Political Statement of Nikos Maziotis in the Special Court at Korydallos Prison (Greece)
Note: This statement was signed October 2012, but it was read to the court by Maziotis’ lawyer in January 2013, while Nikos Maziotis and Pola Roupa, both admitted members of Revolutionary Struggle, were underground. Both remain fugitives today.
translation by This Is Our Job:
I authorize my defense attorney Dafni Vagianou, who represents me, to read the following text during the upcoming phase requesting the statements of the defendants in the special court at Korydallos Prison chosen for the trial of the case of the Revolutionary Struggle organization, of which I am a member.
Revolutionaries and armed fighters do not apologize. Instead, when they come before a court of the class enemy, like yours, they defend their actions by assuming political responsibility, taking pride in that responsibility, and defying the consequences.
In all these years of my history as an anarchist, I have faced a long list of prosecutions for my actions. I have already spent five years in the prisons of the Greek state. I have been arrested and tried for refusing to comply with service in the armed forces of the Greek state; for my participation in occupations, like the occupation of ASOEE1 in August 1994 and that of the Polytechnic in November 1995; as well as for the placement of a bomb at the Development Ministry in December 1997 and for possession of weapons and explosives. In the last case specifically—the 1997 bombing at the Development Ministry—I assumed political and criminal responsibility for the attack as well as for weapons and explosives possession, and I was thus the first fighter during the transition to assume responsibility for an urban guerrilla action in Greece.
My history as a fighter is interwoven with actions against capital and the state using all means. From my participation in social struggles, protests, occupations, solidarity movements, and violent conflicts with the police, to armed struggle. Some examples: participation in the January 1990 occupation of the Polytechnic by anarchists and young people after the acquittal of the homicidal pig Melistas, who murdered Kaltezas on November 17, 1985;2 participation in the clashes of thousands of people—youths and anarchists—with the police during the Polytechnic occupation of January 10–11, 1991 after the murder of teacher Nikos Temboneras in Patras by parastate forces attached to the ruling ND3 government, which was attempting to put an end to the student occupations; participation in the August 1994 occupation of ASOEE as an act of solidarity with political prisoners; participation in the November 1995 Polytechnic revolt as an act of solidarity with anarchist prisoners and insurrectionary prisoners in Korydallos Prison; participation in movements of solidarity with the residents of towns in northeast Halkidiki in 1997, who were struggling against the intrusion of Canadian multinational gold mining corporation TVX Gold on their lands (it was in the context of this struggle that I carried out the December 1997 bombing of the Development Ministry); participation in protests in Athens during the spring of 2003, which were held in opposition to the invasion of Iraq in the context of the war on “terrorism”; participation in the June 2003 conflicts in Thessaloniki that marked the occasion of the summit meeting of the leaders of the EU, in which thousands of anarchists and young people took part.
In all the prosecutions I’ve been subjected to over the years, never have I denied my participation in the actions that gave rise to those prosecutions. Instead, I always assumed responsibility for my participation. Never have I disowned my actions against the enemy—in other words, in court. Never have I feared the cost of prison. As a fighter and as a revolutionary I was and am always consistent. In front of you and the criminal system you serve, being guilty is a badge of honor. Thus, the charge of my participation in Revolutionary Struggle is the highest existing honorary title for me.
As an anarchist politicized by many years of action, my participation in the Revolutionary Struggle armed organization was and still is the result of a political maturation and a militancy at the highest level of consistent political responsibility. As a member of Revolutionary Struggle, I defended the actions of the organization I belong to from the very first moment of my arrest in April 2010. I defended them in the memory and honor of our comrade Lambros Fountas, a member of our organization who gave his life for the struggle and the revolution.
During your trial, up until the moment I went underground, I defended all of the organization’s actions. Any other position would have been a betrayal and condemnation of the struggle. During this trial the members of Revolutionary Struggle have given political lessons on the meaning of political responsibility and the significance of defending political action. Political responsibility means accepting our participation in the organization we belong to, political responsibility means defending the political organization we belong to, and political responsibility means defending the political actions of the organization we belong to. Revolutionaries and armed fighters, apart from assuming political responsibility, also assume personal criminal responsibility by not giving the enemy any other information about who participated or not in the organization’s actions. Revolutionaries do not speak with the enemy—whether pigs, judges, or prosecutors—about such things.
From the beginning of our arrests through the entire period of preventive detention, we knew that our position—the obvious choice to assume political responsibility—would have costs and consequences. More than anyone, comrade Roupa in particular gave lessons in dignity, combativeness, political consistency, and responsibility, considering that she was arrested while pregnant, gave birth in prison, nursed our son in prison, and defended and continues to defend the organization’s actions. Simultaneously, she fought for the improvement of the miserable conditions inside prison for our son and the rest of the prisoners. Our position is something we owe partly to ourselves, to comrade Lambros Fountas, to the people, to revolutionaries, to everyone—even to our son, whom we named Lambros-Victor in honor of our comrade. Apart from everything else, struggles are also undertaken for children, for new generations, so that they will know a better world than the one you represent.
To us, your trial represented a political step toward the condemnation of the regime you serve as judges—capitalism and the state. At the moment, neither we nor the people have the force of arms to impose the rights of equality and freedom on you, to sweep you from your positions as servants of the rich and the capitalists, to overthrow the power of capital and the state. Such things can only be accomplished by an armed revolutionary society—by the people armed—and you can be certain that you will then give us the reasons, that you will then be obligated to apologize and explain why you chose to be mercenaries of the capitalists and the rich.
I’m going to say a few words to honor Lambros Fountas, our comrade member of the organization who died during a shootout with the state’s dogs in Dafni on March 10, 2010 while preparing for an action by our organization. Uniting the past with the present while prefiguring the future, I will translate the words of a revolutionary—Spanish anarchist guerrilla Ramon Vila Capdevila, who died in a shootout with the Spanish Civil Guard in 1963 after a successful sabotage, concluding 35 years of restless struggle against capitalism and the state, whether in the form of parliamentary “democracy” or the dictatorship of Franco:
I know that today or tomorrow I will fall. Struggles like ours require sacrifices. You cannot believe that you will save your life. If you survive, you are lucky. If you die, it is nothing more than a debt to be paid. So far, death has respected me. If it comes, here or there, it doesn’t matter to me.
These words are appropriate for all the revolutionaries who fell while fighting, weapon in hand, for a better humanity. They are appropriate for all those who fell in the struggle. They are appropriate for Christos Kassimis, a member of the 20 October4 organization during the era of the junta and of Popular Revolutionary Struggle5 during the transition, who died in a shootout in Renti in 1977 during an action in solidarity with the RAF members murdered in Stammheim Prison at that time. For Christos Tsoutsouvis, a member of Antistate Struggle6 who died in a shootout in Gyzi, taking three police officers to the grave with him. They are appropriate for anarchist Christoforos Marinos,7 who died on the ship Pegasus in Piraeus in 1996, surrounded by police. These words are appropriate for those who, in different eras and in other circumstances, like the ELAS8 guerrillas and the Democratic Army,9 died in combat or were executed by the conquerors or their Greek collaborationists—collaborationists and traitors to the people. They are appropriate for the Spanish anarchist fighters who gave their lives not only in the struggle against the Franco dictatorship, but also against capitalism’s “democratic” variation. They are appropriate for the anarchists around the world who died in combat, for those who were executed or sent to the gallows of the state’s executioners, condemned by all states and regimes of domination everywhere—bourgeois, fascist, Stalinist, monarchist, or democratic. They are appropriate for the revolutionary members of the Red Brigades, RAF, 2 June, Revolutionary Cells, GRAPO, and Tupamaros guerrilla organizations who died in shootouts with the state’s dogs, were murdered in prison, or died on hunger strike. For the comrade prisoners from the RAF who were murdered in Stammheim Prison in 1977; for the comrades from the Red Brigades, like Mara Cagol and Walter Alasia, as well as those from the Genoa Column who died while fighting the Carabinieri in 1980. For the members of the Túpac Amaru who died during the occupation of the Japanese Embassy in December 1997 while demanding the release of their comrades; for the members of the revolutionary organizations in Turkey who died on hunger strike in 2000. For Action Directe member Joëlle Aubron, who lost her life shortly after her release, having spent 17 years in French prisons for her revolutionary actions. For all those who fell in prison after a lengthy captivity yet remained unapologetic and firm in their choices and their militancy regarding armed revolutionary struggle. For all those who didn’t deny, didn’t renounce, didn’t play the role of innocents, and stayed loyal to the struggle until death.
Lambros Fountas is not dead to us. He lives on in the struggles, in our blood, in the air we breathe. Lambros Fountas will endure in history as a fighter who gave his life in the struggle for freedom, who gave his life to halt the advance of the modern fascism of capital and the state—the current fascism of the international economic elite—and to stop the implementation of the measures of the 2010 memorandum. He gave his life for the people, the revolution, and social liberation. Lambros Fountas will endure in history alongside all those revolutionaries, all those countless people whom—as time passes—I don’t know how to define, all those who fought for freedom. Because, as communist writer Panait Istrati said:10
In my eyes, a fighter can only be one who subordinates his personal interests to the interests of a better humanity to come. I believe in this humanity. It exists today just like the sun exists at night.
This trial, or rather the ones who judge us using your means—by means of this trial—are criminals, thieves, and murderers. They are traitors to the Greek people, and you as judges are collaborators with these traitors, with these contemporary collaborationists. Your trial judges us in the name of the country’s criminals, the international economic elite, and the banks, all for the benefit of the IMF, the ECB, the EU, and the actual collaborationists—in other words, the Greek state and the states that obey the orders of the international economic elite.
Our arrest temporally coincided with the subjugation of the Greek people to the power and the occupation of the IMF/ECB/EU troika. The then government of G. Papandreou, which methodically manipulated and signed the memorandum in May 2010, will go down in history as a government of collaborationists, like those of Tsolakoglou and Rallis11 during the occupation. And of course, the subsequent governments of Papademos and Samaras will go down in history as traitors to the Greek people, as perpetuators of the liquidation of the people to satisfy the international economic elite. A government official commenting on our arrests stated that “a sizable terrorist attack would be capable of ruining the economy,” thus lending greater political importance to our arrests and actually revealing the essence of Revolutionary Struggle’s political actions and the danger they represented to the regime—revealing that we are political enemies of the existing regime.
In reality, these were our plans as a revolutionary organization: to fight forcefully against the measures of the memoranda, to fight against the current fascists in government, to attack the economically powerful, to create conditions of insecurity and political instability during the drafting of the memorandum—in other words, to impede and restrict the robbery and plunder of the Greek people as much as we could.
As we said at the beginning of these proceedings on October 2011, the course of this trial will coincide with the expected bankruptcy of the Greek state—the first bankruptcy of a eurozone state. Political and social developments themselves have confirmed everything we said, have proven Revolutionary Struggle correct, and have demonstrated that it is more imperative than ever for people to take up arms and overthrow the inhuman and vile regime they serve. Armed social revolution is now more urgent and necessary. The real defendants in this trial are those who constitute the economic oligarchy—the board of directors of a truly criminal organization—while you judges and dogs of the state, police and “praetorians” of the regime, are simple administrative agents and members of this criminal organization.
You and your trial are nothing more than servants of the rich, your “justice” is classist, you kiss the asses of the rich and condemn the poor, and your trial serves the creditors of the Greek state—those who are seizing control of the Greek people by way of the troika. And those creditors are none other than the international banks and the colossi of the international economic elite, which possess most of the world’s wealth. French banks like BNP Paribas, Société Générale, and Crédit Agricole; German banks like Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Postbank, Commerzbank, and Hypo Real Estate; British banks like Barclays and HSBC; Dutch banks like Fortis, ING, and Dexia; and American banks like Citibank and J.P. Morgan were in possession of 80% of the Greek debt and were the holders of Greek state bonds, while Greek banks like the National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank, ATEbank, Piraeus Bank, Marfin Bank, and TT Hellenic Postbank held the remaining 20% of the Greek debt. The 2010 memorandum was signed for their benefit. You judge us for the benefit of these usurers, plunderers, and thieves. You judge us for the benefit of the ECB, which has repurchased the bonds held by all these thieves that are part of the international economic elite. They all constitute the current occupation forces. They are the modern conquerors, feudal lords, and contemporary slaveholders. Meanwhile, the Greek people are the present-day vassals, and thanks to the memorandum signed in May 2010 they will find themselves under the yoke for many years, paying with their sweat, their salaries, and their pensions; paying off the loan debt of the domestic sociopolitical establishment—in other words, the Greek governments and the country’s ruling classes, banks, big corporations, and the rest of the sharks—with their blood and their lives
The real powers, the real masters, aren’t any of the Greek state’s governments—neither the government of Papandreou, which signed the memorandum in 2010; nor the subsequent government of Papademos, the former number two at the ECB; nor even the current tripartite government of Samaras. The real power is held by each managing director of the IMF, like former managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and current managing director Christine Lagarde; by Olli Ilmari Rehn; by former ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet; by Jean-Claude Juncker; by current ECB president Mario Draghi and his delegates in Greece; by Poul Thomsen from the IMF; by Servaas Deroose and Matthias Mors from the EC; by Bob Traa, the sole IMF representative in Greece; and by Horst Reichenbach, the head of the task force. These are the real masters of the country, these are your bosses, and each government obeys their orders. This is the democratic regime you serve. The real criminals, which you serve as judges, are capitalism and the state, which steal and plunder public social wealth; rob the people and the workers; steal salaries and pensions; levy more and more taxes on the people; deprive them of the most basic necessities of life; deprive them of health and education; and—when not depriving them of life through so-called “workplace accidents,” poor working conditions, shortages at pubic hospitals, and illnesses due to epidemics and the industrial lifestyle—condemn them to the depression, poverty, and marginality of permanent unemployment.
The criminals are the state and the governments you serve—a structured, organized criminal organization. The mechanism you serve terrorizes and imposes itself on the people with its modern security battalions: the riot squads and the police, the praetorians of the regime. It is they who guard the rich, the bosses, the businessmen, and the bankers; it is they who guard the garbage that hold political power—the prime ministers, ministers, and members of parliament—as well as parliament itself, the ministries, and state buildings; it is they who guard the fortunes of those who are economically powerful, the American Embassy, the lairs of transatlantic heads of state, and the embassies of creditor states; and it is they who beat protestors, push them toward the Maximos Mansion,12 drown popular demonstrations in chemicals, murder kids like Grigoropoulos, and torture in police stations.
Dozens of people have been murdered by the police, from the political transition to today—protestors, fighters, workers, students, young people, immigrants—while you as judges complete the criminal work by siding with the murderers from the police in the majority of cases. You and the police are nothing more than power’s submissive puppets, servants of the rich and the economic powers, while you simultaneously fill the prisons with poor and miserable petty criminals, drug addicts, and immigrants. It is you who judge protestors, criminalize strikers and student occupations, and condemn fighters and revolutionaries. You are accomplices in the crimes of capital. The terrorist criminal organization you serve was created with the goal of plundering and stealing from the people in the interests of the rich and the economically powerful. The capitalist regime you serve imposes itself not just through the crude and brutal violence of police praetorians, but also through the economic terrorism of the bosses, which pressures the workers with the dilemma of salary reductions or firings; through the fraud of professional politicians, who promise that everything they do is for the “benefit” of the people and the “homeland”; and through the terrorist propaganda of the mass media, which is owned by the businessmen.
The economic and political powers here—all those who live surrounded by opulence, luxury and wealth; those who live in mansions encompassing thousands of square meters; those who own pleasure boats, vehicles, houses, building sites, and vast stretches of land; those who own corporations, conglomerates, and holding companies; all those big investors and shareholders as well as the political elite, who earn hundreds of thousands of euros or millions of euros a month—force millions of people to live on 400 euro pensions or 500 euro salaries, force millions of people to work themselves almost to death or to the point of agony without treatment or medical care, and condemn people to the marginality of permanent unemployment without income. And all to maintain the debt created by their own avarice in the name of the financial “rationalization” that they themselves aggravated, since it is they who ravaged the social wealth by stealing the labor of the workers, by not paying taxes or social security, by looting the social security funds, and by taking advantage of EU subsidies and loans they obtained with the state acting as guarantor. This is the “better world” you defend by judging us.
Therefore, if we want to portray things in their true dimensions, then we along with the people we belong to are the real prosecutors, and your bosses—your political leaders, the people who hold political power as well as the rich, whom they serve—should apologize for their crimes, as should you for collaborating with them. I’m going to refer to the exact statement we made when we were summoned by the prosecutor to have additional charges attributed to us six months after our arrest:
We are necessary because we can emphatically contribute to society breaking its ties to and liberating itself from the current totalitarianism of capital and the state; to launching the revolution together with our country’s proletarians; and to forming alongside them a society without crises, without exploitation, without oppression: a truly free society.
The ones who should actually be punished are those who imprisoned us, since they engaged in antisocial and criminal practices while the actions of Revolutionary Struggle were for the benefit of the people, for the benefit of the workers and the poor. Revolutionary Struggle is a revolutionary armed propaganda organization that, through its actions and the discourse it developed and continues to express, proposes to the people the subversion of the extant criminal capitalist regime and the destruction of the state as a criminal mechanism that exists to defend capital and the rich as well as oppress the people.
Revolutionary Struggle proposes to the people the substitution of this regime by an antiauthoritarian communist society: a society in which there will be no oppression or exploitation; no one will be hungry, homeless, or poor; no one will sell their body, labor power, or intellectual power in order to survive; there will be no social classes, haves and have-nots, rich and poor; there will be no private ownership of the means of production, no accumulation of social wealth in the hands of a few, no economic crises; there will be no hierarchy or separation between those at the top and those on the bottom, between those who possess power and those who follow orders; and there will be no remnants of greed and the pursuit of personal gain, which constitute the basic principles of the capitalist society you have been entrusted to serve. And it is precisely these principles that give birth to injustice; the exploitation of man by man; wars; imperialism; military incursions against different peoples; racism; the wars on “terrorism” that you have aligned yourselves with; Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib; the murders committed by the state’s dogs; the antiterrorist legislation you apply; torture in police stations, like what happened in the Aghios Panteleimonas and Omonia police stations; and the sodomizing of immigrants in Chania by the harbor police, in the face of which you turned a blind eye and rewarded the torturers. You are culprits and collaborators, the moral authors of these crimes. Because as Revolutionary Struggle has said, the totalitarianism of the markets and the war on “terrorism” are two sides of the same coin, representing the corresponding political and economic characteristics of globalization. And the further the global economic crisis advances, the more often these situations will occur. Misery will multiply, and the depravity of human society will increase.
Confronted by this criminal regime, Revolutionary Struggle therefore proposes armed proletarian revolution for the establishment of a society of equality and freedom in which everything belongs to everyone. And when I say everything, I’m not referring to the concept of property but rather to the concept of the commons and collective effort, to the concept of self-management and social self-organization, to the concept of social solidarity.
“From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” This is a slogan of the old revolutionary movement. In a society of equality and freedom, in a society in which self-organization and solidarity endure, everyone—whatever their capacities and abilities, whatever they can offer—will have guaranteed access to everything: all the essential and basic goods; food; housing; education; health, treatment, and medical care; and the direct and personal involvement in key decisions pertaining to all social issues. Naturally, this is all meaningless to the society you defend. Because true popular power—direct democracy—is not the rejection or authorization of con artist professional politicians to manage social issues every four years, which is what goes on in the centralist state and the system of parliamentary representation. Rather, it is rooted in a society that handles administration thorough decentralized networks of assemblies and popular councils in which each one personally—whether regarding work and the means of production, whether in the spheres of education and health, whether at the level of neighborhoods, cities, or village communities—gets involved, speaks, and participates in making decisions about all the issues that concern society and the collective they participate in.
However, right now even the system of parliamentary representation—the parliamentary democracy of elected professional politicians—has been abolished in practice by the troika’s international agents thanks to the May 2010 memorandum. The system of parliamentary representation now belongs to the past. It belongs to another era in which it was needed by capitalism itself, emerging during the initial period of industrial accumulation, when the growing bourgeois class formed the nation-state to support its interests. Nevertheless, this model of power is now, in the era of globalization, antiquated and inadequate. Every pseudodemocratic excuse of the regime you serve has fallen to pieces. The pretext of having popular support has collapsed. National parliaments are puppets that obey the orders of the international economic elite’s representatives, national sovereignty has been nullified, the nation-state has been abrogated, the Constitution has turned into so many bits of paper, and everything has ultimately been thrown into the dustbin of history.
What nonetheless remains now is crude totalitarianism, the cynical neofascism of the rich, the fascism of international banking and finance capital, and the fascism of the international economic elite in conjunction with “collaborationist” national governments that betray the people. And the capitals of this international fascism are Wall Street in New York, the IMF headquarters in Washington, the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, the EU headquarters in Brussels, and the City of London.13
Revolutionary Struggle proposes a worldwide social revolution that will sweep away the international economic elite; the heads of the IMF, WTO, and World Bank; and the network of American imperialism; liberating the people from capitalism, the market economy, and state power. With an international view and analysis of our era—the era of globalization—Revolutionary Struggle took action to the extent possible during the period from 2003 to 2010 in Greece: a country on the semiperiphery of capitalism, where we had to confront the local circumstances that created the international market economic system for the Greek people.
In 2003, Revolutionary Struggle began its activity in a climate in which globalization and neoliberalism were advancing unchecked and the system’s leaders were celebrating “the end of history,” with capitalism affirming itself as the perfect economic model and viable power. It was a climate of prevailing international euphoria for the big-time sharks and investors whose pursuit of profit and hyperaccumulation would continue unimpeded, despite the obvious economic crises—like the 1998 crisis in Southeast Asia—that were sounding the warning signal. This euphoria consolidated the autocracy of the United States and the war on “terrorism” it had declared in 2001 after the attacks there on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. In Greece, the country’s economic elite—taking trade as a given and enjoying the support of the international economic elite—was also in thrall to the euphoria that this pursuit of profit and unimpeded hyperaccumulation would continue; that this plundering of social wealth, the workers, and social security would continue, using the Greek state as a guarantor to take subsidies from the EU for supposed investments in production infrastructure, but in reality plundering the country’s productive base and sending the profits abroad or gambling them on the stock market while other companies were migrating to countries with much cheaper labor. Simultaneously, with the arrests and sentencing of the 17N14 and ELA armed revolutionary organizations, there was much bluster about the end of armed struggle in Greece and the end of a long nightmare for the transition’s politico-economic establishment.
The country was incorporated into economic globalization by the PASOK government of Prime Minister Simitis. In 1998, the decision was made to attach the country to the EMU15 beginning in 2002. In 1999, with the greatest social robbery to take place until then—the stock market theft that plundered most of the country’s social wealth—the Greek economy passed into the hands of the international economic elite: in other words, the multinational corporations and conglomerates among which banks and finance capital play a prominent role. The 2004 Olympic Games, which were a massive capitalist and imperialist operation, helped the country fit itself into the mechanisms of the global economic system. The process of public lending in support of capital was launched, and it was a very lucrative process for the dominant domestic classes as well as multinational capital, of course. The cost of the Olympic Games reached 10 billion euros, raising public debt to 117% of the GDP (204.56 billion euros).
The actions of Revolutionary Struggle can be separated into two phases. From the beginning of 2003 to 2007, the main issues it addressed were: the war on “terrorism” and its military interventions by the United States and networks of collaborators—including Greece—in peripheral countries, like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that continue to this day; the development and intensification of state violence, repression, and terrorism in countries at the center of capitalism as well as the semiperiphery, like Greece; and the neoliberal adjustments that propelled the Karamanlis government. During this period, the Greek state aligned itself completely with the war on “terrorism,” collaborating materially, politically, and morally with the United States in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars through the use of the Souda military base, the inspection of battleships, and the deployment of small symbolic military forces. Within the country, the arrests and sentencing of 17N and ELA were taking place. At the same time, the police state grew, as did its technological armaments—like the street cameras installed as security measures for the Olympic Games, for example. Police violence increased, as did the torture of immigrants, with torture by the Chania harbor police in 2003, the torture of Afghan immigrants with the tube16 at the Aghios Panteleimonas police station in 2004, and the abduction and torture of Pakistanis in summer 2005 after the London attacks—abductions that happened thanks to the collaboration of the British Secret Services and the EYP.17 Later on, antiterrorist legislation was bolstered by Papaligouras’ antiterrorist law in 2004, which was an expansion of the Stathopoulos law. The recording of phone calls was voted into law in December 2005 thanks to the work of the regime’s former defense minister Voulgarakis, while the case involving the illegal wiretapping of hundreds of citizens between 2004 and 2005 was going on. The Olympic Games were the reason behind initiating the wiretapping in collaboration with mobile phone companies, with pressure on Karamanlis’ government and Voulgarakis coming from the American Embassy. During the same period, Karamanlis’ government pushed forward the neoliberal adjustments begun by the prior Simitis government, all within a political framework whose goal was to support the dictatorship of capital and incorporate the country into the international markets. These adjustments included legislation on labor flexibility, abolishing the eight-hour workday and overtime, reducing social taxes for big businessmen while increasing those same taxes for workers, raising the retirement age, reducing spending on education and health, and freezing salaries and pensions.
In these circumstances, Revolutionary Struggle began its activity with attacks on the Evelpidon court complex in September 2003, police targets—like the attack on the Kallithea police station and the MAT18 car bombing—in 2004, the Finance and Labor Ministries in 2005, former public order minister Voulgarakis in 2006, and the American Embassy and Perissos police station in 2007.
With the beginning of its activity in 2003, Revolutionary Struggle refuted and negated the state’s and the domestic economic elite’s celebrations about the defeat of armed struggle and guerrilla warfare after the 17N and ELA arrests. By way of initiating its activity, Revolutionary Struggle proclaimed that revolutionary armed struggle would continue and that guerrilla warfare in Greece would go on despite the new conditions that had been created—the globalized setting in which the dictatorship of the markets was being imposed and the war on “terrorism” had been declared.
In conjunction with its final attack of the 2003–2007 period—on the Perissos police station—the organization predicted that the increase and intensification of police violence at the time would result in deaths, and warned that its response to those deaths would be the assassination of police officers. The prediction came true a year-and-a-half later with the murder of Grigoropoulos in December 2008. Revolutionary Struggle, consistent with its warning, responded with attacks on the MAT in Exarchia and outside their barracks in Goudi in January 2009. The organization’s attacks during 2009 constituted the second phase of its activity, and were carried out as a way to intervene in the rupture of the global economic crisis that was manifesting itself in the United States with the bursting of the home mortgage loan bubble.
For us, the global economic crisis, which impacted Greece in 2009, was a call to intensify our actions. We attacked economic targets and infrastructure, domestic and foreign, that were responsible for the crisis, but we also promoted the idea that in Greece the objective conditions had been created for social revolution and the subversion of capitalism and the market economy. This was because, due to the crisis, the system had even further uncovered its most inhuman face, imposing the greatest social robbery and plunder in history—so much so that most sectors of the population were withdrawing their consent and acceptance in opposition to the criminals of capital as well as the system of democratic representation.
With its attacks of 2009, Revolutionary Struggle became the only organization to take action on the basis of the global economic crisis. The organization thus attempted to blow up the main offices of Citibank—one of the sharks of the international economic elite—with 125 kilos of explosives, struck the Citibank branch in Nea Ionia, blew up the Eurobank branch in Argyroupoli, and attacked the stock exchange building with 150 kilos of explosives. Within the strategic framework of these attacks, whose objective was to hit targets of economic and political power that played a leading role in the creation of the conditions of totalitarianism imposed on the country, comrade Lambros Fountas died in a shootout with the police in Dafni on March 10, 2010.
Revolutionary Struggle was the only political organization—during the era of apparent loan-based opulence that existed a few years before the explosion of the crisis, and in opposition to state propaganda about a “strong” economy and a “powerful” Greece—to diagnose that Greece would suffer terrible consequences before the possible explosion of economic crisis. In the communiqué in which our organization claimed responsibility for the attack on the Labor Ministry in June 2005, we said:
It is a fact that Greece finds itself in a terrible economic position. It is a fact that the Greek state will continually require means of financial centralization in order to pay the interest on future loans from domestic and foreign financial entities. It is a fact that the eventual collapse of the Greek economy is not confined to the realm of fantasy.
In 2005, Revolutionary Struggle was the only political organization to reveal the true motive behind the creation of Greek debt. In the same communiqué claiming responsibility for the attack on the Labor Ministry were the following observations:
It is also a fact that the debt is the result of the state’s continued support of capital, as we have indicated. It is the result of the Greek state’s classist politics, which favor the strong and target the weak. It is about the classist redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top, and connected to this framework are the policies for reducing debt and solving the economic problem.
The communiqué in which the organization claimed responsibility for the December 2005 attack on the Finance Ministry states:
As far as Greece is concerned, history itself has demonstrated the absurd stupidity of political power regarding the strengthening of the Greek economy after the country entered the EU and the eurozone and opened itself up to international markets. The final remains of an already decomposed production structure were liquidated by the competitive forces of the free market; not a single plan for new production structures was sketched out on the horizon, unless we were to manage to compete with China on the level of wages, as suggested by European businessmen; the false prosperity that for years was the result of loan-based consumption has come to an end; and the Greek state continues to saddle subsequent generations with exorbitant debt that increases by giant steps each year thanks to the high interest rates proposed by governments in exchange for further loans. In our opinion, Greece is in a terrible position, and we have no respect for the opinion that says participation in the eurozone is a determining factor in avoiding serious crises. The structural problems of the national economy, together with the capitalist system’s intrinsic tendency toward imbalance, are combining to create a subjective economic crisis whose initial geographic limits we cannot know.
Revolutionary Struggle has now been justified by the unfolding of events. Two years prior to the declaration of economic crisis in the United States and four years before the current global crisis began to hit Greece, the organization was talking about everything that would later come to pass. Revolutionary Struggle’s actions have been justified. In the face of capital’s classist attack, which is becoming more and more acute due to the blockage in the capitalist mechanism, and in the face of the unattainable proposals of the leftist portion of the system, which is asking for the restoration of the previous model of Keynesian development, the only realistic proposal to overcome the current multidimensional crisis of capitalism is armed social revolution. This is Revolutionary Struggle’s proposal.
Because of the debt crisis, the Greek people find themselves under occupation by the creditors of foreign capital. Every pretext of national sovereignty has been shattered, and parliamentary democracy has been abolished because parliament is a puppet of the creditors. Salaries, pensions, and subsidies are reduced—or better said, stolen—to pay the creditors. Hospitals are closed down, the public budget for the health and education of the people is cut, and thousands of workers are fired and thrown out into the streets. Just like during the Italo-German occupation, when the occupying governments requisitioned the agricultural harvest for the benefit of occupation troops, resulting in thousands of people dying of hunger during the winter of 1941–42, the contemporary versions of Tsolakoglou and Rallis—in other words, Papandreou, Papakonstantinou, Venizelos, Pangalos, Loverdos, Papademos, Samaras, Kouvelis, and the entire gang of traitors to the people—are confiscating more and more of the workers’ and people’s salaries and pensions, levying more and more taxes, selling off public assets at cut-rate prices, selling off the very lives and blood of the people in order to pay the vampires of the international economic elite and the big-time domestic loan sharks.
In the face of this situation, Revolutionary Struggle proposes—to the Greek people and to other peoples—global social revolution as the only realistic response to the economic crisis and the capitalist system, which by its very nature engenders economic crises. And when we say social revolution, we mean the violent overthrow of the existing social, political, and economic regime as well as the violent subversion and destruction of capitalism, the market economy, and the state. We propose expropriation and confiscation of the fortunes of the rich; expropriation of the massive national and multinational corporations; expropriation of the assorted state and church assets and their socialization for the people; refusal to pay the accumulated debt; and departure not just from the EU, but from the entire system of the market economy and capitalism.
Social revolutions cannot be anything but violent, because the privileged, the rich, and those who have political and economic power are never going to willingly give up their privilege and power. The violence of social revolutions is the natural response to the daily violence done to the people by capitalism and the state. If individuals therefore want to truly be free, if the people want to be free, then they must take up arms and smash to pieces what oppresses and exploits them.
There have never been positive social changes without violence against domination, there have never been popular struggles that weren’t violent and bloody, and there has never been social revolution without taking up arms. The history of revolutionary movements is filled with examples. The revolution of the workers in Paris in 1848; the Paris Commune of 1871; the workers’ struggle for the eight-hour day in Chicago in 1886; the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917–21; the Mexican Revolution of Zapata and Villa; the Spartacist revolution of 1918–19 in Germany; the factory council movement in Italy in 1920; the Spanish Revolution of 1936–37; the national resistance movements during World War II; the Hungarian Revolution of 1956; the anticolonialist and anti-imperialist movements and guerrilla wars in the third world—in Cuba, Algeria, Vietnam, Angola, and Mozambique; the insurrection of 1968; the anti-imperialist and anticapitalist guerrilla warfare in Europe; the anti-Francoist resistance; Action Directe, the Angry Brigade, Weathermen, Red Brigades, RAF, Movement 2 June, Revolutionary Cells, GRAPO, Communist Combatant Cells, Tupamaros, MIR, and Che Guevara; the Palestinian resistance; the FARC and communist guerrillas in Columbia, India, the Philippines, and Turkey; the Zapatistas; the strikes that exceed the limits of legality; the insurrections in the metropolises of capitalism, like the one in Athens in December 2008. All these examples are part of the atemporal struggle against domination, oppression, and exploitation, and they demonstrate that social revolutions are made by taking up arms and that struggles for freedom are violent and bloody.
It’s just like here in Greece, where we have a tradition of struggle against very powerful domination, beginning with—according to the traitor Pangalos—“the crude, illiterate hicks who barely spoke the Greek language” yet fought the Ottoman Empire with sword and rifle; the workers’ movement; the Lavrio miners in 189619 and the Serifos miners in 1916;20 the workers of Thessaloniki in May 1936;21 the ELAS guerrillas and the EAM in 1941–44 during the occupation; as well as the Democratic Army during the Polytechnic revolution in 1973; the anarchists; the urban guerrillas who emerged during the dictatorship; the 20 October organization; LEA; the Makriyannis organization; and continuing through the transition with ELA and 17 November before arriving at the present day.
The struggle against domination, exploitation, and oppression—in other words, against all that you represent as a court—will never stop until the regime you serve is destroyed and disappears from the stage of history, until you are thrown into the dustbin of history. Armed struggle is an inseparable part of the struggle for subversion and social revolution. Armed struggle is an inseparable part of the popular movement against capitalism, imperialism, and the state. Revolutions can only be armed. Struggles for freedom are not undertaken with respect for the enemy’s penal code or the laws of the oppressors’ state. As Russian anarchist P. Kropotkin said: “With fist, with pistol, with dynamite, what does not belong to classist legality belongs to us.”
I know that you will sentence us. However, we are the only ones with the true political and moral right to condemn. We are politically above you. We will go down in history as fighters for freedom, and you as servants and puppets of tyranny. Right know we are not victorious, because if that were the case then the end of history would have come about. You mercenaries have learned to submit to the “law” of the strong and the victorious—in other words, the “law” that pays you, whomever you may be. Because hypothetically, if we held the power within your system, you would comply by obeying our orders, which shows that you are truly mercenaries. In any case, our struggle doesn’t want the obedient or the subjugated, and it doesn’t want masters or slaves. It wants free and equal people.
What remains is the force of arms to thus materialize our political and moral supremacy. Until that happens, THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES.
LONG LIVE REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE.
LONG LIVE ARMED SOCIAL REVOLUTION.
ETERNAL HONOR TO LAMBROS FOUNTAS.
—Nikos Maziotis, October 2012
1The first name of the university after its founding was Ανωτάτη Σχολή Οικονομικών και Εμπορικών Επιστημών (Athens School of Business Education, initialized in Greek as ΑΣΟΕΕ). Today its name in Greek is Οικονομικό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών (Athens University of Economics, initialized in Greek as ΟΠΑ). However, people continue to refer to it as ASOEE.
2Athanasios Melistas is the police officer who murdered 15-year-old Michalis Kaltezas during the annual November 17 protest commemorating the military’s raid on the Athens Polytechnic campus during the dictatorship of the junta.
3New Democracy, a Greek political party.
4An armed organization active in Greece during the 1980s. It’s actions are not very well-known.
5Epanastatikos Laikos Agonas (ELA) was an anti-imperialist, anti-American revolutionary organization active from approximately 1974–1994. In January 1995 it released a communiqué claiming responsibility for 260 actions and announcing its decision to disband.
6An autonomist armed revolutionary organization active during the 1980s.
7An anarchist fighter who was imprisoned on several occasions and undertook a number of hunger strikes demanding his release. After his last release, he ignored a prohibition on leaving Athens and was ambushed by the Antiterrorist Unit while aboard the ship he was traveling on.
8The Popular Army for National Liberation, founded in April 1942, was the military branch of the main Greek resistance organization opposing the Axis occupation. It reported to the political branch of the organization, the National Liberation Front (EAM). The political organization as well as its military branch were controlled by the Greek Communist Party (KKE). After the Axis evacuated the country in 1944, the ELAS participated in the Greek Civil War, fighting against the British-supported conservative forces that were trying to form a new government.
9The Greek Democratic Army was an armed entity created by the Greek Communist Party during the Greek Civil War. It was active between 1946 and 1949, and fought against the pro-Western government established in Athens, which enjoyed British and North American support.
10A Romanian writer whose communist ideology developed out of his fascination with the Bolshevik revolution. However, after visiting some of the more remote corners of the USSR, he became one of the first intellectuals to publicly express his disagreements with and criticisms of the Stalinist regime.
11Georgios Tsolakoglou—a Greek military officer and politician—was the first prime minister in the Greek government that collaborated with the Third Reich during the German occupation of Greece in World War II, while Ioannis Rallis was the last prime minister in that same pro-German collaborationist government. Rallis contributed decisively to the creation of the Security Battalions, which were right-wing paramilitary forces—supported by the Greek and German authorities—that fought against the resistance movement. After the liberation, during the period of denazification in Greece, Rallis was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in prison in 1946.
12The building that houses the Greek prime minister’s offices.
13A district of Greater London that functions as its economic and financial center.
14A revolutionary organization active from 1973 to 2002 whose ideological tendencies were Marxist-Leninist and anti-imperialist. They carried out approximately 100 attacks, but their activities came to an end after a bomb accidentally exploded in the hands of member Savvas Xeros. During his hospitalization, the police dosed him with psychopharmalogical drugs in order to obtain information about the other members of the organization.
15Economic and Monetary Union.
16A form of torture commonly used during the dictatorship of the junta. The legs of the victim are bound so that they remain raised in the air, and the soles of the feet are beaten with a stick in such a way that leaves the nerve endings damaged.
17National Intelligence Service, the agency tasked with safeguarding Greece’s national security.
18Greek riot police.
19During the Lavrio miners’ strike for workers’ rights against a French company, two strikers were shot dead by the police. In response, the strikers killed all the mine guards except one and set fire to the offices and storehouses. The strike ended unsuccessfully with the militarization of the area.
20An anarchosyndicalist-influenced miners’ strike meant to improve workers’ rights, during which the port was occupied for 20 days, blocking the transport of material. In response to the police bullets that ended the lives of four strikers, a number of riots broke out, resulting in the death of four police officers.
21A A strike by tobacco field workers, mainly demanding wage increases, in conjunction with other workers. On May 6, 1936, the police initiated a fierce attack against the strikers, and on May 9 the strike became general. After the death of a striker, the clashes became more vicious, ending with the death of more than 12 people.
This entry was posted on Saturday, July 13th, 2013 at 12:13 am and is filed under Prison Struggle.