Nothing is over
On the need to accept the fullness of our choices
‘Anarchist prisoners are not alone’ and ‘if they touch one, they touch all’ are slogans that lived once again in the everyday anarchist action before, during and after the trial against us. The screams of disgust for authority that pierced the police control and the walls around those on trial clearly enraged the judge and magistrates, as was evident on their faces and which put smiles on ours. The presence in court of dear ones known and unknown filled us with pride and joy, preventing the prosecutors’ accusations and demands from having any possibility of intimidating us. They can’t stop us. The acts of solidarity and the negation of the existent that have multiplied in various countries are further proof of the fact that we are everywhere, for us borders do not exist and solidarity is inseparable from our practice. Comrades who have chosen and are continuing to choose conflict by taking their chance and attempting to make their lives reflect their desires, instincts and passions so as to put an end to power in all its forms everywhere, who not content with empty and self-complacent words persist and expose themselves through gestures of active solidarity: my love and respect to all of them. Their disdain and courage give me immense strength. It is in trying to do what one says and believes, transforming words and ideas into action, that one starts to take back control of one’s life. We stop being spectators and become protagonists wanting to take the reins of their existence by deciding autonomously about priorities, rhythms, times and projects. In taking the initiative we set off on the offensive without waiting for events to happen or calls from the movement that have nothing to do with those of us who decide on our own struggle. We have a rich history, strong ideas and plenty of imagination to keep on re-inventing ourselves. In taking life this way we also accept prison and the consequences of our choice in the clash. Prison is part of our everyday lives, not just for us inside, but for all those who choose permanent conflict against power. It is in our words, ideas and projects; it is in every step we take on the road to total liberation. That is why it is necessary to play down the topic of prison.
To sharpen our thoughts a little: in choosing to live a life against every form of authority and power, openly declaring ourselves its enemies, we accept the consequences, including prison, and also many other things resulting from this choice. However, everything starts with our freely made choice to fight the existent: so the possibility of prison is contained within it, is part of this choice. Glancing at history we can see that all those who tried to destroy power took prison into account in their trajectory in this world, either directly or indirectly. Prison becomes inevitable for anyone who decides to follow certain practices, rather than a possibility it becomes a certainty, a consequence that it is very difficult to avoid. It becomes inseparable from the struggle. So, as prison is an element that characterizes the life we’ve chosen, we can say that after all it is a choice. We are aware of the risks that the clash with authority implies, but in spite of this we venture towards it, constantly trying to create ruptures that make cracks in this reality knowing that we could spend a long time behind bars, because just as prison becomes a certainty, we also know for sure that we won’t destroy power. Anarchism is a tension, not a realization. This is not a call to passivity, quite the opposite: it is a constant search for moments of freedom and the extension and multiplication of that which gives warmth and colour to our lives. It is the decision to break with absolute truths that pushes us to carry on.
So if we start from the assumption that prison, although we try to avoid it, becomes a choice that we make as soon as we choose the struggle, we have to understand that with it nothing ends, it doesn’t represent the climax of projects, ideas or practices, but is another space from where to struggle, from where to continue the struggle. That is how I want to see these years in prison, consider them as part of a conscious choice, a choice that in spite of the known and obvious limitations, allows a different perspective, not only concerning the anti-prison struggle but the anarchist struggle in general. In this respect I think that we imprisoned anarchists are not just ‘prisoners’; to reduce us solely to this definition would be like reducing our contribution and preventing us from continuing to participate in the struggle for total liberation in all its breadth and complexity. To see us simply as ‘prisoners’, to focus all our initiatives on the context of our lives in prison, would practically be to relegate us to the space that power is forcing us to be in, and I think we need to attempt to go beyond that. We won’t be prisoners forever, we are only in captivity momentarily until we get out of here to try to contribute to the anarchist dynamics of the street. In short, to see us exclusively as ‘prisoners’ would be to annihilate us politically, which is exactly what power wants, among other things.
On the other hand, we are also involved in the struggles and claims inside the prison, they concern our daily lives and we cannot just brush them aside; their deepening and multiplication, as well as the attempt to sharpen proposals, practices and ideas, are elements of the anti-prison dynamic that gets stronger as we create and weave threads of friendship and complicity. However, such an anti-prison perspective develops neither separately nor parallel to the anarchist struggle, but completes and strengthens it. The struggle for total liberation implies a struggle against prisons, which are among the most visible expressions of society and the clearest proof of the gangrene of the existent. In every libertarian initiative there is the theory and intention to put an end to prison, so the participation of anarchist prisoners in the different experiences of clashes, discussions and debate necessarily involves an anti-prison point of view, but, as already said, it mustn’t stop at that if what we want is to smash the walls down and not remain confined in this space.
Nothing is over. Everything continues. In the clash we take back our lives. Long live anarchy.