The fight-back against the totalitarian Corona Coup continues to build in Europe – and so, inevitably, does the repression used against it.
The bravest politician on the continent has to be Italian MP Sara Cunial.
She told the parliament in Rome on May 14: “The real goal of this is total control, absolute domination of human beings, transformed into guinea pigs and slaves.
“We, with the people, will multiply the fires of resistance in such a way as you won’t be able to repress us all”.
The biggest protests have been in Germany. On Saturday May 16 people took to the streets in cities including Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Bremen, Nuremberg and Munich.
The most impressive wave of revolt against what is being called the Corona-Diktatur (“Corona dictatorship”) has come in Stuttgart. The 50 people who turned out on the first weekend of protests have turned into thousands.
This time the authorities limited attendance to 5,000 people with thousands more in surrounding streets.
Two newly-formed campaign groups are involved: Querdenken (“anticonformist”) and Widerstand 2020 (“Resistance 2020”).
One of those present, Ahmed Aydin, aged 27, told the media: “People are starting to understand that this virus is being used to deprive us of our basic rights”.
He said the time had come to “enter into resistance” in order to “save what’s left of democracy”.
Günter Klein, a protester in his 60s, said he was particularly outraged by the mask issue.
“Only slaves mask their faces, not free men. We are slipping into dictatorship, even fascism. It’s good that all these diverse people here are awake to this”.
In Munich, one protester, Gerion, told a reporter that the restrictions “serve an agenda that has nothing to do with health”.
Germans have experience of resisting totalitarianism, whether of the right or “left” variety. A report from AFP explains: “Slogans like ‘We are the people’ or ‘Freedom! Freedom!’ refer back to the demonstrations that preceded the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989”.
In the UK, hundreds gathered in London’s Hyde Park on Saturday May 16 to protest against the lockdown.
The message was clear from the placards and banners: “Freedom over fear”. “No to the new abnormal”. “This is not about a virus, it is about control”. “I am a free man, I am not a number”.
Protesters chanted “freedom!” in defiance of the Met Police’s zero tolerance of dissent. “No more lies! Enough of the lies!” shouted one woman protester.
Another “Stand Up X” protest has been called for Clapham Common, London, on Saturday May 23, from 12 noon.
The French authorities banned a number of Gilets Jaunes demonstrations planned for Saturday May 16, but courageous freedom-lovers still took to the streets.
In Montpellier, hundreds of protesters turned out and blocked tram lines. A woman was taken to hospital after falling victim to a police baton.
One placard quoted George Orwell to the effect that dictatorship thrives on ignorance. Another declared: “We were here yesterday, we are here today, we will be here tomorrow, until victory. We won’t give up! We will win back all our rights!”
At St Nazaire on the Atlantic coast of France, police used “insane” levels of repression against 200 people who had gathered to oppose totalitarianism.
The state violence meted out in France is nothing new and continues the brutality used by the Macron regime to try and crush the Gilets Jaunes uprising.
Also familiar is the gross distortion of the protesters’ political position by the corporate media.
The ruling elite went to great lengths to discredit the Gilets Jaunes, initially depicting them as far-right and even “anti-semitic”.
Use of phoney “fascist” smears has long been part of the lies deployed by the neoliberal system to obscure its own totalitarian nature and to disallow its opponents’ point of view.
This gaslighting approach, which inverses reality and presents victims as oppressors and defenders of freedom as fascists, is explored in some depth in this article on the organic radicals site.
An additional level to this form of repression is the use of state-manipulated pseudo gangs to physically attack dissidents in a politically-disguised manner.
This already seems to be happening in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to be “worried” by the protests uniting “ultraleft activists”; “conspiracy theorists” and elements of the right.
And here she is joined by elements of what can only be viewed as the fake left. Some of these groups are reported to have taken to the streets to oppose anti-lockdown protests and they specifically condemn “conspiracy theories“.
One website attacking the pro-freedom rebels evidently realises it is impossible to claim they are all far right, so instead bandies around terms like “hippies” and “liberals”.
But it then adds that “the wild mixture of ‘corona rebels’ is united above all by the anti-Semitic notion that a certain group, cosmopolitan and globally networked (WHO, science, etc.), is controlling and targeting the worldwide pandemic”.
So here we have it yet again! The familiar device of condemning analysis and criticism of a global capitalist elite as automatically “anti-semitic”, even when there is no mention of ethnicity and when the most commonly identified culprit, Bill Gates, is not Jewish.
Similar smears are also being rolled out in the UK, where the spectre of “anti-semitism” played a key role in keeping Jeremy Corbyn out of Dowining Street.
This time the victims include his brother Piers Corbyn, who has been a vocal campaigner against the nightmare police state being imposed in 2020.
Piers Corbyn tweeted that The Sunday Times had lied about the London protest on May 16. “We had 300 not 50. Their photo shows their lies”.
He added: “It wasn’t a Freedom Movement demo. That was a pathetic hoax to brand us Far Right. We’re StandUpX”.
As we have already complained, too many “anarchists” in the UK have taken a pro-system stance over the Corona Coup and have been hysterical in condemning those who challenge official narratives.
Their dumbed-down binary thinking sees them easily tricked into automatically rejecting anything tainted with supposedly “right-wing” associations, even when this leads them into supporting the system they supposedly oppose.
Can we expect to see this sleight of hand being used to persuade left activists to mobilise against anti-lockdown protesters?
In the 1930s it was fascist militia who were used by the state to physically attack movements which challenged the capitalist system. Will the fake left be used to play the same role in the 2020s?
In France, the Gilets Jaunes movement rose above the “far right” smears because of the vast numbers of left-wing radicals who joined its ranks and, sometimes, physically expelled fascists from protests.
It is crucial that anarchists, and other comrades on the left, are not fooled by our rulers’ lies and smears.
We must neither cede to the state nor cede dangerous long-term political ground to the far right, by stupidly standing aside and letting them be seen to lead popular resistance to the clampdown.
If our ideas and our principles mean anything at all, we need to quickly step forward to the front line of this historical struggle against tyranny.
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