Italy: Sardinian Anarchist Prisoner Davide Delogu Placed Under Restrictive 14 bis Regime Again (July 2020)

The imprisoned deported Sardinian anarchist comrade Davide Delogu informs us that in the Caltagirone prison (in Sicily), where he has just been transferred, he has once again been subject to regime 14 bis. Updates will follow.

Sardegna Anarchica [Anarchist Sardinia]
Cassa di Sostegno per l’Anarchico Sardo Prigioniero Deportato Davide Delogu [Support Fund for the Imprisoned Deported Sardinian Anarchist Davide Delogu]

Note: Article 14 bis of the Italian penitentiary law (not to be confused with 41bis) provides for special supervision of a prisoner.

[Taken from malacoda.noblogs.org].

(it-en) Italia: L’anarchico sardo Davide Delogu è stato nuovamente posto in regime di 14 bis (luglio 2020)

Malmö ($weden) – Arson attack against mobile phone tower

Three weeks ago a 4G/3G mobile phone tower was torched. We did this as a response of pure hostility to the technoindustrial nightmare we are living in.

Like a vengeful wraith, we placed our enchanted incendiary devises in the cables connecting the tower to the leviathanic network. We howled to the moon when we lit the fuses and cursed the civilisation for all eternity. Only by fire can the technoindustrial leviathan be exorcised. Minutes later the cables were engulfed by a raging fire making the tower loose its connection to cyberspace. In the sudden silence when mobile phone calls and internet connections became emptiness, only the devouring fire could be heard.

Only darkness brings us to the place where we feel at home. The bright industrial lights that make the city shine burnes our eyes and clouds our hearts. But the cybernetic silence we caused with our fire to the tower made our bodies feel alive and joy filling our hearts.

Today everything is back to normality except the burnt cables and the silenced tower. Programmers and bosses are waging the next assault on our beloved darkness. 5G towers are now live in Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm. The next level of Levathianic control are rolled out in front of our eyes. The slaves of the society are applauding their incarceration.

We wish that the totality of civilisation was engulfed in flames. Burnt to ashes darkness would finally flourish. In every step our foot touch the concrete and asphalt we put a curse on Leviathan. In every step our foot touch earth and soil and plants and roots we sing our joy for the dark and the wild.

We know that a future without Leviathan never will come but this doesn’t stop us from dreaming of its death. It never stops us from conjuring incendiary devices burning its rotting body. It never stops us from cursing its shining armour and techno industrial light. Kill kill kill is all that Leviathan can say. Burn burn burn is our response.

Little cursing and conjuring lovers of darkness
FAI/ELF

Malmö, $weden: Arson attack against mobile phone tower

Spain – Update on Imprisoned Anarchist Comrade Gabriel Pombo Da Silva

Last Thursday, June 11, the Provincial Court, the court at the base of the judicial pyramid in Spain, demonstrated its inquisitorial power by rejecting the request for annulment of the OEDE (European Arrest Warrant) that sent our comrade back to the dungeons of the State after three and a half years of freedom.

After a year and a half of clandestinity, Gabriel was arrested last January 25th in Portuguese territory as a result of the above-mentioned OEDE issued by the Court No. 2 in Girona (specifically by Judge Mercedes Alcázar Navarro), with the intention that he would serve another 16 years in prison counted as a residual sentence (response to the complaint of malfeasance against the judge for having hidden the order for Gabriel’s immediate release in June 2016, which delayed his release, that judge has set in motion her own revenge!).

After three and a half months of pre-trial detention (months during which it was clear that Portugal had submitted to the pressure of Girona Court No. 2 and that the European rules that would have allowed the release of our comrade had not been applied), on 12 May, he was handed over to the Spanish authorities and is currently in the prison of Badajoz (Extremadura).

The request for annulment by the OEDE was legitimated by the illegality of the request, which was issued in full violation of the «principle of speciality»: one of the basic principles of Community law that establishes the prohibition of enforcing a sentence prior to that for which the extradition is being carried out (by virtue of this principle Gabriel was released in 2016 no longer having to serve any previous sentence). Politically significant is that the Provincial Court, which days ago agreed with Judge Navarro, is the same one that four years ago agreed with our colleague confirming his release (!!??!!).

In the meantime, the FIES [Fitxers d’Interns d’Especial Seguiment – Inmates under Special Observation] regime has been applied to Gabriel, specifically FIES 5, created for prisoners with «special characteristics» (that have to do, to cite some examples, with international crime, gender violence or with racist or xenophobic character, very serious crimes that have caused great social alarm, Islamist terrorism, radical fanaticism related to terrorist ideology…!?!!). Within the FIES regime, he has been given the 2nd degree (previously he could access prison benefits, enjoy permits and even probation), and the intervention of all communications (letters are opened and read, visits are recorded).

Since he is in the prison of Badajoz, apart from five little postcards that were given to him a few days after his arrival, our comrade has not received any kind of correspondence despite the many letters and several books that have been sent to him… Nothing new under the sun of isolation and repression! All this represents a contradiction aimed at provoking him… the message is: «you are no longer the number one public enemy but you are still quite dangerous, especially on an ideological level…if you behave yourself we will give you some opportunities»!

Now that he has been «classified» and the above-mentioned court has issued its sentence, we know that the legal resources for Gabriel to taste freedom again will soon be over; in not much time he will be transferred to another prison. The lawyer will make all the necessary appeals until this long battle is won.

Gabriel is well and strong as always… he sends a big hug to all the like-minded and supportive individuals. Solidarity is a weapon… let’s use it… in a serious and intelligent way!

Freedom for Gabriel! Comrade you are not alone!
Freedom For All!
Long live Anarchy!

Write to Gabriel:

Gabriel Pombo Da Silva
Centro Penitenciario Badajoz
Carretera de Olivenza, Km 7.3
06011 Badajoz — Spain

St. Cloud (Usa) – Two nights of clashes between crowds and police

ST. CLOUD — Reports of gunshots started a second night of unrest and looting in south St. Cloud late Monday night into Tuesday morning.In about a four-hour period starting at 10:20 p.m. Monday, up to 200 people gathered in the area of Ninth Avenue South and University Drive. About 11 p.m., sections of the crowd broke into the Southtown Liquor Store at the intersection and looted the store, according to a news release from St. Cloud Assistant Police Chief Jeff Oxton. About 40 people were taken into custody.

Throughout the four hours, police reported multiple gunshots, individuals throwing rocks, several reports of assaults within the crowd and three dumpster fires.

Tuesday morning’s events were in the same area a large crowd gathered early Monday morning after police arrested a man suspected of having a firearm.

During that arrest, the suspect fled and a police officer was shot in the hand when he was apprehended. The incident sparked false rumors of Black men being shot, which triggered that crowd to march to St. Cloud police headquarters, doing damage along the way and eventually at the police station early Monday morning.

The police release about unrest Monday night into Tuesday morning said while officers were investigating the initial shots fired call, numerous people started to congregate in the area, eventually taking over the roadway and blocking traffic. Police located no gunshot victims.

Individuals in the crowd began to throw rocks at officers and passing vehicles before the liquor store was breached. Multiple people entered the store, stealing items and causing damage, the release said.

More: Police clash with large crowd on 9th Avenue South in St. Cloud

At that point, officers moved in to stop the looting. “Chemical crowd control munitions were successfully utilized” after warnings to disperse the crowd, the release stated.

Authorities took 37 adults and two juveniles into custody on suspicion of unlawful assembly by early Tuesday morning. All arrests were taken to the Stearns County Jail. One adult was taken into custody suspected of burglary of the liquor store. The release provided no names of those in custody.

[Taked from https://eu.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2020/06/16/police-gunshots-started-4-hours-civil-unrest-st-cloud/3200501001/ ]

Get In the Zone: A Report from the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle

The following is an interview with a Seattle resident who has been out on the streets during the recent uprising and watched as both vigilantes, police, and the National Guard have attacked protesters in the Capital Hill neighborhood. Now, after over a week of intense rioting and clashes with the authorities, Seattle police have evacuated from their East precinct and an autonomous zone has sprung up around the empty building. Wanting to know more about what all is going down, we caught up to discuss how the last week and a half has played out on the streets.

IGD: Broadly speaking, what’s been happening in Seattle since intense rioting broke out in late May? 

Things began in Seattle on Friday, May 29th, with Saturday the 30th being the most intense day of rioting and looting. The days that followed all had similar arcs and tones, but were generally focused around the Seattle Police Department’s East precinct in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. This is where the majority of the evening clashes with police took place.

Every day has seen massive demonstrations throughout the city while protest infrastructure along the main business corridors of Capitol Hill has grown. Food, music, medics, literature tables and a vigil to the fallen all appeared over the course of the week.

IGD: The other day, the police announced that they were gathering their things and leaving their precinct. What do you make of this? 

This, to be very honest, is anyone’s guess. There are many theories around why they abandoned the precinct. Some feel that they ran out of resources, some feel that it was a politically expedient move on the Mayor’s part. From my perspective-this was a “good” move on the city’s part. They were getting hammered in the press for the nightly tear gas barrages and street clashes, and the crowds never really got smaller. When an active shooter was on the scene, people rushed to the neighborhood to give support.

Every day has seen massive demonstrations throughout the city while protest infrastructure along the main business corridors of Capitol Hill has grown. Food, music, medics, literature tables and a vigil to the fallen all appeared over the course of the week. 

The risks that people were facing in standing off with the cops night after night were just not the deterrent I assume the city thought it would be. Once they left the precinct, while certainly a blow to their power, the focus has been taken off of the heavily militarized police that is still lurking in the area.

They also mounted a hard counter ‘arson’ campaign through fearful social media posts about the “threats of arson to the precinct” and the Seattle Fire Department on “standby.” From my perspective, it was a strategy gamble on the city’s part once they realized that the thing they were defending was symbolic at best. What they might not have factored in is how important symbology is to revolt – the statues coming down all over the world is a good example.

IGD: The area in the Capitol Hill neighborhood that people have been gathering around has been described as an autonomous zone. Can you speak more about this? 

Autonomy is going to mean a lot of things to a lot of people. This space is certainly not controlled by the city at this point. But it’s important to remember that because of the pandemic, this neighborhood was nearly abandoned for the last 2 months, which has made it an excellent choice to occupy but also an easier space to tip over into feeling like it’s ours.

Capitol Hill is the historic queer neighborhood, and back in the day it was where the punks and the musicians and all the freaks lived. The pitched battles around Ferguson in 2014/2015, Occupy in 2011/2012 and the anti-police movement of 2010/2011 saw a majority of these conflicts on the Hill. This has always been “our” neighborhood – but as with literally every other city in the US, rapid gentrification and demographic shifts kicked everyone out, corporatized Pride month, and built the neighborhood into a tech corridor. Currently, the streets are ours again, and with that comes the next battle of what does it mean to be autonomous?

IGD: What is the crowd coming out to these events like? How have bureaucratic Left groups/peace police attempted to maneuver in this context and how have they been received? 

With 9 days of riots, looting, demonstrations, sit-ins, clashes and everything else it’s hard to categorize the crowds in any way. But across the board, especially for the Pacific Northwest, this was some of the most diverse, inter-generational and generalized revolt that I have ever seen.

The streets have been filled with energetic Zoomers and street hardened anarchists, “peaceful protestors,” and those wanting to directly confront the police and capital. What has emerged tactically is the idea that militant defense was acceptable, and that more aggressive actions against the police were more controversial, leading to a deep “peace police” element which has been consistent. Despite that, people of all types continued to charge cop lines, throw sooo much shit at the police and try to create tensions with the cops literally raining tear gas down on people’s heads. The complex nature of race and leadership has been prominent in these clashes, with white people stopping Black youth from doing their conflictual thing because they have some sort of in with, “Black leadership.” These dynamics have made cohesion in the crowd difficult but not impossible. Fuck, despite the peace police people have been able to keep the National Guard at bay and get them to abandon their beloved precinct, so they couldn’t have been that powerful in the end.

Overall, there has been a lot of emotion felt viscerally on these blocks. So much joy and so much anger held at the same time as people have been coming together physically for the first time in months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Live music has been played every night by these musicians calling themselves the Marshall Law Band, less than a block away from where police would be shooting tear gas and flash-bang grenades at protestors. Surreal barely describes the experience.

IGD: The National Guard has now left; does this change anything at all?

The National Guard as of last night (6-8-2020), is very much still present in Seattle. They’ve been spotted at various public school parking lots and parks in the areas surrounding the neighborhood. Not seeing them in backing up the police lines, that have also disappeared from the block, clearly allow a more tranquil atmosphere to take place. There was a lot of rage and anger voiced at the National Guard when they would physically march with police to press protestors back, people still seem very attached to this idea that the National Guard is supposed to serve the “American people” and everyone’s been calling them traitors for serving a role in suppressing the uprising. The public school district of Seattle posted on twitter that they were looking into finding a way to block the Guard from using their parking lots as staging areas, an encouraging statement for all of us who’ve had to stare them down over the last week.

IGD: Law enforcement in Seattle and Portland seems to have trying to outlast the people on the street; tear-gassing people again and again. Can you say anything to their over all strategy on the street? How have people responded?

The police in Seattle have very clearly tried to fix their public relations image in the last couple of days that led up to their withdrawal from the precinct. Seattle police have been issuing countless warnings via sound-system, specifically citing the importance of peaceful protest and stating things like, “It is you the protestors who have advanced your line towards us, we have not made any movement towards you.” Eventually these warnings turn into a deluge of crowd-dispersal tactics, including but not limited to tear-gas, OC canisters, pepper-balls fired from paintball guns, rubber bullets and flash-bangs shot directly at protestors.

It was a horrifying and incredible moment that was a clear example of how a liberatory process will incur attacks from all sides and will have to defend itself in a bunch of different ways. Those who were involved clearly found that the police do not care for our well being, and that we can protect ourselves from reactionary violence without the aid of the police.

I have been nothing short of inspired by the crowds’ ability to remain calm in the face of these aggressive maneuvers by the police. Countless videos show the crowds simply slowly falling back from advancing police lines, forming defensive lines with shields and umbrellas, and even sometimes throwing tear-gas and OC canisters back towards the police. However, it is also in these moments where some individuals have taken the opportunity to throw things at the cops, which is still incredibly unpopular in the streets, even as the police are actively attacking people.

IGD: The other night in Seattle, a vigilante drove into the crowd and opened fire, hitting one person. Has far-Right and/or vigilante violence been a re-occurring problem? 

So far, the identity of the shooter is very confusing. As far as most people can discern, he is a unaffiliated, not-white regular ass dude from the South End of Seattle. Instead of focusing on him, I think it’s important to think about the response to his attack – which is irrefutable.

When he drove his car at significant speed towards the crowd, people did not hesitate to try and stop him. People put themselves in the way, tried to pull him from the car, pulled others to safety, and physically stopped the car with repurposed cop barricades. Someone was shot for his efforts. It was a horrifying and incredible moment that was a clear example of how a liberatory process will incur attacks from all sides and will have to defend itself in a bunch of different ways. Those who were involved clearly found that the police do not care for our well being, and that we can protect ourselves from reactionary violence without the aid of the police.

Our general response has been to show up, to be there, to have literature and info available, to stick with it night after night and confront the peace police and help the medics drag bodies out, to get people out of jail and have some of the conversations that need to be hashed out-and to make the alliances and build the crews we we will need to continue this past a conflict with the East Precinct. 

The threat of reactionary violence is very real, and I fear that we will see this boomerang back at us soon. But in the current moment one of the bigger threats seems to be the fear around these forces. As we speak, hundreds if not more people are messaging, tweeting and generally boosting unsubstantiated claims of reactionaries on their way to the Hill at any given times. This constant signal boosting of public police scanner channels has deeply hampered the ability to organize real and consistent response to if and when the right does choose to engage us.

IGD: Riot shaming, liberal disinformation, conspiracy theories – the wider Left has really shown itself to be lacking in overall analysis and understanding of the current moment. Just curious how people are dealing with the sea of misinformation and bad-faith actors.

There are so many people engaged in this movement it is difficult to break down one exact way in which these ideas are being addressed. It also greatly depends on which perspective you are coming from. We can see that the people positioning themselves to “lead” this movement are disingenuous grifters, while others think the same way about anarchists. Our general response has been to show up, to be there, to have literature and info available, to stick with it night after night and confront the peace police and help the medics drag bodies out, to get people out of jail and have some of the conversations that need to be hashed out-and to make the alliances and build the crews we we will need to continue this past a conflict with the East Precinct.

 

https://itsgoingdown.org/get-in-the-zone/

US Prisons: Recent Writings from Eric King on Resistance Behind Prison Walls During a Pandemic

Received on 17.06.2020:

March 29 2020

They aren’t doing testing here, they aren’t doing shit really. No hand sanitizer, no mask, no ‘social distancing’, the tiers and showers aren’t being cleaned even semi-daily, we still only get 3 showers a week and only 1 hr outside a day, typically super early in the gloom or rain. Medical staff told me they can’t even order tests! They have to refer it to a doctor, who then refers it to Regional, who then reviews it and decides whether to test or not. Bureaucracy at its finest. They will let us die in the name of justice, blame it on the virus and move right along enslaving, business as usual.

Things here have been boiling a bit and almost went off today. There have been guards going out of their way to make things difficult, lying through their teeth, talking so reckless, small things that build and build. So today during our cell rotations (every 21 days we rotate cells) we just decided to slow burn them and not participate. It’s not much of a stand, but it gave us a chance to say “no” to these pig bastards and blow off a little steam. We ended up moving cells, they will move you one way or another, but it felt good to air our grievances and make the day cops look like clowns who can’t handle the basic task of cell rotating. Here soon it could have been something much worse, so letting the small aggro out now was a good stress relief.

May 13 2020

Big IRA and Irish history memorials this month. Bobby Sands death-iversary 2 weeks ago, and James Connolly yesterday. Fittingly, last Tuesday the mail police here rejected two IRA books from reaching me, calling them books that “advocate criminal activity”. I pointed out, what to me is obvious, when your country is occupied EVERY act of freedom is considered criminal activity. The USA considered MLK Jr and every civil rights activist to be criminal, the ANC was banned and forced into illegality and so forth. Naturally, my pleas fell on deaf ears, but I was told the S.I.S. Lieutenant would look into which books on Irish history would be acceptable… I’m expecting Cromwell and William of Orange biographies.

…It seems like absolutely no-one remembers [Sundiata Acoli]. Like he’s just a side-note in the Assata story, when in reality he sacrificed so much for the struggle, and is so brilliant and inspiring to this day. Before this assault robbed me of the chance, I was angling to get transferred to his spot in Maryland, just so I could meet with, learn from, and just respect and appreciate him. I did get to be cellies with Jaan [Laaman], multiple-time long-term political prisoner – easily the best prison experience of my life. His understanding of resistance, history, perspective, prison resistance: unparalleled. He taught me the old-timer expression of “Fight to Win”, which I write on the wall of every call I’m forced to occupy. It meant to him, choose your battles and go ALL-in, don’t waste struggle on frivolous bullshit. He may not be pleased with me, because at the moment I go in on EVERYTHING, big or small lol. Resistance is resistance, and something as small as a missing item on a food tray or a pig violating my space via shake-down is enough to go to war over.

We (my pals and I) have been working diligently to create a spirit of resistance back here, to make it a hostile environment for those who deserve it. Last night they bullshitted our dinner trays, and the entire SHU held their trays until a replacement was brought in. That wouldn’t have happened months ago, so that’s a win. The admin terrifies a lot of these dudes, like they are traumatized to both fear punishment and feel like they deserve it. That’s how battered partners feel, the trauma bonding. So I spend A LOT of time disabusing that spell they’re under. By dogging out staff, going hard on the range, standing up for THEM when staff disrespects them it builds confidence and convict loyalty. A lot of times it’s just me and one or two others, but it still inceptions others that these punk-ass Admins are not either 1) infallible, or 2) invincible.

It also shows spirit, that we aren’t here, either on Earth or in prison, to be fucking conquered. I set my limits of what behavior I’ll accept, then also accept the consequences when they come crashing down. All we have is our minds and our actions, and mine are always set on my dignity and freedom.

BTW, share everything! Lol, everything I’ve ever said or done is open game and I insist you share. Lol. All I said above, SHARE! That Warden Greilick refuses to let me call my family in the middle of a pandemic because two years ago A-News posted about my being beaten at Florence, SHARE! That S.I.S. Officer Barrera considers books about Irish history to be criminal and writes fraudulent shots about my poems “inciting riots”, SHARE. That Officer Barrera considers a spell I wrote to my pagan wife to be “assaulting staff”, SHARE. That pre-trial prisoners are only getting a 15-minute call a WEEK with their lawyers, despite pending trials – SHARE. That our showers are only cleaned once per week and we only get three of them a week, SHARE! That I had 26 letters rejected between March 8th and May 13th by Officer Gilley, who has a history of retaliatory action and weird sexual comments, SHARE! Ella’s article*, please share! That we have trial in August and still desperately need people to donate because legal action is expensive as fuck – SHARE! That daily newspapers are often held for weeks at a time – also by Officer Gilley – and his boss ISM Murray sees nothing wrong with it, SHARE!

Eric is currently unable to receive mail, but people can still send him books or magazines, or donate to help with his legal costs.

*I never got to see it. They rejected it six different times.

 

https://anarchistsworldwide.noblogs.org/post/2020/06/16/us-prisons-recent-writings-from-eric-king-on-resistance-behind-prison-walls-during-a-pandemic/

Detainment is Death in the Pandemic!

Umaapaw na raw ang kulungan. [The jails are overflowing.] Nearly 30,000 people were reportedly arrested under the quarantine in the Philippines, with more than 4,000 of these arrested detained, based on a report dated April 18, 2020.1 Doubtless, more have since been arrested and detained since then. The police even went on record saying there will no longer be any more warnings to the alleged “quarantine violators” and will arrest people as they see fit,2 likely straining the capacities of the already overstretched jails and prisons.

As the recent proletarian demand “tulong, hindi kulong” [“aid, not detentions”] suggests, there is already a collective experience where the state is more felt in its punitive instruments of violence and policing more than its capacity to deliver aid. Indeed, every evening on the news we watch helpless as more and more injustices are wrought onscreen as police inflict more and more violence upon people and communities. A man suffering from PTSD was shot and killed by police in broad daylight.3 There were mass arrests of people demanding food aid.4

Police maul a street vendor for not wearing a face mask.5 Watching these unfold fill us with loathing for the police.

Instead of the state providing people with face masks when its agents see people without these, they detain them, putting them more at risk of contracting the dreaded COVID-19. Instead of providing enough food and medicine to remove the need for people to go out, the state and its agents arrest people for a smallest deviation of procedure when people leave their homes to get food and medicines. It is clear then the state cares little for the well being of the people under this pandemic—it only cares for its “peace and order.”

The framework of this martial law cloaked in quarantine is always the peace and order for the state; fulfilling the needs of those in quarantine are secondary, if they are even considered at all. This regime of policing would detain people for any little slight, regardless of personal context. The state narrative frames people as “pasaway” [stubborn and willful] or “tigas-ulo” [stubborn, literally hard-headed], deliberately erasing the contexts of people to fit their image of automatic guilt. Like Duterte’s “war on drugs,” this narrative that people are pasaway, or tigas-ulo justifies the harshest of repressions. To these agents of the state, everyone is guilty until proven innocent. Installing a climate of fear and culpability seems to be the only method that this government knows in addressing issues.

Let us be clear: the state cares not about your lived experiences and motives. It cares not if you are at risk of starvation and you must leave your home to get food. It cares not that you have run out of medicines and you must obtain more. It only cares that you are outside your homes and thus breaking its pronouncements. What the state cares about most is punishing whom it pleases. The paltry provision of aid compared to the deployment of violence is testament to that.

The state is uncaring, and its prisons and jails more so.

Remember that it will always be the poor that bears the brunt of the state’s policing and incarceration. Remember the arch-plunderer and widow of the dictator Marcos is still a free woman despite being already declared guilty.6 Remember that the senator Koko Pimentel that brazenly risked infecting others with COVID-19 because he refused to quarantine himself is still free with the law taking its sweet, sweet time to prosecute this quarantine violation.7 Quarantine violators among the proletariat face warrantless arrests while quarantine violators among the privileged do not even face a slap on the wrists. The law will always take its time punishing the wealthy and privileged for they are the ones that drafted and adopted the laws and it is people of privilege who comprise the police to begin with. The state and its laws will always protect property and privilege for that is what the state was made for. They made the laws and they can break them. Only in rare circumstances where the balance of power goes against wealthy and powerful defendants that they are imprisoned.

The mass arrests and tortures inflicted by the state in the time of pandemic only convinces us more on the necessity of prison abolition. We are for prison abolition because the prisons are always machines designed to make those with less privileges to suffer. How many in prison are there for crimes motivated by need? How many are in prison because of the “war on drugs” whose addiction was penalized instead of treated medically? How many of those arrested for alleged quarantine violations were out of their homes due to need? We are under no illusion that arch-plunderers would go to jail anyway, so why pretend that those who are imprisoned actually deserve it? Prisons and jails are overwhelmingly for punishing the poor.

In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the institutions of imprisonment becomes institutions of death. There is no quarantine on the inside of prisons and jails. Detentions risks becoming death sentences as jails and prisons are all highly vulnerable in pandemics. People deprived of liberty do not deserve to die, much less die in such putrid conditions. Indeed, state has already practically sentenced many to die with its dragging of its feet on releasing people from detention. In some prisons the plague has already started to make its course, with 63 persons on the inside of a jail in Cebu City test positive for COVID-19.8 In other prisons like in the New Bilibid Prison, bodies are starting to pile up—suspected to be because of COVID-19—but the Bureau of Corrections remains silent on their cause of death and of how many inmates have already been killed by their negligence.9

We demand the police stop its campaign of public harassment of people. We demand that the state cease its program of mass incarceration of so-called pasaway and alleged quarantine violators. We demand that the persons deprived of liberty be released at once, so that they may care for their health and their families without the violence of detention getting in the way. We demand that non-violent convicts be released back into society before the prison system destroys what is left of their humanity and before the pandemic kills them on the inside.

In time, we demand that prisons be abolished and instead of incarceration, a regime of rehabilitation. In time, we demand an end to policing and instead of cops, non-violent reconciliations based on care and need. But until that day, we struggle against the policing of the current order.

Tulong, hindi kulong!

Bigas, hindi bala!


Image from the Twitter account of Bangued Police Station. The emoji over the detainee’s face was added by the account holder.10

  1. Eimor Santos, “Nearly 30,000 quarantine violators arrested nationwide in a month,” (CNN Philippines., April 18, 2020). https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/4/18/quarantine-violators-arrested-coronavirus-lockdowns.html (Retrieved on 2020-04-29) []
  2. Rambo Talabong, “PNP begins to arrest lockdown violators without warning,” (Rappler, April 21, 2020). https://www.rappler.com/nation/258570-pnp-begins-arrest-coronavirus-lockdown-violators-without-warning (Retrieved on 2020-04-29) []
  3. Vince Ferreras and Gerg Cahiles, “Retired soldier shot dead by police at checkpoint in Quezon City,” (CNN Philippines, April 22, 2020). https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/4/22/Retired-soldier-shot-dead-by-police-.html (Retrieved on 2020-04-29) []
  4. CNN Philippines Staff, “21 protesters demanding food aid arrested in Quezon City,” (CNN Philippines, April 1, 2020). https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/4/1/quezon-city-protesters-arrested-.html (Retrieved on 2020-04-29) []
  5. Rambo Talabong, “QC officials maul, drag fish vendor for not wearing face mask,” (Rappler, April 28, 2020). https://www.rappler.com/nation/259289-quezon-city-officials-maul-drag-fish-vendor-not-wearing-face-mask (Retrieved on 2020-04-29) []
  6. Lian Buan, “What’s taking the Sandiganbayan long to issue warrant vs Imelda Marcos?,” (Rappler, November 13, 2018). https://www.rappler.com/nation/216601-where-is-arrest-warrant-vs-imelda-marcos (Retrieved on 2020-04-29) []
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Detainment is Death in the Pandemic!

Survival of the Fittest in the Time of Pandemic

People often equate Charles Darwin’s notion of “survival of the fittest” with competition. People think that the natural way of the world requires some sort of battle. This is also often translated in how we deal with other people. “It’s either myself or others,” that’s how many people justify cruelty and domination. But if we think closely, survival of the fittest does not always mean competition.

Survival of the fittest simply means that if a specie is not able adapt to the changes in the environment, that’s when it starts to die out. If your fur is not thick enough, then you might die in the winter of Alaska. If your fur is too thick, then you would die like a Siberian Husky in the tropics. If you can not grow claws, you might not be able to catch prey, or be able to climb tress to avoid predators. Strength is not enough in survival. If we only consider strength, then no animal now can match the dinosaurs who were much bigger in size and appetite. They have walked the earth for millions of years, but eventually, they became extinct because they were not able adapt to climate change.

As pointed out by a former Russian prince turned biologist and anarchist named Peter Kropotkin, few people realize that mutual cooperation is as much a factor of evolution as competition. If we think about it, there are quite a number of species which might have not survived if they did not practice cooperation amongst themselves or with other species. Canines work in packs. Gigantic sea mammals like whales and sharks may die of parasites if they did not allow smaller fishes to ride on their backs. Bees (which are prehistoric in origin) or ants can not survive without the hive or colony.

Another misconception which may arise here is the conception of the alphas. Herds and packs tend to have alphas but these alphas are not there to terrorize their own specie. Alphas become alphas because they have the capacity to protect and search for food. Their position is not permanent. Being alpha in the animal kingdom does not have a time frame. Quite different from the human conception that alphas should reign for as long as six years even when he or she is not capable of feeding and protecting the group. We should also take note that in many species, alphas are of the female gender.

In the bee or ant colony, there are also roles taken by each individual. There’s the “queen,” the “soldiers,” and the “workers.” But this is entirely different to how we look at queens, soldiers, and workers in the human context. In the colonies of such arthropods, the queens are also replaceable, the soldiers do not harass the workers, and in contrast, the workers can become the heroes. In colonies, the queen or the soldiers do not have authority over workers. They do not make rules and they do not assert self-righteousness. Each individual act on their own will and understanding to preserve the colony. When a worker finds a good tree to establish shelter, it dances, to tell the others of the location, so others can verify if the claim is true. They require a constant check and balance similar to how internet open-sources work. Dictatorship does not work in nature.

Of course, there are instances where competition is evident in many species. But take note that this is only true when resources are scarce. In the human world, resources are more than enough to feed everyone in the world for multiple times. Scarcity is a myth repeatedly told by hoarders. Competition is only acceptable in scarcity, not in the abundance that we have now. Poverty and hunger, therefore, are crimes committed to the poor, most especially during a pandemic. Thankfully, instead, we witness cooperation almost everywhere during these times.

Survival of the fittest is not only about competition. Survival is also about adaptation and mutual cooperation.

Survival of the Fittest in the Time of Pandemic