Revolutionary memory is not an empty letter. It is not a museum affair. It is not a dry ritual that is exhausted in anniversary recurrences. Revolutionary memory is the thread that binds the past to the present and that lays the foundations for a future that will do justice to those who sacrificed for a different world. A world where no one will see the sky through barbed wire, where no one will have their bodies broken in the sweatshops of class exploitation, where no one will be murdered on land and sea borders, in police stations, in the urban ghettos of metropolises. Revolutionary memory brings together those who are missing from our side, making them complicit in our subversive projects and dreams. Revolutionary memory, if we give it the value it deserves, becomes a subversive project, a springboard for struggle, a source of inspiration and disposition in the beautiful cause of freedom. For the words that will form a conceptual framework different from the one spoken today by politicians, economists, military analysts, industrialists, the golden boys of the stock exchange, journalists. Or they will be words armed ready to become an impulsive energy. Or they will be nothing.
The metropolises are the modern steam engines, they are the universal factories of capitalism. The transparent sweatshops where capital’s domination, control and repression of the explosive contradictions it produces are absolutely institutionalized.
The crimes of the state and capitalism within the metropolises become isolated incidents. They are recorded in fragmentary narratives by the bourgeois ideology that imposes its hegemony. Our own memory, which should highlight them and transform them into social consciousness, into a perception of our role and position, is constantly absent. When it is not, it is blurred, colourless, non-existent, empty of content. Fascist censorship here has for the moment been replaced by a new form of active censorship. The production of incessant distorted knowledge, the methodical reversal of facts, their insidious substitution. It is revisionism that attacks consciences, memories, the very history of the struggles.
The memory of power stands imposingly all around us to remind us who our “benefactors” and “saviors” are. Statues, street names, inscriptions, monuments, people responsible for all the blood shed by the peoples in the past centuries dominate every part of the metropolis. Things are simple : the control of memory is war production of ideological signals, it is class war, it is the murder of our own memory. Memory of subversion, memory of class, memory of revolution.
The memory created by the bourgeoisie is memory stuck in the repetitions of the present, it is memory that is deliberately presented as collective but is class-determined. It is a memory that encodes all imposed behaviours and then imposes them through the information warfare of the agents of the dominant propaganda. It is memory that wears another chain, this time semiotic – ideological, on our feet. It is the memory of their ugly and sad world.
The monuments of our own dead are our own symbols that encode historical periods of unrepentant struggle, revolutionary sacrifices, human hopes, disappointments and visions. Victories and defeats of a world that comes under the banner of struggle to win back its life. Their care, their protection, their promotion is the political duty of guarding our history. But it is also much more than that, claiming their territorial – material existence is a war for our memory and identity. A war against alienation, degeneration, resignation, all the characteristics of memory created by power.
The choice to restore the monument to the anarchist student Alexandros Grigoropoulos is a decisive step in this direction. At a time when the pedestrian street of Messolonghi is being targeted by construction and tourism capital with the construction of luxury apartments threatening both the militant character of the area and the very existence of the monument. The site that spatially condensed the starting point of the December insurrection, the first insurrection that coincided with the beginning of the capitalist crisis on European soil, is openly threatened by the voracious appetites of capital.
At a time when the government of Nea Dimokratia is trying to turn Exarcheia into an alternative tourist zone of entertainment-consumption by uprooting anything radical.
At a time when Exarchia is a field of concentration of broader investment projects (Metro in Exarchia Square, redevelopment of Strefi Hill, etc.) which, apart from all the economic factors, is the final full frontal attack on the militant history of this neighbourhood.
In a period uncharted for movements, it is imperative that we fight with all our strength against oblivion. The monument of the anarchist student Alexandros Grigoropoulos is a reference point of the struggle against state murders and we have a responsibility to restore it against the systematic effort to gentrify the area that threatens it. We take responsibility for the reconstruction of the monument and we call on the people of the struggle to support the commemoration events on June 4-11 in the pedestrian street of Mesolonghi. This is a move that is in complete alignment with the aims of the movement and the defence of our memory and identity.
P.S. : In the next period of time the program of the political – cultural events will be announced in detail
THE STRUGGLE FOR THE RE-APPROPRIATION OF THE MEMORY IS AT THE SAME TIME A STRUGGLE TO CREATE NEW POINTS OF ENCOUNTER AND PERSPECTIVE
Anarchist initiative against state murders