[German prisons] Our comrade is free

Received January 5th 2016:

Here is something we wrote about the arrest, detention and release of our friend and comrade.

Long months have passed since the hot summer day at the beginning of July when our friend and comrade got arrested at a passport control at the Greek-Bulgarian border. The Europe-wide arrest warrant against her had been issued by the prosecution office of Aachen, Germany, on the 24th of June 2015. After having spent three weeks in Bulgarian cells she got handed over to the German cops at the airport of Sofia.

In Germany she got locked up under the ‘U-haft‘ (Untersuchungshaft) regime in Cologne because of a presumed involvement in an armed bank robbery that had taken place two years earlier (2013). Under this regime prisoners awaiting trial are locked up, officially for a maximum of six months, which in reality very often is extended up to a period of over a year. In her case the restrictions put in place meant that at each visit (2 hours per month) there were two cops, a guard and a translator present, that she was not allowed to make any phone calls and that all post was first directed to the prosecutor’s office where it was read and then given to her after one month delay.

Her detention was based on a single piece of evidence: a DNA trace found on two gas pistols discovered in a closet of the bank by an employee 11 days later. A few weeks ago, on the 2nd December, after months of investigation the prosecution formally charged her with bank robbery, hostage taking and weapon possession. These charges were brought in front of three judges, who had to decide whether to pursue them in court or not. On the 16th of December, the court called the prison instructing them to release our comrade because all charges were to be dropped, since the “evidence” that five months of investigation produced was not sufficient for this case to be brought to court.

Now, our comrade is back with us. However, the joy that this brings us does not replace, nor lets us forget our anger towards the isolating restrictions, towards the ridiculousness of the uniform circus, and towards any authoritarian system that plays with people’s lives in such a way. The biggest source of strength came from the uncompromising and uncooperative stand our comrade took: she always kept her head up and her defiant spirits alive.

As most rebels and anarchists know, repression can hit us at any moment, because the State will go to very far extents to maintain its law and order and to prevent our ideas from spreading. In these moments it is easy to feel lured and trapped in a game of strategy and fear, the exact essence of our enemies.

In these moments we have to remember that we have other tools and practices to fight this asphyxiation. Only by facing their strategy with our own rebellious intelligence and grounded ethics, and fear with confidence in our complicities, affinities and struggles, can these moments become something more than just resigning ourselves to the technical and juridical aspects of the State imprisoning one of us.

Precisely in these moments of stress, anger and sadness it is crucial to not to let ourselves be intimidated or be tempted to doubt our ideas, our relationships and our struggles. Although keeping our feet on the ground, our mind sharp and our heart burning can be challenging during these moments, we are the ones who let them take from us much more than the freedom of a comrade, we are the only ones who can fight against their logics nesting inside of us.

Our ideas and struggles are forged in the hatred against prisons and the world that needs them. The fight against these structures and those who make them possible involves to express and extend our desire to open all their doors and destroy these pillars of this authoritarian and capitalist society. Confronted with any repressive attack it is crucial to not forget these ideas, nor to put them aside; we can only build a perspective through active solidarity, in the continuation of our projects of struggle against all the manifestations of this prison-society.

We agree with the words of our comrade and refuse to speak in terms of ‘innocence’ and ‘guilt’. These words belong to the language of prosecutors and judges in service of politicians and bosses. Words that support their system of exploitation and control. As anarchists it is a language we refuse to speak, we spit on it.

The reason we did not and are not publishing her name is to not fuel the often distracting and distorted role of hero or victim that anarchist prisoners are sometimes subjected to. She was an imprisoned anarchist comrade among many others, who will neither be forgotten nor exulted, but who are present in the continuation of our struggles and projects and in our acts of subversion towards this established order.

Solidarity with all those fighting against prisons, inside and out.

Solidarity to those who faced with repressive blows still feel the need and courage to keep living and fighting for their ideas and projects.