Tag Archive | Panayiotis Argyrou

New arrests in the Fire Cells Conspiracy case

From Klinamen (March 16, 2011):

On the morning of Monday, March 14, an operation coordinated between the Special Violent Crime Response Division (DAEEB) and the Special Antiterrorist Unit (EKAM) raided and searched two homes—one in Nea Ionia on the outskirts of Volos, and one in the northern Athens neighborhood of Cholargos. Five people were arrested in Nea Ionia, three of whom had warrants out for their arrest on charges of belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy: 25-year-old Giorgos Nikolopoulos (in hiding since October 2009, he is the brother of Michalis Nikolopoulos, who was arrested on January 19, 2011 and later admitted to being a member of the Fire Cells Conspiracy), 24-year-old Damiano Bolano (in hiding since October 2009, he is the only non-Greek who has been arrested on charges related to the Fire Cells Conspiracy, and the right-wing press is been making a fuss over his Albanian origins), and 32-year-old Christos Tsakalos (in hiding since early November 2010, one week after his brother Gerasimos Tsakalos was arrested alongside Panayiotis Argyrou on charges of mailing package-bombs). All three are being charged with “membership in a terrorist organization,” “supply, manufacture, and possession of explosive material and explosive devices in a conspiracy to cause public danger to third-party entities and a danger to people,” and “detonation, after using explosive material, which could have caused  public danger to third-party entities and a danger to people.” Some time ago, all three were already being singled out as “ringleaders of the Fire Cells Conspiracy.”

The other two people arrested in Nea Ionia were 31-year-old Olga Economidou and 29-year-old Giorgos Polydoras. According to police sources, in the Nea Ionia apartment they found three AK-47s, seven handguns, one .38 caliber revolver, 5000 bullets, two .6 kg sticks of TNT, several police uniforms, wigs, walkie-talkies, seven fake ID cards, two pairs of fake license plates, four miniature cameras, a laminating machine, adhesive, and other materials for forging documents. On one of the computers they supposedly found drafts and final versions of communiqués and texts (the “International Call,” etc.), as well as the logo used recently by the Fire Cells Conspiracy. Additionally, a car with fake plates was found quite close to the apartment. The car had been stolen two nights prior. On Monday afternoon, the usual police raids on the homes of the parents of the arrestees (six homes raided, nothing found) were accompanied by the search of a Kallithea apartment rented one month ago by Christos Tsakalos using a fake ID. There, pigs seized 35 suitcases full of clothing and tools, two fake ID cards, three laptops, a handgun, five miniature cameras, and another laminating machine.

Meanwhile, in Cholargos the pigs arrested two people, one of whom was released shortly thereafter due to a lack of evidence. The other arrestee was 26-year-old Constantinos Papadopoulos.

Naturally, the press are celebrating with headlines like: “Cells Leaders Caught,” “Cells Triad in Handcuffs,” “They Were Planning Bombings and Robberies,” etc. Based on the little information offered by the Police (who for the moment are “continuing the investigation” and not jumping to pompous conclusions), the press are making up their own script, pointing out other people, and insinuating connections with other groups like the Revolutionary Sect and the Revolutionary Brigade (who carried out 12 bombings between 2006 and 2008). The six arrestees also seem to be in danger of being charged with several bank robberies carried out in recent years by people wearing police uniforms. Ballistic analysis has confirmed that all the weapons found are “clean,” meaning that they haven’t been used in any attack carried out in recent years.

At noon on Tuesday, all six arrestees were brought before the prosecutor. They were transferred from Police Headquarters to the Athens Supreme Court, where there was a small demonstration of about 20 family members and people showing solidarity. Despite the suffocating police presence, slogans were shouted when the Antiterrorist Unit convoy arrived and entered the building’s garage. Comrades in Nea Ionia also held a spontaneous demonstration on Monday that attracted about 50 people to the same neighborhood where our comrades were arrested.

Lawyers condemned the mistreatment (beatings, cigarrette burns) experienced by the arrestees on the 12th floor of Athens Police Headquarters, which is where the Antiterrorist Unit has its offices. Giorgos Polydoras and Christos Tsakalos are also being charged with the Fire Cells Conspiracy package-bomb mailings of November 1, 2010, while Damiano Bolano and Giorgos Nikolopoulos have already been brought to prison. On March 16, all six were again brought before the prosecutor to give statements about the weapons that were found. Constantinos Papadopoulos said he had nothing to do with the Fire Cells Conspiracy, but he stated that he was an anarchist. He was released on bail of 10,000 euros, but he is prohibited from leaving the country and will have to sign in at his neighborhood police station three times a month. The five Nea Ionia arrestees again refused to participate in the proceedings and said nothing. They were ordered to be placed in preventive detention. Right now, all five are being charged with membership in the Fire Cells Conspiracy, and they also all have “weapons possession” charges. We will publish contact information for the five comrades as soon as it is available.

Fire Cells Conspiracy Prisoner Cell: Statement in Solidarity with the “Bombings Case” Prisoners in Chile

From Culmine (March 7, 2011) via Indymedia Barcelona (March 7, 2011):

On March 2, the Fire Cells Conspiracy Prisoner Cell released the following letter in solidarity with the hunger strike being carried out by the imprisoned “Bombings Case” comrades in Chile.

We are have entered a period in which attacks on Domination and its conquered subjects are spreading with undiminished intensity to the four corners of the Earth. Our individualities, despite living and evolving in many different circumstances, share the same positive emotions: disgust and hatred toward this world. We collectivize our negations and arm them with the insatiable desire for action and the burning passion for total liberation. Different borders and languages are obstacles we will demolish to find ourselves side by side, rising up against this system’s orders and decrees, derisively spitting on each law-abiding way of life it offers.

We reject this world—this vast authoritarian construct—and we do not hesitate to point the barrel of our critique at the willingly enslaved majority of the social body, whose defeatist attitude contributes to the preservation of the existing regime. We refuse to degrade, in any way whatsoever, our revolutionary perspective and ethic in the name of wider “social acceptance.” We are proud to be part of the anarchist/antiauthoritarian movement, and we are in favor of all processes and projects that spread the idea and practice of revolution. To us, revolution doesn’t boil down to a specific period of time in the distant future. Rather, it is a response, here and now, to the totalitarianism we see in every expression of Domination. It is our own response to the existential void imposed by contemporary consumer civilization. It is an expression of the rage awakened in us by the agonizing urban environment that restricts our movements and desires, the same expression of rage that can’t be suffocated by the elaborate dead-ends presented to us as “reasonable choices.” It is also all the moments of attack we’ve shared with comrades, as well as the moments to come. It is the enchantment and the magic of connecting praxis to theory, causing little cracks to form in the shop window of determinism. It is all our points of view, and the means of achieving it is the new urban guerrilla war. Self-Organization, Solidarity, Attack, Respect, Trust, and Friendship are its cornerstones, forming the foundation of diffuse urban guerrilla war.

Dozens of our brothers, the well-known but also the unknown, are in prisons here as well as far away. Some of them remain captive on the basis of a few pitiful charges, others because they were unfortunately stopped while carrying out an attack. However, the legal duality of “innocence and guilt” is irrelevant to solidarity, which is a relationship between comrades that considers the dignity and political conscience of each revolutionary. In August 2010, a number of Chilean comrades were arrested during a repressive operation. Eight of them, plus two more arrested in September, were placed in preventive detention, while the rest were granted a provisional release. These comrades are being charged with dozens of revolutionary bombings despite a complete lack of evidence against them. The organizations that carried out said bombings have even stated via communiqué that they have no relationship with the arrestees, whose criminal prosecution by the Chilean state nevertheless continues. The comrades in preventive detention are locked up in high-security wings for 22 hours a day, in cells that measure six square meters. The extension of their captivity fills us with rage. They recently began a hunger strike, demanding their immediate release and the scheduling of their trial date, as well as the abolition of the antiterrorist law inherited by the current Chilean democracy from the Pinochet regime.

We send our warmest greetings to Andrea Urzúa, Camilo Pérez, Carlos Riveros, Felipe Guerra, Francisco Solar, Mónica Caballero, Pablo Morales, and Rodolfo Retamales, and from the bottom of our hearts wish them victory in the difficult struggle they are engaged in. From thousands of miles away, we send them our revolutionary signals, encouragement, courage, and strength. We call on all comrades, including ourselves, to carry out attacks and aggressive expressions of support for their hunger strike in the context of International Solidarity, thereby giving the powerful a taste of the flames that burn in our hearts. From Chile to Greece, the Netherlands to Mexico, Italy to Argentina, England to Switzerland, Germany to Russia, and the U.S. to Turkey, we will use every method to intensify the revolutionary anarchist war. Finally, many special thanks to comrades  Andrea Urzúa and Mónica Caballeros for publicly expressing their solidarity with our case.

You aspire to the free heights, your soul thirsts for the stars. But your wicked instincts, too, thirst for freedom. Your wild dogs want freedom; they bark with joy in their cellar when your spirit plans to open all prisons.

—Friedrich Nietzsche

REVOLUTION FIRST AND ALWAYS.

LONG LIVE THE NEW URBAN GUERRILLA WAR.

—Fire Cells Conspiracy Prisoner Cell: Gerasimos Tsakalos, Panayiotis Argyrou, Haris Hatzimichelakis, Michalis Nikolopoulos

Note: The above statement doesn’t mention comrades Vinicio Aguilera and Omar Hermosilla, likely because news hadn’t yet reached Greece that Aguilera and Hermosilla were back in prison and had immediately joined the hunger strike. Another error is the mention of Pablo Morales as one of the hunger strikers, when in actuality he is the only one who has not joined.

The bad news: New arrests in Greece

From Klinamen (various dates):

On October 13, 2010, after torching a number of vehicles belonging to Greek state electrical company DEI in Thessaloniki, 19-year-old comrade Yiannis Skouloudis was arrested. He admitted responsibility for the arson and was locked up in Avlona Prison. The pigs then issued arrest warrants for four comrades—Dimitris Fessas, Dimitris Dimitsiadis, Haralambos Stylianidis, and Sokratis Tzifkas—believed to be  Skouloudis’ accomplices. They chose the dignified path of going into hiding, but during the afternoon of January 13, 2011, the counterterrorism unit raided a house in the Vyronas neighborhood of Athens and arrested all four of them. Another house is the Tavros neighborhood was also searched. According to the police, they found an AK-47, bullets, four false identification cards, and the draft of a supposed communiqué saved on one of the confiscated computers. Based on this “evidence,” and unable to link the four to any attacks other than the DEI arson, the pigs began talking about a “new terrorist organization that still hadn’t gone into action, yet was planning a number of bloody attacks.” Since Skouloudis and the other four were mentioned in a recent Fire Cells Conspiracy communiqué, the police suggested that they had uncovered a “new offshoot of the Fire Cells Conspiracy.”

In any event, Fessas, Dimitsiadis, Stylianidis, and Tzifkas were subjected to terrible beatings, but they refused to enter a plea in front of the pigs or the judges, saying only: “We will not enter a plea. We are revolutionaries and anarchists.” They also refused to have their pictures and fingerprints taken, but the pigs managed to do both by force. Ultimately, all four were brought to Thessaloniki, where the prosecutor decided to confirm their imprisonment for the DEI arson. They were then returned to Athens, where the prosecutor and judge unanimously reconfirmed their imprisonment, adding charges of “weapons possession” and “forming a terrorist group.” Yet again, an attempt is being made to criminalize the comradely and friendly relationships of those who are “tainted” and those who aren’t.

Fessas, Dimitsiadis, Stylianidis, and Tzifkas, who range in age from 21 to 23, were finally brought to Korydallos Prison in Athens. Their contact information will be included in the next updated list of Greek anarchist prisoners.
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At noon on January 26, DIAS squad pigs in Kifissia decided to search two people who they felt looked suspicious. One managed to escape, leading to a multiple-hour helicopter search, while the other—23-year-old Michalis Nikolopoulos—was arrested. In his possession were a Glock 9mm handgun, a spare magazine, a hand grenade, and a false identity card. It was later revealed that, because his fingerprints were among those found at Haris Hatzimichelakis’ apartment, Nikolopoulos had been wanted by the police since September 2009 on charges of belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy. He is being charged for the same three attacks that the other 12 comrades are currently on trial for, as well as the November 1, 2010 mailing of package-bombs that led to the arrests of Panayiotis Argyrou and Gerasimos Tsakalos. On January 28, the prosecutor and judges unanimously decided to imprison Nikolopoulos, who refused to enter a plea or participate in the proceedings. The next day, the police raided a house in the Nea Chalkidona neighborhood that was supposedly rented using Nikolopoulos false identity card, but they found nothing. It remains to be seen whether Nikolopoulos will be included in the Fire Cells Conspiracy trial currently underway, but he has already released a statement in which he admits to being a member of the group.

There are still three comrades at large in the Fire Cells Conspiracy case. Nikolopoulos’ brother and another person have had warrants out for their arrest since September 2009, while Gerasimos Tsakalos’ older brother was named in an arrest warrant issued in November 2010, just a few days after his younger brother’s arrest.
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At 1:30 p.m. on January 31, an armed robbery took place in Thessaloniki. Two people entered the (state) Youth Center located in the Neapoli neighborhood, where an auction was being held for vehicles seized by the traffic police, and managed to get away with over 35,000 euros. Minutes later, near the site of the auction, DIAS squad pigs surrounded the motorcycle of 23-year-old comrade Rami Syrianos. In his possession were a loaded CZ 75B handgun, a hand grenade, and a leather case containing loot from the robbery: almost 36,000 euros in cash, two checks (one for 530 euros and the other for 2000 euros), and 83 receipts issued by the organizers of the auction.

Shortly thereafter, undercover police arrested another comrade—28-year-old Kleomenis Savvanidis, supposedly identified as the second “culprit”—near his home. Searches of the homes of both comrades and another woman followed, with the police swiping computers, phone cards, flash drives, an airsoft pistol, “manuscripts and drafts of documents with anarchist content,” etc.

Several mass media outlets ran photos of Syrianos and Savvanidis, as well as a “secure and anonymous” phone number for snitching. Both men are facing the same felony charges of “forming a criminal enterprise” and “armed robbery,” as well as the less serious charges of “weapons possession,” “possession of criminal proceeds,” “fostering criminality,” “resisting arrest,” etc.

Savvanidis’ colleagues released an open letter refuting the police accusations and asserting that Savvanidis was working at Aristotle University’s self-managed cafeteria in Thessaloniki at the time of the robbery. The letter mentions that security guards, cleaning staff, professors, and students can all confirm that Savvanidis was at the cafeteria from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Reference is also made to eyewitnesses who supposedly saw a robber “roughly between 1.65 and 1.70 meters tall” and “positively identified” Savvanidis, who happens to be 1.84 meters tall.

On February 3, Syrianos and Savvanidis were brought before the judges. A number of witnesses took the stand, including a university professor who testified that at the time of the robbery Savvanidis was at the cafeteria. Savvanidis was released without bail, but as a preventive measure will not be allowed to leave the country. Meanwhile, Syrianos refused to enter a plea, saying only: “I put my rejection of wage-labor into practice.” He was placed in pretrial detention at Ioannina Prison.
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Translated letters, statements, and communiqués from and in solidarity with Greek anarchist prisoners, including many of those mentioned above, can be found at the excellent Act for Freedom Now! blog.

Bombing at police station in Mexico State

From Culmine (February 9, 2011):

But who votes for them? Who lowers their head in deference? Who admires them and wants, or at least wants their kids, to be just like them? Who remains silent in the face of the injustices they commit? There is only one answer: SOCIETY.

—Gerasimos Tsakalos

During the night of February 5, we decided to attack our old enemies. The target was a police station located in the Potrero suburb of Coacalco, Mexico State.

At around 8 p.m., we placed an explosive device made from butane gas canisters and gasoline next to a motorcycle parked near the entrance to the station. A homemade delay activated the fuse and detonated the explosive, causing a loud noise to shake the area. The motorcycle was damaged, as was the façade of the station that gives refuge to the idiotic defenders of those who believe they are masters of everything.

Several vans arrived on the scene, full of police imbeciles dressed in their military uniforms. They showed up just in time to get a look at the remains of our explosive.

This attack was specially planned and designed to occur when the police were most vulnerable in their “workplace.” A police van with its siren on right in front of us didn’t stop our operation.

They should know that, yet again, they haven’t stopped us. They should know that these attacks won’t cease. It’s as easy for us to leave behind a bag filled with explosives as it is to make an attempt on their lives. We don’t care if they might be fathers with families, or any of that shit. They are police, and the only things they deserve are bombs, fire, stones, and death. Do they think we haven’t seen them extort? Do they think we haven’t seen their convoys, taking note of their lack of courage as they terrorize with their rifles and covered faces? Do they think we haven’t seen the bastards from the Coacalco Special Rapid Reaction Squad (GERI-C) making the rounds in their armored trucks, deluding themselves into believing that they are the heroes of Coacalco? Do they think we haven’t seen their extreme megalomania as they ride around in their black trucks? They are more like shock troops or paramilitaries than loyal servants of the capital-state’s orders. They should know this: The only thing they evoke is not fear, but disgust and revulsion at their righteous authority as well as their uniform.

We don’t care if this kneeling, submissive society respects or fears them. It doesn’t matter to us if people cheer them or get scared when they pass by. We are not a vanguard, here to defend the “poor little exploited ones.” We are not avengers of the “oppressed people.” We are sickened by all those leftist causes that only make the system reexamine and repair its flaws. We aren’t fighting for a humane ecocide. We’re fighting for ourselves as individuals, for the animals, for the earth, for autonomy, and for wild nature.

It’s worth saying again: We won’t sit around waiting to attack, since we are not part of this cowardly society. We will go to their headquarters and their guard posts, and when they hear an explosion or see something engulfed by flames, every policeman in Mexico and the rest of the world will be reminded of us.

Anytime and anywhere, we will continue to attack despite all the security cameras they’ve put in the streets and avenues, despite their military-police routines, despite their operations, despite their threats. Now we’ve made it clear.

The war continues. With or without our imprisoned comrades, the bombs will keep exploding and the fire will continue to light up the night sky, because chaos is not dead!

Direct solidarity with Adrián Magdaleno Gonzales: You’re still standing, so go ahead and laugh at the prison authorities who think they’ve crushed your spirit!

Direct solidarity with Braulio Arturo Durán: You keep smashing the cells that hold you captive, and we’ll keep shattering reality on the outside!

Direct solidarity with the “bombings case” prisoners in Chile: No set-up lasts forever!

Direct solidarity with Walter Bond in the United States: Even the FBI can’t eradicate your wild conviction!

Direct solidarity with Silvia, Costa, and Billy in Switzerland, and Leo in Italy: Avanti with anticivilization and eco-anarchist ideas!

Direct solidarity with Panayiotis Argyrou, Gerasimos Tsakalos, and the others charged with being members of the Fire Cells Conspiracy in Greece, who are now on hunger strike: Antisocial, nihilist, and anarchist until the end!

—Earth Liberation Front (Informal Anarchist Federation/Global Network)

Update on Fire Cells Conspiracy and recent arrests in Greece

From Culmine (December 29, 2010) via Indymedia Barcelona (December 28, 2010):

On November 1, two anarchist comrades—24-year-old Gerasimos Tsakalos and 22-year-old Panayiotis Argyrou—were arrested in Athens after attempting to mail package-bombs to various embassies. While Tsakalos was known to police simply because he is an anarchist, Argyrou had a warrant out for his arrest since October 2009 on charges of belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy, and he was also awaiting trial for allegedly torching a public bus two years ago. On November 22, Tsakalos, Argyrou, and Harilaos “Haris” Hatzimichelakis—who has been in pretrial detention since September 2009—released letters (Tsakalos and Argyrou’s letter, Hatzimichelakis’ letter) in which they admitted to being members of the Fire Cells Conspiracy.

On November 25, the Fire Cells Conspiracy claimed responsibility for mailing the package-bombs.

On December 4 and the days that followed, a massive counterterrorism operation took place in and around the Athens metropolitan area. Pigs raided and searched a number of homes and arrested several comrades. Among the six people (five men and one woman) later imprisoned were Giorgos Karagiannidis and Alexandros Mitrousias, both of whom had warrants out for their arrest since September 2009 on charges related to the Fire Cells Conspiracy case. Karagiannidis was arrested at an apartment in Piraeus. Mitrousias and another comrade, Constantinos Sakkas, were arrested as they were leaving a garage in the Nea Smyrni neighborhood. They allegedly had a bag in their possession containing two Glock pistols, a Skorpion submachine gun, and a hand grenade. In the garage, police also found three submachine guns, seven pistols of different manufacture, 50 kilograms of ANFO explosive, four hand grenades, three AK-47 assault rifles, a silencer, a large quantity of bullets, and 200 grams of TNT. At another location, the pigs found more than 30 fake ID cards, as well as other “contraband.” Karagiannidis and Mitrousias both denied having any relationship to the Fire Cells Conspiracy. Their arrest warrants, as well as warrants for others, were issued at the end of September 2009 on the basis of fingerprints found at Hatzimichelakis’ home—the notorious “safe house” in the Halandri neighborhood, where everything began. Since all the weapons were clean, the authorities were unable to link the six people arrested on December 4—some of whom don’t know one another and were arrested in different places—to any specific attacks, so they are now talking about “a new terrorist organization.” Due to our not wanting to release news based exclusively on police statements and articles in the bourgeois press, we consciously avoided writing anything about these events in the hope that those arrested would speak for themselves. A week ago, one of those arrested—well-known anarchist Christos Politis—released a letter that we intend to translate as soon as possible.

On December 22, Hatzimichelakis, Argyrou, and Tsakalos released a statement saying that Karagiannidis and Mitrousias have nothing to do with the Fire Cells Conspiracy.

On January 17, the first Fire Cells Conspiracy trial will take place in the courtroom at Korydallos Prison, and the group has called for solidarity. The thirteen people facing trial are: Panayiotis “Takis” Masouras (in pretrial detention since September 2009, he denies membership), Harilaos “Haris” Hatzimichelakis (in pretrial detention since September 2009, he recently admitted to membership), Konstantina “Nina” Karakatsani (at large since September 2009 and in pretrial detention since April 2010, she denies membership), Panayiotis Argyrou (at large since September 2009 and in pretrial detention since November 2010, he admitted to membership), Alexandros Mitrousias (at large since September 2009 and imprisoned on December 4, 2010, he denies membership), Giorgos Karagiannidis (at large since September 2009 and imprisoned on December 4, 2010, he denies membership), Emmanouil “Manolis” Yiospas (arrested in September 2009 and released on probation in April 2010), Nikos Vogiatzakis (imprisoned in February 2010 for one month and subsequently released on probation), Errikos Rallis (at large since November 2009, arrested in March 2010, and released on probation a few days later), plus four people who have warrants out for their arrest (three since October 2009, with the fourth being Gerasimos Tsakalos’ older brother, whose arrest warrant was issued a week after Gerasimos was arrested for the package-bombs). Absent from the list is Gerasimos Tsakalos, who will likely be tried at a later date.

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