June 28, 2021
From Enough Is Enough 14
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Berlin. A text by antikoloniale aktion (anti-colonial action) on May Day 2021 in Berlin.

Originally published by Kontrapolis.

This reflection began to be written when we received the call to the May 1st demonstration. After the demonstration our reflections did not change, but rather were consolidated and seeing that there was no public self-criticism until today we decided to publish it.

As migrants we actively defend and fight for the opening of political spaces for participation, and this includes from our point of view the absolute refusal of representation.

First it is important for us to stress that we are grateful about the attempt to rebuild the discussion around class struggle, taking the May Day as a symbolic day. We fully agree that migrant perspectives should be an integral part of this discussion. We are glad that this new flame of class struggle in Berlin is intertwined with anti-colonial and anti-patriarchal thinking and we appreciate that it was a day of encounter for people with very diverse histories of struggle.

However, when we received the call, a dynamic that we have felt growing for some time was consolidated. A pacifist discourse justified by a one unified political figure of the migrant. Beyond the political-discursive differences, we want to promote a reflection and make public that the human dynamics that forged this absolutist but individualistic, mass but elitist, and revolutionary but pacifist discourse, does not represent us as migrants, does not favor us as working class women of color, and less nourishes us as anarchists and antifacists.

bWe hope that our intentions are not misinterpreted, with this text we are not seeking to attack a group.But to share with you that these dynamics reinforce our stance of non-indentitarianist anti-colonial politics, while affirming why we do not only fight with migrants, but with those, regardless of passport, with whom we shareb a common ground towards better worlds.

First myth to demolish: Because I am a migrant, I am working class.

We understand the confusion between labor precariousness and class struggle to be extremely dangerous, at the same time that we are concerned about its main role in the May Day demonstration. It is clear that labor precariousness is only one of the many forms of materialization of the class division. Consequently, it is clear that the only fact of attacking labor precariousness is not sufficient for the construction of the class struggle.

It is well known that for many of those who migrate and find themselves for the first time in a situation of labor precariousness, they have found in the discourse of class struggle, a political niche that gives them power over others. Far from turning their labor precariousness into a joint political struggle, from integrating themselves into an existing collective history and being part of the collective construction we call working class, they seek to enter a space of economic welfare based on the interest for personal improvement. A welfare that through the impulse of reformist policies, framed in life experiences led by bourgeois values, will restore them to the social position of their lifestyles prior to migration.

In our understanding, and as people socialized in the working class, with working class culture, working class social values, working class collective manners, and working class ways of life, we understand that class paternalism is an affliction that rot the Berlin migrant scene as well. The class struggle is part of a revolutionary project that attempts against the matrix of domination as a whole, and must therefore sprout from the working class and not by an avantgard that seeks to awaken the masses. At the same time it can only see its fruits, with the collective liberation and not with the individual advancement.

Classism is for our existence, the way in which we are oppressed by the reformist scenes as much migrant, racialized or white, all of them with delusions of a revolution that they read in some book or paper. By appropriating a process of social deconstruction around racism, they manage to impose their political projects: the centralization of the discourse, the overtaking of the front row (as long as there is no confrontation with the police, of course), and the decision making on behalf of others, to the point of depriving us working class migrants of a day as important as the May Day. Thus, they are able to deploy the same apparatus of paternalism they claim to fight against, on other identities who have no political space in their already consolidated structures. All this was materialized in the call for a peaceful march, under the slogan of security for migrants.

But who asked for this care? With what authority do we talk about what all migrants need on May Day? We categorically refuse to be represented and to be deprived of our political subjectivity to -as migrants- define ourselves in a radical way. In the same way we reject the paternalism from the „white-German“ left, from the „migrantized“ scene or from the academic migrant elites, who for fear of making public their own reformism, seek to discredit us under one of the biggest constructions that colonialism has ever invented: the label of barbarism and inability to dialogue on those who see in direct action one of many paths to liberation.

Second myth to demolish: Violence yes or violence no?
By using the image of the „white-german“ radicals who every year celebrate violence and ritualize fights with the police, the organizers were inspired by a bourgeois image of social protest, terrified about the oppressed defending themselves. This is not to say that we identify with the tradition of the „Revolutionärer 1. May Berlin“. But neither do we understand that the way to build alternatives and to fill May Day with content is to de-solidarize with other ways and methods of action.

We were surprised that a group that was founded on a criticism of the racist police apparatus was inspired by a speech produced by the police with sticks and tear gas. Did people really believe that the police only attack demonstrations when they are „provoked“ by the demonstrators? Do we really want to accept the speech of the police who say that they only repress when it is necessary, as if repression was ever necessary? In the same way that racism is reproduced by the repressive organs of the state with every racialized control, with every death in custody, with every deportation and with every visa refused; classism is consolidated in every dissolved demonstration and with every beating over the head of a person who dreams of a better world.

Violence is inherent to our existence in the capitalist, ableist, hetero-patriarchal and racist system in which we live. A simplistic and dualistic approach such as yes/no to violence does not fit our realities, since not being in control of the system in which we live, deprives us the power to live without violence. Being a „peaceful“ person today is not the opposite of being violent. Because it is violent to see how police takes away a comrade, and let them act. It is violent to treat as „inconsiderate“ working class migrants, who put their bodies to confront the repressive system, saying that they put others at risk. It is violent that if you consider yourself a leftist you put police violence and revolutionary counter-violence on the same line.

This discourse of paternalistic representation is implanted from the absolutist occupation of a mass identity. An avant-garde elite, which under its migrant identitarianism submits us, migrants too, with discourses of multicultural-national openness, to a unifyingh and classist construct. It tries to insert us in a bid for an identity space within the German-national construct which we reject, and in which we choose not to integrate, even when its taste is sweet instead of sour.

In other words, what separates us from the pacifist and reformist discourse of this May Day, is that it is framed within the German nation-state, either from the individual quest for class overcoming to consolidate as part of a cosmopolitan elite; or from the need for accreditation as an active part in the construction of the German national culture. We are not Germans, we do not want to be Germans and we do not strive to be treated as such. Nationalities and their institutions can only exist on the principle of exclusion; therefore, from our love towards total liberation we fight for communal self-definition and for that there is only one path left: self-defense.

From this place of love and liberation, we reject the police violence against the Black-Block or Anarchist Block, without asking ourselves what identities they are made up of. Because we do not exclude our comrades because of their identity, but we include them because of their political thinking-feelings. And because as migrants and racialized people, we know very well that deconstructions are processes that cross us all. No one is free from reproducing dominance, and the path to liberation from it is not the dictatorship of the oppressed and much less the one of feeding spaces favorable to the repression of those who do not agree with us. Above all we are in favor of joint liberation, and therefore we are always on the side of those who are oppressed, whether daily through social displacement, or monthly at the cost of their labor, or in every direct action in response to police violence.

While this may sound difficult to understand, it is worth clarifying that this is not a criticism of the struggle of the organizing comrades. Because even if distant to our ideological understanding, we do consider them an important part of the movement to which we all belong. From our love for the autonomy of the people(s) we have always tried to listen and support as much as possible their struggles. The break that leads us to publish this critique openly, is not an ideological decision, nor a political rupture in our understanding of joint struggle. Rather, it is a product of the fact that the discourse of this last passed May Day – and therefore the groups organizing it – made us invisible, taking away our voice and adding it without consent to their political project, which was presented in an authoritarian manner in the name of a unique migrant community that they do not represent. Because that single migrant community does not exist today and if it did, the whole community should have the power to choose how, with whom and under what principles to build their lives.

This reflection began to be written when we received the call to the May 1st demonstration. After the demonstration our reflections did not change, but rather were consolidated and seeing that there was no public self-criticism until today we decided to publish it.

As migrants we actively defend and fight for the opening of political spaces for participation, and this includes from our point of view the absolute refusal of representation.

First it is important for us to stress that we are grateful about the attempt to rebuild the discussion around class struggle, taking the May Day as a symbolic day. We fully agree that migrant perspectives should be an integral part of this discussion. We are glad that this new flame of class struggle in Berlin is intertwined with anti-colonial and anti-patriarchal thinking and we appreciate that it was a day of encounter for people with very diverse histories of struggle.

However, when we received the call, a dynamic that we have felt growing for some time was consolidated. A pacifist discourse justified by a one unified political figure of the migrant. Beyond the political-discursive differences, we want to promote a reflection and make public that the human dynamics that forged this absolutist but individualistic, mass but elitist, and revolutionary but pacifist discourse, does not represent us as migrants, does not favor us as working class women of color, and less nourishes us as anarchists and antifacists.

We hope that our intentions are not misinterpreted, with this text we are not seeking to attack a group.But to share with you that these dynamics reinforce our stance of non-indentitarianist anti-colonial politics, while affirming why we do not only fight with migrants, but with those, regardless of passport, with whom we share a common ground towards better worlds.

First myth to demolish: Because I am a migrant, I am working class.
We understand the confusion between labor precariousness and class struggle to be extremely dangerous, at the same time that we are concerned about its main role in the May Day demonstration. It is clear that labor precariousness is only one of the many forms of materialization of the class division. Consequently, it is clear that the only fact of attacking labor precariousness is not sufficient for the construction of the class struggle.

It is well known that for many of those who migrate and find themselves for the first time in a situation of labor precariousness, they have found in the discourse of class struggle, a political niche that gives them power over others. Far from turning their labor precariousness into a joint political struggle, from integrating themselves into an existing collective history and being part of the collective construction we call working class, they seek to enter a space of economic welfare based on the interest for personal improvement. A welfare that through the impulse of reformist policies, framed in life experiences led by bourgeois values, will restore them to the social position of their lifestyles prior to migration.

In our understanding, and as people socialized in the working class, with working class culture, working class social values, working class collective manners, and working class ways of life, we understand that class paternalism is an affliction that rot the Berlin migrant scene as well. The class struggle is part of a revolutionary project that attempts against the matrix of domination as a whole, and must therefore sprout from the working class and not by an avantgard that seeks to awaken the masses. At the same time it can only see its fruits, with the collective liberation and not with the individual advancement.

Clacism is for our existence, the way in which we are oppressed by the reformist scenes as much migrant, racialized or white, all of them with delusions of a revolution that they read in some book or paper. By appropriating a process of social deconstruction around racism, they manage to impose their political projects: the centralization of the discourse, the overtaking of the front row (as long as there is no confrontation with the police, of course), and the decision making on behalf of others, to the point of depriving us working class migrants of a day as important as the May Day. Thus, they are able to deploy the same apparatus of paternalism they claim to fight against, on other identities who have no political space in their already consolidated structures. All this was materialized in the call for a peaceful march, under the slogan of security for migrants.

But who asked for this care? With what authority do we talk about what all migrants need on May Day? We categorically refuse to be represented and to be deprived of our political subjectivity to -as migrants- define ourselves in a radical way. In the same way we reject the paternalism from the „white-German“ left, from the „migrantized“ scene or from the academic migrant elites, who for fear of making public their own reformism, seek to discredit us under one of the biggest constructions that colonialism has ever invented: the label of barbarism and inability to dialogue on those who see in direct action one of many paths to liberation.

Second myth to demolish: Violence yes or violence no?

By using the image of the „white-german“ radicals who every year celebrate violence and ritualize fights with the police, the organizers were inspired by a bourgeois image of social protest, terrified about the oppressed defending themselves. This is not to say that we identify with the tradition of the „Revolutionärer 1. May Berlin“. But neither do we understand that the way to build alternatives and to fill May Day with content is to de-solidarize with other ways and methods of action.

We were surprised that a group that was founded on a criticism of the racist police apparatus was inspired by a speech produced by the police with sticks and tear gas. Did people really believe that the police only attack demonstrations when they are „provoked“ by the demonstrators? Do we really want to accept the speech of the police who say that they only repress when it is necessary, as if repression was ever necessary? In the same way that racism is reproduced by the repressive organs of the state with every racialized control, with every death in custody, with every deportation and with every visa refused; clacism is consolidated in every dissolved demonstration and with every beating over the head of a person who dreams of a better world.

Violence is inherent to our existence in the capitalist, ableist, hetero-patriarchal and racist system in which we live. A simplistic and dualistic approach such as yes/no to violence does not fit our realities, since not being in control of the system in which we live, deprives us the power to live without violence. Being a „peaceful“ person today is not the opposite of being violent. Because it is violent to see how police takes away a comrade, and let them act. It is violent to treat as „inconsiderate“ working class migrants, who put their bodies to confront the repressive system, saying that they put others at risk. It is violent that if you consider yourself a leftist you put police violence and revolutionary counter-violence on the same line.

This discourse of paternalistic representation is implanted from the absolutist occupation of a mass identity. An avant-garde elite, which under its migrant identitarianism submits us, migrants too, with discourses of multicultural-national openness, to a unifyingh and classist construct. It tries to insert us in a bid for an identity space within the German-national construct which we reject, and in which we choose not to integrate, even when its taste is sweet instead of sour.

In other words, what separates us from the pacifist and reformist discourse of this May Day, is that it is framed within the German nation-state, either from the individual quest for class overcoming to consolidate as part of a cosmopolitan elite; or from the need for accreditation as an active part in the construction of the German national culture. We are not Germans, we do not want to be Germans and we do not strive to be treated as such. Nationalities and their institutions can only exist on the principle of exclusion; therefore, from our love towards total liberation we fight for communal self-definition and for that there is only one path left: self-defense.

From this place of love and liberation, we reject the police violence against the Black-Block or Anarchist Block, without asking ourselves what identities they are made up of. Because we do not exclude our comrades because of their identity, but we include them because of their political thinking-feelings. And because as migrants and racialized people, we know very well that deconstructions are processes that cross us all. No one is free from reproducing dominance, and the path to liberation from it is not the dictatorship of the oppressed and much less the one of feeding spaces favorable to the repression of those who do not agree with us. Above all we are in favor of joint liberation, and therefore we are always on the side of those who are oppressed, whether daily through social displacement, or monthly at the cost of their labor, or in every direct action in response to police violence.

While this may sound difficult to understand, it is worth clarifying that this is not a criticism of the struggle of the organizing comrades. Because even if distant to our ideological understanding, we do consider them an important part of the movement to which we all belong. From our love for the autonomy of the people(s) we have always tried to listen and support as much as possible their struggles. The break that leads us to publish this critique openly, is not an ideological decision, nor a political rupture in our understanding of joint struggle. Rather, it is a product of the fact that the discourse of this last passed May Day – and therefore the groups organizing it – made us invisible, taking away our voice and adding it without consent to their political project, which was presented in an authoritarian manner in the name of a unique migrant community that they do not represent. Because that single migrant community does not exist today and if it did, the whole community should have the power to choose how, with whom and under what principles to build their lives.

antikoloniale aktion , June 26, 2021





Source: Enoughisenough14.org