(These words arrived with a delay due to the restrictive communications of the Spanish extermination centers. On March 7th, 2017 Mónica and Francisco were finally released to Chile, where they were greeted with a great deal of media and repressive threats. Finally today, they have returned to the street with their dignity intact.)
Affinity and Solidarity against victimization and authority
In the struggle to break with the establishment we look for and create relationship forms that are contrary to imposition and authority. Forms that help us feel comfortable in order to develop autonomously in our proposals and acts of daily confrontation. With this feeling we understand affinity represents the most suitable way for anarchist relations and that it’s not the fruit of empty slogans repeated until satiation, but the result of practices and shared visions that have helped generate long lasting bonds of passionate friendship and intimacy, that go beyond the simple bonds of just friends.
The trust and care that comes from feeling and knowing that the ideas of permanent rebellion are the sustenance and strength of affinity helps build and develop anti-authoritarian practices. In turn, these ideas, are inseparable from our choice of life, the option that reinforces what we plan and how it is to be done. It is through these relationships that we grow individually and have the undeniable possibility of acts with no strings attached, which impedes the creation of bureaucratic and authoritarian behavior, cutting off the concentration of power.
Critics of this position have signaled that this form makes it impossible to influence “social reality” and that it turns anarchism into a ghetto. Our response is that we don’t understand anarchism as a political party that uses all of its strategies to increase numbers for the purposes of achieving hegemony. We think that the means must be coherent with the ends as it would be contradictory to claim total liberation otherwise. For us, anarchism is, above all, a tension where individual initiative plays a central role, not a production.
As this experience of imprisonment comes to an end we have lived through the birth, the strengthening and reinforcement of relationships of affinity. Our friends have given meaning to the word solidarity filling us with strength and pride. Overcoming many difficulties, we have been able to collaboratively build positions and initiatives of what we’ve learned. The will and determination of our friends, even if this sounds repetitive, has destroyed walls, bars, the space of time, and eliminated obstacles of isolation and communication. We have attempted and believe to be successful in establishing a relationship that breaks away from and is in opposition to the welfare practices where prisoners are viewed as “a poor victim of the system who is the subject of atrocious injustices.” The assumption that, as anarchists we find ourselves in a permanent confrontation with power and that it has its consequences has given possibility to put into practice an active and combative solidarity with a clear and unambiguous line of discourse. The idea – strength of “neither guilty, no innocent, simply anarchist” is reflected in our position against prison and repression both in and outside of their walls. It represents a way of living and being in prison that is linked with intransigence that opens innumerable paths of action for friends in the street, ways which attempt to destroy power by not falling into their categories and contrary to their predatory logic.
When repression represents an opportunity
The repressive wave that materialized in the operations of Pandora and Piñata represented the hardest strike against anarchism in Spain since the 1980s. Their clear attempt was to eliminate a sector of the anarchist movement by quickly moving forward with harassment, persecution, and imprisonment of friends. Evidently, the magnitude of state repression has had its consequences, as could not be otherwise. Many initiatives were put on hold, spaces were literally looted by the repressive fury and the worry of being enveloped into the paranoid fantasies of power created a certain immobility that has little by little began to be overcome.
However, in our opinion, due to the clumsy and inconsistent theory of the police, this strike represents an opportunity to highlight the weaknesses of the State that utilizes classic strategies of imprisonment and intimidation in order to reduce and eliminate those who will not be domesticated. Along with this, we believe that these operations are closely related to the rise of social movements and their incorporation within the institutions; those who refuse to play the game of democracy can await prison. Because of this, it’s important to address what the significance of these strikes and resulting solidarity in terms of understanding the social movements that have transformed into political parties don’t represent, in any way, an ally, rather they are an apparatus of power with whom we have nothing in common.
Throughout the operations of Pandora and Piñata the State has, as previously mentioned on several occasions, attempted to attack ideas and practices that are radically different than it, as evidenced by the fact that none of the imprisoned friends are accused of concrete actions. What they’ve tried to do is punish a way of living, the option of struggle against the established order and permanent anti-authoritarian activity that, that more-or-less, has influenced many spaces and aspects of the milieu. Therefore, the continuing transition on the path of rupture represents, a small victory that demonstrates that the State can show us its worst face, but it can’t bend us. In this regard, we believe that solidarity with the friends imprisoned must necessarily be the transgressor and on the offensive, breaking away from the discourses of pessimism and victimization. The utilization of all of our creativity, limited only by our anarchic principals, is fundamental in strengthening our solidarity. In the war against domination all actions are necessary.
Finally, we would like to send all our love and strength to our German friends held in prison, accused of robbing a bank there, who are currently facing a difficult trail. We are reminded in each instant of the pride and joy they have shown, are also ours and the possibility to be your friend.
Today and always an open hand to friends and a clenched fist to the enemy.
Death to the State and long live Anarchy!
Mónica Caballero S.
Francisco Solar D.
Prisión Villabona – Asturias
2nd of February 2017