Considerations from & for the anarchic combat

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On the tightrope: Contributions and considerations from and for the anarchic combat.

This text aims to contribute to the development and deepening of the informal anarchic combat, taking into consideration the increasingly specialized technological advances of control and surveillance of the population in general and, specially, of those who venture to rebel against what is established.

It arises from the need to bash the power harder and constantly in order to create cracks that can keep on growing.

It comes as no surprise to anyone the increase of surveillance through security cameras, the variety of cards that we have to use for almost everything and the incipient but fast increase of the use of drones for telesurveillance. All of this, plus the control carried out through cellphones makes the scenario all the more complicated. As this technological gear is interconnected, it takes almost total control of the city, our battle field. The overlaying of images, times and the use of one or another mean of transport makes it possible to detect and track one’s movements. The entire city is under a magnifying glass. This world is practically an open air maximum security prison and it is not an overstatement. And if we take into consideration the police and now military presence in every street corner, the scenario becomes even more limited and controlled.

Now well, if every individual in this society is monitored by this interconnected surveillance system, for those who declare themselves as enemies of this society and act accordingly, the level of control increases considerably. The situation turns even more complex for those who are already known to the repressive apparatus, whether it is because they have been imprisoned before, because they are connected to spaces which aim to confront or for any other number of reasons. The room for transgressive action narrows and, with this, the decision to attack transforms inevitably into a tightrope from which one is constantly about to fall from. What can be done in order to outwit the repressive strikes? Or even, what can be done to hamper the police apparatus’ task of capture?

Options and decisions

One of the aspects that the anarchic informal tendency criticizes of the left-winged political-military groups is its strong structure, which leads them, among other things, to opt for clandestinity as a battle strategy. This situation of clandestinity implies a strong role division, which is closely related to the militarization that is common to these groups. Thus conceived, clandestinity would be essential in the gear of an organization that divides its militants into legal and illegal, being these last the hidden wing dedicated to attacking and the firsts, the «public image» advocated to creating support networks, logistics and propaganda, among other activities. Life in clandestinity would be extremely limited to operational aspects; a dynamic of permanent combat that, according to those who criticize it, would exclude aspects as essential and enriching as the necessary exchange of experiences, the sharing of views regarding the struggle or the qualification in areas which, even though are not linked directly to the armed combat, are essential to the struggle for the total liberation. It becomes very hard or even impossible to have the long and deep debates on different topics that are necessary to the broadening of our perspectives. Hence, it results in a great loss of crucial moments and experiences. Turning away from the gears of consumption (and with this I am not referring to the fantasy of the «bubbles of freedom» ) also becomes very complicated to sustain in clandestinity, as it requires to follow standard and citizen-like ways and structures if the aim is to go unnoticed. Clandestine life not only implies these and many other restrictions, but it is also defined by loneliness.

Now well, I want to make it very clear that I am referring to clandestinity in and for the war; not to the one – which regardless of how valid and legitimate it is – with the objective to run from the enemy and, for that, requires to lead a quiet life without going on the offensive. I am talking about an option for clandestinity – even though there are those who are forced into the situation – as a battle strategy, as a strategy to strike the power hard and constantly.

Another common criticism to the groups and organizations that opt for this path is that they finally end up devoting all of their political activity to maintaining the «clandestine structure», which requires a great deal of resources to sustain itself. Thus, leaving aside crucial activities as propaganda or the creation of support networks in order to be able to sustain the clandestine comrades. Evidently, this ends up being counterproductive and it strengthens the militarism.

Examples to consider

It is not only left-winged political-military groups who have opted for clandestinity, as anarchist and autonomous groups have also resorted to this strategy in order to face the power. These last experiences are worth considering when it comes to pondering this option.

One of the most remarkable experiences in this regard was the one carried out by the MIL (Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación), that fought from the underground against Franco’s dictatorship, in the early 70’s in Cataluña. Evidently, Franco’s smothering boot was decisive in this group’s decision of going underground. Nevertheless, its members, prior to being identified by the repressive apparatus, went automatically underground when the group was conformed or in the exact moment they joined it. The MIL’s particular feature was, without a doubt, its broad theoretical production which they complemented very well with their armed action. The constant production of texts and reflections and, even, the creation of the publisher «Mayo del 37», comes to show that the propaganda and the production of political reflections was one of MIL’s main concerns, even more than the armed struggle.

The Autonomous Groups that operated mainly in Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid simultaneously and after the MIL, during the democratic transition in the realm of Spain, followed the same path. Before joining one of these groups the individuals had to posses guns, fake papers and to have contact with a safe hideout in order to start operating. According to different testimonies, this clandestine situation ended up by transforming their political endeavor basically into bank expropriations to finance the underground life, which prevented them from broadening support networks, among other aspects. It is worth mentioning that the Spanish State’ repressive apparatus – La Brigada Político Social – suffered no alterations during the democratic transition. This may have determined that the Autonomous Groups in the late 70’s and early 80’s kept on functioning with the the same dynamics as the groups that operated during the dictatorship.

Another experience that is worth considering, is the group Conspiración de Células del Fuego (CCF) in Greece, as it is a very recent informal anarchist group of action that opted for clandestinity. I am not sure if the decision was determined by the previous identification of its members or by the identification of any of them by the repressive apparatus. However, what it is certain is that their attacks were constant, adding up to several dozens in one year, which may reflect an advantage of going underground.

Another anarchist group that carried out an armed combat in the same territory was «Lucha Revolucionaria», that driven by police persecution, went underground and in that situation struck the power hard and heavy. This is a clear example of clandestinity in war, where the magnitude of their actions checkmated the system as a whole, according to one of the court sentences against them.

A common feature to all of the groups mentioned is the fact that none of them were constituted as a rigid structure with a strong division of roles, contrary to the left-winged political-military organizations. Their choice for clandestine combat was the result of a freely made decision taking into consideration the costs it would imply. They dedicated their political activity to the armed combat; some of them by carrying out sporadic but major actions and others with relentless attacks that gave the power no truce. Nevertheless, they did not neglect the reflection nor the propaganda, as it represents a contribution to the qualitative development of the anarchists’ combats by showing in deeds a consistency between what is said and what is done.

Regarding the need to strike hard

The attack against everything that is established is completely and utterly valid from the moment State and capitalism exist and that, I believe, is a common ground among the informal anarchic tendency. Now well, the need for these actions to grow in scale has been repeatedly discussed. However, it has not been frequently carried out. From an anarchic and combative perspective it becomes essential to go through with attacks that will make the powerful shiver and that will let the businessmen who dry a river to water their avocado plantation know that their actions will have consequences.

Actions that show strength and determination, and that can be replicated by any individual who makes freedom his/hers horizon. Whether it is to accompany, extend and deepen a context of revolt, to try to create cracks and gaps in what is imposed in a situation of «normality», or as an act of vengeance, it becomes a necessity to take a qualitative leap in the informal anarchic combat which allows to open new possibilities, still known to us. And, if we intend our actions to have a greater impact, then these must be relatively frequent as memory turns more and more short term and fragile. Therefore, if our strikes are too sporadic, it poses the risk of being reduced to «isolated events» or anecdotal. As somebody said: «When the hard blows are repeated over and over again, the poetry begins».

So, is it possible to carry out complex, ambitious and considerably frequent attacks living in a legal «above the ground» situation where the enemy knows your footsteps and where to find you? Would clandestinity make these kind of actions easier to undertake?

Final words

«An action happens that somehow alerts the normal course of events, the police starts working immediately and is able to have a hint or a strong presumption of who may be responsible, however, his/hers/their whereabouts are unknown as well as the places and people they frequent.»

This example represents one of the advantages that clandestinity would imply. It hampers the police efforts to hunt and capture. In this regard, it becomes necessary to return to the issue f the technological advances regarding control and surveillance. In a city which is monitored almost entirely by systems that are perfected daily, any mistake in execution comes at a very high cost and if the perpetrators are already known to the police, then their capture becomes imminent. This, for example, is what happened to the comrades Alfredo Cospito and Nicolai Gai when they shot the nuclear businessman Adinolfi. Clandestinity would reduce the surveillance’s effectiveness, in a way, as, by the time the doers are identified, they would already by in the shadows, conspiring for their next attack. The permanent police surveillance the known enemies to the power are under would cease to be effective and this, clearly, is another advantage of the underground, that allows far more mobility. The capacity for action of any kind is enormously limited when there are multiple eyes policing you, and even more so if the sporadic blows become frequent. Hence, life in clandestinity would make it easier to carry out a practice of systematical attacks and the building of complicities, since all political endeavor would be almost entirely devoted to conspiring and executing.

But, is this the kind of life we really seek or desire? Is it possible to go through with this dynamic without falling into militaristic conducts and structures? Multiple fundamental aspects of the anarchic endeavor would be left aside by choosing a life of clandestinity. This lifestyle would hinder the permanent individual and collective questioning that aims at getting rid of authoritarian and/of citizen-like conducts, since – as it has already being mentioned – it usually demands to take up behaviors that one rejects with the purpose of going unnoticed. Public contacts would be little or practically nonexistent, thus the extensive and fruitful discussions and debates – much needed for our own personal growth – would also diminish greatly.

Along with this, clandestinity also poses the risk of arousing hierarchies and vertical relations, transforming us into what we criticize and attack and creating an abysmal distance between means and ends. From the moment this occurs, we are doomed for we have started to use methods that are alien and opposed to us and what we propose; and, in that case, it would be timely to discard the option of clandestinity.

Therefore, the question stands: how to conjugate an endeavor of systematic and ambitious attack with the much needed individual development in the most diverse areas?

Only the advancement and qualification of the informal anarchic combat and the paths it may open will provide us with answers.

Francisco Solar
Maximum Security Section.
Maximum Security Prison.
September 2020.

There are 14 Comments

The way that frequent consecutive strikes can occur while minimizing the chance of getting caught is that there are many people carrying them out, one strike per person, across a large area, & without communication or links among them, other than through the responsibility claims.

The impossibility of this is that there are not enough people to carry these out & no guarantee that another strike will follow after someone takes the risk & does their, & then proceeds to lay low & cool down for the rest of their lives if they wish the best chances at not getting caught.

If the target of the first strike were to make the strike of another more easy, or improve the next striker's chance of getting away free, that would be helpful. For example, if the target were police communications, or a blockade on a key route. It's impossible to count on someone else with affinity to spontaneously make the best of the openings you create, just in time.

An approach one could take is to take prison for granted & use it as a retirement home, enjoy your life outside to the fullest & then strike when you're ready to go to your retirement home in jail. Or on the contrary, to make strikes that incur in short sentences, & make them while young, taking the risk, expecting to get out to live the rest of your live outside prison.

It was mentioned that clandestine groups had to center their activity around bank robberies to fund living in clandestinely, then maybe each strike is a single instance of theft (including cyber) or shoplifting. A union of thieves, that each if caught would not get much since these are not armed robberies.

In the end, if you think it through, all the options for a scenario of large scale frequent sustained attacks of great consequence that indefinitely avoid capture, repression & death are fantasy. That's not to say that strikes themselves are impossible or undesirable, just that they can't be coordinated on a large scale (the willing are few, far apart & disconnected) & that they will surely eventually end up in capture or death. The chances of getting caught depends a lot on the way its carried out & claimed. In some cases capture or death not being that big a dissuasive.

Discussion on this level of grand strategy is kind of pointless (unless it's for fun), except as a wish, or as some say "putting out feelers". The truth is, even if capture or death didn't exist, most would not attack. This is obvious but it's always left out. That someone is even critical of the base assumptions of their culture & world-vision is exceedingly rare, that someone is actively hostile to the established order is always a marginal position by definition. On top of that, this person has to walk the talk, they will have the inclination to express their hostility in a spectacular action, & not suppress it or redirect it into another activity.

It's very hard for all these things to coincide in one person, & then for these people to coincide & communicate & coordinate a campaign of attack through communiques, C.C.F. is a showcase of the limits as well as possibilities of that model. They put the writings that accompanied their attacks with the intention that their attacks will spread, but there is not guarantee, as well as no regrets (so far, that we know of).

Attacks themselves are possible, and may become frequent during a period. For example, there's recently been many relay antennas attacked in quick succession for some time now, & sporadic acts of arson across the protests, riots & uprising around the world. Things heat up and they cool down, no single person or group is in control of the rhythm, it's literally chaos. If anarchy is chaos, we can't expect, much less impose, a predictable rhythm to how these things unfold on the larger scale. [to be continued]

"Therefore, the question stands: how to conjugate an endeavor of systematic and ambitious attack with the much needed individual development in the most diverse areas?"

First, by questioning, dismantling and attacking systems, systematic endeavors, notions of ambition & development. Why? Because after hitting our heads against the wall, defeat after defeat in a grim landscape, looking for ways out, the first that options come up and glitter like a ray of light are those that we have previously discarded for good reasons. Things contrary to a desire for anarchy may begin to seem appealing merely for being possible, accessible, effective. Popular alliances, mass fronts, militarism, organizations, etc etc.

"Only the advancement and qualification of the informal anarchic combat and the paths it may open will provide us with answers."

Yes and no. If you want to attack and are curious about its consequences, that way will be the most instructive and formative in that regard. I doubt that anything will provide definite answers beyond what we've seen over and over, whatever novelty would be more a mystery opening more questions than answers. At most you can watch it unfold as a participant instead of a spectator.

Maybe attack and militancy are completely outdated concepts because they're too narrow as to be very imaginative.

Think about it...did any of reactionary attacks to remodel the world go to plan? No. Wide scale, wholesale slaughter and destruction (re-decoration). What was learned? Systemic slaughter hasn't reduced human population size. Biological warfare is unweildy. Post-war malaise gives rise to counter-cultures. None of the threats, lies, cons or grifts have made America great again. It's nearly impossible to defeat guerilla warfare (but some states will keep on pretending anyway).

What was learned was a post-nuclear deference. Society as risk-avoidant. Stagnation as stasis. A hurricane or any natural event easily does more attacking than we could ever...and this stagnant society remains pretty much unchanged. Doesn't that say anything? What was learned (but not by us) is how to get around post-1968 models that have never taken the effectiveness of Operation Gladio style counter-insurgency methods in an urban context. We can no longer fight these pre-determined ways.

Why not? Those 70's armed Marxist groups became the joyless mirrored image of military specialists. A legacy of joyless and unimaginative marxism has been burned into the public imagination as 'alternative,' as in "right now sucks but the alternative is so much worse."

At least capitalism gives one the choice of more than one rationed carton of eggs per family per month.

The West is at a spiritual dead-end with its relationship toward the earth, the land that sustains and engenders all life forms. The living space is the primary organizing influence (and not the human mind...because models of reality are not reality). Why not start here? As in: why are we the only species that pays to eat?

Construction and extraction/logging workers are conducting attacks 50-60 hours a week on a permanent basis. They are more aggressive than soldiers and even cops when it comes to attacking what's not part of the money world they're spreading hard. They bomb the land, devastate ecosystems, pollute with their trucks and crush animals on the way to/from work.

Why they keep doing that? Because it's giving them a wealthier life in this society, an economic power, and a status. It gives them nice huge country houses with gigantic garages for their jacked off pickup trucks, as well as trophy wives and cute blond kids. Is this the vilest, most disgusting twist of civilization in ages? Definitely.

Now as for insurrection... what does it have to offer as a life to our fighters? Stuff on the internet?

Trophy wife and cute blond kids? Our fighters? You say the wackiest things, maintroll.
If this is your mangled way of pointing out that there are is carrot as well as stick?
I won't try to uncover what these slips might mean.
How could I turn this distraction back into a direction towards a conversation that does interest me?
To speak of rewards? There is no heaven after life, no heaven on earth, no prize for attack. Either you enjoy life and the attack, or sucks to be you, no refunds, no do-overs. Extraction workers can also live miserable lives.
This article mentions the carrot and the stick and how misery brings more misery, and not revolt. Says it's "the weariness and rage of despair" which does that instead.
Weird, don't know, but why bring it up? If there's no longer a notion that things can get better through some notion of progress or regress, then some urge to ragequit or tableflip might arise or something.
We are completely unnecessary, irrelevant and not even factored in this conversation.

"The communication (if we want to call it that) are the responsibility claims written by strangers, addressed to other strangers who read them in the newspapers, newscasts, places of chronicles, websites of the revolutionary and anarchist left.

Whoever exalts or supports with words or with videos or with maps and revolutionary symbols (I am talking about drawings, the so-called FAI symbols) in web pages does not participate in this phenomenon. They are spectators and their words are worth less than zero. Naturally, this also applies to me and to these very words of mine, which only represent me and my convictions and certainties."

I was going to post another quote but the page is loading slowly and it didn't load the bottom of the page, but it says something about anarchist not forming armed parties nor organizing blah blah anarchist abc's.

or you're avoiding it on purpose.

I'm not saying that anarcho-insurgents deserve their "trophy wives and cute blond kids" (which is, unless you're too bigoted to have caught up, a pop culture stereotype of the White suburban nuclear family), I'm stating the social reality that those "fighters" of brutal capitalism are being sustained, copensated in that fight, so it's a LIFE-SUPPORTING struggle, to a point they don't perceive it as a struggle, other than the "daily struggle of work".

On the other hand, is there any comparable or even significant life-sustaining relations for anarchist insurgents? There sure are in more combative anarchist cultures, like in Europe and parts of Latin America. But how does anarchist insurgency get them out of misery elsewhere, without falling into one of those extremely coppish and internally repressive militant milieus?

The scarce, tiny support I could get from others came from me helping and being nice with them... but even at that, I feel it's always a thin, fragile connection.

You don't seem to understand how the question of daily life is more important than the rest.

There is a difference between tending to the moribund, suffering from an untenable system, by putting them on life-support, and revenge (look at this that was posted today
The scarce support and fragile connections you mention suggests that they may be a flimsy surface on which to base your dignity.
Land and land based fragile connections are less accessible than fire, firearms and means to attack.
The state is already invested in supporting life (along its interests), social assistance, food stamps, healthcare, grants to NGO's people want and need more. Subsistence agriculture in itself is not a challenge to the state and authority, in the same way that the rest of the species that don't pay for food do not impede the extraction/logging workers from encroaching.
An old growth forest by itself, through the thickness and hardness of wood, poses a greater resistance to loggers than a squat or a community garden could pose to the police, or any other configuration of the state's armed goons.
I once saw a proposal to put subsistence gardens in prisons to improve prisoner's nutrition as well as cut down costs.
Sounds like a great idea.
I'm not saying don't grow food and don't eat, as I wouldn't say hold your breath, or attack or don't.
Growing roots, rooting for the good guy...smashing ATM's a living.
Even normies fuck around and become "black bloc insurrectionary anarchist" for a bit for lols (
This world is absurd, anything goes. You can do anything and call it anything.

"An old growth forest by itself, through the thickness and hardness of wood, poses a greater resistance to loggers than a squat or a community garden could pose to the police, or any other configuration of the state's armed goons"

I find this particularly offensive. That's because old-growth forests....

- are ecosystems made of LIFE. They aren't lifeless buildings occupied (or abandoned) by whoever.

- are being razed or set fire to, on a massive scale. How good are they at resisting against attackers?

- their lives apparently cannot understand the human's designs against them, or at least not to their full extent, and for the most part cannot defend themselves against the latter's attacks. Their means to defend themselves are scarce and, sadly, easy to overcome with human technology.

- they are already a fucking "squat". They are THE biggest anarcho squat on the planet. Yet the living beings there don't have to reclaim these lands they live in. They just live there, that's all.

Here's for your comparison to squats or community gardens.

Just wanna bring to light the fact that the FAI started out as a joke, which over the years became something very dramatic as a cop magnet. Which may be due to the fronting he's referring to here.

All in all, I totally agree that "less fronting, more actual trenches" is what I (and many others) badly need for a solid anarchist insurgency. And please, by "trenches" I ain't talking about more of these awful radleft urban communes in gentrifying neighborhoods. These aren't trenches; they're honeypots, or at best chicken coops for your local roosters.

Alfredo Cospito‘s words sounded overbearing and revealed my own tragedy. But I like it a little bit. Because I feel a person who lives seriously. This is respectable. Although some of my ideas are different from him, I think he actually raised the issue of intensity. Intensity is important in this era. However, it is also sad to understand intensity as a closed individual subject. Strength does not come from a force applied to an object, but from a desire mechanism. The intensity comes from the guerrilla warfare of fighting and fleeing, and the war machine of counterattack.

Anarchs are free of any Sisyphean activities including combat, unless it be in self-defence against an invading Swiftian Yahoo horde.

To me, it's like the out of order logos, with plenty of reason and old-fashioned individualistic romance. The war machine doesn't mean that it only wants to fight, but in any case, it should be the first. But as you hinted, it seems to have a very narrow understanding of combat. Is this a representation? I don't know. It seems to deliberately present itself as a myth. I don't know anything about it.
I've been thinking about that lately, and about David Graber. These things are very complicated when they are intertwined.
In addition, I checked the meaning of Anarch“:1660s, a deliciously paradoxical word used by Milton, Pope, Byron”, which means "leader of leaderlessness". In fact, it's a good title, I think...

From Sisyphus's example, war against nihilists like he was is worth fighting for self-preservation, but shouldn't be intentional because that draws you into a binary warfare relationship, and you end up and down the same mountain victory fetish. The Art of War has a superior methodology, like undoing Sisyphus's shoelaces and greasing the soles of his boots.

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