Archive | February 12, 2010

From the other side of the wall: Letter #2 from Tamara

From Punto de Fuga via Tokata:

February 11, 2010

These letters sent from inside the gray, cold prison of Brians are an attempt to return, in some way, all the warmth and affection to those who, with their support and solidarity, have managed to kill the everyday loneliness and routine concealed by imprisonment; to those who are giving me so much strength and vitality right now, and crossing the barrier that separates us to make sure I never lose the feeling of freedom; to all those who are showing how a simple pen and paper can restore one’s hope and desire to keep fighting; to all those who are struggling against the business of torture, punishment, and repression represented by prisons.

And to all of you . . . what can I tell you that you don’t already know? How struggle is repressed? How voices are walled in? How their filthy laws control our lives?

I could tell you how, on December 15, 2009, before the sun went down, a group of Civil Guards entered my home, took whatever they wanted, and abducted me.

I could try to explain what I felt while listening to cries of pain and fear from a jail cell in a police station.

I could pass along the experiences that some prisoners have shared with me, in which they speak of humiliation, of torture, of helplessness, of solitude.

I could talk about what I’ve been able to observe from this side of the wall, like how the “Penitentiary Business” profits from the people it captures, and how they call this “reinsertion” (strange word).

I could illustrate, with some events I’ve been able to witness during this month-and-a-half without freedom, how the prison health system functions, how methadone and other legal drugs are its best methods of control, and how very little people’s health and lives matter.

I could talk about the sadness I feel in the mornings, when I hear so many say “one day less” instead of “one more day.”

I could tell you that, behind these walls, people are being isolated and destroyed.

But . . . all this rings a bell, right? We’ve heard it all before, we’ve been through it all, it’s all happened to others many times, we know all about it. We know that we find ourselves inside an unjust system that sentences us to a “non-life” in which the false idea of “well-being” blinds and condemns people, in which work shackles us, their laws control us, and prison represses and punishes us.

I refuse to fall victim to all this, and even now I don’t feel like one. I want to be and always will be their “problem.” And that’s why what I really want to get across with these words is the desire for us to keep fighting, to not surrender, to continue coping, to try—at least—to breathe freely and feel alive.

I think of you and I feel alive, free, and strong, and that’s why your solidarity has managed to be stronger than the bars of their cells.

For that reason, this letter is addressed to all those who—every day—make the struggle worthwhile, to all the people being held captive in these Death Camps, to all those struggling inside and outside the prisons.

Accept this sisterly embrace, filled with Freedom and rebellion.


– Tamara (January 26, 2010)

From the other side of the wall: Letter #1 from Tamara

From Punto de Fuga via Tokata:

February 11, 2010

Note from TIOJ: This particular letter was riddled with ellipses, which we assume indicated where the prison censors did their foul business. For the sake of readability, we’ve omitted the ellipses from our translation.

I’m fine, considering the circumstances. It’s now been more than a month since they arrested me, with all the commotion that involved, and I prefer to remember it as a bad dream.

In spite of everything, I can tell you that it didn’t make me fall apart, and I’ve been―and still am―strong enough and itching to keep up the fight. And that’s thanks to you, to all of you out there. Because you have kept me in mind all this time, I have never felt alone, and I think that’s very important to someone in jail. It makes me feel really fortunate because, in truth, the worst thing here is loneliness, which amplifies the desperation, the humiliation, the helplessness, and the fear. That’s why I find myself obliged to be cheerful and to pass along all my good cheer. Because here it’s very easy to be in the yard and find yourself crying to someone for (apparently) no particular reason.

The truth is that right now I find myself somewhat lost and isolated even though I know you’re out there, despite the matter of the confiscation of my letters. But these fucking walls are sometimes very strong, and they prevent me from clearly seeing the reality on the outside (although I can more or less imagine it).

I feel that the best solidarity is to continue the struggle. That’s why I think that, if there is a campaign for me, it must have continuity and a real undercurrent that helps strengthen the anti-prison struggle. Otherwise, it makes no sense to me, and I don’t want other efforts to grind to a halt on my account. Besides, I’m more calm now. Reflecting on what I can, I intend to find a way to keep fighting from this side of the wall.


– Tamara (January 23, 2010)

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