Our friend and comrade Boris has been in an induced coma in the burns unit of the Grand Est hospital in Metz since the morning of Saturday 7 August 2021 following a fire in his cell. His condition is life-threatening, his respiratory tract being highly damaged by smoke and ash. A first skin graft operation will be carried out as soon as his state of health allows it.
Right away, a journalist from Lorraine Actu, Antony Speciale, rushed to take up the version of the facts provided by Fadila Doukhi, regional delegate of the Force Ouvrière prison union.
Priority was given to the vultures of the media of course, the prison did not even bother to inform the family until late in the day, long after publication in the news columns. Not surprisingly, the guards were congratulated for their responsiveness to this event, which had been directly produced by a year’s imprisonment.
Today, it is difficult for us to understand what happened. Boris is naturally unable to express himself and, it seems, we will only have access to accounts from the screws and the administration aimed at offloading all responsibility on their part.
Whatever the circumstances of this fire, the only certainty is that the prison administration, the justice system, their lackeys and their world are responsible. It is clear that in the prison world, these “accidents” are the result of state violence. This situation is the consequence of institutionalised torture. There where bodies are locked up and their movements scrupulously monitored, setting fire to the cell is sometimes the last means of screaming one’s insubordination or distress. We point a finger at the recurrence of these incidents which regularly turn into tragedy according to the speed of intervention at the whim of the prison screws. From Villepinte in June 2020 to La Santé in October of the same year, to Lille-Sequedin last July, the fire in Boris’s cell is not an isolated case.
Imprisoned following his arrest on 22 September 2020 for having set fire to two relay antennas in the Jura region on 10 April 2020, Boris was sentenced on 19 May 2021 to four years, two of which suspended, and a fine of around one hundred thousand euros. Despite the absence and request for postponement from his lawyer the court held a trial behind closed doors. Two family members were the only people allowed to attend the hearing. On the pretext of health measures, friends and comrades were blocked from entering the court, while a journalist from Est Républicain was invited to write a crap article and save the appearance of a mockery of an open debate.
In a letter written from jail in June, Boris looks back at his act and his motivations turned against the tools of control, as well as the devastating consequences for living beings of the extraction of the materials necessary for the construction of these technologies. He describes as dystopian the society of surveillance, alienation and exploitation imposed on us by capitalism and the State.
We feel it is necessary to extend the sphere of Boris’s thinking and the act that landed him in prison as far and as widely as possible. With the same solidarity that he brought in attacking this human and environmental disaster. Out of a refusal to remain stuck in a feeling of powerlessness in the face of the health condition and imprisonment of our friend and comrade, we call to express our solidarity by attacking the veins of domination and the prison world.
Boris’s situation reminds us that anarchist struggle is a tension between the rage to live and this system of death, that resignation is a lie [Müsham, The Prisoner] and that we choose the path of insurrection rather than resignation.