Below is a text in solidarity with Babis Tsilianidis that was spread in early September 2013, by the Anarchists assembly for the connection of struggles within the prison-society (“Sasta”) in Thessaloniki, Greece:
“Those who live are those who fight; those whose soul and forehead are possessed of a firm design; those who ascend the sharp peak towards a high destiny; those who walk pensive, engrossed by a goal sublime.” (Victor Hugo)
Anarchist Babis Tsilianidis has had a date set for the hearing of his motion for an interruption of serving sentence on September 18th in the court of Thessaloniki, in the case concerning an armed burglary at the accounting department of AHEPA hospital.
Already imprisoned since January 2011 (on charges that he is no longer accused of), the comrade “received” an extra, third, pretrial incarceration. In this case, the only incriminating evidence presented against Babis was a handkerchief on which, as the cops claim, a DNA sample was found that allegedly matched his genetic profile.
During his entire incarceration, he has refused to cooperate in any way with authorities, he has never given fingerprints or DNA samples with his consent, he has never made statements of apologia to his interrogators, and has always refused to attend court proceedings.
In the trial, on January 22nd, 2013 the prosecutor proposed 10 years and 4 months imprisonment.
We should not get used to fear
It is our understanding that these days DNA, apart from being another chapter in Biology books, may also constitute a sufficient means for setting up a conviction on the basis of assumed scientific authority. Beyond asserting that the State, technology and science give each other a firm handshake once again, DNA profiling is just one additional tool next to thermal imaging cameras and CCTVs, security alarms, database systems, fingerprint storage, and patrols of cops and private security guards in the streets. DNA profiling is yet another tool in the arsenal of authoritarians, part of the overall strategic upgrade of repression, which is enforced, additionally, to draw a picture of the complete establishment of surveillance and control.
New repressive methods in technological modernization of the Greek State can only be introduced with a pilot implementation phase. Thus we can see how new practices are tested against more radical elements, and then extended out, to cover wider communities in struggle. Recent examples of this (after the comrade’s conviction) are the ongoing investigation against villagers resisting gold mining in Halkidiki, who have been forced to give samples of their genetic material, while some of them are held on remand,* as well as the use of the EKAM antiterrorist force, and not only, for transferring comrades accused for armed action but also for suppressing demonstrations, squatting projects, and labour strikes.
Domination attempts, on the one hand, to monitor people and, on the other, impose exemplary punishment on its internal enemies. In any case, the aim is to make us fearful, and even more so to make us get used to how things appear to be, to adapt ourselves to a prison-city.
We neither talk nor give fingerprints and DNA samples to the cops
In such a state, where control and the use of modern repression methods are deployed across a wide variety of aspects of our daily lives, the urgency of creating and expanding communities in struggle, where relations of solidarity will foster our common decision for revolution and freedom, becomes clear.
If we try to connect multiform instances of action and thought, and build structures that will mutually complete each other, we will be able not only to stand collectively against repression strategies, but also to create our own moments of attack.
The fact that from struggle a multitude of means, actions, forms of expression, and diverse viewpoints emerge cannot be a drawback, nor have an effect of antithesis on us in our common position against the enemy. What’s more, non-cooperation with the enemy is part of a broader perspective of our place in this war that rages on.
Clearly it has become necessary to promote the refusal to give DNA samples, the refusal to give fingerprints, the refusal to allow repression to invade our thoughts and bodies. It is equally necessary to apply these denials to our practice and under any circumstances, in order to protect not only our personal freedom but to leave a collective legacy for people who will find themselves in the same position, in the near or distant future.
No law can define our activity
At individual level, the choice of refusing to give genetic material with one’s consent means to consciously take side in the war we are participants in. The necessity to make these refusals real through common struggles, to give them shape through collective processes, is of equal importance. The choice of denying the State’s imposition and experimentation on us confirms the refusal to reproduce the legal-judicial polarity of innocence and guilt, and ultimately demolishes the conceptual distinctions that the enemy constructs to segregate or recuperate our action.
We should be able to decipher the polarity created by Domination, but also to stop reproducing it within communities of our struggle. Additionally, non-collaboration with cops and judges highlights the unfounded power of bourgeois legality. All this can be glimpsed in a consistent position of values; values that state we don’t give information to cops, we don’t accept the State’s omnipotence, we don’t expect from any judge to define our activity, and our existence, as guilty or innocent.
“Besides, to our enemies we will always be guilty for our attempt to fulfill our desire to live free, to define our lives on our own at both an individual and collective level, in harmony with nature, breaking away from networks of authority, control and mediation, from relations that reproduce hierarchies, oppression and exploitation, from any dependence on ‘experts’; an attempt, a struggle which is carried forward through the destruction of capitalism, as well as of every form of management of the authoritarian civilization.” (Babis Tsilianidis, July 2012)
The court decided to sentence the comrade to 10 years and 4 months in prison.
In Greece, this decision was also the first conviction of an anarchist captive solely on the basis of DNA. However, this decision does not only put a burden on Babis himself, but also paves the way for cops and judges to prosecute fighters or hold them hostage. This decision puts a burden on all those who have chosen the path of struggle, reminding us that we must not give even an inch of our vital space; we must not give even a drop of our saliva.
We stand firm in solidarity with anarchist Babis Tsilianidis.
To expropriate our space and time from capitalist exploitation and state supervision. To destroy the bosses’ plans. To take the offensive.
New hearing date and solidarity gathering for the case of Babis Tsilianidis: October 16, 2013 at the Thessaloniki courthouse.
* Translator’s note: On October 14, 2013 it was reported that two residents of Ierissos (remanded for six months) were released from prison under restrictive conditions. Two other residents are still held in pretrial detention.