Three German autonomes refuse to respond to Judge Fragnoli
Three German autonomes refuse to respond to Judge Fragnoli
Two autonomes from Berlin and another from Hamburg received summons to
appear as material witnesses on 16 and 17 July, respectively, in the
so-called Tarnac Affair. They were summoned to give testimony against
nine comrades (the “Tarnac 9”) in the framework of a major series of
investigations in Paris. In November 2008, nine people were arrested
in France on the basis of anti-terrorist laws following the sabotage
of the railroad network when nuclear waste was going to be transported
during a strike by French railroad workers.
Demonstrations were organized in Berlin and Hamburg on the occasion of
In Berlin, the 50 people who met before the French Embassy were
surprised to see a yellow, high-spirited ape the height of a human
being — an orangutan — with a placard against the transport of
nuclear wastes attached to it ass. The orangutan joined in the
demonstration and, in a clearly female voice, spoke up. A quarter of
an hour later, while preparing to leave the demonstration, the ape was
arrested. Perhaps the sensible reader won’t be surprised: under the
disguise was one of the witnesses. She was taken to the headquarters
of the federal police for the Tempelhof region, where she was detained
for several hours. The participants in the demonstration took the same
route to support the people who had been questioned.
Under Section 55 of the Penal Code, the second witness refused to
respond to the questions of the judge and was freed after 16 hours,
without any charges being made against him. The person arrested during
the demonstration then had to be heard.
The two German judges and the four French judges were surprised to see
her in her ape costume. Under this accoutrement she wore only her
underwear and the functionaries preferred their witness to be wearing
yellow and somewhat ruffled fur, rather than being half-nude. And so it was
in that state that she faced the astounded judges for two hours and
refused to make any declaration whatsoever.
Such is the narrative of a successful action that can serve as an
example of how to refuse to give in to a judicial proceeding. It is
always fitting to give an appropriate response to governmental
[The following text was read aloud at the demonstration at the French Embassy]
The Franco-German atomic mafia: cut the connection!
The repeated breakdowns at the nuclear power facility in Kruemmel,
reported in today’s newspapers, emphasizes what has been obvious for
decades to the German and French anti-nuclear movement: atomic energy
is not controllable! The fight against the use of atomic energy,
against the construction of nuclear power plants and the mining of
uranium (in Canada, for example) — a fight conducted at many levels
and by different means — is a fight against a technology that is
dangerous to life itself.
Nuclear energy policy at the international level
Franco-German cooperation in matters of nuclear energy is
distinguished by a very long tradition. Ever since the 1970s, German
atomic wastes have been treated at the processing plant in The Hague
before being transported via CASTOR to Gorleben. It was also 30
years ago that Siemens began collaborating closely with French
industrial groups to develop and build nuclear power plants. The
enterprise of the French State, EDF, is the principal actor in EnBW,
an enterprise based in southern Germany that manages many nuclear
Despite many breakdowns and accidents at French power plants, such at
those at Tricastan last year or the recent ones at Kruemmel, which is
near Hamburg, the industrial groups and the [two] governments have
pursued costly endeavors and have even extended the utilization of
atomic energy, despite its dangers. Thus, the French nuclear group
Areva has constructed new reactors in France and China; the German
group EON has constructed one in Finland; and RWE is responsible for
the construction of a Russian model in Bulgaria. In this framework,
the security of the population is secondary. The priority of the
capitalists is to secure their profits. In Bulgaria, the reactor is
situated in a region that presents important seismic risks. For
decades, all sorts of radioactive and toxic materials have been
deposited at the “burial” site in Asse, though it is publicly well
known that the infiltration of water into this site has rendered it
inappropriate for such usage.
In Bulgaria as in Asse, it is as clear as source water that the
politicians and the scientists of the nuclear industry have been
bought. And this business is well worth the cost for the Franco-German
nuclear mafia: the operation of 17 German power plants earns a
[yearly] profit of more than 200 million euros for the four German
groups in the energy sector. To get that money, the nuclear industry
— not just in Europe, but everywhere in the world — thinks little of
human life. Nevertheless, it isn’t the criminal energy [technology] of
the industrial groups that is prosecuted by the Franco-German justice
system. No, one instead criminalizes people because a few hooks were
thrown over the high-tension lines of the rail network as a way of
finally stopping the madness of the nuclear mafia.
International resistance pushes the authorities out of the woods
In November 2008, while German nuclear wastes were being sent via
CASTOR to Gorleben in Lower Saxony, protest and resistance actions
took place in France and Germany. Many demonstrations, blockades of
railroads and sabotage of the lines in Germany and France caused
damage exceeding several million euros. More than a thousand trains
were delayed. It was only thanks to a police operation of exorbitant
cost, and after more than 20 hours of delays, that the convoy reached
the intermediary storage site at Gorleben, which is nothing other than
a well-ventilated potato barn.
In Germany, signal-switches were put out of service. In France,
sabotage of the high-speed lines spread chaos throughout the
week-end traffic of the SNCF. Many trains were halted; more than a
thousand were delayed. The cause: two metal hooks suspended from the
high-tension line that separates the car from the electrical line. In
a communique drafted in German and sent to the newspaper Taz, the
actions in the two countries were explained in the following manner:
“Because we have had enough, we have directed our anger against the
network that transports nuclear wastes.” Shortly afterwards, a great
wave of searches and arrests swept through the small [French] village
of Tarnac and other places. Nine people were arrested; some of them
were kept in provisional detention for months.
The French authorities and a portion of the media spoke unrestrainedly
of “terrorism” and established a link with the on-going investigations
against a so-called “anarcho-autonome sphere of influence,” which was
the label under which the French State had made many arrests in France
since January 2008. These investigations originally centered on
actions against detention centers, participation in the opposition to
the “reform” of education (which is very strong in France), and
demonstrations against the presidential election [of Nicholas
Sarkozy]. In this context, a small book — of which one of the
indicted people is suspected of being a co-author — was also causing
a commotion. Entitled The Coming Insurrection, this book spoke of
rebellion against a present that is as unreal as it is disappointing,
and launched an appeal to get prepared concretely for an imminent
revolt. The authorities reacted to this book with much nervousness.
They signaled the alarm because men and women were creating
international networks to oppose atomic, climatic and capitalist
madness, along with all that it imposes. What we consider to be pure
necessity, the adversary calls “terrorism,” an “International of
revolt,” and the actions of brutal rioters.
In Italy, shortly before the summit of the G8 (the powers resolved to
decide global policy amongst themselves), two comrades were imprisoned
for attempts to sabotage railroad lines with hooks. They, too, were
suspected of belonging to an “International of revolt” that includes
35 other people. We salute them, as well as all those who do not want
to allow any respite!
The investigation in France continues. All the people concerned have
been released from jail, but remain subject to very strict
obligations, such as having no contact with each other, assigned
residences, etc, or they will be subject to re-arrest. The date of a
trial still has not yet been set.
Franco-German friendship against Franco-German Investigations
The French authorities leading the investigation into the “Tarnac
Affair” and the sabotage of rail lines during CASTOR transport
obviously intended to pursue their investigations into Germany. Two
autonomes from Berlin received summons from a judge to be heard as
material witnesses in the framework of a series of French
investigations. At the beginning of the year, a report by the French
anti-terrorist police on the “Tarnac Affair” already mentioned these
two people. The passage in question evoked the practice, largely used
in Germany, of using hooks to sabotage nuclear-waste transportation.
The German authorities informed their French colleagues of an on-going
investigation called “The Golden Hooks,” which had, among others,
incriminated the two people summoned to be heard today. Another must
soon appear in Hamburg. The two anti-nuclear activists from Berlin
will make no declarations. They do not desire to furnish the
authorities any information whatsoever that might help the
investigation into anti-nuclear resistance and those whom one dresses
up as members of a criminal gang because they fight against a criminal
policy. We invite you to accompany the two people to the court in
Tempelhof Damm. We will seize the occasion (which is not freely
offered to us) to make our solidarity with the comrades from Tarnac a
part of this day of judicial testimony in a Berlin that is still too
Show your claws to the system, here, there and elsewhere: they will
not pass! Our solidarity against their repression! Our struggles
against their politics! Solidarity!
[What the Ape said before her arrest]
“I am what I am”: such is the last offer of the publicity for this
world. It took decades of development to arrive where we are today. A
pure tautology. “I am what I am.” My body belongs to me. I am me, and
you are you, and something isn’t right.
From whatever perspective one looks at it, the present offers no exit.
We are all in agreement about the fact that things can only get worse.
“The future has no future”: such was the wisdom of an era that, in its
perfect normality, reached the level of awareness of the first punks.
We are here, at the sides of our friends, whose hides the French
State, under the label of an “anarcho-autonome sphere of influence,”
wants to have. And two of us must help them?! As material witnesses?!
But they will not go along! Never! We are here in front of the
[French] embassy because we have a message to transmit, but not to the
State, nor to the justice system. Our message is to our friends and
all those who feel connected to them. What binds us together is not
addressing ourselves to the dominant politics, not criticizing it, not
wanting to help it make itself better in any way. We want to abolish
it and, along with it, the entire destructive administration of the
world, because this is our life, and we will reconquer it.
Like our friends, we know what everyone knows and yet no one wants to
speak truthfully about: this will not continue as before. This global
order, based for 500 years on the murder and pillaging of humanity and
nature, is rushing straight for the wall: economically, ecologically,
socially and mentally, that is to say, at all levels.
One need no longer agitate oneself or produce proof. The proof itself
has long ago become a commodity, an end-in-itself that preserves the
system, a strategy that avoids all the logical and ethical
consequences. With the media ceaselessly revealing the same terrible
destinies, and the public ceaselessly showing itself to be capable of
acting as if it has just discovered (as if for the first time) the
horror of drowning refugees, bombarded towns, climatic catastrophe —
to briefly become terrified, to assure itself of the fatality of the
situation and its own powerlessness, before returning to its affairs
in complete calm — no one can seriously doubt that all this will
remain possible for much longer. It will explode!
It will explode!
And suddenly there are “dangerous books” once again. One of them, The
Coming Insurrection, is at this moment the object of attentive reading
by a part of the French security forces. In the reactionary quagmire
of the United States, this book has aroused indignation of the highest
order. Such books speak of breaks with the everyday, apocalyptic
ambiance of finished-off modernity and the combat for our life. To
have done with the wheezy activism of the traditional Left and,
furthermore, to begin to revolt today.
The Coming Insurrection begins with the castrations that keep us in
the choir of those who sing themselves hoarse on the high notes of the
psalm “There is no alternative.” But the book does not persist in
its representation of misery. If it describes misery, it is, on the
contrary, to permit ourselves to recognize ourselves in it, to
recognize in it our own experiences and our wildness. Where The Coming
Insurrection is concerned, it is not a question of explication, but
resonance. To find and develop a shared language that is no longer
compatible with the commando. Whoever finds him or herself in the
emptiness that is described, and wants to put an end to it, is invited
to continue to reflect upon the manner of ending misery.
The Coming Insurrection constitutes a practical and strategic
position. It takes as its target the internal fragility of the regime,
which is hidden by all of power’s forces. Despite an apparent
stability, the regime continues to depend — today, as yesterday — on
the motivation of the workers and on the failure of any wrenches to
fall into the gears. The regime’s vulnerability at this level has
grown over the course of the last few years. It resides in the
elevated cadences of just-in-time production, energy and
transportation networks, and flows of information.
It is a question of recognizing one’s own strengths in the weaknesses
of the adversary, of reflecting on the possibilities of escaping from
this runaway train [cet appareil en roue libre] so as to engage
ourselves, together, in something better. To create links between
combative groups and keep ourselves from reproducing the errors of the
past. They know the necessity of constructing proper structures for
the preparation of acts of sabotage. Because the supermarkets can only
be pillaged as long as there is something inside them; the carrot is
as necessary as the fist; the combat against what exists must be
accompanied by practical research into a radically different
existence. Combative groups recognize in liberty the spinal column
that reciprocally joins them together.
Groups link up, groups that want everything now and that clearly
refuse all procrastination. We recognize, as a condition, the fact
that we live at the heart of a global social war in which we must take
a position, one way or another. Then why not dare to make a new
departure? Why not try to organize our lives together on this planet
in a way that each person can have something? More seriously: Is there
still any argument in favor of the conservation of the failed
experiment that is capitalism?
Compared to the determination with which the indigenous communities
blockade the thieves of natural resources in Peru; compared to the
cold threat of French workers to blow up their bankrupt company if
they do not obtain retirement funds; compared to the realism of riots
without demands (and not only riots by poor youths in the metropolis);
compared to all the managers of the crises of the Empire, with their
dry words of encouragement, which are already as obsolete as the
bearers of the powdered wigs of the Ancien Regime — one can only
deplore the fact that they are so well armed.
Nevertheless, the coming insurrection will perhaps be the least bloody
of all the foreseeable possibilities.
 CASTOR stands for “Casks for Storage and Transport Of Radioactive
 English in original.
 Glenn Beck’s coverage of the book on FOX News.
 English in original.
 English in original.
(Unsigned, published on-line in French on 29 July 2009. Translated by
NOT BORED! 2 August 2009. Footnotes by the translator.)