Reflections of Rhythms of Resistance Amsterdam on New Year's Eve solidarity action

Hier kun je discussieren over Reflections of Rhythms of Resistance Amsterdam on New Year's Eve solidarity action.
We are writing this statement as Rhythms of Resistance (RoR) Amsterdam. RoR Amsterdam forms part of an international network of action samba bands that defines itself under the broad banner of anti-capitalist. We mainly use music and other forms of ‘tactical frivolity’ to show our rage and indignation. We have been supporting and organising many actions in our 15 years of existence and therefore very much feel part of the (autonomous) social movement in the Netherlands that critically opposes different forms of domination, discrimination, exploitation and oppression from an anti-systemic point of view.

From this perspective, we also joined the action organized during New Year's Eve, specifically as an act of solidarity with the migrants without papers being imprisoned in the detention centre at Schiphol. We think it is important that these solidarity actions are organized, and we value and appreciate the fact that AGA took the initiative to do so. With our collective, we organized an evaluation of the action and our participation in it. With this statement, we would like to share some of our critical reflections. We do this in the hope that a constructive critical exchange on how we organize and collaborate, and discuss the politics behind this contributes to better actions in the future and strengthens the critical movement that we are all part of.

Regarding the preparations, we appreciated the ‘briefing’ given at the MKZ on the rights of detainees, the organization of the ‘arrestantengroep’ and the lawyer. However, in retrospect, we feel that the level of confrontation with the police should also have been discussed and collectively decided upon. RoR holds that establishing a confrontation level collectively is part of collective decision-making process about participating an action. As the confrontation level was not discussed and agreed upon beforehand, people ended up in a situation they might have chosen to avoid if they had known in the first place. From the statement published on Indymedia, we understand the position of 'some anarchists' on police confrontations. However, not communicating this beforehand basically means enforcing one's strategies and tactics on the rest of the activists present. This is an anti-democratic practice that according to us does not have a lot to do with anarchism or creating alternative practices for the 'new society' we are struggling for. Additionally, this situation is very detrimental in the construction of political alliances. We understood that several people were not willing to join an action that had the potential of escalation and as a consequence might not join a solidarity action with migrants without papers in the future. Not all people standing with undocumented migrants are anarchists, and several of us who are anarchists apparently do not share the same interpretation of what solidarity means. In the building of a broader pro-migration movement these differences need to be acknowledged, discussed and negotiated, but not denied and done away with in an authoritarian and purely ideological way.

As RoR, we have participated in several ‘high risk’ actions and do not avoid confrontation with the police. We share the political view that the police are mainly there to protect the state and corporate interests which need to be abolished. Additionally, we agree that the police forces acted in a totally outrageous and disproportionate way. However, we also think that in the definition of our confrontation level, we need to use tactical and political criteria based on a historical and contextual analysis. 'Solidarity' from our perspective means at a very minimal level listening to those whom you are in solidarity with and acknowledging their specific conditions, needs and demands. From this perspective, we cannot pretend that the situation of undocumented migrants is the same as that of documented folks. We know this reality also through the composition of our own collective. Taking this difference into account is something else than 'denying their agency' or 'victimizing' them. It is simply acknowledging the more precarious situation of undocumented people in the face of our current failing system (which was the reason we were there in the first place). Denying this is just a demonstration of 'privileged' position of some self-proclaimed radical activists. Therefore, we were astonished and angry that several activists 'upgraded' the confrontation level with the police at several moments during the action without any apparent consultation. Was this asked to the undocumented activists present? Was it negotiated with them and the rest of the activists present? We know for a fact that it was not.

So then, what kind of solidarity is this? Can we define our solidarity without taking into account the opinions, demands and situations of the people we are in solidarity with? In any case, this type of solidarity in practice led to the sad and ironic situation that our action in solidarity with imprisoned undocumented migrants actually put more undocumented people, against their will, in danger of being incarcerated.

The above makes clear that we strongly oppose the view voiced in the statement published on Indymedia that using a tactics based on the opinions, demands and specific conditions of migrants is the same as 'parroting the police'. We can actually state exactly the opposite. The people that wrote on the cars merely provided the police with what they wanted: an excuse to arrest us and the migrants without papers to intimidate and to create fear. In that context, one can ask which tactics actually played into the strategy of the police? Stating that the same situation would have emerged if the cars hadn’t been tagged is mainly hypothetical, not grounded on a historical analysis (nothing happened in previous years at the same action) and is therefore too easily used to legitimize and cover up a tactical and political fuck-up. And for the record, nobody 'forced' the arrest of the people who did the tags. Several different strategies were discussed and people even volunteered to take the blame and be arrested. These proposals were all done away with, based on the purely abstract and ideological claim that 'we do not and cannot negotiate with the police', again without taking into account the will of the undocumented activists present.

We hope that these reflections will bring all of us in a stronger position where everyone is more aware of the various opinions, demands, situations within the group, so that we can be better aligned as a whole in our fight for a better world.

ROR Amsterdam

Praise Bakunin! At last some

Praise Bakunin! At last some people who make sense and who don't write in this grotesque pseudo-literary style!
Thank you.




Zie ook eerder:

Mass arrest noise demo Schiphol,
New Years solidarity noise demonstration was attacked,
New Year´s demo Schiphol (photo's and statement),
Polder till death (a few reflections on the NYE demo), .

korte video

korte video van een speech tijdens de demo voor de gevangenen (je hoeft geen fb account te hebben om de pagina te kunnen bezoeken)

De discussie was te pynlyk en

De discussie was te pynlyk en toen maar verwyderd?

alles staat er nog

Volgens mij staat alles er nog, de aivd kan weer een hoop info verzamelen. Maar ik zie dus niet wat er verwijderd is en indy heeft ook nog haar best gedaan onder iedere nieuwe post links te zetten naar andere posts over dit onderwerp.


>en indy heeft ook nog haar best gedaan onder iedere nieuwe post links te zetten naar andere posts over dit onderwerp<

Ahem, nee, in de regel doen wat trouwe lezers dat voor je, op eigen houtje, bij onderwerpen die ze van belang lijken ;) Dit omdat de gemiddelde poster te bescheten is om dat zelf te doen. Zoiets als de digitale variant van posters die enkel of met name te ontcijferen zijn voor mensen die toch al weten hoe het zit.

Je zou denken dat een van de kenmerken van het www nu juist is de multidimensionaliteit ervan; het geeft te denken dat het juist naar je zou mogen aannemen ruimdenkenden zijn die dat over het hoofd plegen te zien, en het dus reduceren tot iets eendimensionaals en lineairs. Boems en ik heb m'n kwakje weer gedaan, wat nou context en de lezer zoekt het maar lekker uit verder.

Dit overigens niet per se gericht aan ROR hierboven, 't is maar zo'n algemene observatie. Over & uit maar weer. Een vriendelijke tip trouwens aan de Indy-redactie: Een fatsoenlijke of zelfs maar werkende zoekfunctie hier zou wonderen doen. Omdat dit inderdaad zou kunnen bijdragen aan het ontsluiten en in context plaatsen van dit nieuwsarchief, inmiddels toch bepaald omvangrijk.

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