13.11. Anti-prison demonstration – For a society without prisons

contribution from Basisgruppe Internationalismus | part of Internationalist Center Dresden

Prisons are not a solution to social problems. Prisons are a means of enforcing domination and exploitation. They ensure that whoever is down stays down. We reject them and do not call for their social reform.

We will demonstrate on 13.11.2021 in Dresden for the abolition of all prisons! Meeting points: 3 pm at the deportation prison Hamburgerstraße, 5 pm at the Dresden Hammerweg Prison.

With prison, the state reacts to social problems and locks away unwanted people. Therefore, it is mainly people who experience poverty and racism, people who do not fit into gender norms or suffer from mental illness who are locked up. People get targeted by discriminatory police checks or can’t pay their parking tickets. Quite a lot of people are in jail because of substitute prison sentences.

Daily life in prison is determined by a monotonous routine in which everything is controlled and regulated. Health care is poor. People in prison are isolated from their friends and family. Prisoners can only communicate with the outside world by letter and with completely overpriced telephone calls.

In 13 of Germany’s 16 federal states, work is compulsory for all people in prison. Thereby, there is mostly very monotonous and often heavy work; for 1 to 3 euros per hour without pension entitlement. At the same time, the products in the prison shop are much more expensive than outside. People in prison are therefore poor. Prison labour is a profitable source of income for many private companies. The workers are exploited while prison operations are financed by taxes. The costs of prison operations are borne by society, the profits are privatised.

In order to defend themselves against exploitation and poor working conditions, inmates of Tegel Prison founded the GGBO – the Prisoners’ Trade Union Nationwide Organisation in 2014. Outside, trade union work is socially and legally enabled. In prison, trade union activities are criminalised.

In addition to the so-called “normal prison”, there are also deportation prisons. People are locked up so that deportations function smoothly. They are not even accused of a crime. The European policy of isolation and deportation is thus perfected down to the last detail. The imprisoned people hardly have time to organise themselves legally, and support is prevented. Once deported, they have no chance to return, even if the deportation was unlawful.

Even though it is often claimed that the judiciary and the penal system are apolitical, this is not true. Rather, people are affected by repression precisely because of their political activities. This is true for anti-fascists as well as for the Kurdish movement. Their struggle for autonomy and self-government is also criminalised by the Federal Republic of Germany – in line with the Turkish government.

If you also think that prison cannot be a solution, then come with us on 13 November 2021 to the deportation prison and the prison in Dresden. There we want to get people out of isolation, inform ourselves together about the conditions in prison and show our solidarity.

For the right to (trade union) organise in prison.
For the immediate closure of all camps and deportation prisons! Freedom of movement for all!
Prisons become vacant lots – vacant lots become community gardens!

We will demonstrate on 13.11.2021 in Dresden for the abolition of all prisons! Meeting points: 3 p.m. at the Hamburgerstraße deportation prison, 5 p.m. at the Dresden Hammerweg prison.