the tarnac nine

The Tarnac Nine are nine alleged anarchist saboteurs arrested in the village of Tarnac, France in November 2008 in relation to a series of instances of direct action.[1][2] The gendarmerie, French police, entered Tarnac with helicopters and dogs and dragged the suspects from their beds.[3]

Around twenty people were arrested on November 11th 2008, and nine of those were charged with “criminal association for the purposes of terrorist activity”.[4] Of those nine, Yildune Lévy was released, under review, on Jan 16th 2009 but Julien Coupat is still being held in prison despite being ordered for release in December 2008. [5] The nine are predominantly graduate students from middle-class backgrounds, from 22 to 34 years old.[3] Five of the nine had been living in a farmhouse on a hill overlooking the village.[3]

They stand accused of associating with a “terrorist enterprise”, causing delays to the French rail network by disabling over 160 trains.[3] Coupat has also been charged with writing The Coming Insurrection, a popular anti-capitalist text.[5] Academics and Coupat’s family have said that the threat from the “violent left” is being exaggerated, and that the Tarnac Nine are “scapegoats for a generation who have started to think for themselves about capitalism and its wrongs”. Support groups have emerged across France, in Greece, Spain and in the United States.[1]

from the wikipedia entry

and, this is from the pamphlet the tarnac 9 are accused of writing and publishing, one of the crimes which they were charged with perpetrating…the coming insurrection

Excuse us if we don’t give a fuck.

We belong to a generation that lives very well in this fiction. That has never counted on either a pension or the right to work, let alone rights at work. That isn’t even “precarious,” as the most advanced factions of the militant left like to theorize, because to be precarious is still to define oneself in relation to the sphere of work, that is, to its decomposition. We accept the necessity of finding money, by whatever means, because it is currently impossible to do without it, but we reject the necessity of working. Besides, we don’t work anymore: we do our time. Business is not a place where we exist, it’s a place we pass through. We aren’t cynical, we are just reluctant to be deceived. All these discourses on motivation, quality and personal investment pass us by, to the great dismay of human resources managers. They say we are disappointed by business, that it failed to honor our parents’ loyalty, that it let them go too quickly. They are lying. To be disappointed, one must have hoped for something. And we have never hoped for anything from business: we see it for what it is and for what it has always been, a fool’s game of varying degrees of comfort. On behalf of our parents, our only regret is that they fell into the trap, at least the ones who believed.

The sentimental confusion that surrounds the question of work can be explained thus: the notion of work has always included two contradictory dimensions: a dimension of exploitation and a dimension of participation. Exploitation of individual and collective labor power through the private or social appropriation of surplus value; participation in a common effort through the relations linking those who cooperate at the heart of the universe of production. These two dimensions are perversely confused in the notion of work, which explains workers’ indifference, at the end of the day, to both Marxist rhetoric – which denies the dimension of participation – and managerial rhetoric – which denies the dimension of exploitation. Hence the ambivalence of the relation of work, which is shameful insofar as it makes us strangers to what we are doing, and – at the same time – adored, insofar as a part of ourselves is brought into play. The disaster has already occurred: it resides in everything that had to be destroyed, in all those who had to be uprooted, in order for work to end up as the only way of existing. The horror of work is less in the work itself than in the methodical ravaging, for centuries, of all that isn’t work: the familiarities of one’s neighborhood and trade, of one’s village, of struggle, of kinship, our attachment to places, to beings, to the seasons, to ways of doing and speaking.

see more at the coming insurrection

…and yet more, from Why We Will No Longer Respect the Judicial Restraints Placed Upon Us

Translation of statement that appeared in “Le Monde,” 3 December 2009.

Freedom under judicial control is the name for a sort of mystical experience that anyone can have. Imagine that you have the right to see whomever you like, except for those whom you love; that you can live anywhere except your home; that you can speak freely on the telephone or in the presence of unknown people, but that anything you say can, one day or another, be used against you. Imagine that you can do whatever you like, except for what you hold dear. A handleless knife from which one removes the blade more resembles a knife than freedom under judicial control resembles freedom.

You are walking on the street with three friends. According to the cops who follow you, “the four subjects headed in the direction of . . .” After months of being separated, you re-unite with someone who is dear to you. In judicial jargon, this is a “fraudulent consultation.” If you do not renounce the loyalty supposed by friendship, even when facing adversity, you are obviously part of a “criminal association.”

The police and their justice have no match when it comes to distorting what falls into their view. Perhaps, finally, they will only render monstrous that which, lovable or detestable, is easily understood.

If it is enough to not recognize oneself in the existing political organizations to be “autonomous,” then one must admit that we, the autonomous, are the majority in this country. If it is enough to see union leaders as sworn traitors to the working class to be “ultra-Left,” then the base of the CNT is currently composed of a series of dangerous ultra-Left cells.

We are deserting. We will no longer check in [with our supervisors] and we think it will be good to see each other again, as we have already done to write this very text. We do not seek to hide ourselves. Quite simply, we are deserting Judge Fragnoli and the hundred small rumors, the thousand miserable harsh remarks, that he makes about us to this or that journalist. We are deserting the kind of private war in which the Anti-Terrorist Squad would like to engage us by following us, “sonorizing” our apartments,[1] spying on our conversations, going through our garbage and recording everything that we might say to our families during our visits in prison with them.

If they are fascinated with us, we are not fascinated with them — whom our children, not without humor, now call the “thieves of toothbrushes,” because every time they aim their 9mm guns at us, they swipe all the toothbrushes for their precious DNA experts. They need us to justify their existence and their reputation, but we don’t need them. They must constitute us, through all kinds of surveillance and administrative procedures, as a paranoid grouping, we who who aspire to dissolve ourselves in a mass movement that, among many other things, will dissolve them, as well.