Note from Insurrection News: What follows is a newly translated text that was written by anarchist comrade Lukáš Borl in September 2015, shortly after he made the decision to become a fugitive following serious police harassment and surveillance in the Czech Republic for suspected involvement with SRB / Network of Revolutionary Cells…
I´m an anarchist, a rebel and this means so much to me. Among others also that I´m threatened by those against which I fight. Besides other rebels it´s more complicated with us, anarchists. The threat is always here for us and it doesn’t matter what time or place we live in – in the position of fighters against all states the anarchists are always under the threat of repressions and violence. During monarchy, theocracy, fascist or bolshevik dictatorship, same as during the times of liberal democracy. All anarchists must live with knowing that everyday can appear the fist of the state repressions.
Anyway, even if I always feel this threat, I deaden my senses a lot during the years of my anarchist activities. I plainly didn’t care too much emotionally when some of the often repeated forms of repression came. They became a routine. Every moment cops violently attack anarchist demonstrations or evict a squat. Time after time somebody gets arrested and after a while released with a fine or probation. Nothing extraordinary in an anarchist environment. We don´t need to drown in despair because of this, we just need to cope with the conditions. I started to perceive these recurrent troubles as the inevitable result of anarchist activities. We just need to take into account, that if somebody fights against the state, the same state will fight back.
If we talk about these small “routine” repressions, we can live quite ordinary lives despite them. The police will have more and more information about your activities, but still, you can do your stuff and you can do it publicly. I’ve been doing this for around seventeen years. Police surveillance, interrogations, prison cells, courts. Fines and probation. So much of this during those seventeen years, but nothing that would prevent me from organizing or participating in anarchist activities in public.
The phase of my public activities reached the top, now it´s time for the phase of hiding. After long reasoning and considering the present context I decided to disappear from the eyes of the state control. At present I think it´s the only possible way I know of to protect myself against the crushing hit of repressions. Now I will try to outline the context and reasons that led me to this decision.
My current stance is the result of the last few months, but there is no doubt that I made all the most underlying decisions just few days before my disappearance. April 28, 2015 was the beginning of all of this. The day the police started the operation Fénix – this repressive campaign against the anarchist movement became some sort of breaking point. Transition from longtime mild repression into the strong one. Three anarchists ended in trial detention after the first raids and another one a few weeks later. Official version is, that it was an effort to eliminate Síť revolučních buněk (SRB) (SRB – Network of Revolutionary Cells) and leftist terrorism. But there is no doubt that SRB still functions. It’s also obvious that repression hits the wider anarchist movement and also the families and friends of anarchists. Besides the imprisoned comrades there are also other persons accused of crimes and prosecuted at “liberty”. Dozens of people are repeatedly interrogated and bullied. Some people are surveyed by whole police teams that track all their steps and communications. This situation has created a very oppressive atmosphere.
There were fines and probation before, but now the anarchists were imprisoned under very frightening conditions. Some comrades are accused of terrorism in the preparation phase. Concretely of planning the attack on the freight train with military material. Two undercover cops, who infiltrated one anarchist group played an important role in this case. Another comrade is accused of an attack against the house of the Czech minister of defense. The attack with molotov cocktails was – according to the police version – militant advocacy of Russia and the regime of Vladimir Putin. The truth is, that the persecuted anarchist is a Russian citizen, who was persecuted in Russia and has repeatedly stood against Putin, the Russian state and it´s regime during lectures in the Czech Republic. The defendant simply doesn’t have the motive. Moreover he has a provable alibi, that he was at another place during the time of the attack.
Simply, the anarchists in Czech Republic are going to the prison cells because of some absurd police fictions and provocations. This is the big reason for me, as an active anarchist, to start to worry, that I can be also imprisoned soon. Undoubtedly everybody from the anarchist movement can be imprisoned, so the question is, why I think that they want to imprison me. I can’t tell it with certainty of course, but there are some signals that suggest the probability is very high. I don´t want to disregard or detract this.
Dozens of anarchists throughout the Czech Republic where interrogated during the operation Fénix, some of them repeatedly. I talked with most of them about their experience. Almost everyone independently agreed on one thing – that I’m the person that police mostly focused on during the interrogations. According to trusted sources it was the same also during the interrogations of imprisoned anarchists. It isn’t meaningless coincidence and it surely has it’s reasons that can be connected with the effort to put me into prison. These interrogations can be the way, for them to obtain documentation for an arrest warrant. It doesn’t matter if the documentation will have some real basis or if it will be the result of police manipulations with the statements. It will trouble either way.
There can be many reasons, why they focus their attention on me so strongly. Perhaps that I’m publicly involved in projects, that leads to approximation of the anarchist movement and the people outside it. Or maybe it´s the activities around the community center Ateneo or the activities to support workers bullied by their bosses. Police can see me as a person who significantly contributes to popularize anarchist tactics and goals. This kind of person is a threat for the status quo everywhere around the globe and police try to eliminate their influence.
There is also truth, that on lectures, public discussions and in publications I repeatedly and openly advocate for the illegal direct action as an integral part of anti-capitalist resistance. Police can see high risk in this, because I can maybe inspire or support some people to do these illegal direct actions. It’s also known thing, that I’m a member of Association Alerta, that reproduces SRB and other militant group’s statements on the internet. There´s no secret that I’m also distributing publications and some of them are presenting texts from groups and individuals beyond the borders of legality like Revolutionary Struggle Class War, A.L.F. , Angry Brigade, Alfredo M. Bonnano or Antonio Tellez. I don´t agree with them in some of their activities and stances, but mainly I do and that’s the reason why I spread their texts and verbally express sympathy with them.
So, I’m just loudly saying things, that many anarchist only dare to say secretly, so nobody can hear them. I’m helping to spread information about illegal direct actions and encouraging others to support them. I also repeatedly declared, that as an anarchist, I don’t want to bound myself with statutory norms and I will cross it´s borders everywhere, where I think it´s legitimate. I have no doubt that police want to stop all of this and perhaps also with the help of imprisonment.
I don’t want to overestimate my abilities and influence, but i have no doubt, that the police hate everything I do. They have enough reasons to try to stop me. Just what police presented as a reason for the raid on community center Ateneo is a big warning. Some sort of message: “Don’t have a doubt, we are coming after you”. They submitted injunctions for house searches on four places, where I spent much time and they justified it by suspecting me as a person who founded, supported and propagated the SRB. If police use these suspicions to justify raids, it’s reasonable to worry that they want to turn these suspicions into charges and severe punishment. I don’t want to stand by and wait what happens.
Surveillance and wiretapping
I already mention increased attention on my person during police interrogations. I would like to remind everyone, that this is just one of many cases where I experienced this increase in attention. During the last months this attention was very present during my everyday life. As I wrote, there was a team of undercover cops that tracked all my steps and communication (link 1, 2, 3). There were days that I couldn’t move without their presence and also this intense surveillance fits into the theories of my arrest. And it seems like, they don´t want just me. I think, that there are two goals, that police want to achieve with surveillance.
Goal One: Uncovering links and relations. They want to know with who I’m in touch, what we’re doing together and on what we cooperate. They expect, that I will lead them to people, who can then be easily convicted of illegal activities. They assume, that if I openly advocate for illegal activities and spread information about it, I must also know people who are involved in such activities.
Goal Two: They want to accuse me of illegal activities. They are watching me with expectation, that I will do something illegal sooner or later and they will record it. Eventually that I will do something, that will draw the connection between me and something illegal from the past. I’m afraid that even if this leads to nothing and the police can’t connect me with anything illegal, they will create some evidence themselves. It will be the same thing that happened to anarchists who ended up in custody with allegations of serious crimes, because of some doubtful claims of the police.
If the police in the Czech Republic arrested people because of some obviously fictional constructs, it´s very easy to believe, that they want to do the same to me. I described the motives that can lead the police to arrest me and also the things that can be counted as a preparation for such a move. All of this led me to my decision, that only way to prevent this, is to simply disappear from the sight of the police and the government. If they don’t know where I am and what I am doing, they don’t have the conditions needed for my imprisonment.
Damn hard decision
Now, I want to emphasize one important thing. I´m aware, that my theories about my imprisonment are based on assumptions. There is no way that I can prove them now of course. If the theory of my imprisonment will proved invalid, my decision to disappear will remain anyway. The reason is the will to keep my dignity and health.
To live under constant police surveillance is unsustainable in the long term. In situations like this, you will lost not only your privacy and dignity, but you are also exposed to huge psychological pressure, that can undermine your health very easily. Paranoia and other psychical and emotional problems are common results in such situations. I know cases of people, that needed to seek psychiatric treatment because of intensive police control, their health was undermined and maybe it can’t be fully restored. I want to prevent this, so I will hide rather then live in the conditions of permanent control.
I want to hide rather than sit in the prison or hospital. Now I see only these three options, so my decision is clear. Disappear while I can. If I say, that my decision is clear, I don’t say it is easy. It’s damn hard to decide to disappear without farewell and lose contact with people I have known for years. But such a decision is the result of a logical evaluation of the situation. It´s also a self-preservation instinct.
Of course I would rather live normally in close contact with all the people I know, but this is impossible now. The decision to secede from friends and family is the consequence of a situation which my enemies pushed me into. I have no intention to forgive them. I´m hiding from their sight also because I want to plan my next moves in the struggle undisturbed, so I can subvert their beliefs. Simply put, if I’m disappearing from the sight of the police and government it doesn’t mean that I’m no longer part of an anarchist resistance.
Last words I’m sending to those who I love. If I’m disappearing from the sight of all of you – friends and family, it doesn’t mean that I’m leaving you! We don´t see each other and we don’t talk together now, but you are always an important part of my life. I don´t have a doubt, that I’m also still an important part of yours.
I love you, I’m thinking of you and I miss you.
Lukáš Borl – September 2015
(via Lukáš Borl // archiv)
Pingback: Czech Republic: ‘Disappearing From State Control’ by fugitive anarchist Lukáš Borl | Mpalothia