Political statement at the terror-trial of Koridallos prison
What I will read out is my political statement and not a “plea”. I could in no way plead about what I have chosen until today, which I consider just and right.
I am not speaking here in an attempt to prove my innocence, since I am completely against this antithesis of innocence-guilt as your authority defines it, because in these situations those who struggle, resist and fight against the regime, inequality and exploitation are always called guilty. Therefore we do not speak in the same terms and we definitely read history differently. For me your laws are not just, nor is your criteria of whom you call guilty or a terrorist. My political statement is addressed to the anarchist movement to which I belong, my comrades, to those who might have something to say on what I will state, but also my political opponents. I am here stating what I state, not as a member of a revolutionary armed organization, but as a piece of the continuous struggle against State and authority. I am here as an accuser not as an accused, trying to reveal the real criminals and terrorists and offer, as much as I can, the highlighting of the political character of this trial. My claims, on a legal level, during my arrest, or while in prison, or in this court, are placed within the frames of my own struggle against my opponents, to which I will never give the opportunity to load me with whatever suits them, in their attempt to break and oppress anyone who resists and fights. I will always demand what I can from the position I am in, that is, a political opponent of the regime.
Right now, after a year and a half of imprisonment I am being tried, together with many other political prisoners for armed action, an action that is part of the anarchist struggle, and I state that I defend it just like all forms of struggle which will lead to social liberation. The defence witnesses that testified for me were political witnesses who came to this court in order to defend my political presence in the anarchist movement, my political identity, the structures the anarchist movement proposes as well as armed revolutionary action.
On December 4th 2010, I was arrested outside the house I was living in together with my comrade K.Sakkas. That is when they also arrested Mitrousias and Karagiannidis. When they arrested me and my comrades, Pappoutsis gave an interview about our arrests. The headlines in the newspapers was “Powerful strike against terrorism – Security is everyone’s right”. The then minister of public order claimed that the path of violence is a dead-end. He also had the audacity to say that the idea of insurrectionist masses seems distant and unreal in the present era. An era in which people commit suicide because of debt and every corner has a homeless person, the rulers have the audacity to publicly claim that the idea of insurgent masses seems unreal. And of course he did not forget to say that when violence is adopted as a militant practise, it inevitably causes the toughening of the attitude of the repressive forces. Of course it was not at all random that our arrests came two days before the anniversary of the insurrection for the murder of A. Grigoropoulos at the hands of a cop and that two days later a mass protest was planned in central Athens. The governments’ fear of the possible militant intention that would break out in the streets of Athens during that period was obvious. Naturally the State did not forget to claim the monopoly of violence claiming that when it is applied as a militant practise it will be repressed, sending a message to society 2 days before the anniversary of the murder of A. Grigoropoulos. Some know very well that historically any regime has collapsed, collapsed after insurrections, following violent clashes and it is obvious they are aware of this, considering the day they chose to arrest us as well as the specific statements they made.
Concerning the specific charges attributed to me
I do not belong to an organization, I refuse the charge of aggravated weapon possession and possession of explosives. I accept that I possessed a fake id card, just in case my friend and comrade Alexandros Mitrousias, given that he was underground, needed a house rented. I did not intend to rent it with my official id card, because the police knew my lengthy presence in the anarchist movement really well. Consequently, it is logical that I would not rent a house with my own id card, in the case that Alexandros needed it.
At this point I would like to state that the anti-terrorist force has extensively tried to associate different cases with one another, implicating me as well as many others for years now, in an organization we do not belong to. Beyond that, authority is always looking for new weapons to oppress the domestic enemy. In the last 5 years one of the basic weapons of the anti-terrorist force is the attempt to fabricate entire indictments based on DNA and the violent extraction of genetic material. I think that this specific repressive method is a crucial political matter since DNA, the way its transferred as well as the way it is handled by the anti-terrorist force, makes it even more unreliable and dangerous. It is a form of evidence that even in your own legal culture is not considered reliable. As a revolutionary movement it is crucial that we oppose the increasingly developing repressive methods of power. It is the obligation of fighters to block the creation of legal precedents that target the wider radical movement as a whole.
With this in mind and as well as my witnesses who defended me politically, there was a witness who is a biologist and who explained scientifically why it[DNA] is considered unreliable, saying that even if I had accepted to willingly give my DNA, it could not be identified because the genetic material found on the weapon was a DNA mixture, which means genetic material of 3 or more individuals. She also mentioned that genetic material cannot be identified on an object when this object is scanned, a method the cops use extensively in the spaces they search. As for my refusal to give my genetic material (besides the fact that the cops violently stripped me and took the DNA from my t-shirt) I have to say that this is an extension of my refusal to cooperate with the authorities and I do not trust where my DNA could be placed in the future.
However, beyond the charges of the haphazardly fabricated indictment of the anti-terrorist force, the decision of authority and the mainstream media to call us terrorists, there must be answers in these trials. And mainly there must be an answer to the fact that historically they have given the term terrorist to all those who have fought around the world. Those who are clearly terrorists are all those who act solely in the interest of ensuring the interests of the rich and authority. It is those who are implicated in uncountable scandals. It is the members of governments who commit the biggest robberies on society, in the name of redemption from bankruptcy. We are up against a State that labels those who fight as criminals and terrorists, while being responsible for dozens of suicides of desperate people. The only thing for sure is that these are political and targeted murders against society which have been organized steadily and methodically by those who are in positions of authority. Those who try dozens of anarchist fighters as terrorists, that is to say the State and governments you serve, these are the criminals and terrorists.
And you are a part of this system, a system which robs, exploits and terrorizes everyone, through modern security forces, the police. The faithful dogs of authority, the unethical sub-humans, who have dyed the holding cells, police stations, cop vans, streets and our history, with blood…
It is not at all random that while I was imprisoned 80% of the women that were arrested and entered the prison on the first day, were bruised, scratched and with black eyes. One day while I was imprisoned in Koridallos there was an incident of a 50 year old immigrant who returned from her hearing in Larissa who was so badly beaten we were shocked when we saw her. Her face and body were bruised. Five cowardly cops at Larissa transit holding cells were verbally harassing her all night terrorizing her that they would rape her. In order to protect herself she put the bed in front of the cell door to stop them from getting in, something that enraged the worms that were harassing her resulting in them viciously beating her. This is one of the thousands of incidents of torture and violence I heard every day in prison carried out by the gangsters of the Greek police who would never have the courage to pick up weapons if the law did not cover them. Fetishists of weapons and violence that will never pick up weapons for the reasons the revolutionaries do. Murderers and torturers covered by the legal title of the Greek police.
As for the relation between anarchists and weapons and armed violence, I would like at this point to mention that my witnesses, when defending armed struggle never spoke of the identification of anarchists with weapons. Weapons for revolutionaries should be a tool, and armed struggle should not be an end in itself but a means. At least that is how I believe it should be.
Now concerning the matter of some responsibilities and choices…
For centuries now societies are under the capitalist yoke and live daily life in hierarchical and organized authoritarian structures. Structures that from the moment we are born, forcibly form us and affect all aspects of our lives. Capitalism actually creates, to a large part of society, the feeling that collective struggle for the subversion of the system is futile since we can all go higher in the pyramid as long as we grab the opportunities that come our way. The illusions however, end, all it takes is for someone to see what capitalism really means. Poverty, wars, class exploitation, the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few powerful individuals. All It takes is for someone to open their eyes and see the homeless who are multiplying, the poor who are becoming increasingly wretched, the murders of the bosses in the galleys of waged slavery.
This is why I think that everyone is responsible. Those who experience the consequences of the actions of the governments, who they themselves have placed in positions of authority are responsible. Those who continue to choose who will govern us are responsible. Especially in such periods of wretchedness and poverty, one would never expect to see anyone vote for anyone again. But instead of that, besides the fact that they continue to vote, we also see fascism intensify. Because for most, sometimes it is easier to step on the one under you than stand up to the one above you. Besides, there has been a lot of work done by authority itself and the media in order to present others as responsible for the crisis, social wretchedness and brutality.
This is what the Golden Dawn stepped on and got more voters on its side, creating the impression of a party that will finally punish those responsible for the social conditions. This however does not mean that anyone can be justified for making such choices. Especially when it is clear that the State exploits those paramilitary mechanisms against the alleged domestic enemy, the immigrants, but also the real domestic enemy, that is to say those who chose to destroy the authoritarian structures and the State. As for the votes for the Golden Dawn I would like to say that there are no half-wit voters that were deceived. Those who support the Golden Dawn, those who vote for them, all of them together are responsible for the murders of hundreds of immigrants, all those stabbing raids, the murder of Pavlos Fyssas.
There is a historical memory… This will not be lost… And whoever supports them has no excuse.
Continuing and in relation to the above, concerning the exploitation of governments and the responsibilities of society, I will refer to an important period. In May 2012, with the appointed prime-minister Papadimos, amidst great political and economic instability of the country and with an upcoming election campaign during which many games of party candidates and aspiring ministers were played, the government proceeds to arrest HIV positive women, with Chrisohoidis and Loverdos as the coordinators. The police then go out to Omonia square and the surrounding streets. During that period I was imprisoned in Koridallos and I saw all these girls come into prison, I had seen their photos on the news as the HIV positive prostitutes who spread deceases to family men endangering the health of all of society. So in prison they isolated these women in a wing in which they are alone, in a basement. They are forbidden to go out into the yard when the other prisoners are there and already with that a small prison society is created, which in its majority lacks education, a hostile reaction from the other prisoners towards these women. Either way, the media have managed to do their job well, creating a social reality, that of infected women whom you do not approach.
Back then the HIV positive prisoners had to go through the rest of the prisoners, in order to get to the yard. It was a terrible moment when all other prisoners moved aside, gathered to watch the “infected ones”, hung from the staircases and balconies, there was silence and all you could hear was some whispers while 15–20 women passed through the other healthy ones who gathered to see the “circus” come through… After the walk of shame and when they reached the yard, the door locked behind them, while the whole prison was hanging out of the windows watching and commenting, observing their yard time. They had not only the eyes of the guards on them but also 200 pairs of eyes dismissing them. I then went and asked to be let out in the yard, something I was allowed to do only if I agreed that it would be with my own responsibility, as it did. I went out and was holding 4–5 posters printed by some anarchist collectives or individuals, supportive towards these women. The posters among other things wrote “HIV positive prostitutes”. I explained to them that are many people who support them and I showed them the posters. When they saw these posters most of them starting crying. At first I thought they were touched by the posters but then they told me that they are not prostitutes and have never been. They told me they use drugs and that while they were in the streets taking their dose, they were taken to the police station. While we were talking I could hear voices from the windows shouting at me to leave the yard quickly like I had been thrown into the lions’ den. These girls in the majority were between 18–20 years old and were desperately crying, holding each other’s hands without realizing why this was happening and they were obliged to experience all this social exclusion. They were walking and not taking a step away from one another. Their eyes were always in tears and their heads were bowed down. One of them had a little girl that was in elementary school and told her that she never wants to speak to her again because the kids at school made fun of her. This woman became vexed that her daughter was in this position because her photo was all over the news presented as a prostitute without being one.
And surely your daughter (if you have one), your honour, is in no danger from Sakkas who had a grenade in his closet. Because you told my mother that you would be vexed in her position if your daughter was going out with someone who has a grenade in his room. I assure you therefore that you should be more afraid that you daughter is not at some point socially excluded and stigmatized, betrayed by everyone living in a society which sometimes is easily manipulated by the media, which serve the interests of authority. You should be more afraid that your child is growing up dealing with every government that will step over dead bodies, over the weak, the users, the sick, or even the prostitutes, that will work hard for their castigation and their social exclusion in order for it to gain two more points pretending it is cleaning society from the illness. This is what you should be vexed about. That your daughter is living in a society where each government can use her as it wants for its interests, that she can find herself in a police station and get beaten or sexually harassed by a cop, that she can find herself unemployed, homeless or beaten in a cell with her veins slit. Because HIV positive prisoners arrested by the State started slitting their veins even for a cigarette. For all these reasons you should be vexed. But I forgot, the issue here is a class issue and your daughter will probably never be in this position. On the contrary my mother is vexed because they are building high security prisons, white cells and a whole regime of terror on our backs.
I also know another mother who lost her son in a car accident and a few months later the cops knocked on her door to serve her with an arrest warrant for her son with the charge of arson, while he was dead. It is the same anarchist comrade whose personal letters right now, and without him being alive, are in our indictment and are being read out in the court room. The same personal letters of his, which the anti-terrorist force open-handedly gave to the tabloid “espresso” who published them 2 days after my arrest and presented them as personal letters of K.Sakkas.
At this point I would like to refer to the questions of the interrogators. Specifically I was repeatedly asked if I knew about the various findings and especially about what they found in my house. An answer which on a political level has no importance and in no way does anyone care about my knowledge of the findings. And I say this because whether I knew or not, my stance and my position towards the comrades and the incidents would have been the same in any case. If I knew, I would have supported them then, and if I did not know I would have supported them later, when I found out. I consider any answer a political mistake since a possible answer like “I did not know” leaves margins for a thought that implies that “I did not know but if I did I would have behaved differently”. So I feel obliged, towards myself mainly, to clarify that my stance would have been the same. In another part of my statement I mentioned the fake id card which I possessed. Specifically the fake id card was a product of discussion with Sakkas in the frames of our common choice to support the comrades who are underground, each in their own way. What I wanted to say is that it was not a move that was asked by Mitrousias himself, who had gone underground already, but a political choice in coordination with comrade Sakkas, something that did not have to be explained. An answer which was then bent by a specific newspaper that wrote that Kostas asked me to make the fake id card and that I made it because I was emotionally involved with him. The reason I had mentioned back then who I had talked to about the fake id card with was clearly because I wanted to say that it was not something Mitrousias asked me for.
Here I would like to stress that I would never do something on a political level because I was emotionally involved with someone. That is something that demeans me as a political being. Me and my choices.
Before I conclude my statement I would like to say a few things about comrades Sakkas, Mitrousias and Karagiannidis. Comrade Kostas Sakkas is not an arms dealer neither are comrades Mitrousias and Karagiannidis and of course they did not supply weapons to third parties. I am referring only to these three specific comrades because I was arrested with them and I believe I am in the same case with them. Kostas Sakkas is an ethical and dignified fighter who did not bow down for a moment in front of the continuous attack the State has unleashed on him over the last four years. Neither he, nor Mitrousias or Karagiannidis, would endanger the lives of common citizens by storing ready-to-use explosive materials in a storage room, that could blow a whole block up, as it was falsely mentioned in this courtroom. K.Sakkas has shown such mental strength enduring the 38 days of hunger strike with great vigour and dignity, fighting for his freedom, during which I and his family saw him getting affected from the lack of food, up to the last day before his release. He is someone I know well, something that allows me to state that he would never take part in any procedure of choosing a political party as wrongly claimed by one of his own defence witnesses. He is a person who together with comrades Karagiannidis and Mitrousias went on hunger strike demanding my release on health grounds as well their own release since their 18month detainment limit had ended and the State kept on detaining them for the same case. It is the first time that in such political trials they separate an organization from its actions, in different courts and different detainments.
As for me it is absolutely clear that the reason for which I was released on June 4th 2012 and they did not detain me again like my comrades was because of the struggle given by the 3 comrades and their hunger strike, the health problems I have (even if they do not want to admit it) and because of the continuous solidarity actions of the anarchist movement and the massive support I received. K.Sakkas therefore is a fighter of integrity who has chosen the tough path of clandestinity. As comrades fighters Mitrousias and Karagiannidis had chosen in the past.
Beyond the charges, trials and detainments I was lucky to have lived what I lived with three dignified and important comrades close to me. I was lucky that in prison I spoke for the first time with revolutionary D. Koufodinas, and I also had the luck to live for 10 months with armed fighter Pola Roupa whom the State did not hesitate to put a bounty on together with comrade N. Maziotis for a million euro each, presenting them as the alleged danger to society.
Closing I state that… I have definitely chosen camps. And I have chosen camp because we are at war. I am with those who fight, with those who fight against capitalism, social brutality and the faithful dogs of authority. I am with those who did not buckle, did not speak, did not repent, with those who remained dignified. I am with those who fight for social liberation, equality, for the destruction of all prisons. With those who fight against fascism, with those who fight for the abolishment of social classes. With those who will completely abolish every hierarchical structure. With those who do not believe in the reforming of the system but in its destruction for the creation of a classless, free society. I am with those who propagate social revolution. Only decision, the struggle.