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“A discussion from the future”… or, “imprisoned anarchists and intermediate claims (university studies with electronic surveillance, licenses, suspensions)’ by Christos Tsakalos of CCF/FAI-IRF

They say, in prison, that the most insidious drug is hope…

Hope for a good transfer, a convenient cell, a good court-decision, a sentence reduction on appeal, a semi-free status with electronic surveillance, for license approval, a suspension, an early release.

Hope is prison’s (and democracy’s) velvet bat. The prisoner now suppresses them-self in exchange for any of the above…

The price for the common prisoners in order to keep their hope alive is to become prison snitches, to be quiet, not to participate in demonstrations, to be a part of the anonymous statistics of the prison population and generally to invisibly serve their sentences with their head down.

The price for political prisoners is to renounce the armed struggle or even to capitulate with their silence…

In the “Years of Lead” in Italy, that usually happened by public declarations renouncing the armed struggle, often followed by telltale testimonies that led to fighters’ arrests.

In West Germany, at the few cases where political prisoners became snitches, they were described as “crown witnesses” and released from prison very soon…

Today in Greece there are about 30 political prisoners. There has already begun an indirect blackmailed repudiation of the struggle, expressed in an indirect way…

A typical example is the case of Dimitris Koufontinas. Dimitris has served the prescribed time in prison and is entitled to license. The prison board responded negatively to his application, referring to among others that “with his texts he has repeatedly supported the terrorist organisations of Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and Revolutionary Struggle”.

In the case of anarchist Panagiotis Michalakoglou, the interrogator refused his release request and accompanied his decision with a text that Panagiotis had published in Indymedia stating that he is an anarchist.

In our case, two prosecutions have been exercised for CCF’s texts that we have published, and we will soon be trialed with the charge of “inciting violent acts”. Maybe these are not well-known facts… but the devil is hiding in the details…

It is not difficult for someone to decode the message. The intentions of state power and its ultimatum to political prisoners is clear: Either you shut the fuck up, stop publishing texts and supporting the anarchist struggle and then MAYBE we will give you a license, or else for every word and every text that is not a bow to the state authority, more years of prison will be added.

This approach is the most insidious…

In other words, the state avoids exposing itself by requesting formal repudiation statements just like in Italy. Moreover something like that would also mean the recognition from the state’s side of the existence of political prisoners.

Thus, authorities apply the vitiate strategy… They ask from political prisoners their silence in exchange for promises with a dropper…

The coming period will be a testing period as most of the political prisoners enter into the time-frames for entitled silences…

I already know that dismissals have begun for this matter both from the prisoners’ side as well as from solidaristic people.

I’ll start with a simple and crystal clear conclusion: “Certainly an anarchist and generally any person, is a thousand times better to be outside rather than in prison… both for themselves and for the movement.”

But the conditions under which this will happen, matter. The capitulation with the silence and the self-censorship in return for a license is not an option… it is defeat.

Also, when the anarchist “milieu” deal with the issue of licenses and suspensions, they must not fall into the trap of freedom with the dropper… Because while you’re looking at a tree it’s easy to miss the forest…

Clearly, the struggle of political prisoners who are in the frame for license should be supported but also those comrades should not be forgotten that are doomed to lifelong sentences, and also those who, while they have reached the years for a license, they will not receive any, because the state has put them in the black list…

Thus, an anarchist propaganda and action campaign which focuses exclusively on the issue of licenses (whether student or not), without also talking at the same time about the aggressive solidarity in order to demolish every prison, will nourish the reformist logic of a partial claim of some “rights” adulterating with half-measures, the total attack of anarchy.

This is exactly how the state will manage to drip the poison of hope, and to introduce through the back door the separation between the “quiet” political prisoners who could take licenses and the “unrepentant” that will be forgotten in prison…

Of course, this separation could be internalized by political prisoners themselves.
In prison, the diary for licenses and suspensions may become the truce calendar.
Prison is a constant war and not an attitude of waiting in return for a license…
A freedom paid with silence is a disabled freedom.

In this blackmail, we as Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, are already in the time-frame for a license, because we have served from 5,5 to 7 years in prison, which is the precondition for convictions over 25 years (like ours), we aren’t succumbing to the hesitation to think of prison as a mathematical education…

At the same time as we were entering the “right” for license, instead of offering our truce as a “sample of good behavior”, we attempted to escape two times…

We know that the claim for licenses and suspensions must be part of the struggle which, at the core of its belief, still believes that the most aggressive way for an anarchist to be released is through a window with the bars cut…

“The answer to comrades’ repression and captivity is the primary field where the anarchist movement plays the most important game, the game about the reliability of speech through deeds.”

Christos Tsakalos, member of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire / F.A.I.
04/22/2016.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2016 at 12:10 am and is filed under Prison Struggle.