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<nettime> We are negative
Jakob Jakobsen on Mon, 25 Jun 2007 20:17:58 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> We are negative


A bit late but anyways, here is a flyer text that circulated in  
Copenhagen at MayDay reflecting a political consequence of the unrest  
in March in the city of the Little Mermaid.


We are Negative

1. Stop. Stop. Stop. It is time to say stop. It is time to become  
negative. A break has occurred that forces us to refuse. We know very  
well that there are no half solutions: We have to refuse and dismiss  
the development occurring in Denmark right now. Stop, stop, stop.  
Racism, cultural homogenization and criminalisation of alternative  
lifestyles are official government policy. Stop this fucking madness.  
In the current situation it is important to express our dissent in  
the streets, but marching in Copenhagen is not enough and must not be  
confused with the long dangerous fight where we challenge the basic  
machinery of the state. The state is continuously shaping our lives  
and our bodies though its biopolitical offensive. But it is possible  
to discourage the state and break its will. This has happened many  
times throughout history, it is happening in Iraq today and it can  
happen here.

2. The state is a fragile mechanism, that's one of the lessons  
learned during the March events in Copenhagen. The confusion was  
evident: dark rubber skinned elephants ran galloping through the  
blacked out streets searching for their own shadows. They were not  
able to locate any kind of frontline where they could mirror their  
crushing and destructive power. We were not there. We had gone before  
the heavy movement of their machinery eventually came to a halt.  
There was nothing else to do for the police than to arrest  
coincidental bystanders; the need to catch someone, just anyone, was  
evident. Going back empty handed was not an option. Now we know it:  
the state suffers from a serious case of sclerosis when reacting like  
this. It is desperately trying to hold a divided and dissolved  
society together by creating images of deviant subjects wearing  
veils, being pierced, throwing bricks or just saying 'no'. If they  
don't exist they are created. Stop, stop, stop.

3. It is necessary to act against the increased repression sweeping  
across Denmark right now. With the eviction at the Youth House the  
fight against alternative life forms was once more intensified. The  
state is no longer covering its repressive nature; it was visible for  
everybody who participated in the protests following March 1. The  
brutal militarised face of power manifested itself in front of us  
during these days. Heavily armed anti-terror units used against  
groups throwing the occasional brick; demonstrations dissolved with  
enormous amounts of dangerous teargas; plain clothes cops mixing with  
protesters attacking selected activists; helicopters hovering  
constantly above the roofs of the city; houses and homes raided and  
searched by the police; preventive arrests and several hundreds of  
people imprisoned in closed jails. Normalisation has shown its real  
face: repression.

4. The Youth House was torn down on the pretext of private property  
and principles of the law. Being steeped in tear gas, being raided  
and searched, being jailed without any reason given, we experienced  
these principles of the law, principles that make it hard to discern  
democracy from a totalitarian state. Private property is the most  
sacred value in a postmodern democracy, much more important than our  
safety or the civil right to express discontent. They say we live in  
a constitutional democracy but whose interests does the state  
represent if selected areas of Copenhagen were declared in a state of  
exception and the people living there had to refrain from going into  
the street in fear of being harassed by the long arm of the law? Even  
our most personal communication and text messages were all of a  
sudden open for investigation by the cops. No explanations. When the  
state has to act like this it is a sign of the state's fear of its  
own population. The state is on the defensive. Following the  
dismantling of the welfare state it is only the law and its police we  
meet when we face the state: We are confronted with a state in panic.

5. The police staged a street battle creating images of flying bricks  
and cars on fire, images that could justify their brutal conduct. The  
fusion of physical power and spectacle was striking during the course  
of events following the eviction and the confrontations, with the  
police hunting people through the city while filming them. The  
violent and spectacular action where special forces stormed the  
social centre at Jagtvej 69 inaugurates a new phase in the current  
cultural battle where no one can be safe. Terrorising is now the  
behaviour of the state. At Nørrebro and Christianshavn people got a  
taste of this new regime with declaration of a state of exception  
between the March 10 and 19:  body searches and identity checks could  
hit you anywhere. That there had been no confrontations and protests  
for more than a week revealed the true purpose: to create fear.

6. The events in Copenhagen are connected to a broader global  
development. The repression sweeping across Copenhagen is just the  
latest step in a much more extensive campaign. Since the early 1970's  
we have been confronted with a conscious counter offensive against  
the last great working class resistance manifesting itself in the  
1960's. The period after 1973 has been characterised by the emergence  
of neo-liberalism and it took almost 30 years before a new resistance  
was able to manifest itself again and challenge neo-liberalism. In  
the late 1990s it was no longer just one class fighting. The UPS  
strike in the States in 1997 and the protests of the counter  
globalisation movement in London and Seattle in 1999 opened a new  
frontline that was broadened with the wave of strikes spreading  
across Western Europe and the United States. The 'state of war' that  
the American president declared after 9/11 is an attempt to counter  
this development and as such it represents yet another turning point.  
With 'the war on terror' the repression that is organised in  
accordance with the needs of the economy is permanent everywhere  
through peacekeeping missions, police actions and humanitarian aid.  
In this world there is no difference between peace and war. We now  
live in a permanent state of exception, a kind of generalised civil war.

7. We expect nothing from the representation in the media. No matter  
what is being uttered; when passed on it will be a distortion. For  
the media it is of pivotal importance who says what: has-been artists  
or opportunistic academics cannot represent the plurality of voices  
that are slowly making themselves audible. We are many and our  
cacophonic voices all of a sudden shatter what is called the public  
sphere but which is in reality nothing but a closed circuit of spin,  
advertising and detached political phrases. Remember: We are more  
than they say and we say something they don't understand. We are  
negative.

Imaginary Fraction, MayDay 2007


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