Category Archives: English

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)

Greece: 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.

On April 20th 2016, after 7 years (since the first arrests in 2009), 22 anarchist comrades will stand trial in the second instance, facing charges related to “acts” for which they were arrested, but also the accusation of membership in the organisation Conspiracy of Cells of Fire.

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 of 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 itself 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.

Solidarity Assembly for political prisoners & imprisoned and prosecuted fighters

Greeting of Nikos Maziotis at the yearly meeting of Red International Help

I salute the comrades who participate in the yearly meeting of International Red Help. Comrades from Greece participate for the first time in this meeting, members of the solidarity assembly for political prisoners in Greece who surely will inform you about the situation in Greece with regards to political prisoners, solidarity and generally the political situation in Greece. From my side I will inform you about some recent events that took place here. On February 21st the wanted comrade, Pola Roupa, on whom a bounty has been set, attempted to hijack a helicopter in order to break myself, as well as other political prisoners condemned for armed struggle, out of the prison of Korydallos. Unfortunately, the hijack failed due to the reaction of the pilot, who turned out to be an ex-policeman and was armed. Fortunately, the comrade got away safe and unhurt. Following this, security measures in the wing where we are held have increased. The comrade Pola Roupa and I as well as the other political prisoners have assumed the political responsibility for this attempt with public statements. A few days later on the 3rd of March, the 2nd trial of Revolutionary Struggle was completed, in which I was sentenced to life imprisonment for the attack of the organization against the Bank of Greece, plus 129 years for the shooting against 5 cops and the injury of one of them at the incident when I was arrested and for the expropriation of two banks. This is the first time where a sentence of life imprisonment is passed in Greece for a bomb attack in which a warning was given and where there were neither dead nor injured. This demonstrates the increasing severity of the regime in Greece concerning the treatment of armed revolutionary action and of those who like me remain consistent and impenitent as regards the choice of armed struggle.
The political, economic and social situation in Greece is very difficult. On the one hand, the continuing implementation of rescue programs (the so called memorandum) that Greek governments implement make conditions evermore difficult for large parts of the population, while the international economic crisis continues and deepens in Europe, and on the other hand, the huge wave of refugees from the war zones of Middle East, mainly Syria. All this creates a highly explosive climate not only in Greece, where due to the closing of the Balkan borders and also the amendment of the Schengen treaty by some countries of the EU thousands of refugees and migrants have become trapped in the country, but also in Europe where the foundations of the European Union have been ruptured irreparably. These conditions are burdened even further by the attacks of Islamic militants in 2015 in Paris, France and in Brussels a few days ago. This explosive combination of global economic crisis along with the geopolitical issues in the Middle East, which are a result of the war against “terrorism” and of the politics of the West, the wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan that caused the refugee wave to Europe, shakes the foundations of the E.U. and may bring about its end as we know it. The result of this is, on the one hand, the adoption by countries of the EU of increasingly authoritarian and totalitarian measures, as in France after the attacks of Islamic militants, the rise of a police state in the name of security and, on the other hand, the rise of the far right who pursue the return to a regime of a powerful nation – state, who press for the closure of the borders and the deportation of foreigners and refugees, who want to bring back a regime of national capitalism. Worst of all is that following the attacks, a consensus has emerged by parts of European society, who rally behind their governments out of fear and insecurity, reacting to the arrival of refugees, thereby facilitating the implementation of the authoritarian measures European governments are taking to deal with the wave of refugees. Unfortunately, the people of Europe, in all the previous years, did not drastically resist when their governments gave their consent and collaborated with the war against “terrorism” that was unleashed by the USA after 2001, when they consented to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and when their governments sent troops to assist Americans in the occupation of these countries. It is precisely for this reason that they doubly suffer the consequences of the war against “terrorism”, such as that there are citizen victims of the reprisal attacks of Islamic militants and that governments take increasingly authoritarian and totalitarian measures in the name of this war and of security. The cosmopolitan character of the EU is already in ruins.
I believe that it is only through the growth, inside western countries, of revolutionary movements that will strive to destroy capitalism and the state and to create an International European Commune, that there can be an end to this war, to racism, xenophobia, exploitation and repression and to all the banes of capitalism and authority. Only an international social revolution with anti-capitalist and anti-statist characteristics in Europe and beyond can be the answer to the current situation, to the global economic crisis that deepens more and more and to the war against “terrorism”. Unfortunately comrades we are far from this goal. Nevertheless we must continue fighting in this direction.

Nikos Maziotis member of Revolutionary Struggle

Zwischenkonferenz 2016: Grussbotschaft der RHI

Die Rote Hilfe International grüsst alle kämpfenden politischen Gefangenen!

In Zürich fanden sich die Mitglieder der Roten Hilfe International zur jährlich stattfindenden Zwischenkonferenz ein. Es beteiligten sich die Gruppen aus Belgien, Deutschland, Italien, der Türkei / Kurdistan sowie der Schweiz. Ausserdem besuchten internationale Gäste aus Italien, Griechenland und Rojava die diesjährige Konferenz. Sie vermittelten Eindrücke und Analysen ihrer jeweiligen lokalen Kämpfe, diskutierten gemeinsam mit den Gruppen der Roten Hilfe International über ihre politische Situation und Perspektiven und teilten ihre Erfahrungen mit. Wir sehen dies als konkreten Beitrag zur internationalen Vernetzung revolutionärer Projekte, auf dass gemeinsam Perspektiven verteidigt, entwickelt und vorangetrieben werden.

Nikos Maziotis, Mitglied des Revolutionären Kampf in Griechenland, grüsste mit einem Brief die Konferenz und schilderte darin den versuchten Ausbruchversuch am 24. Februar von ihm und anderen politischen Gefangenen. Dieser Versuch scheiterte nur aufgrund ungünstiger Zufälle. Die GenossInnen aus Griechenland schilderten die aktuelle politische Situation sowie diejenige der Gefangenen. Sie riefen dazu auf, beim anstehenden Prozess am 20. April, wo Gefangene verschiedenster politischer Tendenzen vor die Schranken der Justiz treten sollen, sich solidarisch zu verhalten.

Italienische GenossInnen berichteten über die Arbeitskämpfe in den Fabriken. Angesichts der Reformpakete der Regierung, des Verrats der Gewerkschaften und Parteien sowie der Repression gegen Kampfversuche der ArbeiterInnen, freute es uns zu hören, dass junge Militante sich vermehrt der revolutionären italienischen Geschichte annehmen. Hier stellt sich die Frage, wie dieser rote Faden wieder aufgenommen werden kann, in der Tradition der Verbindung der Kämpfe in den Fabriken mit den Kämpfen der Bewegung.

Mit dem Besuch eines Militanten aus Rojava wurde der Bedeutung des Kampfes und des politischen Projekts in Rojava für die revolutionäre Bewegung weltweit Rechnung getragen. Die Situation in Rojava macht deutlich, dass die Revolution auch heute möglich und konkret ist. Strukturen wie das Internationale Freiheitsbattaillon unterstreichen die Bedeutung der internationalen Solidarität in dieser Auseinandersetzung. Es gilt Antworten zu finden wie wir die Perspektiven dort mit dem Kampf hier verbinden können.

Ausführlich wurde auch über die sich zuspitzende Situation in der Türkei / Kurdistan diskutiert, wobei es auch um die Kollaboration mit der Europäischen Union ging. Die tiefe Krise des kapitalistischen Systems und die dadurch verstärkten Widersprüche zeigen sich in den Kämpfen der revolutionären türkischen / kurdischen Bewegung. Sie stellt sich den Angriffen entschlossen entgegen, versucht den Spiess umzudrehen und in der Kriegssituation eine revolutionäre Dynamik zu entwickeln.

Verteidigen wir die revolutionären Gefangenen und deren politische Projekte, machen wir unsere internationale Solidarität zu einer Waffe! Schlagen wir die Angriffe zurück und drehen wir den Spiess um, so dass wir aus der Defensive in die Offensive kommen!

Wir grüßen euch mit unserer revolutionären und internationalistischer Wärme.

Kapitalismus zerschlagen! Internationale Klassensolidarität aufbauen!
Rote Hilfe International

27. März 2016

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Message of solidarity of the Red Help International

The Red Help International greets all fighting political prisoners!

The members of the Red Help International met in Zurich for the annual interim conference. Groups from Belgium, Turkey / Kurdistan, Germany, Italy and Switzerland participated. Additionally, guests from Italy, Greece and Rojava visited this year’s conference. They conveyed impressions and analyses from their local struggles, discussed their political situations and perspectives with the members of the Red Help International  and let us learn from their experiences. We see this as a practical contribution to the connection of revolutionary projects internationally so that perspectives can be defended, developed, and advanced together.

Nikos Maziotis, member of Revolutionary Struggle in Greece, greeted the conference with a letter in which he talked of the failed escape on February 24th of him and other political prisoners. The attempt only failed because of unfortunate circumstances. Comrades from Greece talked of the current political situation and of that of the prisoners. They called for actions of solidarity when a trial against prisoners of different political tendencies begins on April 20th.

Italian comrades spoke of workers struggles in factories. Faced with reform packages of the government, betrayal of unions and parties, and repression against attempts of struggle of the workers, we were glad to learn that young militants are increasingly interested in the revolutionary history of Italy. The question remains how this history can be continued whilst upholding the tradition of connecting struggles in factories with those of the movements.

By inviting a militant from Rojava, we acknowledged the importance of the struggle and political project of Rojava for the global revolutionary movement. As the situation in Rojava shows, a revolution is possible today. Structures such as the International Freedom Brigade underline the importance of international solidarity in this conflict. We must find answers as to how we can connect our struggle here with the perspectives there.

We also discussed the escalating situation in Turkey / Kurdistan, where the collaboration of the European Union was also a topic. The deep crisis of the capitalist system and increased contradictions are reflected in the struggle of the revolutionary Turkish / Kurdish movement. This movements stands against all attacks, tries to turn the tables on the enemy, and aims to develop a revolutionary dynamic in the current situation of war.

Let us defend the revolutionary prisoners and their political projects, let us make international solidarity into a weapon! We shall fend off attacks and find our way from a defense to an offense!

We salute you with revolutionary and internationalist warmth.

Smash capitalism! Construct international class solidarity!
Red Help International
27. March 2016

Greece: Revolutionary Struggle member Nikos Maziotis on the escape attempt and life sentence

Text of Nikos Maziotis about the operation of escape from Koridallos prison and the sentence of life imprisonment handed down in the 2nd Revolutionary Struggle trial

The attempt to escape from Koridallos prison by helicopter on February 21st 2016 – an operation carried out by comrade Pola Roupa, member of Revolutionary Struggle – was a revolutionary act, a guerrilla action for the liberation of political prisoners. It was a means of continuation of Revolutionary Struggle’s activity, a response to the State’s repressive operations against our organisation and other political prisoners, comrades who are in prison for armed activity as well. It was therefore an exemplary solidarity act of great and unique importance. The prison escape operation was a step towards continuing armed revolutionary activity; promoting the struggle for the overthrow of the State and Capital; overturning the establishment’s policy of bailout programs imposed by the troika of the country’s supranational bosses, the EC, ECB and IMF, to which the ESM has been added with the enactment and implementation of the third memorandum program by the SYRIZA-led government. Armed struggle in the present circumstances is more timely and necessary than ever. The failure of this operation won’t bend us. We will struggle as long as we live and breathe.

Revolutionary Struggle has proven that it has remained standing over the years, despite successive repressive blows and sacrifices: the blood of comrade Lambros Foundas, who was killed on March 10th 2010 in a shootout with police in the district of Dafni, Athens, during a preparatory action of the organisation; our arrests a month later, April 10th 2010, on the eve of Greece’s signing of the first memorandum; my arrest on July 16th 2014 in Monastiraki, Athens, where I was injured following a chase and shootout with police. Revolutionary Struggle remained standing because we undertook political responsibility for our participation in the organisation – in Greece, we were the first armed revolutionary and anarchist organisation to do so – and because we defended our history, the organisation’s actions and our comrade Lambros Foundas, who gave his life so that the memorandum wouldn’t pass; to turn the crisis into an opportunity for social revolution. We remained standing as an organisation because we didn’t mind paying the cost and price, because we didn’t turn ourselves into betrayers or deserters, because none of us tried to save one’s own skin at the moment of repression. It’s precisely because we claimed political responsibility that we stayed alive as an organisation in prison in 2010–11. We gave a political battle against the enemy in the 1st special court. Once released from prison after 18 months in pretrial detention, we chose not to surrender ourselves to imminent imprisonment and went underground instead, to continue armed struggle and the organisation’s activity.

The attack of Revolutionary Struggle – Commando Lambros Foundas on April 10th 2014 against the Bank of Greece, a branch of the ECB – one of the most popularly-hated organisations that make up the quartet of supranational bosses – but also a building that housed the office of the IMF’s permanent representative in Greece, annulled the 2010 repressive operation, and continued the organisation’s strategy that was launched in 2009 with the attacks on Citibank’s headquarters and one of its branches, a Eurobank’s branch and the Athens Stock Exchange. For years Revolutionary Struggle is faced with the spearhead of state repression, since the issue of dealing with the organisation and generally armed revolutionary activity is a major priority for the survival of the establishment, seeking to eliminate the internal enemy for the smooth enforcement and implementation of bailout programs, which constitute policies of social genocide and cleansing of parts of the population.

In 2007, the U.S. Department of State and the Greek State placed bounties of 1 million dollars and 800 thousand euros, respectively, after the organisation’s attack with an anti-tank RPG at the U.S. Embassy in Athens. In 2010, the Papandreou government celebrated our arrests, and a government official stated that they prevented a blow that would end the economy, on the eve of the signing of the first memorandum and amid fear of Greek economy’s collapse. In 2014, after we had gone into clandestinity and had been sentenced to 50 years imprisonment by the 1st special court, the Samaras government placed a bounty of 2 million euros on our heads – one million on comrade Roupa and another million on me. My arrest, three months after Revolutionary Struggle’s attack against the Bank of Greece, was celebrated by Greek authorities. U.S. officials congratulated them on my recapture and made statements on political stability. Special measures were implemented after my arrest and, in December 2014, I was transferred to the newly-inaugurated type C maximum security prison, this being the first such transfer of a political prisoner, already preannounced since my recapture. In April 2015, I was included in the list of “international terrorists” designated by State Department, even though I was in prison. The authorities have now unleashed a manhunt to arrest comrade Roupa. All this demonstrates that combating Revolutionary Struggle holds great significance for the establishment. That is, repression against Revolutionary Struggle and implementation of memoranda, together with the establishment’s political stability, go hand in hand.

Last link in the chain of the establishment’s repression against Revolutionary Struggle is the decision of the 2nd trial against the organisation, a few days after the prison escape attempt. I was sentenced to life imprisonment for the bombing attack against the Bank of Greece, plus 129 years for two expropriations of bank branches and shooting of cops who persecuted me in Monastiraki. The imposition of the severest possible sentence for the organisation’s attack against the country’s bosses is a conscious political decision and not just a procedural exaggeration. As I have already stated, this decision aims not to terrorise me – because they know I am and will remain unrepentant – but those who’ll want to opt for armed struggle, comrades of the anarchist/antiauthoritarian milieu and other fighters within society. This political decision – applied for the first time in Greece in regard to a bombing attack which took place following a phone call warning, causing no injuries, but only material damages – is aimed at multiple recipients and sends out an intimidation message, that fighters who’ll opt for armed revolutionary activity will be treated with the utmost severity.

This decision demonstrates the establishment’s increasingly harshening stance against their number one enemy – Revolutionary Struggle, armed fighters. It’s not difficult to understand why, at a time when the SYRIZA-led government has voted the third memorandum, which is harsher than the previous ones. The big difference between penal treatment in the 1st and the 2nd Revolutionary Struggle trials may give rise to misinterpretations; I would therefore like to point out the following: Since the enactment of anti-terrorism laws in 2001 and 2004, this special legislation constitutes a political choice of Power in order to deal as effectively as possible with urban guerrilla in Greece as a major threat to the establishment. A provision in the anti-terrorism legislation allows life sentence, not for homicide, but for explosion as a result of which there was danger to humans or an injury occurred. I was sentenced to life in prison under this provision. Special court decisions in trials against armed fighters are eminently political decisions; the elements in the accusatory dossier are often of secondary importance. For example, as demonstrated during court hearings of the 2nd trial against Revolutionary Struggle in regard to the organisation’s attack against the Bank of Greece, even though there was a phone call giving 50 minutes warning before the explosion, the security officers remained inside the building on the instructions of the Bank of Greece’s security supervisor. The security supervisor himself admitted there’s a standard regulation which obliges the security staff to stay inside the building despite the threat of explosion. The same happened at Piraeus Bank’s headquarters located opposite the Bank of Greece, where security officers remained inside the building on the instructions of the bank’s head of security. As demonstrated in the 1st trial against the organisation, the same also happened on September 2nd 2009 in Revolutionary Struggle’s attack against the Athens Stock Exchange building, where security staff stayed inside as ordered by the head of security.

It’s thus demonstrated that those who are responsible for causing danger to humans are the executives of the economic Power and establishment’s mechanisms and central structures, such as banks and the stock exchange, who consider people and entire populations to be expendable, and even the security officers of their facilities. Because, for them, their profits override everything; their profits, which are dipped in blood and misery, override human life itself. These are the mechanisms that the Greek people consider responsible for the policy implemented over the last six years, which has resulted in thousands of deaths and millions of poor, destitute and hungry people. These are the mechanisms whose executives (bankers, major shareholders, big businesspeople) alongside their subordinates (politicians of Greek governments) the Greek people consider responsible for the devaluation of life of millions of people, for suicides and pauperisation; not the fighters of Revolutionary Struggle. Revolutionary Struggle’s attacks against such mechanisms and structures are to a great extent popularly and socially accepted.

In both the 1st and 2nd trial against the organisation, I have been consistent in facing the enemy at special courts. This entails the undertaking of political responsibility, the political defense of Revolutionary Struggle’s activity, armed struggle and Revolution for the overthrow of the State and Capital, without counting the cost and the price. This is the duty of every fighter, every anarchist, every revolutionary who is faced with judges and organs of the enemy. The sentence to 50 years imprisonment in the 1st trial was based on the undertaking of political responsibility. This is why we were convicted as accomplices in the organisation’s 16 actions by the theorem of collective responsibility, rather than being convicted as actual perpetrators. The State’s response to the fact I remain consistent in my trajectory as a fighter and continue to defend Revolutionary Struggle, and by extension armed struggle and the prospect of Revolution and the establishment’s overthrow, was the outcome of the 2nd trial, where I was sentenced to life imprisonment for one action, the bombing attack against the Bank of Greece. My entire trajectory after the initial arrests in 2010, the fact that Revolutionary Struggle stayed alive during the pretrial detention in 2010–11, the fact that comrade Roupa and I defended the organisation’s activity at the 1st special court, our choice to not surrender ourselves to prison, to go into clandestinity and continue armed struggle and the organisation’s activity with the attack against the Bank of Greece, this entire trajectory and all these choices are based on the undertaking of political responsibility for our participation in Revolutionary Struggle after being captured in 2010. This is what the State attempted to crash by means of the decision of the 2nd trial against the organisation.

My sentence of life in prison was a message to the fighters who assume political responsibility and do not repudiate their activity and membership in their organisation.

Things are becoming increasingly clearer for the fighters who want to resist and the political prisoners. The dilemma “repudiation or life imprisonment” (in the old days there was execution by firing squad) comes into effect; a dilemma put by Power, a dilemma that in the old days was “repudiation or death”.

Over time, in order to suppress any revolutionary perspective, the State doesn’t confine itself to military predominance over its rivals only, but it also attempts their political defeat by forcing them into political repudiation. In the case of the Western-European urban guerrilla in the 70s and 80s, especially in Italy, the target of political repudiation was not one’s convictions or political identity, but rather armed struggle as being one of the means of struggle and urban guerrilla organisations. In Greece, the dilemma put by Power was once this: either repudiation of communism, or imprisonment and, in other circumstances, execution by firing squad. Nowadays, more indirectly, the dilemma is this: either choice of armed revolutionary struggle with heavy costs and consequences, or renunciation of armed revolutionary struggle as being one of the means of struggle. Either undertaking of political responsibility for one’s participation in an armed organisation and defense of its activity, or acceptance of the State’s pursuit of repudiation of an armed organisation and one’s membership in it, and by extension of armed struggle, in the face of fear of going to prison.

In other, more difficult periods like the Occupation and the Civil War, the price to pay for the struggle was the firing squad; and not only for armed struggle. Many fighters faced with the dilemma “repudiation or death” preferred the firing squad; of course not because they wanted to become martyrs, but because they believed that repudiation is a shame and disgrace; as such, it was considered worse than death. There were armed militants and guerrillas of ELAS (Greek People’s Liberation Army) and DSE (Democratic Army of Greece), but also fighters that didn’t wage armed struggle, who remained unrepentant and were sent by thousands to the firing squad during the Occupation and the Civil War; they were executed in Goudi, in Kessariani shooting range, in Chaidari and Pavlou Mela camps, on Makronissos and Corfu, in Yedi Kule. Similarly in Spain, after Franco’s victory, thousands of armed anarchists who fought for Revolution in 1936–39, and waged guerrilla warfare until 1975, were sent to firing squads in Campo de la Bota, Montjuïc, Carabanchel, or strangled by the method of garrote – used as a means of execution for heretics since the Inquisition.

The struggle for the overthrow of the State and Capital is an activity that requires unwavering convictions, responsibility, consistency, commitment, political engagement, steely will, and political and theoretical knowledge of principles and experiences of the historical revolutionary tradition. How can we even talk about struggle, social liberation, revolution, Anarchy, asking others to participate in a subversive struggle with all the costs and consequences that it entails, if we ourselves are unable to assume responsibility for our political choices?

For the first time in decades – since the era of the post-Civil War State, when ELAS guerrillas who were excluded by the 1945 Treaty of Varkiza, which didn’t recognise their activity as being political, as well as those of DSE remained in prison for at least 15 years – there is a prospect that political prisoners sentenced to 25 years or life imprisonment for armed revolutionary action will remain many years in the prisons of the contemporary Greek State-marionette of the supranational economic elite. We’re going through a period where Power is even indirectly trying to pose dilemmas for educing credentials once again, as in the past, to break us with the spectre of long-term incarceration.

The struggle for Social Revolution, for overthrowing the State and Capital, must go on despite the difficulties, the cost and consequences. We will never surrender the weapons of our struggle.

NO PEACE, NO TRUCE WITH THE STATE AND CAPITAL
ARMED STRUGGLE FOR SOCIAL REVOLUTION
HONOUR FOREVER TO COMRADE LAMBROS FOUNDAS,
MEMBER OF REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE

Nikos Maziotis, member of Revolutionary Struggle

http://325.nostate.net/?p=19401

The International Red Help salutes the internationalist volunteers fighting alongside the peoples of Rojava

The International Red Help salutes the internationalist volunteers fighting alongside the peoples of Rojava. The self-determination and self-organisation on the basis of progressive values -democracy, social justice, freedom of women- of the peoples of Rojava is an exception in the Middle-East, an area shred between oppressive regimes and islamist gangs. It is also a precious experience for the whole international revolutionary movement, an experience which is to be studied and supported.

We salute the memory of the internationalist volunteers fallen killed in action, as the young german revolutionary Ivana Hoffmann. We salute the communist and anarchist turkish internationalist militants who fought in Rojava and are jailed in Turkey because of this.

We salute all the militants that are persecuted in any ways while returning home, in Great-Britain, Denmark, Netherlands and especialy in Spain where 14 militants have been arrested. Among them, two have been arrested directly while returning from Rojava where they have been joining the MLKP Battalion. The “Valle” police operation who culminated on January 27th with raids against the Marxist-Leninist Party (Communist Reconstruction) represents the main attack against revolutionary solidarity with Rojava in Europe.

International Red Help
International Secretariat
Zürich, March 17th 2016

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Le Secours Rouge International salue les volontaires internationalistes partis combattre au côté des peuples du Rojava. L’auto-détermination et l’auto-organisation des peuples du Rojava sur base de valeurs progressistes (démocratie, justice sociale, liberté de la femme), est une exception dans un Moyen-Orient partagé entre régimes oppresseurs et gangs islamistes. C’est aussi une expérience précieuse pour tout le mouvement révolutionnaire internationale, une expérience qu’il faut étudier et soutenir.

Nous saluons la mémoires des volontaires internationalistes qui sont tombés au combat, comme la jeune révolutionnaire allemande Ivana Hoffmann. Nous saluons les internationalistes turcs, anarchistes et communistes, qui ont lutté au Rojava et qui sont pour cela emprisonnés en Turquie.

Nous saluons tous les militants persécutés d’une manière ou d’une autre à leur retour, en Angleterre, au Danemark, aux Pays-Bas et particulièrement en Espagne où 14 militants ont été arrêtés, dont deux directement à leur retour du Rojava où ils avaient rejoint le bataillon du MLKP. L’opération policière “Valle”, qui a culminé le 27 janvier par un blitz policier contre le Parti Marxiste-Léniniste (Reconstruction Communiste), représente la pointe de l’attaque contre la solidarité révolutionnaire avec le Rojava en Europe.

Acquitement pour les internationalistes espagnol du 27e!
Liberté pour tous les internationalistes qui ont lutté au Rojava!

Secours Rouge International
Secrétariat international
Zürich, 17 mars 2016

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Die Rote Hilfe International grüsst die internationalistischen Freiwilligen, die neben den Völkern in Rojava kämpfen. Die Selbstbestimmung und Selbstorganisation auf der Grundlage progressiver Werte – Demokratie, sozialer Gerechtigkeit, Freiheit von Frauen – der Völker von Rojava ist eine Ausnahme im Nahen Osten, ein Bereich, zerrissen zwischen repressiven Regimen und islamistischen Banden. Es ist auch eine wertvolle Erfahrung für die ganze internationale revolutionäre Bewegung, eine Erfahrung, die untersucht und unterstützt werden soll.

Wir grüssen die Erinnerung an die internationalistischen Freiwilligen, die in Aktion gefallen sind, im Kampf getötet wurden, wie die junge deutsche Revolutionärin Ivana Hoffmann. Wir grüssen die kommunistischen und anarchistischen türkischen internationalistischen Militanten, die in Rojava gekämpft haben und aus diesem Grund in der Türkei inhaftiert sind.

Wir grüssen alle militanten AktivistInnen, die in irgendeiner Art und Weise verfolgt werden, während sie nach Hause zurückkehren, in Grossbritannien, Dänemark, den Niederlanden und vor allem in Spanien, wo 14 Militante verhaftet worden sind. Von ihnen wurden zwei direkt verhaftet, während sie von Rojava zurückkehrten, wo sie dem MLKP Bataillon beitraten. Die “Valle” Polizeiaktion, die am 27. Januar mit Razzien gegen die Marxistisch-Leninistische Partei (Kommunistischer Wiederaufbau) gipfelte, stellt den Hauptangriff gegen die revolutionäre Solidarität mit Rojava in Europa dar.

Freilassung für die InternationalistInnen vom 27ten in Spanien!

Freiheit für alle InternationalistInnen, die in Rojava gekämpft haben!

Rote Hilfe International

Internationales Sekretariat

Zürich, 17. März 2016

Greece: Open letter of Pola Roupa about the attempt to break Nikos Maziotis out of Koridallos prison

Under other circumstances, this text would be written by Revolutionary Struggle. However, the outcome of the attempt to break out the comrade Nikos Maziotis of Koridallos prison obliges me to speak personally.

On February 21st [2016], I attempted to break out Revolutionary Struggle member Nikos Maziotis by helicopter. The operation was planned so that other political prisoners could join us, who wished to make their way to freedom. Details of the plan, how I managed to evade the security measures and board the helicopter armed, have no special significance and I will not refer to them; despite the fact that there has been a lot of misinformation. Just for the sake of clarity, I will only mention that the plan was not based on any previous helicopter prison escape, it is not associated with any findings of plans not yet implemented, and I do not have any relation to another fugitive person despite media portrayals to the contrary. Also, this attempt was not preceded by any escape plan that “was wrecked”, as reported by some media.

A quarter of the journey after our takeoff from Thermisia in Argolida, I took out my gun and I asked the pilot to change course. Of course, he did not understand who I am, but he realised it was an attempted prison break. He panicked. He attacked me pulling out a gun – a fact he “omitted”. Also because they will likely try to refute the fact he was armed, I remind everyone that there are publicly available reports about the discovery of two mags in the helicopter. One was mine, but the second wasn’t mine. The second mag was from his own gun, which he dropped from his hands during our scuffle during flight. And as for me, of course I had a second mag. Would I go to such an operation with only one mag?

He lost control of the helicopter and shouted in panic “we will get killed”. The description that was presented of a helicopter substantially unmanageable is true. But these images did not result from my actions, but his. The helicopter was losing altitude and swirled in the air. We flew a few meters over electricity wires. I screamed to him to pull up the helicopter, to do what I tell him so no one will get hurt.

Within no time at all, we were on the ground. Those who speak of a dispassionate reaction of the pilot, apparently judging from the result, don’t know what they are talking about.

Instead of doing what I told him to do, he preferred to risk crashing with me in a collision of the helicopter, which didn’t happen by chance. It goes without saying that upon entering the helicopter and trying to gain control of it, to direct it to the prisons, I had made my decision. If he refused to do what I told him, I would naturally react. Those who claim I was responsible for the uncontrolled descent of the helicopter, from 5,000 feet to the ground, what did they expect? That I would have said “if you don’t want to come to the prisons, never mind”? I fired my gun and we engaged – both armed – in a scuffle during flight.

He preferred to risk crashing with me on the mountain than to obey. When we finally landed on the ground with speed, even though I knew the operation was lost, I had every opportunity to execute him. I consciously decided not to do so. Although I knew that with this decision I was endangering my life or freedom, I did not execute him even though I had the chance. He himself knows this very well. The only factor that held me back was my political conscience. And I took this decision, risking my own life and possibility to get away.

Regarding the prison escape operation itself, it’s obvious that all possible safety measures were taken in order to safeguard the undertaking against the armed guards patrolling the prison perimeter, and I even carried a bulletproof vest for the pilot as well. In this case, the purpose was to make the prison break happen in a way that would ensure the lowest possible risk for the helicopter, the comrades and, of course, the pilot. I acted with the same thought when we landed on the ground; despite the fact that the operation failed because of the pilot; despite the fact that he was armed. I essentially put his life over my own life and safety. But I am to reconsider this specific choice.

Organising to break out Nikos Maziotis was a political decision, as much as it was a political decision to liberate other political prisoners as well. It was not a personal choice. If I wanted to only liberate my comrade Nikos Maziotis, I wouldn’t have chartered a large helicopter – a fact that made the operation’s organising more complex. The aim of the operation was the liberation of other political prisoners as well; those who actually wanted, together with us, to make their way to freedom.

This action, therefore, despite its personal dimensions that are known, was not a personal choice but a political one. It was a step in the path to Revolution. The same goes for every action I have carried out and for every action I will make in the future. These are links in a chain of revolutionary planning aimed to create more favourable political and social conditions, for broadening and strengthening revolutionary struggle. Below I will refer to the political basis of this choice; but first I have to talk about facts, and the way I have operated until now in regard to some of these facts.

As I previously mentioned, every action I carry out concerns an act related to political planning. In the same context, I expropriated a branch of Piraeus Bank on the premises of Sotiria Hospital in Athens last June [2015]. With this money, in addition to my survival in “clandestinity”, I secured the organising of my action and financing of the operation for the liberation of Nikos Maziotis and other political prisoners from Koridallos women’s prisons. The reason I refer to this expropriation (I couldn’t care less about the penal consequences of this admittance) is because, at this time, I consider it absolutely necessary to disclose how I operate in regard to the safety of civilians, who in certain circumstances happen to be present in revolutionary actions I am involved in, and my perspective about this issue on the occasion – always mutatis mutandis – of the prison escape attempt.

In the case of the expropriation of Piraeus Bank branch, what I mentioned to the bank clerks when we walked into the bank was that they should not press the alarm button, because this would endanger their own safety, since I wasn’t willing to leave the bank without the money. I did not threaten them, nor would they ever be in danger because of me. They would only be in danger because of the police, if cops arrived at the spot and we subsequently had an armed clash. And the police would only arrive if any clerks pressed the bank alarm. This was a development which they themselves wanted to avoid. Because people who happen to be present in every such action are not afraid of those trying to expropriate, but instead the police intervening. Besides, it’s really stupid for anyone to attempt to defend money belonging to bankers. And for the record, when a female clerk told me “we ourselves are also poor people,” I suggested to her that we step over to a “blind” spot, where cameras can’t see us, to let her have 5,000 euros, which she did not accept, apparently out of fear. If she had accepted the money, she can be sure I would not speak publicly about it. And one detail: what I was holding was a medical apron to conceal my gun while waiting outside the bank; it was not a towel(!), as mentioned several times.

In every period of time, in the struggle for Revolution – as is also the case in all wars – at times the revolutionaries are obliged to seek the assistance of civilians in their fight. The historical examples are too many – an attempt to document them would fill an entire book, and this isn’t the time to expand on the matter – both in Greece and in armed movements and organisations in other countries. In such cases, however, we essentially ask them to take sides in a war. Once someone refuses to assist, their stance is not just about the particular practice, but an overall hostile stance against the struggle. They endanger or cancel undertakings, they put the lives of fighters in danger, they throw obstacles in the way of a revolutionary process. They take a position against a social and class war.

Neither at Piraeus Bank branch nor during the attempted helicopter escape did I make my identity known. Therefore, no one involved in these cases knew that those were political actions. But after the failed escape attempt, and given that – as I already mentioned – I had the opportunity to kill the pilot but I didn’t, risking my own life, I have to make the following public: from now on, whenever I need the assistance of civilians again, and if I deem it necessary, I will make my identity known from the outset. Since my mission in any case concerns the promotion of the struggle for overthrowing the criminal establishment, let everyone know that any possible refusal of cooperating and effort of obstructing the action will be treated accordingly.

I am, of course, aware of the personal details of the pilot, but I did not threaten his family. I would never threaten families and children.

This is my balance sheet after the escape attempt, one I must make public.

THE PRISON ESCAPE OPERATION WAS A REVOLUTIONARY CHOICE

[…]

I ATTEMPTED THE PRISON ESCAPE FOR SOCIAL REVOLUTION
ALL MY LIFE I STRUGGLE FOR SOCIAL REVOLUTION
I WILL CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE FOR SOCIAL REVOLUTION

Pola Roupa
member of Revolutionary Struggle

https://en-contrainfo.espiv.net/2016/03/13/greece-open-letter-of-pola-roupa-about-the-attempt-to-break-nikos-maziotis-out-of-koridallos-prison/

Greece: Police allege helicopter escape attempt by revolutionary comrades held hostage in Korydallos Prison, implicate comrade in clandestinity Pola Roupa of Revolutionary Struggle

Over the last days an anti-terrorist media spectacle is unfolding in Greece. Police released a statement about an incident of attempted helicopter hijack on 21 February; a woman using a fake ID card and apparently with the description of Pola Roupa, clandestine member of R.O. – Revolutionary Struggle attempted to hijack a helicopter departing from Thebes with a pistol. The woman had booked a flight to pick up 5 people at a pre-arranged route, but caused the pilot at gunpoint to change direction towards Attica. At one point, the pilot fought back, being an ex-policeman, who claimed to have recognised Roupa through media photographs. He tried to take the pistol, leading to a struggle which ended in the helicopter being brought down with two bullet holes in the windshield and one in the instrument panel. The woman then escaped and so far has not been captured. Police recovered a pistol mag, headphones and a wig which were sent for forensic analysis. The police believe that this was an attempt to spring imprisoned member of Revolutionary Struggle, Nikos Maziotis, from Korydallos Prison, and they also speak as well of anarchist comrade Antonis Stamboulos, bank robber Giorgos Petrakakos and “at least 2 to 3 members” of R.O. – Conspiracy of Cells of Fire who are suspected of participating. The police now attempt to reconstruct the “synchronisation” of the imprisoned comrades and locate the woman who made the defeated hijacking operation.

Maziotis is held in the isolation dungeon which is the basement of the Woman’s Section of Korydallos, where members of R.O. – November 17 and R.O. – Conspiracy of Cells of Fire are also held. Searches by the security forces took place in all parts of the isolation basement yesterday night revealing absolutely nothing.

http://325.nostate.net/?p=18994

USA: Albert Woodfox is Freed Today on his 69th Birthday!

Friday, April 19, 2016 – Louisiana, USA

Just moments ago, Albert Woodfox, the last remaining member of the Angola 3 still behind bars, was released from prison 43 years and 10 months after he was first put in a 6×9 foot solitary cell for a crime he did not commit. After decades of costly litigation, Louisiana State officials have at last acted in the interest of justice and reached an agreement that brings a long overdue end to this nightmare. Albert has maintained his innocence at every step, and today, on his 69th birthday, he will finally begin a new phase of his life as a free man.

In anticipation of his release this morning, Albert thanked his many supporters and added: “Although I was looking forward to proving my innocence at a new trial, concerns about my health and my age have caused me to resolve this case now and obtain my release with this no-contest plea to lesser charges.  I hope the events of today will bring closure to many.”

Over the course of the past four decades, Albert’s conviction was overturned three separate times for a host of constitutional violations including prosecutorial misconduct, inadequate defense, racial discrimination in the selection of the grand jury foreperson, and suppression of exculpatory evidence. On June 8th, 2015, Federal Judge James Brady ordered Albert’s immediate release and barred the State from retrying Albert, an extraordinary ruling that he called “the only just remedy.” A divided panel of the 5th Circuit Court of appeals reversed that order in November with the dissenting Judge arguing that “If ever a case justifiably could be considered to present ‘exceptional circumstances’ barring re-prosecution, this is that case.” That ruling was on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court when news of his release broke.

On behalf of the Angola 3 – Albert Woodfox, Robert King, and in memory of Herman Wallace – we would like to sincerely thank all the organizations, activists, artists, legal experts, and other individuals who have so graciously given their time and talent to the Angola 3’s extraordinary struggle for justice. This victory belongs to all of us and should motivate us to stand up and demand even more fervently that long-term solitary confinement be abolished, and all the innocent and wrongfully incarcerated be freed.

Please direct all media enquiries to Albert’s legal team: laura.burstein@squirepb.com,
202-626-6868(o)
202-669-3411(c)

http://angola3.org/

Korydallos: Prisoners’ Initiative demand an explanation from the Minister of Justice (Greece)

1. Aspiotis’ lawyer comments on the torture his client endured in prison

2. Tameio-Athens statement on the assault of Panayotis Aspiotis

Today, Saturday Feb 6th, at 6:30 in the morning, counter-terrorism units intruded the D section of Korydallos prison, in order to remove our fellow prisoner Fabio Dusco, who was brought here the day before from Trikala Prison in order to be present at his trial which commences on the 15th of February. Fabio faces charges as a member of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire for an attempt to escape from prison.

After his kidnap by the counter-terrorism officers he was taken to the Removal Centre on Petrou Ralli street where he is expected to remain for as long as the trial lasts, which could take months. All of these have happened during an ongoing organizing in Korydallos prison against the authoritarian regime of the prison management and the squalid conditions of detention.

Most importantly, these are happening during a left-wing administration which has shown complete disregard for prisoners’ issues and the rest of the problems faced by society. These are the same people who promised prison reform and improvement in conditions of detention. These are the same people who promised to abolish special conditions of detention.

In the end it seems that even the abolition of Type C prisons was in effect only on paper (this was also the only promise that was apparently kept by the government). Because if the Ministry of Justice is not responsible for the abduction of our fellow prisoner, then who is? Would it be the police and the counter-terrorism units who made this prison their stomping ground by intruding to conduct searches at any time, or would it be the prison management itself that turns away unwanted prisoners? Are going to witness once again the representatives of the two ministries blaming each other so that the whole issue could be forgotten?

We can all identify with our fellow prisoner, because it might have been him today but tomorrow it could be any of us who gets arbitrarily labelled dangerous and unwanted.

This is why prisoners in sections A and D staged a protest today by remaining outside in the yard after the scheduled prison lock-up (17:10-18:10). We demand the abolition of any special conditions of detention and the return of our fellow prisoner back to Korydallos prison.

P.S. While our protest was in progress, our worst fears were confirmed in the worst possible way…

Our fellow prisoner Panayotis Aspiotos was going to be transferred to Korydallos from Nauplio for his interrogation on Monday 8th of February. Instead, he was also taken to the Removal Centre, he was isolated from other prisoners and was led to an area with no cctv where he was assaulted by counter terrorism officers in balaclavas who attempted to violently (and currently illegally) get a sample of his DNA. Our fellow prisoner resisted and as a result he was hit multiple times on the head and his entire body. He remains seriously injured inside the Removal Centre until now.

We demand his immediate transfer to Korydallos Prison and a public explanation from the Minister of Justice for everything these prisoners were subjected to during the past few days.

Prisoners’ Initiative

http://325.nostate.net/?p=18847