The Angry Mob

In France, March on Brussels on 2 September 2011 at 16:54

Lizant, September 2

Day 39 of the March on Brussels. Internal reorganisation.


Dear people,

We are humans for better or worse. The better part we have shown repeatedly, and yesterday evening we gave a demonstration of the worse. I don’t remember much of it, I’ve been trying to piece things together all day. What I do remember are the wild looks and the primitive weapons. I think I remember the flames as well.

It was all about comrade Cubano. He has been unable to walk for two days. After almost 2000 kilometres, first with the Southern Column from Málaga to Madrid and now to Brussels, he was forced to call a support car. His left leg was injured and he was limping. But the support car didn’t come. Cuban had to drag himself home, and he was furious.

Accusing the support vehicles of negligence and wasting fuel, he occupied himself with the ditribution of the money for gas. This lead to rumours, which spread around quickly. They said that Cubano was going to run off with the treasury and one of the support vehicles. They said he was seen eating meat and drinking.

He came home drunk, it’s true, and an internal assembly was held late at night to discuss the case. After having heard all the rumours the assembly decided in a most reasonable way to take forks and torches, to plunder his tent, to burn it, and to chase the Cuban into the woods.

Maybe this is not literally the way it happened, but when the Cuban was woken up by an excited mob shaking his tent, he might have thought it was.

The Cuban is a convinced member of our pacifist movement, but he has fought his share of revolutionary wars in his day. He is a veteran of guerilla in the jungle, and when he felt menaced, he reacted the way he did.

Fourty marchers were not enough to contain his fury. Only the intervention of a courageous woman could bring him to his senses and avoid casualties. For our movement it was rock bottom. Today, we have taken a forced day off to try to get our act together and re-establish confidence within the group.

Cuban has accounted for all the treasury and reaffirmed that he intends to go to Brussels. “Abbandoning the march would be like abbandoning my family.” At that, everyone who went down to his tent last night bowed their heads in shame, and apologised.

It’s curious to see how easily the behaviour of a group can be influenced by rumours, and how easily money can lead to violence. Comrade Bernie put it into words when I saw him appear out of the smoke and the rubble last night. “We are repeating the same mistakes of the society that we want to change.”

For lack of worse, today is better. And tomorrow we march again. We cannot permit ourselves any more of these stupidities if we want to arrive in Paris on time.


  1. En los grupos humanos que forman la base de las comisiones “sedentarias” también se han producido situaciones de mucha tensión. Continuamos luchando por no dar a los políticos corruptos la satisfacción de vernos desintegrarnos a causa de peleas internas motivadas por los rumores, el dinero y el ansia de protagonismo.

    Nuestro sistema asambleario prevalecerá. Se nos acusa de ser lentos en la toma de decisiones, pero lo cierto es que somos pacíficos y meditamos todos los aspectos de un asunto antes de tomar decisiones colectivas. El consenso existe para que todos unidos avancemos sin miedo, con la confianza de saber que nuestra causa es justa. Rechazamos la manipulación de individuos oportunistas y grupos violentos que pretenden imponer sus ideas ejerciendo presión mediante la desinformación y el terror.

    Debemos evitar repetir los errores del sistema que combatimos. Nunca es demasiado tarde para rectificar y convocar una asamblea en la cual dar voz a todas las opiniones.

    La lucha sigue!

  2. Version française ici – translation to french there:

    I am rather surprised by this event… In my opinion, the problem was not because of “money”. In this case money has a symbolic value higher than usually: it’s a tool for the action.
    About the rumours, it may be because of severals factors, and one is a lack of communication. You know what? In a monolingual group, it can occur that people do not communicate enough, but when, because of their different language abilities there are half of the individuals who cannot easily share their feelings, doubts, questions, opinions… the things become most difficult, don’t you think so?
    Je suis plutôt étonnée de cet évènement. A mon avis, le problème n’était pas causé par “l’argent”. dans ce cas, l’argent a une valeur symbolique bien plus élevée que d’ordinanire: c’est un outil pour l’action.
    Au sujet des rumeurs, cela peut provenir de plusieurs facteurs, l’un d’entre eux étant le manque de communication. Tu sais quoi? Dans un groupe monolingue, ce n’est pas rare que les gens aient du mal à coimmuniquer, mais quand il y a une bonne moitié des gens qui, en raison de leurs différences de compétences linguistiques, ne peuvent pas facilement partager leurs sentiments, doutes, questions, opinions, … les choses deviennent plus dificiles, tu ne crois pas?

  3. @ Dominique C
    I agree with you – every problem can only be solved by communication. communication brings up understanding and cooperation… that’s it, what’s needed – not more, not less.
    multilingual chaos or restraint causes a lack of interaction additionally, what makes things more difficult to calm down.

    nevertehless it is great that you are DOING the march and also getting into these situations. go on and learn and after explain and tell to us.

    THANx FOR THIS BLOG! its great!

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