To let Pandora give: Against the state and terror in spain

Anarchist terrorism has established itself in our country

Ignacio Cosidó Gutiérrez – Director General of the National Police of Spain, from the 30th of December, 2011 to the 18th of November, 2016 (ABC 12/05/2014)

Whoever considers carefully its origins, sees that all States rest upon violence

Francesco Guicciardini (1483-1540)

On the 30th of May, the judge Carmen Lamela, of the 3rd National Court in Madrid [Juzgado nº 3 de la Audiencia Nacional], decided, in a legal decree, to archive the process against 11 people accused of terrorism, of belonging to the so-called GAC (“Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados“).  This effectively brings to an end the first of two “Operation Pandoras”.  The second, which had accused 9 people, was archived in June of 2016.  In both cases, the legal proceedings were concluded for lack of evidence.  The only “crime” that could be held against them was of being, frequenting and/or sympathising with anarchists.

It is worth recalling that these operations began with the arrest of five people accused of putting a bomb in the Basílica del Pilar (2013, Saragossa), though they were preceded by earlier investigations that go back to 2012.  After these arrests would follow Operation Pandora I (December 16th, 2014), Piñata (March 30th, 2015), “Pandora II” (28th of October, 2015) and “Ice” (November 4th, 2015).  Five police operations based on the accusation of belonging to a terrorist organisation, Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados, which led to 69 detentions, with some of the accused being held in preventive detention, imprisoned, bank accounts frozen to seize money raised in solidarity campaigns, the attempt to turn one of the accused into a police informer, and associate a marionete theatre company and a book, “Against Democracy“, with the GAC. (contramadriz)

None of these accusations would stand.  But the desired effect was perhaps realised: to re-produce in the imaginary the association of anarchism with violence, and to thereby spread fear, a fear that leads some (many?) to embrace the State as the first and last bulwark against uncontrolled destruction; fear that legitimises, if this is felt to be necessary, the permanent state of exception under which we live.

“We have to understand terrorism not as an event that generates terror, but as all of those places through which terror passes.  The mediatisation of its success, its presence in everyday life, the political use of insecurity and the fear that it generates, its visualisation, which converts us into a public; they are all an indissoluble part of terrorism.” (La Domesticación del Terrorismo, Anónimo, Madrid, 2016, p. 57)

The response to such terror could only foolishly be seen to lie in a counter-terror.  It must rather emerge from embracing the exception, from affirming an exception beyond capitalism.

In an ancient version of the story of Pandora, she appears not as the bearer of all evil in a formerly blessed male world, but as the all-giving.  Perhaps then the fate of “Operation Pandora” and its like is not to leave us with the hope these things will not happen again (hope: “In truth, it is the most evil of evils because it prolongs man’s torment.” Nietzsche), but to embrace what is given and made possible to us, if we have eyes and heart to see, such that we may create different worlds.


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