The Arrest of Tessa

A communique from the support committee

At 2 pm on Tuesday [28 April 2009], a very active member of a support committee was arrested on the streets of Paris. The police fixed her to the steering wheel of her car and expelled the person who accompanied her, before taking flight with our comrade. She was brought to the offices of the SDAT[1] under an anti-terrorist regime (in custody for 96 hours and [access to] a lawyer after 72 hours).

This is a crude attempt at intimidating those who organize against anti-terrorist measures and for the support of people imprisoned in Paris and elsewhere. The police justified this arrest on the grounds that Tessa was "close to the hard core" of the group from Tarnac and "gravitated" around the farm at Goutaillioux. Not only has the justice system not abandoned its stupid set-up and the police categories that go along with it ("cell," "circle of influence," "hard core," "circle" and "member"), but even claims to henceforth apply them to those who remain close to their friends who have been placed under examination. Legal surveillance prevents these friends from seeing each other, indeed, from returning to them. The SDAT's new operations also tells them: "Your shared friends will henceforth be considered as facilitating communications between you and, thus, [other] members of the same association of evil-doers; if you see them, we can arrest them."

This indictment, which allows the police to pursue someone without attributing participation in criminal acts to them, is decidedly very useful.

We see the evolution of this business. One day it is Eric Hazan, the publisher of The Coming Insurrection, interrogated for 4 hours. Another day it is a member of one of the support committees who is carried off from the street. The operation is clear: on the one hand, it banalizes the summoning to court and the taking into custody for long periods of time and without any meaning; on the other, it generates some mediatic[2] agitation to make people believe that this affair will advance when everyone has understood that, not only does it trample upon people, but it also will never go anywhere.

With each public statement by the people who were indicted, by their lawyers and by their supporters, the accuser -- the Minister of the Interior, a judge, a cop or an expert -- claims to pull from his or her hat "exclusive" elements or other pseudo-proofs that in reality have no legal value and that, decontextualized, are used exactly as propaganda. Besides this, what principally is the purpose of the judge's interrogations and investigations? Today, at this stage of the inquest, it is The Coming Insurrection: who wrote it, when and for what purpose. More than what it says, it is this text's resonance with the current explosive situation that becomes troublesome for power.

Party to a spontaneous reaction that led to the creation of a certain number of support committees everywhere in France, solidarity is expressed ever more publicly, even in the pages of the newspapers. Judge [Thierry] Fragnoli doesn't give a fuck; and, one year after the beginning of the inquest and six months after the incarceration of Julien [Coupat], he still has no fear of making himself look ridiculous by arresting anyone, anytime, though these people will inevitably be released. We will provide a practical response to these petty maneuvers in a few weeks.

You laugh at us? You will not laugh for long.[3]

Thank you.

(Translated from the French by NOT BORED! May 2009.)

[1] The federal anti-terrorism task force in France.

[2] There is no equivalent in English for mediatique, which not only denotes the media, but the spectacular, as well.

[3] Slogan by the sans-culottes during the French Revolution.

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