The world’s employers, caught off balance, counterattacked violently. They desperately needed to make an end of this hydra-headed enemy. Whenever injunctions were defied, they called on the government to send in the troops. They arrested leaders and fired on crowds. Everywhere, the complicity of national governments with the interests of multinational corporations became plain. ‘Patriotic’ and ‘Religious’ leaders were unmasked as fronts for the corporations. Authority was discredited. The movement became politicized. The question of power was in the air.
Authorities from India to Indiana gave free licence to well-armed right-wing fundamentalist militias (Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Nazi-pagan) to attack liberated women, students, radicals and strikers. On the other side, millions of people were preparing to defend their worker-occupied farmlands, forests, factories and communities. On every continent, popular movements improvised ways to defend themselves, arming secretly, then more openly. Peaceful movements were now protected by self-armed militias in the cities as well as on the lands liberated by peasant invasions. In a world awash with guns, there were always international merchants and local venal officers willing to sell Kalashnikovs in sufficient quantity for a price. This was a great equaliser. After bloody clashes with police and troops, an uneasy truce prevailed.