<alter-ee> romania

caf fac alter-ee@lists.most.org.pl
Tue, 8 Apr 2003 07:44:00 -0700 (PDT)

C.A.F. is an initiative group of young people: boys and girls, whose number is unfortunately influenced by the social and political conditions in Romania. C.A.F. appeared in 1997 from the remains of the dead "Underground Movement", due to the need of action to radicalize the movement of the youth in our town and in order to offer a real alternative and to oppose a resistance at least as much as the oppression. So, C.A.F remains a small group of action, underground for the moment, which decided to get to the light through its deeds. Short history In Craiova the punk movement appeared in the first half of the ‘80s, strongly related to the anarchist ideas, being from the begining more than a musical movement. It represented a moment of change for the youth of that days, being the idea from which the solidarity in the fight for liberty -in a totalitarian system- was born. In those dark years the communist propaganda spoke to us about the Western World’s decline, giving as examples the punk groups made up by "no future" young people and bands with left sided ideas. This doesn’t mean that the repressive organs in Romania would have accepted something like this in our country, although the youth here had the same problems due to the complete failure of the communist experiment. In the last communist years the unemployment, the lack of houses and food ( although they were rationalized on a card, they didn’t exist), the lack of things to wear of decent quality, the cult of the leader’s paranoic personality, the abuse of the repressive organs, the total destruction of man’s personality, had transformed the everyday life in a black concentration camp. Thus our fight for liberty was based on a profound hate against the so called communism. The red flag with the sickle and the hammer represented and represents the nazi flag with swastika. In school we received an anti - racist education and even an ecological one, while the politic regime was exactly at the other pole, a stupid ultranationalism which persecuted gypsies and hungarians, doubled by a forced industrialization which destroyed the environment. After the Revolution (1989), we slowly began to learn what capitalism meant in Romania, the terror of the state property slowly switched in to the terror of the private property. The former members of "the Party" and the most greedy "important" people took advantage of the chaos of the first years of transition. The State still remain very powerful, this "democracy" is nothing but another form of totalitarism, the control and repression are maybe more efficient then in the communist years. The society and the individual continue to be the main target of the manipulation, propaganda and of the dehumanization. The capitalist promises for a prosperous future, that requires huge sacrifices in the present, prove to be simple utopias, but the public opinion is disinformed and prevented from finding an alternative. The phantom of communism and now the terrorist threats make almost impossible a resistance movement. After ’89, the young punks in Craiova tried to create their own alternative, their own future, in a different way from the society. At the beginning of the ‘90s the Underground Movement was created, and using the pretext of promoting the punk music, tried to create a subculture of resistance. Even from the beginning, the punk concerts were forbidden, but the police harsh intervention needed a more radical response. Once created, this punk scene was used to promote anarchist ideas. We understood that the alternative can't b’ built in parallel to an intolerant society and with the state. In this way our fight was a double one: on one hand we tried to maintain the individuality but also the solidarity, on the other hand we tried to destroy the preconceived ideas and the social conventions. >From the search for our own personality we realized the necessity of a total liberty. Thus we became the contestants of the society of consumers. The moment our movement became stronger, and our alternative was more visible, and this example became that dangerous that the state used its repressive force to protect the nonvalues imposed by the society imitating the western capitalism. In 1997 most of the mass - media started a huge denigration campaign of the Underground members. We got used to accusations of satanism, the principal one being of gathering new members and that of anarcho-terrorism. Taking advantage of the big number of members and sympathizers, more or less than 50, we created a spontaneous public protest in the center down town. We tried to explain that we are a cultural and non-politic movement. The press didn’t take us serious and the police let us believe that we won’t be punished for that protest.. Even from 1996 the Secret Services tried to create informers inside the Underground Movement. They put pressure on the families, they went in our schools or work places so that many of the members were intimidated and returned to a normal life. Although we have been continually harassed by the police and the Secret Services, this didn’t do anything but to strengthen our will to fight. We started to communicate more with the ones in other towns like Timisoara and Bucharest. We try to coordinate as much as possible our actions. For the moment, because of the small number of people implicated and the ignorance or the bad will of the other people, our action mainly aim at sensitizing of the public opinion, to the exposure of the lies and of the noxiousness of the capitalist society, of the policies of the parties (right or left) and at anarchist propaganda. We try to make people more interested in what happens around them or with their own person and their true needs, destroying the selfishness myth and that of false competition. More precisely, we are speaking about magazines, pamphlets, graffiti, punk concerts and (not rarely) about direct confrontations with the ones trying to limitate our freedom. Now we are followed everywhere by Secret Services agents and things become harder to be done. Despite all these, we succeeded in doing something that attracted the attention of the public opinion. During the election campaign from 2000, there was the threat that the leader of the extreme right party - V.C. Tudor, a little bit stalinist, a little bit hitlerist - might become the president. We had to take attitude and after we were allowed to demonstrate against the extreme right ideas by the local authorities, we got out in the streets - about 30 people - with red and black flags and antifascist banners. We talked to the passer-by and we did a small test: a hundred people signed against, and only one signed on the pro-fascist list. Many people sympathized with us while the gypsies were really interested in becoming members of our movement, as they had been directly threatened to be exterminated. It didn’t matter that the press ignored all this event because we succeeded in expressing our ideas. Unfortunately we became again "too dangerous", and the authorities tempered us, destroying the bound between the members once more. We had to get used to the small underground actions done with serious compromises. Instead we took part at the actions in Timisoara, one of the most successful being "Food Not Bombs", a tour around the city which stopped in front of the McDonald’s and which transformed into a real public discussion against militarization and war. In september 2001, we tried to organize in Craiova an Alternative Art Festival to which we invited many foreign bands (from USA, Germany, Croatia, Yugoslavia). In the last moment the authorities succeeded in stopping us by puting great pressure on the people that would have rented us the necessary piece of land. Finally, we had to be satisfied that we had at least a concert, with the police at the entry. We, somehow, were happy because we established friendly relationships with guys from other countries. On May the 1st 2002 we got from the authorities permission for a photo and paintings exhibition, to take place in one of Craiova’s squares. More over, we also placed special spots for slogans, red and black flags and distributed propaganda materials and most important - we also organized a Food Not Bombs action, we gave food and clothes to the poor people. These and the 50 members attracted the attention of the public and the press. Next, we took part to a meeting that took place during the biggest syndicate strike in the last 15 years. Unfortunately, we were only 20 people. The policemen tried to prevent us from entering the center of the town were the demonstration was. Unexpectedly the syndicalist workers and other people in the streets defended us so we could participate to the event. We distributed pieces of writing that were widely accepted by the participants to the meeting which truly manifested their sympathy to us. This time, the press was especially interested in the presence of the anarchists. On this ocasion we succeeded in proving to the people that the anarchist movement in Craiova does not represent a threat for them and that it is made up of pupils, students and workers who have the same problems as they do and who try to help them or even gather them in their fight for a better life. Our implication in this manifest didn’t do anything but to worsen our relationship with the authorities. This last important event that we took part in, happened exactly when the Secret Romanian Service completed their report about the anarchist organizations, sustaining that they died and that their members deal with drugs, pornography, child abuses, zoofily and extreme violence. Some C.A.F. members took part to the anti-racist and anti-fascist demonstrations and camps this summer in Germany, being invited by our friends in Weimar. They also participated together with the members of Barricada from Boston at the No Border Camp and demonstrations in Strasbourg, France. For the moment we are passing again through a bad period due to the financial problems, the internal lack of understanding and not the least because of the authorities threats. We hope that this period will pass as soon as possible and that our fight won’t stop only to surviving. For us there is no resignation, but death. Antiwar demo in first march. Is a whole story about how we can organize this kind of protest now when all mainstream media are against us and all the state propaganda is focusing on nato integration. We were forced to colaborate with a troskist-marxist organization called asociation for the workers emancipation. Some of the lithers of this organization are friends of us and maybe they want to change something and have a little trust in us. But the big majority of them are old senile and they can not do anything. But with them help we can take the approbation from the authorities. When we start the organize and the work to the banners and placardes C.A.F. was very active. In the beginning we were not very enthuziastic because we thought we will can not say what we want to say. But instead we done all the job so the things became more anarchist than reformist. But the situation was really saved by our true comarades from aactivist collective from Timisoara. They were well prepared the number of participance was 100. At least a half were anarchists, less than 10 troskists and the reast were just punk-rockers. ( we hope this punks to become more involved in anarcho-punk movement ). The flags were red and black and the people from our city ( also the police) know this was an anarchists protest. About the impact we are very pleasent because many young people participated and were interested about anarchism. This is good for our "ghetto" but is good also for public opinion because, even if we can not chnage their ideas about the war at least we change our distorsed image. Now they see us like an well organized group and for this maybe they respect us more. Is important to say that the majority of people on the street was not against us friends from aactivist collective were very unhappy because they belived the media give any attention to the troskists. Fortunately massmedia is interested " only about anarchists". And this time the local tv made a good report, another tv station called us nostalgic hippies but they are not against us.We will try to keep the people mobilized and " angry". ANARCHY IS THE ONLY WAY TO FREEDOM