The document first appeared in English in the July-August 1989 issue of Prison News Service
At the beginning of the strike we said, we will not go on like this and that has not changed, even if we haven’t achieved our entire goal.
They will not bury us in isolation any longer. That’s over and they will never turn back the clock again.
We fought out the confrontation up to the point in time where it was definitely clear that there would be no new decision [by the state- PNS], neither through our proposals for a solution, nor by some of us dying. It would have been meaningless to go on; contradictory to everything that we are here fighting for – Our lives. We held onto the meaning of it for us by making the decision to end the strike. This is how it must be and how it was the entire time during the hunger strike. Against this they “only’ have power, empty, brutal, the hard power of the state.
What has now developed in the hunger strike cannot be taken away from us by anyone. We want discussion with all people/groups who as a result of their different particular experiences and political processes are in solidarity and critical solidarity with us; and who are just as determined not to allow our destruction in isolation and not allow our being cut off from all political discussion and development. It is clear that we still have to create the concrete conditions for this. Together!
We will not continue this as we have up till now: in total isolation and without the possibility of communicating among ourselves. That’s one thing. The other thing is: during the hunger strike the necessity for political discussion with content with the different social groups and within the entire spectrum of resistance became totally clear. The challenge at hand is – work and debate for the basis and concrete political elements of politics that really effect change. This is what must be continued.
The picture couldn’t be clearer, the situation couldn’t be more evident. Forty years of the FRG. The right is mobilizing, getting a foothold and doing what it wants (the new ‘old rats’ are also coming out of their holes: a product of the politics of Bonn). And what it wants is a brutal breakthrough, enforced with its economic and state power to rule – the entire content of their politics lies in demonstrating this against the social and political interests of humanity.
Here we have “the state will not be blackmailed” nakedly doing everything it can think of against hungerstriking prisoners who are putting their lives on the line for life and against the social solidarity movement that says end isolation and that the prisoners should be part of political discussion in its entirety. And it became obvious that there is no politically effective, decisive force here against this hard power of reaction. This concerns all communities in resistance in the broadest sense, as well as unions, Christian and anti-fascist groups, and it does not only concern our struggle and the hard line of the state against us. That is only a particularly intense point in the conflict where human interests clash head-on with those of the state and capital. It now concerns every part of society, everyone who is for living conditions worthy of human dignity – in the broadest sense, but also in direct resistance, is confronted with it. That is what everyone can now see, feel and understand and no one can think that it can go on politically as before. This would only be helpless – exactly what power wants.
There is nothing else but to start the discussion now, in order to do it, to bring the people/groups together who want a fundamentally different social reality; to respect them and their different experiences and ideas and to take them seriously; to simply leave all the nonsense blocking the discussion aside and talk about content for the development of a political force which will be in a position to assert itself against this technocratic fascist apparatus that capitalist power wants to set up here and in Western Europe. There is nothing else, for these questions have necessarily arisen everywhere. How can the interests of the people be put through against this power. How is it factually possible to achieve that what is being felt in all social areas here and internationally as a burning necessity? What are the ways and the prospects?
It can only be the goal of the discussion to come to solutions for these questions. The discussion must and I believe it can now be held in an atmosphere of solidarity with all those who agree on this. This is and demands a different position and approach in the debates than before. Not disassociation, empty slogans, ideological models… are at the centre, but the people. Their thoughts, their political action – solutions can come solely from this.
I already began to say how we see and want this in my letter from March which was published in a shortened version in the TAZ (Tageszeitung). And if I just look at what quite different people and groups have said and done about the hunger strike, then I see strong possibilities. But they must be tackled consciously and productively for the continuing political process. From everyone. This is not yet the case.
We will not let go of this, of what has developed and I hope that those who are with us will do the same. Now there is a lot to learn from this struggle and to find a new understanding for.
We all have to reflect on the political development and about how we can go on creating conditions out of the changed situation for ourselves and for the discussion. This is what we are concentrating on, and then it must go on concretely – right away!
Some of us, or when possible several of us together, will say more than I have here from my first thoughts. It will be like this now, it will not stop: we are here in the political debate.