From Dark Nights
Our anarchist comrade Nikos Romanos releases a text denouncing the parastate and fascist actions of the Greek cops inflicted upon him, his family, friends and comrades. The comrade has been under surveillance on and off since his release three years ago by the fascist scum of the Anti-Terrorist Unit, which has now hit a new level since the beginning of the hunger strike by his friend and anarchist comrade Giannis Michailidis, who has been subject to further imprisonment despite serving the required amount of time that would trigger his release.
The repression our comrade is facing should be considered and analysed within the international context of repressive tactics by states against those who dare to fight back without fear. With the current international environment, such as the war in Ukraine, the impending economical crisis threatening on the horizon, technological developments, the repressive apparatus of all states is entering a new stage to counter the struggles that are coming.
Nothing is over, the conflict continues…
Without further hesitance, we let our comrade’s words speak for themself:
The events that I am about to recount took place on Monday 20/6 in the afternoon outside my friend’s house in the centre of Athens. They concern yet another incident where police surveillance by the anti-terrorist police crosses the boundaries and red lines that exist and defines the peculiar relationship between a secret service and its potential target victims.
So let’s get to the facts. The hunger strike of our friend and comrade Giannis Michailidis, who is fighting against the arbitrariness and methods of the bourgeois justice system by putting his body in a barricade, has been going on for the last period of time. He is in a regime of preventive detention because while he has served the sentence imposed on him, the judicial councils, acting as thought police, reject his requests for release, foreseeing his future behaviour as other Pythias*. In essence, they are punishing him not for what he has done and for which, according to their laws, he has served his sentence, but for what they think he will do, based on interpretations that have nothing to do with reality.
During this period, the surveillance of the anti-terrorist police against me has become a daily occurrence, while their presence outside my family’s house has become daily and provocative, with large groups of anti-terrorist police officers defiantly rushing around in their vehicles. This event was interrupted following an engagement with these police officers on Saturday 18/6, where it was emphatically stressed to them that their defiance must end and that their continued presence there would not be accepted. Which was accepted and they ceased their defiant presence, so there is no point in me expanding on evidence that exists and will not be published unless there is a substantial reason.
On Monday 20/6 in the afternoon I noticed just outside my friend’s house a suspicious vehicle which had been parked there for some days and which I decided to examine. A short time later I spot a hidden camera hidden inside the driver’s mirror with a handkerchief covering its wires. I decide to call a friend and comrade to record the incident as it is my firm opinion that the dirt in which the anti-terrorism department has been rolling in for many years is good to be recorded and reported openly and publicly.
A few minutes later and while I was trying to take pictures of the hidden camera, I noticed intense activity from anti-terrorist bikes, which, apparently seeing in real time through the camera that their vehicle had been spotted, was looking for ways to disengage it. A few seconds later a DIAS team appears at speed, stopping in front of us stating that they have to carry out a formal check. It was obvious that the officers of the DIAS team when the check was initiated had no idea of the true dimensions of the incident they were involved in and that they received a hasty order from the centre to go to the address in question in order to immobilise us. During their inspection it was made clear to them that we do not believe that this is a “typical” inspection and that it is clear to us that their presence at the spot and the verification of our identity falls within the fact that we perceived the anti-terrorist vehicle with the surveillance devices inside. A fact which changed their attitude when they became aware of it since they realized that they were acting as the anti-terrorism’s vigilantes. A few minutes later a police patrol car showed up with “orders from above” to bring me in while I was literally half a meter from the entrance of the house. An attempt by the police to illegally enter the house followed, only to carry out an equally illegal search under their own laws, for the events that followed the anti-terrorist service and its political superiors bear the ultimate responsibility. After my partner and my friend and comrade were brought in and we spent ten minutes in the police station, we were released with lines such as ‘you guys know how it works’, ‘it’s an order from above, we can’t do anything, we didn’t know’, ‘you guys know best what happens to the people you are involved with’.
The minutes we were at the police station, the good guys of the anti-terrorism squad went with their tails between their legs and took the car and “unhooked” it along with their shame and humiliation.
This incident goes far beyond the boundaries that can be accepted as it involves people from a family – personal circle in a confrontation that they have not chosen to be the responsibility of the police. It also raises questions as to what is ultimately the context within which this particular infamous agency operates and to what point its sense of omnipotence reaches. The anti-terrorism service itself may preach professionalism, but everyone knows that it is a corrupt service that provides its specialised expertise to ‘prominent’ businessmen at no cost in order to gain ground at the expense of their competitors. At the same time, its officials are allegedly involved in various illegal activities under the cover of their profession (protection, gold smuggling, etc., arms trafficking). At the same time, for years it has been conducting psychological terror operations from time to time against relatives, families, children, fighters and militants, dragging people to court with fabricated cases, leaking fictitious scenarios to police reporters who make their living on the backs of those who are targeted by this service. The anti-terrorism service is a jewel that hides all the rottenness of the Greek state under its shiny wrapping. The interlocking police force that is the womb of organised crime in the country, which is equally well known.
We live in a police state that is being formed and has a specific structure and objectives that are obvious and clear. The anti-terrorist police would not put cars – cameras, nor would they send in DIAS to pull and drag out of his house a businessman who is “suspected” of trafficking tons of heroin. It would never target ‘suspected’ political figures involved in scandals such as the Novartis scandal**. It would never keep a 24-hour watch on friends and relatives of big businessmen who are suspected of being involved in, for example, oil smuggling. Its real role is to pursue with fury those who have realised what real terrorism is and the ways in which it is practised. The terrorism of poverty, class exploitation and galley conditions in workplaces, of thousands of homes with electricity cut off, of the “ricocheting” bullets of the cops, of homeless people sleeping in cardboard boxes on shopping streets.
The so-called Law and Order doctrine that we have seen New Democracy implement in recent years is an organized political fraud. The centre of the capital has been turned into a police zone with armoured forces guarding its flows. Universities are planned to be turned into police stations with cameras, controlled entrances and police officers patrolling inside. Houses of anarchists and communists and their political spaces are being watched by every possible means. Government-mandated journalists, such as Thanasis Koukakis, are being watched because they are investigating scandals such as that of Piraeus Bank***. Demonstrations are forcibly restrained, while the police continue to murder with impunity, as they did a few months ago in Perama, where Nikos Sampanis was executed in cold blood. On the other side, dozens of mafia-style executions in every possible and unlikely way pass in the small print of the newspapers, all the evidence implicating politicians, businessmen, journalists, police officers, judges, in this violent redistribution of the pie of the ‘illegal’ economy, which at the highest levels is directly intertwined with the ‘legal’ one, is covered up. Proving that the doctrine of law and order is exclusively applicable to those who resist the government’s plans and policies. A political product served up through the television sets for consumption by the voters of New Democracy and the supporters of the extreme centre who are willing to believe in its narrative.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize again in all tones that the climate of terror that is being set up against the background of Giannis’ hunger strike and the life and death struggle for his freedom does not scare anyone. Further targeting of me by political circles and special police services will not be tolerated, I do not intend to become a product to be sold to the right-wing house of public opinion, I will not tolerate any further violation of boundaries and red lines in this shameful way.
* Pythias, was the name of the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. She specifically served as its oracle and was known as the Oracle of Delphi.
** Novartis Scandal, scandal involving ten former prime ministers and ministers from the New Democracy and PASOK parties taking bribes from the Swiss pharmaceuticals giant.
*** A corruption case involving Piraeus Bank, its former chairman Michalis Sallas and a number of transactions relating to the Libra business group, owned by the shipowner George Logothetis, which ultimately proved damaging to the bank. Thanasis Koukakis was placed under surveillance especially with use of ‘Predator spyware’ by the Intellgence Services (now directly under the control of the prime minster Mitsotakis, since New Domocracy came to power) due to an article he wrote about how the government had amended the Penal Code in a move that “appears to overturn Greece’s commitment to international standards on combating corruption and money laundering.”