As many have said before, events are moving far too quickly for any single event to receive the proper attention it deserves and one disaster blurs casually into the next. At the beginning of July 2017, many anarchists in North America were eagerly watching the protests against the G20 unfold on the streets of Hamburg. What took place in that German port city embodied the same spirit as the recent anti-police rebellions in the United States: autonomous zones were created, entire neighborhoods were antagonistic to the authorities, corporate shops were looted, and massive fires burned in the streets.
Like in the United States, a militarized police army was needed to stop this urban rebellion, recreating scenes reminiscent of Istanbul streets. Angela Merkel revealed to the world how similarly repressive the German State is to the Turkish State, a totalitarian dictatorship Merkel claims to despise. Tanks, water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets, soldiers, curfews, and barbed wire were all televised internationally as the world leaders listened to Beethoven. While the racist past of the United States might prevent its rulers from employing water cannons on the same level, its repressive strategies are practically identical. All states are the same, it’s just some have more tech than others.
The initial call-out against the G20 was for a march on July 6th entitled WELCOME TO HELL. In the call-out, the authors write:
“We are mobilizing internationally to turn Hamburg into a location and an exclamation mark of resistance against old and new authorities of capitalism. A demonstration at the G20 summit’s eve will express protest and resistance, radical critique and practice against the patriarchal and capitalist state of affairs…The apparently unchallenged triumph of capitalism has left behind a trail of devastation. War is prevalent not only as military conflict, but as well in more and more people’s minds…The logic of capitalist value is supposed to expand into the last nooks in the metropolises as well as in rural regions‘ periphery. Yet, world-wide capitalist penetration is also connecting the terrain of resistance…We are going to oppose oppression, exploitation and exclusion with collectivity and solidarity…Don’t let capitalism get you down – live resistance!”
Less than two months after the tremendous protests against capitalism, the German State banned Linksunten Indymedia in retaliation, depriving the world of a truly autonomous and independent news source. The last time the Indymedia network was attacked in this way was after the Greek Insurrection of December, 2008. As the Metropolitan Sirens wrote, “on 16 January 2009, under the fear of a potential resurgence of December’s events, the Greek vice-minister of education…ordered on behalf of the government for the Indymedia server to be tracked down and deactivated.”
The insurrection in Greece was a trigger for the Iranian, Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan, and Syrian insurrections that soon followed. While much to-do has been made of “social-media’s” role in these uprisings, the one unifying factor between them all was a reliable, independent media that could move faster than the state. As events in Germany have shown, an independent media is still a force so terrifying to capitalist order that the German State had to invoke a Nazi-era anti-association law to suppress it.
All of this is essentially for nothing, as far as the nation state is concerned. The amount of property destruction leveled in Hamburg pales in comparison to the twin maelstroms of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey. These earthly forces of destruction devastated Florida and Texas, flooded Houston and Miami, and interrupted the spectacle of Trump’s threats against North Korea. The full financial and social costs of the disasters are yet to be seen, but it’s now increasingly clear to many that these events will only continue to accelerate. While the planet was wreaking aquatic havoc to the south, massive forest fires burned up north in British Columbia, blanketing the entire Pacific Northwest in smoke that lingered for weeks, turning the moon and sun blood red. While the various states engage in a last-ditch effort to control their own human populations, the planet is becoming increasingly hostile to their industries, development, extraction, and consumption.
Many acolytes of Silicon Valley have used the Gaia Hypothesis to explain how their utopian vision of the internet is meant to function. In their naive imaginations, the internet, the capitalist economy, and the earth are all self-regulating systems that eventually balance out their “kinks” and “rough patches.” This is obviously not the case, and now the planet is violently reacting against the system that is poisoning its water and soil. This is no longer the time for any rosy-cheeked Gaia Hypothesis. Now are the days of Medea Hypothesis, named after the scandalous woman who killed her children in revenge for her husband’s misdeeds. The illusion of the “all-giving mother” has been exhausted and the indiscriminate retaliation from the planet is clearly going to be swift, given what has occurred in the last month alone.
Between climate refugees, global fascism, crumbling states, and natural disasters, the rest of our lives will be filled with discord. But don’t despair! The way forward is now open! From Chiapas to Rojava to the ZAD to Unist’ot’en to Standing Rock, our future is clear.
Don’t let capitalism get you down – live resistance!
Capitalism will end anyway. You decide when!