Cyprus, with a population of less than a million, sees two peoples, ‘Turkish Cypriots’ and ‘Greek Cypriots’, divided by barbed wire, tanks and soldiers. As well as the Greek, the Turkish and the Cypriot army, it also hosts a number of British military bases, a remainder of a colonial past now projected into the future of dominion with high-tech listening technology. The bases of death used in the Gulf war, Afghanistan and exYugoslavia before playing a major role in the present massacre in Iraq.
In the south, under the thin veneer of wellbeing lent by tacky consumerism and almost constant sunshine there festers a sense of futility and bewilderment among many young people. Tales by their fathers, reinforced by school and church, push many to identify with national flags and harbour patriotic ideals fuelled by an irrational hatred of ‘communists’ ‘foreigners’ as well as their Turkish counterparts.
The anarchist nucleus of Cyprus attempted to become an active presence in this suppressed social clash, trying to develop anarchist methods suited to the situation so as to open up contradictions and put questions in the place of sullen certainty.
The anarchist projectuality grew from individual rebels coming together and creating a group in the attempt to transform the passion for freedom into something more concrete in order to make their ideas known, and try to open up insurrectional possibilities in a social terrain defined by some of the worst manifestations of power. In just one year the southern part of the island saw hundreds of anarchist posters, fliers, leaflets, graffiti, bookstalls, actions, anarchist participation in demonstrations and much more, disturbing the armed peace of the island. Needless to say the forces of repression did not remain indifferent. One comrade was given a seven months’ prison sentence for ‘assaulting’ a cop during a demonstration outside the Israeli ambassador’s home, another was given a three months’ suspended sentence on similar charges. Yet another was seriously beaten while in police custody following a flyposting expedition.