Category Archives: English

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


“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?

: 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.

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


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.


Nikos Maziotis, member of Revolutionary Struggle

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


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



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.




Pola Roupa
member of Revolutionary Struggle