The Black Seed of Our Convictions (excerpts)

original text by Gabriela Curilem

translation published in War on Society

The first round is won by a blank paper, its whiteness is intimidating and I think about recent events, over and over… I’m refreshed during the night and the letters come, taking control of this small battleground that the paper has become. Still, though I have always been there just out of sight, today the words fly, carrying me to you all, because today, on this day which symbolizes so many hardships, I won’t stay in the shadows like usual, like every day since August 14th, 2010.

With this text, my hope is the same thing I’ve longed for since the beginning: discussion. To avoid stagnant conversations with the mirror, to broaden our perspectives and push our own power forward, without remorse, but with a deep critical analysis, without applause, but without silence… and above all, without that easy saying that so many adore, it will not be me contributing to that empty fetish, it won’t be me, it will never be me.

(…) For me, there is life only when there is the will to struggle against all forms of domination… those who have fallen silent and disappeared… remain silent, remain missing, after a year… will stay behind, far away on the journey, and with a little of the winds from our storms, their paper armor will be torn apart, just like their shields devoid of real content and above all, their medallions of fictitious battles that they never dared to fight… without a doubt this has been a difficult time, hostile and painful, but I want to clarify that the pain has not come from the actions of the enemy. That they have attacked us in such a vulgar and agonizing way doesn’t surprise me, since the enemy is without honor and its assaults, although painful, don’t strike a chord in the heart; although they offend, ultimately, only feed my convictions and divide those paths inexorably.

The real damage comes from the silence, the lack of solidarity, the lies and frozen hearts; it comes from the desolation I’ve sensed that some have had to suffer. It’s clear that the assault of power is not only the police, the courts or the media, it occupies an important moral terrain and thus to disarm our morale is an essential component of defeating us (and the reportage of “the forgotten house” is a clear example of that). Demoralized, we won’t dare even glimpse the way out of the conditions we face. And when a silence comes so deep and dark, when it is only the comrades in prison who have anything to say, it is evident that the swamp has trapped our ideas.

(…) Reality is modified, changed, and subject to intervention by deeds, and often those deeds are more bitter and solitary than what one desires for revolutionary fraternity. To carry on does not imply lying around basking in lamentation and agonizing over it, but the contrary, because only through identifying and understanding the mistakes and obstacles can we begin to overcome, because it is volition which overturns it. Masking the pain only serves to intensify it and to fall into the fetishism of a life of struggle, without pain or betrayal. What is certain is that, all too often, comrades are alone and slapped in the face again and again, roaming without a place to sleep and confronted by these hired demons in complete isolation.

Definitive and sharp, this case will be the best propaganda for why one should be against the State, it is proof to whoever sees it, of how the laws are only an instrument with which they give an appearance of “justice” to the attacks which only serve to maintain their privileges and the society that secures them. The courts, law enforcement and the press have a defined role in this setup to maintain the vertical state of social organization, they are not independent or apart from special interests, this is the belief that has been instilled, for which people hold out hope that there will be a petition to turn to when injustice looms all around them… they pretend that they will be able to go to court, the police or at their failure the press with their role of the “watchdog”… but they are only the same lackeys in different clothes, all in the service of the same logic: power.

(…) Today, one year later, I haven’t forgotten the faces I saw for the last time, the smiles, my brother’s drawings, the hugs, the conversations, the songs, the projects and activities, my feline family and the mischievous puppy, I haven’t forgotten the faces of those who, even having gone, remain here with me, I haven’t forgotten any of my comrades… in these days of so much hardship and pain, my greatest gift is to tell you, comrades, brothers and sisters, that I keep fighting, full of courage and love and in open rebellion. Onward as before, onward always, nothing is over…

Gabriela, del Clan de la Selva Negra.