On the afternoon of Sunday, February 17th, approximately 70 comrades attended the scheduled solidarity gathering in front of Avlona prison, where Nikos Romanos has been locked up since February 11th. Four anti-riot squadrons guarded the prison gates the whole time. Comrades set up a sound system. So, when they managed to have telephone contact with Nikos, his words were heard everywhere loud and clear through the microphone. Also, for about five minutes there was eye contact with Nikos, and all of the gathered people erupted in screams and shouts. Below is a transcription of Nikos’ message to his solidarians.
Let me start by saying a few words about my case. From the first moment there was an effort to victimize us by concealing our own choices and presenting us as if we were some drifted youths. An effort launched by arrangers of state propaganda and continued by the reformist circles of leftist components such as the so-called ‘Anti-authoritarian Movement’ (Alpha Kappa/AK) and the ‘Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow’ (ANTARSYA). So, on the one hand all sorts of mainstream media have been sharpening the strategic towards the de-politicization of anarchist action, converting our choices into sobbing stories for tabloids, on the other hand the reformists of Alpha Kappa and ANTARSYA, without even saying a word about aggressive practices of struggle, have been sobbing their sad tales about us, contributing to our de-politicization.
To me, the sole fact that four armed anarchists were arrested without prior fight is a defeat that leaves no room for further victimization. Over many years, there has been a rich historical experience, a guerrilla tradition where revolutionaries fight to the end; a perception that promotes a genuine choice of conflict with Power; an option that has managed to shape important historical legacies of revolutionary struggle. Obviously, responsibility for this fact lies exclusively with us, the four arrestees. The reasons that prompted us to act in this manner were explained in the text we published on our case.
Therefore, as for tortures while in custody, it is obviously important to analyze the strategic intentions of Power against us. However, when this analysis tends to overlie the choices of struggle that led us to prison, then it merely reproduces a terror-frenzy perception without any revolutionary perspective. To me, an appropriate response to tortures and murders of comrades (without equalizing the different significance of each) is retaliation against the enemies of freedom; retaliation that is simultaneously connected with multiform anarchist action, thus creating permanent foci of resistance.
I will now try to convey my lived experience in such a way as to be understood by everyone. The psychic pain of subjugation and bloodless surrender cannot be compared to the beatings by cops. Beatings put you into a rage, while the other pain haunts you.
In closing, I would like to salute all the comrades who have actively supported us by distributing texts, setting up sound systems at gatherings, flyposting, organizing demonstrations, and setting targets on fire to warm our hearts.
Finally, I would like to send my unreserved solidarity to hunger striker Spyros Dravilas (prisoner in struggle at Domokos prison) and let you know that 37 individuals from Avlona prison declared their support with his fight for a breath of freedom.
Prison address: Nikos Romanos, Avlona Special Youth Detention Centre, 19011 Avlonas, Attica–Greece