Tag Archive | Konstantina “Nina” Karakatsani

Updates on anarchist/antiauthoritarian prisoners in Greece (November 16, 2010)

From Culmine (November 16, 2010) via Indymedia Barcelona (November 16, 2010):

The package-bomb case

At midday on November 1, two anarchist comrades—22-year-old Panayiotis Argyrou and 24-year-old Gerasimos Tsakalos—were arrested in the Pagrati neighborhood of Athens. Their arrest took place a few minutes after a package addressed to the Mexican embassy exploded at a nearby shipping office, leaving an employee with minor injuries to her fingers. Argyrou and Tsakalos were waiting at a bus stop when they were suddenly surrounded by motorcycle police from the DIAS squad. Although prepared for this kind of unwanted encounter—they were wearing bulletproof vests and carrying Glock 9mm pistols with spare magazines—it seems our comrades were caught very much by surprise. From all the defamatory, misleading, or just plain stupid articles, analyses, columns, etc., that have appeared in the press since then, we’re only interested in mentioning what’s relevant to the “practical” aspects of the arrest. So, according to police sources, what mistakes did the “bombers” make? To begin with, one of them walked into the shipping office in question a few days earlier, wearing the same disguise (a wig, etc.) and asking about shipping information. This aroused the suspicions of the employee, who recognized our comrade immediately. Then, unaware that the package left at the first shipping office had exploded, the two comrades went on their way and mailed another package from a second shipping office located just 500 meters from the first. They also aroused suspicion at this second shipping office: The one who went in to mail the package refused to give the name of the sender, he walked out while talking on his phone, he wore gloves despite the day being quite warm, and after paying he left without waiting for his change. Additionally, during the first few days of each month there is an even greater police presence throughout the entire Athens metropolitan area due to robberies, which are especially frequent during those periods, as well as the floods that usually occur at the beginning of November.

In any case, the 15 package-bombs mailed that day from different Athens locations (according to the pigs, there were at least one or two other groups that mailed packages) were very low-strength and marked with the return addresses of real people or organizations that had relationships with corresponding embassy staff. For example, the package-bomb deactivated at the Dutch embassy was marked with the return address of a well-known criminologist, while the one sent to the Chilean ambassador was marked with the return address of a labor union.

Photos of Argyrou and Tsakalos ran for several days on the front pages of most newspapers. Argyrou has been awaiting trial for a city bus arson that happened two years ago, and since October 2009 he has had a warrant out for his arrest on charges of belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy. A day after our comrades’ arrest, the police released photos of the remaining five people with arrest warrants pertaining to the Fire Cells Conspiracy case, accompanied by a phone number for snitching. Most newspapers published the photos, once again demonstrating the democratic complicity of organs of repression and disinformation. A week later, a photo of Tsakalos’ older brother was also published, thereby adding his name to the list of Fire Cells Conspiracy arrest warrants. All the mass media outlets went into a literal delirium, portraying the arrested comrades as “enemies of society,” “heartless psychopaths,” “failed saboteurs of stability,” “those who humiliated our country in front of the whole world,” etc. While the yellow press continued to reveal new details about the private lives of those arrested and at large, the “more serious” reporters began to “analyze the psychological profile of the new generation of terrorists,” talking about their “antisocial nature,” “disregard for established values,” “political and moral degeneration,” and sometimes even using strange semantic constructs like “nihilist nihilism.”

In response, there were a few solidarity actions. During the night of the arrests, some luxury cars were torched in Exarcheia. Then, a number of vehicles belonging to the Public Power Corporation (DEI) were set on fire. Finally, on Saturday, November 6, ten vehicles belonging to Telefónica burned in the Aghia Paraskevi neighborhood, with Terrorist Complicity/Combatants from the Abyss claiming responsibility. In addition, on November 4 a small group of 20 gathered in solidarity in front of the courthouse, which was literally crawling with every kind of pig and goon from the department whose Spanish equivalent is the Intelligence Squad. When Argyrou and Tsakalos—escorted by blowhards from the counterterrorism unit, masked and armed to the teeth—were led inside the building and taken away two hours later, they were greeted with cheers and slogans. Also, on Wednesday, November 10, a group of 40 anarchists occupied the local office of the Newspaper Editors’ Union (in other words, the safe house for paid snitches) in Thessaloniki and sent all bourgeois media outlets a communiqué denouncing the role of reporters as the repressive organs’ media arm.

After their arrest, both Argyrou and Tsakalos refused to participate in proceedings requiring their testimony in front of judges and prosecutors. On November 4, it was unanimously decided to imprison them on charges of four felonies (“explosives possession,” “causing an explosion that endangered the public,” etc.) and four misdemeanors. Argyrou is at Korydallos Prison in Athens, while Tsakalos was brought to Malandrino Prison. Argyrou is also facing the same charges as all the others charged in the Fire Cells Conspiracy case.

The Fire Cells Conspiracy case

The trial of the 13 people charged with participating in the Fire Cells Conspiracy will be held on March 17, 2011. That number includes the four who are already being held in pretrial detention (Konstantina “Nina” Karakatsani, Panayiotis “Takis” Masouras, Harilaos “Haris” Hatzimichelakis, and the recently arrested Panayiotis Argyrou); the three who were arrested and released on probation; the five who have warrants out for their arrest; plus Gerasimos Tsakalos’ brother, who is also in hiding. All are charged with “membership in a terrorist organization,” as well as charges (“explosives manufacture, possession, and distribution,” “causing an explosion,” etc.) stemming from three specific attacks claimed by the Fire Cells Conspiracy: against the Athens apartment building of former Interior Minister Panayiotis Hinofotis on July 10, 2009; the Macedonia-Thrace Ministry in Thessaloniki on September 2, 2009; and the Athens home of PASOK political couple Louka Katseli and Gerasimis Arsenis on September 23, 2009.

The Revolutionary Struggle case

The four people subpoenaed by the prosecutor to testify as “members of Revolutionary Struggle”—among whom are Constantinos “Costas” Gournas’ partner and a well-known anarchist (the two others are not connected to the anarchist/antiauthoritarian milieu and were most likely subpoenaed because of nothing more than fingerprints found at the homes of some of the accused)—were not arrested, but they were subjected to conditions like being “prohibited to leave the country,” and they will have to sign in at a police station each month.

Meanwhile, the three who have taken responsibility for participating in Revolutionary Struggle (Gournas, Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis, and Panayiota “Pola” Roupa) published a letter that explains their decision to take that step and reveals their positions on the topic of solidarity, the term “political prisoner,” etc. The letter is quite long, but an attempt will be made to translate it as soon as possible.

The Simos Seisidis case

Symeon “Simos” Seisidis is facing several trials. You’ll recall that he had been in hiding since January 2006, charged with participating in the same bank robbery as Yiannis Dimitrakis, before being arrested on May 3, 2010 after being shot by the pigs, the consequences of which meant the amputation of one of his legs.

Seisidis is charged with seven armed robberies, all of which took place while he was at large and all of which are unsolved, with little or no related evidence. It’s therefore easy to charge an anarchist whose photo, along with those of his brother Marios and friend Grigoris Tsironis, “decorates” the walls of police stations and other such places. Simos’ case exemplifies the principle of “guilty until proven innocent.” He will next appear before the Athens Supreme Court on November 19 and 24, and solidarity demonstrations in front of the courthouses have been called for both dates.

In a great display of solidarity, and thanks to the money raised by comrades (in Greece and abroad), a high-quality artificial leg was finally bought for Simos (at a cost of 39,000 euros) just over a month ago.

The trial of Alfredo and Christos

Comrades outside Greece often ask: Why is nothing going on with Alfredo Bonanno and Christos Stratigopoulos? From the moment of their arrest on October 1, 2009, there have been many attacks in solidarity with them, as well as posters, graffiti, etc. However, due to their decision to refuse a specific “political campaign” (in other words, massive turnouts in the form of marches and demonstrations), the usual public displays have not taken place. Their choice—which has a lot to do with Bonanno’s fragile health, along with other factors—has been respected, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from supporting them economically.

Bonanno and Stratigopoulos recently published a little note regarding their trial, which is coming up a few days:

Thanks to all the comrades everywhere for the solidarity you have shown us thus far, but we ask you to not come to our trial, which will be held in Larissa on November 22, 2010.

—Alfredo & Christos

This gives us an opportunity to “publicize” a new Italian website at which there are a number of interesting texts, some of which have already been forgotten, like this article by Stratigopoulos.

Yiannis Dimitrakis’ final appeal hearing

On December 6, Yiannis Dimitrakis will appear in front of the second circuit court of appeals. It will be the final legal chance for him to reduce his sentence. Dimitrakis was sentenced by the first circuit court to 35 years in prison for a bank robbery.

In the days leading up to his court date, different solidarity actions will take place at the national level and—depending on comrades outside Greece—perhaps internationally, like last April.

Updates on anarchist prisoners in Greece (November 2, 2010)

From Culmine (November 2, 2010) via Indymedia Barcelona (November 2, 2010):

Ilias Nikolau is free

Comrade Ilias Nikolau, after submitting a petition for release during his October 21 hearing at the court of appeals, has been freed on 15,000 euros bail. Nikolau was arrested on January 13, 2009 and charged with planting an incendiary device at the Evosmos police station in Thessaloniki. On December 4, 2009, he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison. Keep in mind that Nikolau and three other comrades are scheduled for yet another trial. In November 2007, Vangelis Botzatzis was arrested in Thessaloniki and charged with a number of arsons. Arrest warrants were also issued for three of Botzatzis’ comrades—Nikolau, Costas Halazas, and Dimitra Sirianou—and all three went into hiding. Botzatzis was released on probation in October 2008, while his three comrades—after spending almost a year underground—showed up at a police station on November 14, 2008 (in the middle of weeks of massive protest in Greek prisons), accompanied by hundreds of people showing solidarity. The next day, all three were released pending trial on 2000 euros bail each, but Nikolau fell into the enemy’s hands for the Evosmos arson two months later.

Another comrade in prison

In the early morning of October 13, a van belonging to the Public Power Corporation (DEI) was torched in downtown Thessaloniki using an incendiary device made out of camping gas canisters, gasoline, and a fuse. The vehicle was completely incinerated, but 19-year-old comrade Yiannis Skouloudis was arrested “in flagrante delicto” (“caught red-handed”). That very morning, the same police-media operation we’ve seen so many times began: Pigs raided the homes of comrades and family members, seizing computers, flash drives, and anarchist literature, while reporters celebrated the authorities’ “resounding success.” But the prosecutors and judges didn’t stop there. According to them, “there must be an organization,” so four arrest warrants were issued the next day. Four comrades, ranging in age from 19 to 22, went into hiding. On Friday, October 15, people assembled in solidarity in front of the courthouse where Skouloudis was being arraigned. Minor clashes broke out between comrades and police inside and outside the courthouse, with injuries on both sides (including to Skouloudis’ mother). The courthouse and a nearby police van had windows broken. On Monday, October 18, Skouloudis appeared before a judge and took responsibility for the DEI van arson, but he refused to testify about anything else. The next morning, he was transferred to the Avlona Special Detention Center for Minors, where Panayiotis Masouras is currently locked up on charges stemming from the Fire Cells Conspiracy case.

The Revolutionary Struggle case

For quite some time, the Revolutionary Struggle case has been the hands of prosecutor Constantinos Baltas, who is also handling the Fire Cells Conspiracy case and seems intent on advancing his career by “fighting terrorism.” In recent weeks, he has called some 45 witnesses to give depositions. Most of the witnesses are related to the case through fingerprints found in the homes of the six defendants (Constantinos “Costas” Gournas, Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis, Panayiota “Pola” Roupa, Christoforos Kortesis, Sarantos Nikitopoulos, and Evangelos “Vangelis” Stathopoulos) and anarchist Lambros Fountas, who was killed by police in March. Some of the witnesses have already passed through Baltas’ office (and according to them, the depositions were mostly about the prosecutor attempting to verify their psycho-socio-political profile), while others still have appointments pending. Two comrades have refused to show up entirely, and they published open letters (here and here) explaining their decisions, which thus far haven’t yielded any negative repercussions. However, four people were shocked to learn that they weren’t being called as witnesses but as “members of Revolutionary Struggle.” One is Gournas’ partner Maria Beraha, who is the mother of his 22-month-old twins, while another is well-known anarchist Nikos Malapanis, who is friends with some of the defendants. This obvious attempt to criminalize the milieu of family and friends was met with a collective response on November 1, when some 200 people showed up outside the courthouse to shout slogans in solidarity with the prisoners. Meanwhile, Beraha and Malapanis have asked for extensions and will be deposed on November 11.

The Fire Cells Conspiracy case

On October 27, more or less six months after her arrest, Konstantina “Nina” Karakatsani appeared at the Athens court of appeals. According to Greek law, after a prisoner spends six months in preventive detention, a committee of appellate court judges has to decide whether or not to extend the detention. A small group of comrades and family was there to greet Karakatsani with slogans of solidarity. There was some jostling and scuffling with riot police, who were in charge of pushing people on to the sidewalk. Four people were arrested, two of whom were released the following day (mostly with “nuisance” charges like “insulting an officer” and “resisting authority”). When members of the Anti-Terrorist Squad escorted Karakatsani from the courthouse to the transport van, those who were there could see her smiling, which was the best possible response to our greetings and slogans. Despite the fact that the judges’ decision (whether positive or negative) always takes a few days, and even the lawyers aren’t notified on the same day as the court, a maggot reporter from the most popular news blog in Greece immediately posted a story that “it has been decided to extend Konstantina Karakatsani’s preventive detention for another six months.” In any case, the trial of the case’s three (for now) defendants (Karakatsani, Harilaos “Haris” Hatzimichelakis, and Panayiotis “Takis” Masouras) will most likely take place in January 2011, and not in two weeks as was previously expected.

Tuberculosis epidemic in Kerkyra Prison

A tuberculosis epidemic broke out two weeks ago in Kerkyra Prison, which is located on the island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea. Polykarpos Georgiadis is one of the prisoners currently locked up at Kerkyra. Many prisoners have been infected and brought to the hospital. The causes of the epidemic are obvious: The infected inmates weren’t quarantined; the prison administration decided to “recycle” protective surgical masks, thus spreading the infection, instead of throwing them out after a single use; and the lack of hygiene and medical attention, which is symptomatic of all Greek prisons, has reached monstrous proportions at Kerkyra. Kerkyra was built by the English at the beginning of the 19th century, and it is the oldest prison in Greece. It might even be the oldest prison in Europe. It was constructed in the form of a panopticon, and its solitary confinement cells are underground, windowless, narrow, and low-ceilinged, with walls covered in mold from the humidity. After spending time in Kerkyra’s basement punishment cells, more than a few prisoners have “gone crazy” and committed suicide.

Updates to the prisoner list

Ilias Nikolau can be removed from the list published two weeks ago.

The new address for Costas Gournas, who was finally transferred closer to his family in Athens after a successful 23-day hunger strike, is:

Constantinos “Costas” Gournas
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-ST pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

The two comrades charged with the Psachna bank robbery need to be added to the list:

Alexandros Kosivas
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Michalis Traikapis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Also, the comrade who took responsibility for torching the DEI van needs to be added:

Yiannis Skouloudis
Eidiko Katastima Kratisis Neon Avlona
T.K. 19011
Avlona, Attica
Greece

Still missing are the addresses of the two comrades charged with the August bank robbery on the island of Rhodes. Also, arrest warrants are currently in effect for 11 people from the anarchist milieu: five for the Fire Cells Conspiracy case; four considered by the authorities to be Yiannis Skouloudis’ accomplices; plus Marios Seisidis and Grigoris Tsironis, who are accused of participating in the same bank robbery as Yiannis Dimitrakis and have been at large since 2006 (with a price on their heads).

New letter from Panayiotis Masouras

From Presxs A La Kalle! (September/October 2010):

On August 31, the final appeal hearing for comrades Panayiotis “Takis” Masouras and Harilaos “Haris” Hatzimichelakis was held in Athens. Their lawyers’ request that our comrades be released on probation was unanimously rejected. About 50 people gathered in front of the courthouse to show solidarity. According to the lawyers’ estimates, the trial of both comrades (imprisoned since September 2009), as well as that of Konstantina Karakatsani (at large since September 2009 and arrested in April 2010), will take place in November. All three are accused of participating in the Fire Cells Conspiracy.

Silence will be a thing of the past.

Prison, as an institution of correction and conformity, aims to set straight and bring reason to the stressed social group found within.

The goal of the systemic rule of the regime’s prison policy is to subjugate each individual’s spiritual, psychological, and physical desires and capabilitiesindividuals who, in accordance with the law, are isolated and marginalized by the regime’s machinery like so many cancerous tumors awaiting therapy. In the cells of democracy, jailers who are an extension of the disciplinary mechanism devote themselves to a shameless war against human decency and dignity. The disciplinary structures of Authority want us on our knees, cut off from all social contact, and mentally stagnant. Their objective is to defuse the struggle for freedom by attempting to confine the fight against power.

The imprisoned subject experiences a long-term internal war. It is a war of disciplinary punishments (which constitute a punishment within a punishment), new sentences received while one is already inside, suspended leave, bigmouth prosecutors, the permanent degradation of human integrity itself, and miserable and inhumane prison conditions (regarding water, food, heat, overcrowding, and a lack of medical care and medicine). It doesn’t require complex deduction to realize that someone who finally leaves the regime’s crematoriums in one piece would mistake the misery on the outside for opulence.

The subject herself rejects the idea that the act of individual self-realization can bring about change. Each prisoner has to escape the one-dimensional viewpoint generated by the System’s channels of information and realize that the possibilities of restraining the jailer of her soul are infinite. She has to reflect on the possibility that the bottomless abyss of misery engulfing the human beings around her might pose the fundamental question on insurrectional terms, through the search for and discovery of the limitless potentialities within each one of us.

In the world of the powerful, in the world of global capitalism, nothing is ever given away. The duty of the capitalist elite is to propagate acceptance and fatalism, which in turn breed inertia.

The duty of prisoners is to see themselves essentially as prisoners of war, with all the responsibilities, obligations, and expectations entailed by that step toward direct confrontation with Authority.

We ourselves must be the change we want to see. Everything we’ve achieved has been claimed with blood, struggle, and armed desire.

Our plans to oppose the politics of annihilation must consist of disciplined, combative structures formed by the captives themselves. Those of us “inside” and “outside” the walls will fight Authority’s information system, which classifies us as “long-term criminals.” We will thus establish an authentic connection between the discourse and practice of struggle—the struggle of dignity against submission.

With our heads high and our necks straight, we will claim freedom.

The act of continuing to live with pride despite being “behind” bars makes the concrete walls invisible. It makes them invisible because we are transparent. It makes them invisible because we are Fighters and we dare. And when the walls are nonexistent, our strength sings the songs of victory.

“Inside” and “outside,” we’ll form a fist to break their teeth.

Long live human dignity and the passion for freedom.

Our struggle is the fertile terrain of the past, the blank pages of the present, and the promises of the future.

Fire to the prisons.

Solidarity with Captive Fighter Vangelis Pallis.

The blood each Fighter sheds is our blood too.

—Panayiotis Masouras, Avlona Special Detention Center for Minors, September 2010

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Updated list of anti-authoritarian and anarchist prisoners in Greece

From A Las Barricadas (October 15, 2010):

The mailing addresses of the prisons where our comrades are being held are written in Greek, but with Latin letters in order to make it easier for those showing solidarity from other countries to send letters and postcards. The way they’re written should make them understandable to Greek postal employees and civil servants.

Information about particular cases, as well as letters from many of the prisoners, have been translated into Spanish and English and can be found at various websites. Accordingly, this list lays the groundwork for the more frequent publication of news, letters, and updates regarding our comrades. The prisoners themselves are being transferred frequently. Therefore, this list will continue to be updated as needed.

It should be pointed out that right now three of the comrades charged in the Revolutionary Struggle case (Constantinos “Costas” Gournas, Christoforos Kortesis, and Evangelos “Vangelis” Stathopoulos) are in Korydallos Prison, but it’s not known whether they will be transferred together to the same prisons in the future. Additionally, Evangelos “Vangelis” Pallis—after he was found seriously wounded (with a glass shard stuck in his carotid artery) in his cell at Trikala Prison over a month ago—is currently in an Athens hospital, and his condition is improving. He is able to speak with the aid of an appliance that had to be implanted. Also missing from the list are the addresses for comrades Alexandros Kosivas and Michalis Traikapis, who are charged with a bank robbery in Psachna, and another two people (one of whom is Thodoris Delis) arrested in Rhodes this past summer.

Konstantina Karakatsani
Katastima Kratisis Ginaikon Eleona Thivon
T.K. 32200
Elaionas Thebes
Greece

Karakatsani is charged with participating in the Fire Cells Conspiracy. A warrant was issued for her arrest on September 25, 2009, and she was finally caught on April 22, 2010.

Panayiota “Pola” Roupa
Kleisti Kentriki Filaki Ginaikon
Korydallos
T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

Roupa was arrested with five other comrades on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. On April 29, she admitted to taking part in said group via an open letter co-written with Constantinos “Costas” Gournas and Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis. On July 24 she gave birth to her and Maziotis’ son Lambros-Victor.

Panayiotis “Takis” Masouras
Eidiko Katastima Kratisis Neon Avlona
T.K. 19011
Avlona, Attica
Greece

Masouras was arrested on September 23, 2009 and charged with participating in the Fire Cells Conspiracy. He has been in a juvenile facility since the beginning of his imprisonment.

Harilaos “Haris” Hatzimichelakis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Hatzimichelakis was arrested on September 23, 2009 and charged with participating in the Fire Cells Conspiracy.

Alfredo Bonanno
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

At 73 years of age, Alfredo might be the oldest prisoner in the entire country. He was arrested with Christos Stratigopoulos in Trikala on October 1, 2009 and charged with being an “accessory to a felony” for his alleged role in a bank robbery. His trial is scheduled for November 22.

Christos Stratigopoulos
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Arrested together with Alfredo Bonanno, Stratigopoulos has taken full responsibility for the October 1, 2009 armed robbery in Trikala. His trial is scheduled for November 22.

Yiannis Dimitrakis
Filakes Domokou
T.K. 35010 Domokos
Phthiotis
Greece

Dimitrakis was arrested on January 16, 2006 after being seriously wounded by police bullets during a bank robbery in downtown Athens. Meanwhile, an arrest warrant was issued for three comrades alleged to be his accomplices. Two of them, Marios Seisidis and Grigoris Tsironis, remain at large. The third, Symeon “Simos” Seisidis, was arrested on May 3, 2010. In June 2007, Dimitrakis was sentenced to 35-and-a-half years in prison. His final appeal opportunity was recently postponed for the second time, from April 28, 2010 to December 6, 2010.

Ilias Nikolau
Agrotiki Filaki Kassandras
T.K. 63077
Kassandreia Chalkidiki
Greece

Nikolau was arrested on January 13, 2009 and charged with planting an incendiary device at the Evosmos police station in Thessaloniki. On December 4, 2009, he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

Polykarpos Georgiadis
Kleisti Filaki Kerkiras
T.K. 49100 Kerkyra
Greece

Georgiadis was arrested in Thessaloniki at the end of August 2008 and charged with the kidnapping of industrialist Giorgos Mylonas, which took place earlier that summer. In February 2010, he and comrade Vangelis Chrysochoidis were each sentenced to 22 years and three months in prison.

Vangelis Chrysochoidis
Dikastiki Filaki Komotinis
T.K. 69100
Komotini
Greece

Chrysochoidis was arrested on the same day as Polykarpos Georgiadis and received an identical sentence.

Evangelos “Vangelis” Stathopoulos
Kleisti Filaki Trikalon
T.K. 42100 Trikala
Greece

Stathopoulos was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. He denies all the charges.

Constantinos “Costas” Gournas
Kleisti Filaki Trikalon
T.K. 42100 Trikala
Greece

Gournas was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. On April 29, together with Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis and Panayiota “Pola” Roupa, he admitted to taking part in said group via an open letter.

Christoforos Kortesis
Dikastiki Filaki Korinthou
T.K. 20100 Corinth
Greece

Kortesis was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. He denies all the charges.

Sarantos Nikitopoulos
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-ST pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Nikitopoulos was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. He denies all the charges. He and Maziotis are being held in a special wing of Korydallos along with certain prisoners from the November 17 leftist urban guerrilla group.

Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-ST pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Maziotis was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. On April 29, together with Constantinos “Costas” Gournas and Panayiota “Pola” Roupa, he admitted to taking part in said group via an open letter.

Evangelos “Vangelis” Pallis
Kleisti Filaki Trikalon
T.K. 42100 Trikala
Greece

Pallis is an “ordinary” prisoner who was “politicized” in prison. He has been part of the struggle inside prisons for many years. His letters and other writings often appear in anarchist publications.

Aris Seirinidis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Seirinidis was arrested in Athens on May 3, 2010 (the same day as Symeon “Simos” Seisidis) during a random police identity check and initially charged with “weapons possession” (he was carrying a handgun) and “resisting arrest.” Using his DNA sample as the sole piece of evidence, he was later charged with a police shooting that happened last year.

Symeon “Simos” Seisidis
Nosokomeio Kratoumenon Koridallou
T.K.18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

A warrant was issued for comrade Seisidis’ arrest on January 16, 2006. He is being charged with the same robbery as Yiannis Dimitrakis. Seisidis was shot by police during his arrest on May 3 and suffered a serious injury to his leg, which later had to be amputated. He is currently in the prison hospital at Korydallos. In accordance with exemplary Greek judicial tradition, which burdens those at large with every possible unresolved “juicy case,” Seisidis is now being charged with a series of crimes including the two-year-old murder of a guard. However, in Seisidis’ case, the legal surrealism goes even further. Since the law doesn’t allow anyone to be tried for a felony in absentia, Seisidis (when he was still at large) was tried only for his alleged misdemeanor participation in the January 16, 2006 bank robbery. And for that misdemeanor he was given seven-and-a-half years in prison. The (rhetorical) question is: How could he be sentenced for a misdemeanor without the court recognizing his “guilt” for felony participation in said robbery?

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List of anti-authoritarian and anarchist prisoners in Greece

From Liberación Total (July 4, 2010):

The mailing addresses of the prisons where our comrades are being held are written in Greek, but with Latin letters in order to make it easier for those showing solidarity from other countries to send letters and postcards. The way they’re written should make them understandable to Greek postal employees and civil servants.

Information about particular cases, as well as letters from many of the prisoners, have been translated into Spanish and English and can be found at various websites. Accordingly, this list lays the groundwork for the more frequent publication of news, letters, and updates regarding our comrades.

The following list does not include comrade Symeon “Simos” Seisidis, who was shot by police during his May 3, 2010 arrest and suffered a serious injury to his leg, which was later amputated. He is still in Evangelismos Hospital, under permanent surveillance by the police anti-terrorist squad.

Konstantina Karakatsani
Kleisti Kentriki Filaki Ginaikon
Korydallos

T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

Karakatsani is charged with participating in the Fire Cells Conspiracy. A warrant was issued for her arrest on September 25, 2009, and she was finally caught on April 22, 2010. Two weeks later, she was transferred from Elaionas women’s prison to the female wing at Korydallos.

Panayiota “Pola” Roupa
Kleisti Kentriki Filaki Ginaikon
Korydallos
T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

Roupa was arrested with five other comrades on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. On April 29, she admitted to taking part in said group via an open letter co-written with Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis and Constantinos “Costas” Gournas. Due to her advanced stage of pregnancy, she has been transferred from Elaionas to Athens, where she is currently waiting to be brought to hospital.

Panayiotis Masouras
Eidiko Katastima Kratisis Neon Avlona
T.K. 19011
Avlona, Attica
Greece

Masouras was arrested on September 23, 2009 and charged with participating in the Fire Cells Conspiracy. He has been in a juvenile facility since the beginning of his imprisonment.

Harilaos “Haris” Hatzimichelakis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou
T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

Hatzimichelakis was arrested on September 23, 2009 and charged with participating in the Fire Cells Conspiracy.

Alfredo Bonanno
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou
T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

At 73 years of age, Alfredo might be the oldest prisoner in the entire country. He was arrested with Christos Stratigopoulos in Trikala on October 1, 2009 and charged with being an “accessory to a felony” for his alleged role in a bank robbery.

Christos Stratigopoulos
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou
T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

Arrested together with Bonanno, Stratigopoulos has taken full responsibility for the October 1, 2009 armed robbery in Trikala.

Yiannis Dimitrakis
Filakes Domokou

T.K. 35010 Domokos

Phthiotis
Greece

Dimitrakis was arrested on January 16, 2006 after being seriously wounded by police bullets during a bank robbery in downtown Athens. Meanwhile, an arrest warrant was issued for three comrades alleged to be his accomplices. Two of them, Marios Seisidis y Grigoris Tsironis, remain at large. The third, Simos Seisidis, was arrested on May 3, 2010. In June 2007, Dimitrakis was sentenced to 35-and-a-half years in prison. His final appeal opportunity was recently postponed for the second time, from April 28, 2010 to December 6.

Giorgos Voutsis-Vogiatzis
ASKA Filakes Kassavetias
T.K. 37100 Almyros
Magnesia
Greece

Voutsis-Vogiatzis was arrested on October 3, 2007 after a bank robbery in the Gizi neighborhood of Athens. In April 2009, he was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Ilias Nikolau
Dikastiki Filaki Thessalonikis
T.K. 54012 Thessaloniki
Greece

Nikolau was arrested on January 13, 2009 and charged with planting an incendiary device at the Evosmos police station in Thessaloniki. On December 4, 2009, he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

Polykarpos Georgiadis
Kleisti Filaki Kerkiras
T.K. 49100 Kerkyra
Greece

Georgiadis was arrested in Thessaloniki at the end of August 2008 and charged with the kidnapping of industrialist Giorgos Mylonas, which took place earlier that summer. In February 2010, he and comrade Vangelis Chrysochoidis were each sentenced to 22 years and three months in prison. Two weeks later, Georgiadis was transferred from Korydallos in Athens to Kerkyra Prison on the island of Corfu—a 19th-century structure built in the form of a panopticon. It is considered the worst “penitentiary facility” in Greece.

Vangelis Chrysochoidis
Filakes Domokou
T.K. 35010 Domokos
Phthiotis
Greece

Chrysochoidis was arrested on the same day as Georgiadis, and received an identical sentence.

Evangelos “Vangelis” Stathopoulos
Kleisti Filaki Trikalon
T.K. 42100 Trikala
Greece

Stathopoulos was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. He denies all the charges.

Constantinos “Costas” Gournas
Kleisti Filaki Trikalon
T.K. 42100 Trikala
Greece

Gournas was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. On April 29, together with Maziotis and Roupa, he admitted to taking part in said group.

Christoforos Kortesis
Dikastiki Filaki Korinthou
T.K. 20100 Corinth
Greece

Kortesis was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. He denies all the charges.

Sarantos Nikitopoulos
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou
T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

Nikitopoulos was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. He denies all the charges. He and Maziotis are being held in a special wing of Korydallos Prison along with prisoners from the November 17 urban guerrilla group.

Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou
T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

Nikos was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. On April 29, together with Gournas and Roupa, he admitted to taking part in said group.

Evangelos “Vangelis” Pallis
Kleisti Filaki Trikalon
T.K. 42100 Trikala
Greece

Pallis is an “ordinary” prisoner who was “politicized” in prison. He has been part of the struggle inside prisons for many years. His letters and other writings often appear in anarchist publications.

Aris Seirinidis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou
T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

Seirinidis was arrested in Athens on May 3, 2010 (the same day as Simos Seisidis) during a random police identity check and initially charged with “weapons possession” (he was carrying a handgun) and “resisting arrest.” The mass media and police immediately began a disinformation campaign, suggesting that Seirinidis and Simos Seisidis perpetrated a “bloody robbery” at a Praktiker hardware store. A day later, the authorities rejected that version of events, and on May 7 they decided to grant Seirinidis a provisional release. However, the pigs weren’t satisfied with that decision, and a new arrest warrant was issued for Seirinidis just before his release. This time, Seirinidis was charged with a police shooting that happened last year. The case in question is a strange one, one of those stories that becomes an “urban legend”: One afternoon at the beginning of July 2009, someone wearing shorts, sandals, a Mexican sombrero, and a surgical mask walked out on to Harilaou Trikoupi Street in Exarcheia and opened fire on a riot police unit guarding the headquarters of the socialist PASOK party. The media called it the “sombrero lunatic” case (obviously, no matter how they may be dressed, we don’t think someone who shoots at the pigs is a “lunatic”), and it became something of a disgrace to the police. The only evidence they found was the surgical mask, and they claim its DNA matches DNA taken from Seirinidis’ wallet. The case is riddled with contradictions, since the testimony of the riot police squad’s commanding officer is not consistent with Seirinidis’ physical description.

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New letter from Konstantina Karakatsani (plus Fire Cells Conspiracy case chronology)

From Liberación Total:

April 30, 2010

Here is the new letter from Konstantina Karakatsani, now locked up in Eleona prison (as is Panagiota “Pola” Roupa, charged in the Revolutionary Struggle case):

On April 22, while I was talking on a payphone in the middle of Athens, they came and arrested me. It was bound to happen. I didn’t set a specific length of time to keep running, so I ran until they found me. Later they brought me to Police Headquarters, where you already know what happened. Certain pigs have an endless supply of bluster and insults. They were so descriptive, I still feel like throwing up! Anyway, I don’t expect anything better from them. After spending two days in the 12th-floor “safe house,” and after the prosecutor finally decided to put me in prison, I was transferred to Eleona. Six or seven cars and three motorcycles escorted a lone criminal: me.

Of course, everyone defines “crime” in their own way. To them, consciousness and struggle are crimes. That’s exactly why the Minister of Snitch Protection crudely attempts to repress crime in the first place! The jailings, the neverending criminal prosecutions in the Fire Cells case, the assaults on political spaces, the scurrilous charges, and the recent murder of Lambros Foundas—shot in the back during what some miscreants don’t hesitate to call “the great success of the Greek police”: Their objective isn’t just to dismantle some organization, but to intimidate and paralyze all who struggle. They’ll take you away for mere intent.

It doesn’t matter whether there is evidence; you have to go to jail to learn to bow your head. Someone has to tell them, once and for all, that revolutionary consciousness knows no bars, cages, or handcuffs, and that it can’t be reformed.

Most people tend to tighten their chains by themselves. Each, in their way, is building their own imaginary prison. That’s how they were taught, and as long as it makes them happy, they feel secure.

In here and out there, now and forever, those who live freely never build their own prisons.

A huge embrace for all the imprisoned and persecuted victors. The vanquished are the ones who cower in surrender and submission.

“In the hushed silence of an impregnable slaughterhouse, the rage of a trapped animal is all the more terrifying.”

PS: When the comrades’ march reached the prison, the phone lines were cut to prevent me from communicating with them. Also, my cell window—by sheer coincidence!—doesn’t face the street. The march was received quite positively, and the prisoners talked about it all day.

—Konstantina Karakatsani, Eleona prison

_____

Short chronology of the Fire Cells Conspiracy case:

September 23, 2009: After raiding the supposed “safe house” in the Chalandri neighborhood, police arrest four people: Haris Hatzimikelakis, Panagiotis Masouras, Myrto Panteloglou, and Manolis Giospas. Two days later, on the basis of fingerprints found at the house, authorities issue six arrest warrants.

September 29 and 30, 2009: Three of the arrestees are placed in preventive detention, while Myrto is granted conditional liberty (he is prohibited from leaving the country and required to check in at his local police station every 15 days).

November 14, 2009: Another five arrest warrants are issued, resulting in the capture of comrade Antigoni H., who is granted conditional liberty after four days.

January 5, 2010: Nikos B. is arrested, then also granted conditional liberty.

February 1, 2010: A different Nikos is arrested and placed in preventive detention.

February 23, 2010: Prosecutor K. Baltas orders a freeze on the bank accounts of everyone charged in the case (the prisoners, those granted provisional liberty, and those still at large), and their families. While all the accused are very young, and therefore don’t have much money or even bank accounts, the measure is an extra outrage against their families. For example, Panagiotis Masouras’ parents (the father is a construction worker and the mother is unemployed) have serious problems accessing their meager savings, and are forced to show the bureaucracy that the sources of their deposits are legal.

March 3, 2010: After a month in prison, Nikos is granted conditional liberty.

March 23, 2010: Errikos Ralis, who had been on the run, is arrested in Volos on a warrant dating back to November 14, 2009. The evidence against him is a fingerprint found on a bathroom tile in the Chalandri “safe house.” The police—with unconditional support form the mass media, as usual—publish photos of the youth and ask the public to contribute information about him. They also insinuate that Errikos is “the most probable author of the first Fire Cells Conspiracy communiqués.” Nevertheless, judges grant him provisional liberty.

April 15, 2010: In accordance with Greek law, prosecutors meet with a committee of appellate judges six months after the initial arrests in order to decide whether to prolong the preventive detention of the accused. A demonstration is held outside the courthouse, and slogans are shouted to salute and encourage the comrades when they are brought in and later when they are taken away. Manolis Giospas is granted provisional liberty, while the rest have their imprisonment extended.

April 22, 2010: Nineteen-year-old Konstantina Karakatsani is arrested in the middle of Athens, having been on the run since late September 2009. Her first letter was published last November, and was followed in December by a letter from her mother.

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