About the definition of cooperation and confrontation within the prison
system: an interview with the antifascist Christian S. from Berlin, on
resistance inside the prison walls.
Christian is locked up in the prison of Berlin-Tegel because of his active
”Why did you give yourself in?“
After the last time I have been released, in january 2006 after the
pretrial detention time, I have been asked often if I want intending to
serve the rest of the sentence, 40 months, or if I rather choose to go
underground. A topical question which appeared already often in the
history of resistance, and which have been answered in different ways. On
the one side, many people fought for my release and therefore the fact
that I choose to enter „freely“ the prison again, might take people by
surprise. On the other one, going underground means always more and more
charges for the one who support me, and it carries also some political
results. An escape reprents a huge financial and logistical
organizationally effort to be carried on by all the solidary environment,
a fact which does not make a person on the run very happy. Moreover, an
escape following a sentence for breaching the peace (ndr. Christian's
case), brings also grist to the mills of the ones who are responsible for
the inflactionary increase of arrest warrants after a demonstration or any
antifascist action; at least, it makes a decision for the release from
custody very difficult for all the others. As last, my eventual going
underground would have meant that nazis and the repression boards would be
able to decide who is aloud to be politically active in Berlin, and who,
instead, need to prepare his/her luggage and get on his/her own way.
„Does the decision of giving yourself in then representing an act of
cooperation with the state?“
In the case of short sentences, it is not a problem to not give yourself
in and to wait until the moment you will be then arrested. Talking about
long ones, going underground represents the only true alternative.
Regarding my case, I was hoping to pass the message that it is possible to
keep on living despite prison, say not renouncing to your friendships or
your political desires. To push the possible mistakes that lead to being
caught, put into custody and process back it is necessary to point them
out to others. Indeed, how many people choose to step away at least from
the antifascist scene, following their first „contact“ with the pigs?
„How is resistance possible inside prison?“
Cooperation in prison means for example to accept important workplaces,
such as in the workshop or in the sanitary and so on...Exaclty those kind
of jobs have to be refused, also the contact with with the officials has
to be avoided, beside the absolutely minimal one. Instead, the usage of
your own „rights“ and the communication of any kind of abuse, through an
intensive work within the public sphere, might be contributing to a fully
desiderable confrontation inside and outside prisons. Despite the usage of
a wide spectrum of oppressive means – as of ones, intended to destroy your
own personality – not all the ones willing to resist are being extirpated
by the prisons of Berlin. The rage within the prison for young offenders,
in Moabit (prison for the ones awaiting trial) and in Tegel is very big,
but a lighting spark from the outside is missing.
„Are you aware on how resistance is looking alike in other countries?“
In Greece or Spain the level of political consciousness and of resistance
within prisons is much higher, also because many actions of solidarity are
happening on the outside, actions that here are almost unimaginable.
Surely, also in Greece no prisoner is being released because a bank have
been bombed in his/her name, but these kind of actions are contributing in
making the prisoners collective consciousness stronger, as well as of
their supporters and of all the movement. Absolutely fatal would be
leaving the resistance within prisons to our enemies, who gather around
the Neonazisinger from the band Landser, Michael Regner. The solidarity
demonstration done by the nazis to the Tegel prison produced a structural
increase of the nazis here inside.
More informnations about Christian:
Our passion for freedom is stronger than any prison!