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Thessaloniki: ‘Now we are all persona non grata’ – Text by an English comrade who was arrested during the raid on Delta squat

Nine of the arrestees in Delta squat’s eviction were set free on bail after the trial, where they made a collective political statement. All defendants were found guilty for diverse misdemeanor charges, received suspended prison sentences (from 3 months to 16 months) and got 3 years probation. The total monetary amount of their bail was 7,950 euros. Till this day, the tenth defendant is still captive, facing the danger of deportation because of police perjury: a cop testified in court that the comrade had a fake passport (which is not true).

One of the ten arrestees wrote and sent us a text on September 22nd, expressing opinions on what happened with the whole farce:

now we are all persona non grata

“I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky”
– Oscar Wilde, Ballad of Reading Gaol

Comrades, what can I say about the last few days, apart from the theatre of absurdity, need I say anymore? From the first day in a Kafkaesque trial, to the society of the spectacle outside our front door. No one can begin to understand that the junta never disappeared until they have a gun shoved in their face in the early hours of the morning, face banged against the wall, thrown on the floor under a hail of boots stamping, in a pantomime Hollywood event, that brought the facade of Greek democracy falling from the true fascist face. Who did they think they had found, as they entered the building coked-up? Terrorists? No, the real terrorists are those in the parliament who gave the order!

What happened at Delta was not a terrorist act; it was an attempt to create a different world from that run by State and Capital, to take control of our own lives, against the slow murder of everyone in their system, a liberated space to exist freely, to live truly. We did not just do this for ourselves, but were open to the community around us, more than any politician will ever be.

Inside the halls of law and morality, we were subjected to the torture of the state’s prison-society in its concentrated form, designed to break us till we would scream mercy, but we refused! Even when they forced us to give our finger prints, we did not give in, with 20 MAT cops in one room, a gun to the head, bending our bodies in such a way as not to cause lasting damage that would make their records null and void in front of a court.

Within the cells, segregated, women allowed to exit their cell, as if sexism was not a surprise even in a prison system, deemed not a threat compared to the other sex. Hidden away for hours on end from the social prisoners, as if we were a contagion ready to spread.* We made new comrades in the police headquarters’ cells, naturally, as we are all the virus of a sick system. Stories of brutality from the police towards all prisoners reached our ears, of forced confessions by beating. Yet, through all of this, you have not felt the joy of solidarity, until you have heard comrades screaming outside, while you scream your lungs dry back, the energy of the cells coming alive with every chant.

As a further note, the pigs decided to throw in our cells, for extra measure, two junkie dealing snitches. These faces we have seen after we got out in Rotunda square, the called victorious battleground the cops have filled with junkies and undercover cops on each corner. Needless to say we removed ourselves from their presence immediately, without permission from our jailers, to prevent blood being on our hands, or worse, our words meeting their ears. Let’s get one thing straight: the State can reclaim any square or area they want, but these are just symbols, physical places; our refusal is so much more than this. So let the chief of police strut like a cockerel through Rotunda surrounded by a dozen MAT cops; let him populate it with his snitches; we are much more than this.

The judicial process was nothing more than a military court, but even a military court would have been more exact in its treatment of evidence. The judges had already made up their bourgeois minds, orders handed down to them from above, no mercy as the minister of public order and justice demanded, but we expected nothing less and never demand their mercy. This is democracy, who took no notice of a Colombian comrade’s passport being deemed fake by cops who had no right to. Evidence has shown this to comrade’s ID to be genuine in the past. They just wanted a hostage, taken from us right at the end without our knowledge. This is how the blessed democracy works, not that we expected anything less.

The worst possible consequence of this spectacle is for it to divide us.

Incarceration drew the comrades including myself together, even despite our differences of opinions. When the full boot of repression comes down on all our faces, all tendencies, rivalries, internal conflicts – and I address to everyone – are meaningless, more damaging than constructive. A lot worse is to come, there is no doubt about this, as the State tries to inflict more misery upon us, as it enslaves us more into its own image.

They are the ones benefiting from our dis-unity, and they know this. In the past I would have cared more about a tendency, but now looking from the outside I can criticize myself. All that matters now is to unite, resist and organize in what way we choose, not just assembly after assembly or text after text, but with honest praxis, praxis, praxis against what is to come.

For my Colombian friend still held hostage by the State,
down your hands from our comrade.

For the other captives of the State that we met in the cells,
fire to all prisons, all cells!

Delta is everywhere; it is still alive within us!

from a persona non grata
__

* There is one recent, strong letter by some of the social prisoners who are locked up in the cells of the police headquarters of Thessaloniki (GADTH), a text written during the days when the comrades arrested in Delta squat were also incarcerated inside those hideous detention rooms (where there’s no prison yard, no unauthorized access to toilets, etc.). Other detainees obviously handed their letter to the comrades, and so anarchists were able to disseminate it (in Greek, signed by Prisoners in the hellholes of GADTH). Excerpt: “First we must emphasize that, although the cells of the police headquarters are destined for temporary custody, many of us have been held here for up to 8 months, on the grounds that there is no space in other prison facilities. Right now, there are a total of 85 detainees here.”

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