FRANCE: Comrade Théo Releases Letter, Restarts Hunger Strike

This public letter from Comrade Théo (a Communist militant, worker, and political prisoner who has gone on hunger strike against his arbitrary detention) was translated from the French version shared by La Cause Du Peuple and is dated 9/16/2019. Comrades can donate to Comrade Théo’s legal fund here. Included after the letter are pictures of solidarity graffiti seen in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri.

Dear comrades,

Once again, I thank you for your solidarity. Many times, I was even able to hear this solidarity from my cell.

Each day passed in the capitalist dungeons reinforces my political commitment and my eagerness to destroy this imperialist system which serves the rich. Since the end of my hunger strike, I’ve regained some strength. On September 22, I will restart my hunger strike because the conditions of my detention continue to worsen. The French state is hounding me… I learned on Thursday (September 12) that my demand for release (in French known as “demande de mise en liberté”) submitted at the end of July was never delivered to the judge. The penitentiary administration (in French “L’administration pénitentiaire”) tells me that it was never drafted, although the administration clerk had come to my cell to have me sign it and then made it disappear. During my hunger strike, one of the lackeys of the prison administration came to my cell and told me that I could make as many requests and demands as I wanted, but I would not get a response. As I was only “accused,” solidarity confinement is the rule, and I should not be mixed with the “convicted.” No rules are respected. The state is acting illegally, and this arbitrary detention is true torture. The French state violates its own laws as well as human rights to silence its political opponents. This is the reality of bourgeois democracy.

For these reasons, I am lodging a complaint against the French state for “acts of torture and barbarism.” I expect nothing from the bourgeois justice system. I know for a fact that this complaint will go straight in the trash of any prosecutor as soon as they read it. Likewise if the complaint were to be brought before a judge, my word as a worker would not be worth anything against those of the bourgeoisie. Justice always has a class character. I do not know how far the state will go in its repression.

What is the next step? Agents sent to bring me to heel? (For “agents,” Comrade Théo uses the word “Des Barbouzes,” which were a French counter-insurgency force used to suppress Algerian resistance in the 1960s; literally translates to “fake-beards”) We all remember the SAC of Pasqua and the assassins of LAG; these are the methods of the French state. (He refers here to other counter-insurgency militias)

The other prisoners are far from being well-treated, the repression of the bourgeoisie hits them hard. They use different methods, but all are equally cruel. Even if they’re not political prisoners, their detention is political. Here exist principally working-class people and immigrants, layers of the population that the French state has decided to target, to break.

My comrades, the new year promises a great year of struggle. The state continues its attacks against the masses while fatally fattening the rich, all this by reinforcing its repressive apparatus to face the anger of the people. The violence of the state sharpens itself against the proletariat: the state mutilates, tortures and assassinates with impunity those who dare to raise their heads. The first to be targeted are the most oppressed: the working-class neighborhoods, the immigrants, women, and the nations oppressed by France. All this while intensifying their pillaging war in the countries of the Third World. Little by little, the platform for fascism is widening. (Comrade Théo uses the expression “le lit se creuse” here, referring to the imprint left on a bed when something weighs on it)

The movement of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) and the working class have brought the struggle to a level never before attained in these last decades. The masses have heroically dared to revolt and have shown the way to follow.

Many are those who have paid for this with heavy fines and jail time. But if the enemy attacks us, it is a good thing, because this means that we have traced a line of demarcation cleanly between us.

This new year will be a year of combat. Organizing in a large united front and having a common strategy are the keys to victory. We have nothing to lose but our chains, the road is long and perilous, but the path is shining.

Dare to struggle! Dare to win!

Freedom for Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the Yellow Vests, and all the political prisoners!
Long live the struggle of the working-class neighborhoods!
Long live the struggle of revolutionary proletarian women!
Long live the struggle of the nations oppressed by the French colonial ogre!
Long live the struggles of the undocumented!
Long live proletarian internationalism! Solidarity with the peoples of the Third World who fight imperialism and who in India, Philippines, Peru, Turkey, Brazil bear the torch of the world revolution!


Saint Louis Comrade Theo.jpg
“Free Comrade Théo” seen in St. Louis, in the working-class neighborhood of Bevo.