The Phantom of Liberty Always Comes with a Knife Between its Teeth

by | 21 Jan 2011

A Tunisian ProtesterShooting in the flesh is the high point of social oppression.

All the stones torn from the pavement and thrown at the shields of cops or at the façades of commercial temples; all the flaming bottles that traced their orbits in the night sky; all the barricades erected in the city streets, separating our areas from theirs; all the bins of consumerist rubbish that the fires of revolt have transformed Nothing into Something; all the fists raised to the moon; these are the weapons giving flesh, as well as true power, not only to resistance but also to freedom. It is precisely the feeling of freedom that, in those moments, remains the sole thing worth betting on: that feeling of forgotten childhood mornings, when everything might happen, for it is ourselves, as creative humans, who have awoken — not those future productive human-machines known as “obedient subject,” “student,” “alienated worker,” “private owner,” “family wo/man.” The feeling of confronting the enemies of freedom — of no longer fearing them.

It is thus for good reason that those who wish to get on with their business as if nothing happens, as if nothing has ever happened, are worried. The phantom of liberty always comes with a knife between its teeth, with the violent will to break the chains, all those chains that turn life into a miserable repetition, serving to reproduce dominant social relations. Yet from Saturday, 6th December, no city in this country [Greece] is functioning normally: no shopping therapy, no open roads leading us to work, no news on the government’s forthcoming recovery initiatives, no carefree switching from one lifestyle TV show to another, no evening drives around Syntagma Square, etc., etc., etc. These days and nights do not belong to merchants, TV commentators, ministers and cops: These days and nights belong to Alexis!

As surrealists we have been out on the streets from the very first moment, together with thousands of others, in revolt and solidarity; because surrealism was born with the breath of the street, and does not intend to ever abandon it. After the massive resistance to the State murderers, the breath of the street has become even warmer, even more hospitable and creative than before. It is not for us to propose a general direction for this movement. Yet we do accept our responsibility in the common struggle, because it is a struggle for freedom. Without having to agree with all aspects of such a massive phenomenon, without being partisans of blind hatred or violence for its own sake, we accept that this phenomenon exists for a reason.

Let’s not allow this flaming breath of poetry to be defused or die out.

Let’s turn it into a concrete utopia: to transform the world and to transform life!

No peace with cops and their masters!

Everybody in the streets!

Those who cannot feel the rage may as well just shut up!


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