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Greek prisons – Revolutionary Struggle case: Nikos Maziotis and Kostas Gournas transferred to Koridallos prison ahead of second-instance trial

On May 21st 2015, the Solidarity Assembly for political prisoners & imprisoned and prosecuted fighters reported that the anarchist prisoners Nikos Maziotis and Kostas Gournas were transferred from Domokos prison to the dungeon in Koridallos women’s prison ahead of the second-instance trial on Revolutionary Struggle’s action (2003-2010).

Gournas and Maziotis are currently separated from other prisoners convicted as members of armed revolutionary organisations, who are also being held in the basement of Koridallos women’s prison (i.e. four CCF anarchists, and the convicted 17N member Iraklis Kostaris).

The appeal trial in the Revolutionary Struggle case (2003-2010 action) will begin on Friday, May 22nd 2015, at 9am. The Solidarity Assembly for political prisoners & imprisoned and prosecuted fighters call everyone to express their solidarity with the comrades on trial and attend court proceedings at Koridallos prison.

The comrades who were sentenced in the first-instance court ruling are the prisoners Kostas Gournas and Nikos Maziotis, as well as the fugitive Pola Roupa, who have assumed political responsibility for their participation in the organisation, but also the conditionally released Vaggelis Stathopoulos and Christoforos Kortesis, who have denied their involvement.

A few notes on the Revolutionary Struggle case:

The anarchist urban guerrilla group Revolutionary Struggle (Epanastatikos Agonas) has carried out direct actions in Athens since 2003, targeting structures and organs of the State and the Capital, defending armed and class struggle, and aiming towards social revolution. Their revolutionary action includes a rocket propelled grenade attack, car bomb explosions, bombings and gunshots, among others, against the Finance and Labour ministries, the United States Embassy, the Athens Stock Exchange, anti-riot cops, police stations, court buildings, multinational corporations, banks, as well as a politician implicated in high-profile scandals.

In March 2010, anarchist Lambros Foundas was killed in a shootout with cops. A month later, Pola Roupa, Nikos Maziotis and Kostas Gournas (in pretrial incarceration at the time) claimed political responsibility for their participation in Revolutionary Struggle and explained that Lambros Foundas was also a member of the same organisation.

In no way does the claim of political responsibility mean that these anarchists accept criminal charges such as ‘terrorist association,’ and so forth. Below are short excerpts from a letter of the three members on their reasons for undertaking responsibility after they were caught by police:

“By claiming political responsibility, we wanted to defend the armed struggle, and to highlight its timelessness and importance within the broader struggle for the overthrow and social revolution. (…) Also, by undertaking political responsibility we wanted to restore the memory and honour of our comrade Lambros Foundas, who was a member of Revolutionary Struggle and was killed in an armed battle with cops in March 2010 during an attempted expropriation of a car —a preparatory act of a wider action plan of our organisation.”

The first trial on Revolutionary Struggle’s action (2003-2010) started in October 2011 and reached its end in April 2013. Out of 8 defendants, only three were self-admitted members of Revolutionary Struggle: Pola Roupa, Nikos Maziotis (both of whom became fugitives in the middle of the proceeding) and Kostas Gournas. The three members received sentences of up to 50 years imprisonment.

Two other accused comrades, Vaggelis Stathopoulos and Christoforos Kortesis, were sentenced to (a little over) 7 years, even though they have denied their participation in the organisation. They were then taken to prison alongside Kostas Gournas. In July 2013, Kortesis and Stathopoulos were granted conditional release and walked out of Koridallos prison under restrictive conditions.

In July 2014, Nikos Maziotis – who had gone underground along with Pola Roupa two years earlier – was seriously injured after a shootout with cops in the area of Monastiraki, central Athens, and taken captive. A few days later, he was transferred to a prison in northern Greece. The comrade was the first prisoner to be moved, on December 30th 2014, to the (then) newly-inaugurated ‘type C’ maximum security prison in Domokos.

Nikos Maziotis faces another trial, accused of the bomb attack against the Supervision Directorate of the Bank of Greece at Amerikis Street in Athens, in April 2014, the shootout in Monastiraki, and bank robberies. As a member of Revolutionary Struggle, Nikos Maziotis assumed political responsibility for the bombing at the Bank of Greece, framed within the second period in the ongoing action of the organisation.

Already in 2009, the anarchist urban guerrilla group Revolutionary Struggle was designated a ‘foreign terrorist organisation’ by the U.S. Department of State, in the aftermath of a rocket propelled grenade attack against the U.S. Embassy in Athens in January 2007. Recently, in April 2015, the State Department issued ‘terrorist designation’ against anarchist prisoner Nikos Maziotis, member of the Revolutionary Struggle.

Beginning May 22nd 2015, the appeal trial on the Revolutionary Struggle case (2003-2010 action) will be held in the special court of Koridallos women’s prison. In Athens, trial sessions in cases regarding so-called ‘terrorist’ organisations take place at courtrooms inside the prison. Each time that visitors and lawyers enter the specific courtrooms, their identity cards are kept upon entry, with all that this entails.

Solidarity with the urban guerrillas Kostas Gournas and Nikos Maziotis, members of the Revolutionary Struggle, and the comrades Vaggelis Stathopoulos and Christoforos Kortesis, who stand trial in the same case.

Solidarity with the wanted comrade Pola Roupa, member of the Revolutionary Struggle.

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