Beaten Up, Fitted Up, Don’t Let Them Get Banged Up
Over a hundred people were arrested after a demonstration confronting the European Union summit, held in Thessaloniki in Greece back in 2003. Seven people were imprisoned and held on remand, including UK protester Simon Chapman. The prisoners began a hunger strike that lasted more than 50 days.
A massive worldwide solidarity campaign followed including demonstrations, direct action and occupations leading to all seven being released on bail. All the charges were eventually dropped, but years later after appeals from the Prosecutor the charges were reinstated. The first case finally came before the Courts in January 2008 where Simon Chapman and three of the other defendants – Suleiman “Kastro” Dakdouk (Syrian origin), Fernando Perez Gorraiz (Spain) and Michaelis Triakapis (Greece) – were found guilty.
All of those accused maintain their innocence and video and photographic evidence clearly shows police planting a rucksack filled with petrol bombs next to Simon. This didn’t stop him receiving a prison sentences of more than eight years, with the other defendants all receiving over five years.
They will now face the Appeal Court again in January 2011, when they have the opportunity to appeal against their convictions.
++ How You Can Help
Money is needed urgently to pay legal fees and other costs associated with the trial.
Further information and options to make a donation to the expenses fund can be found on the website at: www.salonikisolidarity.org.uk
Please contact the solidarity group if you are able to arrange a benefit in your home town.
++ Bilingual Greek/English speakers who can help with translations are needed urgently.
Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
++ Greek Embassy
Write/contact the Greek Embassy and demand this case be dropped. If you are in the UK the address is:
Greek Embassy, London
1A Holland Park,
London W11 3TP
Telephone: 020 7313 5609
You can also contact them via their website at:
A demonstration is planned at the Greek Embassy in London on the first day of the trial at 2pm, Friday 14th January. Check the website for full details nearer the time as well as regular updates on the campaign.
++ Spread the word
Please link to the campaign’s website on your web sites, forums, blogs, etc, tell friends and family and help to spread the word.
Solidarity for the Thessaloniki 4!
thanks and love in advance….