‘Cognitive Liberty’ Archives
Tehran: Letter from Imprisoned anarchist comrade Soheil Arabi – “Anarchism Means Flying Forever” (Iran)
Monday, January 20th, 2020
Soheil Arabi, the anarchist political prisoner, writes from the notorious Evin prison in northern Tehran, Iran…
Anarchism means flying forever. Since the very moment we open our eyes to this world, from all sides, a net of religion, nationality, language, “race”, sexism is thrown over our intelligence, as an obstacle to flight. When you talk to me about religion, race, language and superstition, then I try to build wings out of these nets to fly towards the infinite freedom of thinking mind.
Becoming an anarchist starts with breaking norm structures. This is hugely difficult and expensive. But more difficult than that is to remain an anarchist.
In fact, all brave birds fly far away to distant places, but eventually halt somewhere their flight and are unable to continue more. Then they sit on the higher branch of a big tree or on a big rock.
Who else can say then that there is no infinite freedom anymore? Who else can say that they have flown as far as they could handle? There are no birds capable of flying for endless eternity.
Anarchism is a bird that moves against the definite characteristics called fate and laws, therefore it breaks the norm structure, goes against Power and thus conquers the world and creates the change.
The Anarchist development is not created of any chance, but is produced by the difficult path of libertarian struggle.
January 5th, 2020
Translated by Hasse Golkar
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019
The heretic, like the bandit, knows that the loss of his freedom takes him irremediably to the gallows. What awaits him is a tribunal that will ask him about his actions. A court that will exercise its power and absolute reason in the name of God, the People, the Kingdom and the State. Power and reason are acts of authoritarian syncretism developed throughout the course of the centuries by the proprietors of the Earth, the Sea and the Sky. Therefore the individualist anarchist – who is at the same time heretic and bandit – is aware that his conviction on power and reason takes them to the stake. Like a moth, they seek light and succumb. Like Icarus, they fly high and the Sun melts their wings. Like Prometheus they steal the fire of the gods for themself and for the others; like him.
The anarchist’s drama is his passion for freedom, his unrelenting search for accomplices, whom he rarely finds. She/he despises the conformism of the herd, the cowardice of the crowd, the dogmatism of every faith.
Any priest – of every ‘ism’ – hates her because they can’t be controlled, she/he doesn’t obey him, he/she doesn’t listen to him; and when he/she can, she/he raises their voice to attack the slightest form of power and authority. Sometimes these solitary avengers throw a bomb or plunge a dagger with the intent – always – of sowing chaos into the order of reason, rigorously established as law or supreme truth. At other times, they mingle with discontent with the intent to trigger insurrections. (more…)
Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
Degenerations – Between pride and gender victimhood
(An article Degenerazioni – Tra orgoglio e vittimismo di genere
Published in issue 3 of the anarchist paper Vetriolo)
I am anarchist, I am not feminist because I see feminism as a sectorial and victimist withdrawal, I have never made any gender discrimination although I don’t use gender-friendly linguistic conventions, on the contrary I often use dirty politically incorrect language. I think that the annulment of gender privilege and similar oppression is already contained in the search for anarchy, that is to say in the practice of antiauthoritarian relations, and should be cultivated there. Ah, I forgot, I loathe consciousness-raising in public meetings and I also consider assemblies to be blunt instruments. I understand and also have the will to meet. But I see how all too often the assembly degenerates into sterile self-representation. (more…)
Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
Ardire, Scripta Manent, Operation Buyo … Do they mean anything to you? These are only a few of the police judicial “operations” that our “clan” has lived on its own skin for being and remaining anarchists to the extreme consequence.We are a nomadic clan that goes from country to country in search of accomplices who practice anarchism without asking for approval or consensus, who act without worrying about the “politically correct” discourse (so much in vogue in our times) that haunts our little shops today. We are also not interested in “aesthetics”, but “ethics”, the practical, the real… (more…)
Sunday, February 24th, 2019
Let’s be clear about this: the system exists.
You can call it what you like – The Establishment, The Thing, The Matrix or the Industrial-Military-Prison-Propaganda-Complex – but it exists.
It has become trendy in recent years to pretend that this is not so, that what we are seeing is merely a collection of economic or interpersonal relationships.
But it is the system that promotes, protects and imposes all the layers of domination and exploitation that mark our everyday lives.
It is the system that tells us we have to spend our best life energy working for it, just for the right to eat and exist in the world it claims it owns.
It is the system that pays its hired thugs to beat us up, intimidate us, lock us up for years if we refuse to play by its rules.
It is the system that maims and murders human beings on an unimagineable scale across the world, all in the interests of its profit and power, and still always claims the moral high ground. (more…)
Thursday, November 23rd, 2017
In these three years I was faced with choices which led me by the hand through a path fraught with crossroads and bifurcations.
Like on a minefield, I had to decide carefully where to step, with my pride and my self-respect at stake. The first choice I had to face with was whether I should continue to contribute, or let the prison overflow me, patiently waiting to get out. As limited as my situation is, I chose to continue to contribute through the written word. Once I made this decision I faced another crossroad: whether to confine myself — ecumenically — from this “high point” of my “status” (sic.) of a “revolutionary” prisoner — to bestowing blessings in each directions, applauding to every anarchist practice, paying attention not to make any enemies; or to use the weapon of critique, ever more harshly, trying to outline some analysis, to open some discourses. I chose the easier way (at least for me): openly push my critique to the extremes, at the cost of isolation (less letters, less information, less generic solidarity).
But always aware of the abyss between the thought and the action.
Words, strong as they may be, always carry something that sounds phony, even when they pose real, concrete risks, which may effectuate in years of prison for apology or incitement. (more…)
“Barbarian and Ms Daisy” – A Poem on Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides by poet Serkan Engin (Turkey)
Monday, November 13th, 2017
Probably you remember me, because you had already published some of my articles criticising Islam.
I am the first Turkish poet in history who have written a poem about Armenian,
Assyrian and Greek genocides of our Turkish ancestors named “Barbarian and Ms Daisy” which had been accepted to the “Armenian Poetry Project” in 2014.
I wish you publish my poem too.
Barbarian and Ms Daisy
(Dedicated to all victims of Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides perpetrated by my Turkish ancestors)
yes, you are right Ms Daisy, they came
with the wild winds of Greed, brutally
slaughtered all the innocent letters
written on the wall of Grace, even also babies
by burning them alive, before most of them
could not have a toy in their short-length life
with an insufferable last sequence
Sunday, August 27th, 2017
“La violencia indiscriminada por parte de individuos atormentados por la realidad social se vuelve cada vez más común, avanza a pasos superiores, los brotes de asesinatos y la ultra violencia indiscriminada muestran la alienada y desesperanzada rabia de los seres encarcelados. En esta ausencia existencial, otros sonríen, arman su conciencia y entran en revolución. Algunos prefieren dirigir su rabia hacia aquellos que son los más responsables de su miseria y de la infraestructura del sistema que odia. ”
“Participamos en la guerra social/de clases como individuos rebeldes con interés de ir más allá en la revuelta permanente, en revolución anárquica.”
Nuestro buque es la Revolución, Nuestra estrella guía la Anarquía
Han pasado tres años desde que mi gran amigo y compañero Darko Mathers murió, la última vez que lo vi terminamos la colección de textos contra el anarquismo civil y poco tiempo después de eso murió. No fue impactante para mí. Muchos de mis amigos han muerto o han ido a prisión y mientras más me hago viejo, evalúo mis experiencias con ellos y nuestros recuerdos compartidos, mucho más a medida que esos recuerdos se profundizaban, entonces empecé a vivir de manera diferente. Respeto mis recuerdos de este joven compañero pero me resisto contra las condiciones de su muerte.
Cuando un amigo cercano y compañero muere repentinamente genera todo tipo de sensaciones dolorosas, muchas de ellas pueden parecer totalmente anti sociales; los que se quedan a menudo discuten entre sí, separaciones, rupturas, surgen los problemas pero también algunas cosas dulces. Al final lo que quedan son las huellas fugaces en el tiempo, que reflejan al futuro y al pasado lo que el individuo ha dejado con aquellos cercanos y no tan cercanos. (more…)
Monday, August 7th, 2017
“Indiscriminate violence by individuals tormented by social reality is becoming more common, rocks off overpasses, murder sprees, random ultraviolence – and shows the alienated and hopeless rage of imprisoned beings. In this existential absence others smile, arm their conscience and go into revolution. Some would rather aim their rage at those who are most responsible for their misery and at the infrastructure of the system they hate.”
“We participate in the social/class war as rebellious individuals with an interest in going beyond – forward into permanent revolt, anarchic revolution.”
Our Vessel is Revolution, Our Guiding Star is Anarchy
It’s been three years since my close friend and comrade Darko Mathers died, the last time I saw him we finished the collection of texts against civil anarchism and shortly after he was dead. It was not a shock to me. Many of my friends are dead or have gone to prison and as I’ve gotten older I value my experiences of them and our shared memories much more as those remembrances deepened and so I began living differently. I respect my memories of this young comrade and I strive against the conditions of his death.
When a dear friend and comrade dies suddenly, it causes all kinds of grief to happen, a lot of it can seem totally anti-social, those left behind often argue among themselves, depart, breakdown, problems occur, some sweetnesses too. In the end what remains are the fleeting traces in time, which reflect forwards into the future and back into the past, that the individual has left with those close and not so close ones. (more…)
Wednesday, January 25th, 2017
Sunday, August 7th, 2016
So far, so good ?*
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
“10 years ago, in the same kind of meeting as today, if you’d said « white » , people would have broken the furniture. Today, thanks to the Indigenous of the Republic, thanks to Houria  one can say « the whites ».” – Eric Hazan 
Unfortunately we are still unable to prove wrong what Eric Hazan has said above. He is the publisher, classified as extreme left, of the latest explicitly anti-semitic pamphlet by Houria Bouteldja, Whites, Jews and us, whose enormously repulsive character has not caused as many reactions as it would deserve. The categories and vocabulary of the ideology of racialisation, which for some time has been taken up in political organizations and milieus that range from the extreme left to the libertarians, are now becoming the norm and are establishing their hegemony. This vocabulary is being imposed insidiously, without being either discussed or argued. Moreover, many people are unable to politically support these untenable positions, except through affirming tautological assertions and false evidence. A semantic shift is already, for the most part, being operated : the terms “race”, “white”, “non-white”, “racialized,” “racialization”, “decolonial” have overnight become analytical categories considered relevant, necessary, and are even promoted as tools with a perspective for emancipation, whereas we see this as a catastrophic failure. (more…)
Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
Below is the statement of Athena Tsakalou (the mother of CCF anarchist prisoners Christos Tsakalos and Gerasimos Tsakalos) which was read out in Koridallos prison court by her defense lawyer in late June 2016, while the CCF escape case trial was still underway.
I haven’t chosen silence, even though it expresses me on many occasions because everyone interprets silence as it suits them. I’ve preferred to make this personal statement. And I call it personal because I don’t belong anywhere; I only belong to myself.
There comes a moment when you take a look back at the years in your life, and you realise you’ve left to live far fewer than the years you’ve already lived; that is, if everything goes well. And this is a strange but intense sensation, which makes me ask myself to be sincere. Not in the simple way we often think about it, but in an essential, deeper way.
I don’t like to say: where is this world going? It’s something that we – people at an older age – often do, but such a phrase conceals some sort of innocence that I refuse to accept. I prefer to ask myself: how do you yourself walk through this world?
And the truth is that all I want is to walk among people in a consolatory manner. It’s very important to be able to console people, especially your own people; to be able to tell them when they’re going through tough times: I’m standing by you; I’ll always stick with you. Nothing else. This is my only desire, and I’m glad whenever I’m able to do that.
So when Angeliki knocked on the door of my home, that’s exactly what I did. And it was a great pleasure for me that I was able to offer her refuge, even if only for a short while. The way the world is, the only place I want to live in is the place of defiance.
Assuming that, throughout the centuries, people have intended to live, if not a life of happiness, at least a joyful life, their history to date shows that they’ve failed. History books, either the official, inspected ones, or the secret ones that it’s hard to come by, show that people have failed. It may be that the conditions for survival or living standards got better – although ‘better’ is relative, as this is not the case in some parts of the earth – but the pain, the horror of wars, of hunger and oppression continue to rise.
Of course there’s a difference; a nightmarish difference. Nowadays, death is no longer caused just by hand-to-hand combat on the battlefields where, even from a distance determined by a firearm, you’re able to see the falling body and hear the cry of pain, and regardless of how much dehumanised you’ve become, this sight and sound leaves a peculiar imprint within you that, at some point, might make you not want war anymore. On today’s battlefields, we find ourselves in the era of smart bombs, and one is able to retain ‘their innocence’ by pressing a button which brings mass death; that’s the difference.
For some time now, more than 10,000 refugee children who were travelling unaccompanied have disappeared in Europe over the past 18–24 months. There are fears that many of them have fallen victim to exploitation by organised crime networks…
The world’s 62 richest people hold as much wealth as half the population on the planet…
The earth’s products are enough to feed its entire population, yet millions of people, millions of children die of hunger.
Some very few, like these 62 wealthiest people in the world, might say: ‘all this stuff about a joyful life is nothing but a trap set for the many to be lured into it, because the whole deal with the world is a game, a game of death. It’s not just the money that matters; besides, we have plenty of that; what really matters is the ability to use our power to play games with the entire world; all of a sudden, to drive thousands of people to death; to scare entire populations with wars, famine and diseases when we’re bored; because that’s also up to us, to cause diseases, thanks to scientists. In some sense, we’re a kind of gods; and gods are always almighty.’
And this is true, but it’s also true that there are no gods without believers. Gods cannot just live all by themselves; they want their faithful to walk quietly around their gardens, ready to execute their orders – all of their orders, even if it means killing one another. However, there are always those whose blood is resided by the first rebellion of Eve and Adam.
And it’s about time we said: after so much human blood watering the earth’s soil every day, after all this lament filling the earth’s air, if there’s no change of course for the human species, if the human mind isn’t crossed by a lightning at some point, so that we see everything differently… then indeed it’d be a brave decision if people eventually said: ‘for so many centuries, we’ve been unable to find joy; we might as well admit that as a species we aren’t capable of something like this; we might as well admit our failure and leave calmly; let us be the last of the humans; let us admit that only trees deserve life, continuity, eternity as they’re free of the instinct of war, of horror.’
Lately all I want to do is plant trees. And someone might ask me: but is this truly your deepest desire? No, I haven’t done well; I’m still determined by the ability to see as far as my eye can see, to keep my mind off things by taking pleasure in small joys; but when I open the eye of my mind to a worldwide wandering, a worldwide looking, and I see how small a share joy has in people’s lives, I say once more: if the dream doesn’t enter people’s lives, if there’s no change of course for the human species, only trees deserve continuity, life, eternity.
– via contrainfo
Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
“Justice was born when we lost control over our lives”
My political status and conscience would never allow me to be standing here “apologizing” before a fixed trial-parody as played out recently in this court hall, hence the comments I am about to make will therefore relate to a purely political sphere rather than a procedural one. Political action neither begins nor ends under the Criminal Code, consequently in any case you, both as individuals and as an institution, are not able to judge it.
As anarchists, being against the state, we have to oppose the laws that underlie and justify its existence.
But what is the law?
Nothing more than a set of rules that define right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral. It is a “guide” of social behavior aiming to enforce the choice of allegiance and for the maintenance of power through the fear of sanctions for any deviation from the permissible, the legal…
It is “fair”, indeed, that the banks constitute themselves as global loan sharks, but it is “unfair” to blow them up in the air with a strong dose of explosives. In this case, they are renamed as “charities” and “your” justice metes out life-sentences …
It is “fair”, that the governments constantly bomb civilians within the framework of the so-called “humanitarian” war, but it is “unfair” to execute those liable for the deaths of thousands …
A game of words forming the collective imagination, elevating the doctrine of “law and order” to the utmost virtue, aiming solely to preserve the existing authoritarian system.
The dominant world which you protect and preserve promotes and imposes a structured life, the manifestations of which oppress, enslave and limit the capabilities of human existence.
The behaviors, thoughts, feelings, relationships, are transformed into mechanical processes that shape what is called normality or social norm. The lifestyle you suggest to me is summarised to a miserable repetition, specified and without any twists. A boring course of a pointless existence that just waits to be interrupted by death.
But I do not fit into your world. I can not stand this perfectly organized boredom.
All those moments at night, just before you fall asleep when you are smoking the last cigarette and you evaluate the day that passed… The smoke gets mixed with your thoughts and you end up at the last puff… Your day was not enough… The feeling of dissatisfaction is overwhelming and breathtaking … “I can not live like this …”, “I do not want to live like this.” You fall asleep while the same words keep coming in your head…
The new day is to bring you face to face with the reality and the time has come to make your choices… I have chosen to live rather than to survive… Instead of the safety of normality, I have chosen to begin a journey into the unknown where every single moment conceals its own surprises. Where the tension comes to replace the weakness.
The need that burns within me makes me refuse the uniformity that your legitimacy stipulates and led me to a continuous process of rebellion to escape from such narrow limits of the social-prison. During this journey, the time is reset. Our clocks stopped at the time of the attack. No more “triggers” are needed. We stopped taking into account the “must”. The costs, the consequences…
There is one goal; to maximize the threat, to create a dangerous internal enemy that will strike at the heart of your system. This journey is lonely and often you are confronted with your own self, with your own personal contradictions. This is a war that starts from within yourself and surges impetuously against every expression of your modern civilized world. In this war that as anarchists we have declared against you – and we have not refused it a minute; there are no neutral attitudes.
The comrades of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, despite their long captivity, they did not retreat. They refused to bow down their heads and embrace the cross of remorse. They defended with all their powers and with dignity their anarchist substance. While, therefore, I am not a member of the Conspiracy, our common political conscience allies us. We share the same values, the same ideas and the same passion for freedom. The political bonds that link us could not but make me stand beside them with solidarity.
Solidarity is not just an emotionally charged word.
Solidarity carves insurrectionary directions and prevents forgetfulness from becoming the tombstone of the captured comrades. At this point is when guilt is born. What could be a more authentic and sincerest manifestation of solidarity to these comrades than to contribute morally and practically to the breaking of their captivity? I can only feel proud that I participated in the attempted escape of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and no court is competent to judge my choice.
The prison, besides, is a stopping point for anyone who decides to arm his/her desires and refusals. At this point, the contradictions begin… We love freedom so much and we get stuck in the prison… We love life passionately and at the same time we flirt with death every single minute. If the prison is meant to “civilise” ourselves, you should know that the walls and the locks nourish us with anger and the desire for revenge grows… We can fail, but we can not bow down … This is not about the beginning and certainly not about the end of the story, but it is about the journey and this is where the whole beauty is found…
For these reasons, and for all the reasons in the world, I proudly and without a trace of remorse, undertake the responsibility for my practical political contribution to the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire escape plan. No matter how many times I would turn the clock back I would make the same choice again and again.
Women’s Prison of Korydallos
Imprisoned anarchist comrade Aggeliki Spyropoulou was sentenced to 28 years in prison for her involvement in the 2015 escape attempt of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire. The comrade will shortly be transferred to Thiva prison from Korydallos now that the trial is over.
Thursday, May 26th, 2016
“The only thing that I’m afraid of is the time…The detriment of remembrance that looks like a second death for those who are gone… Time is a friend of death…Unless we stop the hands of the clock and fill our journals with days that those who are gone were dreaming of… Then death will have no power and our dead will live on in our hearts.”
On May 22th 2009 the anarchist Mauricio Morales gets killed while carrying a bomb in order to place it at the prison wardens’ school in Chile.
Many believe that our struggle is futile… They don’t believe that a minority of defiant anarchists can attack the governmental beast.
Still they’re forgetting that always a minority -like detonators- overturn history and derail what has been considered as a given yesterday.
Others believe that we are romantics and that it isn’t worth sacrificing ourselves for others… Yet, as it has been written somewhere “The revolutionary anarchist doesn’t sacrifice him/herself for the society, but instead he/she sacrifices the existing society. The constant anarchist revolution isn’t a sacred duty that has to be carried out by selfless ascetic martyrs. Instead, it encapsulates the individual insurrection as well, since it’s this point where our change meets with the change of the world…”
So even if we die, it’s because we have truly lived…
This is the reason that we don’t believe in mortuaries, but in actions, words and meanings that are carrying our souls within the centuries…
Seven years after his death, we are still meeting again with Mauricio Morales through the words of the anarchist Emma Goldman:
“I don’t know which of you has read the wonderful prose piece of Gorki that is called the Snake and the Hawk.
The Snake cannot understand the Hawk.
“Why don’t you get some rest here in the dark, in the beautiful, slippery dampness?” asked the Snake. “Why flying in the skies? Don’t you know of the dangers that lurk there, the violence and the storm that are waiting for you and the gun of the hunter that will knock you down and destroy your life?” But the Hawk didn’t pay any attention. It spread its wings and flew in the welkins; its triumphant song was heard and echoed in the skies.
One day the Hawk was knocked down, its blood was gushing out of its heart and then the snake said “Fool, I’ve warned you, I told you to stay where I was, in the dark, in the beautiful, warm dampness, where no one could find you and harm you…” But with its last breath, the Hawk answered “I have flown in the welkins, I’ve ascended in immense heights, I have seen the light, I have lived, I have lived!”
For Mauricio Morales…
For the comrades that are gone…
Conspiracy of Cells of Fire – Urban Guerilla Cell
Tags: Athens, Chile, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire - Urban Guerilla Cell, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire : Imprisoned Members Cell, Greece, Letter, Mauricio Morales
Posted in Cognitive Liberty
Thursday, May 26th, 2016
We republish this text and dedicate it to all our comrades in territories where the brutal stench of religiously inspired hatred is found. No Gods, No Masters. More : 1
Translated from Italian by act for freedom now
‘No, we do not want to catch up with anyone. What we want to do is to go forward all the time, night and day, in the company of Man, in the company of all men. The caravan should not be stretched out, for in that case each line will hardly see those who precede it; and men who no longer recognize each other meet less and less together, and talk to each other less and less.’
Frantz Fanon, The wretched of the earth
In the night of 21st April 2016, all the windows of La Discordia were smashed with a sledgehammer. Next to them was written one word: ‘racist’.
This is the third time our premises have received this kind of night visit.
Yet again they picked on La Discordia because it publicly expressed a revolutionary non-negotiable refusal of the political blackmail of religion and racialism, which has been weighing on the extreme left since the massacres of 2015 in Paris. It is a question of forbidding a discourse, arrogating oneself the power of deciding who can speak and what they must say. As a whole it is about mafia power games to impose political hegemony over a movement in decline, with the usual moral weapons of guilt and resentment. And while everybody has more or less expressed their support in the face of the two previous ‘attacks’, it is solidarity that we are calling for today. Visible public solidarity where each can put something of themselves rather than all tag along behind the same flag, as our present enemies are doing. So we are not asking anyone to line up behind La Discordia or its particular anarchist perspectives, but rather to widen the question, express the fact that this refusal doesn’t just belong to a few but to all revolutionaries, that it is fundamental to all emancipatory thought. (more…)