Posts Tagged ‘Greece’
Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
Below is the statement of Athena Tsakalou (the mother of CCF anarchist prisoners Christos Tsakalos and Gerasimos Tsakalos) which was read out in Koridallos prison court by her defense lawyer in late June 2016, while the CCF escape case trial was still underway.
I haven’t chosen silence, even though it expresses me on many occasions because everyone interprets silence as it suits them. I’ve preferred to make this personal statement. And I call it personal because I don’t belong anywhere; I only belong to myself.
There comes a moment when you take a look back at the years in your life, and you realise you’ve left to live far fewer than the years you’ve already lived; that is, if everything goes well. And this is a strange but intense sensation, which makes me ask myself to be sincere. Not in the simple way we often think about it, but in an essential, deeper way.
I don’t like to say: where is this world going? It’s something that we – people at an older age – often do, but such a phrase conceals some sort of innocence that I refuse to accept. I prefer to ask myself: how do you yourself walk through this world?
And the truth is that all I want is to walk among people in a consolatory manner. It’s very important to be able to console people, especially your own people; to be able to tell them when they’re going through tough times: I’m standing by you; I’ll always stick with you. Nothing else. This is my only desire, and I’m glad whenever I’m able to do that.
So when Angeliki knocked on the door of my home, that’s exactly what I did. And it was a great pleasure for me that I was able to offer her refuge, even if only for a short while. The way the world is, the only place I want to live in is the place of defiance.
Assuming that, throughout the centuries, people have intended to live, if not a life of happiness, at least a joyful life, their history to date shows that they’ve failed. History books, either the official, inspected ones, or the secret ones that it’s hard to come by, show that people have failed. It may be that the conditions for survival or living standards got better – although ‘better’ is relative, as this is not the case in some parts of the earth – but the pain, the horror of wars, of hunger and oppression continue to rise.
Of course there’s a difference; a nightmarish difference. Nowadays, death is no longer caused just by hand-to-hand combat on the battlefields where, even from a distance determined by a firearm, you’re able to see the falling body and hear the cry of pain, and regardless of how much dehumanised you’ve become, this sight and sound leaves a peculiar imprint within you that, at some point, might make you not want war anymore. On today’s battlefields, we find ourselves in the era of smart bombs, and one is able to retain ‘their innocence’ by pressing a button which brings mass death; that’s the difference.
For some time now, more than 10,000 refugee children who were travelling unaccompanied have disappeared in Europe over the past 18–24 months. There are fears that many of them have fallen victim to exploitation by organised crime networks…
The world’s 62 richest people hold as much wealth as half the population on the planet…
The earth’s products are enough to feed its entire population, yet millions of people, millions of children die of hunger.
Some very few, like these 62 wealthiest people in the world, might say: ‘all this stuff about a joyful life is nothing but a trap set for the many to be lured into it, because the whole deal with the world is a game, a game of death. It’s not just the money that matters; besides, we have plenty of that; what really matters is the ability to use our power to play games with the entire world; all of a sudden, to drive thousands of people to death; to scare entire populations with wars, famine and diseases when we’re bored; because that’s also up to us, to cause diseases, thanks to scientists. In some sense, we’re a kind of gods; and gods are always almighty.’
And this is true, but it’s also true that there are no gods without believers. Gods cannot just live all by themselves; they want their faithful to walk quietly around their gardens, ready to execute their orders – all of their orders, even if it means killing one another. However, there are always those whose blood is resided by the first rebellion of Eve and Adam.
And it’s about time we said: after so much human blood watering the earth’s soil every day, after all this lament filling the earth’s air, if there’s no change of course for the human species, if the human mind isn’t crossed by a lightning at some point, so that we see everything differently… then indeed it’d be a brave decision if people eventually said: ‘for so many centuries, we’ve been unable to find joy; we might as well admit that as a species we aren’t capable of something like this; we might as well admit our failure and leave calmly; let us be the last of the humans; let us admit that only trees deserve life, continuity, eternity as they’re free of the instinct of war, of horror.’
Lately all I want to do is plant trees. And someone might ask me: but is this truly your deepest desire? No, I haven’t done well; I’m still determined by the ability to see as far as my eye can see, to keep my mind off things by taking pleasure in small joys; but when I open the eye of my mind to a worldwide wandering, a worldwide looking, and I see how small a share joy has in people’s lives, I say once more: if the dream doesn’t enter people’s lives, if there’s no change of course for the human species, only trees deserve continuity, life, eternity.
– via contrainfo
Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
“Justice was born when we lost control over our lives”
My political status and conscience would never allow me to be standing here “apologizing” before a fixed trial-parody as played out recently in this court hall, hence the comments I am about to make will therefore relate to a purely political sphere rather than a procedural one. Political action neither begins nor ends under the Criminal Code, consequently in any case you, both as individuals and as an institution, are not able to judge it.
As anarchists, being against the state, we have to oppose the laws that underlie and justify its existence.
But what is the law?
Nothing more than a set of rules that define right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral. It is a “guide” of social behavior aiming to enforce the choice of allegiance and for the maintenance of power through the fear of sanctions for any deviation from the permissible, the legal…
It is “fair”, indeed, that the banks constitute themselves as global loan sharks, but it is “unfair” to blow them up in the air with a strong dose of explosives. In this case, they are renamed as “charities” and “your” justice metes out life-sentences …
It is “fair”, that the governments constantly bomb civilians within the framework of the so-called “humanitarian” war, but it is “unfair” to execute those liable for the deaths of thousands …
A game of words forming the collective imagination, elevating the doctrine of “law and order” to the utmost virtue, aiming solely to preserve the existing authoritarian system.
The dominant world which you protect and preserve promotes and imposes a structured life, the manifestations of which oppress, enslave and limit the capabilities of human existence.
The behaviors, thoughts, feelings, relationships, are transformed into mechanical processes that shape what is called normality or social norm. The lifestyle you suggest to me is summarised to a miserable repetition, specified and without any twists. A boring course of a pointless existence that just waits to be interrupted by death.
But I do not fit into your world. I can not stand this perfectly organized boredom.
All those moments at night, just before you fall asleep when you are smoking the last cigarette and you evaluate the day that passed… The smoke gets mixed with your thoughts and you end up at the last puff… Your day was not enough… The feeling of dissatisfaction is overwhelming and breathtaking … “I can not live like this …”, “I do not want to live like this.” You fall asleep while the same words keep coming in your head…
The new day is to bring you face to face with the reality and the time has come to make your choices… I have chosen to live rather than to survive… Instead of the safety of normality, I have chosen to begin a journey into the unknown where every single moment conceals its own surprises. Where the tension comes to replace the weakness.
The need that burns within me makes me refuse the uniformity that your legitimacy stipulates and led me to a continuous process of rebellion to escape from such narrow limits of the social-prison. During this journey, the time is reset. Our clocks stopped at the time of the attack. No more “triggers” are needed. We stopped taking into account the “must”. The costs, the consequences…
There is one goal; to maximize the threat, to create a dangerous internal enemy that will strike at the heart of your system. This journey is lonely and often you are confronted with your own self, with your own personal contradictions. This is a war that starts from within yourself and surges impetuously against every expression of your modern civilized world. In this war that as anarchists we have declared against you – and we have not refused it a minute; there are no neutral attitudes.
The comrades of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, despite their long captivity, they did not retreat. They refused to bow down their heads and embrace the cross of remorse. They defended with all their powers and with dignity their anarchist substance. While, therefore, I am not a member of the Conspiracy, our common political conscience allies us. We share the same values, the same ideas and the same passion for freedom. The political bonds that link us could not but make me stand beside them with solidarity.
Solidarity is not just an emotionally charged word.
Solidarity carves insurrectionary directions and prevents forgetfulness from becoming the tombstone of the captured comrades. At this point is when guilt is born. What could be a more authentic and sincerest manifestation of solidarity to these comrades than to contribute morally and practically to the breaking of their captivity? I can only feel proud that I participated in the attempted escape of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and no court is competent to judge my choice.
The prison, besides, is a stopping point for anyone who decides to arm his/her desires and refusals. At this point, the contradictions begin… We love freedom so much and we get stuck in the prison… We love life passionately and at the same time we flirt with death every single minute. If the prison is meant to “civilise” ourselves, you should know that the walls and the locks nourish us with anger and the desire for revenge grows… We can fail, but we can not bow down … This is not about the beginning and certainly not about the end of the story, but it is about the journey and this is where the whole beauty is found…
For these reasons, and for all the reasons in the world, I proudly and without a trace of remorse, undertake the responsibility for my practical political contribution to the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire escape plan. No matter how many times I would turn the clock back I would make the same choice again and again.
Women’s Prison of Korydallos
Imprisoned anarchist comrade Aggeliki Spyropoulou was sentenced to 28 years in prison for her involvement in the 2015 escape attempt of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire. The comrade will shortly be transferred to Thiva prison from Korydallos now that the trial is over.
Saturday, July 9th, 2016
On July 8th 2016, the Koridallos prison court – presided over by special judge Asimina Yfanti – convicted all members of the anarchist revolutionary organisation Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, who were accused of placing an explosive device at Koridallos tax office; sending a parcel bomb to the police station in Itea (in retaliation for the murder of inmate Ilir Kareli by prison guards); sending a letter bomb to the home of Dimitris Mokkas (special appellate judge against terrorism); planning an armed escape from Koridallos prison (dubbed “Gorgopotamos project”); and possession of firearms, explosives and anti-tank RPGs with the purpose of “disrupting the country’s social, economic and political life.” Furthermore, in relation to these charges, they were convicted of “direction of a terrorist organisation” and incitement (“moral instigation”) to four attempted homicides.
During the sentencing, there was a strong presence of comrades in solidarity with the anarchists and the dignified individuals co-accused in the CCF escape case trial. There was also heavy police presence (including an anti-riot squad).
The ten CCF anarchist prisoners Gerasimos Tsakalos, Christos Tsakalos, Giorgos Polidoros, Olga Ekonomidou, Theofilos Mavropoulos, Panagiotis Argirou, Giorgos Nikolopoulos, Michalis Nikolopoulos, Damiano Bolano, Haris Hadjimihelakis were sentenced to 115 years in prison each.
Comrade Angeliki Spyropoulou:
The anarchist prisoner Angeliki Spyropoulou was sentenced to 28 years in prison.
Relatives of CCF members:
Athena Tsakalou (the mother of CCF members Gerasimos Tsakalos and Christos Tsakalos) and Evi Statiri (the partner of Gerasimos Tsakalos) were found not guilty by a majority opinion (instead of a unanimous verdict).
However, Christos Polidoros (the brother of CCF member Giorgos Polidoros) was convicted of “membership in the terrorist organisation Conspiracy of Cells of Fire” and received a 6-year suspended sentence.
Other prison sentences & a couple of acquittals:
Christos Rodopoulos (nicknamed “Iasonas” by authorities), who has denied all charges, was sentenced to 75 years in prison.
Christodoulos Xiros (convicted 17N member) was sentenced to 65 years in prison.
Four other defendants were convicted of alleged membership in the organisation and sentenced to 27-28 years in prison each.
Fabio Dusko was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
Four other defendants were acquitted of membership in the organisation but received a 6-year suspended sentence.
Two other defendants were found guilty of misdemeanor offenses.
Two defendants were found not guilty.
– via contrainfo
Tags: Aggeliki Spyropoulou, Athena Tsakalou, Athens, CCF Escape case, Christodoulos Xiros, Christos Polydoros, Christos Rodopoulos, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire : Imprisoned Members Cell, Evi Statiri, Greece, Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), International Revolutionary Front, Korydallos Prison, Trial
Posted in Prison Struggle
Friday, July 8th, 2016
08.07.16: Breaking news from Greece: 10 Conspiracy of Cells of Fire defendants sentenced to 115 years each for the attempted prison escape. Relatives / loved ones of the CCF comrades – Evi Statiri, Athena Tsakalou and Christos Polydoros have all been released, while the other 15 defendants received shorter sentences. More news as it becomes available.
Solidarity with the CCF comrades and their families and loved ones!
For an insurrectionary response of international solidarity to the vengeful ‘justice’ of the Greek state!
– via InsurrectionNews
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Hearing of June 29th
On Wednesday the court heard the speech of the prosecutor I. Koutra. The speech went for almost the whole hearing which is approximately six hours. The bastard devoted himself to criticizing the approaches of anarchists and the actions of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, defending the existence of the state, laws, judges and police officers and proclaiming that a world without judges or prisons is something ‘cute’ but impossible.
Regarding the charges that he is seeking to convict the CCF comrades with, the prosecutor suggested to the judges that they convict them for ‘directing’ a terrorist organization, attempted murder, the possession and supply of weapons and explosives, explosions that ‘risk human life’, vehicle theft and attempted escape.
The prosecutor also suggested that the comrade Angeliki Spyropoulou be convicted of belonging to a terrorist organization and possession and supply of explosives.
For Athena Tsakalou and Evi Statiri he suggested that the charge of participation in a ‘terrorist’ organization be discarded, which rules out for them a sentence of 10-20 years. For Christos Polydoros he also suggested that same charge be discarded however he suggested that the comrade be convicted for the strange accusation of ‘facilitating the membership of a terrorist organization’ under the idea that the comrade would have helped Angeliki join the CCF. (more…)
Tags: Aggeliki Spyropoulou, Athena Tsakalou, Athens, CCF Escape case, Christos Tsakalos, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire - Urban Guerilla Cell, Evi Statiri, Greece, Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), International Revolutionary Front, Korydallos Prison, Trial
Posted in Prison Struggle
‘London: Resistance against Immigration Raids & Perspectives of Rebellion’ Info Event in Exarchia (Athens, Greece)
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
DISCUSSION | Thursday July 7th at 20:00, Gini building Athens Polytechnic School (entrance from Stournari St.), Exarchia
Themistokleous 58 squat
& anarchist counter-info sites Rabble LDN and Contra info
Wednesday, June 29th, 2016
Some Questions and Answers with N. Maziotis, event at Karditsa self-managed space, June 2016 [excerpts]
Q. How can the anarchist/antiauthoritarian space change from being reactive into a real revolutionary movement? In your opinion, what political characteristics should it have, and what kind of organization and aims?
A: It is a question of political positions. Anarchy, or Libertarian or antiauthoritarian communism is a social proposal and organization. The condition to create a truly revolutionary anarchist movement is the existence of political positions and proposals in order to make clear to the people, the masses and workers, what we believe and what aims we have as anarchists. This means that we must take positions on the burning problems and issues of our time that are the result of the capitalist crisis- such as debt, memoranda, the dilemma of staying in or leaving the European Union, and to make clear what is our goal as anarchists, which is none other than the overthrow and destruction of capital and the state and the creation of a stateless, classless society.
These are issues for which the masses of people, the people affected by the crisis and the policies for rescuing the system, have searched and still search answers, yet the anarchist/anti-authoritarian space had nothing different to offer them compared to the proposals of the mainstream parties (besides slogans perhaps). Also beyond the formulation of political positions and proposals it should be clear by whom or in what ways and means our struggle will promote and implement these political positions and proposals- in other words, how we will make Anarchy a reality. (more…)
Athens, Korydallos Prison Court: Statement of Giorgos Petrakakos when leaving the trial procedure, the reading of which was forbidden by the judge Ifanti (Greece)
Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
On February 15th 2016 began my second trial, concerning robberies for which I am accused of since 2002. This trial takes place at different times, but on the same days, in the same court room and by the same judges who are trying the escape case of members of the CCF.
Just like in the case of the CCF, there were repeated attempts by the judges to provocatively bypass the strike of the DSA (Athens Bar Association).
Specifically, the chairwoman Mrs Ifanti initially proposed to me to be tried without an advocate, because according to her my legal representation will offer me nothing, since I accept the charges and because I have already been convicted and sentenced to 36 years for another case. So either way my final sentence will be merged to 25 years! Thus, she proved to me that she perceives my trial as mathematical equation which will simply add years to my sentence,
without even examining the real incidents.
I refused her proposal and insisted on my initial choice to be represented by a lawyer. In the following session Mrs.Ifanti came back with a new proposal, suggested to my appointed advocate Athanasios V. Stamou, to bypass the decision of DSA so they can “get it over with”, for her to receive mine and my advocate’s refusal. (more…)
Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
Update by AntiFénix: Martin has suspended his hunger strike.
In April 2015, the Czech State launched a repressive campaign under the name “Operation Fénix” targeting the anarchist movement that’s active on its territory.
Raids on fighters’ homes, arrests, personal belongings confiscated, relatives and friends of the arrestees harassed, and accusatory dossiers cooked up in police offices. Eleven fighters were arrested as a result of this operation, of whom four were sent to remand prisons of the Czech Republic, while the rest were given restrictive bail conditions. All this has been portrayed in the media as a coordinated effort towards dismantling “terrorist networks”, such as the Network of Revolutionary Cells (SRB) who’ve claimed responsibility for dozens of incendiary attacks against statist and capitalist targets. Also one of the comrades is charged with participating in another attack that, according to the media, was carried out with Molotov cocktails against the house of the Minister of National Defence.
Martin Ignačák, who is accused of plotting attack on a train transporting military equipment, was in fact trapped by government agents who had infiltrated anarchist circles and indicated the target to Martin along with plans about how to carry out such an attack. (more…)
Athens: Incendiary gesture in complicity with rebels in France and in solidarity to international anarchist prisoners by FAI/FRI (Greece)
Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
During and after the “social movement”, we’ll never stop following our destructive passions, pursuing our dreams of freedom, sowing the chaos of revolt in the order of authority. “Tout peut basculer”; anarchist newspaper published in Paris
In the early hours of June 9th 2016, we paid a brief visit to the offices of the French insurance company AXA in the centre of Athens and torched one of their vans. We ruled out the possibility of attacking the building with the means that are currently at our disposal, for the simple reason that we wouldn’t have caused considerable damage beyond broken windows and perhaps a small fire. Nevertheless, their vehicle that was parked every night next to their offices gave us a good opportunity to attack them quickly and discreetly.
We attacked a target that’s located in an area where, in addition to patrols, cops are constantly present; we were also aware that the surrounding cafeterias and sex shops are frequented by cops with or without uniform. But it only takes a good preparation to strike every potential target.
We chose to attack AXA as a minimum display of complicity with rebels in France, who are fighting in the streets for more than three months. We make it clear, however, that this is not an act of solidarity with “social movements” or the leftists who ask for law reforms, more democracy and a “fairer” Power; nor with the unions that try to manipulate the revolt to satisfy their own interest; nor with “the poor people” or “the working class” who complain now that the legislation affects their pockets and want the State to guarantee them a return to normalcy and a welfare regime. A normalcy and welfare built on the obedience and servitude of the consumerist mass. (more…)
CCF escape plan trial is ending + Statement to the court by Olga Economidou, member of CCF / FAI-FRI (Greece)
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
At the hearing on Friday, June 17th, one of the last ‘apologies’ heard was the prisoner Fabio Dusko who is accused of involvement in the CCF escape attempt. Fabio refused to answer questions from the judges and declared in a statement: “I am proud to cooperate with the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and would do it again to regain freedom. Escaping from prison is the duty of every prisoner”.
The trial was suspended until June 29th. It is important to note that under Greek legislation pre-trial detention has a maximum period of 18 months. After this the prisoner can then be released to await trial. In the case of the comrade Angeliki Spyropoulou and other defendants, the pre-trial detention term expires on July 13th. In light of this, judge A. Yfanti managed to conduct an “express trial” and has stated that the trial will be finished on July 10th with sentences for the the defendants, seeking to prevent their return to the street.
To fast track the trial – as mentioned in previous updates – the judge ‘read’ thousands of pages of judicial reports in record time, attempted to conduct the trial without the presence of lawyers, the defendants or the public and suspended other trials (including the trial of members of the fascist organization Golden Dawn) to ensure that the court room was always available for the CCF escape plan trial.
Let no comrade remain alone!
via Sin Banderas Ni Fronteras and Athens Indymedia, translated into English by Insurrection News
Statement to the court by Olga Economidou regarding the attempted prison escape by the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire
I did not come to this court room today to offer my apologies. I do not stand here and apologize to you because I do not regret anything. Even if I could turn back time a thousand times, I would still make the same decision. The desire for freedom cannot be put on trial or imprisoned. (more…)
Tags: Aggeliki Spyropoulou, Athena Tsakalou, Athens, CCF Escape case, Christos Polydoros, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, Evi Statiri, Fabio Dusko, Greece, Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), International Revolutionary Front, Letter, Olga Economidou, Trial
Posted in Prison Struggle
Sunday, June 19th, 2016
June 6th and 7th hearings
The June 6th and 7th hearings were for the 250 attacks by the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and the attempted escape of 2015. Witnesses for the defense were presented for some of the defendants.
For their part, the comrades Christos and Gerasimos Tsakalos, along with the comrades Giorgos Polydoros, Olga Economidou and Angeliki Spyropoulou attended the trial and refused to present witnesses for their defense as they have stated since day one that “for us the best ‘defense’ is the continuation of the action in the streets”.
Witnesses for the defense of the three relatives of the CCF comrades (Christos Polydoros, Evi Statiri and Athena Tsakalou) were also presented.
The statements of the witnesses focused on the criminalization of family relations and referred to cases that occurred during the dictatorship in Greece (1967-1974) in which rebels and insurgents were aided or given refuge to prevent being arrested by the Military Junta. (more…)
Tags: Aggeliki Spyropoulou, Athena Tsakalou, Athens, CCF Escape case, Christos Polydoros, Christos Rodopoulos, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, Evi Statiri, Greece, Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), International Revolutionary Front, Korydallos Prison, Trial
Posted in Prison Struggle
Tuesday, June 14th, 2016
Solidarity towards all prisoners, political and penal, without any division, who with their stance and their ideals dream of a fair way of dealing with the general good. Besides, the course of each person, their acts as well their stance over the years carves their personality too.
We must give a huge hug to people-fellow prisoners of ours who really need it without waiting for anything in return. In my opinion we must rely on the feeling of unity between those of us who are connected by common interests and common targets.
All we prisoners are connected with one another with a different judgement of real incidents.
And even in the most tough times where we are persecuted by our enemies for our ideas and courage, we must stand tall and give our thoughts and help to all those who need it. (more…)
Saturday, June 11th, 2016
June 11th is an international solidarity day. A day against oblivion. A day for all those who are missing from the streets.
For everyone of us that learned to count our steps within the prison yard and divide our day between locking after locking and our night in tallies.
At the same time, June 11th is a day of war. It’s a day of rebellion because law and order may rule but they do not reign.
The existence of anarchist prisoners reminds us of the existence of the anarchist war. A war that sometimes burns slowly and sometimes blinds the sky with its fires.
Every war has its losses. There are comrades that were lost to cop’s bullets or from a bomb that “was in a hurry” to explode…
Comrades that will not be beside us in the next conspiratorial rendzevous.
And then there are those who got caught in the enemy’s snare. An enemy that is baptized in democracy and takes revenge with prisons and courts.
A democracy that likes to carry its captives as trophies from prison to prison, in special conditions, charged with dozens of years of punishment… (more…)
Tags: Athens, Christos Tsakalos, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, Greece, Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), International Revolutionary Front, June 11th Solidarity, Korydallos Prison, Letter
Posted in Prison Struggle
Saturday, June 11th, 2016
In prison, the sense of time has its own imprint. While days seem endless to me, at the same time the 3 years that have passed since our arrests in Nea Filadelphia seem like nothing. The environment of incarceration encourages rapid emotional swings and thus in a limited space, the sense of time is especially changeable because of the concentrated periods of emotional moods.
So, 3 years and a month with an intense experience of multifaceted disappointment and disgust. I could write infinite things about prison besides the usual, but it is all so fictitious now both inside and outside, that any extensive reference to anything seems meaningless to me. I will just say, continuing from older letters, that the prisoneresque stench is not a privilege of just one wing obviously, but a general phenomenon in prisons and that the reversal of meanings is something more than a rule in here, showing-off is a virtue and macho is dignity… (more…)