Void Network and CrimethInc.
Welcome to Athens, Obama
Today, November 14, outgoing US President Barack Obama arrives in Greece. Speaking from both the United States and Greece, we call on every partisan of freedom to participate in the night demonstration called for Athens on November 15 / starts from Athens Polytechnic at 17.30 .
It is symbolic that Obama is visiting Greece on his farewell tour. The Balkans have served as a laboratory for neoliberalism and US military interventions since the late 20th century; Greece in particular has undergone a global experiment of crisis management and repression. As war draws closer and closer—Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Turkey—the Balkans are expected to serve Europe and the US as a buffer zone while suffering the same abuse as the periphery.
Now that the pipe dream of universal economic growth has come to an end, giving way to a vista of chaos and climate catastrophe, we can see that the new order will only be stabilized by the empty promises of politicians and the brute force of the police and military: by the ballot and the bullet. The buffer zone is getting smaller and smaller, and the United States is not exempt—the same National Guard sent to Iraq have already been deployed in Baltimore. Now is the time to fight, before the situation grows any worse.
In expressing shock and outrage about the election of Donald Trump, many on the Left have obscured the systemic nature of the problem. By taking action against the Democratic favorite of the US, we show that our opposition is not directed against any particular representative, but against the state and capitalism themselves. In the pleas Clinton and Obama have made for a “peaceful transition of power” to a man they declared unfit to rule, we see the collusion of liberals who would rather preserve the apparatus of the state even in the hands of outright fascists than permit real freedom to emerge.
Indeed, as the candidate of supposed “Hope” and “Change,” Obama not only preserved the structures of power, but persuaded many of the people who are most targeted by the system to invest more faith and resources in those structures—which will now be used to repress them more aggressively than ever. Just as we reject the false solutions of Syriza, we understand that Obama’s reputation as a “good” politician has only made him more dangerous to those he purports to protect. Those who promise a more “inclusive” neoliberalism today pave the way for tomorrow’s fascism.
Obama has deported two and a half million people, as many as all the US Presidents of the 20th century combined—turning Mexico and Central America into a detention center for the population capitalism has no use for. Just as we act in solidarity with those targeted by the so-called “migrant crisis,” a crisis imposed by the borders and wars that are endemic to capitalism, we act against Obama in solidarity with all the people of Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and the world. If we don’t tear down the borders that fence other people out today, who will help us tear down the borders that fence us out tomorrow?
As the first Black President, Obama has served the agenda of those who want to convey the impression that white supremacy is a thing of the past. Yet under his reign, a million Black people have languished in prison while police have murdered Black people in the streets with impunity on a daily basis. Over the past months, we have seen indigenous warriors attacked by the same police for defending the water that gives life to their communities. Inspired by the courageous fighters of Ferguson, Baltimore, Oakland, and Standing Rock, we aim to strike blows against racism, prisons, and police everywhere.
These struggles will not be concluded when Obama leaves Greece, nor when he exits office. As President of the most hegemonic state power of our era, Obama represents the interlaced and mutually reinforcing hierarchies that divide humanity—property, citizenship, gender roles, and every other form of authority—yet he himself is merely a cog in a much greater machine. When he is replaced this coming January, the economic interests that have pulled the strings in his administration will move on to utilizing Donald Trump to the same ends, albeit via a more overtly brutal strategy suitable to these times.
We, too, must update our strategies. Today, fewer and fewer people retain the illusion that voting, party politics, or the state could solve the problems we face. The situation is the same the world over. When we take action against politicians, we must not understand ourselves as engaging in mere protest. We are not simply seeking to obtain leverage by militant means. We are developing forms of self-defense in order to open up liberated spaces in which we can experiment with ways to meet our own needs, directly, rather than being experimented upon.
We have to undertake immediate initiatives to create communities of struggle everywhere—opening spaces and social centers, organizing discussions and demonstrations, liberating public spaces, breaking through apathy and isolation, producing free food, shelter, and culture for all. We have to think freedom and enact emancipation.
The blows we strike in Greece will resonate across the world, from all the other peripheries to the very heart of the United States. Together, let us become ungovernable.
For international coordination and solidarity in the struggle against global capitalism and the state
For anarchy, the perpetual reinvention of our relations in pursuit of freedom
For freedom, the collective capacity to fulfill our tremendous potential on our own terms
Jointly composed and signed—
CrimethInc. ex-Workers’ Collective
Void Network [Theory, Outopia, Empathy, Ephemeral Arts]