Greece: A sea of people flood the centre of Athens in solidarity to Koufodinas on hunger strike for 53 days
Thousands have defied the reign of fear, censorship and terror imposed by the greek government on any protest or voice in solidarity to the simple demands of a political prisoner, Dimitris Koufodinas, whose death is imminent, after 53 days of hunger strike.
The vast majority of the protests all over Greece during the last 6 weeks have been attacked, without even an excuse, as soon as people started to gather. Even a mention of Koufodinas name on Facebook and you get a ban or your FB page is taken down. This has even happened to politicians, lawyers, scholars and academics.
Regardless, what matters is the images you see above. If Dimitris Koufodinas dies it will be the first prisoner on hunger strike to die in the European Union, since the death of Bobby Sands and his comrades in 1981, in Northern Ireland, under the Margaret Thatcher regime.
Dimitris Koufodinas, now 63 years old, is on hunger strike for the last 53 days and has begun a thirst strike too since 23 February. His current demand is to be transferred to Korydallos prison, as well as, an end to the arbitrary political interventions against him.
Even after 53 days without food, the greek government refuses his right to equal treatment.
– The rise of right-wing fascism within the greek government –
Even by the elastic standards of what was used to be known as a parliamentary democracy in Greece, the right-wing regime that governs Greece has gradually turned, in just one year and a half in power, into a neo-fascist state.
While Athens is still on lockdown for the last 4 months, the right-wing government of “New Democracy” has used that time to act like a mafia organisation, settling scores with its perceived enemies, the greek people, human rights, and freedoms.
In a violent legislative crescendo, the government has managed to establish a junta-like police State, using the pandemic lockdown as a period to quash rights and freedoms with no resistance by the people, (since the right to protest has been indefinitely revoked), that no other greek government even thought to destroy, since the military junta regime was overturned in Greece back in 1974.
From establishing police stations inside the greek universities to the banning of gatherings and protests above a certain number of people and the ban on the freedom of journalists to move freely and report the news, and their plan to criminalize anti-establishment speech and lyrics in songs and art, the ironically self-proclaimed “New Democracy” governing party has decided the hiring of thousands of new policemen as the answer to everything, even the pandemic.
Amongst the government’s enemies and its settling of scores is political prisoner Dimitris Koufodinas, serving 11 times life sentence plus 25 years, convicted as a member of the “Revolutionary Organization November 17th” (17N). 17N was active in Greece from 1975 to 2002, when it was dismantled after a failed attack. In 1989, the politician Pavlos Bakogiannis, the current Prime Minister’s brother-in-law and father of the present-day mayor of Athens, fell victim to the guerrilla group. During the trial of 17N, Dimitris Koufodinas assumed political responsibility for the actions of the guerrilla group and his general stance during the court proceedings have earned him respect amongst some parts of the greek public, a fact that the current prime minister, the mayor of Athens and the American embassy cannot accept. So they constantly use their power to violate the founding idea that “justice is the same for all” or that “democracy does not seek revenge”, thus, treating him more like a hostage rather than a prisoner, constantly changing legal rules just to take their revenge.
As a result, Koufodinas has gone for the 5th time in 18 years on a hunger strike, with the basic demand to be treated as a prisoner and not like a political prisoner, that according to the greek law does not exist as a prisoner’s classification.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the president of the current governing party, “New Democracy”, had publicly promised that if he came to power, he would exclude Koufontinas from the right to prison leaves and the right to serve his sentence in agricultural prisons or any other right granted by greek, EU or international law.