To argue and fight for a society free of domination can lead to people being thrown into the dungeons of the respective regimes. There, the bodies are to be locked up in the tightest of spaces and the resistant spirit put in chains, forged against the bare concrete walls.
Those who are not willing to submit face a long, a very long time behind bars. But it is weeks of action like now in August 2021 that forge a bond between the people in front of and those behind the prison walls. A bond between people whose hearts beat for liberation and for freedom.
One of the challenges seems to me to be keeping a vibrant solidarity movement intact over very long periods of time, because even as more and more states are officially renouncing the death penalty, they are shifting to locking people away for decades at a time. What may seem to some to be an even worse punishment, the sheer eternity of being locked away. In order to help the people in prison to keep hope alive, but also to give those comrades who are actively fighting in front of the walls the certainty that they will never be forgotten, action weeks can be an essential means of affirmation!
I myself was arrested in October 1996, taken to Stuttgart-Stammheim, and spent the first 11 years in solitary confinement (in legal language, this was called “solitary confinement: uninterrupted segregation from other inmates”). Although the incoming/outgoing letters were read by the prison administration, and often copied, these letters were a bond to the people outside. This gave such strength, words cannot really describe it.
The more often concrete physical violence is dispensed with in modern prisons, the more hopelessness, abandonment, isolation become the weapons of the regime with which the comrades want to be broken.
In my eyes, the “Week of Solidarity” also stands for setting something loud and militant against this.
Thomas Meyer-Falk, z.Zt. Justizvollzugsanstalt (SV)
Hermann-Herder-Str. 8, 79104 Freiburg