Translated from Italian by act for freedom now/B.pd
I think that surrendering to the enemy when you are under attack or denying the battle when you have to face it is a stupid thing. If you say ‘I’m not going to play your game’ when they are attacking you, you won’t make defeat easier but you’ll run the risk of being defeated. If you despise the enemy during the battle you are not superior because of this.
Lack of ability of understanding things, of seeing and understanding what is obvious is also a problem. The obsession for choices and attitudes that one sees, the obsession for mistakes, leads to defeat.
When choices and attitudes have to do with individual positions, whoever makes the mistake is the one who usually suffers because of its consequences. But when choices are made in the name of a collective and are presented, forexample, as revolutionary and – even worse – as the only ones that are politically ‘pure’ and dignified, the consequences also become collective.
Since the beginning of my imprisonment I’ve been thinking that the public space given to anarchists and political prisoners in general so they can express opinions and positions should be something that one deserves
somehow, and not something that is due because of the condition of imprisonment or because one has declared one’s identity or belonging to some organization.
In fact in prison there are several prisoners labelled as ‘social’ who are
also skilled arsonists, robbers, able to manage explosives, etc.
I don’t think that we, as anarchists, can acknowledge any value in this.
I think that political space should be something that political prisoners always take thanks to what they have to say.
Of course I’m not talking about oratorical or writing skills.
An anarchist and a revolutionary are characterized by what they say and of course do, not by the labels they are attributed with.
On July 25 a text of Gerasimos Tsakalos, member of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, was made public.
I believe this text represents a wrong use of public space. According to the logic that fish can be called meat,
therefore, a mistake, an apolitical and immoral attack, is called a critique! A list of mistakes and lies concerning me and my hunger strike,
as well as the anarchist movement that supported it, cannot be considered a
critique by those who will read the text.
I wouldn’t have replied to this ill-intentioned attack, as I haven’t
replied to similar attacks in the past, but in this case I think that
there is something that goes beyond personal matters. I don’t know if you
are fully aware of what I’m saying, but the text I’m talking about is pure
provocation that damages the credibility and political weight of the
anarchist movement. It is sensationalism that paves the way to its known
enemies. Basically it does what the screws dared not but which they used
with pleasure (for example with the article on this text published in the
paper of Golden Dawn or thanks to the bad journalists of the regime, etc).
That’s why I think it necessary to say something. The hunger strike I
undertook was no individual action but a collective struggle mainly realized
by the anarchist movement, and also by individuals who supported this
struggle on their own without belonging to the anarchist movement (friends, relatives and sympathizers). The support I got from people, let’s say, not animated by political reasons, is a fact and I have nothing to say about it. But I want to say that solidarity is a relation occurring only between comrades.
Solidarity is not support nor is it a relation born from feelings of
sympathy or antipathy. Solidarity doesn’t come from sensibility or
compassion nor does it come from anger and indignation due to injustices.
Solidarity is a relation of struggle. It is a relation-weapon belonging to
those who fight against the system, the entire authoritarian system. It is
a weapon in the hands of those who struggle for freedom.
I recognize as comrades only anarchists, and I won my battle with them.
Certainly there were also those who thought they could exploit my hunger
strike for political gains, for themselves and their parties. Personally,
I have nothing to demonstrate to anybody. My position has always been
determined and coherent.
Political parties are hostile mechanisms to the human being and its
society. They have always functioned and will continue to function against
the human being’s interests. They will always oppose and undermine any
real struggle for liberation, regardless of their political colours.
Moreover I clarify that I’ve never accepted visits from MPs in hospital,
as someone insinuated, not because of my health condition but because I
didn’t want to see them. Never did I welcome any gathering of political
parties outside the hospital. I only welcomed the demo of anarchist
comrades on July 5, which was decisive for me to gain the strength to
that this struggle would continue ‘until the end, until victory’, until I
felt like doing it.
Unfortunately, and I say this to my flawless critics, I had no control on
who took part in gatherings, meetings, press conferences or on what they
said or proposed. As it is well known this was impossible to me. It is
obvious that my critics only wanted to threw as much mud as they could
before it got dry…
I don’t know about other people’s similar experiences. In the Nikaia
hospital room where I was, besides three rows of bars at the windows, I
was checked 24 hours a day by three different police units which followed
the doctors during medical checks and listened to everything they said. I
got visits once a week, lasting a quarter of an hour, only from family
members, in the presence of a guard who pretended to be friendly when he
intervened or asked me to speak more loudly so that he could listen
better. For a long time they blocked my letters (which changed after a
long struggle), and in some cases they prevented me from getting updates
from Indymedia. On two occasions I had the ‘pleasure’ to be recorded in
the room where I was, which reminded me of the ‘good’ time in prison. The
situation was quite asphyxiating. And if I had the chance to say something
in time I didn’t do so because I thought it would be ‘useless’ to do so in the
condition I was in.
I was admitted to hospital on June 17 (that is to say on the 14th day),
through a report drafted by the doctor of the medical unit of the
Koridallos prison. The report had been issued on June 14, which means the
doctor thought I had to be admitted to hospital earlier. Prisoners know
very well that you don’t go
to hospital whenever you like, unless there is some emergency or a
condition that can’t be treated in prison. This also happens before an
incident takes places.
This is the context of my hunger strike. Moreover, as I had done a hunger
strike a year ago, the doctor decided that the best course of action was
to admit me to hospital instead of leaving me in the prison infirmary.
Jailers don’t send a prisoner to hospital if there is not a serious
reason, and they often don’t do it even if there is some serious reason.
There are many cases of prisoners who die in the cells because the doctor
misdiagnoses their health conditions. Whoever has been in the Greek
prisons, even if shortly, knows that these cases are numerous.
At a certain time during the hunger strike, owing to repeated
hypoglycaemic crisis, I was administered a serum of glucose in order to
stop the risk of imminent death before the judges decided about my
release! This can be understood by anyone in the context of the
continuation of a basic strategy which was to give meaning to what I was
doing. I’ve never thought of committing suicide. Mine was a struggle for
freedom, for life itself therefore. For those who don’t know it, a serum
of glucose doesn’t affect the loss of weight of a hunger striker, as
everyone who did a hunger strike knows. Moreover, sugar levels in the
blood are to be specific. It doesn’t mean that the more serums you take
the better you are. If sugar levels are very high this can be very
dangerous just as when they are very low. It doesn’t matter if you take
one, two or twenty serums in order to avoid imminent death, all the same
sugar levels are to be stable.
To tell the truth, I don’t understand what G.T. means when he talks about
guilt/innocence. Who mentioned innocence? Who mentioned justice? How do
you come to the conclusion that I/we believe that there are right or wrong
preventive detention? That innocent anarchists are to be released whereas
the guilty ones are not? Of course these are rhetorical questions and I
don’t expect any answer.
P.S. This declaration is the first and last one I make about this specific
issue. I declare I don’t want to open a dialogue. I think it would
damage the anarchist movement, therefore I don’t want to do it.
And I recommend calmness and sobriety to everyone…