Between the 16th and the 22nd of April 2012 we placed banners near the Greek embassy and the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in Belgrade as a symbolic act of solidarity with the imprisoned anarchist Stella Antoniou and four comrades arrested after the demonstration of 12th February in Athens.
Stella Antoniou was arrested on December 4th, 2010, in Athens, along with the comrades Kostas Sakkas, Giorgos Karagiannidis and Alexandros Mitroussias, who are also imprisoned, accused of alleged participation in an armed organization, namely the anarchist R.O. CCF. Stella is held in pretrial detention for 16 months now, although she denies (as do the other three comrades) the charges, which are constantly adorned with new prosecutions. The real reason why the State keeps her imprisoned is because of her political choice to stand in solidarity with Alexandros Mitroussias (who was wanted by the authorities prior to the arrests), as well as her political actions and views; in other words, because of her involvement in the anarchist space and social struggles. Stella suffers from a rare disease which cannot be treated in prison. She needs special medication and regular medical treatment, but this has been repeatedly denied to her. As a result, her health has deteriorated dramatically. For this reason, Stella has already applied five times for her release on bail, without any success as of yet. However, despite her serious health condition, she has never ceased to struggle with courage inside the prison cells of the regime, fighting claims for better conditions for all prisoners as well as against the very system of prisons. For example, in June 2011 Stella took part in the collective mobilizations inside Koridallos prisons against the voting of the ‘mid-term memorandum’ imposed by the IMF/EU/ECB Troika and Greek government.
On February 12th Greece witnessed a massive proletarian eruption, on a day when parliament voted for the second ‘bailout’ memorandum. The rage of the people broke out simultaneously in many places, with generalized riots which declared the negation of the policy promoted by the Greek State and its EU partners. The social explosion saw massive demonstrations, occupations of many public buildings, the destruction of capitalist targets (burning of banks, luxury shops, pawnshops, etc.), attacks on political parties’ offices and police stations, fierce clashes with the hounds of democracy and order, who tried but failed to counter the people’s rage. Thousands of people participated in these events and large parts applauded when banks got smashed or set on fire, with spontaneous and active solidarity among protesters. Scared by the intensity of the riots which were reaching a level of uprising, before, during and after that day, leaders of political parties, corporate media and all other advocates of subjugation and obedience condemned protesters and the widespread social counter-violence, aiming to create false divisions among demonstrators. The State and its forces carried out a repressive and ideological witch-hunt, in a panic attempt to stop further questioning of the existent and to scare off fighting insurgents. First who have found themselves under attack in this wave of repression were four comrades arrested on 12th February in Athens. Our comrades are not held captive because of any ‘incriminating evidence’ but because of the very fact that they proved their dignity and took to the streets against enslavement imposed by the State and the Capital, just like thousands of other people did.
These four arrestees have been imprisoned for two months now without trial. It’s clear that this is an ‘exemplary’ punishment in order to intimidate all those who refuse to bow their head. The recent wave of repression against social centres and self-organized spaces, amidst new prosecutions against anarchist comrades, shows that the State is especially targeting those who neither want to be someone’s master, nor someone’s slave, who organize themselves and take to the streets in autonomous and self-organized ways.
Capitalism and the States across the world have shown that all they can do is produce violence and divisions, misery, injustice and poverty for most parts of society, alongside privileges for a minority. What do we hope for if we’re giving up our lives into the hands of politicians and ideologists? Do we want to live and be free, or to continue to vegetate as soldiers of political parties, slaves of capitalism and bosses, slaves of any authority, Serbian, EU or any other State? Instead of prolonging the misery of everyday life, choosing the path of divisions, fooling ourselves with ideologies and myths of nationalism or democracy (two servants of the same master), the time is now to generate a common response and attack all those who want to rule over our lives, who want to keep us in political and financial slavery. We must act. We must rebel. Freedom can’t be given. There is an ongoing war against all of us, and we should be fighting back rather than trying to improve the very mechanism that is killing us. But to do that we must also understand what happened in our recent history, understand the function of nationalism and war as weapons used by local elites and financial institutions, like the IMF, as a response to class struggles of each period, and for capitalist restructuring, plundering of societies and our lives, as well as formation of new nation-states in the region. We must comprehend the role of all promoters of democracy and obedience in the post-war ‘peace’ period.
The struggle for freedom can be waged only in autonomous and self-organized ways, away from the State and its puppets or any patronage, with solidarity and mutual aid as one of the means of resistance and everyday practice in our local communities.
FREEDOM FOR ALL PRISONERS
IN GREECE, ALBANIA AND SERBIA, BANKS AND MINISTRIES
ARE THE ENEMIES
communiqué in Serbian