looking back through the last page or two, i see that i have made it appear as though my motives in writing were wholly public-spirited. i don’t want to leave that as the final impression. all writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. one would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. for all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. and yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface ones own personality. good prose is like a window pane. i cannot say with certainty which of my motives are the strongest, but i know which of them deserve to be followed. and looking back through my work, i see that it is invariably where i lacked political purpose that i wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally.
Somos un grupo de individuos con diferentes experiencias y esperanzas. Participan presos, ex-presos, familiares/amigos de presos, y simples solidarios. Pero compartimos un grito: abolir las cárceles ya! Creemos que las cárceles crean impotencia y refuerzan situaciones de desesperación. No solucionan nuestros problemas, al contrario, vemos que las cárceles sólo causan más miseria mientras que enriquecen a los que las controlan. No confiamos en sus programas de reinserción y reeducación, ni menos en sus necesidades para el castigo. Proponemos que la justicia que reclaman las cárceles para justificar su existencia es una justicia falsa, incoherente y manipuladora. Nosotros buscamos la solidaridad. Creemos que es con la solidaridad que podemos empezar a construir una realidad basada en el apoyo mutuo, una respuesta a la soledad de los barrotes y muros de las cárceles. Esto no es un proyecto de caridad.
Qué es la Biblioteka La Evasión?
Para nosotros un libro puede estimular la auto-educación, puede inspirar la creatividad, o ser la llave a la imaginación, o puede simplemente acompañarnos en nuestra cotidianidad; sus narrativas mezcladas con las nuestras, dando fuerza y apoyo. Un libro puede funcionar como un pequeño puente pasando sobre los muros conectando a los de dentro con el mundo de afuera. Así vemos que el acto de compartir este puente con alguien de dentro es un acto solidario. La biblioteca tiene un fin a corto plazo y un fin a largo plazo. El fin corto es ser un lugar para la recogida y distribución de libros a presos, un proceso gestionado por nosotros y no por los mismos que controlan el día a día del preso. El fin a largo plazo es crear una oportunidad para el intercambio de experiencias, frustraciones, y ideas alrededor de las cárceles. Así creemos que romperemos nuestro aislamiento y podremos empezar a afrontar la cárcel con solidaridad, sin aceptarla.
this past wednesday, during spain’s first general strike in 8 years, riots erupted in barcelona. the spectacle of the riots continues to fill spanish newspapers. the images of a burning police vehicle, broken windows, and threatened journalists have been bought, sold, consumed and will soon be forgotten. yet for the time being politicians and the media have exploited the spectacle for their narrative of the current economic crisis, a narrative in which the affected are acted upon and not capable of acting themselves. from the left to the right of the dominant political/social spectrum, the condemnations of barcelona’s riots have been varied, yet typical: diatribes about the permissiveness of the city government, demands for a heavy handed response, incoherent speculations about the motives and identities of the riot’s participants, and criticism of both union leaders and national politicians. the gloomy future of growing unemployment, problems in bank solvency, and increased poverty has no place in the finger pointing and political maneuvering that guides the narrative. especially when it seems none of the ‘recovery initiatives’ are causing a recovery. the labor reforms, initiated earlier in the year by the spanish president rodriguez zapatero, were intended as austerity measures. something had to be done after the country’s s&p and fitch ratings were both lowered in january, causing alarmist comparisons with the deteriorating situation in greece. so in the narrative the economy was streamlined; public workers saw their salaries cut by 5%, the process for firing employees was simplified, and retirement age was increased to 67. yet the european union’s third largest deficit continued to grow. the unions were puffed up their chests, and the government tightened its belt. but there was little real protest. a state of denial took hold of the nation. no-one could really believe the construction boom was over. and it wasn’t until june, after the passage of the labor reforms in parliament, that the two largest unions called for a general strike- scheduled almost three and a half months later, for the 29th of september.