we receive and transmit:
Under a sky of bars
“We are all imprisoned because a society that needs prison and to lock up and exclude, is itself a prison. But never can they imprison the joy of the dream of freedom from the bosses and their jails, the joy of solidarity in the struggle.”
They say that a stupid person, instead of looking at the moon, set themselves to observe the finger pointing at the moon. Nevertheless, without justifying stupid persons or saying I’m just that, I think it is diffult to look up to the sky when the latter is getting increasingly covered with bars.
This might seem obvious given that now I’m here and can only imagine the moon. But the bars I’m talking about do not belong only to the prison but they are also an integral part, in different forms, of the whole dominion that is poisoning the existent. Once the Maya’s veil has been tore to pieces, the boundary between so called social reality and prison reality dissolves itself and reveals the true nature of the context in which one lives, happily or not, depending on one’s level of individual awareness. During these almost three months of imprisonment, which I spent in isolation for about fifty days, many similarities between society and prisons have appeared to me even more clearly. To start with, it is easy to note the correspondence between the constant control operated by dominion towards its enemies within society or entire categories of individuals, and the very much evident control towards prisoners inside jails. From the one hand, shadowing, phone tapping and surveillance technology, on the other the physical restriction of ‘freedom’ made possible by prisons, guards and similar instruments of control. Depersonalization processes and techniques supported by precise strategies and, if necessary, assisted by substances ready to use, aiming at the annihilation of the individual, exist both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. The risk of becoming dominated by democratic homologation goes along with the risk that a prisoner runs of reducing himself to be just a number.
Both prison and society are based on the creation and consolidation of roles and hierarchies, as well as on the necessity of expropriating the individual of all autonomy. The majority of human beings came to be dominated by all this, quite often without even resisting; they rely on continous cycles of delegating and renounce any direct influence on their own life. Not by chance in prison delegating is the only way to make requests, if one wants to follow the rules, even for the most banal things. In this way a prisoner can clearly feel the loss of any possible self-determination.
I can’t even see any relevant differences between the security-driven obsession metabolized by the ctizen, maybe a euphoric spectator (or would-be contestant) of media spectacle centered on peeking through television keyholes, and that inherent to the functioning of prison (any reference to body searches, other humiliating practices and peepholes in toilets is not at all coincidental). Moreover, as I want to dismiss all ‘prisonerism’, thus disappointing those who still believe in the equation prisoner = rebellion, I think that dynamics of voluntary servitude characterize both the mass of the ‘free’ and that of the prisoners. The former, increasingly subjected to all manifestations of power, end up becoming the gendarmes of themselves and informers on others’ behaviour; the latter sometimes don’t even feel the need to put imprisonment into question, the imprisonment they are forced into, and if they have the chance some even become the collaborators of their own hangmen. Both the cities and prisons, even if they are theatres of huge contradictions, are full of an increasingly deep-rooted submissiveness; and the individuals, be them prisoners or not, at war with the existent are a minority that struggles and is aware of the status quo.
The grey of the prison walls is the same colour of the buildings in cities. The latter, in fact,have turned into more and more secure prisons. Concentration camps for ‘foreigners’ and mental hospitals, along with common prisons, exist thanks to the symbiosis with lifestyle aiming at keeping the status quo. Right now when efficiency and functioning seems to have become the assumptions of the current condition of generalized imprisonment, to reappropriate oneself and discover one’s own irreducible individuality become the genesis of insubordination.
To wish from the heart that this world collapses once and for all is the utopia that pushes so many individuals and groups, aware that all aspects of the existent can be attacked, to realize multiform anarchist actions. Only in this way can solidarity become synonymous with direct action, thus avoiding the risk of reducing itself to a word like many others. In this regard, I conclude with a thought for Mexican anarchist comrade Mario Lopez, who got seriously wounded during an attack against some structures, and who recently said: ‘solidarity is our best weapon’. It is anarchist attacks, which unpredictably follow one another day by day all over the world, that give truth to his words and inflame anarchist prisoners’ hearts. I send warm greetings to the prisoners members of the CCF on trial for the “Halandri” case and my solidarity with the comrades investigated following recent operation “Mangiafuoco”!
From the high surveillance unit of the prison of Alessandria, August 2012
Giuseppe Lo Turco
imprisoned anarchist individuality
To write to the comrade:
Giuseppe Lo Turco
Carcere San Michele
Strada Casale 50/A