Category Archives: English

Greece: Pola Roupa and Nikos Maziotis, imprisoned members of Revolutionary Struggle on hunger strike

November 11, 2017

THE ROTTEN SYSTEM AND THE ABSENCE OF RESISTANCE ARE THE REASONS FOR THE ROTTING OF SOCIETY

Almost 10 years after the outbreak of the crisis with the collapse of the financial system, bank bankruptcy, and seven years after the commencement of the era of the memorandum and the monitoring of the country by the troika (IMF, EC, ECB), the social base in this country has suffered the strongest blow since the Second World War.

Greek puppet governments have definitively delegated substantial economic and political governance to EU supranational organizations and indirectly to the capital markets and are imposing new measures of social euthanasia for large sections of the population in this country, they are now insignificant for their added value to capitalist wealth. That’s why it does not matter if they disappear. This condition of condemnation is also a prerequisite for the survival of the system itself, for the preservation of the political regime, for the perpetuation of capitalism.

The government’s propaganda to overcome the crisis and return the Greek economy to a recovery path is a common European lie to showcase the supposed success of the programs and memoranda, to allow the EU to be removed from the obligation to continue to financially support the Greek regime and to let the capital markets take the lead from the EU in the recycling of Greek debt and speculation through it. A debt that regime agents already admit that if not drastically reduced in the immediate future will force the Greek state to declare bankruptcy. Not least that the exit to the markets of the Greek state will further exacerbate the already exaggerated Greek debt, which now exceeds 180% of GDP.

The message, however, that the world’s powerful have taken from these years with the rescue policies of the system by the central banks and governments that have put the whole weight of the crisis that the rich created on the backs of the peoples: whatever they do they have their pack animals, the social base, to bear the crisis and produce profits. And the usual practice of enrichment through the swelling of global debt and its financialization continues until the next collapse. But the people have already suffered a huge blow. The social base in the country counts millions of poor, marginalized and desperate. It counts thousands of deaths from hunger, illness and suicide.

The SYRIZA-ANEL government’s minister, Kontonis, argued that it is a government success that people do not eat from the rubbish. People still do eat from the trash, but they no longer show them on television. This is why it is a universal political priority to support the “success story” of the memorandum by all parties and the media.

The theft of any surplus wealth left to the social base continues with unabated tension by the government with wage and pensions cuts, the abolition of public insurance, the taxation of the most economically weak, all while poverty is rising, on the orders of the EU the banks will throw thousands of borrowers onto the streets, and there is no chance to persuade the government to get out of the crisis.

The only success of the government is social passivity and the defeat of struggles. Because the basic precondition for imposing these criminal policies in the country that threw thousands of people to the margins, which killed thousands, was and is political normality and the absence of a strong social reaction. Because the smaller the resistance of society, the more ruthless the system becomes.

The social reactions to the memorandums somehow came to a standstill as the regime was determined to impose the memorandums at all political expense. But the reason these memoranda were imposed was the absence of an expanded and powerful revolutionary movement that could be an obstacle to the social euthanasia policies. Upon the defeat of the resistance SYRIZA stepped in to climb to power. The SYRIZA-ANEL government has also been the last sparks of reaction to the system and policies to overcome the crisis.

Today, the social base is rotten, while the economic and political lords of the country have secured their wealth in tax havens and in foreign banks. The Paradise Papers come to recall what everyone knows: That the economically powerful and their political aides are not touched by any crisis and it does not concern them that any measures are imposed. In a “legal and moral” (sic) way they will continue to enrich themselves while millions of people die of hunger and poverty.

Nowadays, the social base is rotten because this rotten system is killing to survive, because it kills social solidarity and cohesion and pushes it into crime. The war of all against all is the beginning of capitalism and the economic freedom of the rich to do whatever they want with the support of governments. It is the beginning of the absolute competition that has dominated the planet.

Their own creations – the crimes among the social bases – are nowadays the politicians’ number one issue. “Order and security” is the common slogan of the political elites to deal drastically with these phenomena which the regime itself gave birth to. One of the most popular aspects of propaganda is crime among the social bases today. It is the phenomenon that the regime itself generates and nourishes.

And, on the other hand, the great criminals, the real terrorists and the bandits that make up the economic and political power, remain immune.

Society rots and turns into cannibalism as there is no political way out of the social conditions that the regime itself shapes: Because it creates poverty and want, marginalization and despair. This drowns the youth with drugs, it dissolves social solidarity. This creates the conditions for a cannibal society. This is the crime.

Prisons are full and more and more will pass through their doors as the political and economic conditions for increasing all forms of delinquency exist and will continue to exist.

And prisons are now being targeted by the left-wing totalitarianism promoted by the government with the new punitive code, which aspires to turn prisons into crematoria for thousands of prisoners.

REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE IS THE TARGET

At the top of the government’s priorities, and other regime parties, is always the political representation of Revolutionary Struggle and our political view. And the attitude that the regime has always reserved for us was analogous to its view of the political threat represented by Revolutionary Struggle but also by us personally. And they never hid it.

Because Revolutionary Struggle was a political threat to the policy of the Memoranda, an important factor of resistance, an organization that promoted the overthrow of the system and the revolution, the change of society in order to tackle the crisis at its root.

Because Revolutionary Struggle and we personally struggle for social solidarity which can triumph with the overthrow of the criminal regime that promotes social decay and social death. And the triumph of social solidarity presupposes the creation of a society of economic equality and political freedom for all.

And because they condemn us as enemies of democracy, those whose political system disdains and mocks with its very existence real democracy, there’s is a system of oligarchs in favour of the rich and the powerful, they break their own Constitution when the power of bankers and the wealthy is at risk (anti-constitutional imposition of memoranda), we point out that real democracy is direct democracy, this political organization of society today presupposes the economic organization of society based on the principle of economic equality.

The current system of parliamentary representation, especially in our time, with a discredited parliament that, according to a Eurobarometer survey, is only trusted by 13% of the people in the country, the current political system that is now commonly understood to be a puppet of the world’s powerful, this is the enemy of real democracy.

Real democracy, political freedom and economic equality are inseparable values. And an indisputable value is social solidarity. All these values that kill the existing economic and political system. And these are the values for which Revolutionary Struggle fights and for those values we are in prison.

Even before our arrests the repressive mechanisms they formed the frame through the media with ourselves as the central faces and Revolutionary Struggle as an umbrella organization for every armed activity in the country. They had set a bounty of €1 million each for us.

The arrest of Nikos Maziotis in July 2014 was presented by the then Minister of Public Order as an important element for the unimpeded implementation of the memoranda and the salvation of the system. With Nikos Maziotis they “inaugurated” the Type C prison[1] of New Democracy in Domokos as he was the first political prisoner to be transferred there.

A special moment in our special treatment was the arrest of Pola Roupa. The way the state and government treated our six-year-old child will remain in history as the most violent repressive blow.

The imposition of a unique exemption regime for Maziotis, who has been in isolation since last July, is another move in our special treatment.

The new Penitentiary Code introduces a special photographic arrangement for Pola Roupa to be put in isolation and to establish the isolation regime of Nikos Maziotis (article 11 par.6 point e). Whilst a special provision is introduced for the detention of those who are tried and are in a special regime of isolation, they are detained in police stations, which, for us and the long trials we have, is a move aimed at failing to conduct the civil trial and effectively cancelling it.

We know that we represent a political threat to the regime even though we are in prison. We know that we are still at the top of the agenda of the government’s political goals to address a political adversary of the system. This was expressly stated by Tsipras in the parliament, mentioning twice the name of Pola Roupa to the successes of his government’s repressive policy, paying special attention to this arrest. And they all heard that it was the only name in terms of arrests mentioned in the parliament.

They explicitly state this with the extensive reports they are always doing mentioning the name of Pola Roupa and our political history with the media presenting us as the central face in every armed activity.

And it is clear that while the repressive mechanisms have already reduced Revolutionary Struggle to an “umbrella” for a series of robberies that have taken place across Greece, they continue to place at the center of domestic armed action – of every kind and form – Revolutionary Struggle and us personally.

This is a strategically important policy for the state, the government and the media that stems from the prioritization of our case, Revolutionary Struggle and our political choices. Because while we are in jail, their war against us does not stop and in every way the government shows its political will against us that has long been personal.

We have repeatedly stated and everyone knows that what we do, we do. The political actions and actions of Revolutionary Struggle, of the organization to which we are members, we always defend them politically at all costs. However, actions that are not related to and are not related to Revolutionary Struggle – which the repressive mechanisms know – we are not willing to be credited with. Everyone assumes their responsibilities in the political field.

However, we know that the choice of the state to place us at the heart of any armed activity is of strategic importance. And this policy is converging with the state’s primary target of putting us in a special treatment regime within prisons. It comes and converges with the new exception regime that prepares and restores Type C prisons, with a special priority to be given to us personally this time with the photographic arrangement of Art. 11 para.6 of the new Penal Code.

THE NEW PENITENTIARY CODE AND THE THREAT OF THE PRISON REGIME

According to Article 11, paragraph 6 of the new Penitentiary Code, “those convicted of organizing escapes and other offences committed within detention facilities and under the applicable criminal and terrorist law will be detained in specific designated areas”.

It is known that in the past there have been cases of escaping detainees or attempted escapes. Never before has any government been asked to legislate specifically on organizing escapes to isolate detainees for such cases. The last escape took place in 2013 under ND (New Democracy political party).

In the recent historic juncture, the only such escape that has not been tried is the attempted escape of political prisoners that Pola Roupa attempted in February 2016, for which both Nikos Maziotis and other political prisoners are accused.

We do not know whether this provision is applied retrospectively and includes other cases of escape, but it certainly concerns this case. This is a pure device.

To the extent that there are other prisoners convicted of organizing escapes from prisons, they will obviously have the same treatment, as we know that the extension of an exceptional measure already enforced by law will include other categories of prisoners, that is a given.

Every move towards more and more totalitarian conditions in society, and in this case in prisons, is usually passed over the declared political enemies of the system that are prisoners of the state and then they are to be extended to wider social and political categories of people. With regard to escapes from prisons, up to now – and after legal and political interference in the matter – it has been enshrined as a prisoner’s right because of the recognition of human nature which tends towards freedom, with the result that the escape has constituted until recently a misdemeanour.

Obviously in a regime such as the modern one, which is steadily and without a political rival heading towards an absolute totalitarianism, the state wants to show that this tendency to freedom is a detestable tendency. That’s why their exemplary punishment by putting them in a regime of permanent isolation is now routed through the new penitentiary code by a left-wing government.

The special conditions of detention, even in absolute isolation, are laid down in the same article and for a large category of prisoners who “manifest violent behaviour towards the prison staff”. In addition to the imposition of a disciplinary sanction on the so-called “harsh” prisoners that is to be imposed by the council, Article 11 (6) (a) introduces the possibility of placing these detainees in a special quarantine regime for long periods of time. And because the issue may even concern the incitement of mobilization in prisons, this article is expected for “security reasons”, prisoners who are actively involved in prison life are to be placed in isolation.

Article 11 lists discrimination and segregation of detainees. In addition to the existing categorizations in paragraph 4, an extraordinary regime for the detention of a special category of detainees is taken “in case of transfer for procedural reasons if there is no such facility or department, the detainee resides in a specially designed area of a local police station”.

“If reasons connected with the security of the country or public order or order and security in the detention facilities make it necessary to take additional security measures for the guarding of a detainee for procedural reasons and to avoid communicating with detainees of other categories, guarding and staying in the detention facility may be done at the suggestion of the competent police authority or the Directorate-General for Criminal Offences of the Ministry of Justice in some other police facility”. “Grounds related to the country’s security or public order” are clearly relevant to members of armed organizations since they are invoked for reasons which exist only in 187A and in any other article of the Penal Code. Accordingly, this provision reserves the option to keep someone in isolation in GADA (Police Headquarters) and detention there by decision of the minister if it is someone who is in prison under 187A[2], IE they are a member of an armed revolutionary organization, throughout their trial.

Detention in the police stations (and while there are prisons in the trial area), the same article is also provided for security reasons for detention facilities. Consequently, for those detained in the detention category under special circumstances, their right to an effective trial is being circumvented.

Given the conditions of detention in these circumstances and given that our trials are many months long with the restoration of this provision initially introduced by ND with the Type C prison bill, the state not only violates any right to trial, but renders void its conduct. And in this case it is clear. Kontonis, the Minister of Justice, with Article 11, quite openly declares the “extraordinary” treatment that we have, a unique exception scheme with more personal targeting.

Since he has stated in many ways the central policy of the government and himself to introduce segregation and within the class of political prisoners, IE those in prison on 187A, it is clear that the exceptional treatment is aimed at creating the most stifling conditions of imprisonment, without communication with other detainees.

Article 11 and the subheadings introduced in paragraph 6 in conjunction with the specific reference made in Article 11 itself and in paragraph 4 to “security issues of the country and of public order” which concern exclusively political prisoners and the conditions for conducting their trials, which are mainly political trials, it is clear that the ministry has launched the exceptional treatment and personal targeting against those who have a political attitude and reason, who defend their choices and express them throughout the prison and courts. Our trials are targeted and their abolition is being launched, all of which, together with Article 51 on prisoners’ communications and their drastic limitation (see below), aims at the political silencing of political prisoners.

We know that even our political voice is dangerous to the regime junta. The open attack on us is at the bottom of their policies, and comes from this political fear. Because it is assumed that trials such as those we face are impossible to conduct smoothly under the conditions introduced by the new prisons, the safe conclusion is that ultimately the government’s goal is primarily political. It is the abolition of the civil trial.

Equal rights and respect for human dignity under the Constitution are explicitly circumvented in the New Penitentiary Code, both with the special provisions and the exception regime that will be imposed in specific cases as we have mentioned, and through other provisions such as Article 2 Paragraph 4 mentions “exceptional cases where measures may entail restrictions on the normal living conditions of prisoners determined on a case by case basis by a public prosecutor’s decision”.

Also, Article 15 (3) provides for the decision of the Minister of Justice to “include detainees in new categories for reasons of special treatment”. Therefore, the introduction of new discrimination among prisoners is subject to the discretion of the prosecutor and the minister.

Article 51 introduces the restriction of the prisoner’s telephone communications. Based on this article, telephone numbers communicated with by prisoners will be imported into software and the prisoners will be given a password to communicate with them and only the phones they have given themselves to the service will be allowed. It is clear that this measure is not introduced to monitor and control the prisoner’s telephone communications as this is in any case valid. What is introduced is the strict control of communications on those persons who visit the detainees, IE relatives, and will clearly require special approval from the prison service for the other prisoners’ communications. If for example the individual prosecutor does not approve any communication, no password will be given.

The universal restraint of all first-time prisoners’ telephone communications is a new type of totalitarian measure against the freedom of people in communications that is also enshrined in the Constitution.

Although it is not explicitly stated in this article, the restriction of prisoners’ communications is the one that provided for by this article.

Article 13 “on special arrangements for detained mothers and detained parents” and in paragraph 3, first incorporates Article 1532 of the Civil Code on “Parental Responsibility” for imprisoned parents. It restricts the possibility for children up to 3 years of age to live with their detained mother (the possibility of living with the detained father is introduced, but such a possibility is impossible under the existing conditions) only if judged necessary by a juvenile court. Therefore it dismisses the fact that if a prisoner, a mother can keep her child if she wishes within the prison. This will now be judged by the courts. There is also a distinction in those prisoners serving sentences of more than 10 years where the child’s care – whether it will go to a relative or an institution – will also be judged by a juvenile court. Consequently, the child will remain with the mother as a need only if there is no other suitable person and at the discretion of the judge.

And when the child reaches the third year it will go to an institution if each juvenile court deems inappropriate the family environment of the parents. While the government says it legislates release for women with young children and with sentences not exceeding 10 years, the new penal code cancels this feature as in Article 13 paragraph 3 provides that this measure be applied ”Where the provision for an individual living space solely for the detained parent and his/her child is not possible (…) It (the competent body) can order the house arrest of the mother or father (…)”. Under house arrest it is a given that no parent can perform a parent’s duty, as the child cannot remain continuously closed in at home. It is therefore ridiculous to propose and apply such a law.

But what if the sentence exceeds 10 years? In Article 13, paragraph 3 it says that if there is no suitable place to stay for children up to 3 years old with its mother in prison and while the sentence is more than 10 years the juvenile court will decide if the child is taken by a family member or an institution. And in cases where there is no family member or they are not considered appropriate by the court, rather than improving conditions of detention they prefer to put children in institutions.

Instead of institutionalizing children, they could arrange another space for the mother to stay with her younger child up to the age of 6 – an absolute necessity for the mother – instead they provide for day visits by imprisoned parents once a month, instead legislate for overnight stays for underage children with their mothers, for example. With one visit in a two-month period, a measure that would be essential to support children themselves, they legislate against children and are vindictive and sexist to women – they abuse the law and are denying the right to maternity.

It goes without saying that no possibility of release is given to detainees whose sentences exceed 10 years, and the absence of a suitable environment for children makes definite the decision to go to the institutions.

It is obvious that the regime that existed beforehand on parents and detained minors is overturned. To date, children and their detained parents have not been involved in court proceedings to judge the environment of the child, except in exceptional cases of violence against children, or the complete inability of the environment to keep them or in the absence of relatives.

There is now a measure that has so far been applied in very special cases, for the courts and child psychiatrists to control and decide on the children’s environment, while the detained parent enters into an unfavourable and racist attitude for their ability to judge the interests of their child, such interests under Article 13 (3) will now be judged by the court.

This arrangement was announced by Justice Minister Kontonis in an interview he had given on 7/1/17 on the state TV channel, when interviewed about the treatment of our child by the state and the government with the arrest of Pola Roupa on 5 /1.

It is well known that the “exceptional” treatment of our child, who was held in GADA and specifically in the anti-terrorism department for hours under extreme secrecy, was interrogated and with a prosecution order kept guarded in a closed psychiatric clinic, is historically unique. Our child was treated as a criminal offender as a potential terrorist because it was our own child. Then, at first, it was initially attempted to remove our parental care altogether and definitively, to take away any parental relationship with our child and to break it forever, giving parental care temporarily to the social service of the hospital that kept it with the option of shutting it in an institution.

The kidnapping of the child in the psychiatric hospital ended after the hunger and thirst strike, but also the political and social outcry that it stirred up, but the State claimed through the Prosecutor’s Office of Kalamata to remove custody of our child and impose restrictive conditions on him under the supervision of the social service and child psychologists. This condition of permanent hostage that they want to impose on our child, as well as the removal of custody from us, relates to the fact that we are who we are.

In the trial that will be held on 15/11 from which we are excluded by refusing to take us to Kalamata to attend the trial, the Prosecutor’s Office of Kalamata asks us to permanently remove our custody and impose conditions on our child until he reaches the age of maturity, the imposition of permanent control by the social services and the child-psychologists. For reasons of political revenge they want to remove our custody, for reasons of revenge and on our own child, they want to impose restrictive conditions, to keep him as a hostage.

Article 13 does not provide custody to imprisoned parents, but the courts will decide which is the most appropriate environment for their care. What they have sought for our own child is clearly different and is dictated by our political choices and positions.

Article 13 introduces a new totalitarianism. The ability of the state to judge universally and to question the suitability of the parent or relatives on the basis of its own criteria. It is well known that the institutions that have the honour in the new prison code are claiming child prisoners. Obviously the financial interests behind the institutions, the most famous of which are under the auspices of well-known economically powerful individuals in Greece, are very large and the expectations for the expansion of institutions-businesses in the country are significant. It is not possible for the government to deceive people that it is legislating on the basis of the “interest of the child”, everybody understands this – since it is known that the institutions are an investment for the powerful and for specific economic interests – the interests of some powerful families in the country. It is also well known, for the most part, that many institutions are genuinely hell holes for children, who are systematically abused and sometimes “killed in the wells”.

However, in the name of the interests of ‘security’ and, in particular, of the state totalitarianism being promoted, institutions are now legally recognized as a ‘popular’ destination for the children of prisoners, and always, in ‘the child’s interest’.

Other provisions of the new Penitentiary Code are also contributing to the setting of prison conditions.

The lawful detestable vaginal check-ups for women and the incarceration of the prisoner during a physical investigation with Article 21 paragraph 7.

Article 63 (1) first regulates the use of force against detainees by prison staff in any cases such as “active or passive physical resistance to a lawful order” or “lawful defence cases”. In short, every employee can legally practice violence against any prisoner even if they show a passive refusal to execute a staff order! As for the equipment of prison staff for the means of violence, it will be provided by the prison rule under Article 63 (4). It is clear that while the use of force will be provided for by the prison services themselves and at the will of the individual guards, the use of force by police forces and the special guards is legislated in the same article, and in cases of group disobedience, such as the mobilizations of prisoners when they refuse to enter their cells it will be handed out, (article 63, para. 2). Legislation on the abolition of protests and mobilizations of detainees introduced by this correctional code is one of the most totalitarian features of the history of prisons in the country. Along with the legalization of the use of force as provided, the conversion of all prisons into disciplinary cultures is rooted in the most explicit way, while the right to protest is criminalized.

On the basis of Article 63 and in conjunction with Article 11 (6) (a), detainees will be placed under special detention if they participate in mobilizations or, most importantly, if they are potent, since in any event they will be suppressed with violence.

The right of prisoners’ leave is to be abused for many categories of detainees, and sentences for acts of violence exceeding 15 years ( Article 53 (2 ) (d ) will be excluded from this right. In these cases involving hundreds of prisoners, leave will not be given and the prisoners will be in danger of being in a closed prison even until the end of their sentence.

And while Justice Minister Kontonis defends “equal treatment of prisoners in the face of the law” he legislates for discrimination based on the offence, refusing leave and release for certain categories of prisoners, such as those incarcerated for 15 year sentences and above for acts of violence, including those falling under 187A. And it is not about the specific measure for example drug dealers. We mention this example because he has publicly stated that he has intervened in a court decision to refuse to interrupt a prisoner’s sentence because he considered it unfair to decide the interruption of a sentence for a drug dealer rather than for a specific prisoner. He is extremely selective not only in his interventions but also in the way he is legislating now. And he is the first minister to legislate for discrimination on the basis of the offence, but also on the basis of specific persons.

Let us remind ourselves that he is the same minister who publicly defended the special treatment of our child, for which a number of laws were violated, he finally defended the treatment of our child, a six-year-old child, and defended his treatment as a “criminal offender” and his confinement to the psychiatric hospital.

In any case, the new penitentiary code wants to promote the end of prison protests, to introduce violence, punishment and revenge on detainees without room for protest, especially through articles that provide for special quarantine conditions.

A new regime of extermination of a special category of prisoners is introduced in the article. 11 (6) (e) and (4) of that Article. As far as political prisoners are concerned, the continued pressure to legislate on denial of leave and release without a statement of repentance reduces political prisoners to a special category for political reasons, since the extraordinary treatment concerns the motivation that is political rather than personal.

And such pressure as these measures to exclude political prisoners in prison are those which power wants to pass is in the direction of destroying all political resistance against the regime. The status of the oligarchy of the rich and their political co-soldiers who are responsible for the death, extermination and misery of millions of people in the country and for these crimes, for the terrorism they are practising, no one will pay.

On the contrary, those who struggle against their criminal, murderous regime must be exterminated.

The invocation of cases where prisoners violate the law when they left prison under the Paraskevopoulos law[3] is devoid of substance, since the type and intensity of social crime is not defined by the time of imprisonment, but by the wider social and economic conditions.

While the increasingly harsh conditions of detention will guarantee the return of detainees to delinquency, and even in more fierce forms of detention, since the tendency for revenge will coexist.

To the extent that poverty and regime violence at the expense of the social majority is increasing by dismantling social cohesion, killing social solidarity and turning the social base into a jungle, it is assumed that social crime will not only grow but will become more and more violent. The status of the “war of all against all” is imposed by the economic and political system itself. Since the elimination of crime presupposes the treatment of the causes that give birth to it and because the cause of the crime is the very system of capitalism, the state and the junta of the markets, the only way to effectively tackle crime at the basis of society is another type of social organization based on economic equality and political freedom.

Through Article 11 (4) and (6), it is clear that it is determined that we will be placed in a regime of permanent isolation from other prisoners while aiming at removing the possibility of trial. Nikos Maziotis is already in isolation status for the last 4 months for reasons we have outlined in texts published last July and September. Obviously, the imposition of a total isolation regime for Maziotis has “whetted the appetite” of the ministry to establish this treaty by law and to impose it on Pola, as she has taken responsibility the attempt to break out political prisoners from Korydallos.

The left-wing government, specializing in introducing and promoting divisions within resistance spaces and within political prisoners themselves, is certain that these measures will not apply to all those detained for involvement in armed activities. There will be clear discrimination among those who the government and the state always judge for their behaviour, especially their politics. As far as we are concerned, it is clear that we are the top priorities of the government’s war. And we will be the ones the government wants to pass these new measures upon.

But they will not just stay with us. It is certain that any exceptional measure applied to the political opponents of the regime will be broadened in their application to other categories of people.

Flagging the phrase “for the country’s security and public order”, the Syriza-ANEL government introduces new regimes of exclusion and isolation, as well as the most restrictive terms of detention for anyone recognized as a political threat.

The regime of modern parliamentary and economically powerful oligarchs does not recognize the existence of political opponents, it characterizes them as “terrorists” and condemns them with 187A to severe punishments. Once again, provisions are introduced for their slow destruction through the return of isolation and special conditions of detention. At the same time, both the media and the regime politicians howl about the treatment of the Junta and demanded that this regime be extended to a life long treatment, so as not to let the political opponents of the regime out of prison. It is obscene to draw a parallel with the Junta who imposed fascism on the whole country, who killed, tortured thousands of people, and sent tanks to the Polytechnic in 1973, and killed the insurgents in revolt in any other case.

As we have already said, Revolutionary Struggle has for years been an important priority in the repressive state policy. We know that we are also an important political target for the regime, given the choice of struggle we have made. However, the totalitarianism introduced by the new prison code and the incessant measures of control and pressure on prisoners promotes a new type of universal censure and social racism in prisons in order to make the pursuit of detainees more effective and on terms that will even go as far as their crushing if the state deems it necessary for its security.

In a pro-government newspaper we read in regard to the new prison code, titled “Prisons not sweat shops”, that the supposed pillar of the new code is the principle that “the only restriction imposed on the prisoners is on their movement.” No matter how the government’s parrots tried to beautify the new law they can not reverse the truth: It is a legal monstrosity that introduces the “modernization” of prisons to the country turning them into crematoriums for many detainees according to the specifications laid down by the new totalitarian regime imposed on the whole of society.

It is in “absolute harmony” with the modern junta of markets, supranational capital and government-puppets in Greece. It is in “absolute harmony” with the supervision and social subordination to the supranational power centres. With policies of social genocide for the social base, subordination and total control for all, to ensure the smooth reproduction of the criminal economic and political system. No social resistance, no political threat. And it is clear that while the regime imposes these conditions on society, and while politically threatening adversaries do not exist, the totalitarianism that will pass as a juggernaut through society will not leave the prisoners out of their sight.

The new penitentiary code and the threat of the detention conditions it imposes are a cause of struggle for all prisoners, and it does enough to “raise” the request to withdraw all the articles mentioned in the text, which for us are weapons of revenge and punishment against thousands of prisoners.

But we have already said they will not let the new Type C prisons and prisoners’ extermination schemes pass over us.

So we commence a HUNGER STRIKE today Saturday, November 11th with the following demands:

To withdraw the provision in Article 11 para, 6 pt. E and para. 4 in the same article regarding the detention in police stations. Do not bring back the Type C prison regime. Immediately release Nikos Maziotis from the isolation in which he is held by a decision of the ministry since last July.

Introduce adjustment to the correctional code for the easing of visitor hours based on the frequency of visits a prisoner has. For example, a prisoner who has one hour per month visit or cannot at all extend the time of the meeting.

There should be a special meeting room for parents to meet with their children (there is no such place in the Korydallos men’s prison) and when the frequency of meetings is rare, the meeting time should increase accordingly.

In our case the visits with our child, take place once a month due to distance and the time of one hour that is imposed is a mockery for the child. Also other visitors than that, we do not get at all. Everyone in prison knows this condition and the frequency of visits is written in the prison books.

The prosecutor of the prison refused to extend the time to meet with our child while they are aware of everything and insist on one hour per month, a decision directly against the child itself as it completely discredits our meeting. Potentially with 1 hour it is desired to completely cancel the meetings with our child.

In order to achieve even the bare minimum to meet the needs of our child to communicate with us due to the inability to visit us often we request:

· Visiting with our child to last at least three hours.
· Visiting between us two hours.
· Similar arrangements are provided for similar cases and should be extended to the minimum time for parents’ meetings with their children.

During the hunger strike we must be given a telephone conversation with our child and our lawyers.

We state from the outset that we will not receive serum when hospitalized, we will only receive water throughout the strike and do not think of force feeding us.

Pola Roupa – Nikos Maziotis,

Members of Revolutionary Struggle

[1] Type C prisons: maximum security prisons introduced in 2014 under the Samaras government which placed prisoners, mainly political prisoners, in special isolation units. Elements of these prisons were removed in 2015.

[2] 187A is the article of the Greek criminal code on the formation of criminal organizations, it is the main charge brought against members and suspected members of guerrilla groups.

[3] Paraskevopoulos law was brought in during the prisoners’ hunger strike in 2015 and grants early release for some prisoners in the hope of easing prison overcrowding.

Pola Roupa and Nikos Maziotis, imprisoned members of Revolutionary Struggle on hunger strike (Greece)

Greetings to and Solidarity with the Militant Revolutionary Prisoners

The biannual conference of the RHI took place from 11. to 12. November 2017.

We currently face adverse conditions as the system implements war, repression and a reactionary mobilization of the masses. This hardship coerces us to reconnect and recompose class forces so that they can be comprehensible in immediate struggles and demonstrate a perspective. Concerning this, the RHI sees itself confirmed in its work and role. Even more than this, the RHI is currently experiencing a phase of development and progress.

More and more frequently, the sections of the RHI find themselves in the midst of junctions of class confrontations when conducting their campaigns. The campaign for the liberation of Georges Abdallah experienced a leap of quality in this year with the participation of the Palestinian organization Samidoun. This allowed mobilizations from Palestine to New York during the international week of actions between the 14. and 21. October. Many cities in Europe and the Middle East participated. Georges and his actions in Palestine, Libanon and Europe are illustrative for the confrontation with imperialism. A confrontation that reaches into the banlieues of the megacities.

This phenomenon is reproduced in the revolutionary process surrounding the resistance of the progressive Turkish and Kurdish forces. A process of freedom and socialist nature. It is also the only alliance that stands against the hell which the imperialist forces and the local reactionary regimes have unleashed. The experience of the International Freedom Bataillons is a wonderful expression and representative of this. They stand in a historical line with the international brigades of the Spanish Republic. The RHI supports them and has a constructive and dialectic relationship with them. The RHI does not conceal the contradictions or the limitations which are founded in the balance of power (pressure by all imperialists and the reactionary regimes of the region), but aims to support the development of the revolutionary forces. The campaign for hemostatic ‘Celox’ developed this way. It is a very successful campaign with a lot of potential in the development of solidarity with a progressing revolution. It is under these circumstances that the relationship with a Turkish organization that has long been part of the RHI has become even stronger.

Near this bubbling cauldron, the Greek revolutionary movement is another point of reference. During the tumultuous crisis that unfolded across the country it could participate in the wavelike mass struggles and contribute radical elements for a revolutionary perspective. The movement could not yet make a qualitative leap as a union to equip the determination for confrontation with programmatic and adequate strategic elements. The field remains fruitful and the imprisoned comrades are exemplary for this. The RHI has a very good and dialectic political relationship of solidarity with them. Just now, as we write these lines, Nikos Maziotis and Pola Roupa (militants of ‘Revolutionary Struggle’) have begun a hunger strike to highlight the conditions of their imprisonment and discuss them in a political document.

A campaign has begun in Italy in support of militants of the BR-PCC who are imprisoned under the conditions of article 41bis. A lot has been done by antagonistic groups against these conditions of imprisonment because they are a heavy form of torture and aim to destroy the prisoners. The RHI will focus on the application of this article against advanced revolutionary forces and organizations of struggle. It is a necessity to support these prisoners and transport their value back to reality to create a connection with the forms of repression against mass struggles which are employed systematically today. The RHI can intervene to the benefit of a class front which stands against repression and for the development of the movement.

The days in Hamburg were a huge moment of development and experience. With all of the confrontation on the streets, on the squares and later in the prisons against a broad repression by the German state, the leader of all European counterrevolutionary and imperialist politics. Here too a field for contacts and closeness opens between imprisoned militants from different levels of organization. A diversity that reflects the different steps which are necessary for the development and construction of a revolutionary force to be able to confront the current situation.

To summarize, this confirms that the prisoners represent the interior of the class movement and the revolutionary tendency. The RHI is proud to continue this work, to support and guarantee the struggle for this connection and the contributions of the militant prisoners.

We send them our warmest hugs and all our closeness and solidarity! 

THE RESISTANCE OF THE REVOLUTIONARY PRISONERS STRENGTHENS THE CLASS MOVEMENT!

THE SOLIDARITY OF THE CLASS MOVEMENT STRENGTHENS THEIR RESISTANCE!

TOGETHER TO REVOLUTION!

Conference of the Red Help International

Zürich November 2017

Aktionswochen: Free Nekane! /// Weeks of Action: Free Nekane!

Vom 15. – 30. September 2017

Nekane Txapartegi ist eine baskische revolutionäre Feministin, Aktivistin und Journalistin. Nach Jahren im Untergrund wurde sie am 6. April 2016 in Zürich verhaftet. Grund dafür war ein spanischer Auslieferungsantrag. Seither ist Nekane in Zürich inhaftiert. Vor ihrer Flucht aus dem Baskenland wurde Nekane 1999 von der spanischen paramilitärischen Polizei Guardia Civil entführt. Fünf Tage lang musste sie die Incomunicado-Haft, ohne Kontakt zu einem Anwalt, einer Ärztin ihres Vertrauens oder ihren Angehörigen, ertragen. Während dieser Zeit wurde sie massiv gefoltert und vergewaltigt. Mit Schlägen, Tritten, einer Scheinhinrichtung und Vergewaltigung wurde von ihr ein falsches Geständnis erpresst. Auf der Grundlage der unter Folter erzwungenen Aussagen wurde Nekane 2007 in einem Massenprozess gegen baskische Linke zu einer mehrjährigen Haftstrafe wegen „Unterstützung einer terroristischen Vereinigung“ verurteilt. Um sich dem Zugriff der spanischen Klassenjustiz zu entziehen, tauchte Nekane ab. Die Schergen des spanischen Staates verfolgten sie bis nach Zürich, wo sie im Frühling des letzten Jahres dann durch die mit Spanien kooperierende Schweizer Polizei verhaftet wurde.

Parallel zum Auslieferungsverfahren läuft auch ein Asylverfahren. Doch die zuständigen Behörden haben sich in erster Instanz trotz belegter Folter für eine Auslieferung und gegen Asyl entschieden. Letzten Monat hat sich nun auch eine weitere Instanz für eine Auslieferung an Spanien ausgesprochen, wobei sich das Gericht auf eine vermeintliche „demokratische Tradition“ Spaniens stützt.

Seit der Verhaftung von Nekane hat sich schweizweit eine breite Solidaritätskampagne formiert. Nach diesem weiteren für Nekane negativen Entscheid ist Solidarität und eine entschlossene Antwort wichtiger denn je! Deshalb wird vom 15. bis 30. September zu Aktionstagen für die Freiheit von Nekane aufgerufen. In dieser Zeit werden in verschiedenen Schweizer Städten Aktionen, Veranstaltungen, etc. durchgeführt. Die Aktionstage enden am 30. September mit einer Demonstration in Zürich.

Beteiligt euch in euren Städten an den Aktionstagen für die Freiheit von Nekane!

Free Nekane and all political prisoners!

www.freenekane.ch

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Weeks of Action: Free Nekane!

From 15 – 30 September 2017

Nekane Txapartegi is a Basque revolutionary feminist, activist and journalist. After year of living in illegality she was arrested in Zürich on 6.4.2016. The reason for her arrest is a Spanish appeal for extradition. She is imprisoned in Zürich since then.

Before she fled the Basque country, she was kidnapped by the Spanish paramilitary police Guardia Civil in 1999. She had to endure the „Incomunicado“ imprisonment for five days without any contact to lawyers, doctors or her relatives. She was heavily tortured and raped during these days. They forced a fake confession out of her with beatings, kicks, a fake execution and rape. Because of this confession which was obtained by torture, Nekane was sentenced to years in prison in a mass trial against the Basque left because of „support of a terrorist association“. She fled into illegality to evade the Spanish class justice. The henchmen of the Spanish state followed her to Zürich where she was arrested in the spring of last year by the Swiss police who cooperated with Spain.

Parallel to the trial regarding her extradition there is also a trial regarding political asylum. But the public authorities of the first instance decided for extradition and against asylum despite proven torture. Last month, another judicial instance decided in favor of an extradition to Spain, citing the „democratic tradition“ of Spain.

Since Nekane‘s arrest, a broad campaign of solidarity formed in Switzerland. Solidarity is more important than ever after this negative judicial decision and a decisive response is necessary! That is why we call for days of action for the freedom of Nekane from the 15. to the 30. September. There will be all kinds of actions, meetings, etc. in Swiss cities. The days of action will end on the 30. September with a demonstration in Zürich.

Participate in the days of action for the freedom of Nekane!

Free Nekane and all political prisoners!

www.freenekane.ch

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Semaines d’action: Liberté pour Nekane!

Du 15 au 30 septembre 2017

Nekane Txapartegi est une féministe, militante et journaliste
révolutionnaire basque. Après une année passée dans la clandestinité,
elle a été arrêtée à Zurich le 6 avril 2016. La raison de son
arrestation est une demande d’extradition venue de L’État Espagnol, elle
est emprisonnée à Zurich depuis.

Avant de fuir le Pays-Basque, elle a été enlevée par la Guardia Civil,
police paramilitaire espagnole, en 1999. Elle a enduré un emprisonnement
“secret” (“Incomunicado”) pendant 5 jours sans aucun contact avec un
avocat, un médecin ou ses proches. Elle a été lourdement torturée et
violée durant cette détention. Ils lui ont arraché une fausse confession
en la battant, en lui donnant des coups de pieds, en organisant une
fausse exécution et en la violant. A cause de cet aveux obtenu sous la
torture, Nekane a été condamnée à plusieurs années de prison lors d’un
procès de masse contre la gauche basque pour “Soutien à une organisation
terroriste”. Elle est passée dans la clandestinité pour fuir la justice
de classe espagnole. Les partisans de l’État Espagnol l’ont suivi
jusqu’à Zurich où elle a été arrêtée au printemps de l’année dernière
par la police suisse collaborant avec l’État Espagnol.

En parallèle au procès concernant son extradition, il y a également un
procès concernant son statut de réfugiée politique. Mais les autorités
publiques de la première instance ont décidé de son extradition et
contre son statut de réfugiée, malgré que la torture ait été prouvée. Le
mois dernier, une autre instance judiciaire a pris une décision en
faveur de son extradition vers l’État Espagnol, citant la “tradition
démocratique” de celui-ci.

Depuis l’arrestation de Nekane, une large campagne de solidarité s’est
formée en Suisse. La solidarité est plus importante que jamais après
cette décision de justice négative. Une réponse décisive est nécessaire
! C’est pourquoi nous appelons pour des journées d’action pour la
libération de Nekane du 15 au 30 septembre. Il y a aura plusieurs types
d’actions, de meetings, etc. dans les villes de Suisse. Les journées
d’action s’achèveront le 30 septembre par une manifestation à Zurich.

Participez aux journées d’action pour la libération de Nekane!

Liberté pour Nekane et pour tous les prisonniers politiques!

www.freenekane.ch

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Nekane Txapartegi es una activista feminista y periodista vasca y revolucionaria. Después de años de vida clandestina fue detenida el 6 de abril 2016 en Zurich. La razón de ello fue una solicitud de extradición del gobierno español. Desde entonces sigue encarcelada en Zurich. Antes de su huida del País Vasco en 1999 Nekane fue secuestrada de la Guardia Civil. Sufrió cinco días incomunicada, sin contacto ni con una abogada ni con un médico de confianza ni nadie de su familia. En estos días fue torturada y violada atrozmente. Con pegos, patadas, una ejecución silmilada y la violación forzaron una supuesta confesión obtenida bajo la fuerza. Basado en esta confesión forzada Nekane fue condenada en un juicio sumario contra la Izquierda Vasca a varios años de carcel por ‚ayuda a un grupo terrorista’.

Para evitar la justicia española de clase, Nekane se fugó a la clandestinidad. Los esbirros del Estado español la persiguieron hasta Zurich, donde la policía suiza que colabora con España la detuvo en la primavera del año pasado.Al mismo tiempo que la solicitud de extradición está pendiente una demanda de asilo. Pero las autoridades responsables consintieron en primera instancia a una extradición y en contra de la demanda de asilo a pesar de la tortura comprobada.El mes pasado la proxima instancia también favoreció la extradición y el tribunal se refirió a la ‚tradición democrática’ de España.

Desde el momento de la dentención de Nekane se ha formado en Suiza, en todo el país una campaña de solidariedad muy amplia. ¡ Después de la recién decisión negativa para Nekane es cada vez de mayor importancia una respuesta decidida y solidaria!Por eso se declaran jornadas de acción del 18 al 30 de septiembre para la libertad de Nekane. Habrá reuniones, actos y más en varias ciudades de Suiza. Las jornadas terminarán con una manifestación el 30 de septiembre en Zurich.

¡ Partipad e involucraos en vuestras ciudades en las jornadas y actos para la libertad de Nekane!

¡ Libertad para Nekane y todos los presos políticos!

www.freenekane.ch

 

 

Palästina: PFLP Prison Branch urges action and unity to support Palestinian prisoners engaged in the battle for dignity

Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is a day of challenge and confrontation, emphasizing the issue of prisoners

On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, we salute every prisoner, the heroes and heroines of the battles of will and steadfastness, to every flower and cub, to the sick prisoners, administrative detainees and imprisoned leaders, led by the imprisoned General Secretary, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, Marwan Barghouthi, Hassan Salameh, Wajdi Jawdat, Anas Jaradat, Bassam Kandaji and the long line of leaders who represent the national struggle and the prisoners’ cause.

On this occasion, we make a particular salute to the martyrs of the prisoners movement and to all of those engaged in confrontation and the struggle for victory. We are firmly committed to see each battle of confrontation with the Prison Service and its instruments of repression and intelligence agencies as a collective battle. Every action initiated by any faction is all of our battle.

We also congratulate the longest-serving woman prisoner, Lena Jarbouni, on this occasion of her freedom after 15 years in Israeli jails.

In this context, we affirm that we stand hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder in any struggle waged by the prisoners, and we consider the decision to engage in the battle of dignity and honor against the jailer, beginning on Monday, April 17, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2017, to be one which we support and which we are part of. This comes in two ways, both through the decisions and guidelines for the comrades to engage in the battle, and through approving a program of support for the strike in all prisons and among our comrades outside.

In this context of high appreciation and support for this battle and all the heroic prisoners who will engage in it, we affirm our continued struggle for the unity of the prisoners’ movement and the escalation of confrontation against the prison administration.

Thus, we call on all the Palestinian people and their supporters and friends around the world to stand side by side with the prisoners in their continuing battles inside the prisons, escalating the mass movement to support the battle of wills, challenge and confrontation, and to once again reaffirm the centrality of the cause of the prisoners.

We also call upon all human rights, humanitarian and media institutions to support our prisoners in order to develop a unified national program at all levels for more effective results.

We call upon the leaders of the Palestinian people to make unremitting efforts to uphold their responsibility for the prisoners and the martyrs and do everything possible to defend them and support their steadfastness until victory in the ongoing battles against the prison service, through all forms of action for their liberation.

On this occasion, we urge all to close ranks in the field of national unity and urge our Front, all of the national and Islamic forces and factions and the masses of our people to devote their efforts and time in service of the cause of the prisoners.

We hope that the culmination of all of these battles waged by the prisoners inside the prisons, with the popular support inside and outside Palestine, will be to unify the prisoners’ movement, in light of the traditions and norms established by the prisoners’ movement for over 50 years, of prisons as revolutionary schools which unite all forces behind revolutionary national ideals.

We urge all actions and intensified work in the Palestinian, Arab and international arenas, everyhere in the world in support of the prisoners’ cause.

Salutes of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day – Glory to the martyrs – Freedom for the prisoners of freedom

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Prison Branch
April 16, 2017

http://pflp.ps/english/2017/04/16/pflp-prison-branch-urges-action-and-unity-to-support-palestinian-prisoners-engaged-in-the-battle-for-dignity/

Türkei/Kurdistan: Prisoners end the hunger strike on KCK’s call

Political prisoners have ended the massive hunger strike in Turkish jails on the call issued by KCK yesterday.

In a statement on behalf of PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) and PAJK (Kurdistan Women’s Liberation Party, Partiya Azadiya Jin a Kurdistan) prisoners, Deniz Kaya announced that they have ended the massive hunger strike in Turkish jails, which continues in Şakran since February 15, on the call issued by KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-Presidency yesterday.

Deniz Kaya said: “We salute all our people, democratic circles and everyone that acted with sensitivity and supported our resistance. We state hereby that we will continue our resistance with greater actions in the event that the AKP-MHP dirty alliance continues its isolation on our Leader, the political genocide operations against our people and rights violations in prisons.

We are ending our indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike in all prisons, which is on day 64 in Şakran, upon the call of KCK Co-Presidency. We salute all our jailed comrades who took part in this action of resistance, and we reiterate our debt of gratitude to our people.”

In yesterday’s statement, KCK Executive Council Co-Presidency said that:

“With this action, prisoners have strengthened the democracy struggle against AKP-MHP fascism, thus leaving no more need to continue this resistance. Trusting that the highlighted issues will be followed up and this struggle will be continued in other ways and methods, we ask them to end the indefinite-irreversible hunger strike. The demands of resisting prisoners became the demands of our Freedom Movement, people and the public opinion. Our responsibility for the end of the pressures in İmralı and all other prisons will be fulfilled in a more sensitive way from now on.

The practices in İmralı and prisons and pressures on our people and democratic politics came into prominence further and become public knowledge with this resistance. Our people, democratic public opinion and we ourselves will follow up the issues highlighted by resisting prisoners, and make the necessary effort to this end. In this scope, the action that has reached death’s threshold must be ended immediately.

Should there be no favorable developments on the highlighted issues, it will be up to the will of resisting prisoners to go into action in a more planned and organized manner in the future. On this basis, we once again salute their action and call on them to end it, with the confidence that they have reached their goal.”

https://anfenglish.com/news/prisoners-end-the-hunger-strike-on-kck-s-call-19607

Türkei/Kurdistan: KCK calls on prisoners to end the hunger strike

KCK called on prisoners on indefinite-irreversible hunger strike in Turkish jails to end their action, stating that they have achieved their goal by strengthening the democracy struggle against AKP-MHP fascism.

KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-Presidency released a statement regarding the indefinite-irreversible hunger strike of political prisoners that has reached day 63.

KCK recalled that 300 prisoners are on indefinite-irreversible hunger strike and thousands of others are on alternate hunger strike demanding an end to the isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, fascist attacks on the Kurdish people, political genocide operations against democratic politics and pressures in prisons.

Stressing that such an extensive action by prisoners is a result of the AKP-MHP fascist government’s escalation of practices in İmralı and all prisons based on Kurdish enmity KCK said: “Prisoners did not remain silent in the face of the pressures and persecution of our people as they have done in all periods. These prisoners who dedicated their lives to the freedom struggle have put up their revolutionary will by challenging death in the face of pressures. Our people, as always, have stood with their revolutionary children and supported this resistance.

The statement continued: “With the support of the people and democratic circles for the resistance of prisoners, the reasons for this action, i.e. the isolation in İmralı, pressures in prisons, political genocide operations against democratic politics and the fascist attacks on the people, have been brought to the agenda to the extent it was meant to, and they have thus achieved their goal.

With this action, prisoners have strengthened the democracy struggle against AKP-MHP fascism, thus leaving no more need to continue this resistance. Trusting that the highlighted issues will be followed up and this struggle will be continued in other ways and methods, we ask them to end the indefinite-irreversible hunger strike. The demands of resisting prisoners became the demands of our Freedom Movement, people and the public opinion. Our responsibility for the end of the pressures in İmralı and all other prisons will be fulfilled in a more sensitive way from now on.

The practices in İmralı and prisons and pressures on our people and democratic politics came into prominence further and become public knowledge with this resistance. Our people, democratic public opinion and we ourselves will follow up the issues highlighted by resisting prisoners, and make the necessary effort to this end. In this scope, the action that has reached death’s threshold must be ended immediately.

Should there be no favorable developments on the highlighted issues, it will be up to the will of resisting prisoners to go into action in a more planned and organized manner in the future. On this basis, we once again salute their action and call on them to end it, with the confidence that they have reached their goal.”

https://anfenglish.com/news/kck-calls-on-prisoners-to-end-the-hunger-strike-19573

Greece: Revolutionary Struggle member Pola Roupa arrested in Attica

According to Greek  media the comrade Pola Roupa, member of Revolutionary Struggle, has been arrested at a home in the Attica region. Pola is the partner of Revolutionary Struggle member and political prisoner Nikos Maziotis and was one of the most wanted fugitives in Greece. According to media reports Pola was at the house with her young child and a 25 year old woman when police raided. The 25 year old woman was also arrested. There are unconfirmed reports that two more people may have been arrested as well. More information as it becomes available.

Solidarity with Pola Roupa and Revolutionary Struggle!

Greece: Revolutionary Struggle member Pola Roupa arrested in Attica

Prisons in the USA – The dark side of slavery in american society

In order to be in the position to understand the importance and necessity of the us prisoners’ struggle, we first need to analyze the role of slavery in the foundation and evolution of the american state and its historical and integral ,until today, link with the capital.
Slavery in its many forms was actually the foundation on which the omnipotence of american overlordship was gradually built. The root of this phenomenon can be traced back in the era when the christian empires of europe started a race to conquest unknown lands, founding colonialism regimes, in the era of brutal genocides of the indigenous populations and the slave trade of the non-white african population.

Since then and until today, the social and political circumstances have rapidly changed, mainly because of a heavy blood tax that has been paid from beneath, towards the direction of the total shaking off of slavery as an institution. However, it continues up until today, more or less covered.
Today’s prisoners’ class and racial composition, the spreading of private prisons, the institutionalization of enforced labor as a form of criminal sanction, the exploitation of prisoners by big companies highlight the fundamental connection between state-capitalism-slavery and prison.

Slavery in the first colonial systems

During the first years of the “new world’s” colonization and until the early 18th century, most of the settlers were not free but were under a status of an idiotype slavery, known as “indentured servitude”, which aimed in equipping the colonies with cheap workforce. The “indentured servant” signed a contract according to which she/he was mortgaging her/his freedom and provide her/his work to a master for a period between 5 to 7 years and, in exchange, the latter covered her/his transportation expenses to the colony. In practice, it was happening by the signature of the contract between the “indentured servant” and the ship owner and the subsequent transferring of the contract to the new master, as soon as the ship arrived to the “new world”. The institution was initially introduced in 1619 through Virginia Company. It has been calculated that 80% of the refugees in the american colonies before american revolution were under this status, while only 40% managed to survive.

“Interventured servants” consisted of three categories : 1) poor immigrants seeking for a better life in the colonies 2)immigrants forced to leave their country because of religious prosecutions or other reasons 3) convicts. It constisted of both white and non-white population. More specifically, in the plantations of the south, the institution favored the further expansion of the land ownership, since it got connected to the headright system. Headright was the right of every coloner in about 4 acres of land. The big landowners managed to expand the landownership since they were both subzitized with the 4 acres for every worker they brought in through the “interventured servitude” system and took profit on the workforce of the “interventured servant” that had in their ownership.

So, although slaves existed in the english colonies already since 1600, this constitution was preferred among plantation owners. But, when the “interventured servants” started to gradually regain their freedom somewhere in the middle of the 17th century, the land they were given was of bad quality and under the danger of indigenous raids, soon resulting in the creation of a poor and unsatisfied social layer, whose existence annoyed the bag landowners who later manned their plantations with permanent slaves.

Moreover, although european “interventured servants” were already under a status of transient slavery compared to the permanent slaves, many of them acted together with non white, african and american indigenous slaves in order to escape, resist to their masters or organize uprisals. The ruling class was displeased by this alliaance and answered with a tactic of separation between the white and the non white population, like happened, for example, in Virginia with the voting of Virginia Slave Codes in 1705. In an case, already during the 18th century, europeans willing to travel to the american continent under the status of “interventured servitude” had considerably decreased, especially after the disclosure of the conditions in the plantations. The ruling class, on the other hand, within the tactic of separation had started to grant privileges and lighter work to the white” inteventured servants” compared with the non-white, african and american indigenous slaves. In this way, the alliance between whites of all layers and racial discrimination gradually started to form a structure. The “interventured servitude” system was abolished after the civil war through the 13th amendment of american constitution in 1865.

First prisons and enforced labor until the end of the civil war

Imprisonment as a form of criminal sanction was established in america a little before the american revolution of 1765. The first period, during which imprisonment was massively used as a means to deal with offenders, the “mentally ill” and the poor, can be found in the early 1800, in the jackson era. During this period, imprisonment and enforced labor constituted the main sanctions for most crimes until the civil war. In the south, however, were slavery was widespread, imprisonment didn’t have much to offer to the sustainment of order, since slaves were in the mercy of their masters. Despite this fact, imprisonment of white people took place in some parts of the south.
The first occasion of enforced labor of prisoners in favor of private companies and of the state is found in 1820 in the prison Auborn in New York. The constitution quickly expanded to the north and, later, to the west. In 1825 in Kentucky, joel scott paid 1000 dollars in order to use the prisoners of the local prison as a work labor in construction projects. After that, he proceeded in building his own private prison to house them. Deals like this can be found in 1844 in Louisiana and in 1852 in California. Despite the above, the main exploitation of prisoners as a work labor and the evolution of the conception around the utilization of the excluded populations will take place after the end of the civil war.

The inclusion of enforced labor in the criminal system (convict leasing)

After the end of the american civil war (1861-1865), capitalism will dominate in the usa and will gradually highlight it into the superpower that is today. Between 1865-1920, corporate interests were served in all government levels. Governments obeyed almost completely to the big companies. In many occasions, industrial corporations were the ones to set the value of their own property for tax reasons, instead of tax inspectors. Private and public sectors were, in a great degree, undividable, for example, in 1880 the owner of the biggest bank in Montana was at the same time its governor. Capitalistic development, however, did not follow a straight line. Since the middle of the 1870s until the middle of the 1890s (a period named the “great depression”), economy wobbles from massive bankrupts, inflation and the merciless competition between the companies for the reduction of labor costs. Within this framework, the utilization of prisoners as a workforce constituted an ideal solution and the institution of “convict leasing” was spread in both the south and the north and the 2/3 of prisoners were assigned to private companies. Companies signed contracts with the state that the workforce would be replaced in case a prisoner got ill or was considered as unsuitable.
The explosive development of the industry and economy was, in a big degree, connected with the specific configuration of the criminal system. The need for cheap labor force leaded to massive criminalization of behaviors and massive arrests. People were sent to prison for insignificant excuses, like gambling and consuming alcohol. While capitalism was gradually evoluting towards its monopolistic form (which will reach after 1890) prisoners started to be assigned only to the most powerful corporations of every state.

The institutionalization of slavery as a criminal sanction through the 13th amendment of the us constitution served as the legal base for the institution. In the south, convict-lease system was spread everywhere and constituted the new way of utilization and disciplination of the recently libareted slaves who were now under a status of discrimination, imposed on them through jim crow’s laws, under the ideological construct of white supremacy. In the prisons of the south after 1985, 90% of the prisoners were non-white. Prisoners were assigned to the mines, to railway companies and to the iron and steel industry. All the extractive companies of the south, as well as the agricultural economy of cotton and sugar, was based on the prisoners’ labor. In the north, there was also a close cooperation between the industries, commercial and agricultural companies and all of the order enforcement authorities as well as the judicial system. Sheriffs, local magistrates, policemen, judges and governors were all working together for the systems’ conservation. Labor unions, syndicates and labor parties reacted to the institution, initially as far as the utilization of prisoners as specialized workforce was concerned, because it was against their interests.

Prison labor was also utilized as a counterweight against the workers’ effort to organize. Companies, in cases of strikes and claimings, could replace their workforce with prisoners who worked under harsh and lethal conditions. This way, a lot of mine strikes were broken.
But, in 1890, during a mine strike, TC&I company tried to use prisoners in order to break the strike. Strikers and their allies, friendly towards the workers’ movement “the knights of labor” started guerilla war with attacks to the prison’s fence and liberated prisoners. They after denied to obey to the governor’s order to return them back and armed conflicts followed. Since 1890, uprisals and prisoners’ strikes started to happen more and more often, especially in the north, where an important percentage of prisoners were veterans of the American civil war, but also, ex- workers.

The development of the prison-industrial complex

Since the 70s and until today, prisons continued to constitute a privileged field of profit and repression in the usa, while, at the same time, through the the prison-industrial complex, we are passing into new forms of social control and surveillance. The interaction and cooperation in the prison system between industry and private prisons, construction companies, prison supply companies, companies exploiting the enforced labor of the prisoners and of the political conservation in general, is conceived by this term.

This way, american state’s propaganda for the social legalization of the army-industrial complex, making huge profit during the cold war, was gradually replaced by the prison-industrial complex, this time, using the excuse of the “war on drugs”.

During the 60s, 70s and 80s, CIA, after secretly getting involved in the drug trade taking place in vietnam and nicaragua, channeled large quantities into the poor neighborhoods of people of color. During the 70s, a lot of companies got transferred out of the usa seeking cheaper workforce resulting in a rise of the unemployment in the poor neighborhoods and a big part of the non-specified unemployed turning to thefts and drug dealing. This phenomenon, offered the suitable political excuse in order for reagan to start, in the middle of the 80s, the campaign of “war on drugs”. A big wave of arrests of non-white people followed this tightening of the legal armory, leading to the overpopulation of prisons. While the expenses for the maintenance and building of new prisons overcame the abilities of the state’s budget, private prisons constituted an advantageous solution, not only for the state but, for the capital as well. In 1984, investors in Tennesee, having connections in the government, structured Corrections Corporations of America (CCA). The idea was to fοund private prisons and rend the bed to the government. The utilization of private prison reached its peak in the 90s during clinton’s presidency, when private prison companies took on the imprisonment of refugees without a residence permits and prisoners of “high risk”. In 2000, private prisons’ industry donated 1,2 millions to 830 candidates. Today, the largest of private prisons’ companies are CCA and GEO Group (ex Wackenhut), while the percentage of inmates in them in 2013 was calculated to be the 8% of the total population of prisoners in the usa.

Together with the institution of private prisons, prisoners’ enforced labor, based -as referred above- on the 13th amendment, is still a field of profit and management of the excluded populations.
Prisoners work without syndicate rights, days off or alliances, under miserable conditions. Their denial to work has as a consequence disciplinary punishments and privilege deprivations. The last 30 years more than 37 states allow private companies to use prisoners with the symbolic payment of between 0,93 and 4,73 dollars a day. Companies exploiting the work of prisoners are, among others, IBM, Boeing, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Nothern Telecom, TWA, Nordstorm’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, Starbucks and Honda.

Prisoners’ struggles – Resistance finds its ways and spaces to be manifested

As expected, the asphyxiating status of enforced labor as part of the penalty, this disguised form of modern slavery, compresses and crushes the prisoners so much that, little by little, the seed of resistance is being born, a seed growing on anger and desperation. Since quite some time, a series of fermentations inside the American hellhole, which are actually slave galleys, has led to the planning of a concerted struggle inside prisons, targeting towards the definitive abolition of this brutality which euphemistically calls itself “social contribution”. Despite the great difficulties in the communication among prisoners, the thirst for fighting managed to overcome all obstacles so to finally the struggle plan to be communicated in such a degree, that we can maybe be talking about one of the biggest concerted fighting campaigns form the prisoners themselves.
The starting point of such a struggle has been set by the commissions of prisoners themselves on 9/9/16, a date-symbol for the struggles of us prisoners since, 45 years ago, on September 9 1971, the uprisal in the Attica prison of New York took place which constituted the biggest and most dramatic prison uprisal in the usa history. The basic occasion was the murder of the inmate George Jackson from the Black Panthers by the jailers.

As Anarchist Black Cross, we consider that the peak of this struggle has a special importance, since it constitutes a collective scream of dignity form the inside of the modern hellholes of a state that has made imprisonment into a science, being a model and example for every ambitious totalitarian state.
The status of slavery in prisons is the epitome of brutality inside imprisonment conditions since it abolishes the individual status of every person and targets towards her/his total submission between the gears of multinational leviathans.

As anarchists, we cannot whistle with indifference in front of a struggle orienting from the damned of the social margin, being under an idiotype status of slavery and still claiming, even under the adverse conditions of imprisonment, a breath of dignity and self-determination.
The inmates will conduct their struggle by actually denying the procedure of enforced labor, carrying out an abstention of their predicted duties, actually a kind of strike from inside the prison, which is being punished with disciplinary punishments and isolation. A struggle in the root of which there is political disobedience and sabotaging to corporate interests which have identified themselves with the most ruthless forms of exploitation.

The prisoners have outwardly addressed a call for the support of their fight from whoever feels that this struggle has anything to do with her/him and finds a piece of herself/himself inside it.
Inside this framework, as Anarchist Black Cross-solidarity cell we had conducted an event and notification on 4/8 in the squat Themistocleous 58, together with comrades from the translating network of antireport Contra Info, during which, a comrade from Anarchist Black Cross of Portland had extensively spoken on these issues aiming to the notification of the domestic anarchist movement for the struggle that would follow from 9/9.

We are willing to manifest our solidarity to the inmates of us prisons by any means and for all the duration of their struggle. Towards this direction, we are calling all the collectives, all the Anarchist Black Cross cells internationally but also anyone wishing to support in her/his way, to concert our powers in an International Day of Solidarity which can be a point of reference for the international solidarity movement for that struggle and will constitute an occasion for further sharpening of our later actions. We propose that day to be the 1st of October.

We consider that the perspectives, the at-stake-issues, and the stockpile that this specific struggle can leave behind, constitute an open challenge for every fighter wanting to contribute to the conduct of an internationalized and concerted struggle inside and out of prisons, against the modern slavery and the economical dictatorship of multinational companies.

Solidarity and Strength to the struggle of the inmates in the us prisons!
Struggle is the only perspective in order to live with dignity!
Fire to the prisons!

Anarchist Black Cross- solidarity cell

Greece: Some excerpts from the presentation by Nikos Maziotis, member of Revolutionary Struggle, at Pikrodafne squat, Athens

31/1/2016

“We have to sabotage the implementation of the Third Memorandum”

Q: What are the reasons, in your opinion, for the decline in the level of social resistance and struggles against capitalist restructuring and austerity measures and how can we get out of this impasse? What should be the strategy in the anarchist space currently?

A
: The cause of the lessening of social resistance is precisely that it had and continues to have a defensive character in face of the unprecedented onslaught of capital and the state after 2010. The capitalist machine has been malfunctioning since 2008, neither finding profitable investments for pumping out ever greater profits nor capital to offset its losses, so it attacks social gains and the working class. And it attacks social security, salaries and pensions, it confiscates property due to debts, reduces labor costs, and seizes public property through privatization.

To compensate for its losses, capital pushes through rescue programs, that is to say the memoranda, wiping out sections of the population that it neither wants to nor can exploit, leading to their destruction. The redistribution of large-scale social wealth by confiscation applies a large-scale policy of theft from society and societal genocide to save the powerful.

Faced with this unprecedented attack that has already left thousands dead and the majority of society immiserated and impoverished, the solution is not to struggle to restore the system and social order to pre-2008 conditions- when the system worked, the banking system was “prosperous” and giving loans, with a welfare state (which in Greece was never well-developed) and a social consensus on the neoliberal reforms of that time.

It is impossible to go back to that situation because of the dynamics of the system itself. Just as it is impossible to return to a social-democratic model of development with strong state intervention in the economy as advocated by Syriza before the elections of January 2015. This model has been disappearing for the past four decades. Rather, the solution is the overthrow and destruction of capitalism itself since its very existence creates crises, the tragic results of which we live. The solution is what we as Revolutionary Struggle have supported for years, that “the only answer to the crisis is social revolution”. The cause of the crisis is not neoliberalism as affirmed by Syriza in previous years, but capitalism itself, its very existence.

The people descended into the streets in the mobilizations of 2010 – 2012 and today on the occasion of the new memorandum, but they expected and still expect to restore the situation to pre-crisis conditions, and to maintain the gains that have been made in the past decades by the old labor and trade union movement’s compromises with capital. The protests that have been made then and now, with their defensive character, proved ineffective to halt in the slightest degree the measures taken by those governments.

But when people take to the streets in protests, it is a great opportunity for political forces to intervene catalytically by putting on the table the revolutionary perspective, the overthrow of capital and the state. And this was exactly what was missing in the period 2010 – 2012 and which is missing now. The masses taking to the streets did not hear anything other than what the regime’s trade unions and parties said to them.

The anarchist/anti-authoritarian space did not form itself into a political force that would pose the question of revolutionary perspective. It did not propose something tangibly different from the policies implemented. So it was a natural consequence that with these mass protests, however large they were, and however many riots there were in front of the Parliament, that they would eventually lose their energy and not manage to overthrow the austerity policies of the government.

I have said before in other events that the radical space found itself unprepared in front of the situation after 2010 which largely revealed its political shortcomings, its lack of analysis of our era and the political system, and its lack of perspectives, positions and proposals. To proclaim slogans like self-organization, self-management, social liberation, revolution, without being more specific is without meaning. That is why the anarchist space remains without serious popular and social support and can not intervene on the central political stage.

The answer to this impasse is to shape our own political positions and proposals, what we propose to society about the problems of our time. To have a political program, to take specific positions on the debt, memoranda, the EU and the eurozone, and what are our proposals to replace capitalism and the state. How can we shape the classless and stateless society to which we supposedly aspire, Libertarian Communism and Anarchy?

On the basis of our political objectives and positions we need to adapt accordingly our actions to achieve these goals and positions. Certainly our actions should be diverse, but to talk about revolution without preparing for armed conflict with the regime, and not to pursue armed confrontation with the regime, means that there is not really striving for revolution, and this word becomes meaningless. Social revolution is unthinkable without resorting to arms to smash the power of capital and the state.

I believe that a revolutionary movement must clearly formulate the positions and proposals of some sort of political program to allow maximum political agreement and commitment on these positions, and on the modes of action and means of struggle to implement these positions and our program. There must be as large as possible consolidation of forces, rather than a loose coordination of collectives or individuals that all have different priorities.

In the present time, we have to sabotage the implementation of the Third Memorandum and the measures taken by the government, along with the commitments they have pledged to the creditors. The range of such action is large: from the urban guerrilla, to mobilizations in the street whether violent or peaceful, counter-information and propaganda actions, or relief measures for the socially weak and vulnerable affected by the crisis, to self-organized projects, all should be pieces of one political project for subversion, not detached from each other. And an overturn cannot happen if we are not prepared for armed struggle, for armed confrontation with the central government for the capture of enemy strongholds, those places where the authorites make their decisions. If we want to make revolution we must be prepared for war literally, not figuratively, to be prepared to risk our lives. This is how I think struggles are conducted.

Also, I believe that a revolutionary movement must have a political-military character. It should have open, public action and also purely illegal action. If there was, for instance, a Federation of Anarchist Assemblies based on territorial distinctions with collectives, affinity groups and individuals participating on the basis of a clear political agreement on principles, objectives and means of struggle, this would link together and help achieve a politically revolutionary program, and parallel to this there could be an illegal armed structure, a mass armed group that would target structures of economic and political power, thus promoting the implementation of the positions and program of the Federation of Anarchist Assemblies.

This does not mean the existence of two mutually independent parts, a “legal” and an “illegal” arm of the movement, but the distinct existence of the open and public action with purely illegal and secret actions that exist within a single revolutionary movement that has diverse actions and does not have criteria for separations of legality or illegality, but is preparing for overthrow and armed confrontation with capital and the state.

There can be no revolutionary movement without having its sights set on armed struggle. There can be no serious revolutionary movement if it is not prepared for armed conflict with the regime. There can be no revolution if the movement has no armed forces and infrastructure to overwhelm the security forces and the armed forces of the regime.

Q. How to connect the solidarity with political prisoners and persecuted activists in the struggles against the memoranda, capitalist restructuring and in general the people descending on the streets at this time?

A: First of all, allow me to delineate what is solidarity. Solidarity means that we consider as comrades all who are in prison because of the means of struggle chosen and that the means chosen are integral parts of our common struggle for the revolution to overthrow capital and the state, with the one prerequisite of having a dignified attitude against the prosecuting authorities, meaning they do not cooperate with the authorities and do not repent of their actions. Solidarity means that we think and feel that with repression, persecution and imprisonment of comrades because of their action and means of struggle that they chose, this means that the state strikes at all of us. It means the continuation of the struggle for those who are prisoners because of their revolutionary action, it means the continuation of the struggle of those who gave their lives in the struggle for the revolution to overthrow Capital and the State.

On this basis, solidarity is expressed in many ways. For example, actions that allow the political prisoners to speak, or counter-information, interventions, occupations, and demonstrations designed to publicize and popularize the words of political prisoners and the reasons why they are in prison, and most importantly, to connect all this with the general revolutionary project, namely the overthrow of capital and the state in the social struggles of our time. It can of course also be the continuation of armed struggle when it concerns prisoners who are in prison because of armed action and are members of guerrilla organizations.

To connect the solidarity with political prisoners in the struggles against the memoranda and the attack which has been unleashed by capital and the state since 2010, there should exist on the one hand (in the political space to which the political prisoners belong) the prospect of subversion and social revolution, and this certainly not at the level of wishful thinking or sloganeering, but at the level of action; and on the other hand the political prisoners themselves advance the struggle with their words or actions that have a revolutionary perspective.

For example, the words and acts of Revolutionary Struggle that are expressed either as an organization that acts, or through prison, have a wide social audience, our words can be popularized and are assimilable. Because the actions and the logic of the organization are based on the struggle against the rescue programs and policies to address the crisis, it is a call to overthrow the regime for social liberation.

We are an anarchist collective who have talked about the enormous public debt since 2005, how the Greek economy was based on a dependency policy by borrowing from the markets and the transnational economic elites, and that the country would be in a dire situation if there erupted a crisis due to debt, and we diagnosed the policies implemented by the Greek governments since 2009 to address the crisis, these policies that led to the memoranda. We diagnosed the social explosions that would be caused by these policies, which resulted in the overall discrediting and delegitimation of the system for major portions of society and this appeared in the period 2010 – 2012, and as well we diagnosed the great opportunity that occurred due to this general discrediting and delegitimation of the system for a revolutionary attempt in Greece, this opportunity that currently remains untapped. We talked on just the same grounds since 2009 of the need to create a revolutionary movement with clear objectives to attempt the overthrow of capital and the state, but this has not been possible to do so far.

We made what should in our view be the political orientations and proposals that a revolutionary movement must have today, as expressed in the creation of our platform in the notice by which we undertook the responsibility for the attack on the Bank of Greece in 2014. Of course a revolutionary movement must not forget the captives who are in state hands.

As for a practical example of how to connect the solidarity with political prisoners in the struggles against the memoranda, I could mention the proposal on my part in March 2015, when the hunger strike of the political prisoners might have had a central demonstration in Athens linking those demands of political prisoners to the fight against the Memorandum, this coming at a time when the Syriza government had signed its acceptance for the extension of the then existing Memorandum and its acceptance of debt and obligations to lenders in the meeting of the Eurogroup on February 20, 2015- but this demonstration proved impossible to undertake.

Of course, the response to the hunger strike of political prisoners then revealed that solidarity with political prisoners is not a given. I have said some things about the hunger strike of political prisoners last March- in my view, there was not an appropriate response from pieces of the anarchist/anti-authoritarian space.

Generally over time it has been demonstrated that a large piece of the anarchist space consistently opposes and condemns armed revolutionary action but without being able to support that attitude publicly with political arguments, so instead it mobilizes on the issue of solidarity almost exclusively or more easily on issues like “violation of human rights” or in cases where the framework is of “machinations”, “persecution”, the “construction of cases”, the “criminalization of relations” , which are considered more fit for “popularization” and as more “digestible” in the eyes of society.

And because these political arguments can not be publicly supported by the depreciation of armed revolutionary action on their part, then it is most convenient in the case of prosecutions relating to armed rebel groups to misrepresent the substance of those cases, to claim that the meaning in these repressive attacks is not the suppression of armed revolutionary organizations but only the criminalization of the anarchist space, etc. In addition to the arsenal of this kind of “solidarity” has been also added the “solidarity does not mean identity”, but which has shown that the only ones who are asking for identification are only those who extend this kind of “solidarity”.

Over time, the unfortunate result of this split “solidarity” is seen with the political prisoners who are members of armed revolutionary organizations and have taken political responsibility for their organizations and actions and have carried the weight of political battles and confrontations with the state, through special courts and more generally.

The “solidarity” criteria that have prevailed in part of the anarchist space are either personal criteria, that some get mobilized on the basis whether they know someone or have personal, friendly or even family relationships; while at a political level the criterion for this split “solidarity” is the depreciation of armed revolutionary action and those who assume political responsibility for it and defend armed struggle. This is an attitude with which I disagree politically, and with which I am not in solidarity.

The hypocrisy of this split “solidarity” showed itself when I made the proposal for the creation of the Assembly of Solidarity for political prisoners, a proposal which was to determine solidarity solely on political criteria- i.e. to include all persons persecuted and imprisoned for using methods of struggle that are inextricable parts of the struggle of anarchists and revolutionaries in general, this including the communists, and with the only exception of those that have kept an undignified posture by making statements condemning actions or giving information to the authorities. In my opinion this should be the political criteria for solidarity regardless of the means of struggle of those that have been imprisoned, regardless of whether people know personally or not persecuted and imprisoned fighters, regardless of whether we agree or disagree in some or other matters, regardless whether some acknowledge their participation in armed rebel groups or whether their prosecution is a side effect of the judicial pursuit of guerrilla organizations.

But some, either inside prison or outside, raise concerns and make obstacles to create such a solidarity structure for all political prisoners because what they really wanted, but could not say so openly, was to exclude a significant portion of political prisoners as solidarity recipients since what they support – not publicly of course – is that this portion are not political prisoners. Let us not fool ourselves, let us not hide, but look at reality. Solidarity with all political prisoners as a whole who keep a dignified attitude is something that receives an underground war from parts of the radical space.

At this time, amid the general slump in social resistance (despite a mobilization period as now is the time for the pension bill of the Syriza government that implements the third Memorandum) and taking into account the general failure of the anarchist/anti-authoritarian space to emerge as it ought to, as the single serious political pole that puts on the table the revolutionary perspective, solidarity to political prisoners appears to be as discredited as ever. Any solidarity movement, any solidarity call is now settled in a fragmented manner in the general indifference, fragmentation and discord situation prevailing in the movement. Let’s apply what we said previously and still holds true: whoever forgets the prisoners of war, forgets the war itself. The problem is more radical and does not concern only solidarity but the struggle overall.

In conclusion, to answer your question as to how solidarity with political prisoners relates and can relate to the struggles against the memoranda, with capitalist restructuring and people descending into the streets- this is when our action must be aimed at social revolution, when our actions must bring us together in struggle with parts of society mobilized against the memoranda in order to influence them in an anti-capitalist and anti-state direction. To do this we must have clear policy positions and objectives, a revolutionary political program, we must have clear proposals to the militant segments of society to promote the influence of an anti-capitalist and anti-state direction, so that our actions can be understood to be for the benefit and interests of those affected by the attack of capital and the state, attacked by memoranda and the austerity policies for handling the crisis. Revolutionary Struggle has such action. Our action must reach a broad social audience and not be introverted or self-referential.

To have such action that puts on the table the prospect of subversion and revolution is the best shield and protection for political prisoners and imprisoned fighters.

http://325.nostate.net/?p=19688

Saturday 23rd April: Day of solidarity with 22 anarchists that stand trial before the appeals court in Koridallos prison

A few words about the appeal’s trial of 22 anarchists on April 20th 2016

The Conspiracy of Cells of Fire case – the judicial, legal and repressive moves of the State in regard to this anarchist organisation – spreads over a period of 7 years and is still underway.

As of April 20th 2016, after 7 years (since the first arrests in 2009), 22 anarchist comrades stand trial in the second instance in Koridallos prison, Athens. In the CCF appeal’s trial, other cases will be tried as well – dubbed “CCF cases” by the police-judicial complex, to give gigantic proportions to their judicial coup against anarchists.

The appeal’s trial that starts April 20th concerns the following:
i) the Halandri case (three trials in the first instance);
ii) the sending of parcel bombs in November 2010;
iii) the arrests in Nea Smyrni, Athens in December 2010;
iv) the capture of five CCF members in Volos in March 2011;
v) the shootout with police in Pefki, Athens in May 2011; and
vi) the arrests for the double robbery in Velventos, Kozani in February 2013.

In yet another judicial innovation, not only comrades that were tried in first instance as alleged members of the organisation and the CCF members themselves will undergo the same appeal’s trial, but also the six accused in the Velventos robbery case: Nikos Romanos, Yannis Michailidis, Dimitris Politis, Andreas-Dimitris Bourzoukos (who’ve claimed responsibility for the double robbery), Argyris Ntalios and Fivos Charisis (who’ve denied their involvement). In the first instance, these six comrades were fully acquitted of alleged involvement in the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, so their case doesn’t even fall within the infamous 187A “antiterrorist” law.

But the significance of this police-judicial innovation is not just a simple merging of seemingly and practically unrelated cases. If we take a look at the accusatory dossiers, we can easily understand what’s going on and, most of all, why this is happening.

To defend comrades who’ve been captured for their acts and discourse – as the comrades who’ve claimed responsibility for the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire – or comrades who’ve been targeted by the State’s repressive operations, is a precondition for continuing and promoting a battle currently underway. In this battle against Power, joint action with comrades who’ve been imprisoned, persecuted or vilified doesn’t only aim at the liberation of hostages and the release of captive comrades from prison. It is, furthermore, a logic of “not leaving anyone behind”, thereby strengthening the integrity of the struggle. So that we fighters bring the prisoners back in our ranks; so that we nourish and intensify the war against the establishment.

A solidarity-based combative stance next to comrades who are incarcerated or prosecuted is yet another field of conflict with the State and its mechanisms.

International day of solidarity actions with the 22 anarchists that stand trial Saturday 23rd April

Solidarity Assembly for political prisoners & imprisoned and prosecuted fighters
(Athens, Greece)