Statement from the arrestees of Pandora II
Last Wednesday, the 28th of November, nine people were arrested in the course of a new anti-terrorist operation orchestrated by the information services of the Mossos d’Esquadra [Catalan police], in connivance with the 3rd Court of the Audiencia Nacional [high court in Madrid]. After the search/sacking of our houses, as well as that of the Libertarian Athenium in Sants, we were taken to different police stations on Barcelona’s periphery, and handed over the next day to the Guardia Civil [Spanish police] to be transferred to Madrid. At midday on Friday, we were taken before the judge Juan Pablo Gonzalez Gonzalez, who decreed liberty with charges for two of us, imprisonment eluctable by bail for six, and inconditional imprisonment for the comrade who currently sits in Soto del Real.
The group of arrestees who are currently out of prison wish to make public a series of reflections and political positions:
The generic accusation for the nine of us is “Membership in a criminal organization with terrorist aims”. Concretely we are accused of forming part of “GAC-FAI-FRI,” which is well known to be a concept artificially constructed by the police, a joining of initials that intentionally and in a very calculated way mixes spaces of coordination among collectives (GAC) with the ‘signature’ that on an international level some groups use to claim sabotage actions (FAI-FRI).
The construction of this organization-framework supplies the police with all the repressive resources that the anti-terrorist apparatus has at its disposal: tribunes with the mandate of a state of exception, greater juridical insecurity, much harsher sentences for those comrades convicted of certain actions, incomunicado detentions, special penitentiary regimes, personal relationships of friendship or comraderie perceived as criminal, media hype, social stigmatization, etc. It is enough to say that during the entire process of the arrest—from the moment we saw our houses invaded and ransacked until the point we were brought before the judge—we did not even know what we were accused of.
With the invention of the initials GAC-FAI-FRI the police forces have designed a net with which they can potentially catch anything that moves within the anarchist and anti-authoritarian milieu. In the context of this organization-framework, going to debates, participating in assemblies, visiting imprisoned comrades, or simply having personal contact with a person considered a member of the organization are sufficient criteria for inclusion on the black list. It is this diffuse and extensive character which provides the true force of the anti-terrorist strategy: after every repressive wave, those who solidarize with the arrestees are also susceptible of being considered part of the organization and as such arrested, one after another.
The concept of the terrorist organization is designed to be indefinitely extended, perhaps with the objective of that moment when the entire milieu considered to be dangerous finally ends up isolated and suffocated by the repressive dynamic, or when the capacity of that milieu to continue taking political action is so reduced that it is no longer worth the effort to continue repressing it. The fact that this new operation contradicts the very declarations of the Mossos (who had already affirmed that the Barcelona section of the GAC-FAI-FRI had been dismantled) does not surprise us, given that the terrorist organization is constructed, modified, and amplified by the actions of the police themselves, and not the other way around. The “fight against terrorism” creates terrorism, the same way that law creates the crime.
The attempt to fix the existence of a terrorist organization supposes a qualitative leap in the repressive strategy used against the struggles, a leap that should not go unnoticed by anybody and that demands a profound reflection in the heart of the movements.
We signal the Interior Counsel of the Generalitat [autonomous Catalan government] and specifically the General Commissary of Information of the CME [Catalan police] as the direct culprits of this latest repressive agression. The attempts to dodge the blow claiming that the Mossos are only following the orders of Madrid are nothing but petty, cowardly evasions of responsibility that cover-up their involvement in these deeds, as they were the ones who impelled and designed every last detail of the operation approved by the Audiencia Nacional [high Spanish court in Madrid].
[Translator: parts of the Catalan independence movement, hoping to benefit from the latest wave of repression, have qualified it as another example of the Spanish state’s repression of Catalunya, as though anarchism were a national phenomenon belonging to Catalunya. To achieve this distortion, they have to minimize the role of the Catalan police and government in the repression.]
In this sense, seeing how the Generalitat of Catalunya hands over young Catalans to the Spanish tribunes, prisons, and repressive bodies that are a continuation of Francoism, gives us a very clear image of what the real basis is of the so-called “sovereignty process” [which the Catalan government currently in power is conducting in an attempt to win independence from Spain], putting in evidence just how perverse the liberating rhetoric that surrounds this process is. What is certain is that the [Catalan] government identified the anarchist and anti-authoritarian movements as an enemy to destroy a long time ago, and the Pandora process has no other objective other than to achieve this goal. They strike at anarchism not for its ideas on an abstract level, but rather for what it has been, what it is, and what it can be in practice: a minority of revolutionaries that do not hesitate to defy the system and its oppressive and corrupt foundations, that encourage those around them to rebel, and that refuses to be seduced by the channels of political integration that a liberal capitalist democracy can offer.
During the last cycle of struggles, fed by the global financial crisis and the politics of austerity that have placed the entire weight of the adjustments onto the backs of the exploited, in Catalunya a new terrain of resistance has opened up, in which the role of revolutionaries has become especially bothersome to the neoliberal project of the Generalitat. With all our limits, errors, and contradictions, during these last years we have fought to stop the attacks directed against living conditions (as regards work, housing, healthcare, etc.) of everyone; we have disseminated a structural analysis of the crisis, demonstrating that the problem is not one or another aspect of the system but the system itself; we have created spaces and networks for the resolution of our problems and necessities via solidarity and mutual aid, autonomous structures free of the institutions with their dynamics of paternalism and charity; we have, together with thousands of people, strengthened the strikes that have lit up the city in defense of our interests as workers; we have raised barricades against the destruction of neighborhood social centers; we have gone into the streets to repudiate femicide, to visibilize the exploitation of women in the sphere of reproduction and care, to disobey the anti-abortion laws that pretend to control our bodies and our lives; we have denounced and broken the silence around police violence and murders, around racist persecution, the deportation machinery, the immigrant detention centers, prisons, and of course, we have never stopped pointing out and attacking those responsible for our misery, the States, the bosses, and the elite financiers, both local and international.
This is what we are, and this is what we aim to destroy. The political objective of these repressive waves is none other than to spread fear and discouragement in order to obtain social movements that are domesticated, reluctant to disobey and opposed to breaking the rules of the game that Power imposes in order to perpetuate itself. And from that stems the repression against anarchists, communists, independence activists, strikers from the 29th of March [general strike, 2012, soon facing trial], the accused from the Can Vies riots [May 2014], those convicted from the Blockade Parliament action [2011, some of whom are soon to enter prison]… The system does not pretend to convict our guilt, but rather to demonstrate its own innocence: it wants to absolve itself by delegitimizing, isolating, and neutralizing all that which accuses and confronts it.
The solidaristic response to our arrests shows us that our enemies are still far from achieving their objectives. We want to thank and to recognize each and everyone one of the showings of solidarity expressed in these past days. The protests, the marches, the actions, the gestures of complicity and care, the economic donations… the enormous support received has an incalculable value for us, a value that easily compensates for the bad fortune we have received, that shrinks it down until it becomes no more than an object of ridicule. We do not believe in their laws, nor in the guarantees they offer us: our only defense, our only guarantee, is the solidaristic response in the streets. The massive demonstration of support that you have offered us, and that previously we offered to our sisters and brothers arrested in the earlier [anti-terrorist] operations, demonstrates the failure of the anti-terrorist strategy in its attempt to isolate us through the extension of fear.
Now we are in the streets, but only partially. One of us, Quique, remains locked up in the prison of Soto del Real. For this reason, the solidarity must not stop; on the contrary it must multiply. We call for an intensification of the struggle in the streets for his release, for every single comrade to write him at least one letter, and to enthusiastically back up all the convocations and call-outs made on his behalf, as well as to be attentive to any request or information that comes from the collectives he forms a part of: Libertarian Action of Sants and the Syndicate of Miscellaneous Trades of the CNT-AIT of Barcelona. Under no circumstances will we leave him alone; not him, nor Monica, nor Francisco [two anarchists arrested on anti-terrorism charges in 2013, still locked up awaiting trial], nor the rest of the imprisoned comrades.
Neither arrests, nor trials, nor prisons can break the bonds of our solidarity or our political commitments. For us, the dirty cells where we have spent these last days will always be more dignified places than the luxurious offices from which the misery of everyone is managed.
NOT ONE STEP BACK!
THE STRUGGLE IS THE ONLY PATH!
–The arrestees of the latest phase of Operation Pandora who are currently out in the streets.