Eighth Hunger Strike Statement


We, the prisoners from the RAF, are once again going on hunger strike.

We will not stop struggling against torture, against the open and covert extermination campaigns, against the entire institutionalized and refined strategy to destroy our political identities.

The state is calculating that by systematically creating separate prison regimes of individual and small group isolation, as perfected in the high-security units, and seeming integration, it can destroy the group’s collective structure and our collective unity. At the same time it hopes to undermine the national and international protests, including those of the International Commission, and, in the end, that of Amnesty International. They will not succeed. They can’t possibly succeed, because the concrete knowledge that this state is ready and able to commit any inhumanity is one of the things that led us to rise and take up arms in the first place.

Having for years been isolated from one another, from any possible collective political process, and from the outside world, we are determined, using the only means available to us—the unlimited collective hunger strike—to break through this separation and establish the conditions necessary for a collective learning and working process, in order to be able to survive as human beings. We demand:

The application of the minimum guarantees of the Geneva Convention for prisoners from the RAF and other anti-imperialist resistance groups.

Association for these prisoners in conditions where they can interact with one another; such interaction is made impossible—as a result of acoustic and visual surveillance of communication—in isolation units where light, air, and sound are electronically controlled.

Freedom for Günter Sonnenberg, because his continued incarceration makes it impossible for him to recover from his head injuries.

The struggle doesn’t stop in prison, and the objectives don’t change; the only things that change are the methods and the terrain of the guerilla-state conflict, of the war. So the state reacts to this situation, in which we are imprisoned and unarmed and engaged in a collective hunger strike, as if it were under armed attack.

The overall measures used against us leave no room for doubt: we are prisoners of war with the status of hostages. Every time the confrontation has escalated, an imprisoned RAF cadre has been executed: Holger, Siegfried, Ulrike. Once the RAF’s politico-military offensive had exposed the failure of the huge repressive effort to exterminate the prisoners using all possible means, the U.S. National Security Council’s “Special Coordination Committee” decided upon the final solution—the execution of Andreas, Gudrun, Jan, Nina, and our brothers and sisters of the Commando Martyr Halimeh.

This was an attempt to wipe out every trace of their struggle, their example, and their persistence.

“Snuff out the flame before it becomes a wildfire,” in order to deprive the people of the metropole of any hope of freedom. The torture and murder of political prisoners, like the executions in the streets, are no longer simply a matter of police tactics: in this Third Reich successor state, the methods and goals remain the same.

For this, its third attempt, German imperialism is not acting against American capital, but with it. It is not acting independently, but is serving a function for American foreign policy, expressed as a global domestic policy. It must therefore liquidate the militant prisoners and the whole resistance movement, which pose a threat and raise the question of power here in the heart of the U.S. system of states, the key economic, political, and military launching pad for the aggressive policies of the U.S. since 1945.

The torture and murder of political prisoners and the death squads in Turkey, Ireland, Italy, and Spain can all be traced back to the NATO Supreme Command, which wants to use the BKA and intelligence services to impose a unified domestic policy throughout Western Europe. This is the same Supreme Command which, in the latest NATO Review, openly reminded governments that there must be no question of considering demands for political status or for international inquiries into the torture of militant prisoners, and that they must stick to the agreed upon strategy for criminalizing revolutionary resistance.

The resistance developed on the wasteland of bourgeois resistance and the German workers movement, moving from the naive humanism of the Easter Marches and the antinuclear movement to the youth revolts and the Vietnam opposition, and finally to the urban guerilla. They respond to this humanity with the inhumanity of mass murder, because humanity gets in the way of their solution: to present brutality, misery, the overall violence of property ownership as “humanity’s cultural imperative.” They project their crimes onto the guerilla—“poisoned drinking water, nuclear contamination, deadly bacteria”—to divert the fear that they produce away from themselves, so that no resistance will develop based on an understanding of the real source of these problems. The goal of the anti-RAF campaign is to prevent, at any cost, militant protest against rearmament, against the militarization of all areas of society, or against the deployment of the Bundeswehr in the streets from returning to what it was before it was suppressed thirty-five years ago—solidarity with the guerilla based on people drawing the same conclusion we have drawn: that illegality provides the liberated territory that the resistance in West Germany needs to develop its capacity to act.

The state’s reaction reveals its weakness and vulnerability, as well as the possibility of speeding up the process of decline by constant attack, creating a “real state of emergency.” Nothing we can do will prevent the state’s transition to fascism, through which the state of emergency will be legally sanctioned, because it is inevitable.

Since capital is now creating the conditions for its own aggressive reconstruction on a world scale, we must—all of us who want freedom, accountability, and a humane way of life—prepare to prevent this project in the countries from which this onslaught is to be launched. At this stage, we have to develop the political and military counterforce necessary to establish a “political barrier” to U.S. imperialism’s military overkill potential, with the ultimate goal of destroying it.

If the militant left can recognize what imperialism has understood every time it has been defeated—that imperialism’s power ends at the point where its violence no longer frightens people—then it will have completely exposed the secret to imperialism’s apparent invincibility. Solidarity excludes compulsion and it cannot be cancelled like a line of credit.

It is the practical expression of each person’s consciousness that there is no contradiction between individual and collective liberation, despite what the pathetic apologists for the satisfaction of individual needs believe. Rather, there is a dialectical relationship—just as liberation here cannot be separated from the liberation struggle of the peoples of the Third World.

Solidarity manifests its reality and power as proletarian internationalism, i.e., through attacks against the common enemy, U.S. imperialism, at the strategic points where each of us encounter it. This is the basis upon which the anti-imperialist struggle can be unified.

Our hunger strike is an expression of solidarity with:

  • the IRA and INLA prisoners and their long and determined struggle for political status.
  • the Red Brigades prisoners in their struggle against the extermination strategy, in which they have seized the political initiative.
  • all prisoners from the anti-imperialist resistance in Western Europe, particularly in Turkey.
  • the struggle of the Palestinian prisoners for Prisoner of War status.
  • with all prisoners who have begun to resist in prison and are struggling to organize themselves.

Arm the resistance!
Organize the underground!
Organize armed resistance in Western Europe!

Prisoners from the Red Army Faction
February 6, 1981