Integration Nightmare

Stories of a badly integrated immigrant

It is quite interesting how depending on the country, the anarchists and many authoritarian and antiauthoritarian left treat the question of cooperation. Quite often the situation does not develop based on the common political arguments. The further away geographically/socially anarchists are from the spots where cooperation between us and authoritarian left didn't work, the more comes this question of uniting together in one happy family to fight the devil in the form of capitalism and oppression of the working people. I wanted to share a bit of my own experience on this phenomena of left unity.

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To ACAB or not to ACAB – on the question of violence and punishment within the anarchist movement

Anarchist movement is full of violence. And I'm not talking about rioting on the streets and burning cop cars. There is enough information to prove that the anarchist movement is not about it.

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Now, unfortunately, many anarchists and anti-fascists from Belarus have already left the country or are planning to migrate because of repressions. It is clear that people are interested in living conditions in various countries. But in addition to salaries and a good life, many people are also interested in politics. How active a person can be in a country with his or her experience of Belarusian activism. After several years in Germany, I stopped recommending this country to my comrades for political migration.

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Сейчас, к сожалению, очень многие анархисты и антифашисты из Беларуси уже выехали из страны либо планируют миграцию из-за репрессий. Понятное дело, что людей интересуют условия проживания в различных странах. Но помимо зарплат и хорошей жизни многих интересуют вопросы политики. Насколько человек может быть активен в той или иной стране со своим опытом беларуского активизма. После нескольких лет в Германии я перестал рекомендовать эту страну товарищам для политической миграции.

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This is a story about bread. And politics. But mostly bread.

My life was always connected with bread. And if word “bread” wakes up in your head some loafs of ciabatta or baguette or some fancy bread from middle east let's forget about it. Bread is black and it has several names, but most of it tastes the same. Black bread is really important in belarusian culture. Old tradition says that you should great people with bread (black one, of course) and salt. In fact, I visited several weddings where this bread and salt was one of the procedures to go through.

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Seit nun drei Wochen finden auf den Straßen von Belarus Proteste gegen den Diktator Lukaschenko statt. Er ist der erste und einzige gewählte Präsident der Republik Belarus, der das Land seit 26 Jahren regiert. Im Internet gibt es eine Menge Meinungen über ihn. Einige glauben, dass er ein Leuchtfeuer der Hoffnung für den Kampf gegen den westlichen Imperialismus ist, während andere wissen, dass er ein verdammter Psycho ist, der bereit ist zu töten, um an der Macht zu bleiben. Dieser Text geht auf einige Argumente ein, die in anarchistischen und linken Kreisen auf der ganzen Welt online geführt werden. Und am Ende werde ich versuchen zu antworten, wird Belarus frei sein, wenn Lukaschenko stirbt?

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For the third week, protests are happening on the streets of Belarus against dictator Lukashenko. He is the first and only elected president of Republic of Belarus ruling the country for last 26 years. There are a lot of opinions on the internet about him. Some believe that he is a beacon of hope for the struggle against western imperialism, while others know that he is bloody psycho ready to kill to stay in power. This text will go through some arguments that are going on online all around the world in anarchist and leftist circles. And at the end I will try to answer, will Belarus be free if Lukashenko dies?

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Moscow Death Brigade (MDB) is a band well known in Germany. Russian antifascists singing against homophobia, sexism, racism and for everything good. I rarely met people from western european left who didn't like them. It became quite annoying to answer every person the question what i think about the band. So the decision was made to write a text.

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Through my political activism I have visited a lot of house projects in Germany. However, understanding of the concept of “house project” as many other political ideas takes time. At first i thought it was a squat. And actually many people were explaining it in that way. “It is a squat. Not a real squat, we pay rent, but it is like squat” was an explanation that I got from different people in Germany.

Squatting was easier to grasp as it was little to do with the bureaucracy of the state and more with direct action. Yes squatting was not the most rosy way to live but for many people it was a form of political protest. Some part of belarusian anarchist movement got so inspired by this form of direct action that we squatted a building in Minsk in 2008 for 6 months and turned it into a social project, with presentations, political organizing and some parties.

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Originally written for Circle-A magazine

The reason for this article came up several years ago when I had a chat with a good comrade of mine. We were talking about the current situation with anarchist and socialist movement in his country, and he pointed that students were in long run actually a counter revolutionary part of the society. The person who said that was not a one-day anarchist rather a comrade that was fighting for revolutionary ideals for years. One of the main points of our discussion was the background of those students that are getting involved in the struggle – mainly this is the people from financially successful families that have little troubles in their lives. Most of them work for the pocket money but their life till the end of university is organized. Of course there are exceptions to those who are the first generation of students in their families, however those are in many cases exceptions in the left and anarchist movement. Apart from that distance from the serious economical or social problems gives them an easy way in and easy way out of social struggles – in case you are giving up your current group, collective or organization there are little consequences of that step. Together with this point comes the issue of short attention span – as a student you can jump to the hot topics as soon as they pop up and switch easily because of the previous issue. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to have a deeper discussion, but this conversation pushed me further into the topic although i never came back to talk to my friend about it. The irony of it was that he was considering doing several more years in university as a student (in his age he would rather fit as a professor than a student).

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