Tag Archives: political prisoners

[Germany] Text about the wave of repression in connection with the resistance against the G20 summit in Hamburg

Spontaneous protest against repression in the streets of many German cities after police raids in early December 2017 (in Kiel, about 70 participated in the protests)

Summary for our internationalist comrades
G20-Repression
Prisoners * Conditions in the prison * Trials * Video- and Photo publications * House raids

The G20 summit and the euphoric days in the streets of the Schanzenviertel were shaped by the massive anger and motivation to attack, which we did not expect since Heiligendamm and Frankfurt.

The wave of repression that followed afterwards, and actually had already started before the summit with the implementation of the new §114ff and preventive policing, reached its climax with the publication of dozens of mug shots, by the special commission „Soko Schwarzer Block“ on December 18th, 2017.

The wave of repression, remained rather unnoticed from comrades in others countries who fought with us on the streets and euphorically followed the riots in the media. They told us, that they did not receive any information on the prisoners, the condemned and the persecution mania by the state.

Part I: Prisoners

The situation in december 2017
The cops implemented a 40 man strong Soko (1), which searched the Internet for pictures and videos, in order to further criminalize activists. About 200 cops are currently sitting in front of their computers, watching special face detection softwares do most of the investigation work. Even when you think, you have nothing to hide or you are sure, you always changed in a dark alley: Solidarity doesn‘t just start, when the repression hits you or your friends. The state, including the media, cops and active citizens, is clearly trying to redefine the riots. We managed to dominate the discourse of these days during the summit, but we have to recognize that in the face of brutal sentences, denunciations and public agitation, we are being pushed back into a position of simply reacting: Day X demos, prison rallies and a couple of broken windows here and there.
Prisoners and the trials:
After the three days of riots in Hamburg, 51 people had been taken into custody. Ultimately 28 remained in the JVA (prisons) Billwerder, Hanhöfersand and Holstenglacis until their trials. Being mainly non German, the prisoners came from the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary and Russia. Additionally several hundred people had to stay in the GeSa (custody) for a short time and had to give their fingerprints and pictures.
The remaining G20 prisoners are accused of various crimes, which in many cases would not justify longterm custody. The charges go from violating the law of gathering in public spaces and breach of the peace, to resistance and assault against officers. The last one can, after the laws were tightened last year, be punished with up to three months in prison, in severe cases with up to six months.

Currently, in the beginning of January 2018, 7 people are still imprisoned in Hamburg. Additionally, many comrades are going to appeal their sentences. For example Peike, who was sentenced to 2 years and 7 months prison, in the first G20-trial.

The conditions in „Gesa“ (short term/provisional prison) and „U-Haft“ (detention while awaiting trial)
Over 100 lawyers worked in 24 hours shifts at the GeSa in Hamburg- Harburg. 250 people were attended to during the summit. Several prisoners said, they were denied basic hygienic articles, even though they asked for it repeatedly. In one case, the request from a young women was met with the statement: „Demonstrators don‘t get periods.“ In another case a young women said, she had to insert a tampon in front of police officers. It was burning up in the cells, there were up to eight prisoners in one cell, instead of five, even though not all the cells were occupied. The prisoners got two slices of bread in 24 hours, access to restrooms was granted very  scarcely. There where few mattresses and no blankets. With kicks against the cell doors, the prisoners were kept awake. Some cells had constant light, while others had none at all. An injured women, who was taken to the GeSa on Friday (July 7th) with a suspected nose break, did not receive food for 15 hours. Her injury was not x-rayed. She was only seen by a judge 40 hours after her arrest, who released her at 11pm that same day. The prisoners in custody are generally only allowed visitors with a permission from the judge. These visits where being strictly surveilled (letter from Fabios mother to her son from August 7th, 2017). Additionally, it was impossible to send packages with clean clothes to the prisoners for weeks. The continuance of the custody was justified with „defending the law“.

Fleeing or hiding evidence, which is usually the reason for enforcing custody, did not play any role. Therefore the custody itself presents as a preventive measure. A non-German passport, strenghtened the accuse – of being a potential enemy to society – leading to longer custody and harsher sentences. Additionally many released prisoners received letters, asking them for a voluntary DNA analysis.

Part II: Trials and Sentences

In general, one can say it became pretty obvious through all the trials that no matter which person was in front of the judge and no matter what the charges were – every single one of them was blamed for the riots, especially those on Friday night and ultimately sentenced for them. This type of mass participation during street fights and attacks on cops should be prevented in the future. The fear of the power hungry advocates, became clear in the politically motivated pleas, in which they tried to paint the activists as isolated criminals, without any political identities. A technique used worldwide. In order to understand the outrage about the sentences and its justifications, it is important to explain how German police is regularly trying to get sentences with the use of „Tatbeobachter“ (Tabos), loosely translated as crime witnesses, as well as isolated video scenes. Arrests, especially during demonstrations, are often only based on alleged observations by „Tabos“. In the past, their statements could usually not stand the cross examination in court, so that few people (excluding especially Kurdish activists), were placed on probation, but very rarely received prison time.

Another issue can be found in the German so called left scene: In the 80s a campaign arouse from the German left scene: „Anna and Arthur shut up“. A campaign, which was based on the right to refuse any statements. According to this right, anyone who is arrested or on trial can refuse any statement in front of the cops or the judge, except stating the details on the passport. Understanding this right as a weapon- as a way of protecting structures or other people – but also as an act of resistance – in the sense of withdrawing yourself from any dialogue with the state, is sadly not a given anymore. A decision of making a statement in court or not, is often an individual one or left up to the strategy of the lawyers.

The strategies from the lawyer often focused on reaching deals, which can be described as an understanding between the judge and prosecutor and the defense attorney – which usually forces the defense to agree to certain points brought up by the judge in exchange for a softer sentence and in confessions, which under certain circumstances can be justified. Though there were not only deals and confessions within the prisoners, that could under certain circumstances be a valid choice, but it went as far as prisoners apologizing to the judges and cops, as well as to the HASPA bank and Budnikowsky (store). One Example: A 28 year old guy from Hamburg read his confession out loud. He said, he did not know what possessed him that evening. It was simply his curiosity that drove him to the Schanze, after he saw pictures of the riots in TV. Upon arrival, the crowd swept him along. „If I could turn back time, I would just stay home that night and watch everything on TV.“, he said on Tuesday. He was actually on his way to Barmbeck that night, where he know lives, when he coincidentally passed the riots at Pferdemarkt, where he was attacked with pepper spray, which made him angry, additionally he had taken cocaine that night as well. The verdict: 3 years of prison.

Fabio marks a clear exception here, he wrote a political statement, which he read out in front of the court. This is not only sign of bravery and political knowledge, it is also an important step for all of us to fight against the repression, not buckly in the face of danger and fight against the criminilisation of our struggles.

There are several examples of the G20 trials at the end of the article. Until today, Konstantin’s, Christian’s and Fabio’trials are still ongoing and their documentations can be found on the „United we stand“ web page. Some are also in English. Keeping the raids and the recent publication of mug shots in mind, more trials are probably soon to follow.

Part III: First raids before the summit

During the evening of July 1st, the apartments of two comrades was searched by police. As far as we know up until now, the raids were carried out due to „danger prevention“. During the raids, USB sticks, computers, private cell phones and clothes were taken. One affected person was charged with planning crimes in the context of the G20 summit. Observations were noticed in the days before the raids. The second person was released that same evening.

Raids on July 8th
After the G20 Summit, Hamburg police raided the international center B5 in st Paul. At 10:45 AM, riot police stormed the center and attacked the people who were present at the time.
Without stating any reason, the people were handcuffed and the rooms on the center and two adjoining private apartments were searched. Also the cellar and the adjoining B-movie and FoodCoop was ransacked. Allegedly, the police suspected Molotov cocktails in the center, which turned out to be a complete defamation.

Raids concerning the looting
The hamburg police raided 14 residences, shortly after the summit in Hamburg and Schleswig – Holstein. Reason for that, was the looting of the Apple Store during the riots on Friday night. Several cell phones were located and the owners were charged with concealment of stolen goods. Also one cellphone store was searched, where allegedly several of the „illegally possessed cell phones“ were sold.

Ban of Linksunten.indymedia.org
On august 25th, Bundesinnenminister (Interior Minister)Thomas de Maiziere, banned the online-platform „linksunten.indymedia.org“ on the grounds of society laws. For the German left and radical left scene, Linksunten was the platform, where all the Call ups, daily political news and explanations for attacks where published. It was as important to the left scene as it was apparently to the cops, intelligence service and media, since it was obviously seen as a reliable source and early-warning system for pending riots. The operation of Linksunten since 2009 as an open network for left media activists was declared a crime by de Maziere. This led to several raids in Baden- Würtemberg, which luckily did not leave anyone arrested. Currently the BKA is searching for the location of the servers, that were being used by the platform. More raids are to be expected. The timing of this whole action can only be speculated about. It is possible that the Ministry of Interior wanted to polish up their image, after the weekly press releases about the massive police violence against the anti summit demonstrators.

Part IV: Nation wide raids on December 5th, 2017, investigation „Rondenbarg“

In the early morning of December 5th, 2017, over 600 cops raided 23 private homes and 2 social centers in Nordrhein- Westfalen, Niedersachen, Baden- Würtemberg, Hamburg, Berlin, Hessen, Sachsen- Anhalt and Rheinland- Pfalz. According to police statements, mainly laptops, cellphones and USB sticks, but also several legal weapons were upholded. None of the affected activists were arrested. All the raids were concerning the events during the first day of the summit. Approximately 200 militant comrades, were on their way to the inner city in the early hours of July 7th, when they met riot cops at Rondenbard, after which the demonstration was destroyed and left many injured. Several dozen people were arrested right there on the spot, their details were recorded and Fabio sat in prison since then. Almost all the raided people, were within the arrested group from that day.

They are being charged with severe breach of the peace, attempted physical assault and resistance. Since, this particular  group of arrested people represented the majority of the arrested overall and the cops were not able to arrest many organized militants, they together with the help of the media, tried to paint a picture of the „Rondenbarg- group“ as extremely violent and probably responsible for all the destruction and direct actions during the summit. Also the raids can be connected with that attempt, the „success“ of these raids, were presented by the cops during a press conference on December 5th.

We clearly see the raids as a public spectacle as well as an attempt to uncover the alleged organisational structures behind the actions, rather than collecting evidence concerning alleged individual participants. Not confirmed by official sides, but published in several press releases, the cops were mainly searching for evidences on structures, which prepared militant actions and made them possible in Hamburg. Especially around the area of the Elbchaussee, the cops allegedly discovered containers with masking material, fireworks and clothes, which the police interpreted as evidence for the theory, that local groups organised the logistics for international comrades. Though the police suspects mainly international comrades for setting over 20 cars on fire in the Elbchaussee during July 7th.

Part V: Mug shots from hamburg police:

During the night of july 8th, the hamburg police established an online portal for tips and leads. They appealed to the curious crowd, to upload any picture or video material from their own smartphones and cameras. Only 12 hours later, they celebrated the fact, that they had already received over 1000 files. With this call out for denunciation and betrayal, the police provoked an online coursing. The Soko „Black Block“, is working on 12 terabyte of picture files. In total 163 cops are working on 3340 cases. On monday, december 8th the hamburg policed published 104 pictures of 104 alleged criminals and 5 videos concerning the „Elbchaussee“, the „G20 not welcome demo“, „looting“, „attacks with bottles and stones“ and „Rondenbarg“(here you can find an anonymous link to the pictures). Additionaly several pictures made it into the german media. The hamburg police anounced: „There will be more mug shots, because we have a lot of material, which has not yet been evaluated.“

Five G20 Trials:
The first trial was held against Peike, from the Netherlands. He is being accused of having thrown two bottles at Berlin police in the Schanze on the 6th of July. The only two witnesses, cops from Berlin, had suffered from major memory loss and both described a bottle throwing person, who did not look at all like the defendant. The prosecutor explained his persecution for prison time, by taking Peike into responsibility for the „civil war like circumstances“ on Friday night (where Peike was already in custody!). The judge Johann Krieten, known as a right wing hardliner, proclaimed his judgment as followed: „Police officers are not fair game for the fun society, they are not fair game for action orientated criminals“. He called the riots on Friday night, riot tourism with the aim of hunting cops and smashing the windows of the HASPA bank. The harsh punishment was necessary, due to reasons of „preventing violence.“ The pig proclaimed the sentence of two years and seven months. Peike is appealing against this judgement.

2nd Trial: The defendant was stopped and searched on Saturday, July 8th, close to Dammtor train station. He was insinuated with being on his way to the „g20 not welcome“ demonstration. In his bag pack, the cops found pepper spray, diving goggles and small fire crackers. He is being accused of violating the „law of gathering“, and laws against carrying weapons and explosives. Again, the trial ended with an obszene harsh punishment of 6 within 2 years of probation. Prosecutor Elsner seized the moment to proclaim his personal propaganda: „The attacks on cops with bottles and stones increased dramatically during the demonstration. The defendant should be writing a thank you letter to the cops, who arrested him, had he thrown anything during the demonstration, he would be going to jail for a long time.“

3rd example. The prosecutor accused the 21 year old defendant, of having thrown six bottles in the direction of the cops during the demonstration on the Fishmarket, as well as resisting during his arrest. After the judge explained the right of refusing a statement, the lawyer explained extensively the defendants plea deal. In the last two months, that he spent in jail, he had learned a lot about loneliness. He never wanted to get himself or his family in such a hell like situation. He was now aware of his stupidity. Cops are also only humans. The judge, sentenced the defendant to 1 year and 5 months on two years of probation, as well as a 500 Euro fine, which should be donated to the widows and orphans of police officers.

4th example: The charges: Criminal assault with a dangerous weapon (glass bottle), as well as resistance against police officers. The defendant confessed the charges and regretted his actions. He agreed to a DNA sampling, which took place on a break during the hearing. The TABO Hachmann allegedly followed the defendant after he allegedly threw the bottle and saw him, taking down his mask in a little kiosk and changed his clothes on the next street corner. Verdict: 1 year on 3 years of probation. The defendant, had questioned the monopoly of the state and did not see the human in uniform during his actions. The police deserved respect and honour for their committment and should not be targeted.

5th example: Fabio was released from youth arrest in exchange for a bail of 10000 Euro. His trial is still ongoing. The charges: Severe breach of the peace in the case of „Rondenbarg“. This is an excerpt of Fabios declaration during the trial: First of all i want to say that the ladies and gentlemen of politics, police inspectors and prosecutors probably believe they can hinder the dissent on the streets if they arrest and lock up a bunch of kids.
Likely they believe that prison is enough to hold back the rebellious voices that arise everywhere. Likely they believe that repression will stop our thirst for freedom. Our will to create a better world. I have made my decision and i am not afraid if there, unjustly, will be a price i have to pay for that. Nevertheless is there something i want to say to you, if you believe me or not: i do not like violence. But i have ideals and i decided to fight for them.

Explanations

„Tatbeobachter*innen/Tabos“ (Crime Observer):

Tabo‘s are dressed as demonstrators, sometimes they would be dressed colerful, sometimes with a beerbottle in their hand, sometimes they would be masked. They run side by side with us in the demonstrations and they can be hard to detect. They watch alleged crimes, without intervening. Later they are called as witnesses in front of court. Tabos are cops from a certain unit. On the contrary, there are cops dressed as civilians, the so called PMS. These civil cops usually move around in bigger groups, very obviously next to the rows of cops, they carry earphones and weapons and they pass on information about well known activists to the BFE (unit, responsible for arrests and securing evidence).

Tightening of laws:
Since the 30th of may 2017, the paragraph 113 ist now divided into §113, which includes acts of resistance and §114, which scales assault. The newly structured §114 includes the assault against officers (cops, paramedics) as its own element of a crime. An assault can be any kind of act against the body of an officer, for example when you try to to free yourself from the grip of a cop during an arrest. The minimal sentence here would be a three months prison sentence. Additionally, simply carrying a weapon or a dangerous tool, can be defined as a severe act of resistance or assault, independent from your intentions with that tool. You can also be charged, for your comrades carrying such a tool like a glass bottle or another sharp instrument.

(1) SOKO is an abbreviation of the term “Sonderkommission” (Special [Police] Commission – meaning special investigation team) in German.

Society has failed, when it imprisons those who question it!
Fire and flames to repression!

With this slogan the campaign: „United we stand“  made a callout for action days from the 28.1. to the 4.2.2018.

german  l portuguese

Russia: Support anarchist and antifa prisoners in St.Petersburg and Penza!

received on 31.01.18

Fundraising for lawyers working on cases about police raids and arrests of anarchists and antifascists in St. Petersburg and Penza, Russia has begun. At the moment two persons in St. Petersburg and five in Penza are arrested, more are connected to the case as witnesses. Raids and repressions are likely to continue. Arrested are charged with part 2 of rticle 205.4 of russian Criminal Code (participation in terrorist organisation) at the request of court from Penza.

On January 23, on the way to Pulkovo Airport the Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Victor Filinkov. In order to get the testimony he was beaten up and tortured with electric shocks in the woods. Signs of torture were confirmed by the Filinkov’s lawyer and members of the Public Monitoring Commission (ONK) who have visited him in the pre-trial detention center. Filinkov is arrested for two months.

On January 25 the FSB came unexpectedly with a raid to Igor Shishkin’s apartment. After the raid neither his lawyer, nor members of Public Monitoring Commission were unable to find Igor for more than a day. On January 27 Igor with signs of a beating was brought to a court session where he was arrested in Pre-trial Detention Center for two months.
Journalists were not allowed to attend the hearing and evenmore two of them were arrested.

Tortures were also applied to witnesses. Ilya Kapustin was beaten up and tortured with electric shock while police demanded him to give testimony that some of his acquantances are up to “something dangerous”. Numerous
traces of the stun gun usage were recorded later by health service.

In Penza, arrests began already in October of 2017. Local FSB arrested six young persons, five of whom are currently in a pre-trial detention.
All of the arrested were brutally tortured. One may read in detail about the Penza events from this article.

Legal help is necessary for prisoners (whose number can increase) and witnesses. So far it is early to speak about the certain amount of money, but it will be at least 200 thousand rubles for work of lawyers in the next months.

Anarchist Black Cross St.Petersburg

DETAILS FOR TRANSACTIONS TO SUPPORT ARRESTED
PayPal: abc-msk@riseup.net ABC Moscow

In case you want to support a particular prisoner, add a note about that. In case you want to donate to St. Petersburg and Penza case, write a note For “St. Petersburg and Penza”. We recommend to send euros or dollars, as other currencies are automatically converted to euro according to PayPal rates.

Yandex-wallet of Anarchist Black Cross St. Petersburg  41001160378989

Bitcoin
1EKGZT2iMjNKHz8oVt7svXpUdcPAXkRBAH
Litecoin
LNZK1uyER7Kz9nmiL6mbm9AzDM5Z6CNxVu
Etherium
0x1deb54058a69fcc443db2bf9562df61f974b16f7
Monero
4BrL51JCc9NGQ71kWhnYoDRffsDZy7m1HUU7MRU4nUMXAHNFBEJhkTZV9HdaL4gfuNBxLPc3BeMkLGaPbF5vWtANQn4wNWChXhQ8vao8MA
Zcash
t1dX9Rpupi77erqEbdef3T353pvfTp9SAt1

In case you need another option for money transfer, please contact the Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow:
abc-msk@riseup.net

All material on the case can be found on this section:
Case of anti-fascists of St. Petersburg and Penza.

in portuguese

[Greece] January 21st 2017: Action Day in solidarity with Revolutionary Struggle

The poster reads:

“I am a revolutionary, and I have nothing to apologize for.

Terrorists, criminals, robbers are those who compose the economic and political life; the institutions and governments that, through the memoranda, are waging the most violent, the most heinous attack on the social base in the name of a “way out of the crisis.” Terrorist, criminal, robber is the State and Capital; those whom I fight committed with all my soul to armed struggle, to Revolutionary Struggle; those whom my organization has targeted all these years of our activity.

(…) when the economic and political establishment attacks the social majority in the most merciless way, armed struggle for social revolution is a duty and obligation; because that’s where hope lies and nowhere else. The only hope for a definitive way out of the systemic crisis we are living in this historical period, for a definitive way out of every crisis. It is the only hope towards overturning capitalism, the system that gives birth to crises; the only hope towards overturning the State and Capital.

It is the only hope for an armed counterattack of the social base against a system that crushes them.

It is the only hope towards overthrowing the State and Capital; for Social Revolution.

For a society of economic equality and political freedom for all.”

Pola Roupa

“I am an anarchist, member of the armed revolutionary organization Revolutionary Struggle. The only terrorists are the State and the Capital.”

Konstantina Athanasopoulou

Demonstration in solidarity with Revolutionary Struggle members

Saturday January 21st 2017 at 12:00 in Monastiraki (downtown Athens)

SOLIDARITY WITH THE REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE MEMBERS

NO EXEMPTION STATUS OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

STRUGGLE AGAINST THE STATE AND CAPITAL BY ANY MEANS

Solidarity Assembly (Athens)

Full text of callout in Greek

in German, Italian, Portuguese

Action for political prisoners at mass street protest in Paris on June 14th

During the June 14th demonstration in Paris, comrades of AGB (Anarchist Group from Bern) carried a banner in solidarity with political prisoners in Greece, Switzerland and elsewhere, reading: “Whoever forgets the prisoners of social war has forgotten the war! Freedom for Nikos Maziotis, Marco Camenisch & members of Conspiracy of Cells of Fire. ”

Received June 26th along with the images:

Unions and revolutionary groups called for a mass street protest on June 14th 2016 in France. Hundreds of thousands participated in the demonstration against new reforms to labor laws, capitalism and state oppression. In addition, many people from all over Europe went to Paris to show solidarity with the movement.

Reacting to the dynamic protest of the people the police governed by the left government attacked with tear gas, flash bangs, baton charges and water cannons. Hundreds were injured; in one case a person nearly died because he was hit by a tear gas shell.

With our banner we wanted to draw attention to all the prisoners who couldn’t fight by our side that day. For example, in Greece there is currently a trial going on against 22 Anarchists. Nikos Maziotis, another Anarchist and Member of the group Revolutionary Struggle, was sentenced to life because he participated in armed struggle.

Since the protests in France started, three months ago, nearly 500 people were arrested by now.

There are thousands of revolutionaries all over the world who are jailed because they fought for a free society.

Whoever forgets the prisoners of social war has forgotten the war!

Thessaloniki, Greece: Poster ahead of the April 20th appeal’s trial

The poster reads:

‘Those waiting on the wooden bench
are the poor, our own people; the strong
are the peasants and the proletarians;
their every word is a glass of wine
a crust of black bread
a tree beside the rock
a window open to the sunlight.

Their fingerprints are not just
impressions on the prison registers;
they are preserved in the archives of history
their fingerprints are dense railroad tracks
that traverse the future.’

(Yannis Ritsos)

Everything for the Community
Armed Struggle Will Bring the Victory (A)

Struggle for the liberation of anarchist & communist prisoners of war

Struggle against the State and capitalism

Manuscripts from the absolute

Koridallos prisons: Revolutionary Struggle member Nikos Maziotis on the escape attempt and life sentence

Text of Nikos Maziotis about the operation of escape from Koridallos prison and the sentence of life imprisonment handed down in the 2nd Revolutionary Struggle trial

The attempt to escape from Koridallos prison by helicopter on February 21st 2016 – an operation carried out by comrade Pola Roupa, member of Revolutionary Struggle – was a revolutionary act, a guerrilla action for the liberation of political prisoners. It was a means of continuation of Revolutionary Struggle’s activity, a response to the State’s repressive operations against our organisation and other political prisoners, comrades who are in prison for armed activity as well. It was therefore an exemplary solidarity act of great and unique importance. The prison escape operation was a step towards continuing armed revolutionary activity; promoting the struggle for the overthrow of the State and Capital; overturning the establishment’s policy of bailout programs imposed by the troika of the country’s supranational bosses, the EC, ECB and IMF, to which the ESM has been added with the enactment and implementation of the third memorandum program by the SYRIZA-led government. Armed struggle in the present circumstances is more timely and necessary than ever. The failure of this operation won’t bend us. We will struggle as long as we live and breathe.

Revolutionary Struggle has proven that it has remained standing over the years, despite successive repressive blows and sacrifices: the blood of comrade Lambros Foundas, who was killed on March 10th 2010 in a shootout with police in the district of Dafni, Athens, during a preparatory action of the organisation; our arrests a month later, April 10th 2010, on the eve of Greece’s signing of the first memorandum; my arrest on July 16th 2014 in Monastiraki, Athens, where I was injured following a chase and shootout with police. Revolutionary Struggle remained standing because we undertook political responsibility for our participation in the organisation – in Greece, we were the first armed revolutionary and anarchist organisation to do so – and because we defended our history, the organisation’s actions and our comrade Lambros Foundas, who gave his life so that the memorandum wouldn’t pass; to turn the crisis into an opportunity for social revolution. We remained standing as an organisation because we didn’t mind paying the cost and price, because we didn’t turn ourselves into betrayers or deserters, because none of us tried to save one’s own skin at the moment of repression. It’s precisely because we claimed political responsibility that we stayed alive as an organisation in prison in 2010–11. We gave a political battle against the enemy in the 1st special court. Once released from prison after 18 months in pretrial detention, we chose not to surrender ourselves to imminent imprisonment and went underground instead, to continue armed struggle and the organisation’s activity.

The attack of Revolutionary Struggle – Commando Lambros Foundas on April 10th 2014 against the Bank of Greece, a branch of the ECB – one of the most popularly-hated organisations that make up the quartet of supranational bosses – but also a building that housed the office of the IMF’s permanent representative in Greece, annulled the 2010 repressive operation, and continued the organisation’s strategy that was launched in 2009 with the attacks on Citibank’s headquarters and one of its branches, a Eurobank’s branch and the Athens Stock Exchange. For years Revolutionary Struggle is faced with the spearhead of state repression, since the issue of dealing with the organisation and generally armed revolutionary activity is a major priority for the survival of the establishment, seeking to eliminate the internal enemy for the smooth enforcement and implementation of bailout programs, which constitute policies of social genocide and cleansing of parts of the population.

In 2007, the U.S. Department of State and the Greek State placed bounties of 1 million dollars and 800 thousand euros, respectively, after the organisation’s attack with an anti-tank RPG at the U.S. Embassy in Athens. In 2010, the Papandreou government celebrated our arrests, and a government official stated that they prevented a blow that would end the economy, on the eve of the signing of the first memorandum and amid fear of Greek economy’s collapse. In 2014, after we had gone into clandestinity and had been sentenced to 50 years imprisonment by the 1st special court, the Samaras government placed a bounty of 2 million euros on our heads – one million on comrade Roupa and another million on me. My arrest, three months after Revolutionary Struggle’s attack against the Bank of Greece, was celebrated by Greek authorities. U.S. officials congratulated them on my recapture and made statements on political stability. Special measures were implemented after my arrest and, in December 2014, I was transferred to the newly-inaugurated type C maximum security prison, this being the first such transfer of a political prisoner, already preannounced since my recapture. In April 2015, I was included in the list of “international terrorists” designated by State Department, even though I was in prison. The authorities have now unleashed a manhunt to arrest comrade Roupa. All this demonstrates that combating Revolutionary Struggle holds great significance for the establishment. That is, repression against Revolutionary Struggle and implementation of memoranda, together with the establishment’s political stability, go hand in hand.

Last link in the chain of the establishment’s repression against Revolutionary Struggle is the decision of the 2nd trial against the organisation, a few days after the prison escape attempt. I was sentenced to life imprisonment for the bombing attack against the Bank of Greece, plus 129 years for two expropriations of bank branches and shooting of cops who persecuted me in Monastiraki. The imposition of the severest possible sentence for the organisation’s attack against the country’s bosses is a conscious political decision and not just a procedural exaggeration. As I have already stated, this decision aims not to terrorise me – because they know I am and will remain unrepentant – but those who’ll want to opt for armed struggle, comrades of the anarchist/antiauthoritarian milieu and other fighters within society. This political decision – applied for the first time in Greece in regard to a bombing attack which took place following a phone call warning, causing no injuries, but only material damages – is aimed at multiple recipients and sends out an intimidation message, that fighters who’ll opt for armed revolutionary activity will be treated with the utmost severity.

This decision demonstrates the establishment’s increasingly harshening stance against their number one enemy – Revolutionary Struggle, armed fighters. It’s not difficult to understand why, at a time when the SYRIZA-led government has voted the third memorandum, which is harsher than the previous ones. The big difference between penal treatment in the 1st and the 2nd Revolutionary Struggle trials may give rise to misinterpretations; I would therefore like to point out the following: Since the enactment of anti-terrorism laws in 2001 and 2004, this special legislation constitutes a political choice of Power in order to deal as effectively as possible with urban guerrilla in Greece as a major threat to the establishment. A provision in the anti-terrorism legislation allows life sentence, not for homicide, but for explosion as a result of which there was danger to humans or an injury occurred. I was sentenced to life in prison under this provision. Special court decisions in trials against armed fighters are eminently political decisions; the elements in the accusatory dossier are often of secondary importance. For example, as demonstrated during court hearings of the 2nd trial against Revolutionary Struggle in regard to the organisation’s attack against the Bank of Greece, even though there was a phone call giving 50 minutes warning before the explosion, the security officers remained inside the building on the instructions of the Bank of Greece’s security supervisor. The security supervisor himself admitted there’s a standard regulation which obliges the security staff to stay inside the building despite the threat of explosion. The same happened at Piraeus Bank’s headquarters located opposite the Bank of Greece, where security officers remained inside the building on the instructions of the bank’s head of security. As demonstrated in the 1st trial against the organisation, the same also happened on September 2nd 2009 in Revolutionary Struggle’s attack against the Athens Stock Exchange building, where security staff stayed inside as ordered by the head of security.

It’s thus demonstrated that those who are responsible for causing danger to humans are the executives of the economic Power and establishment’s mechanisms and central structures, such as banks and the stock exchange, who consider people and entire populations to be expendable; even the security officers of their facilities. Because, for them, their profits override everything; their profits, which are dipped in blood and misery, override human life itself. These are the mechanisms that the Greek people consider responsible for the policy implemented over the last six years, which has resulted in thousands of deaths and millions of poor, destitute and hungry people. These are the mechanisms whose executives (bankers, major shareholders, big businesspeople) alongside their subordinates (politicians of Greek governments) the Greek people consider responsible for the devaluation of life of millions of people, for suicides and pauperisation; not the fighters of Revolutionary Struggle. Revolutionary Struggle’s attacks against such mechanisms and structures are to a great extent popularly and socially accepted.

In both the 1st and 2nd trial against the organisation, I have been consistent in facing the enemy at special courts. This entails the undertaking of political responsibility, the political defense of Revolutionary Struggle’s activity, armed struggle and Revolution for the overthrow of the State and Capital, without counting the cost and the price. This is the duty of every fighter, every anarchist, every revolutionary who is faced with judges and organs of the enemy. The sentence to 50 years imprisonment in the 1st trial was based on the undertaking of political responsibility. This is why we were convicted as accomplices in the organisation’s 16 actions by the theorem of collective responsibility, rather than being convicted as actual perpetrators. The State’s response to the fact I remain consistent in my trajectory as a fighter and continue to defend Revolutionary Struggle, and by extension armed struggle and the prospect of Revolution and the establishment’s overthrow, was the outcome of the 2nd trial, where I was sentenced to life imprisonment for one action, the bombing attack against the Bank of Greece. My entire trajectory after the initial arrests in 2010, the fact that Revolutionary Struggle stayed alive during the pretrial detention in 2010–11, the fact that comrade Roupa and I defended the organisation’s activity at the 1st special court, our choice to not surrender ourselves to prison, to go into clandestinity and continue armed struggle and the organisation’s activity with the attack against the Bank of Greece, this entire trajectory and all these choices are based on the undertaking of political responsibility for our participation in Revolutionary Struggle after being captured in 2010. This is what the State attempted to crash by means of the decision of the 2nd trial against the organisation.

My sentence of life in prison was a message to the fighters who assume political responsibility and do not repudiate their activity and membership in their organisation.

Things are becoming increasingly clearer for the fighters who want to resist and the political prisoners. The dilemma “repudiation or life imprisonment” (in the old days there was execution by firing squad) comes into effect; a dilemma put by Power, a dilemma that in the old days was “repudiation or death”.

Over time, in order to suppress any revolutionary perspective, the State doesn’t confine itself to military predominance over its rivals only, but it also attempts their political defeat by forcing them into political repudiation. In the case of the Western-European urban guerrilla in the 70s and 80s, especially in Italy, the target of political repudiation was not one’s convictions or political identity, but rather armed struggle as being one of the means of struggle and urban guerrilla organisations. In Greece, the dilemma put by Power was once this: either repudiation of communism, or imprisonment and, in other circumstances, execution by firing squad. Nowadays, more indirectly, the dilemma is this: either choice of armed revolutionary struggle with heavy costs and consequences, or renunciation of armed revolutionary struggle as being one of the means of struggle. Either undertaking of political responsibility for one’s participation in an armed organisation and defense of its activity, or acceptance of the State’s pursuit of repudiation of an armed organisation and one’s membership in it, and by extension of armed struggle, in the face of fear of going to prison.

In other, more difficult periods like the Occupation and the Civil War, the price to pay for the struggle was the firing squad; and not only for armed struggle. Many fighters faced with the dilemma “repudiation or death” preferred the firing squad; of course not because they wanted to become martyrs, but because they believed that repudiation is a shame and disgrace; as such, it was considered worse than death. There were armed militants and guerrillas of ELAS (Greek People’s Liberation Army) and DSE (Democratic Army of Greece), but also fighters that didn’t wage armed struggle, who remained unrepentant and were sent by thousands to the firing squad during the Occupation and the Civil War; they were executed in Goudi, in Kessariani shooting range, in Chaidari and Pavlou Mela camps, on Makronissos and Corfu, in Yedi Kule. Similarly in Spain, after Franco’s victory, thousands of armed anarchists who fought for Revolution in 1936–39, and waged guerrilla warfare until 1975, were sent to firing squads in Campo de la Bota, Montjuïc, Carabanchel, or strangled by the method of garrote – used as a means of execution for heretics since the Inquisition.

The struggle for the overthrow of the State and Capital is an activity that requires unwavering convictions, responsibility, consistency, commitment, political engagement, steely will, and political and theoretical knowledge of principles and experiences of the historical revolutionary tradition. How can we even talk about struggle, social liberation, revolution, Anarchy, asking others to participate in a subversive struggle with all the costs and consequences that it entails, if we ourselves are unable to assume responsibility for our political choices?

For the first time in decades – since the era of the post-Civil War State, when ELAS guerrillas who were excluded by the 1945 Treaty of Varkiza, which didn’t recognise their activity as being political, as well as those of DSE remained in prison for at least 15 years – there is a prospect that political prisoners sentenced to 25 years or life imprisonment for armed revolutionary action will remain many years in the prisons of the contemporary Greek State-marionette of the supranational economic elite. We’re going through a period where Power is even indirectly trying to pose dilemmas for educing credentials once again, as in the past, to break us with the spectre of long-term incarceration.

The struggle for Social Revolution, for overthrowing the State and Capital, must go on despite the difficulties, the cost and consequences. We will never surrender the weapons of our struggle.

NO PEACE, NO TRUCE WITH THE STATE AND CAPITAL

ARMED STRUGGLE FOR SOCIAL REVOLUTION

HONOUR FOREVER TO COMRADE LAMBROS FOUNDAS,
MEMBER OF REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE

Nikos Maziotis, member of Revolutionary Struggle

in Portuguese | Turkish via isyandan.org

[Greece] Open letter of Pola Roupa about the attempt to break Nikos Maziotis out of Koridallos prison

Below is the first part of the comrade’s long letter; originally published in Greek on Athens IMC (March 8th 2016).
Under other circumstances, this text would be written by Revolutionary Struggle. However, the outcome of the attempt to break out the comrade Nikos Maziotis of Koridallos prison obliges me to speak personally.

On February 21st [2016], I attempted to break out Revolutionary Struggle member Nikos Maziotis by helicopter. The operation was planned so that other political prisoners could join us, who wished to make their way to freedom. Details of the plan, how I managed to evade the security measures and board the helicopter armed, have no special significance and I will not refer to them; despite the fact that there has been a lot of misinformation. Just for the sake of clarity, I will only mention that the plan was not based on any previous helicopter prison escape, it is not associated with any findings of plans not yet implemented, and I do not have any relation to another fugitive person despite media portrayals to the contrary. Also, this attempt was not preceded by any escape plan that “was wrecked”, as reported by some media.

A quarter of the journey after our takeoff from Thermisia in Argolida, I took out my gun and I asked the pilot to change course. Of course, he did not understand who I am, but he realised it was an attempted prison break. He panicked. He attacked me pulling out a gun – a fact he “omitted”. Also because they will likely try to refute the fact he was armed, I remind everyone that there are publicly available reports about the discovery of two mags in the helicopter. One was mine, but the second wasn’t mine. The second mag was from his own gun, which he dropped from his hands during our scuffle during flight. And as for me, of course I had a second mag. Would I go to such an operation with only one mag?

He lost control of the helicopter and shouted in panic “we will get killed”. The description that was presented of a helicopter substantially unmanageable is true. But these images did not result from my actions, but his. The helicopter was losing altitude and swirled in the air. We flew a few meters over electricity wires. I screamed to him to pull up the helicopter, to do what I tell him so no one will get hurt.

Within no time at all, we were on the ground. Those who speak of a dispassionate reaction of the pilot, apparently judging from the result, don’t know what they are talking about.

Instead of doing what I told him to do, he preferred to risk crashing with me in a collision of the helicopter, which didn’t happen by chance. It goes without saying that upon entering the helicopter and trying to gain control of it, to direct it to the prisons, I had made my decision. If he refused to do what I told him, I would naturally react. Those who claim I was responsible for the uncontrolled descent of the helicopter, from 5,000 feet to the ground, what did they expect? That I would have said “if you don’t want to come to the prisons, never mind”? I fired my gun and we engaged – both armed – in a scuffle during flight.

He preferred to risk crashing with me on the mountain than to obey. When we finally landed on the ground with speed, even though I knew the operation was lost, I had every opportunity to execute him. I consciously decided not to do so. Although I knew that with this decision I was endangering my life or freedom, I did not execute him even though I had the chance. He himself knows this very well. The only factor that held me back was my political conscience. And I took this decision, risking my own life and possibility to get away.

Regarding the prison escape operation itself, it’s obvious that all possible safety measures were taken in order to safeguard the undertaking against the armed guards patrolling the prison perimeter, and I even carried a bulletproof vest for the pilot as well. In this case, the purpose was to make the prison break happen in a way that would ensure the lowest possible risk for the helicopter, the comrades and, of course, the pilot. I acted with the same thought when we landed on the ground; despite the fact that the operation failed because of the pilot; despite the fact that he was armed. I essentially put his life over my own life and safety. But I am to reconsider this specific choice.

Organising to break out Nikos Maziotis was a political decision, as much as it was a political decision to liberate other political prisoners as well. It was not a personal choice. If I wanted to only liberate my comrade Nikos Maziotis, I wouldn’t have chartered a large helicopter – a fact that made the operation’s organising more complex. The aim of the operation was the liberation of other political prisoners as well; those who actually wanted, together with us, to make their way to freedom.

This action, therefore, despite its personal dimensions that are known, was not a personal choice but a political one. It was a step in the path to Revolution. The same goes for every action I have carried out and for every action I will make in the future. These are links in a chain of revolutionary planning aimed to create more favourable political and social conditions, for broadening and strengthening revolutionary struggle. Below I will refer to the political basis of this choice; but first I have to talk about facts, and the way I have operated until now in regard to some of these facts.

As I previously mentioned, every action I carry out concerns an act related to political planning. In the same context, I expropriated a branch of Piraeus Bank on the premises of Sotiria Hospital in Athens last June [2015]. With this money, in addition to my survival in “clandestinity”, I secured the organising of my action and financing of the operation for the liberation of Nikos Maziotis and other political prisoners from Koridallos women’s prisons. The reason I refer to this expropriation (I couldn’t care less about the penal consequences of this admittance) is because, at this time, I consider it absolutely necessary to disclose how I operate in regard to the safety of civilians, who in certain circumstances happen to be present in revolutionary actions I am involved in, and my perspective about this issue on the occasion – always mutatis mutandis – of the prison escape attempt.

In the case of the expropriation of Piraeus Bank branch, what I mentioned to the bank clerks when we walked into the bank was that they should not press the alarm button, because this would endanger their own safety, since I wasn’t willing to leave the bank without the money. I did not threaten them, nor would they ever be in danger because of me. They would only be in danger because of the police, if cops arrived at the spot and we subsequently had an armed clash. And the police would only arrive if any clerks pressed the bank alarm. This was a development which they themselves wanted to avoid. Because people who happen to be present in every such action are not afraid of those trying to expropriate, but instead the police intervening. Besides, it’s really stupid for anyone to attempt to defend money belonging to bankers. And for the record, when a female clerk told me “we ourselves are also poor people,” I suggested to her that we step over to a “blind” spot, where cameras can’t see us, to let her have 5,000 euros, which she did not accept, apparently out of fear. If she had accepted the money, she can be sure I would not speak publicly about it. And one detail: what I was holding was a medical apron to conceal my gun while waiting outside the bank; it was not a towel(!), as mentioned several times.

In every period of time, in the struggle for Revolution – as is also the case in all wars – at times the revolutionaries are obliged to seek the assistance of civilians in their fight. The historical examples are too many – an attempt to document them would fill an entire book, and this isn’t the time to expand on the matter – both in Greece and in armed movements and organisations in other countries. In such cases, however, we essentially ask them to take sides in a war. Once someone refuses to assist, their stance is not just about the particular practice, but an overall hostile stance against the struggle. They endanger or cancel undertakings, they put the lives of fighters in danger, they throw obstacles in the way of a revolutionary process. They take a position against a social and class war.

Neither at Piraeus Bank branch nor during the attempted helicopter escape did I make my identity known. Therefore, no one involved in these cases knew that those were political actions. But after the failed escape attempt, and given that – as I already mentioned – I had the opportunity to kill the pilot but I didn’t, risking my own life, I have to make the following public: from now on, whenever I need the assistance of civilians again, and if I deem it necessary, I will make my identity known from the outset. Since my mission in any case concerns the promotion of the struggle for overthrowing the criminal establishment, let everyone know that any possible refusal of cooperating and effort of obstructing the action will be treated accordingly.

I am, of course, aware of the personal details of the pilot, but I did not threaten his family. I would never threaten families and children.

This is my balance sheet after the escape attempt, one I must make public.

THE PRISON ESCAPE OPERATION WAS A REVOLUTIONARY CHOICE

[…]

I ATTEMPTED THE PRISON ESCAPE FOR SOCIAL REVOLUTION
ALL MY LIFE I STRUGGLE FOR SOCIAL REVOLUTION
I WILL CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE FOR SOCIAL REVOLUTION

Pola Roupa
member of Revolutionary Struggle

German | French | Portuguese | Italian via Croce Nera Anarchica

Athens: CCF escape case trial set for February 15th 2016

February 15th: Trial date for the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire escape plan – Prosecution against relatives of political prisoners

The trial concerning the plan of Conspiracy of Cells of Fire comrades to escape from Koridallos prisons has been set for February 15th. A total of 28 people are accused in this trial. Conspiracy of Cells of Fire comrades have taken responsibility for the escape plan from the outset, defending their choice as a means to continue anarchist struggle.

However, this time the judicial mafia has experimented on our comrades by applying an insidious and vengeful blackmail against them.

In addition to making the heaviest possible indictment against several of the accused, whose relation with Conspiracy of Cells of Fire members was solely limited to friendly contacts, they’ve prepared new guillotines.

The inquisitor Eftichis Nikopoulos (special appellate judge against terrorism) and the judicial councils that followed, have also put forward for trial relatives of political prisoners: Athena Tsakalou (the mother of CCF members Gerasimos Tsakalos and Christos Tsakalos), Evi Statiri (the partner of Gerasimos), and Christos Polidoros (the brother of CCF member Giorgos Polidoros), on charges of “membership in the terrorist organisation Conspiracy of Cells of Fire”!!!

Athena Tsakalou and Evi Statiri were originally remanded in March 2015, and then broke out of captivity.

Athena was released a month after her arrest, following the hunger strike of Conspiracy of Cells of Fire members and anarchist comrade Angeliki Spyropoulou. Six months later, Evi was also released from prison, following the hunger strike undertaken by her and her partner Gerasimos Tsakalos.

During the two hunger strikes, a multifaceted movement developed against the judicial coup, expressing solidarity by means of gatherings, banner drops, occupation of buildings, acts of sabotage and incendiary attacks…

Nevertheless, after the release of Athena and Evi, the solidarity movement gained half a victory.

Judge-executioners “granted” them a crippled freedom. Athena was exiled to Salamis Island, and Evi is restricted to one kilometer from her home by a “freedom distance-meter”.

At the same time, they have been prohibited from any communication with their relatives, thus isolating them behind invisible grids.

We see this strategy of Power of isolating political prisoners being broadened, as is the case with the recent visitation ban against Revolutionary Struggle member Nikos Maziotis [whose friend and comrade was recently prohibited from visiting him in prison].

Similarly, the judicial mafia continues its sorcery against relatives of political prisoners, having remanded Maria Theofilou [the partner of Giorgos Petrakakos, as well as sister of imprisoned anarchist Tasos Theofilou].

On February 15th, Power will once again try to erect its guillotines against relatives of political prisoners.

They’ve made their intentions crystal clear by now. According to the accusatory dossier, which is over 10,000 pages, they’ve chosen to call only 20 witnesses to the stand (half of whom are anti-terrorist police officers), with the purpose of fast-tracking proceedings; it seems convictions have already been issued…

February 15th marks the beginning of a new wager for people in struggle, negators of Power, people in solidarity… Our wager is to nullify the Power’s vindictive plans, stand side by side with the comrades, and continue what we’ve started… To subvert the judicial coup and stand against the prosecution of political prisoners’ relatives.

Because this trial prefigures future persecutions. What is being tested today against relatives of political prisoners, tomorrow will be tested against friends, people in solidarity, people in struggle…

For this reason and all the reasons in this world, once again we are preparing to venture into new battles against the laws of cops, judges and the Power’s priesthood.

Our quiver contains many arrows, such as the recent memory of gestures against the fascist persecutions of political prisoners’ relatives, but also the fresh traces of actions for Black December, that have strayed from the silent paths of social peace.

In the face of challenges posed by the State and judicial mafia, we respond with the challenge of insurrectionist action. With the trial on February 15th as a point of encounter, to oppose the persecution of relatives, let’s make this New Year beginning our own restart – with international call-outs, assemblies, counter-information, demonstrations, occupations, acts of sabotage, attacks – for the complete overthrow of the existent. With not even a single moment wasted.

“Stone, iron, wood can be broken… but it is impossible to break a determined human being with a conscience.”

Solidarity with Conspiracy of Cells of Fire comrades and anarchist Angeliki Spyropoulou

Against the prosecution of political prisoners’ relatives
(Christos Polidoros, Athena Tsakalou, Evi Statiri)

in Greek

New Year’s Eve: Global day of solidarity actions by relatives and friends of political prisoners

INTERNATIONAL CALL FOR A GLOBAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY ACTIONS
BY RELATIVES AND FRIENDS OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

We who experience the condition of our children, our spouses, our brothers and sisters, our friends being captive.

We who have heard exterminating sentences to decades of imprisonment handed down by terror-courts of the State of exploiters.

We who have stood firmly and with dignity by the side of our relatives and friends – captive freedom fighters.

It’s time that we raised our own voice. It’s time that we proclaimed our own truth.

We propose and call for a Global Solidarity Action Day joined by relatives and friends of political prisoners.

From Greece, Italy, Spain to Chile and Mexico and throughout the Earth.

Let us all together shout out loud:
POLITICAL PRISONERS – IMPRISONED FREEDOM FIGHTERS
ARE NOT ALONE.

We stand by them and will continue to do so. In the face of the barbarity of terror laws of fascist and democratic governments of the empire of wealth, we will continue to resist.

We propose December 31st as a day of global action undertaken by relatives of political prisoners.

Through initiatives for manifestations & interventions at prisons, courts, ministries and every centre of Power.

For human dignity and FREEDOM.

Until the demolition of the last prison left standing
We continue to resist.

Relatives & Friends of prisoners and prosecuted fighters | Greece
sygeneis-filoi[at]espiv.net

call-out in Greek, Italian

Koridallos underground prison cells: Protest in solidarity with hunger striker Evi Statiri

As of today, September 30th 2015, we participate in the mobilisation of prisoners throughout Greece (at the prisons of Trikala, Domokos, Grevena, and the women’s and men’s prisons of Koridallos in Athens) for the immediate RELEASE of Evi Statiri, wife of political prisoner-member of the Cells of Fire Gerasimos Tsakalos.

Evi has already been admitted to the General State Hospital of Nikaia, having entered her 16th day on hunger strike.

Solely responsible for her life are the justice minister — who enacted an amendment-scrap of paper for the cessation of prosecution against relatives of inmates, which nevertheless remains inactive — as well as the judicial council where the request for Evi’s release has been filed – who are procrastinating at the expense of her constantly deteriorating health.

Until Evi is released from prison, we refuse the midday lock-up and count in our cells.

Initiative of Political Prisoners
Koridallos Prisons Underground Annex [*]
September 30th 2015

[*] basement in Koridallos women’s prison, a special high-security unit for men where those convicted as members of armed revolutionary organisations, including anarchist comrades, are being held separately from the general population of inmates

Greek prisons: Text of Revolutionary Struggle prisoner Kostas Gournas about the hunger strike undertaken by Evi Statiri

(banner in Thessaloniki: Let’s combat states of exception with factual solidarity – Freedom for Evi Statiri)

September 15th 2015:

It is a longstanding as well as an infamous tactic of the State — particularly of the police-judicial mechanism — to use fabricated charges against relatives so as to hold them hostage and put pressure on fighters and political prisoners. It was done in 2002 [against Angeliki Sotiropoulou, wife of 17N prisoner Dimitris Koufontinas], it was done in 2010 [against Marie Beraha, wife of Revolutionary Struggle prisoner Kostas Gournas], and it was done again in March 2015 [against Evi Statiri, wife of CCF prisoner Gerasimos Tsakalos, but also against Athena Tsakalou, mother of the Tsakalos brothers]. This is because the repressive policy applied against imprisoned members of armed organisations is an ongoing process of political extermination by any means.

After its capitulation on February 20th, the SYRIZA-led government was faced with the first class confrontation — that is, the hunger strike of political prisoners during Spring — and was compelled to vote favorably — among others – on an amendment that theoretically opened the way for the relatives of CCF members to be released. Today, after being refused her liberation six times by judicial councils, Evi Statiri, companion of an imprisoned member of the organisation, is still in prison. Her case is the clearest proof, not only of the acceptance of a state of emergency surrounding the memorandum by the government of the Left, but also of the strict application of a state of exception for political prisoners.

For those in society who had the clarity and determination to approach the ‘no’ vote in the referendum in a class manner and to oppose every memorandum, though without being able to take the next step forward, the question of an alternative way other than the one of delegation or relinquishment, which all the bourgeois parliamentary forces are charting, is more pressing than ever. And this is no other way than struggle and solidarity. Evi’s way…

SOLIDARITY WITH EVI STATIRI
on hunger strike since September 14th 2015

Greek prisons: Hunger strike termination statement by Revolutionary Struggle member Nikos Maziotis

On April 5th 2015, anarchist prisoner Nikos Maziotis announced the end of his hunger strike. Below is his statement.
After 35 days of struggle, I terminate the hunger strike that I began on March 2nd along with other comrades. I have decided to do so not owing to the fact that I have reached the limits of my endurance but because I believe that, considering the developments regarding the requestive context, this fight has completed its cycle and has exhausted its potential, taking into account also the solidarity acts that have taken place. I have chosen to suspend the hunger strike now, after the justice ministry’s bill introduction, seeing no point in waiting at least 10 days until it’s voted on, after Easter has passed. I however remain extremely cautious over any modifications that the ministry is supposed to present in relation to the hoodie law or DNA legislation; because the government has already demonstrated how unreliable it is in fulfilling its proclamations.

I participated in the hunger strike with a broken arm, having been injured during my arrest, a fracture that will take some time, perhaps months or over a year, to recover from. The demands which I supported alongside other imprisoned comrades are of a purely political character, because they are aimed against the “anti-terror” and repressive core of the State. I had no illusions from the outset that all of the demands, such as abolition of the 187A anti-terrorism law and the 187 law on criminal organisation, are “realistically” achievable, but they had to be put forward for political reasons.

The course of events showed that the SYRIZA-led government found itself in a very difficult position, but at the same time it’s not as vulnerable to political pressure from the struggle of political prisoners and people in solidarity as some would like to believe. Instead, it is more vulnerable to pressure exerted by the right wing, where there’s a greater sensitivity toward issues of “anti-terror” and repressive policy. Those who, while in opposition, claimed to have “fought” for the rights of prisoners, those who declared themselves against the “anti-terror” laws, such as the current ministers of justice and public order, those who declared themselves against the hoodie law, and have now come to power and lead the government, were faced with the first hunger strike of political prisoners aiming at a vindication of all that.

While in power, having within a very short time refuted everything they had proclaimed before elections regarding the memorandum and the debt, it is expected that they will leave the anti-terrorism legislation intact. Having accepted everything – the memorandum, the debt, the troika, the evaluation – they used to denounce while in opposition, having accepted the dependence on the International Monetary Fund and, by extension, the US – which means that it is impossible to repeal anti-terrorism laws – they chose to employ delaying tactics against the struggle of hunger striking political prisoners, and submitted an already proclaimed bill with whatever amendments only after one month, risking damage to the health and the lives of imprisoned comrades, as demonstrated in the case of comrade [Michalis] Nikolopoulos, who came close to death and may have suffered permanent damage. If this proves out, then this fight will come at a heavy cost; furthermore, it’ll be an “achievement” of the leftist government led by SYRIZA, leaving an indelible mark because no other Greek government in the past let a hunger striker suffer permanent damage.

I will not speak in terms of victory or defeat. Regardless of its outcome, the struggle of political prisoners is of great importance and value. It is the first hunger strike of political prisoners, and as I’ve said before, this struggle goes far beyond its requestive context. It is the only combative political mobilisation that the SYRIZA-led government was faced with so far. This struggle has dispelled the illusions of a leftist facade of Power, a leftist crutch of capitalism, a leftist administration of the crisis. This is the great political legacy left behind by this struggle, and in this respect, we have definitely come out winners.

Nikos Maziotis, member of the Revolutionary Struggle
Domokos [type C] prison

see related updates

Rhodes Island: Banner drop and removal of national flag

The banner reads:
Your socialdemocracy stinks of incarceration – Victory to the struggle of political prisoners on hunger strike (since 2/3) and the migrant hunger strikers in Paranesti (since 23/3) – Strength, re (A)

On April 9th, a banner was dropped and the Greek flag was lowered at a building in a central location in the city of Rhodes, in a minimal display of solidarity with the political prisoners on hunger strike and the rebellious migrant hunger strikers in Paranesti camp in Drama.

anarchists

Athens: Bank ATMs sabotaged

SOLIDARITY TELEGRAM

On 9/4 at dawn we vandalised 1 Eurobank ATM in Petralona. STOP. 1 National Bank ATM in Koukaki with paint and glue. STOP. Strength to the hunger strikers of the Network of Imprisoned Fighters; we’re with them. STOP. Revolutionary greetings to the rebellious prisoners in Chile, too; call from 10 to 20 April. STOP. The vagabonds from Mexico are right: simple, anonymous, easily reproducible acts of sabotage. STOP. Joint struggles inside/outside prison walls; joint struggles inside/outside borders.

‘TOO MUCH CHATTERING LEADS TO POVERTY’

in Spanish

Greece: SYRIZA’s offices and radio outlet occupied by anarchists in Kavala

In the morning of March 24th, comrades occupied the ‘102.8 FM Sto Kokkino’ radio station at the SYRIZA’s party offices in the city of Kavala, in solidarity with imprisoned fighters on hunger strike. SYRIZA MP Alexandra Tsanaka made threats against the squatters, stating there’s no reason to occupy the premises, “because no hunger striker has died yet” (sic). The next day, the comrades put an end to the occupation, sending solidarity to all the political prisoners on hunger strike, all the patients incarcerated in the euphemistically called ‘hospital’ of Koridallos prisons in Athens, all the migrants on hunger strike in Greece’s detention centres, and to everyone fighting for their freedom.

Agrinio, Greece: Solidarity intervention at Acheloos TV station

On March 23rd 2015, people in solidarity with political prisoners on hunger strike carried out an intervention at Acheloos TV station in the town of Agrinio. Twenty five comrades threw fliers outside the building, raised a banner inside the studio during a live broadcast of the show “At football stadiums”, and aired a solidarity and counter-info video about the struggle of the hunger strikers.

Victory to the struggle of political prisoners on hunger strike!

Source: Athens IMC | Video retrieved from Anarchist Journal ‘Guillotine’

Heraklion, Crete: 30 ATMs sabotaged in solidarity with hunger strikers

On March 23rd 2015, at daybreak, we sabotaged 30 ATMs in the city of Heraklion in a display of solidarity with political prisoners on hunger strike, who demand:

– the abolition of 2001 “antiterrorist” law, article 187 (“criminal organisation”),

– abolition of 2004 “antiterrorist” law, article 187A (“terrorist organisation”),

– abolition of the aggravating provision regarding acts committed with concealed physical characteristics (“hoodie law”),

– abolition of type C prisons law;

– the release of Savvas Xiros on health grounds, convicted member of the R.O. 17N, whom Power is methodically and vindictively exterminating for 13 years;

– delimitation in the processing and use of genetic material (DNA);

– the release of relatives and friends of the R.O. CCF.

SOLIDARITY MEANS ATTACK

Greek prisons: Anarchist captive Angeliki Spyropoulou stopped hunger strike

On April 4th 2015, anarchist prisoner Angeliki Spyropoulou announced the end of her hunger strike, considering that the demand for the release of both relatives of CCF members is soon to be met. Below is an excerpt from her statement.

(…) Thus, after 32 days, and as the mother of the comrades as well as the companion of one of them are due for release, I also put an end to hunger strike. We gave this battle drawing invaluable strength from the polymorphous solidarity movement that was shaped outside the prison walls. The fiery glances of people who realised the exigency – which demanded and still demands prompt action, given that several political prisoners continue their struggle – warmed our hearts. This victory is as much ours as it is yours.

Strength and solidarity to all the hunger strikers who unrepentantly continue the fight until the fulfillment of their demands

On the black edge of death we will conquer life… in laughter

Not one step backwards in the face of the enemies of freedom

Everything continues…

Angeliki Spyropoulou

4/4/2015
Koridallos women’s prison

Greek prisons: CCF prisoners stopped hunger strike in view of upcoming release of their family members

On April 4th 2015, the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire prisoners announced the end of their hunger strike, anticipating that the mother and the partner of Gerasimos Tsakalos will soon be released from prison. Below are excerpts from their statement.
Today’s a day that a crack opens up in the walls of the prison world surrounding us. After 32 days of hunger strike, the mother of Christos and Gerasimos Tsakalos and Gerasimos’ life companion will shortly exit prison and be free again. (…)

This victory has not resulted only from the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire hunger strike. It is a victory of so many people in solidarity, who have broken the social tranquility with arson attacks, occupations, acts of sabotage, demonstrations, protest gatherings, unwarned interventions, and transformed the cities into a field of insurrectional moments and the occupied buildings into living laboratories of subversive situations. (…)

Today we end the hunger strike, having beaten the scarecrows of Power that wanted our relatives imprisoned. NEVERTHELESS, a hunger strike among the rest of the political prisoners is currently underway having put forward broader demands. The coming days are critical both for their health and the wager of overall anarchic struggle. (…)

STRENGTH AND SOLIDARITY to the anarchist comrade Nikos Maziotis, member of the Revolutionary Struggle, and the Network of Imprisoned Fighters.

VICTORY TO THE STRUGGLE WAGED BY HUNGER STRIKING PRISONERS

EVERYTHING CONTINUES…

Conspiracy of Cells of Fire – FAI/FRI
Prison Cell
4/4/2015

in Spanish

Lamia, Greece: Nikos Maziotis, on hunger strike since 2/3, currently hospitalised

On April 2nd, Revolutionary Struggle prisoner on hunger strike Nikos Maziotis was transferred from the type C maximum security prison of Domokos to the provincial hospital in Lamia due to further deterioration in his health condition. Recall that the comrade was seriously injured as recently as July 2014, after a shootout with his captors.

summary constantly updated

Lamia, Greece: Anarchist prisoner Kostas Gournas suspended hunger strike

Statement by Kostas Gournas from the hospital in Lamia:

I am no longer able to cope with this demanding hunger strike because I have exhausted my physical abilities to do so, owing to chronic health problems. I consider today’s submission of the bill,* which initiates the fulfillment of some of our demands, to be the minimum threshold for suspending the strike.

Victory to the hunger strike of political prisoners.

Lamia, April 1st, 2015
Kostas Gournas
_

* translation note: the prison reform bill was submitted to parliament by the ministry of justice on April 2nd, but it has not yet been referred to the competent committee for consideration of proposed amendments, so it may take long before the bill is debated and voted on

summary constantly updated

Brussels: Solidarity with political prisoners in struggle in Greece

In response to the call from the Network of Imprisoned Fighters, we tagged the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Brussels in solidarity with political prisoners in Greece and in support of their demands.

Since March 2nd, 22 anarchist prisoners and 8 (type-C) prisoners of DHKP-C have been on hunger strike in Greek prisons. Many of them are imprisoned in Domokos, a special prison dedicated to the detention of political and rebellious prisoners (type-C). In the final days of the previous government, the law on type-C prisons had been passed.

In the first days of March – while Syriza was already in power – the Greek Anti-Terrorist Unit arrested several relatives of the prisoners of the Conspiracy Cells of Fire (SPF).

The demands of the prisoners in struggle are as follows:

– Abolition of the two anti-terrorist laws, enacted following the attacks in New York.
– Abolition of the anti-hoodie law, enacted following the insurrectional demonstrations in December 2008.
– Abolition of the use of DNA as legal evidence.
– The release of Savvas Xiros, a member of the organisation 17N, mutilated, tortured, and in a very serious health condition, locked up for 13 years.
– Abolition of the law on type-C prisons.

Included in these demands is the release of CCF relatives. CCF prisoners are on hunger strike “until death”. Among them, many are in a potentially fatal condition due to the hunger strike.

SYRIZA had promised the abolition of type-C prisons. Instead of this, they throw new “terrorists” into these special prisons.

Freedom for all prisoners!
Honour to Lambros Foundas! Greetings to Nikos Maziotis!
Freedom for Savvas Xiros!

in Greek

Greek prisons: Hunger strike statement by Nikos Maziotis (issued 2/3/2015)

HUNGER STRIKE OF NIKOS MAZIOTIS, MEMBER OF THE REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE COMBATIVE MOBILISATION OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

In the past 15 years and especially since the war on “terrorism” was waged, the capitalist system throughout the world has become increasingly totalitarian in order to impose the dictatorship of the markets, the interests of the supranational financial elite, which has emerged from the globalisation of the system after the end of bipolarism. In this context, repression, the reinforcement of the legislative and penal arsenal of states in this new globalised environment against the political enemies of the new order and especially against the threat of armed revolutionary action, is of great significance and is applied for the reproduction of the system, especially in recent years since the outbreak of the global financial crisis.

The Greek state, which is fully integrated into supranational capital, has adopted the neoliberal reforms dictated by the European Union, and has upgraded its legislative and penal arsenal to the demands of the international “war on terrorism”. Thus, in 2001 the state passed the first “anti-terrorist” law, article 187 of the penal code (criminal organisation), in 2004 it passed the second “anti-terrorist” law, article 187A (terrorist organisation), in 2009, shortly after the December 2008 uprising, it passed the anti-hoodie law (a law criminalizing covering one’s face in demonstrations), and in 2010 it modified article 187A rendering it even more repressive. In 2012, by order of the state prosecutor it established the use of violent means in retrieving DNA samples from suspects, and finally, during the summer of 2014, as a logical sequence to its repressive policy, it passed a law establishing type C maximum security prisons for political prisoners.

This gradual upgrade of the state’s repressive attack in these past years has intensified in conjunction to the neoliberal reforms imposed by Greek governments. However, this attack peaked after the outbreak of the global financial crisis, after the December 2008 uprising, and the country’s subjection to the authority of the IMF (International Monetary Fund), ECB (European Central Bank) and EC (European Commission) by signing the first Memorandum in 2010.

In these conditions – where the establishment has lost the social consensus it enjoyed prior to the crisis, due to brutal policies unleashed in the past 6 years – repression and “anti-terrorist” legislation comprise the foundations and prerequisites for perpetuating the system.

Because the de-legitimisation of the establishment in the eyes of the social majority due to the greatest social robbery ever perpetrated against it, where hunger, poverty and misery plague the people, with thousands of deaths from suicides, from diseases, from the lack of basic necessities, with thousands of homeless people and those who eat from garbage or depend on soup kitchens to survive – all of this create the appropriate conditions for the prospect of revolution and of overthrowing a regime responsible for the crisis and all the suffering that has resulted from it.

The takeover of power and of the management of the capitalist crisis by Syriza after the elections of January 25th 2015 doesn’t essentially change anything. Despite the pre-election promises for the abolition of memorandum agreements and the trimming of the debt, the policy that the Syriza government is committed to follow is no different to that of its predecessors. This is obvious from the fact that they requested the extension of the existing bailout program, regardless of their communicative spin to rename the memorandum, or the IMF/ECB/EC troika into “institutions”. The fact is that the Syriza government has accepted both the memoranda and the debt and will sign a new memorandum-bailout program following the extension of the existing one, with all that this entails.

As a member of the Revolutionary Struggle and as a political prisoner in type C prisons, I believe that only the way of subversion and of armed popular and social revolution present a way out of the crisis and can reverse memoranda, loan agreements and erase the debt. As a member of the Revolutionary struggle and as a political prisoner in type C prisons, in the context of the combative mobilisation of political prisoners against the special “anti-terrorist” legislations, special courts and special prisons, I participate in the hunger strike since the 2nd of March, demanding:

1) The abolition of first “anti-terrorist” law of 2001, of article 187 (criminal organisation).
2) Abolition of second “anti-terrorist” law of 2004, of article 187Α (terrorist organisation).
3) Abolition of the anti-hoodie law.
4) Abolition of the law for type C prisons.
5) The release of convicted 17N member Savvas Xiros on health grounds.

Nikos Maziotis, member of the Revolutionary Struggle
Type C prison of Domokos

English translation (slightly edited here) via kraygesapotakelia

Spanish | Portuguese | French | Italian | German

Lamia, Greece: Dimitris Koufontinas suspended hunger strike

On March 27th, Dimitris Koufontinas (57 years old) suspended hunger strike, after the justice ministry put up for public consultation a prison reform bill.

However, the draft bill has not yet been submitted to parliament, nor has it been referred for voting. Thus, Kostas Gournas (34 years old) continues hunger strike, awaiting further developments around the content and enactment of the bill.

Both prisoners remain in Lamia hospital, outside of which local anarchists-antiauthoritarians have gathered in solidarity (see videos), sending strength to comrade Kostas Gournas, who is on hunger strike since March 2nd, and wishing a speedy recovery to Dimitris Koufontinas.


Below is their joint statement issued 2/3/2015.

We, Kostas Gournas and Dimitris Koufontinas, political prisoners in the type C prison of Domokos, go on hunger strike as of today Monday the 2nd of March.

We fight for the abolition of articles 187 and 187A of the Penal Code, for the abolition of the entire legislation comprising of special measures with which the Power seeks to criminalise and destroy its political opponents.

We fight for the abolition of special courts, or emergency courts-martial, this extermination factory of people who resist, with their special composition of judges, special unconstitutional laws, special unscientific and fraudulent use of evidence (e.g. DNA), and special fabrication of evidence.

We fight for the abolition of all special repressive laws against protesters and against popular mobilisations.

We demand the immediate abolition of type C prisons, which acts as a symbol of a state of exception for political prisoners and of intimidation of the society that resists.

We demand the immediate release of Savvas Xiros. The authorities, for 13 years now, have been methodically and vengefully exterminating him, resulting in irreparable damages to his health, with the index of his disability reaching 98%.

Because repression is the flip side of austerity, the struggle of the people’s movement against austerity is inseparable from the struggle against repression and particularly against a permanent state of emergency. For this reason we ask for the support of the entire struggling society.

This struggle of political prisoners, their mobilisations and hunger strike, sends a message of resistance to the Greek people: we and only we, assuming the cost of our choices, need to take our lives into our own hands, united and determined. This is our duty for our dignity, for future generations.

Hope comes only through struggle

Type C prison of Domokos
2nd of March 2015

Kostas Gournas
Dimitris Koufontinas

English translation (slightly edited here) via kraygesapotakelia

Spanish | Portuguese | French | Italian | German

Network of Imprisoned Fighters: International Call to Action for the Hunger Strikers in Greek Prisons

April 1st – International Day of Action for the Hunger Strikers in Greek Prisons

The imprisoned anarchists who participate in DAK (Network of Imprisoned Fighters) Antonis Stamboulos, Tasos Theofilou, Giorgos Karagiannidis, Dimitris Politis, Fivos Harisis, Argyris Ntalios, Andreas-Dimitris Bourzoukos, Grigoris Sarafoudis and Yannis Michailidis, the Revolutionary Struggle members Nikos Maziotis and Kostas Gournas, the 17 November (17N) member Dimitris Koufontinas, a number of political prisoners originating from Turkey, and the prisoners Giorgos Sofianidis and Mohamed-Said Elchibah are currently on hunger strike, fighting against the legal and repressive state of exception which has been established by the Greek state since the beginning of 2000.

On March 2nd 2015, we commenced a struggle together with the comrades outside the prison walls for abolition of type C maximum security prisons, abolition of the antiterrorist legislation, abolition of the hoodie law, for a fundamental change in the process of taking and identifying DNA evidence, and the release of the polytrauma patient, 17N member Savvas Xiros.

Our struggle for the fulfillment of these demands is a struggle against the very core of a state of emergency. It is a struggle against the very core of a new totalitarianism established over the past 15 years both in Greece and worldwide.

Recognizing the fact that the nexus between the plans of domination surpasses the narrow geographical boundaries of states, we call all comrades around the world to support our fight.

We call all fighters to carry out solidarity actions on April 1st, and thus send a message of revolutionary unity.

VICTORY TO THE STRUGGLE OF THE HUNGER STRIKERS
IMMEDIATE FULFILLMENT OF ALL THE DEMANDS
FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE STATE AND THE CAPITAL

DAK: Network of Imprisoned Fighters

in Greek, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, German, French, Italian, Portuguese & Turkish