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Letter from Ivan and Bruno from the prisons of Fresnes and Villepinte

Greetings to all friends, to all those who are not resigned to the situation in which we live: police occupation of the streets, of the cities, raids, deportations, arrests, daily difficulties, the dispossession of our lives; the situation that pushes us to cede a major part of our lives to the bosses of every genre, to those who preside over our destinies, to power. If we've taken the road of revolt, it's for all these reasons, to retake the power over our lives, for the freedom to live.
Letter from Ivan and Bruno from the prisons of Fresnes and Villepinte

Greetings to all friends, to all those who are not resigned to the situation in which we live: police occupation of the streets, of the cities, raids, deportations, arrests, daily difficulties, the dispossession of our lives; the situation that pushes us to cede a major part of our lives to the bosses of every genre, to those who preside over our destinies, to power. If we've taken the road of revolt, it's for all these reasons, to retake the power over our lives, for the freedom to live.

We were arrested on January 19. Two of us are in prison, the third is under judicial control (he passed by and had the bad luck of knowing us). We had in our possession a smoke-bomb that we made with a mixture of sodium chlorate, sugar and flour. When burned, this mixture produces a lot of smoke. We were going to use it at the end of the demonstration which took place that day in front of the detention centre of Vincennes. Our idea: to be visible near the imprisoned undocumented immigrants, knowing that the police would surely try to prevent us from getting near the centre. We also had firecrackers for making noise and tire-poppers (bent nails) which can be put on the road to block cars from passing.

For the police and justice, the pretext is always found; we had the elements for a nail bomb. Here is what we're accused of:

Transport and possession, in an organized gang, of incendiary or explosive substances or products composing an incendiary or explosive for the preparing an act of destruction, degradation or assault on persons. Association of malefactors intending to commit a crime of voluntary destruction by the effect of a fire, an explosive substance or any other means to create a danger for persons, committed by an organized gang.

Refusal to give digital prints or photographs to verify identity. Refusal by persons suspected of a crime or offense to submit to biological sampling for the identification of a genetic imprint.

It causes a chill on the back. There are the facts, now we'll try to contribute a reflexion.

It's obvious to see that we didn't end up this way because of what we had or because of what we planned to do with what we had. The State criminalizes revolt and tries to smother all "unauthorized" dissidence. What's targeted is our ideas and our method of struggle, outside of parties, unions or other organizations. Faced with this anger that the State can neither reach, nor manage, nor recuperate, it isolates and designates the internal enemy. The police files and general information constructs "profile types". The figure used in our case is an "anarcho-autonome" cell. Power assimilates this figure as terrorist. Constructing a danger for creating a consensus for its population, reinforcing its control and justifying repression.

This is why we are in prison today. This is the solution chosen by the State for the management of illegalities, of "risk populations". Today it imprisons for longer and longer terms. The controls, each time more effective, and the sanctions that create fear assure those who have or profit from power a society where each individual has its place and knows the lines laid out for him or her that encircle and repress, that can't be crossed without paying the price. If we struggle on the side of the undocumented immigrants, it's because we know that it's the same police who control, the same boss who exploits, the same walls that imprison. In going to the demonstration, we wanted to yell in echo "Freedom" with the prisoners, to show that there are many who understand the revolt that they led for many months. Lighting a smoke-bomb, trying to get as close as possible to the gates of the prison, yelling "close the detention centres", with the determination of wanting to live free. This struggle within which one can recognize oneself is a terrain for building complicities, a place for the possible expression of our own revolt.

We don't consider ourselves "victims of repression". There is no just repression, no just imprisonment. There is repression and its function of management, its role of maintaining the order of things: the power of those who possess facing the dispossessed.

When the whole world marches in line, it is much easier to hit those who leave the ranks.

We hope that we are many who want to fully control our lives, to have this rage in our hearts to build and weave solidarities that build revolts.

Bruno and Ivan, April 2008


Who are the terrorists?

The conditions of life become every day more unbearable for those who are forced to remain in fear. Fear of not having a job and of not making ends meet at the end of the month. Fear of the police, fear of prison. Because at its foundation, the baton and its acceptance are what guarantee social relations.

In this backwards world, terrorism is not what forces billions of human beings to survive under unacceptable conditions, it's not what poisons the earth. It's not what forwards a scientific and technological research which everyday further subjugates our lives, penetrates our bodies and modifies nature in an irreversible way. It's not what imprisons and deports human beings because they don't have an adequate little scrap of paper. It's not what kills and mutilates at work for the enrichment to infinity of the bosses. All that is called economy, civilization, democracy, progress, public order.

Politics is in reality the art of disguising things by changing words. Their planetary scale "war on terror" is just a propaganda weapon to legitimize all exterior military aggression and all interior repression.

In a mirror effect, the State wants all of us to be obliged to be the reflection of what comes out of its dirty authoritarian mouth. Friendships, affinities and the sharing of an idea of freedom become an "association of malefactors in relation to a terrorist enterprise". The links woven within struggles become an "anarcho-autonome movement". A smoke-bomb becomes a bomb.

And still, to organize it isn't necessary to constitute an Organization, just like a strike is not a hostage-taking. An attack against a bank, a prison, an office of the National Employment Agency, an election office, a detention center, or an act of sabotage against the circulation of trains or the machinery in a factory, is not "terrorism". An abyss separates those who insurge for freedom and those who strike out randomly to defend, consolidate or conquer power, namely the States and their competitors, the bosses, their mercenaries and their laboratories of death.

In this social war which unfolds at work as in the street, at night as in the day, the enemy is every individual who puts an obstacle in the way of the radiant march of capital.

May each one, in the manner that one estimates is most adequate, oppose the terrorism of the State and its totalitarian democracy. We don't drop this declaration of war on your heads.


[A poster put up on the walls of many French cities in April 2008]


Chronology of solidarity:

Paris, January 19, 2008 - Ivan, Bruno and a third person are arrested by a police patrol before a demonstration outside the immigrant detention centre of Vincennes where immigrants had been in revolt for a month.

Paris, April 4 - Ivan and Bruno's release demand is rejected.

Paris, April 5 - Tens of thousands of people demonstrate in the streets against the repression of immigrants. Smoke-bombs and a huge banner declare "Long live solidarity with Bruno, Ivan and all the others. The demonstration continues in a wild form, going to Vincennes and Joinville where undocumented immigrants have been assassinated by the police. There are graffiti tags, slogans, a municipal police car is attacked, advertising signs are torn down, and surveillance cameras are obscured in the train station of the Vincennes area.

Dijon, April 11 - There is a gathering in front of the prefecture in solidarity with undocumented immigrants and Ivan and Bruno. About 80 people block the route with two big banners reading, "Free Ivan, Bruno and the others. Long live solidarity with the undocumented," and, "Neither selection nor deportation!". Many smoke-bombs are set off.

Paris, April 17 - The Hotel Ibis of Porte Dorée has its surveillance cameras obscured and is tagged with "Fire to the prisons!" and "ACCOR Collabo". A communication explains that the hotel is part of the ACCOR group which is part of the deportation machine at the ports and is helping with construction at the Roissy ZAPI 3 immigrant detention centre.

Paris, April 21 - 50 people are present at the court date for Bruno's release demand and yell "Freedom for Bruno, freedom for the undocumented," and "Power assassinates, justice is complicit." On the sidewalk outside, a banner is brought out reading, "Long live solidarity with the undocumented; freedom for Bruno, Ivan and the others."

Lille, April 21 - A communication explains that the BNP bank branch at 84th Street and Gambetta was attacked, its cash machines were broken and a dozen of its windows were broken. "Solidarity with all the prisoners, with or without papers, with or without chlorate. Freedom for all!"

Grenoble, April 22 - The bureau of CROUS was occupied for 5 hours to protest the collaboration of the institution with the police in the arrest of an undocumented student immigrant on April 8. The collective "Smoke-bombs for everyone always" is there to also call for solidarity with Bruno and Ivan. Two smoke-bombs are burned by a window on the last floor and leaflets are thrown to bystanders.

Paris, April 26 - A solidarity concert is held for those charged and imprisoned in the struggle against the deportation machine. A banner for Ivan and Bruno is present and a dossier of texts called "Bad Intentions" is widely distributed.

Paris, April 28 - A gathering demands freedom for Ivan. About 70 people yell "freedom for the undocumented, freedom for Ivan" in front of the court of appeal. When leaving by the stairs, people are pushed and hit by police and defend themselves. One person is arrested by the cops. Outside people are surrounded and chased by police, who receive the help of cafe owners in making arrests. 28 people are arrested and released except for one comrade who didn't have her papers and who is insulted and hit by police and kept over night in jail.

Paris, April 29 - In the night, an Air France agency is attacked. Six windows are broken and a graffiti tag is left reading, "Air France Deports, Break Air France". A communication ends with,"Freedom for all the prisoners, with or without documents, with or without chlorate."

Paris, April 30 - Two BNP cash machines are attacked, all the windows of a Red Cross building are broken and a Mercedes registered to some embassy vehicle is attacked (against all states) . A communication explains that BNP supports the cops against the undocumented and the Red Cross helps deportations in France and manages detention centres in Italy and Belgium. That same night, the office of ANAEM (foreigner and migration agency) has its windows shattered. "Solidarity with those who rebel in the prisons, detention centres and police stations."

Grenoble, May 4 - Concert in support of Bruno and Ivan at the Palm Bitch squat.

Paris, May 4 - Hundreds of people demonstrate at the Vincennes detention centre where the detained are on hunger strike. Demonstrators yell "socialos collabos" at the socialist deputy of Paris, George Pau-Langevin who attempted to speak and was forced to escape with the help of the police and a member of the 9th Sans Papiers collective. Keny Arkana and Kalash perform music outside the centre.

Toulouse, May 8 - 30 to 40 people gather behind the Tribunal of Grande Instance in solidarity with all prisoners, including Ivan and Bruno, whose public letter is given out.

Paris, May 10 - The radio broadcast of France Culture is interrupted and a text is read aloud ending with,"Solidarity with Ivan and Bruno and all the imprisoned. Shit to the undertakers."

Grenoble, May 13 - Gathering outside the Administrative Tribunal in solidarity with all undocumented immigrants and Ivan and Bruno. About 80 people distribute leaflets and the public letter from Ivan and Bruno. Smoke-bombs are set off and the group meets up with demonstrating high-school students.

Paris, May 24 - A hip hop night is held, "against the deportation machine, for Ivan, Bruno and all the others."

Rennes, May 28 - A public gathering is held in solidarity with Ivan and Bruno.


Week of Solidarity without Borders 9 to 16 June 2008

19th of January 2008 - Ivan Bruno and Damien are stopped by police on their way to a demonstration going to the detention centre for immigrants in Vincennes (near Paris). They had home-made smoke-bombs and tire-poppers (bent nails) with them. They were arrested and taken to the police station where they refused identification through finger prints and DNA. Two were imprisoned; the third one was placed under judicial surveillance.

23rd of January 2008 - Two other persons are arrested during a road control by the border police nearby Vierzon. In the trunk, the police find chlorate, plans for a juvenile prison (EPM) and manuals for sabotage. They are imprisoned under a special jurisdiction: anti-terrorism. The cops accuse them of having wanted to attack an EPM, one of them is also accused of trying to sabotage a police vehicle.

The five are now all put under investigation for "possession and transport of explosive or flammable material" and "criminal association with terrorist ends". Four of them have already been in prison for four months.

For two of them, the preventive arrest have been recently prolonged for four months by the anti-terrorist judges, while for one of them, a decision has already been taken for a preventive detention of one year.

From the recent mutinies in the immigrant detention centers to the strikes during which hundreds of people without papers occupied the working places: all this reminds everyone that exploitation and imprisonment are linked. Not only by the development of labor inside prisons or the always more and more prison-like aspect of the conditions of exploitation, but also because imprisonment (of people without papers, youngsters, those who try to survive outside of wage labor or the internal enemy) is one of the threats that makes the acceptance of always more miserable conditions of exploitation possible.

The necessary solidarity with the prisoners cannot be exclusively material. Solidarity consists also of the struggles, of all acts and resistance that oppose and attack the easy going of State and Capital. Solidarity means also the extension and intensification of the revolt...

From smoke bombs being lit in Dijon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Paris; banners being hung out; organisms linked with deportations which are attacked; tags and street blockades to a radio program being disturbed: solidarity actions have already taken place a bit everywhere. The idea of a week of solidarity without borders from the 9th to the 16th of June is to intensify diverse solidarity actions during this period which can spread and maybe not end there...

Solidarity with the two from Vierzon, with Bruno, Ivan, Damien and the others! Freedom for all prisoners, with or without papers! Freedom for all!

Every practical contribution to the solidarity week without borders can also be sent to: solidarite_sans_frontieres [at] riseup.net


Semaine de solidarité sans frontières du 9 au 16 juin 2008

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