Act for freedom now receives and translates this letter from our anarchist comrade Nikos Romanos held captive in Korydallos prison, Athens
HUNGER STRIKE ANNOUNCEMENT
Asphyxiation for a breath of freedom
Last spring I sat university entrance exams from inside prison and got admitted to a university in Athens. Based on their laws, therefore, as of September 2014, I am eligible for educational furloughs from prison in order to attend the classes.
As expected, my requests have ended up in the unwanted pile, a fact that leads me to claim these prison furloughs using my body as a barricade.At this point, it feels necessary to clarify my political rationale in order to create a context behind the choice that I am carrying out.Laws, besides being tools of control and oppression are simultaneously a maintenance of equilibrium or what we summarily call social contracts, they reflect political and social associations and partially form certain positions for the conduct of social war.
This is why I want the choice I am making to be as clear as possible: I am not defending their legitimacy, on the contrary I am addressing political blackmail in order to win some breaths of freedom from the crushing condition of incarceration.
At this point, a matter is raised regarding our claims while in a state of captivity. It is a given that contradictions have always existed and will always exist under such conditions. We, for example, participated in the massive hunger strike of prisoners against the new bill for maximum security prisons even though we are fanatical enemies of all laws, similarly many comrades have used their body as a barricade to negotiate the conditions of their confinement (“illegitimate” pre-trial detention, refusal of cavity searches, remaining at a particular prison), and what they did was good.
The conclusion therefore is that, under such circumstances, we are often forced to step into a strategic war of positions, which is a necessary evil in our situation.With this choice of mine, the political characteristics of which are specified in this text’s title itself, the possibility is given to create a battlefront at a time that is particularly critical for all of us.
”Exactly, poetry is the art of purity. It is the one that remains insubordinate, when the order of transparency has subjugated all other means of speech. When the words have been carefully disinfected and decorated like marchionesses in court, since they will end up in the princes’ bed, as much as this might scare them, they will portray themselves as modest, they will pretend they have virtues they have long lost in the gutter of compromise and prostitution. Poetry is either uncompromising or it is nothing.”
Comrades, we have been fenced in for quite some time now. From the police blockades and anti-terrorism pogroms, to the boards of economists that exterminate those who don’t fit into their statistics; from the greek industrialists that resist the onslaught of multinational conglomerates by supporting the late socialism of the Syriza party, to the state of emergency, where politicians try on the suit of the ultra-patriot, always servile for the good of the land; from the cops and the army who are being equipped with cutting-edge weapons to suppress rebellions, to the maximum security prisons.
Let’s call it what it is: if the state is exploiting anything, it is none other than the inaction that has been established as a natural condition.Soon it will be too late, and authority will only show mercy to those who kneel submissively before its omnipotence.The system envisions a future where revolutionaries are buried alive in “intensive treatment correctional facilities” in which their physical, mental and moral destruction will be attempted.
An innovative museum of human horror, with living exhibits displayed with signs reading “an example to avoid,” human guinea pigs upon which all sadistic intentions of authority will be tested.Anyone can come up with an answer to dilemmas and make their own choices. Either spectators who sit in secluded armchairs and lead a castrated life, or actors of events that shape the course of history.
*That night we kept our eyes fixed on the horizon and saw many falling stars drawing their own chaotic paths. And we counted them over and over, we made wishes, calculated the odds. We knew that our desire for a free life had to step over all that oppresses us, murders us, destroys us, so we dived into the void just like the shooting stars we were observing.Since then innumerable stars have fallen, perhaps it’s time for our star to fall, who knows? If we had the answers ready, we wouldn’t have become what we are, but selfish bastards who would teach people how to become rodents that eat each other as they do today.At least we still remain implacable and stubborn like the people of our kind. And those of us who closed their eyes in pain and travelled far continue to keep their eyes stuck on that night sky we also observed. And they watch us fall, beautiful and shining stars. Now it’s our turn. Now, without hesitation, we fall.
As of Monday, November 10th, 2014 I begin a hunger strike without taking a step back, with anarchy forever in my heart.
Responsible for each day of hunger strike, and whatever happens from this point forward, is the prison board, namely the prosecutor Nikolaos Pimenidis, the director Charalabia Koutsomichali as well as the social work assistant.
SOLIDARITY MEANS ATTACK
To all the armchair “fighters”, professional humanists, “sensitive” intellectual and spiritual personages: good riddance to you in advance.
Nikos Romanos Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, Ε Pteryga, 18110 Koridallos, Athens, Greece