We think that anyone serious about confronting domination as it stands today will sooner or later come to the questions of science and technology. It’s clear how both have an increasingly vital role to the ruling order by creating, managing and spreading control within society and over the rest of an earth we’re falsely separated from. By investigating the development of these powers in the region and who makes it possible, we came to Vinci.
In the U.K, the French multinational energy and construction giant Vinci carry out specialist construction services for the police, Ministry of Defence and prisons, earthworks for motorways, railways and quarrying, power stations, offshore rigs and nuclear new-builds, as well as shopping centres and the like. Worldwide this corporation and its subsidiaries are active in many fields: dam building, private security, airports, uranium mines; these scum have no problem with inflicting carnage on the earth and us as part of it, raising an industrial cage around us both figuratively and literally, and feeding off the labours of their workforce while the bosses line their pockets and move on to the next contract.
In these respects we attack Vinci anyway, but one of our main motives for targeting them is because they’re responsible for building the new Biological Life Sciences Centre soon to open at the University of Bristol.
We set off an explosive at Vinci’s offices at Vantage business park, north of Bristol, at approximately 3:45 yesterday morning (6th January). It was placed with the aim of cutting off power lines, scorching the exterior and starting a fire inside. We considered the resident company in the next-door part of the unit a worthy secondary target in any damages (Whitehead, another construction and building servicing group who do commissioned work for Vinci).
A £54 million facility, the Biological Life Sciences Centre will offer courses for “the next generation of biologists” as well as current specialists, aiming to improve collaboration with the university’s nanotechnology centre and just across from the Medical School’s genetic engineering, vivisection and animal breeding labs. The world capitalist system sees advances in fields like this as key to the next round of discovery, enclosure and wealth creation. As the area around Bristol and Bath houses the biggest hi-tech design cluster in the world after America’s Silicon Valley, this “revolution” is happening on our doorsteps, “with Bristol being an exciting and ideal place to carry out research over the coming years.” (This is in the words of Professor Gary Foster, whose work at the University of Bristol in genetic-modification and other biotechnologies feeds the noxious pharmaceutical industry such as GlaxoSmithKline. The university breeds genetically-altered mice, for example, then morbidly subjects these living creatures to extensive nerve damage and hand the results to drug companies.)
One of the main thrusts of this drive is synthetic biology, a disturbing practice using the latest technology for “rewriting and rebuilding natural systems to provide engineered surrogates.” In 2012 a conference at the University of Bristol stated that synthetic biology “could become a driving force of the national economy,” and the government have declared it a top research priority. The European Union has now awarded £3.3 million to the University of Bristol just to create “public awareness” promoting the practice.
The logic of these kind of sciences has, as its primary goal, attempted control over everything. They reduce knowledge, that might be more deeply gained in wild relationships of interaction and interdependence, to a detached universe of obsessive measurement and objectification, arrogantly separating parts from the whole that gives them meaning as if everything were merely a machine to dismantle. This scientific tradition is closely tied up with the worldview that emerged during the early formation of commercial capitalism, which sought and still seeks to adapt lifeforms to the drive for profits, justify the domination and destruction of the living world, and implement a macho uber-rationalism scornful of everything fragile and organic on which all species depend. Right now, plant and animal genes are broken down and optimised in labs so they suit productive standards and to create new private property through patents. Where we might see the unique leaves, seeds, bodies and minds of ourselves and our fellow creatures, this science (if not necessarily each scientist, the results are the same) just sees lifeless objects to pick apart, study and sacrifice on the altar of economic usefulness to their paymasters who reap the benefits from this sick and sickening society.
For instance we can see the current push for genetically-modified (G.M) food in the U.K by the media, industry and government, for which these research institutions play an important part: such as advances in biotechnology for crops thanks to the Long Ashton Research Station run by the University of Bristol in the past. Scientists like Gary Foster are well aware of the dangers from G.M genes “leaking into the natural world” (again, his own words) but apparently the money and prestige from their mastery are worth more than our insignificant lives. A decade ago the first wave of G.M trials was slowed here by sustained pressure and crop-trashing; today sabotage continues from Holland to the Philippines, and others like us also won’t be accomplices to these developments or their agents through inaction. It’s necessary to attack the new wave of so-called ‘life’ science facilities at the root (those who design them, those who construct them) not just criticize the more well-known products of their research: because to these institutions all knowledge becomes another opportunity for control and exploitation, so extending the scope of a system that’s in reality annihilating and artificialising life in all it’s beauty.
Abroad, plant and animal die-offs as well as increased allergies and intolerances are already being attributed to G.M. With the bio-tech industry nonchalantly unleashing its monsters, especially across lands in the global south where patented G.M seeds that must be re-bought yearly exert a stranglehold, it many take generations to show some of their effects on infinitely complex webs of life that evolved over millions of years. That is, before civilised cultures began intensively manipulating them, today even down to the nano-scale. With the like of synthetic biology we’re moving fast into a future where even lifeforms “in nature” are the products of laboratory experiments, and nothing remains that isn’t engineered somewhere along the line by a human-centred system of scientific totalitarianism.
For obvious reasons as people turning against laws and domination in more than words we also stand against new policing and identification controls enabled by more forensics, biometrics etc. and the introduction of their common use in the information-age social prison (mobile fingerprinting, facial recognition systems, D.N.A swabs etc. – they didn’t stop us yet though…).
This isn’t Vinci’s only U.K venture into this lucrative field either. They’ve also undertaken future expansions in science, technology and engineering departments at Swansea University. They’ve commissioned Whitehead for the job too, their neighbours at Vantage business park, who are now also marked by our attack. This will be the result for as long as society steps in line to realise the fantasies of a despotic science, reaching for their dreams which are our nightmares.
So what about the ‘benefits’ that these hi-tech institutions want to sell us, founded as they are on massive energy consumption and resource extraction, on the authority of a specialist caste’s somehow-unreproachable meddling with our environments, and on the domestication of wild spaces and the torture of other animals? They promise us advances in (human) health, food and technology, fostering the illusion that science can fix all the damage incurred by the dominant ways of living. They expect us to forget how many of the diseases, disorders and cancers are directly caused by the same industrial output, globalised mass society, psychologically and physically unhealthy habitats and toxic workplaces of a culture which goes toward these labs and more in the first place. They expect us to forget that agri-monoculture production led to an anti-nutritious diet of manipulated short-term energising/comfort food at an escalating cost to the land, while diverse wild plant and animals species we used to coexist with get wiped out by the system’s endless expansion and pollution. (Vinci’s works being a prime example.) They expect us to forget how it’s precisely the advances in complex technological systems that generate our dependance on their designers and manufacturers, alienation from ourselves as well as the earth as a whole and each other at the personal level, and increased efficiency in achieving the goals of society’s rulers: profit and power, through misery and exploitation, pushing the planetary ecology toward collapse.
In short the sickness is civilisation itself, including its false solutions to its chronic problems steadily impoverishing survival for human and non-human populations alike, an unacceptable transgression on our intent to live freely.
Choosing direct action over despair we declare our part in a low-intensity urban war in its early stages across Bristol against the many faces of the system, with stones, paint or fire and with the plans, debates and daily refusals; sometimes almost imperceivable, sometimes devastating. In Britain’s ugly cities and intensively-managed countryside a determined minority of rebels and wilderness-lovers sporadically take the offensive: some striking anonymously, some forming one-off action groups, and some having tested the open proposal of the Informal Anarchist Federation; not only in the south-west but Nottingham, Cambridge, London and now Glasgow.
Everything is at stake to us and we ourselves have no time to waste. Toward recovering our own volition and finding affinities for rebellion, our methods shall include intractable conflict without pause or negotiation: and much more besides, breaking with this miserable civil order with a wide variety of experiments and the full scope of our imaginations. Destruction is just another indispensable side of creation (and vice versa) not an opposite, we’re now sure of that. Our insurgency would be justified as an end in itself in the face of this life we’re raised into, but it’s beyond only being reactive. It acts to solidify that we’re already taking back in our face-to-face encounters and in our minds. It allows potential space for new and stronger relationships chosen by aware individuals mindful of all lifeforms, through actively weakening the current modes. Until some point of breakdown where whatever comes next is out of any society-wide control and reasoning, and so beyond society. Liberation can mean nothing less; tending toward the wild.
The international and internal battleground between anarchy and domination holds both losses and gains, of which some are known and some unknown to us. With this is mind we start the new year by celebrating the release of Braulio Duran (an unrepentant eco-anarchist who was held by the Mexican State) last October, albeit into the wider prison-society. When we discover solidarity with a locked-up comrade through their attitude and words, it doesn’t diminish when they get ‘out’; it just creates more grounds to keep fighting toward our mutual goals. Still ‘inside’, we remember the total-liberationist Adrian Gonzales and anarchist bandits of the Kozani case as well as Babis Tsilianidis; and Marco Camenisch, denied parole once again. Respect to the Mi’kmaq Warriors engaging the Canadian State/petro-industry aggressors in incendiary clashes, a renewed phase of indigenous militancy, and to the ones consistently defending both Khimki forest and the land of Notre-Dames-Des-Landes from Vinci’s developments. A raised fist above the prison walls for Nicola Gai and Alfredo Cospito aka F.A.I/F.R.I Olga Nucleus, until cellblocks are rubble and jailers are ash.
On a sadder note, 2012 ended with the anarchist Sebastian Oversluij being fatally shot in Santiago while trying to collectively seize back some of what the banks extract every day from the exploited. Neither a victim or a martyr, we simply see someone who didn’t bow their head and accept the system’s rules, and we are glad to have such people as comrades. Even within this nonsensical, resigned and cynical modern culture, every action demands a reaction. When they kill one of the resisters, our enemies must pay in any way. This is how our struggle leaves behind empty gestures and keeps the dead from falling into oblivion. Blackened offices won’t replace split blood, but they signal that same social war isn’t finished, and our grief births rage.
Informal Anarchist Federation (F.A.I) Insurgents: Bristol North