On Tuesday an anarchist 1st May demonstration took place. Starting at Mercatorplein, it was stopped by cops after only 200m. We were part of this demonstration and we would like with this leaflet to explain some things which will never be communicated by the mainstream media, and which we feel are important. What happened during the demonstration might have been shocking, but it is nonetheless logical.
For us it was not the first time a demonstration was violently stopped by cops for ridiculous reasons. It was not the first time we have seen our friends getting dragged out of the crowd by some pumped-up undercover cops, thrown on the floor, handcuffed and pushed into an arrest-van. It was not the first time that standing in the first row we got beaten with some baton by riot cops kitted-out in protective riot gear, and that afterwards at the police station the arrested got beaten even more.
By falsely labelling it as a demonstration of squatters, we were automatically stigmatized. This demonstration had nothing to do with squatting. Not that we are against it, but in this case we were really busy doing something else. We stood there on the street against the exploitative capitalist system, against landlords and politicians, against big businesses and the EU. We are being told that we live in a time of political and economical crises. They expect us to carry the whole weight of it, and to not complain. But what do we have to do with the 'crisis'? While the 'social securities' are vanishing, the banks, cops and politicians have more power than ever. While we are being kept as prisoners more and more in our own world, with the constantly growing tools of social control, with ever-present cameras, passports and consumerism as handcuffs, the ones in power go freely with a big fat bonus.
The crisis only exists as an excuse to keep us scared and tamed, so we keep our faith in those in power. So we stay 'satisfied' in a world where everything is for sale, from our safety to our social life on a smart phone. But we want to fill in our lives ourselves and together, without being ruled from above by some fucked up company, by landlords, by borders that decide who is allowed to live where, by politicians, technological gadgets, or religion.
And because this is their biggest fear – a group of people who refuse to be controlled and ordered, who refuse to be led by laws and bosses from the top, that collectively breaks with the normality of daily life – they decided to beat us and try to prevent people coming together on the streets. Even though we were a small group, we were confronted with such repression because they fear that larger parts of society will be inflamed.
With this demonstration we chose to leave the center of Amsterdam – the tourist and shopping districts – and we clearly felt that the neighborhood was expressing solidarity with us. People complaining about the pumped-up undercovers, about the Netherlands turning into a repressive police state. For sure the media will obediently regurgitate a web of excuses for why the cops treat people like this. But there is no need for excuses – the logic of their actions is clear. We want things that the state, mayor and cops don't agree with; they are paid to protect a system which we refuse to be part of – we are their enemy and they are ours.
From the outset we decided not to negotiate. We disagree with the fact that you must negotiate with the municipality or local police to go out on the streets. Once you begin down this road you are forced to run a demonstration that is far removed from what your intentions were. We will always refuse to go into dialogue with the government. We hold this honour to ourselves.
We want to live in a free world in which you are not judged on productivity and how much you adapt to this system. a world in which people are not obstructed by borders, authorities and capital. A world in which we are not numbers, and in which the circus of school, work and consuming until death does no longer exist. A world of solidarity, in which people are more important than profit and power.
Let it be clear that no truncheon, no fist from a civilian cop, or prohibitions from a mayor can tame our anger and keep us off the streets. Not on the 1st of May, nor on any other day. Fuck the pigs, fuck authority – don't let yourself be scared off...organize and rebel!
some anarchist participants