Spain – A document from anarchist comrade Claudio Lavazza on initiatives of resistance in the Spanish prisons


Translated by act for freedom now/B.pd


Teixeiro, 02-7-2013
Dear comrades, I send you the translation of a document dated March-April 2013 on our struggle against torture and abuse in the Spanish prisons, to let you know what is happening here.  
 In October 2011 a group of prisoners from different State jails organized themselves to start a struggle against torture and abuse in prison. The proposal came out after several months of debate and exchange of ideas among prisoners and groups of support from the outside on the tactics and strategies to be employed in this struggle.
 The common actions we agreed on were symbolic hunger strikes on the first day of every month, accompanied by written reports of denunciation to the Congress of Deputies (owing to their political responsibility and complicity), the Ombudsman and the Committees of Geneva and Strasbourg.

The solidarity activity of the groups of support from the outside consisted in establishing a coordination inside-outside the prisons, so as to make information circulate in the most effective possible way. In this regard, a network of solidarity lawyers was created in order to protect the comrades on struggle from the reprisals of the prison institution.
 The main goal of this struggle was to denounce the situation within the prison walls with a struggle carried out jointly by prisoners and groups that support comrades from outside, and to send a message to public opinion, that prisons are symbols of mistreatment in its totality and that torture is not only physical but also psychological. Ghosting, isolation, FIES regime, life sentences, lack of medical assistance, administration of drugs that are being experimented with, censorship on verbal and written communication, mistreatment of family members, the blackmail perpetrated in therapeutic sessions (where the prisoner is forced to act as a screw), the blackmail of leave permits, etc.
After a year and a half of symbolic struggle, the campaign continues in spite of the fact that the number of prisoners on struggle has not increased (they are between 40 and 60 scattered in 20 prisons). However a form of permanent resistance has strengthened inside the jails and so has a reason for struggling outside, with repeated denunciations, meetings, gatherings, demos, publications, sending of faxes to the prisons where episodes of torture occur. In this way the silence and isolation that the institutions are trying to impose on our reality has been broken.
 During this period some prisoners went on hunger strike on a weekly basis, refused to go to the exercise yard and in some cases continued the hunger strike for 15, 40 and even 80 days. Petitions in support to the campaign were made in several prisons and then sent to the Congress of Deputies, which as expected answered by arguing that ‘there exists no torture in the Spanish State and therefore the claims are unfounded.’
In spite of the fact that there have been no big initiatives inside or outside, it is a long and constant struggle, in permanent conflict with the prison system. Prison is the bitterest instrument with which the system tries to impose its regime of repression and dominion against those who don’t adapt to imposed rules and discipline. Its existence is linked to that of the State.
 We all, prisoners and anyone on the loose, live in a Prison-State system that strikes us. Support and solidarity with prisoners should be a common practice for all those who struggle for freedom and consider themselves anarchists.
Prison is torture
 Solidarity with the prisoners on struggle
Claudio Lavazza
Teixeiro module 11
Carretera de Paradela s/n
15310 Teixeiro-Curtis
A Coruña

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