They’ve taken us prisoner,
they’ve locked us up:
me inside the walls,
But that’s nothing.
is when people – knowingly or not -
carry a prison inside themselves…
Most people have been forced to do this,
honest, hard-working, good people
(translation by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk)
It’s been almost a month I’m in jail and I’m coping, because amid the disgraceful things that those who work for the state and put society to sleep do, it has done us good to be here, because we become stronger by using our sole power, as a friend tells me every day: our heart, our mind and solidarity (so as to shout for our right and to resist).
Although I’m not the right person to talk about jail, since my time here so far has been short, albeit intense, I have come to realize that the term “correctional institution” is inappropriate – to state it mildly –, if not a joke. By using this term we underestimate ourselves and the prisoners, while we smarten up this monument of repressive cowardice and hypocrisy. How could this artificial environment – in which every person is isolated and the urge to be creative is shuttered, where one is distanced from the people he loves and gradually becomes alienated from society– make better people and help them integrate into society? What a disgrace. Jails are an important part of state repression. This dead space of humanity seems like a “purification chamber” in the eyes of rulers and their subjects; a place where the aim is correctional. However, the main goal can be no other but to terrorize society (so that it cannot act against the state, without this necessarily meaning to act in a punishable way). There are many cases of people who ended up in jail, although they had done nothing wrong. I am one of these people myself. The state’s most directly repressive unit arrested me in the name of their laws, although I protest in the name of rights and freedom.
The emotions and the human rights of those who live free in society fade away just like time goes by and leaves its marks on the prison walls. This is a society that constantly experiences predatory bank attacks; a society which is bombarded with uncertainty by one government after the other, with no guarantees about the present and the future; a society which is monitored and controlled; a society in which people are slaves of artificial needs. To what extent can we pride about our freedom? Reacting, disagreeing and reflecting are now considered offences; every form of reaction – violent or not – is punished as if it showed some kind of “disrespect” to the state. I hope my pupils respect themselves. So who are these perfect citizens that the state eventually wants? What is the value of what citizens say or believe in the face of the state’s institutions? What does the state think about those who react? Does it want the mind of a tramp or that of a dead man?
Through their tactics and the way they punish some in order to make an example of them, they aim to spread fear. They make up stories about bogeys, lies and revengeful tales, while there is also an arsenal of laws to help out in this act of revenge. They lie to themselves and they also lie to the people. They’d probably prefer we were never born or once we are born, to remain silent. This attempt to put society to sleep and to go back to the Middle Ages has proved to be fruitless. The best answer is given via all the social struggles that cannot be overseen, although government spokesmen have tried to disdain them, and the big wave of support and solidarity. Social reaction is alive. And it shall not stop as long as we have the power to think, to feel, to protest and to put up a struggle, for as long as our ideas, our lives and our rights are affected. It is the state that should see reason rather than the opposite.
I don’t belong to any political party and I remain faithful to my ideas; I observe political party synergies, and I do not protest for my innocence –which is a fact–, but rather for the injustice that even according to their standards is done.
Continue to search and ask, and do not trust them.
Freedom of speech, expression and action.
Freedom to all those who are inside and outside prison cells.
Marios Z. – A’ Koridallos Prison wing – 13.04.2010