that separates the car from the electrical line. In a communique drafted in German and sent to the newspaper Taz, the actions in the two countries were explained in the following manner: "Because we have had enough, we have directed our anger against the network that transports nuclear wastes." Shortly afterwards, a great wave of searches and arrests swept through the small [French] village of Tarnac and other places. Nine people were arrested; some of them were kept in provisional detention for months.
The French authorities and a portion of the media spoke unrestrainedly of "terrorism" and established a link with the on-going investigations against a so-called "anarcho-autonome sphere of influence," which was the label under which the French State had made many arrests in France since January 2008. These investigations originally centered on actions against detention centers, participation in the opposition to the "reform" of education (which is very strong in France), and demonstrations against the presidential election [of Nicholas Sarkozy]. In this context, a small book -- of which one of the indicted people is suspected of being a co-author -- was also causing a commotion. Entitled The Coming Insurrection, this book spoke of rebellion against a present that is as unreal as it is disappointing, and launched an appeal to get prepared concretely for an imminent revolt. The authorities reacted to this book with much nervousness. They signaled the alarm because men and women were creating international networks to oppose atomic, climatic and capitalist madness, along with all that it imposes. What we consider to be pure necessity, the adversary calls "terrorism," an "International of revolt," and the actions of brutal rioters.
In Italy, shortly before the summit of the G8 (the powers resolved to decide global policy amongst themselves), two comrades were imprisoned for attempts to sabotage railroad lines with hooks. They, too, were suspected of belonging to an "International of revolt" that includes 35 other people. We salute them, as well as all those who do not want to allow any respite!
The investigation in France continues. All the people concerned have been released from jail, but remain subject to very strict obligations, such as having no contact with each other, assigned residences, etc, or they will be subject to re-arrest. The date of a trial still has not yet been set.
Franco-German friendship against Franco-German Investigations
The French authorities leading the investigation into the "Tarnac Affair" and the sabotage of rail lines during CASTOR transport obviously intended to pursue their investigations into Germany. Two autonomes from Berlin received summons from a judge to be heard as material witnesses in the framework of a series of French investigations. At the beginning of the year, a report by the French anti-terrorist police on the "Tarnac Affair" already mentioned these two people. The passage in question evoked the practice, largely used in Germany, of using hooks to sabotage nuclear-waste transportation. The German authorities informed their French colleagues of an on-going investigation called "The Golden Hooks," which had, among others, incriminated the two people summoned to be heard today. Another must soon appear in Hamburg. The two anti-nuclear activists from Berlin will make no declarations. They do not desire to furnish the authorities any information whatsoever that might help the investigation into anti-nuclear resistance and those whom one dresses up as members of a criminal gang because they fight against a criminal policy. We invite you to accompany the two people to the court in Tempelhof Damm. We will seize the occasion (which is not freely offered to us) to make our solidarity with the comrades from Tarnac a part of this day of judicial testimony in a Berlin that is still too calm.
Show your claws to the system, here, there and elsewhere: they will not pass! Our solidarity against their repression! Our struggles against their politics! Solidarity!
"I am what I am": such is the last offer of the publicity for this world. It took decades of development to arrive where we are today. A pure tautology. "I am what I am." My body belongs to me. I am me, and you are you, and something isn't right.
From whatever perspective one looks at it, the present offers no exit. We are all in agreement about the fact that things can only get worse. "The future has no future": such was the wisdom of an era that, in its perfect normality, reached the level of awareness of the first punks. Finally!
We are here, at the sides of our friends, whose hides the French State, under the label of an "anarcho-autonome sphere of influence," wants to have. And two of us must help them?! As material witnesses?! But they will not go along! Never! We are here in front of the [French] embassy because we have a message to transmit, but not to the State, nor to the justice system. Our message is to our friends and all those who feel connected to them. What binds us together is not addressing ourselves to the dominant politics, not criticizing it, not wanting to help it make itself better in any way. We want to abolish it and, along with it, the entire destructive administration of the world, because this is our life, and we will reconquer it.
Like our friends, we know what everyone knows and yet no one wants to speak truthfully about: this will not continue as before. This global order, based for 500 years on the murder and pillaging of humanity and nature, is rushing straight for the wall: economically, ecologically, socially and mentally, that is to say, at all levels.
One need no longer agitate oneself or produce proof. The proof itself has long ago become a commodity, an end-in-itself that preserves the system, a strategy that avoids all the logical and ethical consequences. With the media ceaselessly revealing the same terrible destinies, and the public ceaselessly showing itself to be capable of acting as if it has just discovered (as if for the first time) the horror of drowning refugees, bombarded towns, climatic catastrophe -- to briefly become terrified, to assure itself of the fatality of the situation and its own powerlessness, before returning to its affairs in complete calm -- no one can seriously doubt that all this will remain possible for much longer. It will explode!
It will explode!
And suddenly there are "dangerous books" once again. One of them, The Coming Insurrection, is at this moment the object of attentive reading by a part of the French security forces. In the reactionary quagmire of the United States, this book has aroused indignation of the highest order. Such books speak of breaks with the everyday, apocalyptic ambiance of finished-off modernity and the combat for our life. To have done with the wheezy activism of the traditional Left and, furthermore, to begin to revolt today.
The Coming Insurrection begins with the castrations that keep us in the choir of those who sing themselves hoarse on the high notes of the psalm "There is no alternative." But the book does not persist in its representation of misery. If it describes misery, it is, on the contrary, to permit ourselves to recognize ourselves in it, to recognize in it our own experiences and our wildness. Where The Coming Insurrection is concerned, it is not a question of explication, but resonance. To find and develop a shared language that is no longer compatible with the commando. Whoever finds him or herself in the emptiness that is described, and wants to put an end to it, is invited to continue to reflect upon the manner of ending misery.
The Coming Insurrection constitutes a practical and strategic position. It takes as its target the internal fragility of the regime, which is hidden by all of power's forces. Despite an apparent stability, the regime continues to depend -- today, as yesterday -- on the motivation of the workers and on the failure of any wrenches to fall into the gears. The regime's vulnerability at this level has grown over the course of the last few years. It resides in the elevated cadences of just-in-time production, energy and transportation networks, and flows of information.
It is a question of recognizing one's own strengths in the weaknesses of the adversary, of reflecting on the possibilities of escaping from this runaway train [cet appareil en roue libre] so as to engage ourselves, together, in something better. To create links between combative groups and keep ourselves from reproducing the errors of the past. They know the necessity of constructing proper structures for the preparation of acts of sabotage. Because the supermarkets can only be pillaged as long as there is something inside them; the carrot is as necessary as the fist; the combat against what exists must be accompanied by practical research into a radically different existence. Combative groups recognize in liberty the spinal column that reciprocally joins them together.
Groups link up, groups that want everything now and that clearly refuse all procrastination. We recognize, as a condition, the fact that we live at the heart of a global social war in which we must take a position, one way or another. Then why not dare to make a new departure? Why not try to organize our lives together on this planet in a way that each person can have something? More seriously: Is there still any argument in favor of the conservation of the failed experiment that is capitalism?
Compared to the determination with which the indigenous communities blockade the thieves of natural resources in Peru; compared to the cold threat of French workers to blow up their bankrupt company if they do not obtain retirement funds; compared to the realism of riots without demands (and not only riots by poor youths in the metropolis); compared to all the managers of the crises of the Empire, with their dry words of encouragement, which are already as obsolete as the bearers of the powdered wigs of the Ancien Regime -- one can only deplore the fact that they are so well armed.
Nevertheless, the coming insurrection will perhaps be the least bloody of all the foreseeable possibilities.
 CASTOR stands for "Casks for Storage and Transport Of Radioactive Materials."
 English in original.
 Glenn Beck's coverage of the book on FOX News.
 English in original.
 English in original.
(Unsigned, published on-line in French on 29 July 2009. Translated by NOT BORED! 2 August 2009. Footnotes by the translator.)