SWI, “‘Sabotage everywhere’: at the Swiss birthplace of global anarchism”

In the 19th century the anarchist gathering International was founded in a Swiss valley. To celebrate the anniversary, thousands of anarchists made a pilgrimage to the small town of St-Imier last month. Their positions, for example on Ukraine, differ widely.

By Benjamin Von Wyl & Thomas Kern, August 8, 2023

Someone has sprayed graffiti on a house in the centre of St-Imier in northwestern Switzerland. “Sabotage everywhere” it says in French, with an anarchy symbol underneath. Someone else has stuck a hand-written poster in English over it: “Please respect the residents and their houses”.

This sums up the scope of the anarchist congress quite well. Some 5,000 visitors from all over the world travelled to St-Imier for “Anarchy 2023” from July 19-23: some as onlookers, most out of anarchist conviction. Many of them camped. Most wore black.

The canteen they organised cooked tens of thousands of meals over five days; the washing up was also done by volunteers.

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