A Lebanese Glimpse Into Spanish Anarchy

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Members and supporters of Nasawiya were fortunate last week to meet Leil, a Lebanese activist leading a life of anarchy in Barcelona, Spain. Leil, a charismatic young man, briefed his audience on queer anarchism and its basics by sharing his personal experience in the Catalonian city.

Anarchism rejects the state as an establishment and advocates for the open borders concept in the world.  It also rejects any forms of authority as the governing figure in society. There are many groups of anarchists around the world and in various cities within. They do not follow one specific set of rules, they rather rely on building their personal values and expect the members of their groups to respect them as well.

Leil launched his presentation with a concise introduction followed by an image slide show of the houses that were squatted by the anarchists in Barcelona. By squatting, they refer to taking over abandoned houses in the city and using them as a residence for a new group of anarchists, or any other activity that is of benefit for the movement. The residents of Leil’s house are mostly queer. They divide the house tasks among themselves and they survive by growing their own vegetables, collecting unwanted food from small stores, or they liberate goods from the bigger chains, by which they mean: stealing them. The anarchists believe that it’s okay to steal from the big corporations since they are in harmony with the system which, according to them, oppresses everyone.

For an anarchist group that revolts at the mention of hierarchy, they are pretty well organized. The protests in Barcelona are planned out thoroughly with several teams handling various tasks. But despite this, their image in the media is not ideal. Leil informed his audience that the media constantly portrays anarchists as raisers of mayhem and chooses to highlight the destruction left behind their protests instead of the cause they’re fighting for.

Looking at the big picture, anarchism aims at raising awareness about social and political issues in a more original and sometimes aggressive manner, but nonetheless effective. However I can’t see how it can ever turn the system around. The anarchists are working hard on establishing a revolutionary line of thought on a large scale but will they be capable of reforming whole societies? To what extent are their plans feasible? And if they succeed on banishing authority figures, will they be competent enough to prevent wrought havoc?

Phoenix is a self-centered and sarcastic soul incarnated, perhaps by accident, in the bodi of a woman. As a writer with a temper, she replaces her "y's with an annoying “i” for aesthetical purposes and lives to crack a joke, at the expense of others. Her paranoid nature makes her sensitive to plants, animals and people. Ironicalli, after making fun of the Meem lesbians for years, she found a warm home there and is now renowned as its veri own emotional pest. She enjoys reading the paper with a hot cup of black tea while nude, more often than not.

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