Brussels: Struggle against the maxi-prison in Haren – On your marks, get set, go!

Extract from Ricochets n° 4, March 2015, the newsletter against the maxi-prison and the world that goes with it. This is the third in a series of translations by the openly conspiratorial Person(s) Unknown Publications, this time featuring a list of international targets (see notes below):

On your marks

At the end of February 2015, the state hired a company to install fences around the terrain of the future site of the maxi-prison in Haren, north Brussels. Workers with an excavator, accompanied by some police, then began to fence off the area so they could “be ready to work away from curious prying eyes.” [1] Another company started demolition work of a former industrial site that is also located on the land of the future construction site.

These are undeniable signs that the project of the maxi-prison is progressing and that the state wants to step up a gear to erect the largest jail in Belgium. And it’s hard to not understand their message when they get started… installing fences to protect themselves and placing surveillance cameras in the village of Haren. The construction of this prison will inevitably bring the militarisation of the area.

Get set

If the Cafasso consortium (which includes the companies Denys, VK Engineering, Buro II & Archi+I…) [2] will have to wait until June for the last necessary permits, while waiting, the state prepares us with a few bad-tasting jokes. Also in March, there will be a “public inquiry” where citizens are asked to give their opinion on the project (who can still believe these kind of things?). In any case, it will then be especially easier to intimidate them to “shut their mouths” and to portray the radical opponents as “extremists” and “terrorists”… The state prepares and wants to be ready to impose by any means necessary their project.

And us, are we ready? Has each and every one of us, those who are fighting against this maxi-prison and the world that it produces, reflected on what will be done to defeat this plan? The possibilities are numerous: actions against constructors to attacks against those responsible, blockages of the daily routine to wild demonstrations, etc.


It seems likely that the start of construction will not be far away. Will they start before summer? It’s very possible. [3] It’s now and at every moment that we must harass them and put a spoke in the wheel. But when work begins, rather than be discouraged, intimidated and declared defeated, it will be an opportunity to take new steps in this dance that is the fight against this horror.

When the builders and machines arrive on the ground in Haren, let’s propagate chaos in the streets of Brussels, in the neighbourhoods where we live and struggle. To mark this move, and give them a glimpse of what will follow – what we hope and are working on – throughout the construction of this horror. By lighting the fires of revolt in the neighbourhoods, we undermine the pillars on which any plan of the State ultimately rests upon: resignation and passivity of the oppressed. And it’s from there that the assault to destroy this maxi-prison goes away.

PS: Companies that have started to prepare the ground in Haren to build the maxi-prison are: Van Kempen (demolition work, Antwerp), APB (asbestos removal, Brabant) and Verbruggen Groep Mol (fences, Antwerp).. Without all these collaborators, the maxi-prison could never be built. A word to the wise…

Translation notes from Person(s) unknown (additional info from De l’air! and independently researched):

[1] In the last week of February, a group of people brought down nearly half of the 400 Heras fences surrounding the site of the future maxi-prison

[2] The prison contract is a private-public partnership between the federal government and the Cafasso consortium, that will build and manage the infrastructure of the prison and then lease it to the state. The Cafasso consortium is; Denys, FFC Construccion, Buro II & ARCHI+I (Belgium/France), EGM Architectes (Netherlands), AAFM Facility Management (Belgium/Netherlands), M.O.O.CON Advisers (Austria/Germany), G. Derveaux Ingénieurs, Typsa (International), Marcq & Roba, Vialia Sociedad Gestora de Concesiones de Infraestructuras (Madrid), Macquarie Capital Group (International), VK Engineering, Dr. Andrea Seelich (Vienna), and the Building Agency of the Belgian federal state. Targets are located in Belgium unless referenced otherwise. Other companies involved in building new prisons in Belgium: Eiffage, BAM, Cordeel, Interbuild, Willemen, BNP Paribas, KBC Banque, GDF Suez, Sodexo, Cegelec, ABN Amro, Socotec and Eurest.

[3] The building work is intended for 2015, with the completion date set for 2017.