A Comfortable ChairPosted: October 10, 2011
Agora Brussels Day 2
I have planted myself in the boardroom of the Media Center on the top floor of Revolutionary HQ, in a comfortable chair, with a stupendous view over Brussels. I just wanted to have the feeling.
Still, there’s little we can do here. The people from Media Center have made badges, and attached indications throughout the building, but they haven’t yet fulfilled their one and only scope. Guarantee a broadband internet connection accesable for all. For the moment the connection is limited and unreliable. To be able to upload things I have to look for internet elsewhere.
This is one of our problems. Another one is that we still can’t use the toilets after yesterday’s inundation. We are used to worse in two months of marching, but as long as we don’t resolve these things, we are seriously limited in our activities.
Fortunately, there are other things we can do. Among all the stuff that was left here by the university there were boxes full of fluffy ‘anti-stress dices’, part of a ‘student survival kid’. When they were brought to Media Center, people were happy to stop trying to connect themselves with the world and start a battle, throwing dices, and seeking cover behind the desks. It ended when someone acvtivated the fire extinguisher. When big clouds of white smoke came out of the windows, the people below thought that the building had caught fire.
It was the most interesting activity of the day, as far as I know. We have an official program, with debates, and forums and other serious things, but hardly anybody cares. Not the people from outside, and not even the people from the marches. Most of them are busy with projects for after Brussels. Our comrades from the Mediterranean are active in preparing the indefinite occupation of this place. Many people from the Meseta march are planning future marches, to Greece in the first place, and maybe to Palestine later on. Others are developing a nomad project, which consists more or less in forming a kind of ‘Revolutionary A-Team’. They would wander around Europe and the world, searching for hotspots of rebellion where they can participate in sedition, and put their experience into practice.
The people from our march are already complaining that the comfort of this place is leading to a dangerous lull in revolutionary enthusiasm. And they are right. For now most of us just want to make maximum use of the potential of our building. It’s like a christmas present that you can’t put away for as long as it doesn’t start to bore you.
There are some commissions that have been fully active from start. One is the ‘Direct Action’ commission. It’s composed by two Spanish comrades who joined us in Paris. Until our arrival here they were mainly known for drinking beer and making noise, but once they got their own office, they have been preparing flyers and manifests in different languages all day and are active in distributing them at the night. It surprised us, just as it doesn’t surprise us that the more intellectualoid activists have been burying themselves in blabla all day long. The General Assembly has simultaneous written translations in three languages now, but hasn’t been able to disuss or decide about anything.
Another commission that has been seriously active is the commission Mushroom Cloud. This morning the three core members went on a trip in the woods and they brought home dozens of varieties of mushrooms. They have classified and exhibited them, with a warning not to eat them because some are known to be lethal. The hallucinogenous ones are being dehydrated. They have been claimed by the Spirituality Commission for their mind openening characteristics.
At late night we have a little reunion in the economy department of the library, where comrade Roberto has made his home. The evaluation we make of the situation is not very positive. The people who were arrested are suffering from a kind of ‘Vietnam Syndrome’, as comrade Canario put it. They thought they were defending the great cause of our movement when they had themselves arrested, but when they came home they noticed that most people didn’t really care about what they did. Now they bear a grudge. They accuse the people from Brussels of underappreciating the marches and of using our arrival for their own glory. I have also heard accusations of elitism and lack of activism.
I haven’t yet been able to analyse the new situation well enough to say something about this. But it’s clear that a structure made up of closed spaces invites people to separate themselves and close their minds.