If we had continued the struggle like this, some of us would be dead now. This was the intention of sections of the CDU/CSU right up to and including (Chancellor) Kohl. And we still wouldn’t have made it. Possibly through this experience some people outside would have decided to offensively make their break with the system. This lies in the political dialectics. By ending the hungerstrike we will be maintaining the political level on which the struggle for association can and will continue, after the confrontation was blocked politically and practically.
It would have now only been a quantitative development: we have long been here as the antagonist core, and our comrades outside no longer need us as the motor for their terrain. They, themselves have it.
What must be added to this is fundamental upheaval on a broader basis from the bottom – against the normality of the system, not just against the apparent state of emergency (the latter is a strategic weakness for the whole cause; we have often come up against this barrier.) Social relations must be radically altered.
This is the new political quality and we must all fight for its content and expansion. For our part: we want discussion with everyone. In order to do this we must search for a common political denominator. We don’t want it any other way.
It is possible to find one because today the thought of a fundamental reversal does not only come from a revolutionary core to the society, but from everyone. The thought is there, however strong or weak, it is already ripe. It has come from experiencing that there isn’t a productive solution for anything in this system.
The mobilization was primarily political. It wanted something fundamentally new on a social question that has been central in the last decades, but it was stopped by the old power relationship from the top. Not getting through it is due to the present political disunity. Further political development, the creation of a common political relationship against the system, takes time and it doesn’t just come from the experiences with the state directed at us. Because everyone must also be a subject in their process of awareness we did not want to fight out an escalated situation that many would have experienced as going over them and that would have as such reproduced the same old separations in a new way.
But that’s also the way it is: for us this whole prison phase is politically concluded. We have come through it. They will not break us. We are a political collective antagonistic to this system. And that is what we will remain. The relationship has been established among ourselves and has created the space to think politically far beynd it.
Taking system shit will never be a goal for us again. We have separated ourselves from this completely. But freedom – a thought which was very intense among ourselves in this struggle, that is the power struggle which is at the root of everything. For us it is much more than the movement coming out of prison. It concerns the entire development of society. As a historic possibility, signs can already be seen today.
And for this we want to keep the political level open for everyone – and evidently, what is central for each of us: for the lives of our comrades within it.
There are situations in which prolonging an exhaustive force only erodes it as well as the energy for further political determination. This was our situation. So we drew a line. We don’t wage “fights to the finish”.
The experience gained can now be used everywhere and connected to the others from thi society. This presents totally new possibilities for all of us. Because the authorities wanted deaths among us, political reality in FRG came to its senses again. They weren’t just trampling over us but also over the left, liberal and humanist mobilization. Here it becomes reactionary to hold onto the illusions that some are still producing about this state. On their part, it is welcomed – an ornament on their imperialist machine. In case of an emergency the same fascist reaction from top to bottom will break through. But only until, all those who come into conflict with it, take themselves seriously, stop suppressing learning processes and do not let go.
Celle, mid-may 1989
The document first appeared in English in the July-August 1989 issue of Prison News Service