Translated from Italian by act for freedom now!
As our comrade Gabriel hasn’t written any official communique so far, these words intend to be precisely a communique/diary and a way of sharing with people and comrades in affinity what he thinks in regard to certain questions.
Gabriel explicitly asked his comrade/partner to select the passages (from letters he sent to her) where he reflects/analyses and/or speculates on interesting issues related to the current situation: «coronavirus» in prison, his judicial situation and the circumstances of his imprisonment.
Gabriel is in good health and spirits and he’s ready for the war he’s expecting in the jails of the Spanish State. In spite of the sentence issued by the Supreme tribunal of Lisbon confirming his consignment to the Spanish State, we still don’t know whether the «authorities» will extradite him without taking into account the «state of emergency» declared following the «Covid-19» «pandemic». As a matter of fact, the «state of emergency» itself (theoretically) is preventing prisoners from being extradited to other countries as long as it lasts.
More information to follow.
Long live anarchy!
8th March 2020
Yesterday, as I was listening to (watching) TV, I had already guessed that these scum would leave us without visits and today… well today was a crap day…
Everybody was angry (of course) … discussions with the screws, frenetic conversations among everybody… the summary is very simple: the screws told the prisoners (the angrier ones) to do whatever they liked, knowing that the prisoners would be held responsible… they mentioned setting mattresses on fire (imagine, in a place where there is no air!), about… I don’t know! Obviously I got them to understand what the jailers’ strategy really was (to extricate themselves from any responsibility and have a pretext to worsen our situation even more) and what our [strategy] should be. And ours, obviously, isn’t like that. I said it was better to wait for our relatives to meet outside, gather together and decide on the best tactic to follow.
As lunchtime was approaching, we decided not to go to the canteen and put off our lunch. Some (two or three I think) went in… an act that created a bit of tension. Naturally (with spirits burning with anger) those who had decided to go to the canteen «took a few» as they came out… you can’t imagine the shambles.
In short… they sent six or seven kids to solitary… and left the rest of us locked in the cells… we are in confinement too but in «our» cells.
Dinner time… only three or four wretches banged on the bars to get food; the rest of us stayed in the cells. I don’t know how long they’ll keep us in this condition. I suppose they want to force us (through hunger) to go out one by one, all obedient. They don’t tell us anything. It is like being under a dictatorship. I don’t know when this letter will arrive (or if they’ll even give it to you). In any case stay calm… we’ve been through worse: dignity has no price!
This complicated situation can only be solved outside. We (nothing could be more true) are absolute hostages of these scoundrels.
As I have experience of this kind of controversy, I think that as people get hungry (not everybody has food in the cell) or suffer tobacco «withdrawal» or want to breathe some air, they’ll give in. That’s life. I’m strong, I’ve got a few packets of biscuits and some fruit. As a sticker read: «sorry to disturb you but they are torturing us».
Make sure all this gets known. I don’t know if they’ll let me use the phone. If I don’t call it’s because they don’t let us (…).
9th March, morning
The situation at this very moment (everything is «preventive»: the ordinary regime, visits, etc.) is as follows: they have created two separate turns (divide and rule) for getting out of the cells (…), obviously separate turns also for the canteen and the shower (…).
That’s not the worst (it’s no more than the result of the protest we wanted to organize for the question of visits), it’s the fact that the most important thing has now become secondary. Obviously, the fact that there was a protest here was not mentioned by any «media-shit»… the worst is that because of those who chose to go to the canteen, everything degenerated. Clearly in a protest of this kind (which should be long-lasting, organized – inside as well as outside – for us as well as for our families), it can’t be that those who don’t agree with the majority «get beaten up». Whether they deserve to be spurned or not is another question. The basic question is that not everybody has a little money (and without prison food they are condemned to suffer hunger) and class consciousness (or whatever we want to call it) even less. So it’s complicated. Now they’ve sent three kids (who also took a beating) to solitary and put an end to any possibility of organizing collectively, anything of practical common sense. Fuck it!
The question of visits should be organized from outside with a common sense proposal. Visitors could come in wearing gloves and masks and the problem (according to their stupid logic) would be solved. The «temporary» sense of these measures could become «permanent» so no visits for months… this is the core of the question. It’s absurd that they apply such measures to our families when screws, nurses, educators, etc. come in and out of these walls «without any controls», are we crazy? (…).
I think that a struggle to put some sense in those responsible for the situation must come through a collective strategy organized from outside. As you anticipated, we can’t even count on a space where families could meet… can you imagine! We anarchists, «always» spartan and precarious in all aspects.
It’s good luck, as you told me today, that my version of the facts concerning what happened here on 8th March came out in the internet… otherwise (with no other sources to compare it with) there would only have been the version of these pigs. Now I understand why they had (and still have) such faces today… so afflicted, besides their looks of hatred that don’t touch me in the slightest. They have no idea that, compared to what I have experienced-been through, this (for me) is a joke (…). I imagine that these imbeciles don’t even know who I am or the experiences I’ve accumulated in prison «little wars».
Here we didn’t do what some of the guards in complicity with their arse-licking prisoners would have liked. Unfortunately some of those who (rightly) rebelled didn’t understand what I was explaining to them in terms of strategy and tactics… they didn’t even understand the Machiavellian game that the guards were plotting with their lackeys. Burn mattresses no less! Here! In a place where the windows can’t be opened!
My experience-practice (i.e. my strategy) shouldn’t have been ignored. Refuse prison food (a minimal gesture), wait until the next day to tell families they should meet «collectively» somewhere with the comrades. A reasonable proposal was that visits could be made wearing masks and gloves, avoiding direct contact. Cleaning the visiting hall (with bleach) after every visit (they have enough slaves for this)…
Finally… the fact of having split the heads of those who didn’t go on strike made it easier for the guards to apply the regime we have now. But I’m sure that if I’d let these crazy guys burn mattresses, we’d be much worse off… but the three kids who were blamed for the commotion are fucked: they’ll get to know the Portuguese F.I.E.S. in the prison of Monsanto (southern Portugal). They fell into the trap of these professional provocateurs. Their only «crime»: being young and «stupid». The provocateurs will remain unpunished and in waiting for the next plot. That’s life (…), only the hapless get beaten up…
(…) The virus can help Nature by reducing polluting emissions … perhaps the economic system will be fucked and societies will kick the bucket, who knows? Anyway it’s very interesting to see what a «little beast» can cause… governments are already taking note of this.
Apart from the fact that the prison guard in charge (sorry: the virus) has prohibited us from exercising with weights and locked us in the cell for meals, I don’t have much else to say/recount about my current reality. Disgusting!
I’ve just come up after «my» two hours in the exercise yard (afternoon) where I used to do push-ups and other exercises (given that the chief guard removed the weights with the excuse of «coronavirus»).
(…) In the end, nothing new… everything is going through now, so there’s not much sense in hurrying up because the State (States) have other priorities such as making sure that goods circulate (pure logistics) and securing jobs that are fundamental to the «good functioning» of the state machine: police, jailers, soldiers, doctors, cleaning staff, bankers and a few more… the rest of the «citizens» might as well die «voluntarily» imprisoned in their flats/jails. The panic is such that the masses are submitting voluntarily to everything that is said to them by the General Director of Health… it’s like in the disaster films that I enjoy so much, and it’s really happening! Astonishing!
Many imagine a scenario of revolts, fire and plunder in abundance… well, no. The streets have been conquered by those who are more prepared for this kind of scenario: cops and the military. The «rebels» (progressive citizens) stay at home stuck to the internet and as powerless as the rest of them. My grandfather already used to say it: «whoever has an arse is scared»… and each takes care of their own (I’m adding that).
Coming back to the present, today the head of the screws «temporarily» isolated a prisoner for protesting (about various things happening to him) «loudly»… and, having long arms, also beat him up. Last night the screws were singing, pissed. The only prisoners now eating in the canteen (they must be immune to «coronavirus» like the guards) are the arse-lickers. As you see, here as in freedom, the only law that reigns is the Law of the strongest. They select those faithful to the regime and the rest must obey or else be beaten or locked up. The little boss can act with total impunity (even more so now in a state of emergency) because no relative will be able to see or communicate with those who got beaten up.
Make sure the passages where I’m telling you what these scoundrels are up to circulate in the internet… perhaps they are enjoying impunity today but there’s always a tomorrow and besides I want to say it today so that it remains (…).
I suppose that trying to organize a response to what is going on in the prisons at the moment is an almost impossible mission… and it’s impossible because the majority of society itself (where prisoners come from) are prisoners of governments and their military. The propaganda of the State and of its various «experts» (doctors, journalists, etc.) is extremely powerful: the consequences are before everybody’s eyes. Only minoritarian sabotage can get some results and give a response to such capitalist bio-fascism… we can’t wait for «the mass» because they always behave as State-capital orders. We’ll see (as this goes on in time) how long it takes them to take to the streets when their fridges are empty and the scarce (economic) resources they have put aside are no longer sufficient for basic needs; when they won’t be able to hug their families, friends, lovers, who are imprisoned or a long distance away: will they be content with recycling? Will be they content with internet and cell phone? These are rhetorical questions, I know… I’m reading between the lines what’s going to happen. Everything has a limit; the fear will pass… and with a bit of «luck» governments will fall.
In certain cases the resolution of a conflict can go through «dialogue»… something I’m not accustomed to because normally I don’t go looking for problems but when they appear I try to solve them. Dialogue is something I’m not that good at with those who «violate me»… in practice I understand that to violence one must respond with greater violence: more intelligent and effective… as Sun Tzu said in “The Art of War”: «when you decide to fight, it is you who must choose the most propitious battlefield and time». Obviously Sun Tzu’s formula doesn’t bear much weight in jail.
Panoptic techno-fascism is happening in the here and now… you have to count on quite precarious human material (when it hasn’t deteriorated) which doesn’t understand strategy or tactic… if you add the fact that the «battlefield» (i.e. the space) is completely in their power (it’s the dominion of the jailer), to resist you are left with only improvisation and intelligence (…).
Screws and arse-licking prisoners have made an alliance to discriminate us from their «way of life » outside the cells. The brain is the wise man’s muscle… and this is the muscle I use more (of course their favourite muscle is the tongue…).
(…) On TV only the «virus» exists (…) if I were religious I’d be convinced that it’s a “divine” sign… The punishment of God himself! That’s what happens if you get together with the Archangel Gabriel, the «Holy Highness’s» favourite…ha ha!
Now the Portuguese Supreme Tribunal can «only» consult the Law and put its telephones aside…I’ve read the lawyers’ statement many times: it’s very good! Only an act of bad faith or explicit corruption could agree with that corrupt piece of shit Girona…
On the issue of «Covid-19» and of how different governments are reacting (and on the lack of a social response), you can see: France managed to apply a pension reform in one go; Italy is nationalizing companies at full speed; Israel, in the face of the «national emergency», will continue with «Netanyahu» as a leader (right now, when there was a multilateral pact ready to get rid of him) and “justice” has stopped (naturally also his trials for corruption)… if there was already total precariousness in the job market, now vast majorities of workers are directly excluded. We’ll see if the euro is kept as common currency. Cities shown to be (what they are) toxic dumps, proletarian prisons which serve only to administer misery and death. As concerns all kinds of total institutions – prisons, mental hospitals, migrants’ centres, care homes, etc. – they are camps of selective extermination. The virus has highlighted power relations. Those who thought they were “privileged” in the old social order have discovered they are as precarious as the others they used to look down on with scorn. The economy and power are in command, and in this part of the world they will always be selective and «staff reductions» will occur. As goes the trend in disaster movies: when the Earth is no longer habitable, «spaceships» will only have room for «the most qualified»: the King and his followers (the rest can die).
It strikes me the way the media propaganda agents (TV and the press) are exercising their power… and labs are selling us «hope» in the form of a miraculous vaccine. The Chinese are already testing their formula (human guinea pigs are not lacking); the United States say they are close to a formula; Germany «seems» to be nearing that… it looks like a pharmacological competition to reduce the virus’s effects… as we «dream» about a miraculous medicine that will liberate us from death, we are getting used to the slow death by the capitalist system. In a short while they’ll make us believe that food «rationing» with tickets will be the most rational model for the survival of humankind. Capitalism will tell us that «communism» is the only possible alternative: citizen comrade, me above and you below!
These are interesting times (politically speaking), full of possibilities (I start sympathizing with the «little beast»): will we keep on ignoring that the King is naked? Or will more children see that power is naked? Will we keep on being voluntary and hypocritical servants? I know… once again these are rhetorical questions… the only thing I know is that the worse (the economy) the better (for alternatives). Many forget that «those who count least» are «the many» in the world and that the only harmful virus we must exterminate is capitalism and its authoritarian violence that is debilitating us inexorably…
(…) It «amuses » me to observe how ridiculous the powerful are when they announce that «security forces» are doing everything possible for the «common good»… they aren’t «safe» from the virus either (in fact in Portugal there are already infected cop squads, doctors, nurses, politicians, etc.) and the struggle between «good and evil» we leave to Nietzsche who knew what he was writing about.
(…) Okay, whether I’m extradited or released is still to be decided by the Supreme Court of this country and I can’t see this happening for the moment (and for some months to come)… I mean Courts have almost come to a halt and then (when they start functioning again), we have to consider about two months at the Supreme and a little more at the Constitutional (…).
The truth is that I prefer to concentrate (not «get anxious») about the most immediate things such as taking care of my health, doing sport, reading (…). I have no death sentence nor a deadly disease… what we are experiencing is a situation of clear political persecution where they are using anything they can to fuck me up… but this can’t go on for much longer (…) I only have to concentrate on resisting (as I’ve always done) and take back my freedom once and for all.
True, nothing new is happening… since the link with the outside was cut off, the only things that have changed are the prison regime and the guards’ and prisoners’ behaviour: the guards believe they are «god-on-earth» and the prisoners are crawling like worms in order to «enjoy» some crumbs behind other prisoners’ backs… to observe the former’s and the latter’s behaviour can be interesting to those who like psychology and even anthropology…
(…) I’m waiting for the bio-fascism period and relative dictatorship and totalitarian reclusion to end… at this very moment I’m watching a «professor» on TV who’s saying that we have to get used to not kissing and hugging in the short and long term… they’re sick! It’s comforting to know we are individuals and not part of a uniform mass moving towards the abyss.
(…) I think that I could remain in these conditions until at least the end of April/early May… luckily I have had experience (and without a threatening «virus» into the bargain) of various «prophylactic» and «quarantine» situations… so I «adapt» (psychologically) to these situations of «emergency» without problems…
As for the «virus», I can’t tell you whether I’ve had it without showing any symptoms or it didn’t even get in here… of the little more than twenty that we are, as we are separate (we go to the yard in eight people), and I personally relate with only one other prisoner, I think it’s unlikely to contract the harmful-colleague «coronavirus»… but… I don’t think of it too much, I prefer to do push-ups, situps, abdominals, and that kind of thing. I’m very big and strong. Naturally being strong isn’t a guarantee of anything given that the «little beast» attacks the lungs and these are precisely my physical Achilles’ heel (…). Here they’ve been taking our temperature for weeks… the only real risk is the guards who come from «outside»: they are the only «risk agents»… from what I see (on TV), the old people who are dying in care homes were infected by their «carers» (considering that they have been without visits more or less for the same period as prisoners) who never got a «test», and think that this theatre of social-isolation was theoretically created to «protect» «groups at risk». Obviously prison guards are not being «tested» either… only those with «symptoms» are being «tested»… finally… the question of «prevention» and «rationalism» from the health strategic plan is ridiculous and absurd. Not to mention the fact that the highest risk of infection is represented by hospitals and by the «medical service». Everything is demented… I only hope this collective hysteria will end as soon as possible because nothing and no one can «protect us» or «take care of us»: completely the opposite…
(…) Shit! The appeal to the Supreme was rejected! To go to Spain right now! It’s «scary»… I hope they’ll delay it a little more, but I’m not counting on that… to get there right in the middle of this viral pandemic and totalitarian chaos in prisons… and I’m asthmatic. They never had such a favourable situation to get me out of the way without dirtying their hands… fuck!
I saw a video on Portuguese TV that some prisoners in Custoias (Porto) had filmed with a cell phone… it made me smile to see these three in hoods threatening to burn the jails with a «revolução»… as the media mentioned three jailers being infected in Custoias, the prisoners are beginning to get paranoid about «dying of the virus contagion » and on TV they are already talking about an impossible situation (promising pardons and similar things), in prisons in the north. From what I know of the biggest prisons in Porto, it’s possible that some revolts might break out already this week… I’d say Custoias and Pasos de Ferreira could be among the first. These are overcrowded jails (more than a thousand prisoners in each) where the guards have no control… it’s not like this shithole where out of the barely thirty prisoners, two or three are OK and the rest aren’t even good to fertilise a potato field.
The reason I believe that revolts will break out is not because of the video (opportunely filtered by the media) with hooded guys and what they are saying (threatening) is going to happen… but because I know that fear and the sensation of «injustice» can generate in desperate people… after all (like us) they’ve been without visits for a month, without food or drugs… and this, in addition to the media bombardment on the virus, is the perfect combination for a storm (…).
(…) They have already started to release prisoners with sentences (or residual sentences) of less than two years… those who have leave permits (in Portugal they are 1,000 prisoners out of a total population of 12,000) and the elderly-sick… if we consider that the imprisoned Portuguese population is the oldest in Europe (30% are over 60), this suggests a great number of releases… illusion and desperation are factors of «control or chaos»… given that the Germans (and I think Spain and Italy did the same) have already put into effect UN recommendations by releasing prisoners, the Portuguese will follow the «diktat»…
What a coincidence! In the midday TV news (at this very moment) they are still talking about prisoners… they say the amount of tranquilizers has been doubled (they said that plain and clear); they justify this by saying that the majority are drug addicts and that, in addition, in this situation of imprisonment and cramming, anxiety and fear are multiplying and blah blah blah… there…
I didn’t even waste time reading the sentence of the Supreme Tribunal… if I had some «hope» (so to speak) in Portugal’s decision-making autonomy, this proved to be just an illusion that I should never had nourished, knowing as I do that those who really command (first in the shadows and now in broad daylight) are «intelligence» services and their cops in «civil society»: police, judges, journalists, etc.…
The «virus» has pointed out what we’ve been saying and suspecting for a long time: capital and the State are the Moloch to be destroyed… the «Era» of the technocrats and «social-democrats» has already used up its «historical card» before the eyes of the whole world. Whoever at this moment (and after the latest bio-fascist touch) continues to believe in «Rights» is a downright imbecile…
In relation to the «coronavirus preventive» measures in prison, from the beginning we’ve clearly seen whose «rights » are being «reduced» first: all those who have been stacked in closed institutions as human meat. What was the point of cutting off visits if prison guards and technicians have been going around in the institutions without gloves or masks? The question is rhetorical because the answer brings to light, through the facts, who it was that really infected the elderly in the care homes… now the question of Portugal’s infected care homes is coming out… nearly all of them are!
The director of the health service Graça Freitas is directly responsible for the dozens of dead and hundreds of infected in the care homes… and not only! Wouldn’t it have been «logical», given that they cut off a possible way of transmission (family visits), that they closed the prophylactic circle by testing the carers for Covid-19 and distributing gloves and masks to them? Obviously! But this lady did the same in the jails! Only now (since 30th March) do the prison guards enter with gloves and masks… and, theoretically, only now they are to be «tested»… and why? Because only now it has come out publicly that the care homes are nearly all contaminated. And only now (since 28th March) have they identified three infected guards in the prison of Custoias (Porto)… today (1st April) we learned from the TV that 25 «inmates» are isolated in the prison of Santa Cruz Do Bispo and at least one is positive to Covid-19… perhaps institutional employees are immune to Covid-19? Obviously not. A reading of the facts shows us that there hasn’t even been a planned strategy or that adequate prophylactic measures have been adopted. The director of the health service Graça Freitas has exercised her power in those institutions simply, a) because «patients» and «prisoners» can’t defend themselves and b) because guards and workers don’t question her power.
Another question is: how is it possible that prisoners’ and patients’ families, friends, etc. have allowed all this to happen? I give you the answer: blind faith in the authorities and technicians; the same fear and lack of answers in the face of the unknown… it’s sad but this shows how illusions and the trust that «citizens» place in the «authorities» make it possible for the latter to invest in this so that their very families are transformed into prisoners or patients, «dying» of authoritarian negligence…
Isolated, with no visits (in some places even with no mail or phone calls), a segment of society remains at the mercy of the bio-fascist Moloch … and «society» remains locked in their homes with no right to strike, demonstrations, work, etc., and the homeless might as well die freely in the streets or in sports pavilions … here we have a portrait of capitalist society! (…). If they managed to lock up society in almost the entire world, imagine what they can do with prisoners, migrants, the elderly and all those who are in the jails of these murderers and genocide-perpetrators!
You can (and must) publish all that I’m writing. Of course there could be alternatives to conciliate «quarantine» and «external communication » but we’re not all equal…
In the next few weeks the drama of the appearance of Covid-19 in Portugal will begin… seeing the bunch of incompetent at the ministry of Health and Justice, we’ll see how many «refrigerator trucks » for the dead the prisons and other closed centres will need.
(…) It matters little whether it was a lab or Nature that created this virus… it was necessary. And it doesn’t even matter much if it infects me or my mother. Nature is implacable and humankind must learn to respect and fear it. There exists no Nature «made-to-fit» the human being; it’s not a «human resource». The whole haughtiness and scientific and arrogance must feel terror of it. This time the virus has been benevolent, it has only struck 2% of humankind and has spared children. It has been less lethal, classist, racist and sexist than capitalism. It’s curious how people fear more a virus of this kind than techno-industrial capitalism… I’m convinced that if capitalism is destroyed we’ll be able to create something better… worse than capitalism (and relating variations) we can’t do: that’s for sure. So I hope that it [the virus] won’t be contained, that it will be naturally brutal… I wouldn’t like, should it limit itself to a «scare», to see morons wearing t-shirts with the message: «I survived Covid-19». Citizenist cynicism must stay buried. This is not 11th September with «heroes» and «villains» who continue to curse anything after the «scare» (…).
The other day I saw an astonishing (or maybe not) story on TV: a Portuguese TV channel (TVI) was giving «news» of a hospice… all of a sudden this «team» of cameramen realize that an old lady is trying to escape from the back by removing a fence… What did the «journalists» who were «informing» (in alarmist tones) about the drama unfolding inside there do? Call the carers to lock up the old lady again! The moral of the story is very simple: there is no empathy and/or sympathy towards the old person looking for freedom, the possibility of a life, no. The drama is for those who stay stuck to their television set, it is the objectivity and rigour of information… then they pull out their phone and become snitches so that the presumed «infected-old lady» threatening «our» safety is recaptured: the victim is a criminal! So… I sympathized with the old lady and wished the worst death to these snitches.
(…) I’m very curious to see how people will react after this forced imprisonment, how the economy will be, how people will relate to one another, exactly. Will the European invention survive? Will the borders be opened? Will planes come back to sail the skies from one place to another? If unemployment is to be as massive as expected, what will people do? What will the «effects» of forced coexistence be? These are questions that really arouse my interest and curiosity. I also wonder up to what point and for how long «citizens» will be prepared to remain in compulsory «quarantine».
(…) I’m looking at (and analysing) the regime «news» concerning the serum tests they are proposing to do (or are doing directly) in countries such as Germany, England, France, Italy, the United States and China to find out which people are immune to the virus. All this is showing us how the new liberal market is already selecting the «most suitable» workforce… this global «emergency» has given States and capital a huge quantity of «private» data concerning their «citizens» and customers… so now these will experience on their own skin what it means to be under a high surveillance regime such as F.I.E.S., in first grade, second grade and/or open regime. All day long, uniforms everywhere: police, soldiers and jailers; controllers and bankers… (…) and anyway the «quarantine» experience has already prepared them for their entrance into «live-prisons»: locked up and with no rights; watched over and with no «control» over their lives.
Now that we are all prisoners
Now that we are all prisoners we know what it is to feel longing, to hate and to love…
To feel longing for walking under the sky with the sea breaking against the rocks.
To feel longing for meeting up with friends and being able to hug them.
To feel longing for the loves we adore kissing.
To feel longing for everything they don’t let us enjoy today.
Now that we are all prisoners we know what it is to hate…
To hate monotony and the boring conversations we can’t escape from.
To hate the septic imprisonment that limits and suffocates our freedom.
To hate the days and nights that follow on from one another like that, without anything else.
To hate the selfish behaviour of others, which alone we can’t avoid.
Now that we are all prisoners we know what it is to love…
To love nature that allows us to breathe.
To love intelligence that invites us to dream.
To love sensitivity that makes us enjoy.
To love the freedom to be and to stay.
Now that we are all prisoners: it’s time to think…
Gabriel Pombo Da Silva
Porto – 29th March 2020