Freedom for Marco Camenisch (Switzerland)
Marco Camenisch was born on January 21st 1952 in Switzerland, in a small village of the Graubunden region. At the beginning of 1980 Marco was arrested for damaging electricity pylons and transformers, once against the NOK company (which ran nuclear power plants in Switzerland) and once against their distributors, the Sarelli company. The sentence was very harsh: 10 years. Marco was well aware this reflected the seriousness of what was at stake: the ecocide perpetrated by the the power industry as part of the wider system of destruction, which formed the target of his own struggle.
In December 1981 Marco escaped from Regensdorf prison with other 5 inmates and went into hiding for 10 years. In November 1991 he was arrested again following a routine ID check in the town of Massa, Tuscany. There was a shooting after one carabiniere (Military Police) saw that Marco had a gun and panicked; Marco and one carabiniere were injured. This time Marco got a 12-year sentence for injuring the carabiniere and for another attack against the power lines between La Spezia and Acciaiolo, which transported energy produced by French nuclear plants. He did 11 of the 12 years in Italy, waiting to be extradited to Switzerland.
In May 2002 Marco was subjected to a show-trial designed to politically damage the wider struggle against ecocide, and to punish Marco for his defiance in showing no remorse for his actions. In flagrant disregard for the state’s own legal process, Marco got charged and convicted for the murder of a completely different Customs policeman in 1989 in Brusio, and sentenced for 17 years. With this sentencing the Lords of the Atom and their accomplices “settled the score” with Marco – including the previous 10 and 11-year sentences – a total of 39 years of imprisonment. Longer than a life sentence.
In May 2007 the sentence was reduced to a maximum of 8 years, with release scheduled to be in May 2018. Even when jailed, Marco has never stopped fighting and will keep struggling against the stranglehold of the corrupt system, a system that tries to break him, and smash the support for him in the wider struggle that sustains him.
Over the long years of the harsh realities of imprisonment, another reality has also been created, of human relationships, solidarity, support…networks in Italy and around the world have grown and developed around Marco: comrades who have been inspired by his words and actions, or who have known him as a friend, brother or comrade. This network might now seem to be fading but it will never be broken, and it will in turn create new networks and forces.
During these years Marco has always been with us; even though physically separated, his presence is still felt in our struggles. His voice, his thoughts, his translations, his articles and hunger strikes demonstrate a solidarity free from every ideological dead-end and dogma, that has created a network of communication and solidarity with revolutionary prisoners all around the world. His prodigious output has contributed to the growth of our journey of struggles against every oppression and exploitation, in defence of the Earth and all living beings.
Marco has never resigned himself or surrendered himself to his imprisonment, or accepted the dominance of the current system. He has never departed from his revolutionary journey, has continuously demonstrated a coherence and clarity of thought, spirit, and heart: rare qualities in this era of fake human relationships and political lifestylism. And this spirit is what the system tries so hard to break: his green anarchist identity, and the network of relationships that have formed around him. The harsh price that Marco is still paying is the same price that every single revolutionary prisoner around the world is paying in jail.
It is therefore urgent and necessary for us to support him once again, with the awareness that only an international mass mobilisation can hope to fight against the war of annihilation perpetuated by all governments, not just the Swiss state. This is why we have created a website to give voice to Marco’s thoughts and provide updates on his situation, with the view of nurturing an international mobilisation to support him. Marco must be released! To demand Marco’s release after 30 years is to demand an end to the exploitation of all human beings, all other beings and of all Nature.
Translation by ABC Bristol
Here are few of the hundreds of actions in solidarity with Marco Camenisch:
25 July 1999 – Novarra, Italy – Demonstration of solidarity outside the prison.
1 August 1999 – Turin, Italy – Explosive device full of red paint is thrown against Swatch shop in via Garibaldi, in an attack against Swiss business interests.
13 September 2002– International day of solidarity with Marco, he has just been through 3 months of special treatment. Moreover his correspondence is strictly censored and his incoming and outgoing mail often doesn’t arrive, he spends recreational period in handcuffs and chains to his feet, he has closed visits after a few months waiting. And finally the torture of having spent 20 minutes inside a scanner machine with his wrists handcuffed behind his back, not to mention the humiliation of having walked though the long corridor of the hospital with his feet in chains. There are Demonstrations in Bergamo, Bologna, Florence, Genova, Naples, Triest, Madrid.
14 September 2002 – Turin, Italy – Windows of Credit Suisse broken in via Bertola.
16 September 2002- Pavia, Italy – Fire to a mobile phone antenna in solidarity with Marco and all prisoners in struggle.
December 2002- Rome, Italy – An envelope full of bullets is sent to the Swiss ambassador in Rome with the message: Free Marco, death to the Swiss State and its cops.
12 January 2003- Paris, France – During the night a few boutiques of Swiss bosses were damaged and the surrounding walls filled with writings such as ‘Free Marco’ ‘Switzerland is destroying you, we are gonna destroy it’. The locks of Adia and Adecco (Swiss work agaencies) and of Lloyd Continental were blocked with glue.
18 January 2003- Buenos Aires, Argentina – Posters claiming Marco’s freedom are put on the walls of the Swiss embassy and Swiss International Air. From today Marco is on hunger strike in protest against his conditions of detention. Demonstrations also in Brussels in front of the Swiss embassy.
18 January 2003- Abetone, Pistoia – The ski lift in this ski resort in Appenines is completely destroyed by fire, causing 6 million euros of damage, sabotaging the tourist industry for the season. The claim ‘Fire to the Exploiters, Free Marco’.
20 January 2003- Carrara, Italy – 3 mobile phone transmitters are destroyed by fire in solidarity with Marco.
29 January 2003- Bergamo, Italy – A RAI (Italian national TV) transmitter is set on fire.
1 February 2003 – Barcelona, Catalonia – The locks of Zurich Insurance Company are blocked with glue and on the glass of the windows is written ‘Destroy all Prisons’ ‘Free Camenisch’ ‘Stop nuclear power’.
11 February 2003 – Imperia – Fire to Omnitel transmitter. The claim ‘Free Marco’.
Between September and October 2003, following the orders of the Genoa Public Prosecutor, a series of raids takes place all over Italy against a great number of comrades who showed their solidarity to Marco.
All those who were raided are eco-activists/eco-anarchists who have actively supported Marco either by taking part in demonstrations outside Swiss Embassies or by creating websites and other information about Marco. The measure starts on 17 September when the ROS (Carabinieri Special Operations) search Marco’s cell and seize his computer, notes and letters. Soon after even Manuella, Marco’s wife is searched. Both are accused of ‘terrorist activities’. About one hundred Italian comrades from north to south underwent the same treatment and some are still under investigation.
Recently there has been a raise in actions for Marco, and also for all prisoners in struggle in the xmas hungerstrike called by Gabriel Pombo da Silva, here is a claim for one such action which happened on December 21st in Santiago, Chile:
Bombing at Chilena Consolidada insurance company claimed
“Through the following e-mail, we want to claim responsibility for the bombing carried out last night against the Chilena Consolidada (a member of the Zurich [economic] Group) building. Said action marks the beginning of the December 20–January 1 international hunger strike for political prisoners called by Gabriel Pombo Da Silva from the prison death camp of Aachen, Germany.
The attack against this company—an exponent of Chilean finance capitalism allied with Swiss capitalist interests—is a gesture of solidarity with Marco Camenisch, revolutionary prisoner of the Swiss capital-state.
Although words heal nothing, we regret that someone experienced slight hearing trauma, despite the fact that the low-strength charge was designed to only damage the infrastructure of capital.
This is a call to burn black powder and continue the unforgettable offensive.
WHILE THERE IS MISERY, THERE WILL BE REBELLION!
FREEDOM FOR THE WORLD’S ANTICAPITALIST POLITICAL PRISONERS!”
– Agustín Rueda Sierra Autonomous Group; Santiago, Chile; Monday, December 21, 2009
Note: Agustín Rueda Sierra was an anarchist who was tortured to death by guards in Carabanchel prison when he refused to snitch on his escape companions.
Marco Camenisch profile (Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network)