Update by AntiFénix: Martin has suspended his hunger strike.
In April 2015, the Czech State launched a repressive campaign under the name “Operation Fénix” targeting the anarchist movement that’s active on its territory.
Raids on fighters’ homes, arrests, personal belongings confiscated, relatives and friends of the arrestees harassed, and accusatory dossiers cooked up in police offices. Eleven fighters were arrested as a result of this operation, of whom four were sent to remand prisons of the Czech Republic, while the rest were given restrictive bail conditions. All this has been portrayed in the media as a coordinated effort towards dismantling “terrorist networks”, such as the Network of revolutionary cells (SRB) who’ve claimed responsibility for dozens of incendiary attacks against statist and capitalist targets. Also one of the comrades is charged with participating in another attack that, according to the media, was carried out with Molotov cocktails against the house of the Minister of National Defence.
Martin Ignačák, who is accused of plotting attack on a train transporting military equipment, was in fact trapped by government agents who had infiltrated anarchist circles and indicated the target to Martin along with plans about how to carry out such an attack.
The specific repressive tactic is a strategic doctrine in US counterterrorism policies, which are well known to be basic guidelines on the formation of repressive policies on a global level.
Secret services take on the role of thought police, penetrate in subversive movements, single out comrades who support practices of direct action and suggest targets and plans for attacks, only to capture them later, without any action having taken place at all. In the US, there are many such examples of prosecution and imprisonment of fighters from the wider radical movement (from anarchists to activists of ALF and ELF).
Operation Fénix unleashed by the Czech State is its first organised attempt to apply the specific repressive doctrine in order to paralyse a combative anarchist current that has been developed in the Czech Republic in recent years.
Martin has already spent nearly 14 months in prison awaiting trial; nevertheless, the vindictiveness of the state apparatus against the comrade continues, with constant harassment of his relatives, his motions for replacement of pretrial detention with bail conditions denied, and debilitating conditions of imprisonment.
To resist, Martin has undertaken hunger strike since June 9th 2016, using his body as a barricade against the exemption status he’s subjected to.
From our side we stand next to Martin, overcoming the artificial polarity between innocence and guilt, and demand that his requests be met.
International solidarity is an integral part of our processes, as it breaks down the borders that separate us and sends out messages of rebellion and defiance from every location where these are manifested, in every corner of the world, thus diffusing the cracks opened in the authoritarian edifice.
On Friday June 24th 2016, Anarchist Black Cross carried out a solidarity action outside the embassy of the Czech Republic in Palaio Psychiko [one of the wealthiest northern suburbs of Athens]. We hung a banner, spray-painted slogans at the embassy’s entrance, and threw flyers to make evident that we know who will be accountable if our comrade’s health condition deteriorates.
The same day, on Lesvos Island, a banner was hung in the city of Mytilini as a minimum display of solidarity with comrade Martin Ignačák.
PS. In Athens, after leaving the Czech embassy in Palaio Psychiko, cops of DIAS motorcycle police force followed a bus which individuals from the action were aboard. They stopped and stormed the bus on Kifissias Avenue, forced people out, and took them to GADA police headquarters. After two hours, all were released but one, who was released several hours later.
Solidarity isn’t going to become an inward-looking process; our actions won’t be constrained by repression.
Repression doesn’t hold us back.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE ANARCHIST HUNGER STRIKE MARTIN IGNAČÁK
IMMEDIATE SATISFACTION OF HIS DEMANDS
via ASF LDN – Anarchists in Solidarity (original description in Greek):
“Night has fallen with no moon, it also got dark inside Yedi,*
and yet, one palikari is unable to fall asleep.
Who knows what he’s waiting for from evening till morning
at the narrow window that illuminates the cell…
The door opens, the door closes, but it’s double-locked with key.
What has he done, why was the fellow thrown into prison?”
* in reference to the notorious Yedi Kule prison in Thessaloniki, Greece
(The banner viewed at minute 2:46 reads: “We are all guilty”)
With those who put up strong resistance for all of us;
with those we will always stand in solidarity.
Tasos is currently in prison, after being sentenced on the basis of forged and nonexistent evidence. He was convicted just because he’s an anarchist. He was convicted because he didn’t lose his smile even when the court of first instance announced his sentence.
“I have committed the offence that encompasses all offences. In the class war, I chose to side with those who have been treated unjustly.” (Tasos Theofilou, February 2014)
“I am an anarchist communist. I cherish life as much as I love freedom. Let’s fight to tear down the prisons that bury thousands of living persons inside them. Let’s fight for the vision of social liberation. Let’s fight for the liberation of our class from the power of the Capital.” (Tasos Theofilou, September 2012)
Electric Litany covered the Apostolos Kaldaras song “Night has fallen with no moon (Nychtose choris feggari)” with its original lyrics (before the 1947 censorship) as a gesture of solidarity with anarchist communist Tasos Theofilou, imprisoned in Greece.
This release (recorded in London during September 2015) has the sole purpose of raising funds to support the case of Tasos Theofilou. You can purchase the track by donating an amount of your choosing through PayPal. Contact email: londanfund15 (at) gmail.com
All proceeds will go to cover the legal costs of the case, which will be tried at the appellate level.
More info: solidarity brochure | kontakten2015 (at) gmail.com
On February 7th, 2014 anarchist communist Tasos Theofilou was sentenced to 25 years in prison, although he has denied all charges from the start. A three-member bench reached a majority opinion (instead of a unanimous verdict) at the trial court in Athens.
Tasos Theofilou was acquitted of severe charges in relation to “formation of and membership in a terrorist organization” (i.e. his alleged involvement in the urban guerrilla group Conspiracy of Cells of Fire), as well as possession of explosives and ordnance (these charges were also dropped, since the judges ruled that he was never a member of the CCF), forgery of five identification cards, use of a firearm, and two attempted homicides.
However he was found guilty of two felony charges: participating in a robbery with his physical characteristics covered, and being an abettor in manslaughter committed in a calm mental state. He was also convicted of three misdemeanors: carrying a firearm, repeatedly forging (accusation relating to vehicles of the robbers), and accepting proceeds of crime (the getaway car of the robbers).
In other words, the court decided that supposedly Theofilou (without being a member of the CCF or another organization) participated in the bank robbery on Paros Island in August 2012, but he was not the one who killed Dimitris Michas (the citizen who attempted to prevent the robbers’ escape). According to one of his defense lawyers, this is a decision taken on the basis of one and only indication (a controversial DNA sample on a hat which one of the robbers allegedly dropped). At least the imposition of life imprisonment was prevented, as he was not convicted of intentional manslaughter…
Many facts of the case and evidence presented to the court argued in favor of his acquittal (e.g. none of the eyewitnesses recognized Theofilou during the trial). Nevertheless, as had happened in the case of anarchist prisoner Babis Tsilianidis, also in this proceeding the defendant was adjudged to be guilty solely on the basis of DNA, which was allegedly found on a mobile object.
The court of first instance imposed: 16 years for abetting manslaughter, 15 years for committing robbery, 3 years for committing forgery, 2 years for carrying a firearm (plus a fine of 5,000 euros), and 2 years for accepting proceeds of crime; total: 38 years. The aggregate sentence is 25 years in prison. The comrade has the right to appeal against his conviction, but the appeal has no suspensive effect; that is, he must remain in prison until his next trial in the court of appeals (but in the meantime he can request that his prison sentence be suspended).
FULL ACQUITTAL AND IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF COMRADE TASOS THEOFILOU.
Ever since the escape of urban guerrilla fighter Christodoulos Xiros,* the anti-terrorist force, that promotes itself as the police elite of Power, has unleashed a witch-hunt in an attempt to get revenge and restore their wounded prestige.
In parallel, the mainstream media as if they were the exclusive proprietors and manufacturers of truth consolidate their falsehood through a communicational war against our organization. This time the journalists’ propaganda opted to display us as “mafia guys”, “prison leaders”, “doorkeepers”, exploiting an act of self-redress —the beating of slanderer Y.Naxakis— as well as a couple of texts of his comrades which are exposing situations and facts, thus making them available to any prospective enemy —cops, judges, journalists. We won’t talk more about this issue; from now on acts will do the talking if necessary.
Within this context, on January 16th** we were informed that Kostas Sakkas was rearrested, accused in the Halandri case on the basis of fingerprints found in trash bags.
From the very first moment we have made it clear in every way and every tone that none of the individuals arrested for alleged involvement in the CCF, those who never claimed responsibility for participation, have ANY KIND of relation with the organization and our practices. We have stated this fact in courts, we have written the same in texts, and most importantly, it’s evident because of the distinct paths, values and convictions that we have chosen, which contrast with the choices of most of them.
So, we find ourselves back in a period of intensive anti-terrorism campaign against the CCF.
The cops have “randomly” discovered, after 4.5 years, fingerprints of K.Sakkas on a trash bag with residues of an explosive device associated with the CCF case. But the cops themselves know the truth; it just doesn’t serve the purpose of their planning.
The truth is that K.Sakkas neither had nor could ever have any kind of relation with the CCF. His only link to this whole story is the former friendly connection with me personally —as this is anyway known to both the police and the judicial authorities.
Therefore, the reason why fingerprints of the specific individual were found on trash bags —if indeed they ever were found— is that I had personally used these plastic bags, when I took them from the common home where both K.Sakkas and I lived as housemates. So, it is very likely that he could have touched one of these bags, since they were kept in a shared space of that home. Continue reading Koridallos prison, Athens: Open letter of Gerasimos Tsakalos concerning attempted charges against Kostas Sakkas in the CCF case (20.1.2014)
Having spent more than two years in pretrial detention, 80-year-old Sonja Suder was released on November 12th, 2013 following the court’s decision.
Meeting the prosecutor’s demands, the Frankfurt regional court sentenced her to 3 years and 6 months for involvement in three incendiary attacks in the 1970s. Sonja was acquitted of the raid on the 1975 OPEC conference as the judges were obliged to disregard every false allegation of the snitch Hans-Joachim Klein. Nevertheless, his outright lies were exclusively attributed to his lack of memory! Thus this loyal informant can be called to testify as key witness in any other proceeding. The defense had also requested that testimonies taken in torture-like conditions, such as the statements by Hermann F., be rendered unusable in any future proceedings, but the court dismissed their claim. The State never forgets. Incidentally, neither do we…
Given the time that Sonja had to spend in the Preungesheim prison in Germany, and the prison time she did in France, the comrade was finally able to walk out free. The courtroom was packed, and many more supporters were gathered out of the building. They celebrated Sonja’s release with sparkling wine and music, welcoming her joyfully back in the streets.
Another state farce has come to an end. Much respect to all those in solidarity, who gave them strength to endure the process, and to Sonja, Sibylle and Christian for giving a precious example of absolutely consistent denial of any cooperation with the minions of the State/Capital!
Health and happiness for Sonja and Christian!
Organize revolutionary carpooling! Come to support Sonja at sentencing!
After more than one year of trial sessions, on the 12th of November 2013 the regional court of Frankfurt (Main) will announce its verdict against Sonja Suder. We wouldn’t miss this moment for anything, and we call for revolutionary carpooling to the court to show our solidarity together.
Sonja is accused of participating in 1977 and 1978 attacks as member of the Revolutionary Cells/Red Zora (RZ). Furthermore, she is alleged to have transported weapons for the 1975 attack on the OPEC conference in Vienna.
The court will largely rely on inherently contradictory witness statements of the leniency applicant Hans-Joachim Klein. By doing so, it will persist in ignoring that another regional court classified Klein as untrustworthy witness already years ago. Additionally, the Frankfurt court doesn’t give a damn about the fact that Klein was once again unmasked as a liar, during a French cop’s testimony some weeks ago, showing that Sonja was in the clear. Rather, the court will have no scruples about using statements taken by force from Hermann F. in torture-like conditions, as it never even mattered to the judges whether Hermann—who in 1978 was handed over to the cops heavily injured—could get re-traumatized by being subpoenaed to testify again, at this trial.
Furthermore, the court will make a judgment based on the uncompromising stance of Sonja and Sibylle S.—witness who was held in coercive detention for several months. Both have denied any cooperation. This is yet another reason why we wish to attend the final day of the trial in Frankfurt, to show our solidarity loud and clear with, currently, the oldest pre-trial prisoner in Europe.
For decades, the State attempted to extradite Christian (whose proceeding is temporarily suspended) and Sonja from France to Germany. Sonja has spent two years of pre-trial detention, ever since their delivery to the German authorities with the help of the new European arrest warrant. All this makes it clear that Sonja is to receive the highest possible sentence. This is also about their prerogative power of interpreting leftist history. The court sends out a strong message to current social struggles: the State does not forget…
Neither do we! Solidarity is a weapon!
Join the rally on the 12th of November, at 9am, in front of the courthouse in Frankfurt.
FREEDOM FOR SONJA!
In April 2013, the court decided to split the cases of Sonja Suder and her companion Christian Gauger. The main reason why the proceeding against Christian did not continue was his bad health condition. In August, the trial for his case was suspended, and his warrant was appealed. Thus he has not been acquitted of charges but is “free” ever since.
Recently, on October 26th, a solidarity gathering took place at the maximum-security women’s prison Preungesheim, where Sonja is still held.
During the trial session of October 29th, the prosecutor asked for 3 years and 9 months imprisonment against Sonja in relation to arson attacks on MAN, KSB and Heidelberg castle, but proposed her acquittal for the raid on the OPEC oil minister conference. On November 5th, the defense made closing arguments.
My name is Chrisovalantis Pouziaritis, and I’m one of those arrested on December 6th, 2009—sad first anniversary of the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos.
I was caught while walking out of the Thessaloniki university campus. Even though I had nothing incriminating on me (backpack, hood, etc.), two anti-riot squadrons pounced on me and started to beat me. Once they took all their hatred out on me, they transferred me to the Thessaloniki police headquarters, where I was charged with the well-known tactics of the Greek police—we all recall fabricated charges such as ‘shampoos turned into Molotovs’ (case of Marios Zervas), the ‘student in pajamas’ (detained after police planted on him a backpack containing Molotovs), the suspect taken into custody only for wearing ‘green shoes,’ or the ‘zardiniera case’ (when cops beat up Avgoustinos Dimitriou and later claimed he fell on his own on a flower stand)…
After my treatment by the police, the Greek Justice was next. In my trial, I was sentenced to 9 years and 3 months imprisonment and, naturally, once again the court felt that my own defense witnesses were less trustworthy than the cops who constructed a false indictment against me and dubbed me the ‘leader of anarchists’!
I stayed in prison for more than 18 months, until my request for interruption of serving sentence was finally granted, and so I was released under restrictive conditions in the summer of 2011.
Those who have seen firsthand the violence of these mechanisms, those who have experienced the cruelty of prison cells, those who resist the judicial arbitrariness and its horror are the ones who can understand me and stand by my side. I thank them in advance.
The appeal trial will take place on Friday, October 18th, 2013 at 9am in the court of Thessaloniki.
Sibylle S. (witness not cooperating with authorities) stayed four months in prison under ‘coercive detention’ because she had repeatedly refused to testify as a witness against Sonja Suder. On August 6th, 2013 it finally became evident that her continued detention would not change her unyielding stance, so Sibylle walked out free.
On the other hand, Sonja is still in custody.
FREEDOM AND HAPPINESS FOR SONJA AND CHRISTIAN!
Since September 2012 the trial against Sonja Suder and Christian Gauger is underway at the Frankfurt federal court. In this context, two women are currently imprisoned. Sonja is in custody since September 2011. Sibylle S. was called as a witness in the trial case but firmly denied to give any statements. For this reason, on April 9th, 2013 she was held for contempt of court under coercive detention (Beugehaft) that may last up to six months.
On April 30th in Berlin, during the Walpurgis Night anti-capitalist demo against racism and social exclusion in the district of Wedding, a large solidarity banner was unfolded from the rooftop of a house on the corner of Wiesenstrasse with Pankstrasse as the demonstration passed. While fireworks rose into the sky, the demonstrators could read: ‘Freedom for Sonja, Christian and Sibylle! Fight the coercive detention! Solidarity with the prisoners!’ with a big RZ star in the middle (symbol of the Revolutionary Cells).
Before the banner-action, a text was read out regarding the trial against Sonja and Christian in Frankfurt. Also, fliers were spread concerning the situation of Sibylle, who had refused to testify in the court hearings and was recently put in custody.
The new song by Yok could be heard from a sound system, ‘1,000 reasons for the revolt,’ which addresses the case of Sonja and Christian and ends with the verse: ‘A good life for Sonja and Christian outside the walls!’
Exactly! Freedom and happiness for all!
See previous summary here.
We continue our coverage on the trial against our comrades Sonja and Christian in Frankfurt, who are both holding strong, despite being dragged to court already since the 21st of September 2012. The State as usual reveals its vindictive face against fighters for social liberation who do not obey the rules of Capital and Power, but we have to point out that this trial is really nothing but a farce. Looking back on a series of inconsistencies and judicial failures, the trial entered a new phase with the examination of a principal (yet completely unreliable) government witness, namely Hans-Joachim Klein, former member of the Revolutionary Cells (Revolutionäre Zellen, RZ), who was also involved in the 1975 militant action against the OPEC headquarters in Vienna.
In November 2012, the court provoked heavy protest from the side of the audience when the bench read out the minutes of the traumatized fighter Hermann Feiling, who was interrogated by cops in 1978 after an explosive device was detonated in his lap, resulting in the loss of his feet and eyeballs. Feiling, who was under the influence of drugs and still in pain while he also suffered epileptic seizures, was interrogated by cops in the hospital for four months on almost a daily basis and in complete isolation. Feiling, who was forced to admit the names of Sonja Suder and Christian Gauger, rejected all of the forged testimonies he gave afterwards. In other related trials, these testimonies that were given under torture were declined as ‘evidence’. However, the presiding judge Bärbel Stock treats the exact same statements as main evidence in the current trial.
Reviving the acceptance of torture as a means of evidence in German courthouses was responded by loud protests from solidarians in the audience. Thus, the reading of the minutes was suspended and a banner was unfolded inside the courtroom, reading: ‘Frankfurt regional court – Accomplice in torture.’ Soon thereafter, the solidarian comrades left the room unified. The judge commented with the words: ‘The more leave, the better.’ The defense lawyers challenged the bench with another motion for rejection of the present judges on grounds of bias, which was once again rejected later on.
During the course of the trial several counter-information events took place across Germany: in Rostock (19/11), Greifswald (20/11), Neubrandenburg (21/11), Karlsruhe (24/11) and Bochum (30/11), just to mention few of them. There were also several actions on the street, such as a banner drop in Hamburg on the 10th of November during a demonstration for the once squatted Hafenstraße, a feminist gathering at the women’s prisons in Frankfurt on the 24th of November, and the New Year’s Eve solidarity rally in front of Preungesheim prison, where Sonja is incarcerated. Continue reading Frankfurt, Germany: Reportback from the ‘Revolutionary Cells’ trial against Christian Gauger and Sonja Suder
Eventually we arrive at Domokos (central Greece). I did not know this city because of its notorious katiki cheese but instead because of the homonymous prison. That’s why I’ve always used the feminine article for ‘Domokos’, since prison has a feminine article in Greek; just like I’ve always referred to ‘Avlona’. In fact, I think both place names are masculine nouns. The journey is interesting. The President of the Republic would have been jealous of such an escort. Only, he wouldn’t have been handcuffed behind his back, with four swaddled heads keeping a close watch on him. Incidentally one of them, the driver, is easygoing. Throughout the four-hour transfer, the handcuffs are tightened too much, so I feel something like electricity hitting my already bloodied wrists. Till this day, my thumbs are still numb.
My reception in the prison wing is so warm that it becomes frightening. Everyone wants to know me and share a handshake with me; neither out of sympathy befitting a victim of fabricated charges, nor out of respect corresponding to someone who did not cooperate with the authorities; instead they’re in awe of a television star. I am beginning to grasp what dimensions the incident of my arrest has taken in the mainstream media.
What we have here is a multicultural feast. A forensic feast, too. An Indian-born man is sentenced to life because he killed one of ‘his own’, i.e. a compatriot of his. He’s got a genial face. He killed that man over a fight. There’s a guy of sixty with one tooth and a darkened face, who looks like a truck driver from some film by Rodriguez. He has served a life sentence already; one month later, he was recaptured and sentenced to life again. He’s currently doing almost his sixth year of his prison time. He claims proudly that, when he was in the D (wing), he nailed a pair of scissors in the ass of Korkoneas (the cop that murdered Alexis Grigoropoulos in December 2008). He was transferred to another wing alright, but he was not been given the prison transfer he had wished for. Something tells me that the prison administration has bought the trick with Korkoneas. There is another man sentenced to 3.5 years, i.e. 3.5 fi in the prison dialect. The ‘fi’, aka filakisi, imprisonment, is opposed to the ‘ka’ which means kathirxi, incarceration. So: this guy doesn’t have any money to bail himself out of prison and sits in here among robbers and assassins. Fortunately, he has a criminal physic, and if you don’t hear his drama out, you think he’s a lifer and so you greet him with some respect. The poor fellow attempted to steal a car but had a bad luck, as it turned out that the vehicle belonged to cops. To father and son! Oh my gee! What he says of his arrest is he was beaten up for three days, every twenty minutes. His face was so swollen that it grew twice its size, yet the investigating judge failed to notice… There are many prisoners who have served their first-instance sentences before they even stand before an appeals court. For example, there are two men accused of a dozen bank robberies: none of them admitted any of the charges. One hundred and sixty witnesses, from customers to cashiers, paraded into the courtroom but none of them recognized the defendants! The testimonies given by cops were sufficient for the judges that sentenced each to twenty years, and now both are only looking forward to an appeal. The appeal trial receives dimensions of a second advent in prison.
Living conditions are sort of like a youth hostel. Many languages, shared kitchen, forced cohabitation. The space is extremely limited. The prison yard is the size of a luxury hotel pool, ten meters depth; just like the height of the walls that surround it. If I want to run a little, I soon feel like an electron, I get dizzy and give up the effort. Concrete and wires prevail everywhere. Looking out from the window of my cell, behind the bar, I see a piece of sky decorated with some barbed wire. The night has no stars; they have vanished under the powerful spotlights.
It’s cloudy today. The wall’s colour is the same as that of the sky. The clouds stand out from the wall only because of the barbed wire. Depression.
Nice evening out here. But the strong lights don’t let this evening feel any different from the rest. I begin to understand the true meaning behind the phrase ‘confinement experience’. Experience! Maybe I’m lucky that I live a mental condition which only a small part of humanity has the misfortune to experience. However, I cannot go out on a balcony to enjoy the autumn evening, and this seems to me little more than depressing. It feels perverse and sadistic. Okay, can’t complain. We’re making History out here; can we feel stuck in prison? No, no, and again no. But since I’m thinking all of this, why don’t I just write it down…
To be continued…
Anastasios K. Theofilou
Domokos prison, B2 wing
P.C. 35010, Domokos, Fthiotida, Greece
Tasos cannot receive books by mail, only small volumes of letters.
The trial against the two radical leftist fighters is underway in Frankfurt. Both are implicated in actions of the Revolutionary Cells (Revolutionäre Zellen, RZ) against nuclear companies, the racist Apartheid regime and urban renewal in late 70s. The charges against them are based on the one hand on forced ‘testimonies’ of a seriously injured person, who was under drug influence at the time, on the other hand on a key witness, who was already years ago legally classified as untrustworthy. The latter ‘remembered’ after 24 years that Sonja may have been involved in the 1975 action against the conference at the OPEC headquarters.
Sonja and Christian have been charged with two anti-nuclear attacks conducted by the Revolutionary Cells in 1977. They have also been incriminated for an incendiary attack conducted by the Revolutionary Cells in 1978. Regarding these three charges, the prosecution relies on a statement of Hermann Feiling, fabricated under conditions akin to torture. In the summer of 1978 an explosive device (purportedly destined for another action of the Revolutionary Cells in Munich) had detonated on Hermann’s knees, causing him extensive injuries. He is severely disabled ever since. Under the influence of potent pain killers and sedatives, he was hospitalized and later held in police custody under complete isolation. State Security officers, prosecutors and examining judges who took copious notes were his sole ‘persons of contact’. When Hermann finally escaped isolation, he rejected those ‘testimonies’ as forged and not his own.
After being fugitives for 22 whole years, Sonja and Christian were arrested in Paris in 2000. In the meantime, another charge was added: government witness Hans-Joachim Klein (former member of the Revolutionary Cells) suddenly claimed to remember that Sonja Suder transported weapons to Vienna in 1975 for an attack against the OPEC oil ministers’ conference. Frankfurt district court rejected Klein’s testimony against Sonja and others as non-credible in his 2000 trial (and yet, his allegations are being repeated in the 2012 charges against Sonja). A French court rejected the extradition request back then, and after posting bail of a few hundred euros, both were allowed to remain in France. However, German prosecutors submitted a ‘European’ arrest warrant against the two fighters in 2007, and the French authorities agreed to it in 2010.
After 33 years in exile in France, in September 2011 Sonja Suder (79) and Christian Gauger (71) were extradited to Germany and delivered to justice. Sonia was imprisoned, while Christian became hostage outside the walls, under restrictive terms. Both have repeatedly denied any cooperation with the German ‘State Security’.
Now that the first six days of trial against Sonja and Christian elapsed, it just turns out to be—as expected—a premeditated political condemnation of both defendants and the militant past of autonomous groups which fought against nuclear energy, gentrification and state terrorism in the 70s in Germany and beyond.
Day by day, the constructed indictment is proved to be a vengeful farce. Also, the defense lawyers feel certain that the judges have made their decision on the defendants’ guilt, given that the court accepted such an accusatory brief in the first place. Hence, even before the trial started, the defense had filed a motion for rejection of the present judges on grounds of bias.
Sonja and Christian deserve international and unconditional solidarity for having refused any cooperation with the authorities since years. Even if it means facing long-term imprisonment and difficult living conditions, they stick to their consistent refusal to give a confession.
Yet another period of our remand imprisonment is approaching its end, but I am certain that we will be kept locked up a few months more, even without any developments whatsoever in the fabricated criminal case against us.
You already know the details of our arrest and the violations connected to it, but now I want to share with you my thoughts regarding the political context surrounding our case. In my opinion, the main goal of the investigation is to bring the criminal charge of “creating an extremist organization” targeted against social groups of “fascists, Nazis and racists”.
There have already been similar precedents in terms of the practices of the E-Center (Center of Counteraction Against Extremism) around Russia. The main interest of the investigator S.I. Kochergin is to reveal the existence of the non-existent extremist movement “Antifa”, and to connect the case against Igor Kharchenko and the one against us into one simple case. It is an obvious effort by the police against people with anti-fascist ideas. And all of this is under the thorough control of the officers of the E-center and FSB, whose purpose is to criminalize anti-fascists and social activists.
It is no secret that we encourage people to actively participate in the oppositional movement, and we try to direct the opposition towards resolving social problems, part of which are the true reasons of racism and nationalism in our society. As a result, we have seen repression against anti-fascists all around Russia. This is how they are interfering in our attempts to take part in social movements.
At this point, it is too early to say anything about the development of my criminal case, as the investigation has practically ceased to work once I was arrested. Right now, we are simply “marinating” in prison. We know we are not guilty, as we did not cause any harm whatsoever to any victims. The latter lacked any guts in front of the investigators, and obediently pointed out our photographs from the Internet, as according to the officers of the E-Center, we are the leaders of the non-existent movement “Antifa”.
I want to send my warmest greetings to my relatives, friends and comrades from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Finland and other countries in Europe and the World. Thank you all for your support and solidarity actions. Once again we have received a confirmation of your solidarity. I wish you success in our struggle on every front.
Currently, funds for the defense costs have been exhausted.
You can always donate via Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow (see here).
On Wednesday, November 30th, 2011, all comrades accused for the bank robbery in Psachna (Evia) were acquitted! We’ll be waiting for related posts on the new site of Act for freedom now! in great anticipation.
A big thanks to all comrades who factually proved what solidarity is all about. We shall continue the anarchist struggle for freedom to the prisoners of war.
No one should look for “innocents” among us. We are on the side of the repeatedly “guilty.” We are next to the poor devils, the immigrants, the outlaws, the robbers, the “terrorists.” And we will remain here; for before, now and ever.
On September 17th, 2010, four people robbed a branch of National Bank of Greece at gunpoint in the town of Psachna on Evia Island (north of Athens). A half hour later, on a motorway road in Panorama area near the island’s capital Chalkida a 27-year-old man, a 28-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman were arrested. When they were brought to Chalkida police station, the men — Alexandros Kossyvas and Michalis Traikapis — were charged with the armed bank robbery, and Maria Economou was charged with ‘aiding and abetting fugitives.’ The charges were based largely on the comrades’ connection to the anarchist milieu (M.Traikapis was one of the ‘Thessaloniki 7’, arrested at the anti-EU summit demo of 2003 and finally released after a lengthy hunger strike).
The three comrades didn’t have any weapons or ‘loot’ on them at the time of the arrests while searches of their Athens homes revealed nothing more than ‘ski masks, four 9 mm bullets, and other objects that are being investigated.’ Thus, lacking any incriminating evidence, the authorities based their accusations on unsubstantiated, contradictory testimonies given by residents which refer to a similarity in the appearance of the defendants to the perpetrators (one of the locals, a kiosk attendant, supposedly remembered one of the comrades — just prior to the robbery — asking: ‘Excuse me. Where is the bank?’).
All three deny the accusations, and are known to the authorities due to their active participation in social struggles since years; this was sufficient for A.Kossyvas and M.Traikapis to be held under pre-trial detention while M.Economou was released on bail, awaiting trial.
Just two months before this trial regarding the case of the National Bank robbery in Psachna, Evia, the two comrades M.Economou and A.Kossyvas were informed that they are being charged with one more case: a National Bank robbery in Schimatari, Viotia. On August 18th, 2011, M.Economou and A.Kossyvas (he is still held under pretrial detention) appeared before the inquisitor of Thebes who imposed further restrictive bail conditions to both of them concerning the new fabricated accusations.
Text by the political prisoner A.Kossyvas concerning
further prosecution against him
August 12th, 2011
Experiencing a pre-trial detention for eleven months now — which is inconsistent even in the ‘reasonable’ framework of the bourgeois justice — and with the trial set for October 18th, 2011, based on a flimsy indictment ready to collapse, the police authorities amid summer indolence presented a sworn statement report by a false witness–neocollaborationist which is dated 24/9-2010 (the exact day that comrade Michalis Traikapis and I traversed the threshold of Koridallos judicial prisons accused of robbing the National Bank of Greece in Psachna, Evia, on 17/9-2010) and indicates me as a suspect for the robbery of the National Bank in Schimatari, Viotia, on Monday, March 29th, 2010 (before Easter).
Following of course ex officio prosecution, the inquisitor of Thebes sent summon which incidentally was not delivered in Koridallos prisons where I’m temporarily detained but was discovered accidentally by a neighbour at my former residence address. I had to appear before him at the district court of Thebes in order to receive time limit, to discover stunned that my co-defendant also in this case is Maria Economou: although her permanent residence is known, and she appears monthly in her region’s police station bound by restrictive bail conditions, she neither received, nor of course was sent a summon from the police —that in last period conceals summons with the intention of creating confusion, false impressions and issuing arrest warrants.
The timing is no coincidence; neither the fact that the false testimony which connects us to the robbery was kept in the State Security’s drawers for almost one year, nor that it was drafted by the very same cops who set up the story of Psachna last September, following the proven recipe of contradictory witnesses who declare whatever secret police agents dictate.
It is irrelevant whether the evidence which associate us also with the robbery in Schimatari are fabricated, and the second testimony of the local collaborator of the police on 24/9-2010 is diametrically opposite than the first one, on 30/3-2010, and grossly false and hilarious. The command is given.
Our new prosecution is the policy planning–political decision of a social-fascist government and the upper echelons of the ministries of Citizen Protection and Justice, as well as of the Police Headquarters. It is a planning by a state apparatus that has gone on blatant offensive and repression.
Such a persecution is among dozens of others against struggling people, anarchists and imprisoned fighters. It is part of the special courts-martial that were and are due to be held, part of crushing sentences that these courts impose. Their aim is political and social annihilation. So let’s counterattack.
Solidarity with political prisoners means the intensification of dissidents’ radical struggle.
FREEDOM TO US ALL
Friendly and comradely,
Koridallos prisons, 1st wing
August 13th, 2011
Text by six political prisoners concerning the prosecution
of the comrades M.Economou and A.Kossyvas
August 16th, 2011
‘[. . .] We will not be focused on the cops that “exaggerated,” the public prosecutors that “arbitrated,” the journalists that “misinformed.” What we seek is through our own story to describe the modern terms of submission. To expose to common view these small stories that compose the total of barbarian world that surrounds us. Each one of us should take a position on them. We took ours. We demand the lifting of the charges and our immediate release, without begging for nothing. We are not victims; we are a part of our choices. For all that we did, for what we didn’t do, for other things that we left. No one should look for “innocents” among us. We are on the side of the repeatedly “guilty.” We are next to the poor devils, the immigrants, the outlaws, the robbers, the “terrorists.” And we will remain here; for before, now and ever.’
Alexandros Kossyvas, Michalis Traikapis, Maria Economou —October, 19th, 2010