SOCIAL WAR IN GOTHENBURG
The European Union summit meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden on the weekend of June 15 and 16 was met with what may have been the fiercest rioting yet to occur at a summit meeting. Confrontations began Thursday when police set up a blockade around a school where about one thousand demonstrators were staying. This led to fighting between police and demonstrators that lasted into the night.
On Friday, demonstrators took to the streets, setting up barricades, smashing shop windows and battling the police. The ferocity of the rioting forced those who had planned the summit to cancel a gala dinner they had planned for the government leaders attending the summit. For those who still have illusions about the nature of the struggle against capitalism, one can hope that the shooting of three demonstrators—with very real bullets—will dispel these illusions. The stakes in play in this game are high—this is social war.
Of course, summits like the one in Gothenburg are not the real center of policy-making for the leaders of the world, but they do represent the unity of purpose shared by the entire ruling class in maintaining their power. So it is rather fitting that each summit is confronted with open, public rebellion where any demands that are made are of far less significance than the destructive rage and joy of those in the streets. But these public confrontations are not the heart of the struggle. The social war that the ruling class has declared against the exploited is everywhere all the time. Consider the shots fired by police without provocation during the funeral march for Timothy Thomas in Cincinnati last April. The state knows its enemies even when they don’t recognize themselves as such. Thus, our attacks against the exploiters need to spread While the confrontations at the summits may publicize the existence of our response to the rulers, of our counter-attack, It is the small actions that anyone can carry out in their own daily existence against their own exploitation and domination—small actions that can easily spread—that are the substance of our struggle against the social order. Having recognized the reality of the social war, it is essential that we carry on our attack against this society on every level that advances the necessary destruction of the present reality.