Radical media, politics and culture.

Imaginary Fraction, "We Are Negative"

"We Are Negative"

Imaginary Fraction

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]