Athens: Communiqué of the occupied Polytechnic School, 11/12/2014

Beyond victory and defeat

Anarchist prisoner Nikos Romanos employing the only means he had in his disposal within the confinement of prison, his body, conducted a hard and decisive struggle starting on 10/11/2014, demanding a breath of freedom. Using the contradictions of the legal system, he confronted it and exposed these contradictions. The State, while maintaining an absolute stance towards his hunger strike up until the 6th of December when the polemic against it reached a climax, retreated and was led to a change in the legal framework regarding educational leave for prisoners.

The readjustment of the legal arsenal is ambiguous. On the one hand, political prisoners will now be liable to take educational leave when wearing tag. The State receded with regards to the fight that Nikos and people in solidarity gave, which is a victory of the movement against the government’s might. On the other hand, the educational leaves for prisoners pending trial are now included in the recently enacted regime of digital captivity, the so-called bracelet (electronic tag). The prospect for the penitentiary system to distribute sentences with greater ease to ever increasing parts of the population seems to gain ground and legitimacy. However, this is not an explicitly aggressive tactic, but rather a condition for the compromise the State was forced to make.

The institutional left, which anyway acts as a safety net for the system, was in this particular case a catalyst in the restructuring of the institutional framework in such a way as to reinforce control and repression and to disarm resistance. The reformists by trading upon the hunger strike of Nikos attempted to degrade a purely political struggle into a humanitarian issue. The demand for education as a supreme social value is nothing but an attempt to depoliticize the struggle for freedom.

The comrade’s hunger strike was pivotal for the emergence and convergence of diverse mobilizations, because Nikos vigorously defended the broader radical visions which rouse the oppressed, inspiring prospects of victory. An imprisoned anarchist rebel, actively connected to the thread of revolt, fighting to the end, awakens what cannot be harnessed. The solidarity movement which was stirred up had a mass appeal, because the comrade’s struggle touched parts of the repressed that recognized their own struggle for life and dignity in his fight. The solidarity struggle gained ground by liberating public buildings throughout the country, which functioned as hubs of mobilizing and diffusing action. In this way it succeeded in subverting in no time at all the totalitarian regime of state control over public space which has been intensified since the December ’08 revolt. The collective occupied spaces of resistance create a legacy for a world of freedom and self-organization. The constant aggressive initiatives, despite the fact that they lagged behind the intensity of the spirit that the comrade projected, were a reminder that the oppressed are able to breach state terrorism.

The rising solidarity movement functioned as a threat, forcing the “representatives of the people” to use methods of decompression, such as to speed up elections. This is a way for the State to dodge the imminent confrontation with the resisting parts of society. We must emphasize that the reemergence of revolt that Nikos ignited was the critical factor which, in the present reshuffling of the establishment, forced the State to abandon its facade of a disputatious parliamentary scene by opposing a united front.

The State, while going through a deep political crisis, attempts to avoid conflict, and thus kept a defensive stance all these days. However, the effort to restore the corroded democratic facade of domination signifies the intensification of the aggression of the State and the Capital coming from all forces of the establishment’s spectrum. Particularly, the institutional left, while attempting to assimilate resistance into the institutional game, plays a leading part in undermining the struggle. For these reasons, we recognize that not only nothing is over, not only everything continues, but we must also strengthen our counterattack against the civilization of prison and exploitation. Let’s not allow for one second the deadly silence of a fictitious public consensus to settle in.

Immediate release of all arrestees of the solidarity movement, and an end to all prosecutions

No rest – Constant revolt

Until the abolishment of type C maximum security prisons

Until the abolishment of anti-terrorist laws

Until the liberation of all captive fighters

Until the tearing down of the last prison


Greek original text: athens imc

Note of Contra Info:
In the early hours of December 13th, the comrades announced an end to the occupation of the Athens Polytechnic School in Exarchia.
To our knowledge, the arrestees from the December 6th riots in Athens have been released pending trial with restrictive conditions.