Blockupy in Frankfurt: The Dance of the Cop and the Democrat

The more acute the current economic crisis becomes, the more the Western European „democracies“ reveal about just how optional the „democracy“ aspect of their governance really is. If the entire mainstream media and good citizens of the First World joined in outraged unison when the Egyptian army attempted to clear protestors out of Tahrir Square, one has to wonder what exactly makes it acceptable when Greek police arrest pacifist activists for setting up camp in Syntagma Square?

This „democracy“ which we enjoy is a spectacle organized merely because it assures better control of the savage mobs than brute force. If, as is sadly the case in Germany, the mainstream of society identifies with the State and its political and economic project, then the unpleasant display of the brute force that lies at the core of power is rendered luckily unnecessary. Should it happen however that society threatens to diverge from the script deemed acceptable by the needs of Capital, we are then quickly shown just how secondary „democracy“ is when it contradicts the needs of the market. Nowhere was this more obvious than in Greece over the last months, where the State simply decided to beat and tear gas „austerity“ into a people who refused to bow. And when finally Greek PM Papandreou, either in an act of political desperation or in a moment of rare honesty and clarity, dared to suggest holding a referendum on the question of Greeces economic bailout, the European political class erupted in a cacophony of shock, dismay, and outrage. Scandalous…that in the birthplace of „democracy,“ it should be the people themselves who are involved in a decision regarding their future. As if they knew anything?!

Citizens lamenting the loss of good old democracy, while others try to criticize the repressive measures of the state by policing themselves…and explaining that no militant acts would have taken place.

Thus it should come as no big surprise that when the „Blockupy“ campaign called for actions, demonstrations, cultural events, and a protest camp in the city of Frankfurt from May 16th to 19th, the German state chose not to watch idly from the sidelines, letting democratic expression unfold. Fearing that indeed, the land might have by now become so dry that even in the belly of the beast „a single spark could start a prairie fire,“ they threw the entire weight of the States repressive apparatus at all those planning to demonstrate. First, they forbid all gatherings (with the exception of the main demonstration on Saturday). Then, the Frankfurt police sent letters to all those who had been arrested at a previous anti-capitalist demonstration in Frankfurt in which they were informed that they were forbidden from entering the Frankfurt inner city for the days of the planned protests. This move effectively cancels the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, stripping people who have been convicted of no crime of their „right“ to demonstrate. And finally, they began stopping busses carrying activists from other cities from even entering the city, and handing all passengers in the busses written prohibitions from entering the city of Frankfurt. Once again, the „rights“ of democracy only apply to those who hold convenient opinions.

Cops evicting a square in Frankfurt, because democracy is only for those with nothing to say. Meanwhile, demonstrators chant „we are peaceful, and what are you?“ because apparently the issue here is not economics or the future shape of society, but rather who is more peaceful.

As if on cue, the next act in this somewhat sad and repetitive play will be the outrage of the left, which will once again put on display some of its most unattractive aspects. There will be, and already has been, much talk about what an overreaction this is on the part of the police and the State, much complaining about the violence both systematic (prohibitions and such) and raw (cops hurting people), and much proclaiming to the four winds that the demonstrations are peaceful. These are the arguments of victimization and self-defeat. Or, had the actions taken a militant and confrontational tone, would we then also be in favor of forbidding them? Is there any more virtue given to the content of our critique because we are in the position of weakness, of being those with the bloodied heads and the poltical trials in our future? Should we really be appealing for more „rights,“ concessions, or permits from the system and the State we want to abolish?

Those who still argue like this continue to not understand the true nature of power. There never was and never will be common ground between revolutionaries and the powers that be, and there never was and never will be a road to real, lasting emancipatory change which does not sooner or later take you outside of the framework of what is the accepted conflict range of dissent. Morality, politics, and groveling for the good will of public opinion are best left to politicians and political parties. Anarchists, anti-authoritarians, and revolutionaries will only have what we take and what we create. There is no justice. There is just us.

1 Antwort auf „Blockupy in Frankfurt: The Dance of the Cop and the Democrat“

  1. 1 Blockupy Frankfurt: la protesta arriva alla Bce | Cooked News Pingback am 18. Mai 2012 um 12:42 Uhr
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