Counter-information bulletin, April 2010

5 APRIL

  • Vaggelis Pissias, a member of the ‘Ship to Gaza’ initiative, received a threatening phone call in English accusing him of supporting ‘Palestinian terrorism’. Next morning he found his car windows smashed; nothing was missing.
  • ‘Street Attack’ (squat in Thessaloniki) was evacuated. The law on university asylum was violated (i.e. police in Greece are not allowed to enter university premises, unless university authorities grant permission).
  • An employee working in ‘Banquet’ restaurant, Thessaloniki, was fired. His colleagues reacted immediately and have organized solidarity rallies.

7 APRIL

  • Anarchists/ antiauthoritarians squatted Kouvelou mansion in Maroussi (northern suburb of Athens).

An excerpt from the squat’s first announcement read: ‘We identify ourselves as part of the anarchist/ antiauthoritarian movement, and decided to occupy the Kouvelou mansion on 7 April, and to create an open social centre where we will house, anti-hierarchically, our political and social beliefs. Away from the influence of political parties, with self-organization as our basic principle, we long to transform this building into a hub of counter-information, events, discussions and various forms of action. Our goal is to make it a lively part of the city, open to all. We consider it our right to have a space where we will develop our activities. It is our aim to contribute to social demands and struggles against all forms of power. With self-organization and solidarity as our weapon, we walk on the path towards freedom.’

  • Update on the trial of Korkoneas and Saraliotis, the murderers of Alexandros Grigoropoulos (shot on 6 Dec. 2008 in Exarcheia).

The trial is still ongoing in Amfissa (small town 200 km away from Athens). A friend of Alexandros, who was one of the main witnesses – present when the murder took place – denied to go testify, stating that he is followed. The prosecutor demanded to be brought before court by force. In a statement (8/4), he writes on his decision the following: ‘Concerning the Police HQ’s announcement that nobody is following me, all I can say is that this is as true as saying that Korkoneas did not shoot Alexandros. And I have to make it clear, despite the various articles that have been published, that I had no intention to testify in court anyway, because I don’t care in the least about what the trial’s outcome will be. I consider it a political choice of mine not to go where institutions want me to go when they want me to, but rather to shape on my own the framework in which I will express myself.’ Moreover, on 9/4 it was proved that one of the witnesses committed perjury in favor of the police.

9 APRIL

  • The management of the courier company Interattica was blocked inside Athens offices by workers, after announcing that the company was going bankrupt.

Following the fine tradition of ‘boss kidnapping’ in France and elsewhere, workers at the courier company Interattica in Athens decided to take direct action on 9/4, when it was announced that the company was going bankrupt and that all 205 of them would be sacked with no compensation. Immediately, all exits to the company’s building were blocked by the workers, trapping the local management inside. Communication was swiftly established with representatives of the company’s headquarters in Paris (the French courier company Geopost owns the Greek company Interattica). A small police force that appeared outside the building threatened with a riot police intervention but retreated soon after. ‘Miraculously,’ the ‘bankrupt’ company managed to secure the funds to compensate the workers a few hours after the kidnapping, and the management submitted a written guarantee that all workers were to be compensated within the next calendar month.

  • The fascist-committee ‘Stop Illegal Commerce’ assaulted migrant street vendors in a high street of Athens.

A group of approximately 20 racists/fascists that belong to the committee ‘Stop Illegal Commerce’ went to Ermou St. to take photos of migrant street vendors – so they say – in order to bring them to court as evidence against illegal commerce. Soon, though, their real motive was revealed. They harassed and pushed around migrants .They fought back and then police intervened and arrested 20 migrants. 7 of them had no papers and they will probably be deported, while the fascists have threatened to sue others. The committee is occasionally active and is supported by the Athens Commerce Society.

10 APRIL

  • Six anarchists were arrested, facing charges of participation in the urban guerilla group ‘Revolutionary Struggle’. Houses of their friends, comrades and relatives have been raided. Fabricated evidence, media propaganda and police terrorism were spread all over Athens.

The charges against them are 4 felonies and 4 misdemeanors. All six are held in pretrial detention (since 16/4). Nikos M., Panagiota R. and Kostas G. refused to make a defense.

Immediate solidarity actions took place all over the country. Some of them:

- occupations of the Polytechnic School, the Union of daily newspapers’ journalists (13/4), Creta TV station (14/6) and the offices of the ruling ‘socialist’ party PASOK in Irakleio (Crete), the offices of a newspaper in Volos,

- solidarity rallies in the neighborhoods of the arrested, gatherings outside the Court House,

- journalists were attacked,

- rallies outside 3 prisons where the arrested comrades were taken to.

12 APRIL

  • Navarinou self-organized park (Exarcheia) was raided, and 70 people were taken to the police headquarters (GADA).

Police raided the Navarinou Park; they surrounded, beat up brutally and took to the police headquarters 70 people out of the blue. People immediately gathered outside, and when they were all released they returned to Exarcheia in a spontaneous demo. Navarinou park’s text about the invasion:

Guilty by default Last Monday (12 April) the authorized organs of state repression invaded at Navarinou Park in Exarcheia with all their forces and began to beat with fury anyone who stand in their site. The governmental brutality in all its glory. Not only they beat brutally, causing enough and serious injuries, they also proceed in detentions. Seventy individuals were led to the Police HQ in Alexandras Avenue. The solidarity of the people was direct and a dynamic march was organized from the Navarinou park to the Police HQ. The almost direct release of the detainees shows the absurdity of the governmental mechanism. The targeting of the park is part of the wider repression that takes place and seeks the elimination of every form of resistance and the violation of political, social and human rights. A characteristic example is the way that the accidental arrest of a demonstrator is changed in manufactured allegations leading him to unprovoked detention [Marios Zervas]. The case of the ‘six’ also reveals the incredible facility that persons with political activity are defined as guilty and implicitly terrorists. Once more, we see the case developing in the television windows and not in court rooms. The effort of the government in blatant accordance with the Media aims in the disorientation of the public opinion with final aim the imposition of the neoliberal policies both economically and socially. Our response to this climate of terrorism is our presence on the street, our solidarity and our refusal to accept a false economic and social reality. We answer back with solidarity and collective actions. All continue…’

  • 126 imprisoned migrants began a hunger strike in the detention centre on the island Samos, denouncing the horrible conditions they are forced to live in. They know they will be deported, and say they’d rather commit suicide.

14-16 APRIL

  • A series of arson attacks dedicated to Lampros Foudas (shot dead on 10 March 2008 by the police) at the offices of the MPs Elena Rapti, Michalis Tremopoulos, Kiriakos Velopoulos, Nikos Galis, and the car of the TV showman Antonis Kanakis.

15 APRIL

  • A day of actions all over Greece in solidarity to imprisoned Marios Z.


Marios Z. was arrested on 11 March during the Athens general strike demo against the austerity measures. He was sent to pretrial detention due to the hoodie-law, as police testified he had thrown a Molotov cocktail with his face covered. However, a number of photos prove the opposite. In his bag, he was carrying his gym gear – he is a swimming team coach.

Marios’ 3rd letter from Koridallos prison.

 

17 APRIL

  • Rally to the Embassy of Mexico in Greece. Athens sends revolutionary greetings to Chiapas.

After a gathering at Propylaea, centre of Athens, we marched to the Mexican embassy in Kolonaki area. The rally, although small, was quite dynamic. Approximately 200 comrades declared their solidarity with the rebellious Zapatistas communities and with political detainees, distributing a proclamation and other pamphlets (trikakia).

  • Nearly 400 comrades and inhabitants marched in the streets of Nea [New] Philadelphia, Athens, protesting against the strong police presence in their neighborhoods on the pretext of investigations regarding the case of ‘Revolutionary Struggle’.

A communiqué, ‘The Philadelphia experiment’, was released by anarchists on the recent arrests supposedly linked to the ‘Revolutionary Struggle’, and the media-led hysteria that accompanied them in Greece. Its title is a play of words on the well-known US naval military ‘Philadelphia experiment’ and the Athens neighborhood of Nea Philadelphia, where the most recent police operations and arrests have taken place.

19 APRIL

Kostas Gournas is one of the six anarchists arrested in Athens, accused of participating in the urban guerrilla group ‘Revolutionary Struggle’. Kostas wrote his brief open letter to the minister of public order on Friday 16/4, when he was still being held at the 12th floor of the police headquarters in Athens. Kostas was evidently tortured (police-released photographs testify this). He has since been transferred to Trikala prison, in the north of the country. Kostas Gournas and Vaggelis Stathopoulos (also among the six anarchists arrested) are being held under ‘special conditions’ – that is, with limited access to toilet and water – and face obstacles in their communication with relatives and lawyers.

20 APRIL

  • First day of demonstrations against economic measures.

Assemblies and participations of Initiative of Workers / Unemployed of Athens area Brachami, syndicate PAME of the parliamentary ‘communist’ party, Primary Unions Coordination, ANTARSYA, OKDE, Circle of Fire, Black Flag, SEAE of Hourly-waged Teachers, Athens Antiauthoritarian Movement, syndicates GSEE and ADEDY, among many others.

  • Motorized demonstrations against economic measures and austerity plan in Athens neighborhoods of Aghioi Anargyroi and Petroupoli.
  • Thessaloniki: Occupation of the offices of Journalists Union of Daily Newspapers of Macedonia-Thrace, in solidarity with the anarchist prisoner Yannis Dimitrakis.

22 APRIL

  • ‘The crisis will be their crisis when we play with a full deck (cards)’: Text and poster of the Assembly of Piraeus Insurgents (Salamina, Perama, Keratsini, Nikea, Koridallos, and Piraeus).

An excerpt:
The crisis is not a natural disaster that just happens. The crisis is caused by the choices of all those who want to maintain the system of exploitation, oppression and authority at our expense. The proposals for solution to the crisis are nothing other than proposals to strengthen and deepen the existing regime. Ours should not be anything less than strikes and solidarity demos, occupations and sabotage, expropriation and mutual help… in our struggle to create the world we choose, against all separation and hierarchy.’

23 APRIL

  • From the southeastern island of Kastellorizo, the Greek prime minister announces the activation of the so-called ‘support mechanism’, or ‘aid package’ – that is, lending and strict supervision – by EU and IMF. Immediate and great was the response across the country (in various cities of Greece such as Athens, Thessaloniki, Xanthi, and Iraklion, Crete) at rallies and gatherings against the government’s appeal to IMF.

 

  • Marios Z., the demonstrator who was arrested in 11 March protest strike, was released on probation after 43-days pretrial detention.

 

  • Anarchist intervention in the Athenian REAL FM commercial radio station against media-led hysteria about ‘terrorism’.
  • Occupation of the municipal radio station of the northwestern city of Ioannina, Epirus, in solidarity with the six anarchists arrested for participation in the ‘Revolutionary Struggle’.
  • Thessaloniki: First major employees’ victory of the restaurant ‘Banquet’. Series of successful exclusions of this restaurant have taken place against the employer’s arbitrariness, and also in solidarity with a fired employee.

24 APRIL

  • Initiative for prisoners’ rights; 100 protesters gathered outside Omonoia police station.

25 APRIL

  • Statement of solidarity to prisoners. 150 comrades in motorized demonstration to Diavata prison, Thessaloniki. A gathering outside Trikala prison and a protest demonstration downtown.


26-28 APRIL

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    • International solidarity actions for anarchist prisoner Yannis Dimitrakis in Rome, Buenos Aires, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, among other places.
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27-28 APRIL

  • Pan-Hellenic solidarity actions for Dimitrakis across Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Veria, Serres, Cavala, Rethymno, Chania, Iraklion in Crete, Kozani, Ioannina, Xanthi, among other places). In the court of appeal (28/4) the trial of Dimitrakis was postponed to 6 December 2010.

 

A proclamation of the Assembly for Solidarity regarding the case of Dimitrakis:

The story of a robbery On January16th 2006, a group of four people decide to rob a branch of the National Bank, at Solonos St. in the centre of Athens. A completely calm robbery, as assured by all witnesses who were present at the time, eventually turned into a record breaking, terror-crazed thriller of epic proportions, a breach in time that dramatically overturned the lives of tens of people, a critical point in the history of an entire political milieu. And that, thanks to the unique “heroism” of the bank’s security guard, who thought that he must run and stop the perpetrators at all costs, because in his code of values the insured money of a bank is more important than anything else. Even human life… or otherwise, as Einstein had said, two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the first.

The result of the zeal of that guard and his colleagues who rushed to help in the “pious” aim was the transformation of Panepistimiou St.in broad daylight, into a shooting range for cops on live targets, in contrast to the hunted who didn’t use their weaponry… A nearly dead street vendor and a bloody, dying bank robber on the ground receiving from the pigs one kick after another, closed the curtains of the first act. The second act opens with the name and nature of the fallen wounded: Yannis Dimitrakis, anarchist. The authority unleashes a frontal attack on the anarchist milieu. Comrades are abducted from the streets, surrounded by cops with weapons pointing at them directly, and lead to police headquarters. Yannis receives the not so friendly visits of the interrogator arch terrorist I. Dioti in the hospital emergency room. The mass media slander and try to devour him, his friends and family. Three of his friends and comrades are carefully selected based on their profile (long-standing presence in the antiauthoritarian space, continuous action against the enemies of freedom) so as to fill in the puzzle. The comrades Simos and Marios Seisidis, and Grigoris Tsironis are forced into trespass. The series “robbers in black – terrorists in red” has just begun. A year and half later, Yannis is tried as member of a criminal organization for that and another six robberies. Although that scenario collapses in court and Yannis is found innocent for all the other robberies, the judges, wanting to raze the crystal-clear spirit of the person who stood before them defending his actions, and set an example for any future Y.Dimitrakis, convicted him with an exhaustive sentence of 35 years.

Four years have passed since the robbery of the bank on Solonos St. In these four years, Yannis has been transferred from prison to prison, has struggled against them, has survived under the worst conditions, has seen his name featured repeatedly in the papers. On April 28th, he will stand trial in the court of appeals. Over these four years, we have seen the wanted comrades considered suspect and being blamed for anything that happens, from bank robberies to bomb placements and attacks on police stations, consistently targeted by the media and finally declared as wanted with reward money by the notorious villain M.Chrisochoidis in a new, wild and not so far west… We however want and continue to believe that society will refuse to cooperate with authorities. In these four years we have seen the arch-thieving capitalists in power shamelessly and legally rob our freedom, the air we breathe, our income and of course the public funds, without EVER, not even ONE of them, the same who sentenced Yannis to 35 years in prison, being found accountable. Over these four years we have seen and suffered the serial and persistent criminal activity of authority against the impoverished, the workers and all those who struggle, with persecutions, imprisonment, beatings, dismissals, pogroms and murders. We have seen repression grow immensely and adopt the doctrine of zero tolerance and culpability until proven innocent. We see a terrified authority, targeting and criminalizing the entire anarchist antiauthoritarian milieu, trying to prevent the interface and the diffusion of its ideas and actions in a society on the verge… What verge? Because we are romantic, we want and continue to believe on the verge of a new, even grander December. Perhaps March, perhaps June… Over these four years we have shown our solidarity to the fugitive comrades and of course Y.Dimitrakis. We have stood by his side, with full respect inspired by his strong fighting spirit and his ethos. However, beside romantic, we are also stubborn: WE DEMAND HIS IMMEDIATE RELEASE. NOT A SECOND MORE FOR YANNIS IN PRISON.’

See also

Assembly for Solidarity to Y.Dimitrakis (27 April 2010)

A following letter of solidarity by Y.Dimitrakis (3 May 2010)

29 APRIL

Only brief excerpts here: ‘We claim the political responsibility for participation to Revolutionary Struggle. We declare that comrade Lambros Foudas, who died in [the Athens suburb of] Dafni on 10 March 2010, after a shoot-out with the cops, also participated in Revolutionary Struggle. The fight he gave was one for materialising the subversive plan collectively decided by Revolutionary Struggle. It was a struggle for revolution and for freedom. We also declare that we are very proud of our group, Revolutionary Struggle, we are proud of our history, of every moment of our political action. We are proud of comrade Lambros Foudas, who we honour and will always do so.

As much as the mechanisms of repression might believe that by imprisoning us they will do away with us, they are wrong. Whether outside or inside prisons the struggle, which for us is a matter of honour and dignity, will continue. As much as the two terrorists, [PM] G.Papandreou and [minister of public order] M.Chrisochoidis, laugh smugly, as much as they believe they have safeguarded the security necessary for their social-fascist party to continue with the application of its criminal plans against society, waging their tails now that their American superiors congratulate them, as much as they claim they are done with a serious threat for their regime, we assure them they will not do away with us easily. As long as we are alive, for as long as we live and breathe, we will do our best to pose problems to their antisocial and criminal plans. And if our hunters and the political authorities of this country believe they have the entire society on their side, if they believe that the majority of the people consider us to be a social threat, they are mistaken. For the majority of the population, the social threat comes from the government passing one anti-social measure after the other, by dictation of the crows of capital which “bribe”, with the cash they have at their disposal, the state mechanism. Terrorism is the years-long neoliberal policy imposed by the parties in power with the toleration or support of smaller parties. Terrorism is the application of the stability plan which has so far caused large segments of the population to watch this unprecedented attack against them in fear. Terrorism is not having the most basic material to survive, having your wage and your pension taken away, the bank confiscating your house, living in lethal pollution. Terrorism is living everyday under a regime of fear for your own survival. [...] The objective conditions are now ideal. Let’s form the subjective conditions required for us to attempt the revolution. This is our chance. LONG LIVE ‘REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE’, HONOUR TO COMRADE LAMBROS FOUDAS, LONG LIVE REVOLUTION.

 

30 APRIL

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