In 2017 I was mentally struggling for a while. Mostly this had to do with the state of the world. I’ve been a human rights activist for 18 years now, which means I’ve seen a lot of change. Sometimes for the better, often for the worse.
I lost it temporarily at the end of 2015 when I went to volunteer in Calais, France – a camp where thousands of refugees were trying to survive. They didn’t get enough food, water or medicine, they were attack by the police and neonazi forces. These kinds of experiences make me question humanity.
I saw the rise of the extreme-right all over Europe. Initially, resistance was slow to rise. When you are committed to resisting, there will be times when you’ll show up to an action and there’s ten people. It’s a bit frustrating to say the least. 2017 was for me personally the low point in all this: there was so much horrible stuff happening and so little real resistance.
But then, bit by bit, I saw society changing again. I saw more and more people standing up to resist. In Belgium, for example, one hundred people occupied a concentration camp for refugees. Yes, Belgium has these prisons, euphemistically called “closed centra”. We’re locking up children too. We don’t have to look at say the US at all for human rights horrors, they’re happening right here.
But one hundred people, that’s something. And the police had a lot of difficulties arresting the protestors. They had to charter a crane from the fire brigade, had to get through lock-ons, and so on. Hopefully the beginning of a long series of occupations. And a while ago several refugees escaped from their prison.
It used to be that the extreme right could just go anywhere and give speeches uninterrupted. This is something I wasn’t used to, as when I was a student we used to occupy the buildings that the nazi’s would try to organise meetings in, and simply stop them. We failed to stop them for several years but now it’s coming back. More and more people, are interrupting the lectures nazi’s try to give. This is an important tactic: don’t let them get away with anything easily. Annoy them and frustrate them and sabotage them wherever you can.
You see this in the US too: several times now members of the Trump administration have been refused service or even chased out of restaurants. That’s amazing: it’s also the small practical things that will help humanity win. Don’t deliver their meals, their mail, their orders. Sabotage wherever you can: urban guerilla tactics. This is a war. A class war. We are fighting for humanity and we’re not going to win by being nice to our enemies.