“A word won’t stop a bullet”
Recently we have received numerous reports of anti-war actions in various cities. Leaflets, graffiti and other means used to communicate our position to say “No to war” on the streets of cities in Russia. We have never devalued the activities of our comrades-in-arms and have provided a platform for anyone who has asked to report on any of our actions. We have always taken a respectful attitude towards people in action because we know that even small actions are much better than empty words. And we respect all those who agitate against the war in the streets.
However, we must point out that in a war where the Russian state is killing people in Ukraine, graffiti and leaflets are hardly a sufficient means to stop the killing. A word will not stop a bullet. If you really want to make a difference, you should look for other ways to fight dictatorship and war. Some of these measures are already relatively widespread and popular in Russia – for example, there are regular reports of incendiary attacks on military recruitment centers or acts of sabotage on railroad tracks that can disrupt the Russian army’s infrastructure and supply logistics. We would like to call on all sincere people not to limit themselves to expressing their discontent with the war and the dictatorship, whether on the Internet or in the streets. Words without actions are empty, and the dictatorship has reached the point where it is now or never to act.
That is, of course, a big risk. But the alternative to risk is to surrender to dictatorship in Russia and mass murder in Ukraine.
You may ask how ethical it is when we encourage people to take such risks. Do we do such things ourselves, do we take risks ourselves to encourage you to take risks? The admins of Prometeya have been part of the anarchist movement for many years and over the years we have directly participated in anarchist activities, taking part in actions with varying degrees of radicalism and putting ourselves at risk. We have been persecuted and tortured, suffered many deprivations and had to leave the country because of our activities. In Russia, we face severe punishment and torture, and we live with the reality that this will happen to us if we are getting deported.
“Narodnaya Samooborona” (People’s Self-Defense), our movement, was destroyed due to repression and has suspended its activities for several years now. To a large extent, this also applies to Prometeya – it has practically stopped working as a media source. Nevertheless, the activists of the former People’s Self-Defense and the admins of Prometeya are still active. Some are fighting against the Russian army in Ukraine, putting themselves in great danger. Others are organizing fundraising events for anarchists who are fighting in Ukraine. We will not stay inactive.
Yes, we have taken many risks ourselves, we have lost a lot, but we will continue to act. And we urge you not to remain inactive. We will continue to publish the actions and campaigns that our readers send us. However, we think it is necessary to remind you that now is not the time for words and leaflets, but for action. A few years ago, street protests were a useful way to build a movement and connect different groups. This is no longer possible today, there are no large anarchist movements to coordinate such groups, and no conditions for their formation – any bigger movement would be immediately crushed by the dictatorship. For this reason, small autonomous groups carrying out guerrilla attacks are of greater importance today. We advise to become familiar with Internet security and conspiratorial methods and to engage in meaningful activities.