Greece: Velvento Case – Court of Appeal Decision on June 27
With the court hearing closed to the court of appeal of Velvento case, the comrades are awaiting the court decision on 27 June.
The hearing was closed with the lawyers’ speeches after the prosecutor’s proposal, which was acquitting for the two comrades A. Dalios, F. Harisis, thus he proposed mitigating (Not humble springs and good behavior during the commission of the act) for all comrades.
About the case in gr & en here: https://velventosolidarity.noblogs.org/
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Solidarity brochure about the persecuted anarchists of the Velvento case, originally published on April 7, 2016 at Velventos Solidarity
A chronological presentation of the case
On Friday February 1, 2013, a double robbery took place at the local branch of the Agricultural Bank of Greece and the Hellenic Post office in Velven
to, Kozani, Greece. Following a mass police mobilization in the whole area, one person was detained in the surroundings of Ptolemaida, and three more were arrested later on during a police chase operation.
From the outset of their arrest the four detainees – G. Mihailidis, D. Politis, N. Romanos and A.D Βourzoukos – declared themselves to be anarchists. The comrades were forced to stop a passing vehicle in their attempt to escape during the police chase. They avoided armed confrontation with their pursuers so as not to jeopardise the driver’s life.
After their arrest, the comrades were transferred to the Veria police headquarters where they were brutally tortured for hours by local cops. The next day, the police authorities of Greece released deliberately and miserably photoshopped photos of the abused comrades. It was cynically stated that photo airbrushing was necessary in order for the faces of the arrested to be recognisable to the public and thus facilitate the investigations of police authorities. That cynical statement was followed by the absurd allegation that the injuries of the arrested anarchists were sustained during their arrest and not while in custody.
From the beginning, the comrades maintained a decent and dignified political stance and supported the option of bank robbery, not as an act of personal enrichment, but as part of their subversive political beliefs and action. Due to their political stance, numerous solidarity actions took place within the wider anarchist/antiauthoritarian movement. In almost every Greek city solidarity actions took place, ranging from the use of banners and public speak-outs with informative interventions in central parts of the cities to more radical actions. Immediately, a solidarity gathering took place at Kozani’s courthouse, while it was being decided whether the four would be held in custody or not. On February 23, 2013 a demonstration of more than 400 comrades from various Greek towns took place in Veria (a neighbouring town). The climate of fear and intimidation that was imposed in Veria in the days preceding the solidarity demonstration was unprecedented. Traffic in the city centre was halted and the repressive forces blocked the main streets, patrolling the town in a military manner.
Further solidarity gatherings outside the prisons and the appeal court followed, as well as the use of public speak-outs with informative interventions in central parts of the cities, events and a wide range of diverse actions, both in Greece and abroad.
In the next few days, the police issued two arrest warrants for two anarchist comrades, mislabelling them via the media circus acting as courts as the ones who escaped arrest in Velvento by using the car of the passing driver.
On April 30, 2013 and after massive sweeping arrests against anarchists in New Philadelphia district, Argiris Dalios and Fivos Harisis were arrested and charged with involvement in Velvento’s expropriation.
The prosecution was based on DNA findings, this new flexible methodology of incriminating fighters, a questionable and flexible method which is used with the aim of upgrading the charges.
At the moment our comrades are imprisoned in Koridallos. On 29 November [T/N: 2013 – this trial is still continuing] in a special court in the women’s section of Koridallos prison, after the special examiners of the appellate court have charged them – by way of summary procedure – with participation in the organization Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF), a tactic applied to anarchist militants so as to upgrade their criminal charges and extend their hostage period.
At this point, it is worth mentioning the political route of the 6 fighters.
Nikos Romanos, friend of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, was next to Alexandros when he was murdered back in 2008 by Korkoneas. He refused to appear in court, devaluing and actively questioning the mechanisms of authority and power. Romanos’ act of defiance that mass media deliberately presented as our comrade’s psychological trauma was, and still is, a conscious political choice and nothing less. Today, Saraliotis has been released for his part in the murder. [T/N: Saraliotis is a Special Guard, part of a police unit with lightest armament, and was Korkoneas colleague. He was sentenced for involvement in Grigoropoulos’ murder, and was released after 30 months in jail.]
Dimitris Bourzoukos, Argiris Dalios, Fivos Harisis are active members of the anarchist/anti-authoritarian movement; they have been taking part in assemblies and demos; bill-posting, interventions and events; supporting the fight inside and outside prisons.
An arrest warrant had been issued for Giannis Mihailidis and Dimitris Politis for their involvement in the Revolutionary Organisation Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (R.O.CCF), while they had publicly stated that they are anarchists, part of the diverse movement, and that they had chosen the path of illegality. Michailidis was one of the 27 arrested for attacking Parnitha’s Casino with paints in 2007. He was arrested for the incident at the fourth Social Forum, where he had declared himself to be an anarchist and was vindictively imprisoned. The mass media presented him as “the archer of Syntagma” when during a massive anti-memorandum protest, he was aiming at the parliament with his crossbow. [T/N: Syntagma Square is the central square in front of Greek parliament. It is where all the major protests take place.]
Solidarity constitutes a lively, two-way relationship. Its manifestations vary. In the case of imprisoned fighters, it is this relationship that knocks down the prison bars, transforming the imprisoned into active members of the movement. Solidarity is the condition that breaks the isolation of those imprisoned and brings them closer to their political family.
Solidarity is not a matter that only interests the arrestees’ “close-ones”, their friend and family circles.
We believe that solidarity with the prisoners of the social war should come from the movement as a whole, at the level that can be supported by each part of it.
Significant efforts for financial support of the prisoners but also for the persecuted fighters have been made during recent years. This includes financial support structures, assemblies, demonstrations, financial support coffee shops, concerts and discussions that aim at practical solidarity with the comrades who are under a regime of persecution or imprisonment.
On a political level, solidarity constitutes the communication channel between different manifestations and trends within the subversive movement, it constitutes one of the cornerstones of the anarchist world view.
Especially for the comrades who are imprisoned, production of public speech makes up a mound against the communicational omnipotence of the authoritarian mechanisms that try to undermine their political status. The reason that they take part in everyday uprisings is buried under the noise about actions, whereas the television attempts to decide the way we perceive the facts. Besides this, public speech makes new narrative frameworks known that are included in the movement and the fight. The imprisoned fighters, from their position and since coverage current events in the era of the spectacle runs at a breakneck pace, contribute with a self-possessed analysis and give food for thought to the movement in order to invigorate and compose an active part of it. With this rationale and due to the substantial increase in the number of anarchists who are imprisoned, this structure that can take a stand on public issues and produce anarchist speech within the prisons – thereafter providing this speech to the movement – has been established.
During the last year the Anarchists Prisoners Initiative was talking about matters related to prison, the movement and society, while the prisoners have started discussing the creation of a prisoners’ network which will build communications in order to break apart the isolation the imprisonment is attempting.
Solidarity, besides being a shield for the prisoner or the prosecuted comrade until she/he returns back to the movement and the field of the struggle, is a shield for the movement itself. While the state is trying to establish new means of repression, solidarity is a mound in his plans. Every field we are abandoning is conquered by the state. So, every raid on a comrade’s house is called research in a terrorist base, even if they find nothing at all.
The anarchist movement can only be a diverse movement. Every means and choice of struggle is understood in the context both of the political subject and circumstances under which is selected. Our tools are equally useful, as long as we know when and how to use them.
In the case of the six anarchists, Bourzoukos, Politis, Romanos, Michailidis, Dalios, Harisis we observe this exact diversity.
Under the current circumstances and in an era when capitalism is showing its most ruthless and barbaric phase, the struggle of anarchists and the broader radical space is anything but pointless. It displays real prospects for constructing a different society through the violent overturn of the current system, and through the revolutionary process.
We live in an era when the level of conflict with the state’s power has been upgraded, while more and more sections of society take active parts in it. This is a situation that those in power cannot manipulate easily. It is a situation which constitutes a chance for the revolutionary movement to expand. Let’s move towards this direction, let’s feel the thin threads which unite our partial struggles into one, with solidarity and action being our guides.
We will not stop until total liberation, until revolution.
The Velvento case is not a case apart, but an inseparable part of a broader system of suppression. The umbrella project, as expressed in Italy in the Marini doctrine, is not a random and operationally-neutral project of suppression. The umbrella, i.e., the miscellaneous packaging [T/N: treating miscellaneous things in the same way] of disparate political references in a common organisational model aims, if not to depoliticise, then to create political confusion, by identifying and equating not only different, but even contradictory tendencies within the anarchist space. As a consequence, despite the fact that 10 people have taken political responsibility for their participation in the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, the state stubbornly and based on ridiculous connections is trying to squeeze all tendencies within the anarchist space under the same organisational model, under the same political roof.
This is not arbitrary or random, as the second step is to pass from the umbrella project to the project of a hyper-umbrella, from within the theory of the supposedly-joint Administration, as Nikos Dendias officially stated. According to this theory, all the armed organisations are coordinated by a joint administration, which is ordering the lower hierarchical layer to perform its demands. To make sense of something that is not easy for them to grasp, the political leadership has enacted an anti-terrorist act that conceptualizes a revolutionary group not only in legal terms, but also in economic and management terms, introducing the notion of “manager of a terrorist organisation”. This notion of a central “terrorist” administration supported by obedient peripheries, besides the political confusion that is trying to create, seeks to hide the rationality of revolutionary action, obscuring real motives and presenting anarchists as part of a hierarchical political space. Lately Golden Dawn joined this storytelling, writing on their website: “there is only one gang of terrorists, even if it appears sometimes as Rebels Sect, or Revolutionary Struggle, or CCF and so on, and it consists always of the same terror-thieves”.
In this context, with the horseshoe theory [T/N: this is also known as the ‘theory of the extremes’], power is reclaiming the monopoly on violence, as until recently revolutionary counter-violence was largely seen as ethically legitimate in a huge part of society (even the most conservative sections). It seeks to put on equal terms political counter-violence, which is the return of a small part of the state’s violence, with the ruthless violence of the Nazi para-state, which state power is supporting or tolerating at times depending on their interests on each political occasion.
Those who condemn violence wherever it comes from are equating the dynamic resistance of the oppressed in every corner of the planet with the violence of the counter-revolution. They are putting on equal terms the violence from the Israeli state with the slings of minors from Palestine, the genocides and the extermination of civilian population by fascists, with every antifascist action on this planet. The condemnation of violence wherever it comes from is the recent ideology worshipped by the parliamentarian representatives of violence. It is the modern conformity to the law and subordination of the regime left towards the winners of the civil war.
The reactive horseshoe theory is based on the urban ideology of condemning violence wherever it comes from as a prerequisite statement of submission and prestige. In essence, the message state power sends with this theory, through its partners that set the political agenda of the regime’s policy, is crystal clear: those who doubt or defy the state’s monopoly on violence, those who dare to resist the exploitation, the memorandums and the social fear, will be treated as enemies of the regime. They will be exterminated by the legal representatives and exponents of barbarism, by the legal political extreme. Imprisonments; tortures; prosecutions; the state’s daily terrorism [the regime claims] is simply its political counter-motion to overcome the ‘violence’ [of our resistance].
Besides our solipsistic point of view, we need to locate anarchists’ prosecutions within their social context. It is a fact that anarchists have become the guinea pigs against which experiments in repression are taking place before their final implementation against wider parts of society. The target of the new repressive dogma is not only the revolutionary vanguard, but also disciplining the repressed and excluded social actors as well as the plebeian and proletarian strata. The target is to erase every form of disobedience from the social map. Whether it’s mild or intense, reformist or revolutionary. Every form of radicalisation that will disrupt capitalism’s normality, every obstacle to the so-called development and recovery of the economy, every hindrance to the ongoing plundering of our lives will be under attack by an upgraded repressive force. Thus, a special squad of a semi-military character, aiming to confront terrorism and organised crime, such as the Special Counter-Terrorist Unit, will be employed not only against armed anarchists or occupants, not only for holding bullying investigations in prisons, but also for repressing labour struggles and strikes. The same special squad will be employed in order to put a whole area under police control, such as Skouries in Chalkidiki, to fulfil the anti-forest appetites of Eldorado’s capitalist prospectors [T/N: Eldorado is a gold-mining company that, in cooperation with the Greek government, is seeking to destroy a whole forest in Chalkidiki, northern Greece, putting profits over the environment and peoples’ lives].
The state is no longer content with employing conventional repressive forces – more than efficient at restoring “law and order” – but it has also launched a special counter-terrorism unit. The state, aiming to impose economic neoliberalism whose necessary precondition is police-military keynsianism, tries to internalize the image of militarised repression. Amid conditions of systemic crisis, Capital and its state apparatus attempt to build social consensus and cohesion through the Party of Law and Order, since they can’t build it any more by offering social benefits. Therefore, it is not only anarchists, strikers, Chalkidiki’s residents and others who are under attack but also those Excluded, since even their existence is considered threatening. Thus, dominant media cultivate a delirious climate of moral panic that paves the way for totalitarian attacks against immigrants, HIV+ women, Roma and so on.
Ultimately, we are being led into an accelerating militarisation of repression, with the formation of mixed police-military units (such as EUROGENDFOR) and with protest suppression training exercises by chosen corps, like the exercises Kallimahos and Pyrpolitis [T/N: Kallimahos and Pyrpolitis are exercises that involve military practice of neutralising armed individuals in a residential area and they were actually practised in such areas]. A typical example is the khaki riot police of the 71st air-mobile brigade. It is an immediate response force with a flexible configuration system which can be transferred from one operation to another in very little time, with the use of military air planes and helicopters. It is part of the NATO response force (NRF) which aims to tackle international crisis, to avert massive immigration and to support counter-terrorism operations. It’s also notable that even though the military’s interference in issues of internal repression is explicitly forbidden, military units took part in operations aiming to locate the fugitives from the Trikala jail.
The horseshoe theory which has been regurgitated lately is not a greek speciality. It has been introduced as part of the adapted-to-crisis repression dogma by the EU and the NATO. This started with the EU directive which equates communism with Nazism only to be followed by the resolution introduced by the Franco supporter Euro MP Pedro Agramunt. In this resolution, anti-capitalistic and radical movements are equated with islamic fundamentalism and fascist extremism. The so-called war against terrorism is expanded and transformed into a war against social radicalisation.
Thus, the states are prompted to use disproportionate repressive violence since every squat (either anarchists’ or strikers’ and employees’) is considered to be either to already be an act of terrorism or to hold the potential for one; every demonstration is thought to be an armed fighters’ reservoir. In this way, various forms of struggle with different levels of violence (or even non-violent forms) are fused into one. Every struggle that constitutes an obstacle to “Saint Development and Recovery of capitalism” is dealt with by the same repression (if we were living in earlier times we would even hear the phrase “financial sabotage”).
We are much closer than we thought to the age described by Dimitris Bourzoukos: “It’s very likely days will come when poster-posting will be considered an incitement to a criminal act, participation in marches [will be considered] equal to forming a criminal organisation. Days when every hangout, every squat will be labelled as a ‘terrorist base’. We are not afraid of those days, we are expecting them”.
Assembly solidarity for the Velvento case
Fivos Harisis and Argiris Dalios’ Statement:
We are finally in the court room.
Surrounded by pig cops, brought before our judges, who are playing with our lives.
Prisoners of your legal system’s laws.
Our wounded freedom bargained over prison years.
And well-polished words chosen to accentuate:
THE CLASH BETWEEN OUR WORLDS
“Every word you write corroborates the ascribed meaning of your text. There are no free words.” (T. Sinopoulos, The Book of Night)
That’s better. Words are complicit with the mouths that utter them. They transmit perceptions, hide meanings, disclose intentions. These are the words left to reflect our anger and unlock the doors of our cells. Disabled as they’ve been for almost six months since they’ve stood up the pursuit of freedom in our meetings out on the streets, but determined to confront your hostile rhetoric, your threats of incarceration and the defeated cries of the imprisoned world.
So, let’s start. You tend to refer to “innocent” and “guilty” subjects. You don’t only refer to them, but you actually single out who will be on each side of the prison bars, on account of their “innocence” or “guilt”. You invoke terms like “justice” and “injustice”. Or even terms like “legality” and “illegality”.
We will not attempt to persuade you, conversing with you. We speak different languages and we make different choices. You ooze hypocrisy and your cowardice is overflowing. You will be swept away by a wave of revenge that was, is, and will be powered by the rage of the world, the rage of all those you had exiled once – in courtrooms like this one – to never-land, a place you couldn’t dwell in even in your worst nightmares.
Don’t bother to reason with us. The borders of your constitutional law books, your legislations and your articles of constitution cannot accommodate our dreams, our desires and our emotions.
We won’t argue about our “innocent” ideas and our “pure” ideologies here. Ideas and ideologies are latent in fairy tales. Your world’s fairy tale is made of blood, it creates barriers, it consists of tortures and its hypocrisy is endless. Your world’s fairy tale embodies DEATH itself behind fancy images and decorated words.
Whichever movement eludes your laws’ sacred pincer has to be detected, chased, and disciplined, for your system’s omnipotence to be confirmed and to prevent whoever dares to act in deviance.
Any kind of movement that deviates from dominant morality and normalcy, as well as the hegemonic view on health and sexuality, was and will continue to be persecuted. The burning flesh of the Inquisition’s ‘unholy’ enemies still smells whereas times change and your world is “ennobled”. In present days the exiled lepers are cured, medical science advances, the “lunatics” do not constitute a Sunday spectacle for the bourgeois any longer but instead get “treatments” in mental clinics. There are numerous examples. Some of these examples still maintain the brutality and cruelty of bygone times. Other examples are beautified to deceive us.
Let’s not fool ourselves; words of innocence and guilt don’t only come out of your mouths when each trial is over. These concepts spin in every citizen’s consciousness long before they label people as “dangerous”, “profane”, “outcast”. Verdicts and trials are part of everyday reality, they take place everywhere.
We face them in news reports where journalists exercise their own powers of judgement and in police operations sweeping pauperised ghetto.
We face them in the rigid penalties for immigrants and labourers set by the bosses from Manolada to Geraniou. [T/N: in April 2013 33 workers originally from Bangladesh were shot by their work supervisors in Manolada, southern Greece, for demanding payment. Geraniou is a street in Athens city centre where in November 2013 a bouncer murdered a 28 year old who demanded his friend’s payment]. We face them in the death penalties for so many people either at the boarders or in the sea or inside police departments and detention rooms.
We face them in shattered dreams, in violent marginalization, in small and big humiliations, in everyday fascist behaviours, in the “democratic” pogroms. They are in the finger that always points out the one who stands out…
The judge’s shadow is hidden in our everyday behaviours, the court benches are full as all of society follows the show. The miserable and tortured faces of immigrants, the rebels of hell-holes like Amygdaleza [T/N: Amygdaleza is a concentration camp, designed for confinement of immigrants waiting to be deported. Immigrants there face inhumane, overcrowded living conditions, and they are constantly terrorised and beaten. In April 2013 a riot broke out where the detainees set containers on fire, attacked prison guards and attempted escape]. The sex workers raped by the media’s gaze on television. The minor offenders who you concrete inside cement walls. The drug addicts who you serve with penalties instead of remedies. An outcast world for punishment in jails, mental clinics, “hospitality” centres, held up to scorn and contempt by any law-abiding mind. A world in the middle called the “margin” while your bloodstained history is set to a paranoid dance around it.
We wonder where we should look for your “innocent” people. Yes, your innocent citizens, worthy of a place in the machine’s greased gears. Should we look for them among the respectable and hard-working people, submissive to the carnivorous routine? Among those pimps that sell their dignity in exchange for a more favourable treatment? Among the identities and roles donated everyday by this puppet show of the absurd of such a society?
We reverse the internal monologues of each one and we sincerely ask ourselves about the light sentence that “innocent” apathy enjoys.
Innocence stinks of inconsideration, individualism, submission, neutered critical thinking, silence. It suggests a life within the borders you set, a life defined by conventions, exclusions, predefined choices.
We live in a world where power and its tentacles have sneaked into our everyday lives, in every corner from which human existence grows.
Power’s steady structures, such as the police, politicians, entrepreneurial rabble or science technocrats, constitute the immediate embodiment of the enemy. The enemy has names and addresses. It is the accumulated force of the power of certain people with clear responsibilities and specific anti-revolutionary positions. A cluster of anthropoids who, each from their dedicated position, administer, control, subdue, murder, experiment.
It’s true that this web of people has made life and work choices that put them on the opposite bank of the dividing line we draw. Targeting without dialogue or criticism. Attack.
Your loathsome cast belongs in this aforementioned group.
What more reason do you need to smash the cops who spread violence in neighbourhoods, in demonstrations and defend the so-called sacred legality with arms? What extra reason should we look for in order to attack the fascists or the political supervisors of the rotten system? Why should we justify our predatory invasions in the banks that hold our lost time in their vaults?
However, the power nucleus mentioned above is not the only target against which we have to fight with the right means. We will talk about power as a diffuse social relation among people. About those invisible power webs in exploitation, hypocrisy, the enforcement of the strong. The relationship of consumption and exchange, and of alienation and spectacle.
The social relationships and their powers reminds us of the Russian toy of “Matrioska”. The familiar toy is a wooden doll within which many other smaller, identical, dolls can be found. And even though the dolls are of different sizes they all share the exact same characteristics, colours, shape. Always with the same dream of stepping up and the same razor smile. This is the metaphor we use to demonstrate the reproduction of power relations from the top of concentrated state power to countless areas of social life.
We passed through the school dungeons of boredom, through the ennui of school desks, the lost hours trapped inside the four walls. We also passed through the universities with the students and their martial roles, the space of the supposedly revolting youth. What an irony!
We experienced the boredom of solitary confinement that the modern world generates. In the jail-apartments, in the suffocating streets, in the packed shops. In the families, in the friends’ relationships, in love affairs. In the places where the coups of repetition rape the vividness of existence, where the numbers assault the unknown and chance, where economy enchains the experience. We listened to the restless sleep of the metropolis, we faced the hollow gazes, we heard the bosses’ commands and we saw the sweatshops of paid slavery. All the requirements of modern life.
Our world has a great ability: to sweep along in its rhythm, at this dizzying speed, the voices of reaction, the protests against it, the same dilemmas it generates; to bury its contradictions. To deflect the bullets directed at it. Untameable streams of over-information, technological evolution, insensitivity.
To put an end to all this. We are on the side of struggle against authority.
On the bank of diversity.
We are sworn enemies of normality.
Side by side with those who have been chased, victimized, with the outcasts.
We are with the Outlaws who don’t bargain their Dignity and are rabidly seeking for freedom.
THERE, WHERE WE DARE TO ATTACK AND LOSE EVERYTHING.
And now that this “manifesto” or whatever you like to call it is over we want to dedicate some of our thoughts to our brothers and sisters, whom we love and miss so much, for the moments we’ve lived together and will live again when we meet:
It’s unknown where we’re walking to. There, look. My eyes hide a huge passion for life, my hands are armed.
They armed us. They taught me what hatred is, what fear is, how to attack.
Know what? Solitude might be your friend for now, and sorrow my buddy. But the mills of our dreams turn around simultaneously.
The jail’s walls here are getting taller day by day, they form a cold circle around me and they drown me. The spotlight’s assault on the darkness of the night, the one which within its company we roamed…
Alarms are everywhere. Noise – gunshots – howls. Bloodstains have left their eternal prints.
And your burning breath punched through my chest.
Ah, and remember safety dancing like a loon? Next frame? Running to get away from the police cars.
My life is chaos. It’s a train [filled] with memories and rugged disobedient patterns.
Here and there. Fugitives of social conventions, outlaws of the norms that make our lives sick.
Could it be that you thought about giving up?
To drop my hand and go back?
An uneasy smile might escape, a tear could be a little more patient.
In the end, anyway, I’ll whisper to you that nothing can stay unaccomplished and without an answer.
So, let’s rush away from the hollow, repetitive everyday encounters.
We will renew the date in our own stars for now. The special stars, impregnable…
AND REMEMBER FOREVER: There where they stole our liberty – an April’s morning – I remember you moving away with your head bowed to the ground. And where the years of your escape are counting backwards I’m with you, we are there keeping watch on the past and longing for Change.
EVERYTHING OR NOTHING
NIKOS ROMANOS AND GIANNIS MICHAILIDIS’ STATEMENT
Today, the shadow play you want to call a court of justice begins.
It is more than evident that this is a court where revolutionary anarchists are judged; anarchists who have refused the system and its provisions and have launched an attack against it.
This is why you have created tens of “special” coups in order to confront us.
Special courtrooms, special transfers, special counter-terrorism laws, special police protection.
All the examples above are suppressed assumptions you are making, covered behind the flexibility and doublespeak the system provides you with. In reality you are such cowards that you dress up all this parody with the most ridiculous arguments and you refuse to admit the obvious.
That we are at war, we are your enemies and there is a battle line between us. Revolution and counter-revolution.
Alas, we are not so naive as to believe that you worship your “special” role due to some sacred duty.
The sentences you will condemn us with are politically dictated by your superiors; the ones you faithfully serve as part of your effort to ascend the ranks of your mafia and to succeed in getting the key posts you ardently desire.
Commonly you are the “special” self-seekers of a wicked time. You came here today dressed up with the solemnity and majesty required for such “special” cases. Besides it is a very important thing to impart justice and to safeguard legitimacy. Your political superiors are going to reward you for this feat without a doubt.
As for us, at least we will have the luck to be condemned in solemnity.
Because, as far as the thousands of prisoners and their families are concerned, who anguish and impatiently wait for the sentences you will deliver, their persecutions probably depend on different criteria.
Let’s not generalise though; we know there are exceptions.
We know that when those who have money and access to your networks present themselves before you, you will be judging them with leniency and the gates of freedom will open. This is the sense of justice you possess.
And this is how justice has been served. You can sleep calm tonight. The armies of the dead-alive ghosts you reaped and convicted will not haunt you tonight.
Honourable judges, no matter how you see it, your justice emits the repulsive scent of death.
You are the gravediggers who decide on the quantity of formaldehyde thrown on us in order to preserve us in a constant situation of exception, to keep us alive as museum exhibits, in the countries of frozen time, present in a survival state, absent from real life.
We are not hiding who we are and we make sure our intentions are clear.
We are urban guerilla anarchists, enemies of the economy, democracy, police, army, bourgeois justice, prisons, laws, and technocracy. We are against any form of enslavement and subordination of individual freedom.
Yes! For us banks are the main pillars of economic dictatorship and will always be a target for attack. Either by expropriating their wealth in order to reinforce the structures of the anarchist struggle, or by destroying them in a demonstration, or by blowing them up in a guerilla attack.
And you, through this trial, have the ultimate goal of defending them by strictly punishing the choice to arm ourselves and turn against them. In short, you are the best proof of how the powers of management of the existing intertwine with each other, with the sole purpose of perpetuate their dominance.
But as we are now speaking sincerely, it is time for your own masks to fall as well.
You have the nerve to condemn us as thieves.
However you and your ilk are the the legitimate thieves who suck time from the unique lives of people in the name of a submissive society.
Therefore, if somebody should be held accountable, it is you. And the pounding of unanswered questions is spinning around like an axe over your heads.
How many families have you destroyed with your convictions? How much oppression and pain have you caused through the institutions you so passionately defend? How many prisoners’ “suicides” in your detention centres are you the instigators of? How many people have you led to the slow death of prison?
How many years of human life have you robbed in your life? 5.000-10.000-20.000?
Really, when you return to the seeming safety of your house, pretending to be the good patriarchs, are you wiping off the blood on the doormat?
It’s better not to talk about the sums of money the barons in your mafia have got in exchange for more favourable treatment. Best to conduct an “independent” committee to issue its report. Besides, in your sector as well as everywhere else, corruption is synonymous with honesty.
For these reasons we consider it to be needless to refer to the value we place on your life.
Since you daily annihilate the value of our lives and the lives of thousands of people, we in turn believe that you have no right to live.
Rest assured that if we were in a position of power, the wanted ones would be you. And wherever we located you, we would completely smash you.
So do not hesitate for a moment to take your revenge on us in your way, for our blasphemies and our threats; you can be sure that at the first opportunity we will do the same to you.
The masks have fallen, sir judges, and we do not intend to put them back on in order to pretend before you.
Good luck on your new show and your theatrical troupe.
We leave the trial and we return back to you with contempt the right to apology and to mitigating circumstances.
Since you feel the need to judge, judge our empty chairs. Judge them well, with all the sense of justice you possess. It’s the only thing you can do to us.
Because you will never be able to judge the anarchy we have in our heads; no matter how much cement you throw on us to bury us, how many prisons you build to stuff us all in, regardless of any years you condemn us to, no matter how many anti-terrorist laws you pass in order for you to be stricter in your theatrical shows.
Our anarchy will escape again and again, to meet free spirits, to build free relationships, to find new accomplices, to chase you and attack you. Until it smashes you. This is the anarchy that we have within us.
If you’re honest with yourselves, leave aside the hammy legal procedures and your hypocritical boastfulness and condemn us in advance.
NO step back! All for freedom! Long live anarchy!
DIMITRIS BOURZOUKOS’ STATEMENT:
The reason I am here -across from you- is not to elicit your compassion, ask for forgiveness or demand a fair trial. Words and meanings such as fair and unfair have been degenerated and demeaned completely by the system you serve. I accept no guard of bourgeois legality, no slave of authority, to judge and condemn me. I am here today, in this theatre of symbolisms, to remind you that there will always be decisive people, people of the struggle who are not subjugated to your seeming omnipotence. I am here, as an anarchist, and an enemy of yours, in order to reverse the terms of battle, to come out from the defensive position you want me to be in and go onto the attack. In order to underline the separating line between two worlds. The one of exploitation, oppression and authority you represent and the one of struggle, solidarity, revolution, which I am a part of.
Another battle in the eternal war of the revolutionaries against domination. And as in every battle, we are not alone; comrades, fighters, people that make up the world of struggle are beside us, mentally and physically. I am here for me, for all comrades who have been in my position before me but also for those who will be in the future. Adding a moment of struggle to the collective memory.
So, for the moment, it might be that I am here and you are arranging the years you will dump on me; years that for you are nothing more but another number that comes to be added to the thousands of years you easily give out as sentences – you see, this way, the moral weight is lighter and grants you a peaceful sleep at night. So, for now it might be that the roles are cast this way, but surely the time will come – if not for you, for those that will continue your filthy work – when we will replace your dreams with nightmares. When the voices of thousands of people rising will echo shaking your seeming tranquillity. And then the roles will not matter any more, then your authority and power will crumple and your choices will burden you. This day may not come soon, the chances are that I will not be here to live it. However, as long as my lungs fill up with air and blood runs in my veins, I will not stop struggling for this. For the revolution, for freedom.
LONG LIVE ANARCHY
Letter of the 6 comrades:
It is definitely good and at the same time necessary to constantly seek words to interpret and analyse the deeper meaning of solidarity.
What we experienced on the 29th November in the courtroom is the materiality of our imperatives and our “dreams”. Any effort to express and “engage” all our emotions, all our strength, in written form is doomed to mediocrity. We will never be able – not us at least – to describe in words the feeling of realising of our strongest desires. Words that one way or another, rightly or wrongly, entail the dullness of an unfree world.
After several months of physical isolation, the presence of comrades and the intensity with which we shared hugs and looks, gave as the feeling/image of two flooded rivers meeting immediately after the destruction of a dam.
This, comrades, the breaking of isolation, imaginary and real, is a bet we won in here.
Yes, solidarity is one of our weapons. And no cop will ever succeed in finding the “lair” in which we are hiding this weapon.
P.S: The reason for writing this text was the first day at the court; however, every slogan chanted, every banner, every poster, every arson, every solidarity action, fills us with strength in exactly the same way.
Together until the destruction of this rotten world
Together until freedom
The anarchists: Nikos Romanos, Fivos Harisis, Argiris Dalios,
Andreas Dimitris Bourzoukos, Dimitris Politis, Giannis Mihailidis