Athens, Greece: Open call solidarity act to anarchist comrade Christoforos Kortesis

Note of insuscettibile di ravvedimento: We publish two texts about the recent repressive attack against some anarchists in Greece, in particular about the situation of C. Kortesis.



On 12/7, the anarchists Christoforos Kortesis and Thimios A. attempted to remove some products of meaningless worth from the Leroy Merlin store of Peiraios street, in Athens. Through a complex manipulation on behalf of the OVIT security company and Leroy Merlin, and while they were both held hostages inside the store for 3 hours, an organized attempt took place to involve at the explicit incidence, the employee and a fighting trade unionist, Giannis A. The judicial authorities took advantage of the occasion to payback to X. Kortesis, the many years of consistent and persistent action in the anarchist movement. Keep in mind that the comrade is being held imprisoned since 16/7, followed by upgraded and constructed charges, under the terrorist law for robbery. The same charges are held also for Thimios A. while the employee Giannis A. is being accused for being an accomplice. Pavlos X. that came at the Leroy Merlin store, alongside with 3 more comrades in a solidarity act, is confronted with criminal concealing charges.

The systematic enlargement of the prosecution and the detention of the comrade X. Kortesis is due to his long-lasting political action in the anarchist movement, as well as to his previous conviction, under the accusation of participating in the organization Revolutionary Struggle (E.A.), held by a special political court inside the Koridallos prison. A repression tactic that takes on idiosyncratic features when it comes to fighting comrades, while at the same time law enforcement authorities are exerting all their rigor and legal arsenal on our fighting comrades, to state it exemplarily. At this specific occasion, the detention of X. Kortesis is signalling a very clear and threatening message not only to the dozens of anarchist comrades that have been persecuted, imprisoned or released under restrictions, but also to all those that intend to be present and solidary in the social and class struggles.

Finally, this case is being exploited by the state to criminalize political and comrade relationships and solidarity acts by labelling them as gangs and criminal protecting, while the underlying thinking of the judicial mechanisms is to stigmatize and criminalize the class of the poor. The multinational company Leroy Merlin must assume responsibilities for the case and the detention of our comrade. It should be noted that on August 9th, one of the co-owners of the ADEO global multinational group including Leroy Merlin, Hugues Mulliez, killed two people in his speedboat, while seriously injured a third person riding on a boat, in Porto Heli outside Athens. Greek justice has assumed responsibilities by protecting a rich man and releasing him on bail of 50,000 euros with the obligation of presenting himself at the Greek Embassy in Paris once a month!

Over the past period, the Assembly has organized a series of assemblies and interventions (in public places, in Leroy Merlin stores, at the headquarters of security company OVIT, in Piraeus Courts, at the Athens Law School where the prosecutor Aggeloudi is attending), and has issued corresponding announcements and posters on the case (https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1600196/).

Along with actively highlighting the political spin of this case, the Assembly with the participation of persecuted comrades as well as prisoner comrade X. Kortesis, approaches the whole issue in its totality, by discussing all the implications of the case, such as the judicial procedural part and the financial support of the persecuted.

Comrade, X. Kortesis is imprisoned in Koridallos prisons since 16/7, while on August the appeal against his detention was dismissed. The Assembly has expressed its positions and has taken a total stand against the persecution of comrades, the detention of comrade Kortesis, the setting-up of the prosecution, the cursory prosecution of Kortesis, and the revealing rationale of his detention in a published text (https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1599468/) while Kortesis himself published a political text this September , where he takes a total stance and expresses his positions regarding the case (https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1599757/).

For the following period, the Assembly is planning to continue its diverse moves against state-prosecuting mechanisms and the Leroy Merlin-OVIT companies responsible for the prosecutions. On Tuesday 22/10 we held a gathering in the Piraeus courts where all the investigators and prosecutors involved in the case are located (https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1600583/).We decided , to organize a demonstration, in Athens on Saturday, November 23.

We address an open call for solidarity and action in every direction, inside and outside Greece. In the forthcoming period, we consider it critical that political initiatives are being taken in other cities in Greece, as well as beyond the borders, initiatives that will highlight the case and its political domains focused on the immediate release of comrade X. Kortesis, while we consider legitimate the corresponding political initiatives of financial support as well.

Assembly of anarchist collectives, comrades and solidarities<strong>

Athens, Greece: Ovit, Leroy Merlin, State mechanism – All bastards work alongside

On Monday 12/7/2019, at Leroy Merlin’s store in Rentis, Athens, 2 anarchist comrades made an attempt to expropriate goods worth 180 euros. That made the occasion for Leroy Merlin’s administration, in cooperation with the security firm Ovit, to set their scheming targeting:

the comrade working at that store Giannis A., who was targeted and accused as “an accomplice to pedatory theft” due to his active political-syndicalistic action;
the 2 comrades Christoforos Kortesis and Thymios A. who were both prosecuted for the felony “pedatory theft”, as the first comrade is remanded in custody pending trial, because he took goods worth 180 euros;
the 4 comrades who where there in solidarity to support financially the 2 comrades and complain about their captivity for 3 hours by the employes and the owner ,Konstanntinos Drivas, of the security firm Ovit.

All in all, Chistoforos Kortesis and Thymios E., are considered “suspects” and Leroy Merlin orders them to be led by the security firm Ovit to the “security room” in order to resolve the issue and ensure the payment of the requisite amount of money. As the matter seems to be resolved and the comrades agree to pay all the money and while they are calling close comrades to bring the requisite amount, the ex-military and co-owner of the security firm Ovit, Konstantinos Drivas starts threatening and blackmailing the comrades using psychological and physical violence. He asks them to name the comrade-working there G.A. as their “accomplice”, trying to lead to his “justified” dismissal or force him to quit his job. He has been targeted by his employers due to his active political-syndicalistic action in the trade sector and the social class struggle. The 2 comrades refuse to play the bosses games and Drivas threatens to involve the police, taking advantage of the fact that Christoforos Kortesis is on parole for a former conviction by a special court that accused him of participating in the organization “Revolutionary Struggle” and tries violently to hold them captive in the room. The 2 comrades, demand to be released, since the had returned the products. 3 hours later, with the presence of 4 comrades who came in solidarity, their absurd captivity is over.

The state’s vengefulness soon takes the place of the employers’ terror tactics. On the same day, the hellenic police forwards to the public prosecutor of Piraeus the case file, which concerns three accusations of misdemeanors: theft, illegal use of force and personal injuries. On 13/7, the comrade Christoforos Kortesis is arrested in the city center of Athens, by hooded cops who lead him in a police car where they beat him and then they take him in the police department of Piraeus. At the same time, a search is conducted at his house with the presence of an exceedingly large police force and a whole theatrical show of prosecutions and repression is set up around a few electrical tools, worth 180 euros!!This starts to reveal the cheapness of their low comedy, that remains nevertheless very dangerous, at the present juncture of general repression.

“In view of his economic weakness to obtain income for his livelihood, resulting purpose of illegal income and propensity to commit theft and robbery as a part of his personality” – investigating magistrate G. Pantelidis.

“So it doesn’t matter what you do, but who you are. Are you toxic-addicted and have small quantities of drugs? You will be imprisoned – Are you a ship-owner and carrying tons of drugs? You are free to go.Are you unemployed and owe a few euros to the public? Imprisoned – You are the Aristidis Floros of a business group and you have dismissed 256 millions of euros? But of course you are free to go. Are you an anarchist and you fight the system? Imprisoned -Are you a cop and killing a fifteen year old anarchists? Of course you will be released. Are you a woman and resist your rape? Imprisoned. Are you a businessman -big procurer? Free to go…The counterexamples are uncountable” – anarchist Christoforos Kortesis.

The states vengefullness obtains flesh and blood through laws and officers of the class justice. The public prosecutor M. Aggeloudi changes the original accusation of “theft” to the felony of “pedatory theft”, in order to accomplish the immediate detention under remand of Christoforos Kortesis, something that actually happens on 16/7. The justification o detention is based on the investigating magistrates’ Pantelidis judjement that Christoforos Kortesis political route and bad economical state make him a suspected of committing new crimes. This reveals the justice’s class face, a face of the justice that at the same time releases the french businessman Hugues Mulliez, a member of the Mulliez family, owners of Leroy Merlin around the world. The bail was set in the amount of 50.000 for the murder of 2 people and the heavy injury of a third one, after they were run over by a private yacht and abandoned, in Porto Heli. A proletarian’s theft of consumables, worth a few euros is considered enough to lead to his imprisonement, while the murder of two people by a large shareholder is considered something that can be easily bought off. And Christoforos Kortesis special treatment comes as a result not only of his class position, that becomes even worse since his bank account has been blocked-one of the many measures of economic elimination imposed to those charged with participation in armed organizations. Christoforos Kortesis prosecution has clearly a moral character, as he is punished exemplary for his long and consistent political and social action as an anarchist fighter.

At the same time, the public prosecutor M. Aggeloudi charges 5 more people. She uses the well-known and widely used in terrorism cases, method of “anonymous call” to indentify the anarchist comrade Pavlos H. for his participation in the events. The false testimony of Konstantinos Drivas is used as well to implicate the comrade-working at Leroy Merlin. He is accused of the felony “accomplice to pedatory theft”. The 3 comrades, Thymios A., Giannis A. and Pavlos H. presented themselves in front of the investigating magistrate Pantelidis, defended their political action, shed some light into the sketchy Leroy Merlin-Ovit setup, and held a barrier against the accusations that were made up by the judicial mechanism. Thymios A. received a restraining order to show up in a police department and the other 2 were released with no restraining orders.

Safety, safety, property

The justification of Christoforos detention reveals the effort made by the judicial mechanism to criminalize solidarity, friendship and comradeship as well as the solidarity actions between people by trying to present them as “organized gangs” and “criminal abetting networks”. Once more the state used certain cases as testing tubes, to expand the use of the counter terrorism law 187 and to “discover” criminal organizations (incitement, moral instigation, complicity). All that, in order to stand against its declared enemies and fight us with the well-known tales of counter terrorism. In those tales solidarity appears to be “abbeting criminals”, relations between comrades appear to be “gangs” resistance to torture appears to be “illegan use of violence” and attempted theft appears to be “pedatory theft”.

Security firms with a wide range of companies that trade the so called “safety commodity” are a private army of moles and minions of the world’s bosses. It’s clear how they answer to them. Their job is not only to keep their bosses properties and earnings safe but also snitch on those targeted by the bosses. These traits make them indispensable allies of the state and its repressive mechanism. That’s why Drivas (former captain of the hellenic army, trained in the field of retrieving and handling military information aligned with NATO standards) with his testimony was more than enough to support the public prosecutor’s scenario. The recent placing of the former director of the multinational company G4S P. Kontoleon as the head director of the greek National Intelligence Service, speaks for itself. Leroy Merlin, like every other boss pays a lot of money to ensure the protection of its earnings, as it has a thousand reasons to worry about their security. The expropriation of goods from supermarkets and department stores has always been and still remains a common social practice, so that every day needs are covered without paying the price. As anarchists we perceive expropriation as a wider political imperative, to abolish property and every exploitation relationship.

And in this fight, of life and death, we will not place the bosses’ earnings above our lives and our needs or above our freedom. The french multinational company Leroy Merlin is a part of the rich elite of this world and the list of their “best employers practice” is quite long: dozens of work accidents that happen every single day in their stores and that have an unimaginable physical and psychological impact on hundreds of employees, the lead role that they play in the abolition of Sunday holiday, the imposition of working 9 hours a day, the dismissal of an employee who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis, ing it as “reduced performance”, the cooperation with “slavery” companies like Man Power, the exploitation of dozens of hired workers in their stores.

Let’s speak their language then. We know that the bosses, the state and its police-propositional mechanisms have developed a stable, guarded and close structure in order to carry out their everyday violent pedatory theft at our expense, through taxes, labour and nature exploitation etc. and they have a very wide network of available perpetrators to do that. So, if they want to look for gangs, they should look in the mirror.

Against the “order – development – security” doctrine of the elite, solidarity will crush them

The targeting of the multiform anarchist movement, the attempt to criminalize the social and class struggles, the targeting and the attempt to eliminate the strugglers, the smash of every face of self-organized struggle, the terrorizing and disarmament of political movements are all located at the core of the order- development-security doctrine, that political staff of the greek state has served for many years during the systemical capital crisis. The state and the bosses are trying to create an environment, where every social struggle or any voice of doubt will not be able to exist. And they are using a variety of repressive methods to achieve this: the recent refugee housing squat evictions, the deportation and banishment of thousands of refugees and immigrants to the “hospitality” of their modern concentration camps, the abduction of the anarchist Dimitris H., the repression of demonstrations against the installation of wind energy parks in Karditsa and Agrafa, the terrorizing of local resistance struggles (the repression of a local demostration in Koukaki against Airbnb and the touristic gentrification), the criminalization of strike, the university and campus reforms, the prosecution of 20 political prisoners for their public expression of solidarity with struggles behind the bars.

The multiform self-organized social class struggles are our way to catch our breath. A breath of comradeship, resistance and solidarity. A breath of freedom against the suffocation that the state and bosses are imposing on us. We are here, all present in the front of social class war. We will leave no comrade alone in any prosecution, we will leave no struggler alone in front of the state, the bosses and their minions, in front of those who commit the biggest everyday robbery at our expense.

Against their repression, no challenge will be left unanswered We shall smash the state’s and bosses’ terror.
Immediate release of the anarchist comrade Christoforos Kortesis.
No prosecution for the other comrades.

Assembly of anarchist groups, comrades and solidaires

[From athens.indymedia.org]

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 at 2:53 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.