In the below passage, one of the people detained in Hamburg during July’s G20 Protests talks about his imprisonment, the incarceration system and other arenas where anarchists are facing State repression.
It’s been almost a month-and-a-half since I was imprisoned during the 12th G20 summit in Hamburg, in a city that was besieged and taken in hostage by the security forces, but which also saw an important local and popular protest.
Tens of thousands, if not more, flocking from all over Europe, and even beyond, converged, met, organised, debated and demonstrated together for several days in a great surge of solidarity. At all times aware of the possibility of suffering the violence and the repression of the police. A huge prefab police court had been built for the occasion, to punish any dissent against this international summit as quickly as possible.
My arrest, like that of many comrades, is based only on the sacred word of the police, of a brigade sent to infiltrate, observe and follow their “prey” (during 45 minutes in my case, for a supposed throwing of a projectile). Once isolated, they sent colleagues to arrest them, intervening quickly and violently, and leaving no loopholes.
So, here I am, locked up in these places primordial to the proper functioning of a global social order, these places that serve as a tool for the control and management of poverty, essential to the maintenance of their “social peace.” Prison acts like a sword of Damocles hanging above each and every individual so that they are petrified by the idea of deviating from the codes and dictates of an established order: “working, consuming, sleeping”, from which no dominated individual may escape, so they alienate themselves through work and the life that goes with it, to be on time, without ever flinching, and not only during the second round of the presidential elections, where we have been required to be “En Marche” [“in operation”, Macron’s slogan and name of the party in power] or to die, preferably slowly and silently.
Since the law has no vocation to guarantee the general interest, nor to be neutral, it is the expression of an increasingly institutional domination by the most powerful in order to guarantee their property and security and thus paralyse, sanction and marginalise anyone who does not see things the same way or who will not submit.
Beyond the cases of the well-known and supported activists who are locked up, there are also, and above all, those men and women who are exposed to the brutality and the cruelty of imprisonment. Here the work is paid one euro per hour, of which half is accessible only on release from jail. In my wing, detainees in pre-trial detention or for short sentences (six months to four years) are mainly detained only for one reason: their social condition and origin. Apart from the staff, very few are from the host country, all are foreigners, refugees and/or precarious, poor, weakened by life. Their crime: they did not submit to the rules of the game, for the majority by engaging in drug dealing or by committing thefts, scams, alone or in organised gangs at various scales.
Imprisonment is a fundamental pillar of this system but one can not criticise it without attacking the society that produces it. The prison, not operating in self-sufficiency, is the perfect link in a society based on exploitation, domination and separation in its varied forms.
“Work and prison are two essential pillars for social control, work being the better police and rehabilitation a permanent blackmail.”
My thoughts go to the Italian comrades facing an umpteenth wave of repression, especially those charged in the investigation into the “explosive device” left in front of a bookstore linked to Casapound. The extreme right must face an organised, popular and offensive counterattack. It is so useful and complementary to those states that feed on its security aspirations and delusions and its incessant stigmatisation of “foreigners.”
Thoughts also for the comrades who will face trial next September for the police car burned on May 18th last year, in Paris, during the movement “loi travail” (labour law) movement. Many people have gone through prison and two are still incarcerated. Strength to them!
Acknowledgments to the local activists organising rallies in front of our prison, an initiative appreciated here as it breaks the routine and the state of ambient lethargy in which we are alienated. Acknowledgments to all those who support us here and everywhere.
To the Bro’, 161, MFC, OVBT, wild youngsters, those who BLF and other friends … comrades, strength! Let’s free the G20 prisoners and all the others! We’re not alone!
One imprisoned among others
At Sunday September 3rd, 2pm there will be a demonstration to the JVA Billwerder prison in Hamburg. Meeting point: train station (S Bahn) Billwerder/Moorfleet.
This article first appeared on Nantes Indymedia.