Highly honored court,
We are finally nearing the end of this trial, which began in December 2018. I didn’t know that a trial could take that long.
I was arrested a few days after my 23rd birthday in August 2018, the police officers smashed the door of my parents’ house screaming. My little sister had to kneel with her hands over her head. As I heard the door burst, I had images of police violence in my head, how the police starts to arrest and beat people. I got scared and then got over the roof into the neighbors’ garden and then to the other side of the settlement. But the police had closed off the whole area and a person walking on the street in socks quickly becomes suspicious. A civil police officer started running after me and called out to me, “come here, you little shitbag”. Sensing a certain hostility in his voice, I preferred not to accept his invitation, which if I had said “shitbag” to him would have caused outrage.
So I find myself trapped in the garden and then in a neighbor’s garage. With my back to the wall, forced to wait for the police officer to arrive. The officer jumped on me and twisted my right wrist while I let him do that. I tell him that his violence is useless and he replies: “You are lucky that I did not shoot you”. From this point of view, however, I do consider myself lucky to be still alive. It is true that numerous arrests by the police have an unpleasant tendency to turn into a death penalty. But this sad outcome is rather intended for those who are residents of working-class neighborhoods exposed to racist attributions. In France, not a month goes by without deaths from arrests. The door to the garage finally opens, police officers, gendarmes, officers from the BAC & masked civil policemen appear with automatic weapons in their hands. Perhaps 30 members of the «law enforcement officers».
The neighbor who owns the garage comes out of his house and spontaneously says to me as soon as he understands the situation: “Is Loïc okay? Would you like a glass of water ? ». This remark was a bright spot in the seriousness and heaviness of the arrest. I did my best to suppress a laugh and refused the glass of water as my hands were tied. Back at my parents’ house, to put my shoes on, I can not tie my shoelaces and ask the gendarmes to take off my handcuffs: “No, you can do it like that,” replies one. I’ve always liked challenges, so I try, but with the hands tied behind my back and even a lot of goodwill, it’s just not doable. The gendarmes laugh and make fun of me. My little sister is right next to it with the seriousness of mixed emotions like I’ve never seen on her face, her look is powerful. She spontaneously shouts to the gendarmes a strong: “Take the handcuffs off of him so he can put his shoes on”. There is a divine power in her voice, the mockery of the cops turns into embarrassment. I saw the gendarmes’ looks lose themselves on the ground and one of them was ready to take my chains off. If my little sister had said “Take the chains off him and let him go free!” Then the gendarmes might have left and I could have hugged my little sister for a moment. Because what came then was 1 year and 4 months imprisonment, 1 year and 4 months, where the guards even prevent hugs in the visitor room.
When I arrived to the prison in France, a 2 meter tall guard said to me, “If you burn down my car, I’ll cut you in two.” Between the police officer who is ready to shoot me and the guard who tries to cut me in half, I think I prefer to be shot at than to end up in two pieces. But what is disturbing, besides the threat of death, is that this guard thinks I burned a car; At that moment I realize that the upcoming trial is a huge delusion. By blaming someone for all of the violence that can occur during a demonstration, you create confusion in the simple lines of thought of guards and police officers. By making a disproportionate charge you are causing disproportionate treatment.
This guard barks at a dubious speed: “It’s no use what you’ve done, now look where you end up, where are they, your friends? You are here now…” I make it clear to him that he is also here, but he says the following:” … you are alone, you have failed in your life. You have not changed anything and you are good-for-nothing. Etc.“ I don’t even get a chance to say anything or to communicate, he cuts me off. He doesn’t really feel what he’s saying though. I have the feeling that his job is to demoralize me. In the following, I will be searched naked when I arrive at the prison, and again when I leave the prison to go to the court to decide on the legality of the arrest warrant. I am being relocated by ERIS. The ERIS are monsters, masked and equipped with machine guns. It is 8 of them in 2 off-road vehicles, shielded by darkened windows. Arriving at the Nancy Court of Appeal, after tying my hands and feet, a member of the ERIS tries to gain a victory on the wide field of ideas, saying: “Do you know that you cost a lot of money?”. I answer him: “Do you know that 40 million euros are pumped into Meuse every year to get approval for the project to build a nuclear waste dump in Bure? He: “What do you want me to do about it?”. Me: “Oh nothing, I just wanted to make clear what costs a lot of money.”
End of the dialogue.
During the hearing, I approach the judge with two masked ERIS officers, one to my right and one to my left. The situation is completely surreal, I am tied up. My family and friends are there to support me. My older brother, the pastor, throws me a small piece of paper with a few words of encouragement. I catch it despite the handcuffs, but one of the ERIS officers throws me to the ground. The judges withdraw immediately and my brother has to leave the room. Although I’m still on the ground, I try to hold the paper in my hand with all my force. The officer then puts pressure on my neck, and I cry in pain and let go. The hearing continues. The indictment is translated in a way that it sounds like I personally burned 19 cars and injured one person in a building.
In this French prison I found myself stuck in the arrival block for 1 month while waiting to be transferred to Germany. I was traumatized by the fact that every two hours, even in the middle of the night, a guard came by to make sure that I was still alive by making a lot of noise pushing the latch on the door aside before turning on the light. I’ve never been able to sleep more than two hours straight. I had the opportunity to meet a trash collector with Romanian roots. His crime was not to have reported how much money he had made, picking up items he found on the street. He had been imprisoned for four months for a state tax loss of € 400. There is tax evasion, tax havens, money laundering, the “Panama Papers”,the Luxleaks. Billions and billions of euros disappear between the hands of the rich. But I haven’t seen any rich people or bankers in prison, not everyone has the means to escape in a suitcase. The 500 richest people in France have tripled their wealth since the financial crisis of 2008, reaching 650 billion euros.
Equality means the possibility of using the same material capacities. A cleaning lady cannot live in an Elbchaussee villa. And the current progressive gentrification in Hamburg will not make things more equal. Inequalities are opening up. The young Italian Fabio, a former G20 prisoner in Hamburg, had declared in court (in 2017) that the 85 richest people in the world have the same wealth as 50% of the poorest population. The situation has deteriorated since then. A call by the yellow vests in January 2019 specified that in future there would be 26 billionaires who own as much as half of humanity. What one can learn from the judicial institution is that it is immoral not to pay one’s taxes when one is poor, but acceptable if the wealthy class can afford it. This is called class-based justice. I did not find anything in their institutions that could beautify the human soul, everything spoils it.
Here is a quote from Foucault:
“Illegalism of goods is separated from that of rights. A division that re-establishes a confrontation between the classes, for on the one hand the illegalism most accessible to the working classes is that of the goods – the violent transfer of property; and on the other hand, the upper middle class claims, for themselves, the illegalism of rights: the possibility of adjusting their own rules and laws; to secure an enormous sector of the economic cycle through a game that is within the framework of the law – by standing still within the framework provided, or by tolerating facts. And this great redistribution of illegalism can even be seen in a speciality of the justice cycle: for the illegalism of goods – for theft – the ordinary courts and punishment; for the illegalism of rights – fraud, tax evasion, irregular commercial operations – the special jurisdiction with transactions, amicable settlement, reduction of fines, etc. The upper middle class claims the creative domain of illegalism of rights for itself. ”
Michel Foucault – Discipline and Punish, p. 172, French edition (loosely translated)
When I was transferred to Hamburg in a German police car, the driver turned on the music and turned up the volume, playing “the internationale”. The officers of the “Soko SchwarzBlock” [special commission BlackBlock] certainly wanted to see my reaction. I couldn’t stop myself to tell them that I preferred “Maknovtchina”. I found it interesting to talk with police officer about permaculture, even though she tried to ask me questions, whether I would have gone to the G20 and what I might have done there. I think I eventually got her interested in vegetables. When I arrived in Hamburg, I was taken to the UHA detention center with another truck and other police officers. We stopped several times that evening, at which several other people arrested for various reasons came to my small cell. There are no seat belts, so you bump against the wall from time to time. The four of us were jammed together and two men were completely drunk. One of them knocked on the wall several times to ask if he could go to the toilet, even when there was a stop to take another arrested person to the second cell, they didn’t let him go. He couldn’t hold back any longer and peed on the floor. So I balanced on the bench with my two feet up, someone else tried the same tactic. The one who peed and the last one who was also full seemed unaware of the situation and left their shoes on the floor. The pee followed the movements of the truck and finally extended over the entire surface and few times run through the door behind which my belongings from the prison in France were. Part of a cardboard box absorbed a little urine, but it was a guard who transported it without realizing it. In a way, it can be said that there was justice here. Because to prevent someone from peeing is not a good idea.
After a few days of being observed in a cell where the lights were always on, I became aware of the ritual of the guard who looked inside every two hours. The advantage is that there was no bolt to move here, as the door had a small viewing window. In a small cell where nothing happened, I saw the face of a guard for a few seconds every 2 hours. If I put myself in the shoes of the guard who looks at every prisoner for a moment, I think that in the face of so much misery, I would melt into tears. I think most guards learn to run out of emotions. They are almost like machines or robots. And I also think that the majority does not dream of practicing this profession, but that the choice of becoming a guard is often based on a lack of other obvious alternatives. I say the obvious alternative because there are many career outlooks in the collective of farmers or vegetable growers. To sow seeds, or to sow despair in the hearts of those one imprisoned. As long as this planet has not completely gone down the drain, in my opinion we have a choice. For the first four months, I stayed in the small building A, which is parallel to the judicial building we are currently in. In my testimony about leaving the prison, I also speak of this building in the text: “Tear down the walls of the prison that separates the area from the outside world” [https://unitedwestand.blackblogs.org/die-mauern-niederreissen-die-den-knast-von-der-aussenwelt-trennen/]
I will include some passages:
This building is intended for the newcomers. There you have to stay in the cell for 23 hours / 24, 7 days out of 7. It’s a dark environment in which the prisoners collapse, scream or hit the walls. I stayed there for 4 months. For the first month I only had the clothes I was wearing when I arrived. Impossible to get my things back, which had arrived at the same time as me.
In this building you can shower together twice a week at 6.45 a.m. So I washed my underpants, then put my pants back on without them, because they first had to be dried under the fan in my cell. In this building, the guards yell at you and push you if you cross the invisible line between your cell and the hallway where the food is served. The only moment you can take a deep breath, in a cell less than two meters wide and four meters long, is the one hour of going out a day.
In this building there are mainly foreigners whose crime it is not to have papers during an inspection, small dealers or accused of theft. I have seen the guards’ hateful looks that remained long on the of racism affected prisoners. The majority of foreigners I met in this building defined the guards as Nazis. It seems strange to hear this nowadays, knowing that the Nazis killed several hundred people in this very prison less than a century ago. After a month of waiting, I was finally able to get my replacement clothes. With over a dozen underpants and knowing that the other prisoners only had one, I began distributing them during the one-hour exit. My family sent me about 50 pairs of underpants. It gave me a lot of strength to be able to help the other people in the prison with this distribution. This sentence was written with a pen on the wall of a cell: “If you help others, you help yourself.” It was in this building A, that I was placed in solitary confinement for the first time when a guard surprised me while I was giving bread to the pigeons on my window. I didn’t understand anything about what he said to me when I entered my cell, and only when I left the isolation cell after 1 hour I received a small piece of paper disguised as a declaration on which he had written in French: “Do not feed birds.”
After 4 months in Building A, I was able to move to another building that had more hours a day with an open cell. A prisoner had bought the board game “Risk”, but since this game could not be played with more than 6 players and there were 12 of us on the floor, I began to make expansion cards from the Kellogs boxes that the other prisoners could buy. I crafted figures from flour, salt and water. To be able to paint them in color, I had bought a box of colored pencils which I pulverized, taking care to remove pieces of wood before adding water to get a liquid color. You can imagine many board games with flour, water and a little salt. Another prisoner had even started to design the surface of areas that I had imagined for the production of the board in 3D. I think I played at least 50 games of risk in prison. A game could go on for several weeks because we were up to ten players. To give you an idea, there are 42 areas on the base board game, the largest board I made covered 189 areas. I was often the first to be eliminated from the game because I always tried to fight the strongest and motivate the others to equalize by attacking. I noticed that in prison often someone thinks they are the boss and everyone fears him and no one dares to fight him in the game and create tension; so that’s always the one who wins. I’ve also written about 50 alternate rules for the risk game to make it more collaborative than competitive. Unfortunately, when I left prison, all I was only able to regain the playing boards, the cards and figures remained in my cell and were not taken with my belongings.
What I will never forget is the guard opening the door at 6:45 am every morning and saying, “Morning” to me. At first I replied and found it interesting that you took the effort to say hello to me every morning, it gives you a little consideration, humanity. But one morning I was in a bad mood and didn’t feel like answering, and the guard began to insist, “MORNING! MORNING!“. I turned my head and he left. However, I hadn’t said anything, I hadn’t returned his greeting. The next morning when another guard said to me, “Morning,” I took a test and just lifted my foot and he left. So I realized with horror that every morning “morning” did not mean a morning greeting, but a question:”Are you still alive?” And that whatever gesture or answer to the guard meant: “Everything is fine, I haven’t killed myself yet”. This word still makes my blood run cold today.
There are other texts that I have written that describe my high points in prison in more detail. For example, how I found myself in solitary confinement twice on made-up allegations that I shouted out my window at two demonstrations by supporters. The second time this happened, the other inmates signed a handwritten petition stating that I had not called out my window. When I heard about it, it sent cold shivers down my spine. I experienced very strong moments in prison. Often we devote ourselves in the irony of our existence and our interactions with others. There was an exchange in prison and people I was able to meet with an intensity that I will never forget. Another text “Escalation of arbitrariness, Disciplinary Procedure and Liberation of a Bird” also explains how I discovered a dead baby bird in a waiting cell during the trial. I brought it with me to court because no one would believe me if I told it without proof. It’s one of those little dungeons that are next to every hearing room. Inside there was a smell of decomposing carcass. I also told how a guard let me catch a skinny pigeon in the hallway to the court that was reserved for prisoners. I was able to let it fly it out the hearing room window.
I continue to dream even today two or three times a week that I will be arrested by the police in different situations or in different places. Once a month I dream that a police officer shoots me while being arrested. I find it difficult to take initiatives because in prison you are not allowed to do anything of your own accord, you must always submit to the will of the outside world. I also find that I am more easily dragged along by others and that it is difficult to validate myself or just be myself. I don’t even know who I am anymore. I no longer have an identity and all the people I meet know me through this trial: “Ah, that’s the one from the trial”. This trial becomes my new identity. And even if one asks me a question about what I do in Hamburg, then I inevitably come to mention the trial, because otherwise I would not be here, but with my relatives in France. I don’t see any sense in this city and it seems pretty depressing to me. I’ve always hated cities. I believe they should be deconstructed and parcels distributed free and tax-free to those who want them. Cities are not holy places, there is no autonomy of food or energy sources. Sooner or later they will collapse. I miss my family and friends. Because one of the principles of imprisonment is to separate you from your loved ones and where you live, I get the impression that despite leaving prison in December, I am still imprisoned. I’ve only been to France to visit my family once, because I found a moment between work and meeting days. And since the coronavirus, it has been impossible to get across the border. A friend named Monique Tatala was seriously ill in February, and when I finally had a weekend to visit her in the hospital, I learned that she had passed away a few days before I left.
I was born in Nancy, a city in north-eastern France, 80 kilometers from the village of Bure, where the project to dump highly radioactive nuclear waste at a depth of 500 meters is taking place. Before going to law school to become an environmental attorney, I went on long bike rides and began reading all of the favorite books by Christopher McCandless, the young man whose life inspired the movie “Into the Wild”. I was able to discover Tolstoï, Jack London and Henri David Thoreau, my favorite writers. The latter lived alone in the forest for 2 years and refused to pay taxes to the American state that was enslaving PoC. He lived an independent life by building a little hut in the woods, although certain witnesses tell, that his mother continued to wash his clothes for him and that the cakes left on the cabin windowsill disappeared. He also turned against the war against Mexico, which ultimately was a US colonization war with the loss of enormous areas of Mexico. Without this war, for example, Texas would not be part of the United States. The wall that divides Mexico and the United States is a wall to be torn down.
Here is a quote from his report, written after spending one night in prison in July 1846, 174 years before the G20 in Hamburg:
“In my brief experience of human life, I found that the obstacles on my way were not living people, but dead institutions. People are as innocent as the morning is for the one who wakes up early, for the confident pilgrim, as well as for the morning traveler he has passed on his way into poetry. While institutions like the church, the state and the school, property because of the blind respect that is given to them, dark and spectral ghosts. When I gave myself to my poetic dream of earthly paradise, I hadn’t expected to be disturbed by a Chippewa; but I thought that he was likely to be devoured by some monstrous institution. The only robber [highwayman] I have ever met was the state. When I refused to pay the tax he asked for this protection that I did not want, he himself stole it from me. When I called for the freedom he had proclaimed, he locked me up.
I love humanity, I hate the institutions of their ancestors. Neither the thieves nor the highwaymen, but the gendarmes and the judges, neither the fishermen, but the priests, not the the ignorants but the pedants and educators, not the foreign enemies, but the armies set in motion, not the Pirates, but the warships. No malicious intent without payment, but organized benevolence. For example, the prison guard or gendarme, who is only regarded as a man and a neighbor – with a life expectancy of around 70 years – can prove to be an upright and trustworthy man with a brain capable of thinking, but as an official and a state instrument he is no more understanding or heart than the key to his prison or his baton. The saddest thing is that people willingly accept the nature & the task of a brutal character. There are certainly enough ways that a person can earn a living without having them as a harmful neighbor & companion. There are certainly enough stones in the travelers path without anyone having to add their own body to all of this.
To take a single example, no doubt since the dawn of time there have never been worse crimes committed than in the current Mexican War [ended on terms which Mexico was forced to leave the States of Texas, California, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Arizona to the US (..)].
Like the merciless command: move or you will be driven out, be the master of your actions or you will become one of the most insignificant slave instruments without you even realizing it.
All people are more or less trapped in the tomb of their customs, and of some only the few hairs on their skulls come out of the earth. Those who are physically dead are worth more because at least life takes place in their decomposition.
Those who have to defend an area that they have unlawfully appropriated by certificates of title, slaves they keep to serve them, those who would like to receive their final inspiration to preserve it forever, demand the help of the institutions, that stereotyped and terrifying testament of the past. But those who are themselves something to be defended, who are not enslaved, who have made an accord with their time, reject this kind of submission ”.
The first thing that made me sad while reading his diary is the lack of practically any wilderness these days. I have come to the conclusion that living a life of inner meditation like his would be even criminalized as our industrial civilization is currently destroying 200 species of animals and plants every day. That would be a meditation on the disaster. On July 7, 2020, 219,000 species of plants and animals will be wiped out from our industrial & capitalist civilization since the G20 in Hamburg. The demonstrations did not, in my opinion, make any species disappear, not even a single luxury brand company. I have no desire to list the extent of the catastrophe of a doom taking place here, I believe everyone has heard of it and can do some research to get information. In the hearings that preoccupied this court, I heard understanding for the fight against National Socialism with violence, but in a democracy as we know it today, that is not appropriate. The problem is that we are not in a democracy, but in a representative democracy.
Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès, in his speech of September 7, 1789, declared immediately after the French Revolution: “France does not have to be a democracy, but a representative democracy. The choice between these two types of legislation is beyond doubt between us. For one thing, the enormous number of our fellow citizens have neither sufficient knowledge nor enough free time to want to deal directly with the laws that are supposed to govern France; they must therefore limit themselves to electing representatives. […] The citizens who nominate representatives therefore renounce and must renounce from making the law themselves; they have no particular will to impose. If they dictated the will, France would no longer be a representative state, it would be a democratic state. The people, I repeat, in a country that is not a democracy (France would not know how it should be), the people can only speak and act through their representatives.”
This person, who took an active part in the formulation of the political system after the French Revolution, has the intellectual honesty to recognize that a representative democracy is not a democracy. Today, in order to avoid losing its interests and the risk of disappearing under a new dissatisfaction of the people, the ruling class lulls us from school time and repeats incessantly on television that we are in an “advanced democracy”. This presumptuous formulation tries to make us believe that we have even gone beyond democracy when in reality we have never reached that stage, but are still in a representative democracy.
I have chosen to act rather than give my power to a representative. “You send your agents into an environment of corruption; don’t be surprised if they get out there corrupted ”wrote Élisée Reclus in her text: “Don’t vote, act”. Parliaments are flooded with lobbyism, the interests of huge corporations and the financial world.
So I started to join the Anonymous movement, limiting myself to writing texts and making videos of a campaign against the big useless and enforced projects. It was aimed at the websites of huge industries or the French state with regard to the implementation of various projects, such as the Sivens dam, the nuclear waste bin in Bure or the airport of Notre Dame des Landes. At the same time I went to the demonstration in Sivens in October 2014, where Rémi Fraisse was killed by a police grenade about 100 meters away from me. It was one of my first demonstrations and I was traumatized by police violence, the 400 explosive shells that led to night blindness, the lie of the state, that obscured the circumstances of his death, the media propaganda of criminalization, and the indifference of the judiciary, which dismissed the case against the will of the Rémi family for symbolic condemnation. The next morning I immediately called my little sister and cried and I realized that with all the grenades exploding around me, I could have died. I’ve also had hearing problems that have worsened and high pitched persistent tinnitus in my ear. But the worst thing for me is that I can say in front of you today, that a young man of my age died next to me in a demonstration, and that I can say it in cold blood. Something in me died out during my imprisonment, I lost some of my emotions in prison.
So that you can understand it a little better, I would like to tell you about a few spheres related to this day of mobilization, which took place in the middle of the nature of Tescou (south-east of France); the prefecture had promised not to use gendarmes in order to avoid creating tension and even wanted to withdraw the construction vehicles if necessary.
The Sivens Dam was supported by the CACG, a public and private body, which allowed it to implement a Declaration of Public Benefit, as well as access to taxpayers’ funds: almost 4 million euros in public money to build a dam for the company of an intensive agriculture. But the culmination was that the Fourrogue Dam, which had just been built prior to this Sivens Dam project, had been declared illegal and unsuitable by the Administrative Court after its construction. As a result, it could not even carry out the job it was built for, that is, watering of agriculture. This shows the interest behind these projects, mainly the misappropriation of public funds. The sponsors of this project want to build approximately 50 dams in the region and are currently considering re-implementing a dam project not far from the area where Rémi, a young man of 21, was killed by the police. A small river must be able to extend freely into the sea. Is it healthier to adapt to nature or to adapt nature to capitalism?
I would like to get explained where the progress is with corporations like Bayer/Monsanto, which patent the living and mutate plants in such a way that it is impossible to reuse the seeds every year without having to buy them. Nowadays it has been shown that a genetic code is passed on from generation to generation in the ancient varieties of seeds, the plant adapts to its environment, it has intelligence, it improves and gains strength from year to year. Bayer & Monsanto are responsible for the death of tens of thousands of people from illness or suicide, particularly by banning the use of certain seeds and forcing genetically modified seeds on them. In India, for example, farmers get into debt because they have to buy them every year. However, you never see the heads of these companies spend a year and 4 months in a closed prison. To get back to the Anonymous movement, I found out about the existence of the nuclear waste landfill project in Bure on the Internet, just a few steps away from me. I hadn’t heard about it in school, on JT, on a TV channel, or in the newspapers. So I did some research and discovered that people have been fighting and mobilizing against this project for more than 20 years. There was even a petition signed by 50,000 people calling for a local referendum to be organized to find out whether the population agreed with this project. This petition has been ignored. It would actually be harmful to the local authorities to loose 80 million euros, which are allocated to the landfill every year for the “economic support” of the project. The nuclear money flows steadily into the schools, and school trips are organized into the underground tunnels, in which two workers have already died in a collapse of the tunnels.
When the Agence Nationale pour la Gestion des déchets Radioactifs (National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management) was reminded that the tunnels would collapse later, the person in charge replied: “This is planned, Cigéo will collapse but we prefer to speak of a confluence of rocks.“ Rather, I think that bringing the struggles together will prevent the craziness of this project. In the same way that the Italian writer Erri de Luca confirmed it for the TGV Lyon-Turin line project in Italy, I believe that the nuclear waste landfill project must be slowed down, hindered and stopped for a legitimate purpose. Defense of health, earth, air and water.
Germany theoretically stopped nuclear energy after Fukushima, but nuclear waste remains a problem. In France, where we also do not know what to do with the waste, we will renew the power plant park and introduce a new generation of reactors (EPR), mainly to be able to sell them abroad.
With regard to the complex management in Somalia by the nuclear department, this led to the fact that the barrels with nuclear waste were thrown into the sea and there were many accidents at various landfills (in New Mexico, as well as in Germany); it seems obvious that the management of nuclear waste cannot be left to these irresponsible individuals.
“You don’t solve problems with the mindsets that caused them”
– Albert Einstein
It is important to be honest about the fact that we do not know and have never known what to do with nuclear waste. From now on, an immediate stop to the production of this waste is inevitable.
This issue of management would have to be considered by society as a whole, with funding for independent research. Where do you get the money from? 80 million euros are pumped into the Meuse and Haute-Marne departments every year to buy the consent of those who will be contaminated tomorrow. In contemporary language this is not called “corrupting”, but “working with the social acceptance of a project”. Let’s redirect this sum into the search for alternatives. For existing waste, we might rather try to find solutions with the help of science than buy conscience. There are the executives of the nuclear industry, nucleocrats and other people who have made millions if not billions in profits on the back of our lives, they would equally have to give back the money for human survival.
I would like to remind you that Germany is likely to be more affected by the landfill project as Bure is in the northeast of France and in the area of prevailing winds from the east.
It is this commitment in the field of informatics against Bure and the Sivens dam that led to an initial conviction of the judiciary after 7 DGSI officials visited my parents’ residence. The following 48 hours in police custody were the horror. Since I refused to cooperate, the officers went so far as to threaten that they would take my best friend into custody because he was seen in the rush of a video cut. They managed to break me down by putting pressure on this close friend who does not share my political views. I emphasize this rampant wickedness of the French police elite. I was young, I didn’t think it would be possible to go that far. Putting pressure on loved ones I thought that is only possible in the movies or under a dictatorship. I was given four months probation and a five-year ban from participating in public competitions for certain professions. Since I was in the first semester of my law degree at the time, I decided to appeal to request a ban on my profession so that I could continue my studies and try to become an environmental attorney. Unfortunately, the appeals court upheld the ban, which was also reactivated for a period of 5 years from that date. At that moment I had to put this professional project aside and then turned to growing vegetables. An area in which the state has not yet restricted me.
In France, the German police officers are seen as the kings of de-escalation, in the meantime I have seen in Hamburg how thousands of demonstrators climb a wall to escape the police who hit skulls with batons. It was the first day of the demonstrations in Hamburg against the G20, the water cannons, which were with the escort vehicles almost from the start, were brought into position, and the police officers deployed from all directions did not even give you the opportunity to escape. There were several dozen seriously injured in the head. Why is the courts maintaining silence with regard to police violence? Where are the photos in the media of police officers hitting the skulls with batons and the columns about calls for denunciation in the post-G20 period?
I generally accuse the courts of participating in a closed group of people who, on the basis of a division of labor between the police and the courts, cause and encourage these crimes through their laxity. The courts belonging to this group are accomplices of all violence carried out by the police in the G20, because no one has distanced themselves from this violence. There has been no condemnation of police officers since the G20, despite numerous videos and documentation from citizens. But that is also a structural problem of the police institution, the police do not investigate themselves. I blame the judiciary in general.
Bertold Brecht said: “The raging river is called violent. Why not the river bed that narrows it. ”
“Do we have to host the G20 or prevent it through protests?”
At this summit we find the five largest arms dealers in the world, namely the United States, Russia, China, France and Great Britain, all also permanent members of the UN Security Council. “If you are for peace, you don’t sell weapons”, these are the words of an undocumented man from Guinea, said during the one-hour exit in building A. He told me a lot about Guinea and Africa in general, a continent rich of resources, but poor because of the exploitation by the capitalist system. If Thomas Sankara or Patrice Lumumba had not both been murdered by weapons built in the country’s northern hemisphere, Africa would have a different face today.
During the Hamburg G20, France and Germany sold arms to Turkey. The weapons were likely used in the Turkish offensive against the Kurds in Rojava in northern Syria. Turkish journalists are still in custody for revealing that Erdogan had delivered weapons to Daesh. If a person hands a stone to a protester, they may be charged with complicity in an act of extreme violence and risk ending up in prison. But selling arms is a lawful act. Perhaps the problem arises from the fact that it is a gift, and that in your eyes it is more right to become a stone merchant. Or maybe that has nothing to do with financial interests and it would be a moral question: it’s good to sell guns since they serve war to create peace, a contradiction already described by George Orwell in his 1984 work. Anarchists were recently tortured in Russia. The torture encountered in Turkey or in Saudi Arabia. Do you just have the idea of extreme violence that your summit embodies, this gathering of the 20 richest states on the planet?
There is one particularly serious aspect to this matter, 5 people are responsible for all damage caused by a demonstration. 99% of the alleged acts are not personally targeted at the accused. The indictment extends to over one million euros in damages. The prosecutor tries to construct and impose a broad view of complicity, to the point where it goes beyond the presumed presence of the accused. Specifically, imagine that during a demonstration someone sets fire to a car 50 meters in front of you: you are considered responsible for the damage. But that’s nothing! Now imagine you are leaving the demonstration, 10 minutes later a Molotov cocktail is thrown: although you are no longer there,you will be held responsible for it too.
There are many problems in this trial, in prison, in the police, in capitalism, in the state and its world. These different subjects are, among other things, like general decomposition: the pursuit of leadership, globalization, classification. The personality of the individual, his identity, his creativity, his uniqueness must be put in a container, in a group.
Here is another quote from Thoreau:
“A man’s unique character is evident in every line of his face and every action. Confusing one man for another and always looking at them globally is a sign of stupidity. The limited mind only distinguishes races, nations, or extended families, while a wise man distinguishes the individual.”
Thoreau’s Diary – July 1848
I’m not going to explain what I didn’t do and if you ask me what I think then this further quote might do justice:
“Whatever my judgment on this or that act or this or that individual person is, I will never raise my voice along with the cries of hatred that the gunmen, police, judiciary, priests and law set in motion to uphold their privileges..” – Elisée Reclus
You have a little time before the end of these proceedings to limit the indictment to just what I could do, and as long as that is not the case, I refuse to comment on the charges concerning me in relation to the demonstration in the Elbchaussee. You have to be sure: whether I was actually there, whether you mistook me for someone else, or whether I just wasn’t there with evidence.
In France, I was charged with cutting up a fence around a nuclear waste landfill project, and I undertook this act in court to explain it. This procedure is rewritten in a brochure with the title: «You must know that I do not expect anything from your institution», which has also been translated into German. Further lawsuits against anarchists such as that of Alexandre Marius Jacob also contain a recognition and declaration in front of the court about the acts carried out. It is a strategy of interruption. I understand the stance of unwillingness to explain and remain silent, and I want to show solidarity with those who have chosen to remain silent in the trials. Nonetheless, I hate the lying reports from prosecutors or the police. And it takes place in your courts where your versions manifest and are picked up by the judges and then the media. When I explain myself today, it is for the purpose of conveying to you a reality that I experienced in the streets of Hamburg.
On the afternoon of July 7, 2017, the German police gave another demonstration of their de-escalation strategy. In a never-ending ballet by the police officers who repeatedly accused everything around the Rote Flora as they passed by. I saw several times how the police beat people on the sidewalk with batons for no reason, as well as people who were sitting on the terraces of the bars and having a drink. Perhaps, in the spirit of the police, the mere presence of someone around the Rote Flora was enough guilt. In the small park directly behind it, 4 police officers ran towards a person who was in a corner next to a bush, this person was beaten apart from the looks and cameras. I saw a journalist who was beaten by the police. And then the umpteenth person who was badly beaten with batons in front of the Rote Flora, I approached spontaneously with other people, screaming with indignation. A police officer stared into my face. All my friends in France know that I have a calm nature, but the feeling of injustice outrages me. So I put my backpack on the floor and threw 2 bottles of beer in front of me at the police. There was violent action by the police at the origin of this gesture, I do not want to apologize. All the more so since I failed to hit the police officers and the bottles fell to the floor next to them (as can be seen on the video). Surely in your eyes it looks like it remains illegal whether the projectile hits a police officer or not, just as your laws forbid using the baton at head level or spraying tear gas in the face. Has there been any trial against a police officer who struck the air with a baton near the head without hitting it? No. There has not even been a single trial of a police officer who hit a skull with a baton in the G20. Do you have to go to a demonstration wearing a helmet from now on?
A little later, on a police video, you see me walking towards a lady of a certain age who is pushing her bike. She had stopped in the middle of the street while a water cannon moved towards her. I helped her back onto the sidewalk and when we got there we were exposed to a jet of water from the water cannon that was clearly aimed at both of us. You always show an excessive imagination and extreme sensitivity when you write in your indictments that this projectile was aimed at the police and add “accepting that it could have seriously injured the police officers.” Because before one thinks about it, one should perhaps clarify that the projectile actually hits a police officer. Once this thing is over, It is important to recognize that it is difficult to seriously injure a police officer when he is wearing protective clothing, unlike the demonstrators who do not wear them. While we were waiting, the powerful jet of water obviously hit us and no one accuses the police, of having seriously injured the elderly lady. After making sure the latter was okay,, I picked up 2 stones and threw them at the water cannon. The police officers were positioned behind the water cannon.
Do not find me in your definition of good or bad demonstrator, you should just know that I remain in solidarity with every person who finds himself/herself in front of the judiciary after demonstrations: whether it is the G20 or the yellow vests, the Minneapolis or the working-class neighborhoods in Chile or that of Hong Kong. Because once again, whatever my personal judgment of this or that act or this or that individual person is, I will never raise my voice along with the cries of hatred that armed men, police, judiciary, priests and laws set in motion maintain their privileges.
There have been numerous attempts to block the G20 with non-violent sit-ins; I also participated in this strategy and a person next to me found himself holding a violet while another police officer kicked me while we were sitting. I found that using this tactic is less dangerous in the presence of cameras capturing the scene. The police seem very image-conscious and are reluctant to demonstrate their violence under lenses, but do not hesitate to use their dark sides as soon as a little shadow shows up.
“Passive non-violent resistance is effective in that your adversary follows the same rules as you. But when a peaceful demonstration meets nothing but violence, the effectiveness ends. For me, not using violence is not a moral principle, but a strategy. There is no moral goodness in using an ineffective weapon. »
– Nelson Mandela
There is a February 1989 study of the effects of uniforms worn by law enforcement officers in Canada. The study found that a person is more likely to be violent when wearing a uniform. That is why I do not necessarily blame the individual, but rather the situation that arises from being a police officer. It is possible that soon, like in Minneapolis, more and more people will need to dismantle the police.
As a final point: the German press often highlights the economic impact of demonstrations as the most important point. I think that I heard for the entire G20 in Hamburg that the damage involved was 10 million euros. I will prove to you that a healthy eating person who does some damage at a demonstration costs less money than a society used to McDo. A 2019 article in “Libération” magazine estimates that the cost of poor nutrition to health in France is € 55 billion a year. It would take 5,500 demonstrations each year with 10 million euros in damage to offset the economic impact of poor nutrition. Knowing that the mobilizations dragged on for 4 days, it is not possible tocarry out more than 92 of them per year. Unless one allows oneself to imagine several demonstrations at the same time. Then 59 demonstrations like the one in Hamburg would have to be carried out at the same time and this would have to be repeated continuously in one year in order to achieve the same level of economic damage from poor nutrition in France. I didn’t find any numbers related to Germany, but I think they should be pretty much the same. Rounding up, one can say that poor nutrition costs 100 billion euros in Germany and France. So 300 billion euros since the G20 in Hamburg, isn’t it wiser to bring lawsuits against the big players in the food industry who are poisoning our food and our lives?
Here are a few words of Ravachol:
“In drawing up the paragraphs of the law, the legislators forgot that they are not addressing the cause but only the effects, and in doing so they are not eradicating the crime; in truth, the reasons still exist and only the effects emerge. Yes, I repeat: it is society that creates the criminals, and I swear to you, instead of beating them, you should focus your intelligence and your strength on transforming society. Suddenly you suppress any crime; and your work, which is now directed against the reasons, will be much greater and much more fruitful than it can be achieved by your judiciary, which is reduced to punishing the effects »
I heard the court tried to know whether the sentence was sufficient to have an educational effect on the accused. I was surprised to find out about this type of educational effect. Do you think that imprisonment punishment forces you not to start again? There is an open prison, where the relapse rate in Norway is 20%, the area where I was incarcerated for 1 year and 4 months has a relapse rate of 70%. In this Norwegian prison, the guards sometimes sing a song for the newcomers, you are listened to, you experience love and consideration. When I got to your prison, I was locked in the same underpants 23 hours out of 24 for a month and received serious looks from the guards who despise you. But at the risk, not having made myself clear, because you might think that I would be happy with a Norwegian prison. As Ravachol said, “it is society that produces criminals” and criminologist Alexandre Lassange affirmed that “society has the criminals it deserves”. I think by changing society that we can root out any crime. And I think that there is a 0% chance of a relapse in this trial because the reason has disappeared, there will never be another G20 in Hamburg.
My next statement will contain a text that assumes a G20 without police, which I see as an alternative to your summit, as well as a criticism of industrial civilization and the renewable energies of green capitalism. I will also present your court with a comic strip with potato men that I drew in prison, in which I explain how all countries in the world can get rid of their atomic bombs.
26. June 2020