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Letter from Ivan and Bruno as of April 2008

from the Prisons of Fresnes and Villepinte in France

Wednesday 18 April 2007

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English] [français] [italiano]

Greetings to all friends, to all those who are not resigned to the situation in
which we live: police occupation of the streets, of the cities, raids,
deportations, arrests, daily difficulties, the dispossession of our lives; the
situation that pushes us to cede a major part of our lives to the bosses of
every genre, to those who preside over our destinies, to power. If we’ve
taken the road of revolt, it’s for all these reasons, to retake the power over
our lives, for the freedom to live.

We were arrested on January 19. Two of us are in prison, the third is under
judicial control (he passed by and had the bad luck of knowing us). We had
in our possession a smoke-bomb that we made with a mixture of sodium
chlorate, sugar and flour. When burned, this mixture produces a lot of
smoke. We were going to use it at the end of the demonstration which took
place that day in front of the detention centre of Vincennes. Our idea: to be
visible near the imprisoned undocumented immigrants, knowing that the
police would surely try to prevent us from getting near the centre. We also
had firecrackers for making noise and tire-poppers (bent nails) which can be
put on the road to block cars from passing.

For the police and justice, the pretext is always found; we had the elements
for a nail bomb. Here is what we’re accused of:

Transport and possession, in an organized gang, of incendiary or explosive
substances or products composing an incendiary or explosive device for the
preparing of an act of destruction, degradation or assault on persons.

Association of criminals intending to commit a crime of voluntary destruction
by the effect of a fire, an explosive substance or any other means to create a
danger for persons, committed by an organized gang.

Refusal to give digital prints or photographs to verify identity. Refusal by
persons suspected of a crime or offense to submit to biological sampling for
the identification of a genetic imprint.

It causes a chill on the back. These are the facts, now we’ll try to contribute
a reflection.

It’s obvious to see that we didn’t end up this way because of what we had or
because of what we planned to do with what we had. The State criminalizes
revolt and tries to smother all “unauthorized” dissidence. What’s targeted is
our ideas and our method of struggle, outside of parties, unions or other
organizations. Faced with this anger that the State can neither reach, nor
manage, nor recuperate, it isolates and designates the internal enemy. The
police use their files and general information to construct “profile types”. The
figure used in our case is an “anarcho-autonomist” cell. Power assimilates
this figure as terrorist. Constructing a danger for creating a consensus for its
population, reinforcing its control and justifying repression.

This is why we are in prison today. This is the solution chosen by the State
for the management of illegalities, of “risk populations”. Today it imprisons
for longer and longer terms. The controls [random identity checks by police],
each time more effective, and the sanctions that create fear also ensures to
those who have or profit from power a society where each individual has its
place and knows the lines laid out that encircle and repress, that can’t be
crossed without paying the price.

If we struggle on the side of the undocumented immigrants, it’s because we
know that it’s the same police who control, the same boss who exploits, the
same walls that imprison. In going to the demonstration, we wanted to yell
“Freedom” in echo with the prisoners, to show that there are many who
understand the revolt that they led for many months. Lighting a smokebomb,
trying to get as close as possible to the gates of the prison, yelling
“close the detention centers”, with the determination of wanting to live free.
This struggle, within which one can recognize oneself, is a terrain for building
complicities, a place for the possible expression of our own revolt.

We don’t consider ourselves “victims of repression”. There is no just
repression, no just imprisonment. There is repression and its function of
management, its role of maintaining the order of things: the power of those
who possess facing the dispossessed.

When the whole world marches in line, it is much easier to hit those who
leave the ranks. We hope that there are many of us who want to fully control
our lives, who have this rage in our hearts, who want to build and weave
solidarities that build revolts.

Bruno and Ivan, April 2008.