Update 3 December 2007: Prison letter from Giorgos Voutsis-Vogiatzis:
Now that they’ve all shut their mouths, let’s talk about choices
“…Many of us died or were taken prisoner along the way; many others were wounded and permanently put out of action; and certain elements even let themselves slip into the background because of their lack of courage; but I believe I can say that our formation as a whole never wavered until it plunged into the very core of destruction.”
To attack the modern institutions of repression and exploitation, it takes -first of all- to refuse the mass production of consciences that this world gives birth to. Authority no more stands for a privileged technique of administration, held fast in the net of a minority elite. It is a pervasive social relationship that finds its expression in every aspect of every day life. The transmutation of social antagonism has inevitably created the necessity for the refabrication and the sophistication of the old terms of repression. This process did not appear out of the blue, nor was it simply forced by physical violence. Social relations have been shaped over the course of decades spent inside the social factory; they have plenty of their own keywords. Integration, �morality�, homogeneity, �proper citizenship�. That�s the way the bosses manufactured the managers and their supervisors, the modern class to bridge the gap that were named syndicalists as well as, of course, the obedient worker, who, having broken �at last- the chainsaws of mass production, is now able to afford his own proper handcuffs. They created volunteers to raise the vision of �Great Greece�. Unpaid submissive people who named their volontary servitute �giving back to society�. Social groups working for the maintenance of the existent repression and exploitation that now act the role of shock absorbers contributing to the global attack of the rulers.
Organisations (i.e. the N.G.O.s) created out of democracy’s need to show a humanitarian public image. Based on non-violence and charity they are busily preparing the cemeteries for tomorrow’s casualties on their battlefields of democracy. They maintain the modern work camps in the third-world countries. Factories of misery, where the slaves of economy build the glass window of western civilization, as well as the consent of the modern schizo-proletariat, transforming its class conscience into consumerist conscience.
The �proper citizens�, the armed heroes of the greek democracy constitute the modern expression of law and order. They participate actively in volunteer work in security projects, they inform the police on suspicious figures and even attack delinquents themselves. They get their little awards from the police for their achievements and feel proud. The demand for security is not an imposed convention anymore. It is a social instinct. A pervasive militarized demand for the merciless defence of property. The cops are not the only ones in uniforms. This world’s morality wears a uniform too, and has enlisted with vigor on the side of the bosses.
On 3-10-2007 I robbed the ETE (Ethniki) bank on Gyzi Street. On my way out, about 1,5 minute after the robbery and once I got on my bicycle, I noticed a passerby crossing Ragkavi Street not far from where I was (a street parallel to the one I was on), who was heading towards me. After a short dialogue and while I was still on my bicycle, this passerby turned into a �hero� and kicked my bicycle resulting to its crashing with a passing car, and me falling down, on the pavement. From that point on alarm sirens were blasting all around me…
My choice to rob a bank constitutes a point in my way to negation. Guerilla attacks to the enemy�s wealth under by acts of expropriation uphold a perpetuous choice of attack, historically consistent to the history of negation. Consistency has to move with a military step between thinking and acting. Rioters, robbers, arsonists, they are all detonators to set off the same war. The negation of work is a partial negation of the economy and its world. Wage labour is an alienated process producing inequalities, based upon one�s exploitation by another. It is the commercialization of humanity’s natural urge for creation and its integration in the social factory of alienated relations. Alienated work has its own ethics of submission. Legality, the boss-model, career.
Where do you work? How much do you earn? When do you get a day-off? Questions to inquire the subject�s social status. Alienated work manages and organizes also leisure/spare time, that is equally modified by the work status that enslaves it (weekend, holidays, days off). In reality, alienated work defines our whole existence. Our every day chat: How was work? When do you get paid? Our mood: I �m dead-tired today, not in a mood for anything, I have to wake up early in the morning. We can finally see how exactly the deep meaning of time is in great degree shaped upon the world of labor and the needs of the economy. The immaterial dimension of time takes on a material expression modified by the schedule of our every day captivity. Robbing an economic mechanism of captivity is not the only choice to realize negation to work. But even attacks against economic targets constitute a radical suggestion of organization and struggle, which jumpstarts the project for the destruction of work.
I will say it again: the negation of work constitutes a partial negation of economy and its world. For example: the expropriation of commodities (from bookstores, super markets) constitutes a kind of negation of consumption, though not a total attack on economy. Robbing a bank is a way of negating work, but is not a total attack on capitalism. If the end justify anything, it’s not the means, but the choices developed for action. The means follow the decision to act. They are dialectically related to the project. They are shaped inside it, but don�t shape it. My decision to rob the ETE bank at Gyzi was not a vindictive, fortuitous attempt based on the weapons I possessed, but a point in my way to a total negation of this world. A way with no final destination, but with many intermediate points. Many as the guns a revolutionary possesses at his arsenal. So, if there is anything we need to take back, it is personal consciousness. Or else, everything mass-based and collective is doomed to reproduce the simultaneous defeat of our consciousness, that will turn into the new defeated masses of our era.
Instead of a P.S.: The identity of a person is not defined by its surname, but by the way and the choices that are of his own. We know however that when the cameras are smashed and the informants of the lie are beaten up mercilessly a timer begins ticking, measuring a reverse reality. Those that have slandered and pillaged my “personal data” will soon find me in front of them. In any action of solidarity, I wish all mentions of my name to include both my surnames.
[Some actions of solidarity (October-November 2007):
12 October: Arson attacks against two banks at Zografou (Athens)
13 October: Arson attack against the offices of the deputy minister of education (Athens)
16 October: Arson attack against an ETE bank in the city center and a rulling party office at Evosmos (Thessaloniki)
18 October: Arson attack against an ETE bank and a rulling party office at Nea Krini (Thessaloniki)
5 November: Broken glass windows and damages at the ETE bank in Exarchia, at Eurobank on Solonos Str., and at the Union of Greek Banks, on Massalias Str. (Athens)
Giorgos will be held for up to 18 months before jury in Korydallos' Prison, Athens.]
Translator’s note: Thanks for all the help to J.M.L (http://situationist.gq.nu/), any mistakes are my fault: …for the transmission of infectious rabies – December 2007
UPDATE 3 September 2007: You can check out some news on the anarchists detained for the faliro police car attempted arson at our page on Chr. Kontorevithakis and M. Tsourapas . Giannis Dimitrakis remains emprisoned, and so is Vassilis Stergiou and Giorgos Tsolkas. Update 12/10/2007: New letter on Giannis Dimitrakis latest transfer from Korydallos prison anarchists!
ON GIANNIS DIMITRAKIS TRANSFER TO ALIKARNASSOS’ PRISON
Friends and companions, we salute you
We decided to write this letter in order to strengthen our action�s front within the prison. As well as outside, the state tries to recuperate and repress anything that steps beyond the limits of legality.
As well as outside, recuperation takes the meaning of snitching, ass-licking, an illegalist lifestyle, submission, and drugs.
As much as for repression, its expression takes the forms of beating, exits deprival, humiliations, blackmails, follow-ups, kidnap-style transfers.
These transfers form a part of the repressive planning. It is a means of dividing the prisoners aiming at their isolation and their physical and mental annihilation.
Yesterday was carried out for once more a transfer of the companion Giannis Dimitrakis from the juridicial Prisons of Korydallos to Alikarnassos� Prisons.
As a minimal gesture of solidarity, we choose today to abstain from the meal the juridicial Prison of Korydallos offers. An action that so as not to limit itself to its symbolic character, will be continued for the next days as well.
For us there is not an option of holding back our actions once within the dungeons of punishment, as there was neither outside the prisons. We maintain our self esteem, our fury and our aggressive stance as individualities.
Meanwhile, we don�t step back to expect the next prison mutiny in order to attack the treaty of captivity. It is what we clear the ground for daily. Everyday life inside the prison is also a battlefield.
Taking this route, we choose to connect with the few persons that preserve their self esteem and their dignity and to act jointly, till the destruction of every last prison.
The strength you give us every day cannot be impressed in words.
Let us leave the actions speak out loud.
ON THE MAY 6 DETAINEES
In May 6 2006, riots erupted during the European Social Forum march in Athens. For a period of three hours following a 2km route, 2500 anarchists in small groups of 4-500 attacked banks, large department stores, police cars, government buildings, the police headquarters, riot police, riot police buses as well as “Z-team” policemen (motorcycle team). They attacked the US embassy, the Hilton hotel, the Italian embassy, and the riot police guarding the house of parliament. 20 people were arrested 17 of them are charged with multiple felony charges. 3 of them were detained since then. One of those 3, Tarasios Zadorozni, anarchist immigrant from Ucraine, is on a hunger strike since 29/11, and 12 days later he was transfered to the prison hospital due to health problems. There was also an announcement from another detainee, Gerasimos Kyriakopoulos, that he is going on a hunger strike, but we cant accertaine this, because it is hard to communicate with the prisoner. The third one’s name is Kostas Katsadouros, but there is no information about him nor any communication. Update 18/12: Gerasimos is on a hunger strike since December 15. Update 17/1/2007: Added occupied techical school’s solidarity message, as well as the occupied theological faculty in Thessaloniki. NEW: THE MAY 6 DETAINEES ARE N’T UNDER DETAINTION ANY MORE, AFTER 70 DAYS OF HUNGER STRIKE (TARASIOS) AND 54 (GERASIMOS)
There is also a translation of anarchist Giannis Dimitrakis’ letter to “Pontiki” newspaper taken from http://www.325collective.com/ . Giannis Dimitrakis is an anarchist arrested in 16/1/2006 for an armed expropriation of a bank in Athens. He is since then, detained, previously in Korydalos and after 14/11/2006* in Neapoli Prisons, in Crete.
*During that week there was a pogrom against anarchist prisoners, who were violently abducted in early morning hours from their cells, in Korydallos Prisons near Athens, and transfered secretly to different prisons around Greece. Giorgos Kalaitzidis was moved to Ioannina, Nikos Kountardas in Nafplion, and Giannis Dimitrakis in Crete,(there are some cool photoes of an intervention some anarchists organised there in http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=612172#612190 ).
For info on prisoners of the greek state check out: http://www.geocities.com/anarcores/krat.html
There is also a site on the three 6 May detainees in greek language: http://www.geocities.com/may6solidarity as well as http://athens.indymedia.org
LETTERS IN ENGLISH
COMMUNIQUE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE SQUATTED POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
Today, January 13 2007, police attacked the anarchist and anti-authoritarian motorbike demo in solidarity to the three comrades arrested at the social forum on May 6 2006 in Athens. The demo was attacked by special motorbike forces (Z team) on the way back from Nikea hospital where there had been a solidarity gathering for two of the imprisoned comrades Tarasio Zadorozni and Gerasimos Kiriakopulos who are on hungerstrike. The anti riot police squads (MAT) then stormed the comrades on the ground, 42 were taken into custody at the national security police headquarters in Athens, many of them injured, and 4 of them are still being held 9 hours later. Tarasio Zadorozni and Gerasimos Kiriakopulos have been on hunger strike for 46 and 28 days respectively and were transferred from Koridalos prison to a secure unit in Nikea hospital on January 9 as their condition had deteriorated. They have been held in prison since May 6 2006 along with another demonstrator, Kostas Kachadouras, accused of rioting during the international antiwar demo of the European Social Forum in Athens.
The imprisoned demonstrators of May 6 are 3 of the thousands of people that took to the streets that day when riots erupted between the forces of repression and anarchists and young rebels and attacks were made against State and capitalist targets. The police arrested 17 demonstrators who were accused on trumped up heavy charges and 3 of them have been held in prison awaiting trial without any evidence against them (with the political consent of the traditional leftist parties and groups) so that they can be punished as an example for those who choose to resist without mediation or institutional representation. The struggle that those on hunger strike began for their freedom, using their body as a weapon, has now become the terrain where a general conflict between the State and those who fight it is being expressed.
It is about an attack in which the State, using all the repressive mechanisms of propaganda and control in its power, is attempting to isolate and eliminate anarchists and anti-authoritarians, who are the most radical part of social resistance, with the surrender of the whole of society as its final objective. Under these conditions of intensifying State terror, every action of solidarity to the imprisoned fighters has been under attack. The aim of this repression is not only to keep the 3 in prison as long as possible, it is also to eliminate the very dynamic of solidarity, self-organisation and resistance against the plans of the State and the bosses.
So, on January 12, the police attempted to prevent the solidarity demonstration that had been organised by anarchists and anti-authoritarians. The order was pronounced by the chief of police forces present, stating that he had instructions from the prosecutor, but this was subverted by the persistence of the demonstrators and finally a strong demo was held in the centre of Athens. The attack on todayʼs demonstration (January 13), with the arrests and the wounded, are the peak of this repressive violence, showing the Stateʼs intent to bury the struggle of those on hunger strike in silence, to terrorise those in solidarity and attack the development of the anarchist struggle. What has preceded todayʼs events: the arrest of an anti-authoritarian comrade outside his home following the motorbike demo to the house of the minister of justice; intensive provocation and pressure by the Z motorbike police squad on another motorbike demo to Koridalos prison on December 15; police attack on new yearʼs eve motorbike demo on its return from the prison that resulted in many comrades being taken into custody and one arrest, and on January 9 the surrounding by anti riot police squads of a radio station which had been occupied by 50 anarchists to transmit solidarity messages and news of the hunger strike.
AGAINST the attempts of the State to isolate the struggle of our imprisoned comrades who are on hunger strike behind a wall of silence
AGAINST the constant repressive attacks against anarchists and antiauthoritarians, aiming at their isolation and annihilation
AGAINST the attempt to impose social acquiescance
WE ARE TAKING OVER THE POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS AND WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF OUR 4 COMRADES BEING HELD IN THE NATIONAL SECURITY BUILDING FOLLOWING TODAYʼS ATTACK BY POLICE AGAINST THE SOLIDARITY MOTORBIKE DEMO AND THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE IMPRISONED PROTESTORS OF MAY 6 2006
By taking over this university building we are creating a place of constant counterinformation and solidarity within our city, an attempt that is operating horizontally and against all hierarchy, on the basis of the occupiersʼ general assembly. No repressive action will extinguish our solidarity to our imprisoned comrades, or prevent the social struggle for liberation from the chains of Authority
THE PASSION FOR FREEDOM IS STRONGER THAN ANY PRISON CELL
SOLIDARITY TO THE HUNGERSTRIKERS TARASIO ZADOROZNI (SINCE NOV 29 2006) AND GERASIMOS KIRIAKOPULOS (SINCE DECEMBER 15 2006)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE 3 IMPRISONED PROTESTORS OF MAY 6
THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF OUR 4 COMRADES WHO ARE BEING HELD IN THE NATIONAL SECURITY BUILDING FOLLOWING TODAYʼS ATTACK BY POLICE AGAINST THE SOLIDARITY MOTORBIKE DEMO
SOLIDARITY TO ALL IMPRISONED AND ACCUSED SOCIAL FIGHTERS
FREEDOM TO ALL THOSE IN PRISON CELLS
SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON!
Assembly of the occupied Polytechnic University January 13 2007, 7pm.
Ps. At the moment of writing the four arrested have been set free, one of whom with serious chest and back wounds, and many stitches in the head.
STATEMENT OF THE SOLIDARITY OCCUPATION AT THE THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL OF THESSALONIKI
Today, Wednesday January 17th, anarchists, antiauthoritarians and comrades in solidarity, haven occupied the theological school of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in solidarity with the hunger strikers T. Zadorozni (since 29/11) and Y. Kiriakopulos (since 15/12). The occupation will act as a counter-information and action center, aiming the immediate release of the 3 imprisoned demonstrators during the clashes at the European Social Forum in Athens on May 6th in Athens.
That day, hundreds of anarchists, antiauthoritarians and rebel youth clashed for hours with the cops and attacked banks, embassies and luxury stores. On 6th May the social anti-violence justice is kept alive and also the denial of the systemic Left which conciliates with the state and capital. 17 arrests take place and 3 of them (T. Zadorozni, Y. Kiriakopulos and K. Katsaduros) are still incarcerated, due to falsified copsʼ statements. This moment their hunger strike is critical. Tarasio Zadorozni is on his 50th day of hunger strike and already they face serious health problems, capable of causing irrecoverable damage. G. Kiriakopulos has already suffered spleen and kidney rupture.
The struggle for their liberation is taking place at a point when the states, globally, upgrade their legal and suppressive arsenal, enact (anti)terrorist decrees, promote fear systematically and tighten social control. The greek state also promotes the suppression or deterrence of social resistance. For this reason, the struggle of the hunger strikers is directly related with the struggle for social and individual liberation.
We don’t intend to negotiate their health and their existence. WE DEMAND their immediate release.
OPEN ASSEMBLY 7 pm daily
The assembly of the theological school occupation
GERASIMOS KYRIAKOPOULOS ON HUNGER STRIKE (since December 7)
My name is Gerasimos Kyriakopoulos. I am detained in the Prisons of Korydallos, accused for the episodes of May 6 during the 4th European Social Forum. A few things for my affair have as follows: The afternoon of May 6 in the Thiseio area, where there were no riots, six police officers of M.A.T. squad made six blind and unjustified arrests, one from which was my own. Once being arrested with no obvious reason, I thought they were just doing some simple suspect presentations, aware of the situation created that day. However, as you understand, as I am writing to you this letter, finally the things were not like that at all.
Thus, later, taking me to the G.A.D.A. police building, with no evidence, without any proof, the police officers passed me a paper to sign, with an awful lot of accusations. Of course, the police in order to support theese accusations have testified in their six similar reports that the arrestations did not take part in the Thiseio area, but in the Monastiraki square, where there indeed were riots, presenting us as a team that attacked them. Thus without any genuine clue, taking us later on to the interrogative process, they attributed to me some severe accusations as homicide attemptings and also supply and possession of 50 explosive bombs and without being suspect of escape or having a background in such similar situations (how coud I, anyway?) they ordered my detaintion.
Thus I find myself detained in the Korydallos Prisons, without any ecidence, facing severe accusations. Continuously, all appeals I submitted were rejected extending my imprisonment without any genuine evidence. Thus I am puzzled and I wonder how could I ever, being simply one person, prove – having no proof but my words for what I have lived – the opposite towards six untruth accusations made by the police. I think I can not.
So, being desperated and having no other way to stand up to all these theese untruth accusations that they attributed to me, and also aware – despite the serious health problems I face (as rupture of kidney and rupture of spleen) – of the fact that what I am going to do may cost my life, I will go on a hunger strike protesting against the false accusations they attributed to me, and also demanding to be set free directly until my case’s trial.
TARASIOS ZADOROZNI ON HUNGER STRIKE (since November 29)
Imprisoned behind the bars and cement walls, after six and a half months of captivity, in the juridicial prisons of Korydallos, I come to realise that all they can do is to emprison my body. Everything else that is genuine and free, I have succeeded to maintain intact.
I am found in place of captivity to the state, because I decided to participate in a march of protest, because the system searched to find expiatory victims in order to promote the spectacle of control and justice. The system’s decay was obvious in all its greatness since all previously existing inaccuracies and inconherences in the cops’ statements were later on extinct when forced to modify before taking them to the interrogator. Of course these changes in combination with other excuses that offered the interrogator as objective had no other than to take back my case so as to influence the six-monthly council on its decision and to decided my further detaintion. How indeed could this decision be valid whether they did n’t use methods of manipulation and distortion of the clues, since there is no real case against me.
Excluded from all the possible choices, led to a no-way out rout, disgusted with continuing unfairness against me, I continue my struggle with all means i have left.
If they believe that putting me to jail, can extinguish my passion for freedom they are laughed. In a attempt to accentuate the contradictions of this decadent system and to show its totalitarian character I will stop giving them the right to rule my body. Since it is the unique thing that they keep in their hands I will turn it in a form of struggle against them, aiming at my release.
Thus I go on a hunger strike from Wednesday 29th of November and demand my direct and unconditional release of me and my codefendants, the withdrawl of categories and ceasing of our case. I will not leave them use freedom as a tool in their legal and political games. However my fight will be hard and it will need the support and solidarity of persons out there who interest to support my struggle.
Consciences are not ruled, nor jailed, nor guided.
Tarasios Zadorozni, “Γ” wing Juridicial Prisons of Korydallos
Appeal for solidarity from Greek anarchist prisoners
Athens, Greece – Gerasimos Kyriakopoulos and Kostas Katsadouros are in prison from 6 of May. They are anarchists that were arrested after the riots at the European Social Forum. They are 2 of the 4 people still detained after the disturbances. Another young man, 17 years old, was released after some weeks in the cells, and is continuing the anarchist political activities.
For communication with the imprisoned comrades:
Dikastikes fulakes korudallou
The specific prisoner support group (in Greece) working for these 2 men have had problems communicating with the prisoners. They don’t know if the prisoners get letters, but it is needed to show international interest and apply pressure on the guards. Please send them letters, postcards and take actions in solidarity! More information coming soon, there is also a demonstration in Greece being planned in support.
May 6, Athens, Greece – Riots erupted during the European Social Forum march in Athens. For a period of three hours following a 2km route, 2500 anarchists in small groups of 4-500 attacked banks, large department stores, police cars, government buildings, the police headquarters, riot police, riot police buses as well as “Z-team” policemen (motorcycle team). They attacked the US embassy, the Hilton hotel, the Italian embassy, and the riot police guarding the house of parliament. 20 people were arrested 17 of them are charged with multiple felony charges.
A LETTER FROM ANARCHIST GIANNIS DIMITRAKIS PUBLICED IN “PONTIKI” NEWSPARER>
Letter from Anarchist Giannis Dimitrakis, from Koridallos prison, Greece
On the afternoon of 16/1/06 an armed robbery took place at the national bank of Greece in the centre of Athens. After an exchange of fire with 2 cops from a special unit, one of the participators Yannis Dimitrakis, was seriously injured when shot by the cops 3 times at several parts of his body. The other 4 participators managed to get away from the scene with about 50,000 euro with one of them being slightly injured too. Yannis, who openly admitted that he is an anarchist, stayed in different hospitals for a few months till he recovered, then he was sent to Korydallos prison of Athens. In another parody of the Greek justice system Yannis was charged with 7 robberies! Also he was charged with numerous counts of attempted murder, topped with the anti-terror law! Its not the first time that a fixed charge is given towards anarchists in Greece. This is the letter he sent from prison on the 23rd of June where he explains a lot about what happened in the meantime and his personal position on the robbery.
This letter is my first attempt to communicate and comment on the events that took place and I experienced due to my participation in the bank robbery of the National Bank of Greece that took place in the centre of Athens on January 16th. Before I go on to enlarge upon the actual events, I’d like to say a few things in regards to my motives that lay behind my choice in taking such action and what it means to me.
For me, present-day society is a wagon following a pre-defined course that leads straight towards its complete dehumanization. The role of its passengers, its wheels and its horses- in other words of its driving force- is played out by ourselves, the people. The wagon’s driver has the cruel face of capitalism and its co-driver is a faceless and vague state. The path the wagon follows is of course not strewn with rose petals and flowers but with blood and human bodies. With individuals or groups of people that wanted to either resist and change its frantic course or to stand as an obstacle in front of it. The list of those is long: insubordinates, rebels, leftists, anti-authoritarians and anarchists fill many bloody pages in this journey’s storybook. Somewhere in between the last two groups is where I place myself.
So, to the degree of consciousness that my world-view and perception offers me, what I can easily discern is that present-day society relies only on violence, oppression and exploitation. A society which aims at the loss of human dignity in every way, by all means. This is something that is experienced and received by each and every one of us in their everyday life, either by being forced to deal with state institutions either at our work-place and from those who manage and profit from our work. Employment, work: words whose true meaning is wage slavery, enslavement. Work and its surplus-value are the pillars of today’s economic system while the individuals that carry it through and the circumstances under which this takes place confirms that people are treated as expendable goods, as modern slaves. We see workers that are rotting away from illnesses that are due to their long-term exposure to hazardous substances, that die either by fall or by explosion in the capitalist temples they are building, losing their urge, their liveliness, their spontaneity all that characterizes a would-be free person. Working exhausting hours and employed in two or three jobs simultaneously just for a few crumbs. When to cover their most basic needs a person is obliged to mortgage to those cold-hearted oppressors that are otherwise known as banks and under the burden of this financial responsibility start showing signs of subservience and submission whereas in the case that they cannot in the end cope and are led to bankruptcy and in the end commit suicide or are publicly ridiculed by the mass media as one more human wreckage, leads us to one conclusion.
The state and capital in order to continue existing manufacture modern-day helots who can easily be compared to the Spartan ones. A system which at the alter of profit sacrifices human lives inconsiderably and with audacity. As I’ve already mentioned one of the main partners in this crime are banks which are nothing less than legitimate loan-sharks and are partly to blame for the plundering that’s taking place at the expense of peoples’ work.
Taking all the above into consideration we can understand Maki in Brecht’s … When he asks ‘what is a bank robbery compared to the establishment of a bank?’ But also taking me into consideration who wanting to resist on a personal level- as on a mass level all that know me personally know that I have participated as much as I could- to my future yoke, to determine myself the conditions and quality of my life, to put in to practice my refusal to ‘work’ and also to play the role of yet another productive unit, of yet another wheel in the wagon, wanting to attack the monstrosity that is called a bank (however at the same time having no illusions that I’ll inflict any major blows to this economic institution), choosing to mark a course of dignity in my life I decided to rob a bank. An act which I consider, amongst many others, as revolutionary and which claims deservingly its own place as such.
In all honesty I must admit that the money I was going to acquire through the robbery was going to have me as the end-recipient. At the same time, however, as an anarchist and as a person who wishes to show their solidarity through deeds I’d be one of the first to actively and with joy help in contributing to monetary needs, which might come up in this scene which I belong. Finally, what I’d like to point out here is that all which I have mentioned up to now does not in any way mean that I support a notion that whoever is an anarchist should be a bank robber or that whoever works is enslaved.
Going on now to recount the chain of events that took place, I take as a starting point the scene where I’m lying on the ground seriously injured by the cops’ fire and I have to let myself be taken into the states’ ‘warm’ embrace. The welcoming is to, say the least, impressive as an image, as most people saw, but also exemplary towards anyone who is considering acting in a similar way: A pack of hunters in blue uniforms and me in the role of the injured game being surrounded and receiving ‘friendly’ kicks- which later I found out where part of the framework to disarm me- and comments like ‘we fucked you’ or ‘you’re not such a big shot now, you fucker?!’ amongst other brave words. Finally, being handcuffed from behind despite the fact that I couldn’t move or breathe having received bullets in my lungs, liver and elbow completes the picture. I refer to these events without the slightest trace of bitterness, complaining or disappointment, as I didn’t expect any better treatment from my enemies in the case that I did fall into their hands. In any case, a similar attitude has been displayed to less ‘dangerous’ villains and as a mere example I’ d like to remind you of images such as the arrest of protesters and immigrants or the pogroms at gypsy camps just to name a few. I do refer to these events, however, as, in a tragic and insane way, these are the people who at my trial will come forward as the ones who defend and honor human life and dignity, while I’ll have the role of the immoral, hardened, violent and heartless criminal.
For the time that I was kept at Athens General Hospital I literally experienced the violation of every human right as an arrestee and later as a prisoner. There were early signs regarding how I was going to be treated when at my parents first visit to see me at the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). While there are very strict rules about the number of visitors- even in the case of relatives- an armed to the teeth police officer barges in and places himself in a corner which as a consequence destroyed any concept of at least sharing a private moment with my family, as from the drug-treatment I was receiving I couldn’t even open my mouth, much less hold a conversation. Following this incident and at an unsuspected time, while in a hazy condition from the heavy drug treatment I was undertaking due to the pains I had from my wounds and swimming in a sea of tubes that were coming out of my body, I realized that a guard was now permanently positioned inside the room and right next to me. This situation really irritated me and didn’t allow me to rest and I made it known to him. Strangely enough he then left the room and instead stood right in front of it. Of course when the doctors and the head of the ICU came to examine me I reported this incident and truly astounded and irritated by the event they got rid of the cop, wondering who had let him in.
Here, a big thank you needs to be given from my behalf to all those people, from the doctors to the nurses, who paid me attention and who irrelevant of their own political beliefs took care of me as best as they could. Some of these people also resisted as much as they could to the different pressures put on them by the prosecuting authorities, either in regards to my guarding or my transport and exit from the ICU.
On the third or fourth day of my hospital treatment I was informed that prosecutor Diotis was coming to see me later that afternoon. I must confess that to start with I wasn’t sure whether in my condition I would be up to facing him. The head of the ICU, however, assured me that he would be by my side for the duration of the interrogation and made it known to me that due to my condition I had a right to stop the process at whatever moment, something that I was unaware of. So when Diotis arrived escorted by a security police chief and another person whose official role I can’t remember, but was probably the interrogator, and as soon as each of them had spoken to me to me for a couple of minutes I signaled to my doctor that I wanted them to leave. On his way out Diotis told me that in any case they were going to find who else was with me and that to talk now would just make it easier for me. Of course his words fell on deaf ears. The second time he came I was given a chance to understand who Diotis really is when in a lively exchange of words with the head of the ICU a very strange phrase slipped his mouth. Having finished his monologue and having delivered me the arrest warrant and the list of accusations I was facing he asks me to sign. My doctor immediately intervenes and explains to him that I am incapable of doing such a thing at the moment and asks him to leave as my strength was deserting me. Then Diotis, to both our surprise, answers: ‘ Of course I respect the boy’s condition and I don’t intend to give him a hard time, because if I did I could just pull on his tubes a little and put his pressure up to 50′. I realized at that moment what would have happened in that room if the doctors weren’t people with willpower and values but simply pawns. I would have, no doubt, discovered the ‘famous’ interrogation methods that prosecutor Diotis has used in the past.
After this incident the conditions of my detention really worsened. Two armed guards were permanently placed inside the ICU and pressures were put on the head of the department for me to be admitted out earlier, which was achieved. I was then transferred to an especially laid out room in the Eye Clinic with the excuse that they would be able to guard me more efficiently. In this new space in which I was placed I was sleeping with two undercover cops by my side. Another two cops were permanently stationed in front of the open door of the room while one character kept trooping in and out every half hour to check up on things, another 5-6 cops were in the waiting room and an unknown number of individuals in the corridor outside.
The result of all this was for me not to able to sleep for 3-4 days and to feel like a monkey in the zoo as every jumped-up cop came in looking at me up and down and discussing me on his mobile phone or with his collegues. I was at the end of my tether and so made a complaint to the head of security about it all who replied that I was a prisoner now and that they’ll be the ones to judge how I should be guarded and that they’re protecting me from myself meaning, if you can believe, that they were watching over me so I didn’t commit suicide. Other amazing scenes that took place included me, still bed-ridden, relieving myself in front of them while they watched undisturbed, or me being handcuffed to the bed inside the ICU, again with the excuse of preventing me from committing suicide and other such incidents. Like the attempt to kidnap me from the Eye Clinic and to transport me to the hospital at Korydallos prisons while I still had stitches in from the surgical incisions, falsely claiming that the doctors had given their permission and which in the end was, for the time being, avoided due to my parents notifying the doctors.
I believe the sole purpose of all this was to humiliate me, to make me lose all sense of self-respect and to generally make me realize the fact that I was a captive in their hands and I no longer had any rights. These situations drove me to think of the hospital and prisons at Korydallos as a haven of mental tranquility.
In the mean time, while I was waiting to be transferred to Korydallos prisons, we all saw an orchestrated attempt by the prosecuting authorities to manufacture culprits with their only indication being that they belonged to my friendly environment or to the anarchist scene. I am now sure that the taking in of people to be interrogated, the making public of names and the issuing of arrest warrants were triggered by the police finding some of my personal photos, calls to and from my mobile or whatever document proved I had a friendly relationship with these individuals. I want to express my solidarity to all of them.
According to the police and journalist scenarios we form an, unknown at least to me, ‘gang in black’ which consists of 10-15 individuals, anti-authoritarians and anarchists (which leaves open an option of the authorities involving other individuals) and this gang has committed another 6 bank robberies, goes on holidays in expensive resorts, has close ties to Passaris and so on. As far as the money that had been gathered by various comrades to cover needs of the anarchist scene and which I kept in a bank deposit box, it was labeled as the product of robberies.
As an outcome of all the above, I ended up defending myself in front of the interrogator for 7 bank robberies, for attempted homicide and for money laundering plus being put under the anti-terrorist law.
That the state and its underdogs have as a standard tactic for years now to tarnish peoples’ reputation, to inflate briefs, to manufacture culprits, to organize trials that are judicial parodies and generally in all kinds of ways to demonstrate their hate and vengefulness towards whoever resists is well known. One question however forms when taking into serious consideration all the above. What kind of treatment and what kind of methods will the state use in the case of the arrest or voluntary coming forward of the three comrades in order to get a confession out of them and to send them to trial but also how will a ‘fair trial’ be secured for whoever goes through with this procedure?
Finally I have one thing to say to all those who are planning our physical, ethical and political annihilation, once and for all: no matter what dirty and unethical means they use, no matter how much they hunt us down and imprison us they will never crush us and tame us. Because those who are just are those who revolt not those who snitch and bow their heads down.
I also want to say a big thank you to all those who have chosen, chose or will chose to give me their support and solidarity, by whatever means, even though the nature of my case is, I believe, very difficult.
Korydallos Prisons, 5 June 2006
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