After 35 days of struggle, I terminate the hunger strike that I began on March 2nd along with other comrades. I have decided to do so not owing to the fact that I have reached the limits of my endurance but because I believe that, considering the developments regarding the requestive context, this fight has completed its cycle and has exhausted its potential, taking into account also the solidarity acts that have taken place. I have chosen to suspend the hunger strike now, after the justice ministry’s bill introduction, seeing no point in waiting at least 10 days until it’s voted on, after Easter has passed. I however remain extremely cautious over any modifications that the ministry is supposed to present in relation to the hoodie law or DNA legislation; because the government has already demonstrated how unreliable it is in fulfilling its proclamations.
I participated in the hunger strike with a broken arm, having been injured during my arrest, a fracture that will take some time, perhaps months or over a year, to recover from. The demands which I supported alongside other imprisoned comrades are of a purely political character, because they are aimed against the “anti-terror” and repressive core of the State. I had no illusions from the outset that all of the demands, such as abolition of the 187A anti-terrorism law and the 187 law on criminal organisation, are “realistically” achievable, but they had to be put forward for political reasons.
The course of events showed that the SYRIZA-led government found itself in a very difficult position, but at the same time it’s not as vulnerable to political pressure from the struggle of political prisoners and people in solidarity as some would like to believe. Instead, it is more vulnerable to pressure exerted by the right wing, where there’s a greater sensitivity toward issues of “anti-terror” and repressive policy. Those who, while in opposition, claimed to have “fought” for the rights of prisoners, those who declared themselves against the “anti-terror” laws, such as the current ministers of justice and public order, those who declared themselves against the hoodie law, and have now come to power and lead the government, were faced with the first hunger strike of political prisoners aiming at a vindication of all that.
While in power, having within a very short time refuted everything they had proclaimed before elections regarding the memorandum and the debt, it is expected that they will leave the anti-terrorism legislation intact. Having accepted everything – the memorandum, the debt, the troika, the evaluation – they used to denounce while in opposition, having accepted the dependence on the International Monetary Fund and, by extension, the US – which means that it is impossible to repeal anti-terrorism laws – they chose to employ delaying tactics against the struggle of hunger striking political prisoners, and submitted an already proclaimed bill with whatever amendments only after one month, risking damage to the health and the lives of imprisoned comrades, as demonstrated in the case of comrade [Michalis] Nikolopoulos, who came close to death and may have suffered permanent damage. If this proves out, then this fight will come at a heavy cost; furthermore, it’ll be an “achievement” of the leftist government led by SYRIZA, leaving an indelible mark because no other Greek government in the past let a hunger striker suffer permanent damage.
I will not speak in terms of victory or defeat. Regardless of its outcome, the struggle of political prisoners is of great importance and value. It is the first hunger strike of political prisoners, and as I’ve said before, this struggle goes far beyond its requestive context. It is the only combative political mobilisation that the SYRIZA-led government was faced with so far. This struggle has dispelled the illusions of a leftist facade of Power, a leftist crutch of capitalism, a leftist administration of the crisis. This is the great political legacy left behind by this struggle, and in this respect, we have definitely come out winners.
Nikos Maziotis, member of the Revolutionary Struggle
Domokos [type C] prison