BURNING HEARTS CANNOT BE LOCKED AWAY –
FREEDOM FOR THE THREE ON THE PARK BENCH!
On the night of 8 July 2019, three of our comrades were arrested on a park bench. On the same night there were several house searches in various districts of Hamburg, during which some of the people were forced out of their beds with weapons. The suspicion, according to the Attorney General’s Office, was the preparation of an arson attack. On 9 July, the three were brought before the magistrate. Two of them were remitted from custody and the third had her arrest warrant suspended, with conditions – she has to report once a week and is not allowed to leave the country – and she has been on the outside ever since. A evaluation trial for the pre-trial detention was requested by the defence and then withdrawn two weeks later. A new date is not foreseeable at the moment.
Currently DNA was taken from the two prisoners for comparison. The person outside did not have to give any DNA, since the alleged traces found are only male DNA. The two in custody are doing well, considering the circumstances. Since the LKA (State criminal police office) officials are present at every visit, the visits that take place twice a month for one hour depend on the LKA calendars. Telephone calls (1 hour per month) and letters are also monitored, listened to and read by the LKA,
the prison and the General Prosecutor’s Office. Accordingly, there is never a moment of private communication between the two and their friends or family. It is clear to them what this place should do to them – but they keep their heads up and share solidarity and contact with fellow prisoners.
The third person is also doing well, considering the circumstances. All the manifestations of solidarity, from both near and far, give her the strength to get through all this shit.
She may not be in prison, but she is outside under conditions which also culminate in the deprivation of liberty. In particular, reporting-in requirements are a way of disposing of a person’s body. All coercive measures, no matter whether footcuffs, house arrest or registration requirements, are instruments that the state uses to make it clear that one cannot can escape this system and that one is apparently at the mercy of it.
The press and the cops have always made a reference between the accusations against the three and the G20 summit. It must be clearly stated that this is a construct of the organs of repression. And yet the arrest and detention of the comrades cannot be considered without the special situation which arose after the G20 in Hamburg and the current atmosphere in the city. After the practical defeat on the street in the days of July 2017, a media and a counter-attack from the side of politics and police followed. This took the form of several public searches, the establishmentof the Soko Schwarzer Block etc, which prepared political and legal agitation. A climate of division, depoliticisation and denunciation was specifically created in order to make possible and to implement the “hard sentences” demanded by politics in the courts.
State security and investigative authorities have been given both additional funding and a largely free hand to attack and investigate the radical structures in the city. Observations, video surveillance, facial recognition software… this list could be continued very far. And we have to assume that these methods are being used again right now.
This description of the situation should not be misunderstood as a complaint. If we have successful struggles and mobilisations, there will always be a reaction from the state. Nevertheless: the need for revenge from the state is still current and it is not only about alleged acts per se, it is as well about research and the destruction of any antagonistic movement, as well as the criminalisation of ideas of liberation. So there are still ongoing trials and other prisoners – such as the “Elbchaussee-Process”, as well as the large-scale trial against the comrades of the Rondenbarg complex due at the end of the year. Show solidarity and don’t leave the accused alone!
This post-G20 situation is further framed by an authoritarian formation and a shift to the right in Europe. Isolation from the outside and repression from within, the ever louder call for law and order, special laws such as the new police laws of the countries and camps for the detention of refugees, the militarisation of society… all this makes our struggles more and more urgent. So let us not lose courage! We will find ourselves in the places of resistance and we will challenge the ruling order!
The fight against detention centres and the prison system cannot be seen in isolation from the social question. Not detached from the social logic based on domination and authority, discrimination, competition, exploitation and injustice.
Prisons are one of many, more or less clear and perceptible elements of a totality of power structures that support, condition and legitimise each other. And so the logic is followed, that the majority of prisoners end up being poor, PoC and/or black people.
Laws and rules passed by a few in this world for the rest of the world determine what is wrong and what is right, who and what should be protected and who should be punished. These norms, according to the logic of the state, must be subjected. We do not care whether the three comrades or any other prisoners are regarded as “guilty” by the henchmen of the state. What we know is that the rulers have always imprisoned people everywhere in the world for their ideas. People who oppose them unpleasantly, unadaptedly or antagonistically, people who oppose this system and denounce its lust for power.
Prisons function on several levels. On the one hand, they should serve as a deterrent memorial to the outside world and at the same time present the “successes” of the state in the fight against its enemies. On the other side (of the the walls) prison is supposed to break individuals, make them obeisant and docile or simply bury them alive if necessary. Everything gets a coat of normalcy, the cell is then called prison-room and the courtyard is called leisure-hour. Here it is to be concealed that this is a direct exercise of domination, this 23-hour cell, walking in circles. In addition to these functions of securing power, however, prisons serve capitalist profit interests to the same extent. For example, prisoners are exploited to produce cheap labour and this is sold as “re-socialisation”. The rapidly increasing number of new inclusion institutions, whether to remain local or to look at the expansion of the so-called “deportation custody” at Hamburg airport, the planned deportation prison in Glücksstadt, or the new youth prison as an extension
to the existing Billwerder prison, legitimises having more and more prisoners. This serves not least to maximises profit and rule but as well goes hand in hand with the expansion of social control, which is primarily driven by the development of technology.
It is clear that prisons do not make people better. They do not contribute to solving conflicts and social problems. We are very well aware that their destruction does not automatically mean that social conflicts will not occur. We would be forced to deal with each other – as well with the difficult and hard issues. But precisely this confrontation and encounter is part of a life and a world based on freedom and solidarity rather than on money and profit.
For this we need self-organisation instead of border systems and parliamentary channels. For the attempt to lead a life without domination, but in self-determination, with the goal of freedom for all. To this end, we need new, different relationships that are free from the constraints and the logic of rulers and the ruled. And clearly we will make mistakes and no, we have no master plan.
Above all, we are concerned with the joint development of our ideas – and we assume that this is not an easy process. Nevertheless, we have to ask ourselves which expectations we actually want to meet and then fight for the space. This path is difficult and requires courage, but may also involve new discoveries for oneself.
What helps us is solidarity and mutual aim instead of competition and exclusion. The goal is a world in which it no longer matters what skin colour we have, what gender we have, where we come from or what we own. Yes, we dream of and fight for another world, because we see no other way and notice already now, in the small things, which strength we can unfold with our hearts and our passion for freedom, which is stronger than their repression.
Repression is always meant to scare, paralyse and isolate. We do not want to pretend that we are not afraid, that our lives are not influenced by it. However, this cannot be our only reaction. In the face of all this shit there are as well moments of cohesion and support and we gain from this our unique strength, one that the other side would never be able to experience. We stand closer together, we support each other when we are afraid, we laugh together, we get support from a thousand places and we don’t let ourselves burn out. We remain angry and militant. And even if we sometimes miss two people at our side unbelievably, they are always with us.
In the decisions that we make and the struggles that we carry on. Not having them with us tears a big hole in our hearts, knowing that they are in prison makes us incredibly angry. We are also angry about the pigs who hang people like blowflies on their arses and try to make their pathetic, boring and inferior lives more exciting by observing us. What do they see? Perhaps the unbelievable solidarity that we share, and a humanity that they have long since lost. Be it the stamps donated at the kiosk when the seller sees where the letter is sent or the many people who offer and express support in so many different ways.
The messages, greetings and acts of solidarity that have reached us in many different ways have often overwhelmed and always supported us. This solidarity has helped us over the first, often chaotic weeks and has shown us that we will not continue to fight alone. Solidarity means many things, but also always the attack on the existent and the continuation of our own struggles and projects.
We greet the comrades who cannot stand at our side and assure them that they are always with us. We are not alone. You three are not alone.
Another greeting to all those who are in similar situations, wherever you are in the world!
They can take our friends away from us, but not our ideas.
Fire to all prisons – freedom for the 3 from the park bench and all other prisoners!