From Culmine (April 24, 2011):
Last week, comrade Rami Syrianos—arrested in Thessaloniki on January 31 after a robbery at a public auction—released his first open letter.
Without a doubt, we are living through yet another period marked by the readjustment of this world’s living conditions. Capitalism’s gleaming shop window has been shattered to reveal what lies behind: a process of putrefaction and decadence. Democratic hopes and capitalist promises are quickly slipping away alongside the fictitious prosperity (through loans) of capitalism’s decades-old golden age. The “promised land”—complete with private swimming pool, two cars, and four televisions—has suddenly disappeared, replaced by a gray desert of depression, desperation, insecurity, and fear. Domination, showing suitable flexibility, is withdrawing toward a new kind of digitally programmed totalitarianism—entrenching among new police units, biometric databases, and an even newer, more elastic batch of “antiterrorist” laws—all in an attempt to steel itself against the enemy within, which is threatening the ever-so-fragile social peace. The “invisible” forced social labor camp has become a maximum-security prison, while the social cohesion built up over years is again changing the rules on which it was based and questioning access to wealth and consumption; questioning the promises and hopes of social ascent and recognition; questioning the role of wage-labor as a means to satisfy needs and desires, as a ticket to fulfillment in a world of consumerist dreams and sensations.
Work is not simply and exclusively an economic process that makes human activity marketable. Due to its totalitarian character, it imposes itself as a generalized universal condition that creates and shapes relationships and consciousness. By giving work a new meaning—transforming it into the means of attaining social ascent and fulfilling capitalist promises of participation in consumption—Power has reinvented and reestablished its prevailing discourse in the minds of its subjects, spreading and amplifying it, and now consolidating it among all social classes. Empty rhetoric about “businessmen who made fortunes on their own,” about achieving social recognition through bank loans, but also about fulfillment through consumption, found fertile soil in attentive ears for the cultivation of a cannibal consciousness whose supreme value is the ruthless pursuit—even over dead bodies—of prestige, power, and wealth. The old working class has become a bunch of petty-bourgeois proprietors who identify their own interests with those of the system, since apart from their chains (now made of plastic and in the form of loans) they also have their comforts and social status to lose. Under the terms of the generalized consensus now taking shape, the traditional repressive forces are “withdrawing” to the rearguard (although they are still developing in secret) and a campaign of decay and isolation is being launched, spearheaded by prefabricated lifestyle models, access to centers of entertainment, social recognition, and consumerist happiness. Social peace is guaranteed by satisfying the new collective desires of a society that, hungry to consume products and images, has abandoned itself to an orgiastic existence stripped of all meaning. This is an era in which existential poverty is becoming the most extreme, isolation and concern only for one’s own skin are rooting themselves into people’s consciences, and life is gradually losing all significance—caged by work hours, televised “reality shows,” standardized entertainment outlets, and images of fictitious happiness. However, this party has an expiration date. The time has come to add up the bill, and it will have to be paid, plus commission.
New social conditions are being reshaped to make the step from the internalization of control (which was possible because of access to power and consumer goods) to the internalization of obedience through fear, insecurity, unstable work hours, unemployment, and images of entire areas occupied by mercenary police. Using the international financial crisis as a pretext, an attempt of unprecedented scale is being made to redistribute wealth toward the highest social strata and simultaneously restructure the entire assemblage of social relations. The fictitious image of affluence is being smashed to pieces, just like the hopes that accompanied it, and in its place looms the vision of an inexorable future. Fear and uncertainty are replacing the promises that have been the driving force of the social machinery, sinking their roots into the minds of subjects who were just recently quite content, but who are now watching the disintegration of their “earthly paradise” made from loans, watching as they are touched by the fate to which they themselves—untroubled by all the blood spilled on their road to progress and happiness—once condemned people who live on the margins of capitalism. Wage-labor, the cornerstone of widespread social change, has been demystified and stripped of its “the way to get ahead and be happy” veneer. Thus, its true face—its nature—is now plainly revealed: a coerced, exploitative process of producing inequality. Under these conditions, with the piecemeal demolition of traditional mechanisms of consensus that previously functioned according to plan, with social cohesion becoming more and more fragile, Domination is espousing a hostile discourse. It is declaring a permanent state of emergency and fortifying itself behind flexible new “antiterrorist” laws, biological databases, surveillance systems, and thousands of new contract police/urban mercenaries ready to impose a new totalitarianism.
The revival of insurrectionary practices around the world, the reappearance of metropolitan guerrilla warfare, the combative marches and riots everywhere, the revolts in the Arab world, the growing distrust of the role of regime intermediary being played by the Left, and the return to more radical forms of struggle: All these things remind us that the commitment to revolutionary change has neither been lost nor forgotten. Rather, it is entering the arena once again, more urgent and vital than ever. The criminal prosecution, imprisonment, and murder of those who struggle are not the results of an attack launched by Domination. They constitute its defensive efforts, undertaken to address the cracks expanding throughout its foundation, while people lose faith in the idea of its omnipotence more and more each day.
On January 31, while I was making my getaway after carrying out a robbery at the vehicle auction organized by the Public Asset Management Agency AE (which conducts a wide range of different auctions and is responsible for the liquidation of cars, motorcycles, and many other assets seized by the pigs or by customs), I was surrounded and arrested by uniformed pigs from the DIAS squad. They brought me to Thessaloniki Police Headquarters, where I was stripped down to my underwear, handcuffed behind my back, and made to stand facing a wall for about seven hours while various undercovers and other pigs joined the parade to get a look at me. I continually refused to say anything other than that I am an anarchist, and I also refused to have my fingerprints and photograph taken.
They later brought me to my home, which they searched for five hours before we returned to Police Headquarters. Once back there, a dozen pigs surrounded me and their chief attempted to begin a process of interrogation and humiliation of my principles in the style of a “friendly chat,” during which I heard grotesques such as: “We’re the real revolutionaries and you’re just a loser,” “We’re against the banks” (!), “While you refuse to help yourself, the other one has already squealed,” etc. As we can see, some clichés never die. The only thing I told them time and time again was that I am a revolutionary anarchist and that they are nothing more than Power’s thugs—lackey enforcers of the law without minds of their own, who humiliate, torture, and murder in exchange for a salary. When morning came, after getting in touch with my lawyer I found out that—because of a phone number written on a slip of paper I tragically forgot I had on me—they had arrested another person I knew from the antiauthoritarian milieu, and the mass media had printed photos of both of us. They then brought us to court, making a shocking spectacle out of the whole thing like always. They dressed us in white bulletproof vests, with panic-stricken pigs in balaclavas looking like something out of a scene from a cheap Hollywood action flick. The only thing I told the hearing judge was that I did what I did as an anarchist in the context of the rejection of work, and that the other person being charged had nothing to do with the case. They ruled that I was to be placed in pretrial detention, while the other comrade was released because dozens of witnesses testified that he was working at the self-managed Polytechnic cafeteria at the exact time of the robbery.
Robbing the Public Asset Management Agency AE repossessors was an honorable expression of my refusal to submit to the oppressive, empty reality imposed by chopping space and time into pieces; imposed by work hours and predetermined paths; imposed by the coercive “you must” ordered by bosses in response to the alienated “I want” expressed by their subordinates; imposed by a production process that turns people into living spare parts for the machinery of consumption of images and products. Rejecting the role of victim of the exploitation applied by little and big bosses alike, as well as the role of sacrificial lamb or collaborator with exploitation itself; sickened as much by the submissive work ethic of the “poor but honest” as by the overambitious arrogance of the “successful careerist”; perceiving the entire complex of social relations as an alienated result of capitalist production, I decided to shift into individual action, throwing myself into the polymorphic revolutionary anarchist process, part of which is the rejection of work. The rejection of work can’t just be a thoughtless choice divorced from a more generalized rupture with hierarchy, and obviously said rejection isn’t necessarily defined by its method (a robbery, for instance). Robbery and burglary can easily degenerate into a job, with fixed hours and everything else that entails: the same arrogance as the rich, the participation in consumerism, the fragmentation of time according to “work hours,” and the development of a (criminal) professional identity. Robbery, kidnapping, individual or collective expropriation of goods, sabotage, attacks on economic targets, collective living experiences, and free street markets are all methods that give meaning to the complete rejection of the world of work, production, and consumption, but only if they increase awareness that leads to support for a wider revolutionary struggle for individual and collective liberation.
As a part of this polymorphic movement, I now find myself imprisoned in the dungeons of Ioannina, paying the price for my principled decisions. The only thing I regret is not doing more outside these walls.
Not a single step backward.
—Rami Syrianos, Ioannina Penitentiary Center, April 2011
Today, the comrades framed for the “Bombings Case” in Chile ended their 65-day hunger strike, which began on February 21. We wish them all a speedy recovery, as well as a quick release from prison.
From Culmine (April 24, 2011):
The following is just a small selection of recent attacks that have taken place in Greece (and haven’t been covered in detail elsewhere):
During the morning of April 5 to 6, a series of arsons was carried out in Athens as a display of solidarity with Simos Seisidis. The rather succinct communiqué, which also mentioned Marios Seisidis, Grigoris Tsironis, and Yiannis Dimitrakis, was unsigned and claimed responsibility for torching: a DIAS squad pig’s personal motorcycle in Ano Glyfada, a car belonging to the Athens Security Guard company in Petralona, a Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) car in Thymarakia, a National Bank of Greece ATM downtown, an Alpha Bank ATM in Palaio Faliro, a Bank of Cyprus ATM in Ano Patissia, and a TT Hellenic Postbank ATM in Hymettus.
At 10:20 p.m. on April 18, gazakia ignited on the office doorsteps of well-known PASOK politicians Vasso Papandreou and Fanni Palli-Petralia. Their offices were respectively on the fifth floor and the mezzanine of a building on Akadimia Street in the heart of downtown Athens. The communiqué was signed by the Zero Tolerance Organization and dedicated the action—a message to all politicians—to “the dozens of revolutionaries being held captive in the State’s dungeons.”
On the morning of April 19, a masked group invaded the Holargos metro station and proceeded to destroy ticket vending and validation machines with hammers. They also scattered a number of leaflets containing a short communiqué signed by the Rebel Passengers. A similar action (with the addition of paint bombs) took place at 4 p.m. the same day at the Syngrou-Fix station.
Finally, several days ago the December 6 Organization—via an extensive communiqué entitled “Silence Is Obedience. It’s Worth Living for a Dream. Thoughts on Developing a Destabilization Program.”—claimed responsibility for leaving a bomb inside the Neos Kosmos municipal treasury building in Athens on March 23. On that day, the building was evacuated after a warning call, and the bomb—hidden in a bathroom and consisting of explosive material plus a clockwork timer—failed to detonate. The December 6 Organization’s most prominent attack to date took place on January 15, 2010, when a powerful bomb exploded inside the Press Ministry in downtown Athens. The group first appeared on December 21, 2008, claiming responsibility for the symbolic act of mailing 9mm bullets to renowned reporter-snitch Yiannis Pretenderis and criminologist Alexis Kougias (who at the time was the defense attorney for the pig Epaminondas Korkoneas, murderer of Alexandros Grigoropoulos). On January 4, 2009, they used gazakia to torch a regional office of the New Democracy party, and on February 5, 2009, they employed a similar method to attack the office of Christos Markogiannakis, then acting as interim Interior Minister and thus responsible for matters of so-called public safety.
From Hommodolars Contrainformación (April 22, 2011):
Note: The following communiqués were sent via e-mail, and both refer to the same action—a direct attack on those who constitute the apparatus of the prison system, against the backdrop of the week of agitation and solidarity with the A14 compas. We are publishing both as reflections on the action.
Communiqué 1: USACH Street Solidarity
The three cop buses stationed at different points around the University of Santiago, Chile (USACH) campus neither intimidated nor deterred the longing for solidarity and fire that compelled various individuals to take the streets on Thursday, April 21 as part of the week of agitation and propaganda for the political prisoners framed in the “bombings case.”
In the middle of a silent morning, while capital’s dogs were fattening themselves and sleeping in their opulent buses, people in solidarity took to the streets and set one of those buses on fire, with the surprised pigs only managing to flee, as usual.
What’s the point of this whole apparatus, with its buses and patrols? The streets are surely ours, and that has been demonstrated once again. There is no room for intimidation in our freedom-hungry hearts, and we will use our weapons to clash with anyone who tries to take that freedom away from us.
The confrontation lasted just over an hour, during which at least three of Hinzpeter’s loyal dogs took direct hits from our enraged fire. The demonstration ended with all the comrades free and the cops hidden behind their machines.
Resist, cabros. Solidarity is becoming action, and you are not alone. Subversion, insurrection, and revolt are spreading everywhere.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE for the Prisoners framed in the “Bombings Case”!
Fire to the prisons and their guards!
Approximately 50 comrades came from far and wide, appearing by surprise yet again in front of the University of Santiago (USACH), looking for a confrontation with the State’s dogs. The campus has recently been crawling with a rather excessive number of “special forces” (what a contradiction, since the only thing special about them is their strange willingness to defend what doesn’t belong to them, for a pitiful salary).
Since Monday, a water cannon, an armored car, a bus containing a disproportionate number of asshole pigs, and a patrol squad with the same characteristics were stationed in front of the University. Elsewhere, a patrol squad and a bus could be seen near the president’s office at certain times during the past few days. Watchers had also been posted near the USACH metro station. We don’t know what their purpose was, nor do we care. We only question their incredible capacity for delirium and the deployment of disproportionate numbers of oppressors.
Strangely, today’s reality was a bit diminished since there were only three buses surrounding the University, one of which was parked directly in front. That was our target.
We came out by surprise, without being heard. Upon seeing us, the valiant guardians only managed to hide inside their filthy vehicle, which we turned into shit with pure fire. It was one of those scenes that swells your heart and brings tears to your eyes, watching those cowardly faces run for their very lives when confronted with a lightly armed but brave group of people.
The fight lasted approximately 45 minutes, during which the bourgeoisie’s little lapdogs didn’t even dare to advance, instead spraying a considerable amount of their disgusting gas.
Our motive: Unconditional support for the political prisoner comrades on hunger strike for the past 60 days. Many of those who participated in today’s events didn’t share all the ideas of the people in the State’s dungeons, but that didn’t matter to us, because they nevertheless took action. Our goal will always be solidarity among revolutionaries, and we hope the smell of our gasoline reaches the cells of our compas and conveys our appreciation during these difficult times. Patience.
We are aiming for active solidarity on all fronts in the hope of breaking the ideological barriers that divide us and unifying our actions to achieve confrontation with the bourgeoisie. That is our goal.
Freedom for all comrades who are prisoners of the state. Solidarity everywhere. Each small battle is a contributing blow, and every method is valid.
P.S. Afterward, we were approached by a group of imbeciles from the Medical Sciences department, along with some engineering students. They tried to start something with a few compas, who showed no fear. This isn’t the first time that’s happened. The class traitors shouted “This goes against the university” while trying to throw the compas out. They don’t scare us. Just the opposite. Their cheap discourse doesn’t sway us. The university is a bourgeois institution and everyone knows it, but those who manage to get in from other strata make a tremendous effort to find ways of generating subversion wherever we are. And we are everywhere.
Long live the young combatants!
Free the world’s prisoners!
End the “Bombings Case” set-up!
For the spread of solidarity everywhere, using all forms of struggle!
On Tuesday, April 19, the “Bombings Case” prisoners in Chile—on the 58th day of their liquid hunger strike—decided to intensify and radicalize their strike by refusing to drink isotonic sports drinks or any other liquid besides water. Their demands have been summarized in the most recent solidarity poster:
As a means of mediation, our comrades have demanded that Santiago Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati visit them in prison and that a committee be formed to modify the Antiterrorist Law. If the law is not changed by Wednesday, April 27, the prisoners will initiate a completely dry hunger strike, meaning they won’t eat or drink anything.