A communique about the disciplinary wings of Korydallos prison by Dimitris Politis (Greece)
In the middle of July, I was transferred to the state hospital of Nikea for some medical examinations. There, given the nature of that examination and due to the police presence during the procedure, which was demanded by the doctor himself, I refused to be examined and I returned to prison. On the 6th of August, I was called to a disciplinary council on the charge of disobedience because I refused to execute the command of my police escort. By entering the office of the commanding prison officer with the intention of telling the prosecutor that I have nothing to state and then leave, I sat opposite to her and she addressed me saying “stand up”. I didn’t pay attention to what she said and while I was telling her to get serious, she told me again with an arrogant smile to stand up. Then, I crumpled the piece of paper where the charges were written and I threw it in her face. I was obviously standing before another arrogant and misled person, who was under the illusion that she owns the world. I was facing another expendable and petty pawn that was under the illusion that all prisoners are inferior to it. So, in order for her to restore her wounded ego, she “punished” me with a five-day restriction penalty in a “special detention wing”.
Regardless of a “typical” dispute between an anarchist and a prosecutor, whose CV surely contains much more cruel accomplishments and sad stories that remain in the dark, I have to focus on what “special detention wings” actually mean. Her insanity and her vengefulness have led her to the disciplinary wings for the first time, in order for her to be assured that her command was executed. She didn’t pay much attention though to what this place, where she sends so many people, really is. Obviously, her time is too precious to care about the fact that 20-25 people live in 9 2×2 cells in a 25×0,5 narrow corridor, while in some cells 4 people live with 2 mattresses on the floor and with literally no space to step on. Obviously, the fact that there is only one double bunk bed and a toilet with improvised flushing without a door or even a partition in these cells, while they lack windows, a sink, tables, chairs, heater and refrigerator, is not important. Obviously, the fact that the whole area is dipped in filth and stench, that is now impossible to remove, is of no importance. Trash everywhere, cockroaches, mice and germs compose an actual sanitary bomb. Obviously, the fact that the prisoners constantly ask for deworming and cleaning materials in order to clean the cells themselves, as the cleaning crew doesn’t come here -like it does to the other wings and the prison authorities never give those things to them- is not important. Obviously, the fact that the things that the prisoners order, come once in a while, is not important. Obviously, the fact that the prison yard, which is a 5×5 concrete hole with barbed wire serving as a ceiling, is never accessible to them, is not important. Obviously, the fact that there is only one shower for all the prisoners, from which you come out dirtier than before, only one outdated and dirty water cooler and only two pay phones, out of which only one is working, is not important. Obviously, the fact that there is a rickety electrical table and rickety plugs ideal for electrocution and in some cells, like mine, instead of a plug there are two bare electric wires, which results in prisoners making improvised constructions, is of no importance. One of my cellmates, without realizing what he was doing and because he was trying to help me, was carving the bare wires with a plastic knife until I stopped him. Obviously, the fact that the disciplinary wings were closed down after a sanitary inspection, but were re-opened after a superficial painting of the walls, is not important! Obviously, these things are not important since the locks and the camera, the only things considered important here, are also the only things that function properly in this storehouse for souls.
Even now, I feel that the description above is not even remotely close to the living experience of the permanent residents of the disciplinary wings. Living in those wings makes you feel nostalgic for the misery of the normal wings. You count the days as if something good was about to happen to you, while you are essentially going to return back to your cell. This confirms the basic prison axiom which states that things can always get worse.
Of course, it’s only logical for Victoria Marsioni (transl. note: the prosecutor involved in the incident) and the rest of the prison personnel don’t want to waste their time in seeing all this, since they already know about it. Things are like that because they want them to be so. Their purpose is to be a severe punishment, a strong setback for the unruly, so that they come to understand that in prison you either compromise or you do not survive.
Leaving the ones with disciplinary penalties aside, the official version of the prison institute is that the prisoners live there by choice, in order to be protected, although many of them disprove that claim (there was one person that was forgotten there for 2 months and who was asking to leave but was ignored by the officials as they “didn’t have time” to address the matter and also many of these people have returned to normal wings, which proves that they were put in the disciplinary wings due to lack of space). But even if that’s the truth, then why don’t they fix that place? The financial cost would be very low since the prisoners would do all the work, just like the way prisoners maintain and run the whole prison up to the point of, among other pay jobs, taking care of the prison gardens, cleaning the offices of the officials and even setting prison bars, barbed wire and spotlights.
There is simply no reason for them to do so, since the legal psychiatric medications and the drugs do their job fine. Every morning, noon and night, everyone gets in the row and one by one take their pills in their cups. Profit and obedience, killing two birds with one stone. Because one cannot live like that without drugs helping him forget. Time stands still, stimulations are eliminated, the brain freezes and the need to live gives its place to an instinct of a miserable survival. Everyday is the same, sleep – food – drugs – repeat. Inaction and freeze. Sentenced to a perpetual torment that leads mathematically to the destruction of the individual. It is no coincidence that everyone I have met in the disciplinary wing has long passed the point of no return. Prison annihilates people and then it keeps them apathetic in their own world by throwing them crumbs: a senseless stare, slow motion, lack of dignity, eradicated understanding.
In short, V. Marsioni, who will return to her home after finishing her work and of course all those responsible for the existence of those hell-holes are killers covered by law. Cowardly, petty and immoral persons that with their actions confirm the fact that the world would be a better place without them.
Concluding with a look into the future, many prosecutors who feel like small gods, will soon cross our path. The transportation of people and their stay in Type C prisons will depend solely on the decisions of a single person, used to having total power within prison. Giving orders without answering to no-one, having a relative omnipotence, as far as the institutional context is concerned. For anarchists specifically, the dilemma that authority will make them face, judging by the actions of its puppets, will be clear: surrender or annihilation. And like every other dilemma proposed by authority, we do not answer to it. We overcome it. Fighting. By all means. At any cost.
Korydallos prison, D wing
This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 1:57 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.