21.08.19: On Monday night, we set fire to several construction vehicles on the grounds of the Zwickau Marienthal Prison construction site. An excavator was burned out completely, the other four excavators and a front end loader were damaged by our fire and made partially unusable. We would like to dedicate this action especially to Loic, the Park Bench 3 and the Basel 18. They are missing from our side.
In Zwickau-Marienthal, construction work on a joint new prison complex for the states of Saxony and Thuringia began recently. At the beginning of 2020, a 6 meter high wall will surround the 10ha area. The concrete complex, which is to be completed by 2024, will then hold 820 people within its walls. In its workshops more than two-thirds of the prisoners will be forced to work.
One of the contractors and profiteers of this major project in Zwickau is the company Hentschke Bau GmbH from Bautzen. The Reichsbürger (name for followers of a reactionary movement in Germany that believes in the ‘German Empire’) and owner Jörg Drews, donated 19500 euros to the AfD (far-right political party Alternative for Deutschland) in 2017, making him one of the party’s single largest donors during this election campaign. Also, Drews attends Identitarian Movement events and demonstrations, organizes far-right events on behalf of his company, is a member of “We are Deutschland” from Bautzen and supports the far-right magazine “Denkste Mit?”. It is not especially surprising that fascists like Drews support the construction of prisons and can still line their pockets with money.
The beginning of construction of the Zwickau-Marienthal Prison is only a few months behind the opening of the new Saxon Deportation Prison in Dresden and the extension of Leipzig Prison. Despite its planned size, the enemies of freedom are still crying out for more prisons and so an additional building is already being discussed in Thuringia. Furthermore, more prisons are being erected everywhere, such as the planned deportation prison in Glücksstadt in Schleswig Holstein, the Rottweil prison in Baden Württemberg, the Billwerder youth prison in Hamburg, the Klagenfurth prison in Austria and the Bässlergut II deportation prison in Basel.
Prison is one of the institutions that very clearly shows us the absurdity of our society. The value of property is placed above all, even above that of a human being. The Statistics Office of the European Union lists crimes as “acts which harm or are intended to harm a person, acts of sexual violence and acts of violence against property” in one and the same classification. A huge number of prisoners are sentenced for property offences. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of prisoners serve alternative terms of imprisonment for being unable to pay fines imposed upon them. Even people who have fallen into poverty in old age are not protected from having to go to prison at the age of 70 for fare evasion. Sadly, we see this again and again in the newspapers. The society that we live in causes poverty and divides us between above and below. Attempting to escape from poverty ends for many with exclusion from society. It is a tool of the powerful to keep us in check. While some earn millions by exploiting people and the environment or speculating on food and housing, others are called criminals for expropriating what capitalist society denies them.
In order to maintain this world of oppression and exploitation, the State needs the opportunity to rid itself of those who rebel against its injustices. Repression is directed against those who escape from the system, who seek alternative ways of living and survival, who escape control and oppression, or who rebel against it. When surveillance and control are no longer effective, the end result is deprivation of liberty, isolation from society, along with physical and psychological violence.
Our society supports, demands and encourages this perversion. We live in a world in which the profits of the few determines our lives and autonomy is constantly criminalized. In such a world, nobody is free.
The responsibility for the mass imprisonment of people lies with the assertion that this will reintegrate them into society. They claim that they are trying to reintegrate them into society. The true function of the prison system, however, is ultimately to break the individuals who have lost their way and rob them of their autonomy. Their willpower, which opposes capitalist normality, is to be destroyed. In doing so, the prison resorts to various repressive and “non” repressive measures. In open detention, with day leaves, parole and a more humane facility and freedom of movement, one is permanently under the threat of being imprisoned if one does not behave in a conforming manner. In closed detention, benefits are granted which are withdrawn in the event of bad behavior. For particularly rebellious individuals, there is isolation – 23 hours alone in a cell and a 1 hour courtyard walk. In addition, a contact ban can be imposed, so you have to do your walk alone. This total isolation is aimed to physically and psychologically destroy the individual. If one does not submit fully, indefinite detention for safety reasons can be imposed, like what happened to our comrade Thomas Meyer-Falk.
To speak of socialization in the context of captivity is pure farce, considering the isolation in which the prisoners find themselves. The violence of the State against human beings is more direct than in any other form of domination. In total heteronomy, decisions about obedience or rebellion must be made in a matter of seconds. Rebelling is punished immediately. The deprivation of liberty is no more and no less than an absolute necessity for the preservation of power.
For us, when we fight against prisons, it means always fighting against the cruel reality that imprisons us every day, even in the outside world. It means to fight for an autonomous and domination-free life, to tackle every authority and oppression and to attack all structures, institutions and mechanisms that maintain them. These include not only institutional and social structures and constructs, such as States and corporations, religions and the logic of exploitation or racism and existing gender relations, but also interpersonal approaches based on greed, envy and competition.
We see this attack as a contribution to the upcoming International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners. Our hearts are always with those who have to sit behind the walls of our enemies and with those who have to flee their environment because they are doing everything to get their greedy hands onto them.
Burning hearts cannot be imprisoned!
Freedom for all prisoners!
Autonomous Commando Thomas Meyer-Falk