[Excerpt from the preface of a book to be released in Chile in memory of anarchist comrade Sebastian Oversluij]
On the 11th of December, 2013, a bank robbery took place in the Pudahuel district.
When anarchist Sebastián Oversluij entered the bank and announced the robbery he was answered with bullets from a security guard, an armed defender of the interests of the rich and powerful. Sebastián fell to the ground dead after his machine gun was emptied.
But there are deaths without death, the deaths that are repeated daily…the morning alarm clock reminding you not to be late for work; lonely, solitary journeys with the crowd to offices, factories and stores; the boss yelling at you demanding more from you and faster; repetitive mechanical movements at work that kill creativity; feigned kindness to customers and a humiliating salary as compensation for the life that is being stolen from you.
A life that is measured in money.
When we rob a bank we don’t just take the money, we also take back some of the life that they have stolen from us.
But even bank robbery can become a job of dependence. A job like any other, except that the ‘salary’ is uncertain and instead of the risk of workplace ‘accidents’ there is the risk of imprisonment or death. Often the bank robbers are no different from the salaried workers who simply work in less riskier conditions but share the same mentality – that of a consumer who worships money, who admires the power of wealth and whose car, clothes and watch are an extension of themselves.
Sebastián Oversluij was not a bank robber. He was an anarchist. He refused to be a slave to the boss’s clock. He rejected work because he rejected the work ethic, the ethic of a slave who thinks like a consumer. A robbery of a bank by itself is not a revolutionary act. Bank robbery is a means of anarchist struggle to take back the time stolen from us by the bosses and organize offensively against them, planning anarchist actions, helping imprisoned comrades, strengthening publishing projects and creating infrastructures of armed attack against power.
We belong to the same generation as Sebastián.
A generation that has neither age nor nationality.
The same generation of impatient and uncompromising dreamers.
We don’t need heroes, we need comrades who light fires with their ideas. By keeping Sebastian and all the other comrades who fell in combat alive in our memory we are keeping the struggle alive. A struggle against power in which prison or death are often the price. But as it is written: “Five free birds began the journey to the south, only one arrived, but what their journey taught them was that it was worth trying to fly…”
Conspiracy of Cells of Fire FAI/IRF
(via Contra Info, translated by Sin Banderas Ni Fronteras & Insurrection News)