June 21, 2022
From Anarchist News
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WRITE TO ANARCHIST PRISONERS!!!!!

Via AnarquĂ­a

The statements of the comrades imprisoned in the activity: The speech in memory of the political prisoners.

On Thursday, June 9, within the framework of the Week of events for the restoration of the monument to the anarchist student Alexandros Grigoropoulos and in the presence of several comrades, an event entitled «Speech in memory of the political prisoners» was held. The event was attended by the following comrades: Giannis Dimitrakis, Giannis Michailidis (on hunger strike since 23/05), Fotis D., Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis, Panos Kalaitzis, Haris Mantzouridis and Thanos Xatziagkelou.Below we provide pdf files of each statement separately, except that of Comrade Giannis Dimitrakis, which was purely telephonic and will be uploaded when the transcript is completed.SOLIDARITY WITH ALL POLITICAL PRISONERSAnarchist Initiative Against State Murders

STATEMENT BY DIMITRIS CHATZIVASILEIADIS AT THE ACTIVITY

Much has been written, by various people, about December 2008. Each one projects his own hermeneutic, as for every event. Even before launching into the opposing narratives, the ruptures of the movement come to light as soon as we try to define the reason for the mobilization. For example, the organizers did not fail to demonize the anniversaries from the very first lines of their text. Those of us who think that the abandonment of anniversaries uproots memory from real time and strips it of its revolutionary constants, what can we do now; I don’t want to say anything about the December 2008 uprising. At a public gathering for a dead comrade, I don’t want to theorize, however much theory is necessary. December has its place in every perspective’s account. Speculation is detrimental.

From my personal December experience, I have nothing noteworthy to share outside of historical research for a specific political purpose. I learned of Alexandros’ assassination when the rallies had already begun. When I went down to the Haftia, around midnight, an arson attack on the Monastiraki market had been completed, which, by signaling the general counterattack, probably had a catalytic contribution in the rapid spread of the uprising. From that night on I participated in the polytechnic commune. It was my neighborhood and the most stable organizational center in Athens. And I have a predisposition to take on easily what is treated as direct action. That’s where two sentences are enough to launch us into the realm of ideological schisms.

Let’s go back to the assassination. A political assassination prepared ideologically and institutionally, premeditated executively and certainly directed. Against the permanent rebellion, against the youth, against the free territory, against Exarchia. An act with which the State hoped to impose an impenetrable imbalance of violence, to overthrow all resistance. The uprising turned the leveling plan upside down.

The State did not abandon its plan. It adapted to the insurrection aggressively. It invested mainly in our political weaknesses. Step by step it proceeded to counterinsurgency, uprooting and universal captivity. After Alexis there were new killings in police stations, Zac was killed, comrade Magos, Nikos Sabanis and hundreds of migrants at the border, many of them were children.

The tragedy is not our necrophiliacs, but the fact that the State has been massacring without encountering resistance to their murderous capacity, at least for the last four years. Their absolute dominance against life gives them the inspiration to curse with unbridled arrogance the murderers and their future victims. It is our fault and ours alone that we continue to escort our own to the ground, unarmed and disorganized. I once wrote the word shame, mainly for myself. To repeat it is hypocritical. I am ashamed to resort to the words again.

I want to see the blood of thousands of «innocents» paint the streets.

Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis, an anarcho-communist prisoner, serving a 16-year sentence for possession of weapons, expropriation and membership in the guerrilla organization: Revolutionary Self-Defense.

SOURCE: ATHENS INDYMEDIATRANSLATION: ANARQUÍA

STATEMENT BY FOTIS DASKALAS AT THE ACTIVITY

I am too young to talk about December 2008. I was then a student in the first grades of high school. I lived in a sterile environment which, together with my young age, did not allow me to understand many things. But I remember the shudder, that Monday morning, when word of Alexandros’ murder spread. The initial sadness turned to anger. We didn’t know him, but we all felt that one of us had been killed. Some wrote his name on a piece of paper, others with some paint on the wall. The school would remain closed. The students would speak, the students would unite (on their own terms) in rebellion against the state killers and their supporters.

I will never forget my irritation when some TV scrubs unabashedly said the bullet was deflected. As one of the generations that experienced the loss of Alexandros in our own school, our contribution to December 2008 and those that followed was the metaphor of the undeniable events of the day, namely the premeditated political murder of a child, a militant by the hands of policemen.

Fotis Daskalas Korydallos Prison

9/6/2022

Fotis Daskalas, is arrested for an attack on Piraeus traffic police with Molotov cocktails carried out on 14/11/2021, he is charged with attempted murder, arson, arson by association, explosion-construction and possession of incendiary materials and explosives.

SOURCE: ATHENS INDYMEDIATRANSLATION: ANARQUÍA

STATEMENT BY PANAGIOTIS KALAITZIS AT THE ACTIVITY

Starting a December post about how I lived through it, what positives I took away and how it all changed me as a person is a little uncomfortable. Whatever positives came out of it are still the loss of a young person. And since I’ve never looked for heroes in my life, I’d rather Alexandros and all Alexandros were here with us today and this whole thing hadn’t come about because of the murder of a child.

Fourteen years ago then


December 2008. The news exploded like a bomb. A 16-year-old boy killed by a policeman’s bullet. Immediately the image comes to mind of me at 16 in the busy school in the Philosophy Department in the summer of 2003, in the laminar city of Thessaloniki. It could have been me, I thought, and my eyes filled with tears. Immediately the tears turned to hatred and a feeling of revenge pushed me out into the streets from the very first moment.

For me, December 2008 finds me a little bit punk, a little bit working class, a little bit stadium, a little bit with some microclimates. So all of that pushed me to the front line from the very first moment.

But today I’m not going to talk about confrontations, or fires, or catastrophes. Today I will try to talk about what December really left me with, and that is none other than the relationships that were created. People who found themselves side by side, who until then did not know each other, and who in those days pushed us so that even today, so many years later, we continue to maintain a friendly relationship and a common path in the social struggles of today.

For me, the person who was the cause of all this was my best friend, who grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same school. The conflicts were still raging in the city when he approached me and suggested that we convene the Open Assembly of the Western Neighborhoods to take the struggle outside the city center, to areas where at that time not even posters were being pasted up. Although I didn’t have much faith in the project, I agreed and we went ahead.

For those who don’t know the city to understand, the western suburbs of Thessaloniki are run-down areas close to the city’s large factories and inhabited mainly by low-paid working class families, both Greeks who moved there from the outskirts of the prefecture and immigrants due to low rents.

It was also at this time that the first attempts to form fascist groups through amateur associations timidly appeared. As you can understand, we had embarked on a difficult project. So the first meeting was called at the occupied theater school while the fighting was still going on. A few people, mostly friends and acquaintances. Second meeting two days later, with twice as many people. Third meeting at the film school, now in the west of the city, with triple digit numbers. People of all ages and from all progressive sectors of society.

By this time, and after the police suppressed the uprising, the neighborhood assemblies, both in Athens and in Thessaloniki, were growing in number. People started to look around, to participate in assemblies, to learn about self-organization.

By now we were in the process of finding a refuge in the west of the city and our presence in both local affairs and national struggles was constant. Culminating in our magnificent presence with a huge bloc in the big strike marches of 2010, which was savagely beaten by the police, even having many arrests.

As a result, December managed to bring together people who might never have met. People who, even being so different from each other, managed, through the assemblies, to unite and wage common struggles.

Even today, almost 15 years later, I am still surrounded by people I met in those days. People who were beaten together, who fought together, who fell together, but who even now continue to fight.

People – who, although I rarely use this word – I consider comrades. So what I keep from the December uprising are the comradeship that were formed and and by keeping them, we keep alive the memory of our struggle, the memory of our dead.

Panagiotis Kalaitzis(*)Korydallos detention center,Cell D

Panagiotis Kalaitzis, arrested on February 8 accused of having placed an incendiary device at the Foundation for National and Religious Reflection, along with comrades Thanos Xatziagkelou and Georgia Voulgari, is also accused of belonging to the group Anarchist Action.

SOURCE: ATHENS INDYMEDIATRANSLATION: ANARQUÍA

STATEMENT BY THANOS XATZIAGKELOU AT THE ACTIVITY

I think we all agree that time as a concept is a relative thing. Sometimes it passes as fast as a bullet, sometimes it flows slowly and tortuously, making tomorrow seem like a utopia.

In the embrace of captivity, the days are a corpse, dismembered equally into 24 identical meaningless pieces. At the same time, outside the walls we ourselves let time pass without using it, refusing to devote the necessary attention to true values. The present becomes the past and historical moments are the individual and collective experiential legacy of an individual, a group, a movement, an entire society. A realm of moments, experiences and emotions that raises walls and battlements. For me, personally, it is the lyrical representation of the most historical hostilities: the battle of memory against oblivion.

I often find myself in unsuspected moments obsessively whispering only one thing: not to forget in order to remember. The good times, the hard times, the dead ends. To remember with equal vividness both what I loved and what I hated. The power of memory lies not in selectivity, but in familiarity with the past. As vividly as I remember those who were the first to fall in the fire of battle, I remember those who surrendered prematurely, those who ran out of breath, those who betrayed us and sold out.

Beautiful or ugly, the memories are a notch in each of our minds and hearts. A moment when time stood still. All of this came to be overturned by the memory of the uprising, a series of images, experiences and emotions that anyone who has had the honor of living it carries on their shoulders every day and every night since then. Because I want to emphasize this point: the memory of the uprising is either erased as a museum image of the past or constantly carried as a point of reference and illustration of the horizon of subversion.

Fourteen years have passed since midnight in December and I personally have not forgotten a single step of what I experienced during those endless 24 hours. The first phone call, the initial numbness and then all the necessary preparations leading to the streets of fire. The thirst for vengeance of our dead comrade’s blood that flowed through the metropolitan centers. The truth is that in those moments, if you struggle to feel anything, you are already defeated. So we didn’t need to be in Tzavella that night to feel together with our comrade Alexandros. It hurts the same for that and engenders the same hatred in all of us.

None of us can make an operational assessment of December. Because whatever the violence expressed, it all started with the loss of a comrade, a young comrade. Obviously, it is not a question of speculating on where Alexandros would be today. The question was and remains one: where is he and what is each of us doing since Alexandros is not with us.

As the comrades who have undertaken today’s organizing initiative rightly say, power builds its own monuments honoring and highlighting historical crimes and the monopoly of domination. Statues of murderers and glorifiers of hatred and exploitation, names on the streets to remind us at every step who is the slave and who is the master. Living in the society of spectacle, where the power of the image is absolute, contempt is not hidden in exploitation but in the familiarity of its omnipresent dominance around us.

Faced with revisionism and the monopoly of historiography from above, we have the duty to erect our own monuments. Those that are built in the moments when death no longer has power. Those that stand before our eyes to remind us of the political and historical burden of leading the world of death and exploitation to its end.

The simplicity of the most important meanings hidden in the 2008 revolt is in the clearest and most sincere looks under the hoods. In the gestures of aggressiveness unleashed against the mercenary army of the Republic, unable even to look the Sword of Damocles in the face. In the disinterest of every rebellious heart that stubbornly refuses to return to normality. Our monuments are not to be found in gilded busts or names. They are guarded in the very representation of rebellion. In the blackened arcades that they have not yet managed to clean, in a cracked storefront that has not been restored, in the torn sidewalks that have been searching for 14 years for their missing pieces. The monuments of the uprising are deeply etched in the hearts of those who day and night fed the fiery fury that in its wake left the ashes of an aging world. They stand in the paths of those who were inspired, recruited, politically constituted and heartily enlisted through the historical readings of December. Today the memory of the uprising is in the agonies of those who seek to actualize the need for revolutionary formation and unrelenting conflict against the will of an unarmed and harmless Anarchy.

The war resounds unceasingly. From the first hours of the day until the moment one goes back to sleep. At work, at school, in human relationships, in the simplest gestures. In each and every one of us, inside us and gnawing at our guts. In December 2008 this war took on the character of a frontal conflict. With the uniformed assassins who marked social disobedience by executing the 15-year-old anarchist comrade Alexandros Grigoropoulos. With the tyranny that put the broken windows and burned temples of profit and exploitation above the value of human life. With the pillars of legality that sought provocateurs and security guards under the rebel hoods. With peaceful citizens who only wanted to forget, to talk about isolated incidents, to be indifferent, to equate state violence with social anti-violence, to turn the page, to move on, when time for all of us was freezing at ground zero.

The revolts do not die in the face of the stubbornness of those who seek a return to normality and social peace. Those who wanted an uprising to their liking, manipulating the uncontrolled flow and preventing the revolutionary overthrow. Let us not forget, therefore, those who «rushed» to speak of provocateurs, infecting armed action once again, in the face of the armed reprisals of the Revolutionary Struggle in Goudi and Exarchia against the mercenary army of occupation of the Republic. But when we all shout together that «blood runs, vengeance demands», some do not get it into their heads that there is a disinterested component that means it. That responds to bullets with bullets. Thus, those who first abandoned the streets of fire to return to normality charged the armed vanguard with ending the insurrection, opening the permanent dialogue of armed violence that brings repression. In speaking and acting as anarchists, we must remember that the state is the only form of institutionalized and constituted violence that, as long as it exists, is constantly an aggressive condition towards the needs and interests of the social base. So the road to social liberation itself will be a violent and bloody process.

December remains a nightmarish veil obscuring tyranny in the idea of regaining control. Recall that Chrysochoidis’ undeclared war, when he was restored to his beloved armchair, had December 6, 2019, as a reference point, with its euphemistic ultimatum to the squatters. As for my own journey, my frontline experience of rebellion and the conclusions I have drawn, December has left me with a set of unanswered questions. Why did the insurgents themselves extinguish the flame so quickly? Why was the December experience not used to build a revolutionary front to overthrow the world of exploitation in the following years, when the economic crisis was taking on social characteristics? I carry a big WHY the whole country did not burn when a few months later the same mercenary army executed our comrade combatant Lambros Founta. But above all the biggest WHY lies in the kinetic impossibility to find a fighting member to water the flower of the loss of our comrade Alexandros with the dirty blood of Korcones and Saraliotis. And every day that passes and these two are still alive is another dark page in the revolutionary calendar.

So in memory of our comrade Alexandros, in the struggles he did not get to live but shines from up there along with the other stars in our own sky.

Thanos Xatziagkelou captured member of Anarchist Action organization

Fourth Ward, Korydallos Prison

9/6/2022

Thanos Xatziagkelou, is arrested on February 18, 2022 and charged with the arson attack against the Foundation for National and Religious Reflection.

SOURCE: ATHENS INDYMEDIATRANSLATION: ANARQUÍA

STATEMENT BY HARIS MANTZOURIDIS AT THE ACTIVITY

Friday, December 6, 2008. A day with two faces for me. On one side, my release in the morning, on the other, the blood flowing at night. Two days before I was captured for breaking into banks during the last university demonstration before the uprising. Friday night I find myself «free» for a quick beer. The familiar place, agkelakia in the former PASOK offices, on the corner of Messolonghios and Tzavela.

I meet a colleague, waiting for another colleague and Alexandros. Around 21:00 hours they make their appearance. The next image is the blue lighthouse of Zoodochou Pigi and the characteristic sound of the horn. The companions decide they must leave. Shouts, counter-shouts and the banging. I get up to look. The next image is of the comrade dragging the unconscious Alexandros by the armpits. My first thought is to get him to the square before the platoon comes down. I communicate my thought without response. Confusion reigns as people scurry out of the surrounding tents. Those who were with him in the attack are silenced. They know something that escapes me. There is no plastic bullet as I would like to believe. His shirt is torn from the drag just above his navel. I lift him higher, as something makes it difficult for him to breathe. It’s not the shirt. A pool of blood, below the left breast. A bullet.

Tears accompany Alexandros in his last sighs. With his last exhalation, the tears turn to rage. The first response is to fall on the PASOK platoon. Stones, sticks, fires in the containers. The cops are confused, waiting for orders. Next stop the square, down Stournari, all cars overturn and end up at the Polytechnic. An assembly follows. Next stop: Acropolis Police Station, then Ermou, ending at Monastiraki. The first sparks in the fuse. The following days follow clashes in Alexandra and student marches, which also end in clashes and walkouts in the TAs all over the country. Violent aggressive practices are adopted by the people involved. Anarchists, leftists, students, unemployed, workers, youth, hooligans, migrants, found themselves flanking the barricades.

The first social uprising of the 21st century on European soil. This was the insurgents’ response to this state murder. A state murder that was followed by others and then by others. The question is the responses we give. The state murder of the anarchist student Alexandros Grigoropoulos was announced by the Minister of Public Order Byron Polydoras, who some time ago spoke of the sensitive nervous systems of policemen, and that it is good not to play with their resistance. The media narrative intended to characterize it as an isolated incident in which a crazed, psychopathic, right-wing extremist cop acted with abuse of power and dereliction of duty fell apart. As great as the counterinsurgency wall built in the TV windows was, it was not enough to stop the onslaught of rioters. Where the assassination took place was no accident. The target was the wild youth roaming the pedestrian street, the people of struggle moving in Exarchia. It is our political duty to defend this particular spot against the corporate investment plans of neoliberal politics that seek the redevelopment of Exarchia and its transformation into a commercial zone. Our dead will not be forgotten as long as the struggle continues.

«No tears are shed from eyes that are used to seeing fires. The fighters do not bow their heads, they hold the star with pride
 Ashes you will be, old man of the world, the path of crushing is written for you and you will not be able to bend us, killing our brothers in battle and knowing this we will be victorious, even if our sacrifices are heavy.» Nazim Hikmet

Immediate release of hunger striker Giannis Michailidis.

Victory in the struggle of the 11 Turkish revolutionaries.

Haris Mantzouridis imprisoned in the prison of Korydallos, A wing.

9/6/2022

Haris Mantzouridis, is arrested on October 13, 2021, accused of robbing a safe in Zografou in 2018.

SOURCE: ATHENS INDYMEDIATRANSLATION: ANARQUÍA




Source: Anarchistnews.org