Act for freedom now! receives and transmits:
Τhe essence and the power of one -and only one-
denial in a world foul of conventions.
The last few
years dozens are the fighters of the anarchist/revolutionary community that
have been incarcerated in the prisons of greek democracy.
the state for attempting to intensify the social civil war (that each one of us
with his own way and speech has dared to attempt), we confront the condition of
confinement and the conventions this condition produces.
the prisons inside the special small-cages, where we are not put standing , we
live in a minimal vital space that is given to us, we respond as all the
prisoners to the commands of a loudspeaker (one for visiting, for the grocer, for
the lawyer etc.), we hear the bell and we enter
our cells for counting, we are let out to the yard the hours that we are
allowed to etc.
In short, the
conventions that we make in prison are many, suffocating and have become piece
of a circular repeated and controlled
everyday life in which we have conformed in order to survive, to collect forces
for the (usually) surgically considered
refusals and moments of struggle that we trigger. Because like in the outside, a
constant conflict within a completely alien, if not enemy, environment is not
possible, since it ends up being not only stalemate but also
an energetic or passive defeatism that wants things stable and especially,
stable and enslaved, we discover and we try to spread out that there is a small
difference -with sharp qualitative contrasts- between a condition of slavery
and a condition of imprisonement:
a) to recognize the temporariness of
our residence in prison and at the same time to not accept it as something that
we have to go through with our heads down waiting for the moment of our
b) to feel the urgent need (based on a
simultaneous expression of consciousness and instinct) to fight and liberate
ourselves- even for a moment, in every possible way-.
c) to experiment with the possibilities
and to feel the potential for the construction even of minorities communities
of self-education/ conversation/struggle
against the tactics of ”divide and rule” that is promoted by (both) the
”correctional service” aiming at the religious, racial, and financial divisions
d) to develop a perception that seeks
and causes rifts within the confined space and condensed time where we survive.
It makes us endure, keeping first of all
ourselves alive, and strong in constant readiness and further on keeping alive
the bet of our struggle in these dumps.
This way, every individual (or group),
according of course to his theoretical base and values, but even through the
material perspective he gives to the struggle itself even in the spaces of his
”punishment” and ”isolation”, continues to defend his existence, to defend
his struggle- out of the walls-, and to often express it, adapted to the conditions
”here”, individually or in relation to other prisoners (anarchists or not).
Because besides the ”musts” that party define
our existence in prison, someone can trace moments of individual or collective
denials and actions, inside the enemy ground but also a daily, invisible, small
or large preparation of those actions as well as of the relations that can be
Relations between the prisoners of war, but
also relations between the prisoners of war with this part of the rest of the
prisoners that refuse to be sold out to the correctional service, who refuse
the nightmare of drugs and psychotropics, who refuse to become snitches, who are
not willing to be part of the
hierarchy of the prison (whether as leaders or as followers), who are willing
to detach themselves from individualism and the cannibal criminality (that is
directed towards anyone) that has led them to prison, who are willing to not
complete their sentence with their heads down, and through the condition itself
that they experience (imprisonement and division) to construct a new identity
based on solidarity and the thirst for freedom.
So, one of the choices we make in prison on a
personal level, is the choice of refusing to take off our underwear during the
body search that the new comers have to
face. A process during which apart from the stripping, according to the
correctional facility as they like to call it, the prisoner might be asked to
make ”deep sit downs”, to bend over in front of the guard coughing, to give
Maybe this phenomenon of this denial in the
greek prisons comes from people who are anarchists or not, whom we haven’t had
the honor to meet, but we heard about this stance from a comrade who started to
practice it when he went to prison in 2009.
In rapid speed, which came from our inclination
to continue the struggle under the new conditions that we found ourselves in,
we decided to familiarize with this practice, as well as several other
anarchist prisoners the last 3 years.
The reaction of the ”correctional service”,
apart from the surprise that is the initial reaction of most of the guards (who
are unfortunately used to doing whatever they want), is different from prison
to prison and the moment it is expressed. It varies from the use of moderate
means (metal detectors because obviously they are not searching for drugs) up
to the isolation and disciplinaries penalties or transfers, to the violent
stripping by the guards.
The process of correction functions as a
mechanism that wants to break the outlaw and the undisciplined prisoner and
aims to guide him to his taming through the way of individual solutions and
subservient behaviors that will offer him a lighter treatment in his daily life
in prison or in court. In this way, the normality of the prison is ensured,
with drugs and psychotropics that are
openly distributed confirming this condition.
The body search is a basic element of this
process. During this search, the prisoner comes in contact for the first time
with the guards and accept his first commands.
It is that moment in time when the prisoner as
well as the guard will define and trace each other and will establish to a
large extent the mutual treatment for the time they will find each other on
both sides of the bars of the ward.
So, as a result of our desire, to not dive in
quittance we believe that the denial to the putting off our underwear on our
behalf can be a small denial among dozens of daily conventions with the world
of the prison, but at least it puts an embankment to the invasion that is
attempted by the guards on our lives and bodies.
Because in this way, despite the consequences
we may face, we put a line against the ”correctional service” reminding them
how fragile and temporary is their attempt to control our moves, while at the
same time we take back- even for a while, even partially- the control of our
bodies by not allowing it to become a sight for control by any sadist or
So, by denying to go through the most
humiliating moments of control, we make them understand that we will not be
subservient on a permanent base to the orders they give to us, by executing
them. This way, the first limits are set, the first balances in an -either way-
authoritative relation between the guard and the prisoner.
If a prisoner has something to gain (even) in
this way, is that he is not later treated in an offensive manner, to not have
his demands ignored, to not have to face the attempt to be asked for any favor
giving him something in return, things that not rarely happen.
So , this denial is
for us of major importance and its essence lies in its expression itself in the
specific space and time.
Of course everyone defines the priorities of
denials and moments of struggle (at least if there is such an inclination) he
or she sets, so under no condition do we think that all prisoners or even
anarchist prisoners that don’t react to this measure have something less -
whatever this something may be- than others who react. For someone it might be
more important to stand up and prepare a denial, where and when someone else
signs a convention or vice versa. In here, either way, no one is 100 percent
”clean”, even though we all probably see the conventions of the other as a
counterweight to how our own conventions make us feel.
Either way, there is the need for the modulation
of the denials and the isolated- decentered actions from individual to
individual and from prison to prison, there is the need for UNITY and the
CONVERGENCE OF STRUGGLES AND PERCEPTIONS between the prisoners of war and to
this direction we all have to move from the moment we set as our priority an
ANARCHIST REVOLUTION, of the projectualities of SOLIDARITY, of ANTIHIERARCHAL
ORGANIZATION, of the DESTRUCTION OF THE AUTHORITATIVE AND CAPITALIST SOCIETY
and its PRISONS.
From the moment that even blurry we recognise
the existence of a community of struggle, from the moment that we hurt when our
comrades outside of the walls receive a blow, from the moment that we have
recognised that the solidarity to the faces of the anarchist prisoners that
select the denial of stripping, is certain and substantial (taking away though
primary powers in a period when the dispute saunters among our circles and
slows down our raid to the sky), we felt that we own an honest and obviously
subjective placement on the specific subject in order to communicate its
importance to any people, show or not their interest for the case of Rami today
or for any similar case.
Getting away from a simple and unequivocal
reference to any dignity (in one or another way an ambiguous term) denying to
turn to memorials moments and choices of struggles or fighters creating images
and reproducing spectacles, we look forward to offering fuel sources to the
motivation of the outside of the walls comrades whoa according to our modest
view is necessary to set as priority and to highlight with any possible way
that an anarchist prisoner has been for 50 days in isolation.
Still looking for ways to find more dynamic channels of action that
ultimately imply to the relations and the preparation that we mentioned in our
text, we start trolley-food denial by 16/5, as an indication of solidarity to
the anarchist comrade Rami Syriano who claims for his immediate transfer to
another prison and ward, conducting hunger strike since 15/5.
THE ANARCHIST COMRADE RAMI SYRIANO WHO IS IN ISOLATION SINCE 26/3
AND CONDUSE HUNGER STRIKE SINCE 15/5
The anarchist prisoners of war