*If they touch one of us*
*Solidarity with Mónica and Francisco*
It’s already been two months since Mónica and Francisco, along with three other comrades, were arrested, isolated and the former two subsequently jailed under the harsh FIES regime, and the others on conditional release (with weekly sign-in) awaiting trial for the same charges.
Many comrades from different places remarked to us of the apparent aura of <<secrecy>> perceived around everything related to the comrades’ situation with the case itself, and that following the media hype around everything about the arrests a statement should have been made. What is certain is that, as we already know, against the propaganda of the regime and its ideologues, that is, against the press, little can be done as counterweight; it can be proven, seen how they weave their webs, and how, closely with the state, they are carving a niche to fill with the next internal enemy: Islamists, Galician independistas, animalists accused of opening cages, anarchists… These –those who do not wish to go through the orthodox ritual that mandates representation or using the proper channels (that is, democratic, legal, etc.)– will be those who fill the vacancy created by ETA, a vacancy that serves the purpose of not only occupyin the postion of internal enemy that feeds into the bureaucratic, repressive and judicial arsenal, the call for antiterrorism (itself an institution that refuses to go away and therefore has to prove its effectiveness and existence as necessary), a vacuum which can also be noted in the cells to be filled and in the pages of the press, that would leave room for other things in the reader’s mind; the evictions matter little, or that millions of people have no way to make a living –not even through channels of slave labor–, that the politicians fill their treasure chests and laugh in our face. There are very dangerous phantoms, they tell us, of whom to be truly afraid: the immigrants, the terrorists, etc.
Those who have seen the news these days will remember all the charged xenophobic language used by these media props, the journalists and ideologues of the regime, to described our comrades. The intention is clear: to generate false myths. They tell us of the “Mediterranean triangle”, that “they are outsiders”, of these “foreigners who come to do bad things”, of “bad anarchists who come from the outside” and of “Greek and Italian anarchists who come to instruct those here”, etc. What these lying “experts” fail to recognize is that in the Spanish State there is a long tradition –so to speak– that is anarchist, huge, diverse and fluctuating, but almost as old as anarchism itself: from the struggles of the Andalusian libertarians, the reverberations of propaganda by the deed, the Tragic Week of 1909, the Revolution of 1936, the anti-Franco guerillas, the millions of people in the free Barcelona of 1977, anarcho-syndicalism, all moments and events that make it clear that here, identification with anarchist practice is nothing new.
As for the investigation against our arrested comrades, it is closed , which doesn’t mean that new evidence can’t appear overnight. What we also know is that there is another open investigation that appears to seek to create an international anarchist organization, with strong harassment of several comrades. We have no idea where they will surprise us from since we have seen in these last months that the inventive capacity of the police is rather boundless, nor do we know if these latest arrests in Galicia are part of this plot. We do not deny the existence of “international relationships”, nor that anarchists move –like everyone else– in a world which largely forces you to move even though you don’t want to; including that we travel in search of complicities, we won’t deny evidence, but we do flatly refuse to recognize the existence of this fictitious structured organization that the cops and judges love to imagine. Once again they try to seek out elements that fit their theories, although their geometric figure must warp and add more angles. What we have seen with our own eyes has been the collaboration (or simple *spectacle*)between the police and authorities of Chile, Spain and Italy, we have seen their press conferences, their handshakes and praises and it disgusted us. The only international terrorist organization that we know, that we know of the existence of is that of the States and their institutions.
From the heritage religion has left us with, from the secularization of concepts which have gone beyond religion itself, are the notion of guilt and punishment which are found deeply rooted inside of us. “If it wasn’t them, why not say so?” say a few naive voices. Others, less naive, speak of the concrete act of which they are accused in order to refuse solidarity. Both attitudes point an accusatory, policing finger –consciously or not– towards something (our mothers told us it was bad manners to point fingers at people). All action is debatable, even that with which these comrades are charged, but between us, between comrades, in a manner that is serious, conscientious and to draw conclusions favoring the continuation of the struggle. The media *assault* sought, from the outset, to undermine the possible path of solidarity, to create a wedge and a vacuum, to separate. Harsher than the concrete panels that make up the prisons is the emptiness generated by a lack of solidarity. Regrettably, they partly had their work cut for them by us: once again the *good* anarchists and the *bad* anarchists, the *insurrectionary* and the *social*, the *cultural* and the *active*, and many more, leaning on a false separation, a nonexistent false dichotomy and coming from a simplistic and superficial analysis in our opinion, which only serves to face the different fronts of anarchist struggle against each other.
The press and the police send clear messages on the matter: “If you try to subvert the established order we will lock you up, we will publicize your faces and names, and we will treat you like what you are, like terrorists”, “if you stand in solidarity with those who do these things or are accused of doing them, you too will be treated like terrorists”, etc.And similar to a harsh critical parent, ultimately the threatening hand is more effective than the blow. But, what if we learn to face that blow so that it causes us the least harm possible?
If we refuse to stand in solidarity with people because we are not in agreement with what they are *accused* of, that is, because we do not agree with
the actions of which they are accused, we are legitimizing the voice of the state and affirming the accusations, we are entering terrain that is not ours but that of our executioners. Beyond what we think of the acts, we are convinced that solidarity should never be seen from a moral point of view, a point of view much influenced by the media and also, from the complete opposite perspective we don’t believe that the validity of any action has to do with a criminal code, throughout the duration of a trial. Laws and morality (which also implicitly generates laws) we will leave to the judges, to the priests, to the *out cry of the* journalists, to those who are afraid of themselves. And of the rage of the oppressed.
Direct communication with our jailed comrades has been difficult since the beginning. We know that they are in good moods and staying strong.
They are receiving letters (some of them arrive very late) and can only send two letters a week, one of which is to communicate with each other. Francisco is getting visits, but has gone weeks without seeing other prisoners because he has been alone in the module. A few days ago he was notified that they will also be applying article 10 (FIES 1) and he will be transferred to Córdoba. Mónica, after being under observation, alone, and without vegetarian diet, is in Brieva (Ávila) under article 10, in a module together with 4 political prisoners and 8 other prisoners. She doesn’t get visits yet (since the bureaucratic procedures have to be redone every time there is a transfer) but she can make some phone calls.
These arrests and incarcerations have brought us to float some questions: how to express solidarity?, how to make it so that it is not only the people closest to the arrested/accused who have to take care of everything?, what does the FIES mean for anarchist prisoners and what can we do?, how not to give in to the blackmail of the jail and its shadow?
We’ve set up an email address to which those who wish to know more about Mónica and Francisco’s situation can write. We are also collecting money for present and future costs since surely they will have to complete preventative detention until the sentencing and we all know the costs involved in this.
Any qualms, contributions, critiques, questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
No one will be left alone. *If they touch one of us they touch all of us* is a phrase we love to scream. Let’s see if we can put it in practice.
Freedom and Solidarity!
note: as of publishing, Francisco has been transferred to Cordoba, is with other prisoners, and is doing much better.