Gabriel Pombo Da Silva: Introduction to the French Edition of Xosé Tarrío González’ Huye, Hombre, Huye
From Culmine (July 10, 2011):
I like to sit down in front of the typewriter just as I’m waking up, when I still don’t know who I am, where I come from, or where I’m going. My head is in the clouds, hazy and chaotic, beyond Space-Time or any Dialectic.
While I write, my sense of self (whatever that may be) gradually “returns.” I open “my” cell window, take a deep breath of the cold morning air, and feel my lungs expand. I make coffee, and its aroma relaxes me, reminding me of “another time”—my childhood—as well as my mother.
My mother woke up every day at 5 a.m. to go to work. She would put the coffeepot on the kitchen stove, and in a few minutes that familiar aroma I found so appealing was wafting through the air. When I was little, I was convinced that one of the reasons my mother was so “dark” was because of all the coffee she drank. Who knows why? Kids have crazy ideas.
On weekends, “class” wasn’t in session, so I was usually able to go to work with my mother. I enjoyed helping her.
My mother was (and is) a “cleaning worker,” and to earn a living she had to clean other people’s shops and offices. She always took pride in her work. Or perhaps it just was pride in having a job. I never knew exactly which.
My father (now dead) was a construction worker, and he built houses for other people while we lived in a rented shithole. He also took pride in his work. Or perhaps it was also just pride in having a job. Again, I didn’t know which.
Even as a child, a deep feeling of hostility was beginning to grow within me toward what we now call “wage-labor,” but what was simply called “work” back then. Somehow, my daily reality was teaching me that those who had nothing were being forced to sell their time as well as their energy to whose who had everything.
When I asked my parents why there were poor people and rich people, they told me it had always been that way since the beginning of time. My parents’ “mentality” always shocked me: beggars were beggars because they were lazy, whores where whores because they were depraved, thieves were thieves because they were evil.
You had to work, obey, be honest, and be a “good Christian,” always willing to suffer and turn the other cheek. Someday, in the “great beyond,” we would find our reward.
When I was a child, I was embarrassed to say that my mother was a “cleaning worker.” Now, I feel embarrassed for having been ashamed of my mother, for having been ashamed of being poor (I mean “proletarian,” since we never had to go begging)—as if having been born poor, in the heart of a proletarian family, was a “sin” or something you chose.
No, I couldn’t get used to that “order of things.” I didn’t want to accept such an order. I didn’t want to be a proud worker who worked for “other people” and sold his time, his strength, all his energy, and sometimes even his Soul for money. . . .
To me, prison wasn’t anything distant or mysterious. Half the people in my neighborhood had been or were currently locked up in some cell.
Very early in the morning on (prison) visiting days, I would watch mothers, sisters, and wives (why are women always the ones who unconditionally make trips to prison year after year, while it’s the “men” who disappear into thin air after no time at all?) set off with their little plastic bags full of food and clothing to wait for the bus that would drop them off near the prison.
Off those women went, with clean clothes and food that were often bought on “account” (credit), because in those days money and well-paid work were in short supply in my neighborhood. That’s exactly why so many people were in prison. It had nothing to do with being “lazy,” “depraved,” or “evil.” Not everyone wanted to join the diaspora of immigration (like my parents did) or exile, so instead of accepting the exploitation of wage-labor or the dictatorship of the post-Franco market, they decided to “steal” or “take up arms” against that entire order of things.
Those women who bought on “credit” and marched with their little plastic bags like a silent army toward prison, often depriving themselves of food so that their sons, brothers, and husbands would never have to do without their little package of food and clean clothes, were the very embodiment of love and solidarity. I felt tremendous love and respect for them.
One of those women (she was both a mother and a grandmother) was called, or rather we called her, Doña Cristina. She was a little old wrinkled lady with a kind, cheerful personality, but so tiny that the plastic bags she carried almost touched the ground, making each step she took seem like a superhuman effort. On more than one occasion I helped carry her bags to the bus stop.
Doña Cristina’s son had been in prison for 12 years. He had stolen several cars (during the Franco era) that he later sold for parts to scrap yards and repair shops in order to make some money. He was one of those (thousands of) prisoners who didn’t benefit from the “political amnesty” at the end of the 1970s. He was also one of the rebels who organized the Committee of Prisoners in Struggle (COPEL, which was already in decline by then), and no one wanted anything to do with them.
If my family was “poor,” then Doña Cristina’s family lived in the most abject destitution. The subhuman conditions in which that woman survived (together with her daughter and her children’s children, and without a “husband” or any kind of economic support) infuriated me so much that I decided to help her out. . . .
It was the summer of 1982.
Like every morning, a swarm of human beings was set in motion. They spread out in all directions like tiny worker ants—little rows and groups of men, women, and children on the way to their workplaces and schools. From their outfits and uniforms, it was easy to figure out their job, schooling, and even the “social class” they belonged to.
Few workers went to work in their own cars. Most of them used public transportation or woke up a little earlier and went on foot.
I was sitting at the wheel of a Seat 131 I’d stolen that very night from another part of the city. My friends’ faces were tense, observing every movement on the streets adjacent to the Bank—every car, every person, everything.
I watched a cleaning worker enter the Bank at this early hour: the headscarf covering her hair, the yellow rubber gloves, the little plastic bucket that probably held cleaning products and supplies. I was reminded of my mother, who was doing exactly the same thing as this woman, but in another country 2,500 kilometers away.
Toni tapped my shoulder and told me to move the car. Here, parked right in front of the Bank, we were drawing too much attention to ourselves.
Toni was known as “Lefty.” Years later he was found murdered alongside his girlfriend Margot. Both of them had been shot in the head. Word on the street was that it was the work of the Vigo police department’s Robbery Squad.
Toni was 15 years older than me, so he must have been around 30 at the time. He had just recently been released from prison and was part of a group that was responsible for supporting and disseminating the struggle of prisoners.
I always liked his demeanor. He didn’t talk too much, and when he did speak, he was usually very specific.
Moure (who committed suicide years later) was sitting next to me in the passenger’s seat. He winked at me, smiling while he cleaned the oil off the weapons he had in his lap.
Moure also belonged to the prisoner solidarity group. Like Toni, he was older than me and had been in prison.
We drove to the outskirts of the city since there usually wasn’t any police presence there. After all, the poor didn’t need to be “protected” from their misery. The money was downtown, in the Banks.
Once we were out in the sticks, we got out of the car to stretch our legs a bit. We’d spent the whole night driving around, and we were tired and needed sleep.
Toni picked up a twig. In the dirt, he began to sketch out the positions we would take up and the steps we would follow during the robbery. We also discussed the roads and routes we would use for our escape after the robbery.
During this first action, I would have to remain in the car and “cover our withdrawal” in case the pigs showed up. For the task, Moure handed me a Winchester repeating rifle that very much reminded me of the ones “cowboys” carried in Hollywood movies.
Once everything was sorted out, we got back in the car and headed for our target. Each one of us was immersed in himself. At such moments, there is nothing left to say. Everything has already been said. All that remains is total silence, complete concentration, and indescribable tension.
We arrived. When we were a few meters from the Bank, Toni told me to stop the car, but we hadn’t yet come to a full stop when I saw him leap out as if propelled from a slingshot. With a ski mask covering his face and a pistol in his left hand, he shouted: “Come on, let’s go, let’s go!”
Moure followed a few steps behind, also masked and armed with a revolver.
I saw them disappear into the Bank. Some pedestrians were dumbstruck by the whole scene. They were staring at the Bank, and then they looked in my direction.
I didn’t know exactly what I was supposed to do with these “spectators,” but to calm my nerves I decided to get out of the car and do something. I grabbed the rifle and approached them, saying something like: “Move along assholes! Get out of here before I start shooting!”
I wasn’t wearing a ski mask, and the only thing partially covering my face was a pair of sunglasses. Luckily, it wasn’t necessary to repeat my threats. The spectators left the scene. I remained outside the car, watching the Bank with my rifle pointed down the street in case the pigs showed up. My heart was beating furiously in my chest. I reached for my asthma inhaler, then remembered that I had left it at home. My hands were sweating. Each minute became an eternity. If the pigs appeared, I was prepared to shoot. That’s what we had agreed to. I told myself that next time I wasn’t going to stay in the car. It was better to be inside the Bank. Finally, I saw my friends exit the Bank and come running in the direction of the car. I jumped in, threw the rifle in the back seat, and picked them up.
In the car, all the tension and energy that had built up during the robbery was released. My friends were all smiles, and so was I. They joked about how I looked with the rifle and sunglasses. We took the prearranged route at top speed, and I left them at a spot we had chosen in advance, where they hid themselves, the weapons, and the money. I had to get rid of the car far away from our “base,” and I usually torched the cars we used.
A few days later, Doña Cristina found a bag full of 150,000 pesetas on her doorstep. Around the neighborhood, graffiti appeared in red paint: Total amnesty! All prisoners to the streets!
The neighborhood leftists talked about “political prisoners,” but people in the neighborhood didn’t understand them. After all, the “political prisoners” had already been released thanks to two partial amnesties. They talked about “solidarity,” about “freedom,” but only for prisoners from their organizations. What about the prisoners from the neighborhood?
I didn’t attend “political” meetings. I was 15 years old and didn’t understand what the people there were saying. Also, it was always the same ones who spoke. They talked like “television personalities.”
I said goodbye to my friends with an embrace. They had a meeting to go to. I was planning to rob a food warehouse in Revilla and then distribute the food throughout the neighborhood. It was an action I managed to pull off successfully.
“Call me when you’re planning another action. I’m just not interested in politics.”
Over the course of two years, we managed to successfully expropriate over 20 bank branches and a dozen gas stations, along with other actions of that type. . . .
Almost 30 years have now gone by since those events, those times, those “speeches,” yet differentiating between prisoners still seems to be “topical.”
It’s absurd to think that only prisoners with political consciousness are worthy of our “solidarity.” As if Doña Cristina’s son wasn’t also a result of the system’s contempt. As if the “lumpen” were incapable of drawing conclusions from their own experiences and circumstances. As if their lack of “education” and “culture,” of money and support, wasn’t punishing and ostracizing enough in itself.
In prison, those differences are meaningless and irrelevant, because the architecture of prison doesn’t “mix” prisoners according to their “political ideology.” It’s quite the opposite. Time, architecture, “employees,” conditions, attitudes, and individualities are all artificially constructed in such a way that the “day-to-day operations” produce relationships of power and coercion—in other words, alienation, contempt, etc.
One defense mechanism (or even better, self-defense) against these false “dichotomies” (compartmentalizations), inside as well as outside (the System is the same on both sides of the walls), is informal organization based not only on action, but on any activity in accordance with a “distribution of tasks” that pursues two simultaneous ends: “living our lives in the here and now,” but also defining more “ambitious” goals that “transcend” our own “individuality” without dehumanizing or alienating anyone in the name of some hypothetical “community” or “communism.”
What we want, or at least what I want, is the disappearance of power relations based on coercion: to live and act according to the principles of our hearts, to see “others” not as “objects” and/or “subjects” but as individuals.
Freedom doesn’t mean “alienating” ourselves. It means understanding our common “interests” and desires in pursuit of a shared liberty, and in that sense living/organizing and acting/thinking in concert without having to “sacrifice” oneself to delegation, participation, dirtying one’s hands, getting involved, accepting “responsibilities,” etc.
No single organization takes precedence over my individual liberty, and I don’t want to be part of any revolution that doesn’t let me dance.
From Culmine (March 8, 2011):
During the week of February 22 to 27, we mailed two package-bombs addressed to the wardens of two prisons: the Northern Preventive Prison for Men and the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center for Men (CEVAREPSI), both in Mexico City. Of course, the action was censored and suppressed. These packages contained a few variations compared to those previously sent to the Chilean embassy. A capsule filled with a small quantity of ammonium nitrate was added, and other technical aspects of the detonation were changed. This action is part of a countercampaign directed against the Mexico City Government’s (GDF) campaign to recruit citizens as prison guards. The packages were prepared with a larger quantity of explosive material, because this time we didn’t need to show any consideration for whoever opened them, given that everyone constituting the prison system is an accomplice to the tortures inflicted on prisoners. We are obviously referring to guards, wardens, and repressive tactical units, but also to doctors who supposedly do humanitarian work yet deliberately act in complicity with the state. In addition, the packages were made with greater precision in order to prevent accidental detonation.
On this occasion, we decided to address two types of prisons that hold human beings.
These sickening institutions have been around for hundreds of years and have NEVER managed to resolve ANYTHING.
As well as demeaning people, these horrid death camps subjugate them, torture them, degrade them, and treat them as if they were the foulest trash in existence. And if they’re lucky, a select few are able to walk away with their spirit and dignity intact, although traces of prison linger in the memory forever.
Many of our comrades are being held captive there right now, and many of you reading this communiqué must also have loved ones trapped in these terrible places. Maybe they’re innocent, or maybe they’re actually responsible for the acts they’re accused of. Ultimately, we all know that the vast majority of “crimes” committed are the result of this system, which tries to convince us that political and (especially) economic power will bring us happiness.
We’re fed up with a group of useless bureaucrats—whose judgments lead them to decadence and wealth—deciding who deserves to be free and who doesn’t.
And we’re not just talking about prisons with bars, but also prisons where rubber rooms, non-stop medication, electroshocks, and negligence are an everyday feature.
We also want to talk about these places, intentionally forgotten by society.
Mexico currently has 2.7 psychiatrists for every 100,000 inhabitants and dedicates 0.85% of its budget to mental health. Is that enough? Of course not.
Our intention is not to defend those who clearly can’t defend themselves due to their being strapped to a hospital bed, or inappropriately and unnecessarily medicated for 24 hours a day just to keep them out of trouble. No, our intention is to make everyone think about the reality experienced by thousands of people who are voiceless, or who don’t count because they’re “crazy.”
These people are also imprisoned, just because they’re depressed, because they don’t think like everyone else, because they view themselves differently, or simply because they don’t accept this absurd reality.
It’s necessary to fight these places, which obliterate minds and are just as abnormal as other prisons. But many people don’t realize this. Perhaps it’s simply because they or someone close to them aren’t suffering there, so it doesn’t directly affect them. Or maybe they think these very delicate issues are not their responsibility.
But this is reality, and it’s an error we keep repeating, dragging it behind us for so many years, yet another mistake weighing on our backs.
Yet if we all know it serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever, why do we allow it to continue?
Which is really another way of asking: Who has the right to deprive us of our liberty?
Who empowered them to judge our lives?
We think it’s important to reflect on whether prisons really serve us or whether they are used only to instill the fear of being inside them, and examine whether the terror they sow is of any use to us. Either be rewarded for being a “normal, exemplary citizen” and obeying all the orders you’re given, or be punished: “If you misbehave, you’ll go straight to prison.” But in actuality, any behavior outside the parameters of “normal” is considered bad behavior and deserving of punishment.
That’s all. You must always be afraid of (and respectful toward) authority and expect the worst from everything that appears evil. But you should know this: Going to prison or going crazy are the worst things that can happen to you in life, and society will then either brand you a criminal or a pitiful lunatic for the rest of your days.
We don’t want to allow such institutions to continue existing. We can’t allow it. That’s why we firmly believe they should burn alongside those who keep them functioning.
Everyone pays eventually. For so many years, these people have been responsible for cutting our experiences short, overturning our lives at will, and murdering our freedom. They should pay as much or even more than those who are suffering in prison, just so they feel for themselves what it means to be a prisoner of this lethal system.
They absolutely must burn, not just with fire spread by our hands, but also with fires started by others.
There’s no shortage of fire and dynamite. All that’s missing are more hands with the courage to use them. And there are plenty of things out there that need to be destroyed.
Until they all burn!
Extreme violence will topple what extreme violence sustains!!
In memory of Xosé Tarrío and everyone murdered by prison society!!!
Solidarity with the prisoners of the Chilean state, Yiannis Dimitrakis, Gabriel Pombo da Silva, Marco Camenisch, and everyone imprisoned in the state’s death camps!!
Evolution requires freedom, and we cannot be free if we are not rebellious. . . . You must arm yourself, not with a useless vote that will only ever be worth as much as the tyrant allows, but with shrewdly effective weapons, whose use will lead to dynamic evolution instead of the regression advocated by pacifist fighters.
Never be passive! Rebellion, now and forever.
—Práxedis Gilberto Guerrero, revolutionary anarchist who died in combat on December 30, 1910 in Janos, Chihuahua, Mexico
At war with the state and prison society.
—Práxedis G. Guerrero Autonomous Cells for Immediate Revolution
From Ai Ferri Corti:
January 24, 2010
Brothers and sisters, our informal yet coordinated gesture of insurrectionary love is behind us. It was expressed, experienced, and felt in as many ways as our creativity, imagination, desires, and means (personal/material) allowed and suggested.
I’m certainly not the only one who has been deeply moved by the response to the call, by the display of revolutionary solidarity and its results. Nor am I the only one who doesn’t want all we experienced and shared during those particular days to remain “just” a gesture. Gestures are for remembering (moments, comrades, situations, etc.). IDEAS and ACTIONS are for going on and moving forward.
We remember our own not to create “sanctuaries” where we go cry on the anniversary of each death, but to keep our comrades with us in our lives and actions.
Our comrades were neither “angels” nor “demons.” They were responsible individuals. They inspired us and continue to do so, because they remind us that the circumstances they fought against still exist.
What was Salvador Puig Antich’s “crime”? What was Agustín Rueda Sierra’s? What was Franco Serantini’s? What was Giuseppe Pinelli’s? What was Soledad and Edo’s? What was Carlo Giuliani’s? What was Paco Ortiz’s? What was Xosé Tarrío’s? What was Mauricio Morales’? What were the “crimes” of these comrades? What is more important: the “acronyms” of their organizations (if they belonged to any), or the IDEAS they defended?
Do you know where our comrades’ murderers are? Do you know what targets our comrades attacked? The lives they led? What they dreamed about?
Ricardo Flores Magón once wrote: “Rebels don’t create the world’s problems. The world’s problems create rebels.”
The world’s problems certainly won’t solve “themselves.” That’s our assignment.
Personally, I’m not going to wait (to act) until the masses (of the exploited, of the oppressed, of the ignorant, of the . . .) “wake up,” nor am I waiting for the “elites” and their mercenaries to relinquish their privileges and salaries and gain “consciousness” about their status.
Some are guided by their fears, others by their greed or indifference, and most live submerged in mental conformity. Every day, they all remind me that the solutions to problems (personal as well as political) begin with each one of us. When I see supposed “comrades” remaining silent—terrified by the prospect of raising their voices, speaking clearly, and taking a position against so much injustice—I become more convinced that IDEAS without conviction are worth nothing.
It should surprise no one that I have good reason to “defend” and continue to defend anarchists who take direct action, like Mauricio Morales and Zoe.
Let’s not waste our time and breath attempting to convince those who have renounced direct action in exchange for an armchair at union headquarters, or those who “talk like bad motherfuckers” but lead lives of dullness. They won’t make the revolution.
It’s up to us to be either “objects,” subjects,” or protagonists of our own lives.
During the initiative/proposal of December 20 to January 1 in memory of and in homage to our brothers and sisters fallen in combat (or murdered), we did many things that reaffirmed (and for others, confirmed) our IDEAS and our desire to continue the offensive (with open expectations).
This initiative wouldn’t have been successful without tenacity and input from all of us: the brothers and sisters who participated in the hunger strike, as well as those who contributed to it with their support; those who disseminated and translated the communiqués and texts; the many who demonstrated (in hundreds of ways) and held meetings, made murals visualizing the protest, and sought complicity with the night in order to leave their explosive or incendiary devices; the brothers and sisters who—in order to finance our struggle and its material needs—took up arms and expropriated the temples where the riches and goods derived from capitalist exploitation accumulate; and of course, the brothers and sisters in Tijuana who started the year with the beautiful act of machine-gunning several mercenary patrols.
Yes, we did it all, and we were ferocious. Thanks to everyone, brothers and sisters, for having been there, for your solidarity and revolutionary love.
Each accomplished action or demonstration creates and strengthens the links and feelings of complicity that unite us in the ongoing social war, while showing that our history and warrior consciousness is being forged right now.
We have broken away from the isolation and false distinctions among us. We have demonstrated our “operational” strength and conviction, our love and rage, our internationalism and our combative determination, all from a decentralized, antiauthoritarian perspective.
I agree with the reflections of the Chilean brothers and sisters at Presxs a la kalle (a strong embrace for you!), who write: “It’s not possible to commit only to mobilizations based on affinity or exclusively to mobilizations based on demands. The point is to potentially balance each, and to know when to use which expression. It’s in this sense that we can’t criticize either mobilizations based on demands (against raids, isolation, dispersion) or mobilizations based on affinity—which, to some dreamers, don’t “achieve anything in particular.”
Well . . . often nothing in particular is “achieved” (for example, in the struggles against FIES, the raids, the evictions of our spaces and social centers, etc.) by mobilizations based on demands, but that’s no reason to abandon them. On the other hand, struggles can’t be measured by “market values” like “gains” or “losses.” There are “defeats” that propel us forward and “victories” that hold us back (although at first look it may not seem that way). Struggle is not a competition, but a process that develops out of the attempt to change or destroy what destroys us. Achieving what we propose depends on our capacities and means: We can either get halfway there, or crown our plans with success.
What no one can ever take away from us is what we learn from the process (our memories and experiences), and above all, no one can tell us we haven’t tried everything.
As much as it may weigh on us, not all the elements of the process are in our hands (nor do those in power have everything under control), but we have an enormous arsenal of theory and practice to put to the test. Let’s not consecrate one method at the expense of another. Some of them will be effective, but it all depends on the ends being pursued.
I take this opportunity to greet the victims of the reprisals during the December 23 demonstration in Santiago, Chile: Be strong, compitas!!!
I also salute the proposal by the brothers and sisters at Culmine: casual reflections, a hunger strike without demands, international ties, an informal insurrectional project. Interested compas can take a look at culmine.noblogs.org. Remember that two comrades from Culmine will be “judged” (sentenced) on January 19, 2010*. Let’s be alert and ready to express our solidarity with these comrades. All solidarity with them, all contempt for the fascist agitators!!
An additional question for the internationalist brothers and sisters about the arrest of Mexican comrade Socorro Molinero Armenta: Does anyone know where to write him?
Well, enough writing for today. Let’s continue to discuss the matters proposed by Culmine and the comrades at Presxs a la kalle in order to delve more deeply into the subjects/concerns referred to.
A strong anarchic and revolutionary embrace for all the conspirators.
– Gabriel Pombo Da Silva, Aachen Death Camp, Germany, January 2010
*Note from Culmine: The two compas were acquitted of the charge of “subversive association” at trial.
December 26, 2009
In the early morning of December 24, we threw two Molotov cocktails at the Chilean consulate in Seville.
A few days earlier, comrades Freddy Fuentevilla and Marcelo Villaroel were extradited from Neuquen prison in Argentina, where they were serving a sentence for weapons possession, to Chile, where they are facing state repression and imprisonment for their expropriations and revolutionary activity.
This attack is part of the international week of struggle advocated by Gabriel Pombo da Silva from Aachen prison in Germany, which began on December 18 with a hunger strike joined by other prisoner compas in different states, for whom we decided to take action in the streets.
While the citizenry, disconnected from reality, was celebrating another year of runaway consumption and capitalist misery, we—who have nothing to celebrate but much to destroy—took advantage of the occasion to throw two Molotov cocktails. One of them got into the building while the other exploded against the wooden front door, but we don’t know how much damage they caused. We also left a clear message to the Chilean state on the walls: FREEDOM FOR FREDDY AND MARCELO.
With this action, we aspire to nothing other than direct confrontation with the enemy, using the means we have at our disposal and continuing the journey that others began. As Marcelo Villaroel shouted while the state’s henchmen took him to be extradited: WHILE THERE IS MISERY, THERE WILL BE REBELLION. SUBVERSION MAY SLUMBER, BUT IT WILL NEVER DISAPPEAR.
For Freddy, Marcelo, Pombo, Amadeu, Tamara, and so many others who keep fighting.
December 21, 2009
Sent via e-mail
Through the following e-mail, we want to claim responsibility for the bombing carried out last night against the Chilena Consolidada (a member of the Zurich [economic] Group) building. Said action marks the beginning of the December 20–January 1 international hunger strike for political prisoners called by Gabriel Pombo Da Silva from the prison death camp of Aachen, Germany.
The attack against this company—an exponent of Chilean finance capitalism allied with Swiss capitalist interests—is a gesture of solidarity with Marco Camenisch, revolutionary prisoner of the Swiss capital-state.
Although words heal nothing, we regret that someone experienced slight hearing trauma, despite the fact that the low-strength charge was designed to only damage the infrastructure of capital.
This is a call to burn black powder and continue the unforgettable offensive.
WHILE THERE IS MISERY, THERE WILL BE REBELLION!
FREEDOM FOR THE WORLD’S ANTICAPITALIST POLITICAL PRISONERS!
– Agustín Rueda Sierra1 Autonomous Group; Santiago, Chile; Monday, December 21, 2009
1Agustín Rueda Sierra was an anarchist who was tortured to death by guards in Carabanchel prison when he refused to snitch on his escape companions.
December 19, 2009
The complicity and affection awakened in me by your letters (communiqués) from underground are inspiring me to write these words. Not just your letters, but your rebellious attitude in a world/society that becomes more uniform and submissive every day . . .
The smell of the air in prison is nothing unusual; prison generally smells like cheap disinfectant, rancid tobacco, and the nauseating sweat of some “piglets” who are allergic to soap or showering.
The only ones here who “perfume” themselves are the guards, social workers, psychologists, and priests. We prisoners are forbidden to “perfume” ourselves, I imagine for reasons of “conformity” or “security.”
Fortunately, the fresh air and the rain (still) know nothing of prohibitions, and that’s why―for one hour each day―I can feel them enter my asthmatic lungs, causing a delicious tickling sensation . . .
Apart from the rain and the fresh air, prison is no more than an architectural construct designed to discipline and control the movements/existences of those taken captive by prison society . . .
The only pleasant smell in prison comes from the little brothers and sisters who come to see us, or when everything burns in the fire of a riot. How beautiful, comrade! The smell of the burning mattresses, the smoke filling the cell blocks, the “perfumed ones” terrified and “imprisoned” (what a paradox . . .), and the freed prisoners writing banners, securing positions, turning each tool into a weapon and each burning object into a “Molotov” . . .
Insurrection is beautiful when it breaks out. It is uncontrollable (like freedom) and subversive. In those moments, the prisoner is not a prisoner, and the consequences mean shit.
No matter how long it lasts, insurrection is something that remains etched in fire on the soul. The beatings, the torture, the isolation, the vindictive destruction of your things (photos, letters, books, clothing, etc.) will always be the bitter consequences of defeat, but the images, moments, sounds, and smells of insurrection will accompany you for life . . .
Their system of discipline and control, their administration of torture and slow death will stay on its feet as long they are able to divide us with “privileges and punishments” (like out there), but not when we are united and totally determined.
Other things we experience during insurrectional rebellion are the ties between rebels, the friendships that usually last all your life.
Cast those stereotypical images of prison out of your mind, compa, and―with subversive pleasure―discover freedom (which is nothing other than insurrection) . . .
By losing our fear (which has contaminated us since we were “little ones,” and especially as “adults”), we become great and free, and that is much more than any of them (jailers and politicians) are willing to “tolerate” from prisoners and “citizens” . . .
Let’s be insufferable and subversive!
From the dungeons of northern Europe, a freedom-filled embrace for you, Diego . . .
– Gabriel Pombo Da Silva, Aachen, 26.11.09