Statement to the Judges of the Juvenile Court by Theofilos Mavropoulos (Greece)
via This Is Our Job
On September 23, anarchist comrade Theofilos Mavropoulos and five others appeared in juvenile court on charges stemming from damage caused during a 2007 school occupation. The following was his statement to the judges. Recall that Mavropoulos is also facing two counts of attempted homicide, among other charges, for his alleged role in a shootout with the pigs on May 18 in the Athens neighborhood of Pefki.
“In addition, these whorehouses called schools only offer us sterilized knowledge. Therefore, when we go to classes now, all we think about is how to vandalize them. Plus, what do we have to get excited about? Which of this society’s values can we embrace? Let’s say it very clearly: we are not nor will we ever be those good little children our parents and teachers want to turn us into. Along with teachers and professors, we also hate our classmates—the ones who always kiss ass to get a good grade, the ones who shun every idiosyncrasy and isolate the shy and the strange.”
—Excerpted from the claim of responsibility for the attack by the Circle of Delinquents
Therefore, sabotage is now the last word. Sabotage against the schools, against the universities. Sabotage against the very institution of justice, the prisons, the police, the army. Sabotage against the everyday rottenness of authoritarian relationships. The creation of anarchy follows the deconstruction of the present social fabric.
Beginning thus with the institution of learning, society concerns itself with transmitting its values to its newest members. Discipline, obedience to those who possess authority, uniformity, the democratic view with its corresponding ethic: these are the indispensable requirements for being a good citizen. The strictly scheduled class hours and strictly scheduled breaks make even a minor, chance deviation from the schedule (for example, a sick teacher) seem like the day’s most wonderful surprise. Day-to-day misery behind the desks tests the patience of every student.
Teachers and administrators with their fascist or democratic mentalities attempt to impose order and hierarchy, each in their particular pedagogic-grotesque way. However, responsibility for the proper functioning of schools also belongs to those students who fulfill the duties of the absent through their conformity, and all those who obediently lower their heads on the orders of their superiors. Nor can one excuse the human garbage that satisfies its vanity by being elected to the 15-member school councils.
For all of them then, the shortsighted who “innocently” ask why those who don’t want to live under the yoke of institutionalized education don’t just decide to go away somewhere, the answer is very simple: the putrefied world of power cannot coexist with a decentralized society in which there is no power. Real freedom isn’t limited by the framework of legality and democratic rights. And as far as rebellious members of institutionalized education are concerned, their role is none other than to sabotage it. Therefore, I also take responsibility for having participated in the school occupation in question. I am in agreement with every bit of vandalism done and being done in any school.
Certainly, reality is always chaotic. No system is perfect whenever it is affected by incalculable external factors. Thus, deviant behavior also manifests itself in school, along with unruly students, teachers who don’t do their jobs well, heroes as well as antiheroes. When these phenomena are sifted into the broadest framework—that of society—they become nothing other than crime and the fight against it. Gangsterism and crime naturally can’t be defended unless they develop the appropriate political characteristics. Otherwise, they would be nothing more than the other side of the same coin—that of society. And capitalism has shown just how well it can assimilate such cases.
Therefore, as a revolutionary and an anarchist then and now, I don’t regret for a single moment my decisions against the regime. At the same time, I haven’t stopped evolving, on the level of theory as well as my practice. From stones to bullets, and from conscious revolutionary illegalism to my captivity in the hands of the state. It’s with these decisions and experiences that I fill my personal voyage of wild and fascinating involvement in revolution. A voyage that continues to this very day, as a political prisoner.
Because that’s exactly the revolutionary evolution I propose and support as a choice for all revolutionary beings. Everything evolves, but any stagnant viewpoint or practice becomes dogma. Whoever allows their point of view to become stale and calcified, no matter how much progress they’ve already made, will in every instance be buried by their own contradictions.
Wars are won by the cleverest, the strongest, the most capable of adapting. Surprise ruptures in social space-time leave the enemy camp materially, ethically, and ideologically paralyzed, regardless of its potential superiority. Against it, all we have to offer are our weapons. What we want and what we will do is to launch furious attacks against this society’s structures and values, arming our consciences to steal our own freedom. Revolution first and always.
—Theofilos Mavropoulos, political prisoner, A Wing, Korydallos Prison
This entry was posted on Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 at 6:50 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.