Our place, our time
The following is the transcript of a speech delivered by John Holloway (author of Change the World Without Taking Power: The meaning of revolution today (Pluto Press: 2002)) from a stage in Rostock Harbour on June 3 2007, during the mobilisation against the 2007 G8 Summit in Heiligendamm.
Our place. This is our place. Not theirs, ours. Ours is a space without borders, without definitions. They have their own place, over there, behind the metal barriers, the barbed wire, surrounded by thousands of police. That is where the mass murderers belong, in the prison that we have created for them. The political leaders of the world move only when they are surrounded by police and bodyguards, behind high walls, protected by guns and helicopters. They cannot move freely because they are afraid of us.
Our time. This is our time. Not theirs, ours. A time of intensity, a time of passion, a time of dreams, a time of breaking time. A time in which we refuse all continuity, a time for making the world anew. We shall dance to dawn and beyond if we want. Their time is the time of the clock that ticks the seconds of death, the time of continuity that says “obey today, obey tomorrow”. Their time is the timetable of their plan to destroy humanity.
Our music, our dance. This is our music, our dance. Not theirs, ours. They have no music, the only music they know is the music they turn up loud to drown the screams of the people they are torturing in Guantanamo and in prison camps throughout the world. The only dance they know is the march of their soldiers who are trampling over the world.
Our place, our time, our music, our dance. We are the centre of the world.
It is important to remember that. Especially in these miserable times. Especially when they have launched the Fourth World War against us, the war of all states against all people. Especially when capital is celebrating its orgies. Especially when the violent repression of those who want to create a different world has become the routine practice of all states. They are trying to subordinate us. To make us mindless robots. To make us like them.
They want us to be like them. Imagine, to be like them, stinking bits of inhumanity – the very thought is sickening. That is the very last thing on earth that we want. By every means possible, by brutality, by seduction, by bribery, they try to make us to be like them, to act like them. That is what the real enemy is, not just them but becoming like them. How many revolutions have ended like that in the past, with the revolutionary leaders becoming new rulers! How many revolutionary movements have become bogged down in the violent meaninglessness of one army confronting another, all thoughts of human emancipation long since lost! If we become like them, we have lost.
Asymmetry, then, is the key to our struggle. No symmetry. Above all, no symmetry. Our weapon is that we do not act like them, we do not talk like them, we do not look like them, we are not even comprehensible to them.
Against their walls and barriers we set our space without frontiers. Against their clock our time of intensity and relaxation. Against the noise of their emptiness our music. Against their march our dance.
Against their hierarchy our horizontality. Against their state our assemblies. Against their representative democracy our self-determination. Against their institutions our organising. Against the brutality of their violence, the creativity of a self-defence rooted in popular support. Against their police our clowns (… or?)
Against their self-satisfaction, our rage. Against their death our life. Against their money our dignity. Against their destruction our creativity. Against their labour our doing.
Against their sexual dimorphism our polymorphous perversity. Against their definitions our overflowing. Against their prose our poetry. Against their nouns our verbs. Against their pomposity our laughter. Against their arrogance, our knowledge that they depend on us. Against their permanence our understanding that we make them and if we do not make them tomorrow, they will not exist tomorrow. Against their command our insubordination. Against their control, our world that they cannot control, that they will never be able to control.
Our place, our time, our music, our dance. In this moment we are the centre of the world. Let’s enjoy it!