April 29, 2011: the story begins with unexpected arrests; mine and those of two other comrades. Unexpected because they were not based on evidence or eyewitness testimonies, but rather on an ‘anonymous note’ that was ever so ‘conveniently’ delivered into the hands of the Greek police, naming me and two comrades, citing our phone numbers and home addresses.
Thus we were arrested in the midst of a climate of terror created by the State Security forces and mass media. House searches for alleged ‘evidence’ followed soon thereafter, as well as my own solitary confinement, handcuffed for many hours inside the Athens police headquarters. Meanwhile, for two days, we were dragged through the dirt by the corporate media, the mouthpieces of State Security, which falsely spoke of the ‘arrest of the Marfin bank arsonists.’ Then the authorities arranged for me to go on ‘guided tour’ through the floors of the police headquarters, until they brought me into a room designated for identification of suspects, where various ‘witnesses’ passed one after another, presumably in order to identify me. After that evening, we were called—incidentally for May 5, 2011!—to testify at the offices of the State Security service—without giving oath, fingerprints, etc.—concerning the tragic incident at Marfin bank branch and the attack on Ianos bookstore [both on Stadiou street, in downtown Athens] that had took place one year ago, during the strike mobilization on May 5, 2010.
In our statements, we denied all accusations against us in both of the aforementioned cases. The relevant alleged facts in the indictment clearly demonstrated that charges were obviously fabricated and unfounded. For about a year, the case file remained open, and just as May 2012 approached, we were notified that we would soon be summoned to testify before an interrogator. Solidarity gestures of comrades took place during the same period. In the end, on February 1, 2013, I was the only one summoned to appear in court, in regards to the case of the Marfin bank arson.
In the midst of this frenzy of terror mongering, I denied all accusations against me, giving testimony while the lips of many repeated once again the words Scumbags–Snitches–Journalists, since the scum referred to the case through TV news bulletins and articles in newspapers, distorting even the indictment itself with their emetic ‘analyses’, playing a shell game on the graves of the three dead of Marfin bank branch, and targeting me as the guilty party…
Despite the apparent absence of evidence against me, there was dispute between the investigating magistrate and the public prosecutor on the issue of my remand—the latter was hugely ignorant to a portion of the indictment. Thus I had to remain in temporary custody at the Athens courts on Evelpidon street, awaiting the decision of a board of magistrates. After a long wait, I was released with restrictive court orders, which include the ban from taking part in any march or demo. These restrictive conditions [a ban from leaving the country, an obligation to present himself twice a month at the nearest police station, and prohibition of participation in any protest march or demonstration whatsoever] continue to apply until today, thus I find myself with an informal ‘hostage status.’
In mid-May 2013—and while comrades N.L. and G.P., prosecuted for the cases of Ianos bookstore and Marfin bank respectively, were acquitted on charges—a judicial ruling came as icing on the cake, indicting me in court [with the right to appeal the decision] for the Marfin arson and its tragic result, the death of three employees who were inside the bank branch. [In the meantime, a trial against Marfin bank’s top executives, who locked up the employees that day, began in April 2013.]
Many might wonder why I specifically was indicted, and based on what evidence… The case file clearly proves, through witnesses’ statements, photographic material and videos from surveillance cameras that I had nothing to do with any attack, at any time, that day in the centre of Athens, as I have mentioned earlier through my writings. In their persistent desire to produce results, the State Security agents and judicial authorities focus on me through an exterior feature that I had in common with the alleged perpetrator, and most likely with thousands of other protesters that day. They also focus on the fact that I belong inside this political space—the anarchist-antiauthoritarian space. According to their paranoid reasoning, ‘if there’s a similarity in this feature, and he is antiauthoritarian, we regard him as suspect.’ Just like the empty beer bottles, which when possessed by antiauthoritarians are materials for manufacturing Molotov cocktails, as in the case of the eviction of Villa Amalias squat. Trying to wrap up their serious criminal case by whatever means possible, wanting to demonstrate their effectiveness in the security sector, they are now targeting anyone who participates in demonstrations and resists the state of emergency…
Although I am convinced that it would not be hard to prove my innocence before an impartial court, I cannot say I feel at ease, since the State has shown that it does not respect the laws they supposedly uphold when it comes to satisfying their conservative public audience. At the moment that I’m writing this text, anarchist Kostas Sakkas is on hunger strike, as he has been since the 4th of June, asking for his immediate release from prison. For those who do not know, Kostas Sakkas is almost three years in prison without being convicted. The limit of pretrial detention in Greece is 18 months. For anarchists, however, it seems that there is an informal Guantanamo prison camp. The laws and ‘pretenses’ are not obstacles to the neo-fascist gang that governs us. Striking examples of this are Villa Amalias, a squat evicted on ludicrous charges, or indifference of the Greek government toward the ruling from the Council of State to relaunch [a slimmed-down version of] the ERT state broadcaster.
As I mentioned above, I belong inside the anarchist-antiauthoritarian space, and I struggle towards social liberation through open collective projects. I strive for a society that shall be free, classless, without Power, exploitation, or oppression. As a worker, experiencing waged slavery in my own skin, I participate in social class struggles, side by side with the oppressed.
Based on all this, it was obvious that I would take part in one of the largest strike demonstrations in memory, on May 5, 2010, against the signing of the first memorandum with the IMF/EU/ECB Troika. Approximately 200,000 people participated in that demo, besieged the Greek parliament with combative spirit for hours, and tried to storm it and invalidate the voting on the memorandum.
The last act of the show is played now; the last battle will take place now, because of my indictment to trial… And in this final battle winners will be those who resist, the anarchists and antiauthoritarians, all of us, who have been defamed and felt the lies, the rottenness of the State and corporate media, encircling them, because by targeting directly me and, previously, the two other comrades as ‘suspects’ over the last three years, they have been indicating an entire political milieu as responsible for the tragic outcome of the arson on Marfin bank branch.
Crush all state machinations!
Prosecutions will not intimidate us, only enrage us!