Who benefits from disinformation? – a commentary from the warsaw3 support group.

It has been exactly one year since the arrest of the warsaw 3. During that year, the accused as well as the support group – the group that have been closest to the case – had to remain silent about the case details. Talking about the files could have consequences for the accused (in the penal code it goes under case obstruction). Until now all the cards were in the hands of prosecution and services. The recent publication in the media opens a possibility to talk about the case more openly. In their statements our comrades from warsaw3 talk about the circumstances in which the information is revealed and to how unreliable it is. On our side we would like to summarize their texts and draw conclusions from this situation.

Who benefits from cyber-gossips?

Since the arrest of the warsaw3, the police their (sometimes unconscious) helpers have been sucessfully using the strategy of dividing the movement through disinformation. Although it’s one of the most basic tactics, it looks like we still didn’t learn thow to react properly.

Let’s sum up the facts. The media publication happened exactly one week before the first trial, hindering the solidarity actions planned for that day. The whole article is based on the materials provided by the prosecutor and the testimonies, which the three gave a few weeks after their arrest, when they were subjected to total isolation and a session of tortures. Despite that, the journalist treats the testimonies given under pressure as the current opinion of the accused and their voices are only present through those one-year-old testimonies. Publishing the article before the trial makes it impossible for the three to fully comment on its content (waiting just one week longer with the publication would allow the three anarchists to talk on equal terms). That way the article is supporting the authorities’ line (for example it doesn’t respect presumption of innocence), it promotes the power’s strategy to divide and disinform and – by the selective usage of disclosed informations – it looks like it was ordered by the secret service (although apparently the author had good intentions).

Unfortunatelly, people from our milieu who share and copy-paste this article, are blind for those details and treat the information given there as as the truth. Moreover, under the links to the article there are comments and speculations about who are the other people allegedly mixed in the case (unidentified by the police as for now), that are mentioned in the article. Although it’s hard to believe, there are attempts to identify them! That way people from the milieu are doing the police job – perhaps fulfilling the second aim that the publication of this article might have had. Even the article itself states that people who might get identified as part of the case, can suffer legal consequences. As you can see, some people can do more damage from their comfy armchairs, than others lying beaten on the police station floor.

About informants, or „informants”

We recognize the fact that the first person interrogated by the prosecutor didn’t do what he should have done. Our moral judgment on revealing any information to the police or other services is unequivocal and we are condemning any form of such cooperation. We have decided however – for many reasons, some of which we will describe here – to continue our support for that person in the warsaw3 campaign. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but choose that way also because we see a difference between being a snitch or an informer and bending under pressure and manipulation. It doesn’t mean that we treat that person as crystal-clear and the information he gave as unimportant. We feel that every person should judge his behavior on his/her own, taking into consideration not only the possible consequences that his testimony might have, but also the circumstances in which it was given. He writes more about that in his statement and we believe that everyone who wants to take a stand on that topic should read it first. It’s easy to point fingers, saying that somebody have fucked up, sold out, cooperated. It’s seems really easy for some people from the movement. Sometimes a gossip is enough to pose moral judgments. For some people a need to exclude seems to be stronger than a need to honestly analyze the complex situation in which the people who took the risk of the direct action have found themselves in. We can also see the position from which these judgments are given. It’s much easier to make choices with your hands on the keyboard than with the paralyzer up your arse. As we know from the statement of he “rebellious teenager”*, the tragedy in his case lies in the fact that he didn’t break under the tortures or weeks of isolation, but under the lies and manipulations of his own lawyer. How many of those condemning him now in their comments, would stand the tortures that he have endured?

What do we need solidarity for?

Political trials and police repressions are never one-dimensional as you can find in some movies. Let’s try to take lessons out of this case, lessons that could help the movement to face similar situations in the future. The conclusions so far aren’t very uplifting. It seems that we are not ready for increasing repressions as a movement, we don’t have many such experiences. Both as support groups and the milieu as a whole. We didn’t manage to create mechanisms that could give strength, faith and necessary support from the movement in case of such slip-ups. Any of us could find themselves in a place, where situation gets out of control and the pressure coming form our enemies destroys us, we break, we fall. As a movement we have even more shortcomings when it comes to supporting people experiencing repressions, brutal violence inflicted by the state, which reveals itself not only through the hits of baton, fists or paralyzer shocks. Isolation, psychological pressure, loneliness and finally lawyers manipulation – for us it all makes one-sided judgment of the person testifying at least difficult.

It seems that in this movement we have much bigger tolerance and support for macho types , than for those who experience repressions. The first group can rely on their own existing friend support networks, the support network for the latter we only try to create now.

People from our milieu, who provoke witch hunts against the warsaw3, should know that this attitude is very short-sighted. They are creating standards of behavior that could turn against them in the future, once they get in trouble. You have to expect that the attitude you show will be shown towards you. So the question is – why do we need solidarity? The standard authorities praxis against radical movements is to divide them into the “good” and the “bad”. Many of us fall into that game. Hearing about smallest direct action they rush to show their hands are clean, are in their pockets or at most on the keyboard. They distance themselves from the action and bring analysis worth neoliberal newspapers.

What are practical consequences of such attitudes? We see it clearly in the words of the youngest one, that reveal how a facebook post of one “long term” anarchist** served as a tool of pressure, psychological weakning and manipulation; how it was used to send the message: you are alone. Combined with the threat of physical tortures it helped to break the detainee and finally became another brick in the prison wall.

If not for the sake of decency, or coherence with our own slogans, we should regard solidarity at least as a mechanism that provides security for the movement as a whole. At the same time we should condemn the lack of solidarity as an attitude, which endangers the whole movement and is simply harmful. Leaving people who face harrasment from the authorities on their own, alone with the opressors, makes them vulnerable to manipulations, breaking and finally giving out the information that we try to protect.

Obviously, nobody brings solidarity statements to prison cells – we need to be really unified and loud to be heard. Solidary attitude is the opposite to the egoistic one – it serves to fill the gap between “us” and “them”. This is the sense of the statement: “We all are terrorists”. This is why it is worth to build the support – it’s not only the matter of ethics, but of a well understood own interest and defence of our movement. If you support the repressed – you weaken the strenght of the state’s attack. By attacking them – you support it.

We understand that there is still many things that need to be talked through and worked out by the movement in the context of this case. Most probably soon it will be more accessible for us. However we need to remember that in the case of the warsaw3 there are still many unanswered questions – about the scale of invigilation, defence strategy, possible consequences or further repressions against the movement. That is why the solidarity is so important – this slogan that we shout on every demo and write at the end of each of our political statements. We have to treat it seriously – in everyday acts, in creating a common front against the repressions and not against each other.

We still believe in this solidarity.

On may the 31st we will stand in front of the court to show our support to the accused and our resistance against the state and police repressions. We hope that you will be there with us.

warsaw3 support group


*Author of the article gave each one of the three descriptive names, the youngest one is called “a rebellious teenager”. Replying to the article, the three signed their statements with those descriptive names.

** In his statement the youngest of warsaw3 writes how his lawyer manipulated him into believing that the movement as a whole is condemning the direct action they undertook, by showing him a facebook post from one influential person. The post was published the next day after their arrest. Unfortunately this post was the only one that reached him behind the prison walls, leaving him in a belief that the whole movement has cut itself off from them.

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