Tag Archives: guerilla

The new terrorism: domestic, economic, environmentalist?

burnt-out carVia Chairman Bruce comes news from Berlin, a city whose rapid rate of change and gentrification is escalating tensions between the far right and radical left… and those of no political affiliation at all. The last six months have seen a wave of car-burning:

During the past six months, more than 170 cars have been destroyed by fire in Berlin and police confirm conservatively that 93 were politically motivated attacks.

A mysterious, single page website, brennende-autos.de (Burning Cars of Berlin), shows the number of cars set alight and where the crimes occurred, revealing clusters in ‘‘richer’’ areas, or in suburbs where gentrification and redevelopment are changing the demographic of local neighbourhoods.

Mysterious indeed. Is the site run by the car-burners themselves? Their supporters? Their ideological opponents? Berlin being a traditionally bohemian city, it may just be someone’s idea of an art installation.

According to a spokeswoman for the Bundesamt fur Verfassungsschutz (the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution), there has been a measurable increase in left-wing extremist action, including the targeting of police and the property of businesses perceived to be involved in military or ‘‘imperialist’’ activities.

DHL, a company involved in logistics for the German armed forces, has been a recent target.

‘‘It is not just anti-militarism we are seeing … it is anti-imperialism, a catalogue of anti-things … anti-fascism, anti-gentrification. The people we are seeing are the so-called ‘autonoma’, people operating in groups without hierarchy, who are not well organised and so classical anarchy is in the background of their thinking,’’ she says.


Police cars, too, are being targeted. The favoured method is to use the slow-burn barbecue fire starters, which take time to smoulder and provide plenty of get-away time for the perpetrators.

That could have come straight out of any near-future urban dystopia or cyberpunk novel you care to name; as traditional party-based politics drifts further and further from being able to represent the fragmented ideologies of populations, angry people will find their voice whatever way they can.

And as economic pressures deepen over time, we’ll probably see similar events cropping up in other crowded and under-funded cities across the Western world… so if you’re not already following John Robb’s Global Guerrillas blog, now may be the time to start. [image by Jacob Davies]

Screw optimism – this is a global guerilla century

guerillas on the marchJohn Robb isn’t going to give you the news you want to hear. Nope, sorry – the Depression scenario has already emerged fully, and the results are not going to be pretty as we transition into a new politico-economical era in its wake:

A global depression, in and of itself, isn’t the end of the world. However, it can set in motion unexpected events (black swans) — as in how the last depression catalyzed WW2. The revisionist effort to this economic collapse isn’t likely to be a surge in ideology or nationalism. Instead, we can expect an organic realignment as small groups of people form new primary loyalties (either to violent manufactured tribes or resilient communities), slot themselves into open source movements, and challenge a wheezing group of incumbent nation-states. This is a global guerrilla century.

So, not exactly a rosy outlook… and a poke in the eye for the Positive Manifesto school of sf, perhaps. That said, there’s plenty of starting points in Robb’s material for the more dystopian-leaning writer to tackle! [image by Keith Bacongco]

But what do you think – is Robb looking at a worst-case scenario and seeing Mad Max re-runs, or is he being generous with the possibilities of civilisational collapse?