In 26 August 2010, in a single session, the Greek government passed the second largest amendment of the terror law or the so-called “anti”-terror law of 2001 (the first amendment was made by the former right-wing government in 2004), expanding its scope, so that any form of resistance against the regime may be considered terrorism. This specific law (3875/2010) is to classify as a terrorist felony act any demonstration, squat and damage to property – “crimes” for which protesters of massive demos are often persecuted. But from now on, they will be brought to “justice” as terrorists.
The cause of the terror law’s reinforcement was Greece’s promulgation of Palermo protocol which was enacted in 2000 during a UN convention, with the pretext of dealing with the “transnational organized crime.” It introduced the idea of “terrorism” as the main enemy of the modern world. Although 10 years have passed, no Greek government had taken responsibility for its ratification. However, the government of George Papandreou not only agreed on this particular Palermo protocol; it also introduced a second amendment, which introduces major changes in criminal law, especially the so-called “counter-terrorism”.
The new provisions were voted in the Greek parliament by the ruling party PASOK and the oppositional of Nea Dimokratia. The far-right party LAOS voted against these amendments demanding an even stricter bill against both the “internal enemy” and the immigrants.
The amendments of the terror law are:
1. Until now “anyone who sets up or is a member of a structured group with sustained action of three or more persons (organization) and seeks to commit more felonies” was punished: “and seeks” was replaced with “seeking,” thus eliminating and replacing the subjective element of intent with the collective objective element. It is insignificant whether the persecuted intended to commit or has indeed committed felonies: Suffice it that the organization intended so… The Greek legal system had not included the objective intent, which has been introduced in the name of “combating terrorism.” Collective responsibility is now an offense by law, thus demonstrating once again how permeable the boundaries between bourgeois democracy and fascism are.
2. Even a group set up to commit misdemeanours (e.g. obstruction of transport, aggravated damage, etc.) may now be referred to as “terrorist” organization. Thus, those arrested in a militant demo, to which such offenses typically have been attributed, may well be tried as “terrorists.” They may only receive minor penalties compared to those who commit felonies. The same goes for anyone accused of “directing” such a group who may be tried as a “leader”, only with a reduced sentence. The “leader” of a group established to commit felonies may be punished by at least 10-year imprisonment.
3. The circle of the group’s members can now include those who sympathize with it and those who help in committing acts that the law calls felonies. Now, a help to the resistance against this regime is a felony. According to the new law : “Whoever gives important information or material means, in order to help or make easier the committing of felonies is punished to a sentence of up to ten years’ incarceration! In fact, the new law makes it clear that one can be charged with this “irrelevant of/to the commitment of any crime included in paragraph 1”! This means that if you tell to some protesters (“terrorists”, according to authority) “Beware! Police comes this way”, if you offer someone a mask to get protected by tear gas, if you give shelter or any kind of help to those who fight this system, you could be judged as “an associate of the terrorists” and go to prison for up to ten years!
4. Furthermore, next to “taking part in a structured organization”, comes the offense of “threat”. In the article 187A of the penal code, there is an amendment according to which “one who seriously threatens to commit a felony (par. 1) and thus causes terror, is sentenced to two years in prison”. Arbitrariness is now unlimited, since they clearly chase one’s beliefs and the intention to commit a crime. And since authority calls “a crime” and “terrorism” any form of resistance against it, one could say that the announcement of a demonstration or an occupation causes terror, so the organizers could be arrested and brought to jail, due to the “anti”-terror law.
5. In order to ensure the opening of the circle of “suspects”, they abolish a provision of the 2004 law that said “committing one or more crimes of the previous paragraphs is not a terrorist act if it comes as an effort to bring on a democratic regime or protect or re-establish it or an effort to act for freedom […] or intends to exercise a fundamental personal, political, syndicalist or other right”. This provision theoretically prevented the chase of beliefs and political or syndicalist action, depending on the jury. Now with the abolition of this article there is not even a pretext.
Is it not a junta?
6. With the previous law the court could accept anonymous testimonies, but it was obliged to reveal the name of the “witness”, if asked by the defendant or some litigant party. Now the court can deny this, if it rationalizes its decision. This actually means that one can be sent to prison as a “terrorist” for many years due to the testimony of people one will never see or hear in order to rebut the accusations. This overcomes even the hardest and sickest totalitarianism!
Resistance is called terrorism, it is chased as a felony with the help of some witnesses, which probably we will never know – if they really ever existed and if they had any connection to the case. Moreover, they can be sent abroad. Thus, the permanent demand of the American intelligence services for the use of “anonymous informers” –according to the U.S. prototypes, that is secret agents– is satisfied. It’s the obvious tendency to homogenize the repression of the worldwide Authority, and of the totalitarian society they prepare.
We must point out that the Palermo protocol forejudges the taking of more repressive measures, like the induration of detention for those convicted for “terrorism”. Article 11, par.4, foresees a different status for the casual or the under conditions release of people convicted for this kind of offense. It says that “every state-member makes sure that its courses or other proper services take under consideration the seriousness of offenses included in this provision, when it comes for the release of people convicted for them.”
It is connected to the fascist amendment used to repress the truck-drivers’ strike (July 2010); for the first time after the change over, the Greek government turns the traffic blockage and the denial to consent to requisition to felonies.
The State wants to terrorize and paralyze our resistance by presenting the danger of one getting to jail as a terrorist. It will function, when the first strong reactions come. Those who tried to befool us by convicting the killer cops Korkoneas and Saraliotis, haven’t changed at all. They did not hesitate to apply charges for terrorism to under-aged persons in Larissa on December 2008, they will not hesitate to do it again to frighten many more.
All these changes came in secrecy, with the media proving their role once more. Very few journalists mentioned the new provisions; even so, they just accused the government for wrong handling of the case. It is not a law for the general benefit. It is an effort to protect the repressive arsenal of the State towards the “internal enemy.” The totalitarian democracy prepares itself against the social uprisings.
They try to change meanings according to Sovereignty’s interests, and to familiarize us with this change. They try to break the chain of solidarity and make us live in fear, in terror.
The text in Greek