Letter #42 from UPIII



Recieved 27th September 2018

JVA Köln, 16th September 2018

“Testimony of a person who is under house arrest” - Highlights and Comment from UPIII

In Prison at Home for three Weeks

Published here: LINK

On 26th November 2015 at 2.30 pm, officers of the state police came to my house to place me under house arrest for the whole duration of the COP 21.

For the past ten years I have grown and learned within political movements that promote genuine values, that are concerned with the state of the world and work tirelessly for social justice. And when I say ’justice’ I am not referring to the justice dispensed by institutions, the same justice that today has placed me under house arrest. The only just thing about that is its name.

For all these years, I have been surrounded by people who hate lies, who have taken hold of their own lives, who worry about the future of the world and believe in equality for all. Everything is discussed collectively and open to debate. We think about others, we respect, support and listen to each other. We fight against all forms of injustice. Our lives are a constant struggle, and it is our sincerity that gives our resistance its radical dimension. There is nothing ugly or despicable in it. Beauty lies at the heart of all our ideas.

My life for the past ten years has nothing in common with the vacuous stories and caricatures that are doing the rounds in the press and on television. We are described as a mindless mob, a degenerate and nasty crowd, motivated by a love of violence, stupid, manipulated rouges. Each time we are mentioned even briefly, the intention is to paint us in a bad light. Our texts, our songs, our lifestyles are of no interest to anyone. The spirit of freedom they convey scares people. 

Everything can be explained by something I’ve been telling myself for the past week: they are afraid of freedom.

The State and its representatives, caught up daily in petty political concerns, are afraid that what they represent – that is, nothing – could be challenged by the majority. How else can you explain the contempt that is shown to those who abstain from voting in elections?

And this fear, when mixed up with an anxiety about no longer being able to ensure social harmony, leads the State to take drastic measures. It’s a constant state of emergency. A few madmen fire into the crowd, and a democracy suddenly becomes a dictatorship. If it can happen so quickly, that means the distance between the two is negligible. Fear is an excuse for anything. Fear can even be transferred from those who exert the power to those who submit to it. And once the fear has spread, it doesn’t take much for yesterday’s democracies to vote in armament, war, militarisation of society and the abolition of civil liberties. In any case, that is all they have to offer: market-driven imperialism and colonial domination. All their ideas are rotten, and those that seem good on the outside are hypocritical.

Only six members of parliament voted against the state of emergency. They are puppets and cowards, all of them. Let’s send them to Syria to dirty their white collars, maybe they’ll understand then what it’s like on the ground when a bomb explodes. All of the elites welcome the introduction of autocratic measures, even if everyone well knows that they will never stop a suicide bomber from blowing himself up in a public space nor anyone from pulling a gun from his jacket to fire into the crowd. If any proof be needed, take the squadron of police that has been stationed 200m away from the Bataclan since the Charlie Hebdo attack. They did not prevent or even hinder the massacre on the 13th November. Yet the discovery of some hidden arms was enough to convince the sceptics of the utility of the police. What a pitiful mascarade.

And behind these highly publicised successes, thousands of people have been humiliated, their freedoms trampled on. It won’t be talked about; most of the people concerned are Arabs and blacks, and poor to boot. Human rights, yeah right. The more they talk about them, less they exist. In any case people like me don’t expect anything from the law. Rights and laws are the prerogative of authority. And authority is totalitarianism.

After threats from the internal security police (RG), dozens of summons after a demo, surveillance outside the house where I live with other people and a house search at some friends’, I find myself under house arrest. I hear that I am dangerous. Armed men come to my door to give me the letter that restricts my freedom of movement. The justification, or rather the pretext: according to what the police knows about me and my life, they assume that I am perhaps planning violent actions around the climate conference. They imagine this to be so. A firm foundation for such a drastic measure.

I have never been convicted nor suspected of any violent actions. In my political vision of the world, violence means physically attacking another person. I do not know anyone in the circles I move in who makes an apology for physical violence, except in the case of self-defense. At the outside, sabotage, like that used by the résistants during the Second World War, vaunted in school history books. Anything else is pure fantasy. The fantasies of policemen and politicians deluded by criminological discourses and reports commissioned by the interior ministry to make the police force seem more appealing and draw new recruits from the most apolitical margins of society.

In their letter, the security police describe me as one of the ’leaders’ of an occult ’radical opposition movement’ which is driven solely by violence. A leader of what? The police, in their ignorance, have still not understood that the political movements I belong to do without leaders and organise horizontally. Their own submission to authority prevents them from understanding.

I am also accredited with superhuman insurrectional powers and acts for which I have never been suspected nor charged. They write that in the past, in one night alone, I threw petrol bombs at policemen, tore up 25m of fencing, cut fibre optic cables, etc. If only I could have been so efficient in a single day, I would surely have asked for a bonus from ’those who are in charge of our movement’… The stories and legends of the security forces suffice to prevent a person leaving home for three weeks. This is not surprising in a democracy. 

I have to sign three times a day at the police station. 

I am not allowed to leave the town in live in.

I have to stay at home from 8 pm to 6 am. 

From 26th November until 12th December. 

Based on what? Suppositions, and only suppositions.



My thoughts:
To be honest I wanted to highlight most of this letter. Thank you to the person who sent it.
I hate how real this letter is. I'm stuck in a cage because I wanted to be free. I wanted to say "I do not agree". What a drastic fucking measure the State is taking with me.
Nine months for WHAT? "I hear that I am dangerous... They imagine this to be so. A firm foundation for such a drastic measure." Maybe it's because I didn't give in. They're trying to crush the resistance out of me.
I'm rambling because it's super late but this letter always gives me hope. To read that all the stuff that's happening is ridiculous. Useless. Especially because I don't scare that easy.
On Wednesday (it's Monday now I think, or very close to it) I will have been in prison for six months.
And here is me, on Monday morning, in my cell, still thinking "fuck you" and how dare you do this. I'm tired, really fucking bone exhausted, but I can still lift my head to yell.