In urban democracy, laws are something few make to define the lives of the many. When the few make laws that target only one person, then two things happen, or the state tries to absolve one of its own of its criminal responsibilities or tries to exterminate an enemy.
The second is true of Dimitris Koufontina in recent years.
Having served 18 years in prison, convicted under the laws of the state, he reaffirms, and he and all of us, that the laws are nothing but a status cloak that his job is to prevent the base from seeing the truth: power does what it wants, whenever it wants, as it wants. And also, power does not forget those who caused it what it is accustomed to causing fear.
Once the regime propaganda “tore its cloths” that there are no political prisoners. That everyone is punished by the same measure, with the same consequences for the same charges. That there is no political discrimination. And when, after years of delays, Dimitris Koufodinas got the permits that every prisoner is entitled to, by political order, they were cut off. And when he was transfered, like any prisoner with life sentences after so many years of serving, to a rural prison, Greek democracy, through its parliament, passed a new law to turn him back. The media was clearing the ground and in December 2020, amid a pandemic and quarantine, the “Correctional Regulations” were passed, which stipulate that “the transfer to rural prisons and the C.A.Y.F. to those prisoners convicted of terrorism crimes is prohibited”.
Does anyone think that if Koufodinas were not a communist guerrilla city, if he had hit, beyond the state and economic elite, targets, with the same convictions, would all this fuss be made?
Political prisoner Dimitris Koufodinas responds to the constant method of extermination with a hunger strike. The means of resistance available to a political prisoner are limited and the hunger strike is the most marginal. It is a conflict that imposes the death penalty on the prisoner and throws the gauntlet to the state to implement it. And it is certainly a temptation for the state to do what its nature and historicity requires: to execute those who, by denying its monopoly on violence, turn against it with violence and motive to overthrow it.
In such a case, however, civil democracy will throw away its cloak of legitimacy. Or whatever’s left of him. And it invests a lot in this prestige, most important of all, ensuring social peace.
But is this the case in conditions of pandemic, quarantine and dictatorial monopolisation of the media? Did the state choose the exact moment to solve this bill, as it did with so many anti-social bills, with russets on its own, with military supplies to the police? Because the decision on a hunger strike may belong to the prisoner, but the conditions created by the state choices impose on the prisoner the dilemma of succumbing to the method or reacting with what he has. And how can Dimitris Koufodinas succumb, who, in addition to all the outrages that began with the arrest of November 17th and result in his exclusion from licenses and a rural prison, is being built at the same time and the delay of his release when he reaches the limit of serving a sentence? It has become obvious that the revenge of legality will not stop in the face of any legal restrictions.
We must realise that the possibility of the state imposing even indirectly the death penalty, or burying a political opponent alive, is a frightening possibility that should be incorporated into the frame of the multifaceted crisis we are experiencing. In the difficult days to come, if the social base allows such arbitrariness of power it creates a legacy of defeat at a time when the conflict will concern its own survival.
Koufodinas fought on the side and for the interests of the many. He pays a price with decades in prison and is threatened with substantial extermination, fast or slow.
There’s no choice but to stand by him. The fighting morality of solidarity demands it, and the interests of our social and class position demand it.
WIN IN THE WORK OF D. KOUFONTINA
Youtube: Anarchist Federation