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(en) Germany, Karlsruhe, ANIKA: Speech on the Day of Political Prisoners - cockroaches - Fight for a world without prisons! (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 4 Apr 2024 08:17:59 +0300

People have 7 to 9 square meters in their cell if they are prisoners in a German prison. Things are looking worse worldwide. ---- Today - especially - and every day, the call for freedom for all political prisoners applies in left-wing movements. But crammed into 7 square meters, it's not just those who are running, sitting and sleeping who oppose the state order in their actions because of their political views. ---- According to the Federal Statistical Office, over 4,000 people in Germany are imprisoned every year because of their poverty. They are serving a so-called substitute prison sentence because they were punished for banalities such as so-called fare evasion and cannot pay this penalty. At the same time, there are largely racialized people in prison.
As of March 31, 2023, there were a total of 44,232 prisoners and people in preventive detention in German prisons, of which 15,559 people had foreign citizenship. If it is taken into account that around 52% of all so-called German citizens are migrants, it becomes clear that the penal system primarily affects the poorest and weakest of the population.
This shit has a system and it has a history.
Prison as a place and method of punishment became established around the time of the Industrial Revolution, and only became widespread in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century. One often hears that this process was the result of a higher level of civilization and humanity. In reality, this process arose from the development of wage labor, the emergence of the proletariat, and the desire of the new bourgeois class to spread and strengthen its domination over society.
Driven away from their communally managed properties, a veritable vagrancy was created. At the request of state and capitalist institutions, these should be trained to be cheap workers. Since they resisted this, re-education was only possible through repressive laws, prison and punishment. The time was ripe for class legislation, which can still be found in all bourgeois-capitalist states today.
7 to 9 sqm.
The re-education of prisoners occurs through an attempt to break their spirit. Early forms such as torture and the death penalty gave way to supposedly milder methods such as imprisonment and silent coercion to work. The punishment of the soul lies in the use of domination practices that force the prisoner to supposedly reform. What this means is adapting in order to be able to return to the labor market. The prisoner should feel under constant observation, while at the same time the prisoners' communication with each other and with the outside world is under the control of the guards. The prisoners' vision narrows, locked in narrow corridors and tiny prison cells, so that the eye can no longer see into the distance and the mind can indulge in its free rein. You have to be able to afford the prison. Accommodation will be billed to the inmate. The use of electrical devices recorded in an electricity bill. Anyone who was already economically underprivileged gets out of prison with debts. We don't give a damn about the nonsense about rehabilitation! (possibly related to scientific results that speak against the success of rehabilitation in prisons)
Solidarity with all prisoners can be difficult, including, for example, sexual criminals without signs of remorse. Thomas Mayer-Falk says that we must approach the goal of abolishing all prisons step by step through a transformation of social practices. Until the saying "Freedom for ALL prisoners" can be valid.
And that's why we address all friends of the good life for all:
Down with all prisons and cages!
Let us look for alternatives to punitive logic, such as transformative justice approaches. Let's support the abolitionist movement and the solidarity work of organizations like the anarchist black cross or the red help. Let's fight together for reforms that would at least make life easier for some. Because concrete demands can already be made today:
Get rid of Section 43 of the Criminal Code, which regulates the substitute prison sentence!
Public transport for everyone and free of charge! No more fare evasion!
The anarchist Clara Wichmann wrote in 1922:

And therefore - although we welcome any, but only real and sincere, reform that is now being introduced in the criminal law and penal system - our aim goes further: we demand radical transformation, not partial improvement. We see a different principle at work: that of a new time, of a fraternal humanity that increasingly has to break with the principle of punishment in general.
Cancel capitalism! Burn down the prisons!
Bring on the good life for everyone!

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