I) Property is theft.
“Property is theft” says one of the oldest anarchist slogans. It is the theft of collective life, it is the abolition of community, it is the refuge of taking distance from the commons, of fear. Property and its twin sister power, give birth to the distinction of people based on titles, positions and privileges…Just like the sky has no borders, the land should not be owned.
A human being from a collective becomes an owner. An owner not of their life but of walls, windows and furniture…
Squats have begun as a form of denial of property, and of self-organised expression. The course of the squat movement has many shades…Some of them are more militant, others are more harmless…There are anarchist squats and alternative squats, squats which are cores of lawlessness and squats which are dehydrated cultural centers.
Today in Greece there are many more squats than in the past, not only in Athens but also in many cities.
Every squat begins with an act of war. It cancels property (cornerstone of state power) and releases ground from contracts, taxes, accounts, legality…
But the gamble begins from that exact moment…Squatting or the self-management of a place is a sharp tool, that can either stab the world of property or just become a souvenir and rust…Certainly, a squat is changing our own small world, but as long as our world is bordered with the world of state power, if it doesn’t arm itself in order to attack it, it will become a vision of an oasis surrounded by the desert of the existing.
II) The House of Anarchy.
State power, in order to maintain its throne, produces destruction. It separates people through laws, rules, racism, insecurity, locks, showcases, screens…
State power manufactures the loneliness of the crowd… “Each one alone…each one for themselves.”
The absolute principle of “Divide and Conquer…”
A Squat can become a meeting point without separations, an open chance to rediscover our collective self, to create communities again.
Here, old and new comrades can meet to share experiences, to discuss, to stand next to each other, to develop bonds of solidarity, to plan their attacks, to organize the internal enemy and to strengthen the armed struggle for Freedom and for Anarchy.
Through the organisation of events, book presentations, self-education discussions, self organised libraries, training for physical exercise and combat, squats can become “laboratories” of the continuous anarchist revolution.
At the same time an anarchist squat is the first cell of an anarchist community. The comrades who participate in this learn how to share, to co-decide, to create a community life free from the petty bourgeois residues of property and selfishness…
But beside the political collective processes an anarchist squat tests itself through the revolution of everyday life. Because a squat’s assembly has to not only decide about an event or a demonstration, but also about daily living issues (housework maintenance, cleaning, cooking, etc). Here they try to break the formal everyday rules, the gender assigned roles and discrimination…
It is the self-organisation of everyday life, in practice.
III) Aquariums of Freedom.
But here, we must be careful. Because some of those who participate in self-organised projects such as a squat, often get self-deluded by the reading of their imaginary role and convert the means into an end in itself. They even develop a subconscious owners relationship with the project, forgetting that an anarchist squat is not the walls and the doors, but the relationships between the comrades with the prospect to attack against power by all means.
Forgetting the totality of Anarchy, some people construct ideological shapes to enlarge the project, presenting the squat as the center of the universe.
The reformist circles distorting the meaning of squats, present them as small islands of freedom that can change the world, substituting and marginalising the aggressive and armed practices.
Slandering and introversion will complete the “job”. Moreover in those cases, the “ultimate purpose” is to keep the squat open regardless of possible compromises. Because the fear that motivates the drive to keep the squat free from the danger of repression at all costs can even lead to the creation of an “informal security zone”, with the demand by some reformists not to carry out any direct actions near the hang-out or squat, so that they’re not charged with it and their project doesn’t close.
Obviously the matter is neither to stay indifferent nor to provoke the squats which were made with
struggles, and certainly not to sacrifice our attack for them…
The important thing is not to forget that an anarchist squat will either be a focus of diffusing aggressive practices, or it will be assimilated…
We should not content ourselves to the moments of freedom that a squat offers but demand life’s total freedom, and a squat is only a partial reflection of it. In short, we should not love our squats and hang-outs but the purpose they serve. The anarchist attack here and now.
IV) Visibility through fog.
So, a squat could be a dot on the map of anarchy, directed towards the continuous rebellion and revolution. It could be the starting point that will pour infinite possibilities for hostilities against authority.
Far from isolated frames of fake-freedom islands that simply fool real freedom internalizing it to small worlds, there are squats that keep the prospect of anarchist attack open.
And certainly there is the possibility to create even more…Repression approaches, and the fascist arsons against self-managed places, confirm the possibility of the squats to be an area of rebellion against authority…
From our side, the side of anarchists of praxis, we can speed up this opportunity…
Through squats, we can strengthen the public infrastructures of self-education, the counter-information media, the solidarity funds, we can create a fugitive refuge sector for comrades, and organize task-forces, not only for the squat’s protection, but also for the diffusion of attack against fascists, cops, and other targets of sovereignty, with a view to strengthening the anarchist urban guerrilla.
The fact that the squats are visible to repression (presence of undercover cops close to the squats for ID verification) might lead those comrades who want to organize with the urban guerilla, to stay away from them for conspiratorial reasons.
But staying away from the squat’s building does not mean the elimination or the depreciation of the project. Besides, a squat project is not its four walls. It is the purpose it serves. A squat can become the bridge connecting the public and the illegal sector of Anarchy.
It can be the open bridge from a meeting of comrades to organizing guerrilla infrastructure. That’s the way anarchist action develops, when the “public” meets the “illegal” and come together with the destruction of power as a purpose. Squats then, can really become the House of Anarchy.
For Mauricio Morales.
This text is dedicated to the memory of Mauricio Morales who was killed while transporting a bomb, destined for the Prison Officers’ University in Chile on May 22, 2009. Mauricio took part in the “Sacco and Vanzetti” squat making the meeting of public and illegal a reality. Being a member of a squat and a bomber at the same time, he did not separate the means of action and he wasn’t trapped in fake-freedom islands.
His memory does not produce anniversary memorials but triggers the detonation of anarchist praxis.
For us and for those who fell in the struggle…for Anarchy.
Conspiracy of Cells of Fire – Urban Guerrilla Cell
Informal Anarchist Federation / International Revolutionary Front (FAI-FRI)