postvirtual

Yes We Camp

In France, March on Brussels, Paris on 20 September 2011 at 23:23
Paris, September 20

Day 57 of the March on Brussels. Forced rest.

Acampada Paris @ Bercy, Sep 20

Dear people,

Our movement is extremely versatile. We can improvise and catch the moment, like we did yesterday, or we can lose an entire day in assembly trying to decide what we are going to do, like we did today.

It wasn’t surprising. After we spent most of the night regrouping on the Bastille, many people went to sleep only around eight in the morning. Most of the day I stayed in the Communications squat near Pompidou, where the people kept cutting, editing and difusing all day. In the afternoon the marches reassembled at Bercy and only in the evening we take our sole decision of the day. Where to sleep.

A small group of people wanted to prepare actions for today as well. They want to ride the wave. After we got gassed and arrested the night before, we gained some popular support in Paris and publicity in Spain. The wounded are out of hospital, and as far as I have been able to ascertain, the detenidos are free.

I’m eager to take a map and start planning. There’s no limit to the kind of things you can do as a peaceful group of disobedient citizens. If we were a bit better organised – or if we were organised at all – we could form different groups and coordinate actions in various points of the city, using the metro as perfect medium to move quickly from one point of the city to another. There’s is a lot of police ready to counter us, but Paris is big. We could drive them crazy if we want to. And as long as we are peaceful, they can never beat us.

Our American comrades are back, whom we lost after Dax. They told me that the movement in San Francisco works with small tactical squads who prepare the actions in secrecy. At the last moment they communicate the rendez-vous point and from there on they guide the operation. The others confide in the squad to do a good job. If they screw up, they won’t be on the tactical squad the next time.

I think our organisation should evolve into this direction. There is a big difference between policy and actions. The policy should be prepared by the working groups and decided by the assembly, but actions should only be decided by a few people. In an assembly you will never reach consensus in time, and even if you do, you lose the surprise effect.

Forming a line to pass supplies to the kitchen

At nightfall the assembly is visited by a representative from the police. After what happened the day before, they came to offer us the possibility to camp here at Bercy.

Our alternative is a 9 kilometer march to a sports facility in the outskirts. We decide to camp, right here, in Paris. But not after people indulge in a dialectical discussion about the decision. In the end, we camp next to the stadium of Bercy, not because we gained the approval from the police, but because we decided so ourselves – and because we are too tired to move.

We have reached an objective. We camp in Paris. The time has come to ‘declare victory and get out of here’. On the other hand, we know that the authorities are afraid of our actions. Maybe we can still prepare something funny before we march off…

At the top of the stairs: the Pretorians

  1. Oscar,

    El día en que os fuisteis de Madrid, a uno de los compañeros de la marcha que me preguntaba si yo tenía consejos, le propuse dos : que intentarais establecer contacto y crear vínculo con los barrios urganos periféricos, las “banlieues”. Y con los jóvenes de 13 a 16 años. Los barrios céntricos de las ciudades francesas no os apoyarán mucho, me parece. Pero sí os ganáis la confianza y la amistad de las periferias, estoy seguro de que encontraréis un apoyo fiel y sólido. En estos espacios es donde existe concretamente la emoción “indignada”. Allí nunca van ni los partido políticos ni las centrales sindicales. A veces algunas asociaciones o grupos de apoyo a marginados. Y, sin embargo, en estas comunidades, existe gran capacidad de acción espontánea y de ayuda mútua.
    Os lo digo, porque acabo de leer lo de Bercy : para mí está claro que a la policía le habrá asustado saber que pensabais acampar en una “banlieue”. Para la policía, algunas “banlieues” hasta son territorios prohibidos, en los que no se atreven a entrar.
    Sí, creo que los ghetos de las ciudades del Estado francés son nuestro mundo. Pienso que allí están nuestros aliados. Nuestros compañeros. El apoyo indefectible si sienten nuestro deseo de justicia, de solidaridad, nuestro desinterés, nuestro cariño.
    Pensáoslo, compañeros. E intentadlo. Creo que conseguiríais algo muy muy fuerte.

    Un abrazo a todas y a todos.
    No os olvido aunque me he volcado en otras acciones próximas y más inmediatas (Madrid y Francia).

    P.D. Por cierto, esta tarde a las 18h30 hay una concentración en la place de la Concorde para apoyar a Troy DAVIs, condenado a muerte en Georgia (USA) y que podría ser ejecutado hoy.

    Mario BAUDOIN
    Seix – France

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