France: Letter from Damien, arrested last month in connection with labour law protests

(reposted from Rabble)

damien

Damien Camélio was arrested on 7th December in Brittany, accused of attacks that took place during a manif sauvage (wild demo) in Paris against the labour law in April last year. He is specifically accused of attacking a job centre, Jaguar dealership, Chamber of Commerce and a Franprix supermarket. Damien is currently being held on remand in Fleury-Mérogis prison on the outskirts of Paris, along with several other prisoners held in connection with the protests, including Kara Wild, Antonin and Nicolas, all of whom are accused of attempted homicide following an arson attack on a car of cops in May.

What follows is Damien’s first letter published since his arrest. The translation comes via new Franco-English translation site, Bordered by Silence. Check it out for English versions of texts coming out of last year’s wave of rebellion against the ‘Loi Travail’ in France and more.

Back in the Slammer: A letter from Damien from the Fleury-Mérogis jail (France)

From Cette Semaine

I’m writing from Fleury, where I’m being held in preventative detention[1]. Since the charges against me are, as usual, totally boring and unimaginative, I wanted to offer a different telling of the lovely spring night of revolt, written by some true lovers of disorder, so that my comrades have an accurate and realistic depiction of what I’m alleged to have done: Reportback on April 14: hold in the rage too long and it bursts out like it should[2]

I don’t want to complain, so I won’t give a detailed account of my arrest, similar as it was to all those that happen each day, here and around the world.

However, it does seem important to mention a few things.
During the search, the cops found some anarchist propaganda, namely some newspapers, brochures, posters, and tracts, as well as a few texts in the process of being translated. I refused to sign the papers dealing with the search as well as those for my being held taken into custody.

After being transferred to the police station in Paris’ 19th district, I couldn’t reach my lawyer. I refused to be represented by a different one and so my hearing was held without the presence of a lawyer. I made this choice because my statement to the pigs fits in one line: “I am neither guilty nor innocent. I am an anarchist. I have nothing more to say to you.”

Because I refused to make a statement, I don’t know at present what evidence they have on file. These lackeys of the powerful only told me that they have 8 DNA samples that match my genetic profile, and I know from having seen it that their folder on me is a brick, six or seven centimetres thick.

To get more information, I’ll have to wait for my lawyer to have access to the folder and to come meet with me in prison. In any case, I’ve already made clear that I want the entire process and all my statements be made available to my comrades so that they can make whatever use of it they see fit. No copyright, no property, and without the censorship of the political bureau of any party, even imaginary ones [3].

After a night spent in the holding cells of the Paris courthouse, a sort of medieval dungeon where the cops satisfy their sadistic urges, I was taken to court for an immediate summary trial [4]. Since my lawyer wasn’t there, I asked for a public defender at the last minute in order to get the date pushed back.

The prosecutor, as usual, started bellowing a bunch of stupidness while making big gestures and sounding quite assured. She stated, for instance, that the residency declaration made by a comrade present in the room was inadmissible, because of grammatical mistakes in the text… And she continued, full of confidence, that of course, all opinions are respectable, even anarchy, but that is no excuse for the actions I’m accused of.

We have to admit, if these clowns in black robes didn’t have power over the lives of others, they’d really be good for a laugh!

But until such a time as the courts are destroyed and the judges are sent to their proper place, in the circus, we can’t let them say whatever idiotic thing that comes to mind. Regardless of the fantastic allegations of the prosecutor, anarchy is not an opinion, anarchy is a set of ideas that fit with a set of practices.

Since what I’m accused of took place during a social movement that wasn’t a single mass, I want to make clear that I refuse the humanitarian solidarity of the unions or of any pacifist or citizens’ group that plays the role of intermediary for the transmission of power. My only desire is for the complicity of individuals in revolt who conspire in the shadows, ai ferri corti [5] with the existent and with power.

My thanks to the comrade present at my arrest for the dignity she demonstrated in the face of the little soldiers of order, and thanks to all my comrades who reacted so quickly. Your support in the courtroom warmed my heart and gave me lots of strength.

Don’t be too worried about me. Having spent several years in prison, I know its social codes very well, and I will doubtless find among the undesireables, of which I am a part, a few complicities rich in possibility.

Because submission is never an option, because each individual act of revolt contains all the violence of social relations, because there remain countless stories to be written, across time and space, across the gray metropoles, inside and outside…

… the fight continues.

December 14 2016

Damien Camélio
n° d’écrou 432888
MAH de Fleury-Mérogis (Bâtiment D5)
7, avenue des Peupliers
91705 – Sainte-Génevieve-des-Bois
The French State, Earth

Endnotes
1] Pre-trial detention for people who don’t get bail
2] The link is in French, but the gist is that during a demo on April 14, as part of the movement against the new labour laws, a whole bunch of stuff got smashed, including hotels, art galeries, grocery stores, car shares, banks, and notably car dealerships. Folks went inside a Jaguar dealership and trashed as many cars as they could.
3] A little jab at the appelists/tiqqunists
4] Often in France, the state will try to run your trial within a couple of days of your arrest
5] “at daggers drawn”

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One response to “France: Letter from Damien, arrested last month in connection with labour law protests

  1. Heya, thanks for publishing this letter from Damien. He just sent out another last week that is translated here: https://borderedbysilence.noblogs.org/post/2017/01/16/debating-justice-a-letter-from-damien-out-of-the-fleury-merogis-jail/

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