Montlhéry, September 15
Day 52 of the March on Brussels. From Etampes, 29 km
This morning, instead of going walking early, we sat down in the tavern ‘le petit caporal’, to plot about actions in Paris. We were not the only ones. There are small groups within our march preparing actions and diversive manoeuvres of their own accord. Also the Mediterranean march and the indignados in Paris are busy cooking up their own plans.
Then when the time comes to coordinate things in the internal assembly, we lose hours deciding whether a journalist of a photographic magazine should be allowed or not to assist to the assembly. In the end, we don’t even get to talk about the important things.
But do not think that this is a ridiculous chaos, o no, it’s tactics. The only way for us to avoid that the police knows what we’re going to do is to make sure that we ourselves don’t have any idea of what’s going to happen.
So far for things in practice. These last few days I have been talking about the theoretical nature of our movement with comrade Roberto, from the Economy commission, which is now known as the commission ‘Autogestión’, to appease the anti-monetarians within the march.
Roberto is a former stock broker and bank employee. He started off as a choir boy in church. He knows the enemy, and he has a very analytical way of thinking which isn’t blurred by any kind of moral. I’m trying to convince him to be part of a secret Intelligence commission, with the objective to gather any type of information about the march.
This information is divided on various levels. One is the organisation of the march, another is a classification of its participants on the basis of their mentality, and another is a classification on the basis of their political ideas.
We made a scheme of the commissions. Route, Economy and Dinamisation are the primary ones. The Route decides where we’re going. Economy controls the secondary commissions of Logistics and Kitchen. Dinamisation is a kind of central committee which prepares the politics of the assembly. If you control these three commissions, you control the march.
But maybe the most important commission of all is Communications. Through Communications we create the public image of the march. We depend on public support. Without effective propaganda, there is no march.
As for the mentality, people can be divided into the ‘rigorosos’, or the people who want to shape order out of chaos, the ‘permisivos’, who try to keep the group together with comprehension and endless search for consensus. There are the parasites, who don’t really care as long as they don’t have to walk and receive a free meal. And finally, there are a few visionaries who don’t take themselves or the march too seriously. They watch on with amazement and joy how this incredible movement develops.
On a political level you can recognise the classical distinction between radical revolutionaries and practical reformists. The former want to change everything overnight, so that as from tomorrow we can all live together, happily ever after. The latter admit that things are a bit more complicated than that. But most people probably don’t have any clear political ideas at all. They know things are not right in society, but they wouldn’t really know where to start to make a change.
At midday we walk. It was a strange day today. A part of the distance I walked alone, and whenever I did, I got lost. This hardly ever happens. I arrived last, late in the evening. I missed the popular assembly on the village square, which was a shame, because I heard it had been very interesting.
There was a woman present who works in a psychiatric institution. She told that she had 23 patients in her department, ten of which had drinking problems. It seems that Sarkozy has passed a law which allows police to send people who are caught drunk on the street to a mental institution. One of the patients got caught the very first time he ever touched a bottle. After six months in the clinic he had become a true alcoholic.