Tag Archive | Yiannis Dimitrakis

List of anarchist and other political prisoner comrades in Greece (August 2011 update)

From Liberación Total (August 9, 2011):

Our comrades are transferred frequently. Therefore, this list will continue to be updated as needed. 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, postcards, etc. The way the addresses are written should make them understandable to Greek postal employees and civil servants.

Three comrades from the anarchist milieu are at large: Marios Seisidis and Grigoris Tsironis, fugitives since January 2006 (with prices on their heads since October 2009) and accused of the same bank robbery as Yiannis Dimitrakis, plus a comrade accused of belonging to Revolutionary Struggle.

For the first time on this list we have included prisoners from the leftist November 17 urban guerrilla group, who have been in prison since 2002 (the year the group was “dismantled”). Despite enormous political differences, most anarchists and antiauthoritarians support them. We also want to point out that Dimitris Koufodinas is perhaps the only political prisoner in Greece who is fluent in Spanish (he actually translated Xosé Tarrío’s Huye, hombre, huye into Greek).

There are also a number of “social” prisoners (Vangelis Pallis, Ilias Karadouman, and Spiros Stratoulis, among others) who always show solidarity with and are very active in struggles on the inside, but they haven’t been included on this list. Additionally, several weeks ago a young comrade was sent to Korydallos Prison after being brutally beaten by riot police (leaving him with a bunch of missing teeth, a head wound, and back injuries) while on his way home from a DIY concert in Exarcheia one morning. The pigs apparently identified him as one of the people who had carried out Molotov attacks on riot police units stationed in the neighborhood just a few hours earlier. However, the young man hasn’t yet decided if he wants his name to be released.

Yiannis Dimitrakis
Geniko Katastima Kratisis Domokou
TK 35010 Domokos
Fthiotida
Greece

On January 16, 2006, Dimitrakis was arrested after being seriously wounded by police bullets during a bank robbery in downtown Athens. Arrest warrants were later issued for three comrades alleged to be his accomplices. Two of them, Marios Seisidis and Grigoris Tsironis, remain at large. The third, Simos Seisidis, was arrested on May 3, 2010. In June 2007, Dimitrakis was sentenced to 35 years and 6 months in prison. At a December 2010 appeal hearing, he was acquitted of several charges (one of which was attempted homicide of a security guard) and his sentence was reduced to 12 years. He is now able to go on leave from prison every other month.

Vangelis Chrysochoidis
Dikastiki Filaki Komotinis
TK 69100 Komotini
Greece

Polykarpos Georgiadis
Kleisti Filaki Kerkiras
TK 49100 Kerkyra
Greece

In late August 2008, Chrysochoidis and Georgiadis were arrested in Thessaloniki and charged with the kidnapping of powerful industrialist Giorgos Mylonas, which took place earlier that summer. Chrysochoidis and Georgiadis denied that they participated in the kidnapping, but they did declare their solidarity with Vassilis Palaiocostas (Greece’s “most-wanted” and the country’s most famous bank robber, who has been charged in the same case). In February 2010, Chrysochoidis and Georgiadis were each sentenced to 22 years and 3 months in prison. An appeal hearing is scheduled for February 2012.

Members of the Fire Cells Conspiracy:

Panayiotis Argyrou
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, A Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

In October 2009, a warrant was issued for Argyrou’s arrest on charges of belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy. On November 1, 2010, he and Gerasimos Tsakalos were arrested for mailing incendiary packages. After their arrest, Argyrou and Tsakalos revealed that they are Fire Cells Conspiracy members. He was tried in the so-called “Halandri case” (for three specific Fire Cells Conspiracy attacks) and sentenced to 25 years in prison out of a total sentence of 37 years. He is currently awaiting future Fire Cells Conspiracy trials.

Damiano Bolano
Geniko Katastima Kratisis Domokou, D1 Pteryga
TK 35010 Domokos
Fthiotida
Greece

In September 2009, a warrant was issued for Bolano’s arrest on charges of belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy. On March 14, 2011, he and four other comrades were arrested in Volos. After his arrest, he revealed that he is a Fire Cells Conspiracy member. He is currently awaiting trial.

Olga Economidou
Katastima Kratisis Ginaikon Eleonas Thivon
TK 32200 Thebes
Greece

On March 14, 2011, Economidou and four other comrades were arrested in Volos. After her arrest, she revealed that she is a Fire Cells Conspiracy member. She is currently awaiting trial.

Haris Hatzimichelakis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, A Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

On September 23, 2009, Hatzimichelakis was arrested and charged with belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy. In November 2010, after Panayiotis Argyrou and Gerasimos Tsakalos were arrested for mailing incendiary packages, Hatzimichelakis revealed that he is a Fire Cells Conspiracy member. He was tried in the so-called “Halandri case” (for three specific Fire Cells Conspiracy attacks) and sentenced to 25 years in prison out of a total sentence of 37 years. He is currently awaiting future Fire Cells Conspiracy trials.

Giorgos Nikolopoulos
Dikastiki Filaki Komotinis
TK 69100 Komotini
Greece

In September 2009, a warrant was issued for Nikolopoulos’ arrest on charges of belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy. On March 14, 2011, he and four other comrades were arrested in Volos. After his arrest, he revealed that he is a Fire Cells Conspiracy member. He is currently awaiting trial.

Michalis Nikolopoulos
Kleisti Filaki Trikalon
TK 42100 Trikala
Greece

In September 2009, a warrant was issued for Nikolopoulos’ arrest on charges of belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy. On January 26, 2011, he was arrested, after which he revealed that he is a Fire Cells Conspiracy member. He is currently awaiting trial.

Giorgos Polydoras
Kleisti Filaki Kerkyras
TK 49100 Kerkyra
Greece

On March 14, 2011, Polydoras and four other comrades were arrested in Volos. After his arrest, he revealed that he is a Fire Cells Conspiracy member. He is currently awaiting trial.

Christos Tsakalos
Geniko Katastima Kratisis Grevenon
TK 51100 Grevena
Greece

Since mid-November 2010, Tsakalos had been at large, as a warrant for his arrest was issued shortly after the arrest of his brother Gerasimos. On March 14, 2011, he and four other comrades were arrested in Volos. After his arrest, he revealed that he is a Fire Cells Conspiracy member. He is currently awaiting trial.

Gerasimos Tsakalos
Geniko Katastima Kratisis Domokou, D1 Pteryga
TK 35010 Domokos
Fthiotida
Greece

On November 1, 2010 Tsakalos and Panayiotis Argyrou were arrested for mailing incendiary packages, after which they revealed that they are Fire Cells Conspiracy members. Tsakalos is currently awaiting trial.

Other prisoners sentenced in the “Halandri case”:

Giorgos Karagiannidis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, A Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

In September 2009, a warrant was issued for Karagiannidis’ arrest on charges of belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy. On December 4, 2010, he was arrested during an antiterrorist operation that gave rise to the so-called “Nea Smyrni case” (Nea Smyrni is the Athens neighborhood where Alexandros Mitrousias and Costas Sakkas were arrested in possession of numerous weapons while leaving a garage where explosives and more weapons were found). Karagiannidis denies being a member of the Fire Cells Conspiracy, but he was nevertheless tried in the so-called “Halandri case” and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He is currently awaiting trial for the “Nea Smyrni case” (on charges of forming an “unnamed terrorist organization”), and it’s very likely that he will also face further charges for attacks carried out by the Fire Cells Conspiracy.

Konstantina Karakatsani
Ginaikies Filakes Koridallou
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

On September 25, 2009, a warrant was issued for Karakatsani’s arrest on charges of belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy, and she was ultimately arrested on April 22, 2011. She denies being a member of the Fire Cells Conspiracy, but was nevertheless tried in the so-called “Halandri case” (for three specific Fire Cells Conspiracy attacks) and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Panayiotis Masouras
Geniko Katastima Kratisis Grevenon
TK 51100 Grevena
Greece

On September 23, 2009, Masouras was arrested. He was finally granted a conditional release on March 23, 2011 (given that he had already been in prison for 18 months, which in Greece is the maximum amount of time one can serve without having been sentenced). He denies being a member of the Fire Cells Conspiracy, but was nevertheless tried in the so-called “Halandri case” (for three specific Fire Cells Conspiracy attacks) and sentenced to 11 years and 6 months in prison. He was taken back into custody and returned to prison immediately after the sentences were announced on July 29, 2011.

Alexandros Mitrousias
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, A Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

In September 2009, a warrant was issued for Mitrousias’ arrest on charges of belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy. On December 4, 2010, he was arrested during an antiterrorist operation that gave rise to the so-called “Nea Smyrni case” (Nea Smyrni is the Athens neighborhood where Mitrousias and Costas Sakkas were arrested in possession of numerous weapons while leaving a garage where explosives and more weapons were found). Mitrousias denies being a member of the Fire Cells Conspiracy, but he was nevertheless tried in the so-called “Halandri case” and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He is currently awaiting trial for the “Nea Smyrni case” (on charges of forming an “unnamed terrorist organization”), and it’s very likely that he will also face further charges for attacks carried out by the Fire Cells Conspiracy.

Other prisoners in the “Nea Smyrni case” (there were six in total, but in May 2011 Dimitris Michail and Christos Politis were granted a conditional release pending trial):

Stella Antoniou
Kleisti Kentriki Filaki Ginaikon Koridallou
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

As part of an antiterrorist operation that gave rise to the so-called “Nea Smyrni case,” Antoniou was arrested  on December 4, 2010 in an apartment she shared with Costas Sakkas. She is currently awaiting trial for the “Nea Smyrni case” (on charges of forming an “unnamed terrorist organization”).

Costas Sakkas
Dikastiki Filaki Nafpliou
TK 21100 Argolida
Greece

On December 4, 2010, Sakkas was arrested  during an antiterrorist operation that gave rise to the so-called “Nea Smyrni case” (Nea Smyrni is the Athens neighborhood where Sakkas and Alexandros Mitrousias were arrested in possession of numerous weapons while leaving a garage where explosives and more weapons were found). Sakkas is currently awaiting trial for the “Nea Smyrni case” (on charges of forming an “unnamed terrorist organization”).

Members of Revolutionary Struggle (although only three have revealed their membership, similar charges are being leveled at an unnamed comrade who has been at large since April 2010, Maria Beraha (Costas Gournas’ partner), Christoforos Kortesis, Sarantos Nikitopoulos, and Vangelis Stathopoulos (in April 2011, after spending a year in prison, the latter three were granted a conditional release pending trial):

Costas Gournas
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, ST Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Nikos Maziotis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, ST Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Pola Roupa
Kleisti Kentriki Filaki Ginaikon Koridallou
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

On April 10, 2010, Gournas, Maziotis, Roupa, and three other comrades (who are currently on conditional release) were arrested on charges of belonging to the Revolutionary Struggle organization. On April 29, 2010, via an open letter, Gournas, Maziotis, and Roupa revealed that they are in fact members of Revolutionary Struggle. They are currently awaiting trial, which will most likely begin in October 2011.

Alexandros Kosivas
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, A Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Michalis Traikapis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, A Pteryga
TK 18110 Koridallos
Athens
Greece

On September 17, 2010, Kosivas and Traikapis were arrested (along with a female comrade, who was granted a conditional release) on the island of Evia on charges of robbing a bank in the town of Psachna that same day. They deny the charges and are currently awaiting their October 2011 trial.

Christos Stratigopoulos
Dikastiki Filaki Larisas
TK 21110 Larissa
Greece

On October 1, 2009, Stratigopoulos and Alfredo Bonanno were arrested in Trikala on charges of robbing a bank. Stratigopoulos admitted full responsibility for the robbery. Nevertheless, both men were tried on November 22, 2010. Bonanno was sentenced to four years in prison for being a “common accomplice,” but he was granted a release (along with a ten-year ban on entering Greece), while Stratigopoulos was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Yiannis Skouloudis
Eidiko Katastima Kratisis Neon Avlona
TK 19011 Avlona
Attica
Greece

On October 13, 2010, Skouloudis was arrested in Thessaloniki while torching two Public Power Corporation (DEI) vehicles. He has admitted responsibility for the arson. After his arrest, four more comrades were named as his accomplices and went into hiding.

The “Vyronas Four” (Vyronas is the Athens neighborhood where they were arrested):

Dimitris Dimitsiadis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, A Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Dimitris Fessas
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, A Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Haralambos Stylianidis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, A Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Sokratis Tzifkas
Eidiko Katastima Kratisis Neon Avlona
TK 19011 Avlona
Attica
Greece

Dimitsiadis, Fessas, Stylianidis, and Tzifkas were charged for the same October 13, 2010 arson of Public Power Corporation (DEI) vehicles that led to the arrest of Yiannis Skouloudis in Thessaloniki, so they chose to go into hiding. After spending three months underground, they were arrested on January 13, 2011 in an apartment in the Athens neighborhood of Vyronas, where a number of weapons were also found. They are currently awaiting trial for the Thessaloniki arson and for forming an “unnamed terrorist organization” (on account of the weapons they were found with). Some time ago, they released a lengthy letter as a contribution to the revolution.

Simos Seisidis
Nosokomeio Kratoumenon Koridallou
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

On January 16, 2006, a warrant was issued for comrade Seisidis’ arrest on charges of taking part in the that day’s bank robbery during which Yiannis Dimitrakis was arrested. On May 3, 2010, Seisidis was shot by police during his arrest and suffered a serious injury to his leg, which later had to be amputated. He is currently at Korydallos Prison hospital. At his trial, which began in late March 2011, he was acquitted (due to a lack of evidence) of the January 2006 bank robbery as well as charges of having participated in another six bank robberies between 2006 and 2008 (since Seisidis was at large during that time period, the authorities “generously” charged him in a number of unsolved cases). Nevertheless, Seisidis remains in prison awaiting two more trials. On September 16, 2011, he will be tried for “attempted homicide”of the same police officer who shot him from behind on May 3, 2010! Then there is a pending trial for arms theft involving an incident that took place over three years ago, when someone snatched a semiautomatic from the guard watching the home of a Supreme Court judge. Neither the weapon nor the perpetrator were ever found, thus making it easy to charge Seisidis.

Rami Syrianos
Dikastiki Filaki Ioanninon
TK 45110 Ioannina
Greece

On January 31, 2011, Syrianos was arrested in Thessaloniki after a robbery at an auction of vehicles seized by the police due to their connected to smuggling or customs violations. He has admitted responsibility for the robbery and is currently awaiting trial.

Dimitris Hatzivasiliadis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou, A Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

On the morning of February 11, 2011, while walking through the Athens neighborhood of Kypseli, Hatzivasiliadis was arrested in possession of two pistols. Despite the fact that carrying weapons is in itself not (yet) a felony in Greece, Hatzivasiliadis was nevertheless locked up because the judges at his hearing increased the degree of the charge in accordance with the antiterrorist law, intimating that Hatzivasiliadis “intended to use the weapons for indeterminate ends” (?).

Theofilos Mavropoulos
Kleisti Kentriki Filaki Ginaikon Koridallou, Eidiki Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

On May 18, 2011, Mavropoulos was arrested in the Athens neighborhood of Pefki after being seriously wounded during a shootout with two patrol officers. The comrade who was with him managed to escape. Mavropoulos is being charged with two counts of attempted homicide, among other charges. After spending a month in the hospital, he is currently in a special solitary confinement wing located on the premises of the women’s prison at Korydallos. Members of November 17 are in the same wing.

Sentenced in the November 17 case (the third Xeros brother, Vassilis, was released on July 20, 2011):

Dimitris Koufodinas
Iraklis Kostaris
Christodoulos Xeros
Savvas Xeros

Kleisti Kentriki Filaki Ginaikon Koridallou, Eidiki Pteryga
TK 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Greek action roundup

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.

CARI-PGG claim responsibility for mailing package-bombs to prison wardens in Mexico

From Culmine (March 8, 2011):

During the week of February 22 to 27, we mailed two package-bombs addressed to the wardens of two prisons: the Northern Preventive Prison for Men and the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center for Men (CEVAREPSI), both in Mexico City. Of course, the action was censored and suppressed. These packages contained a few variations compared to those previously sent to the Chilean embassy. A capsule filled with a small quantity of ammonium nitrate was added, and other technical aspects of the detonation were changed. This action is part of a countercampaign directed against the Mexico City Government’s (GDF) campaign to recruit citizens as prison guards. The packages were prepared with a larger quantity of explosive material, because this time we didn’t need to show any consideration for whoever opened them, given that everyone constituting the prison system is an accomplice to the tortures inflicted on prisoners. We are obviously referring to guards, wardens, and repressive tactical units, but also to doctors who supposedly do humanitarian work yet deliberately act in complicity with the state. In addition, the packages were made with greater precision in order to prevent accidental detonation.

On this occasion, we decided to address two types of prisons that hold human beings.

These sickening institutions have been around for hundreds of years and have NEVER managed to resolve ANYTHING.

As well as demeaning people, these horrid death camps subjugate them, torture them, degrade them, and treat them as if they were the foulest trash in existence. And if they’re lucky, a select few are able to walk away with their spirit and dignity intact, although traces of prison linger in the memory forever.

Many of our comrades are being held captive there right now, and many of you reading this communiqué must also have loved ones trapped in these terrible places. Maybe they’re innocent, or maybe they’re actually responsible for the acts they’re accused of. Ultimately, we all know that the vast majority of “crimes” committed are the result of this system, which tries to convince us that political and (especially) economic power will bring us happiness.

We’re fed up with a group of useless bureaucrats—whose judgments lead them to decadence and wealth—deciding who deserves to be free and who doesn’t.

And we’re not just talking about prisons with bars, but also prisons where rubber rooms, non-stop medication, electroshocks, and negligence are an everyday feature.

We also want to talk about these places, intentionally forgotten by society.

Mexico currently has 2.7 psychiatrists for every 100,000 inhabitants and dedicates 0.85% of its budget to mental health. Is that enough? Of course not.

Our intention is not to defend those who clearly can’t defend themselves due to their being strapped to a hospital bed, or inappropriately and unnecessarily medicated for 24 hours a day just to keep them out of trouble. No, our intention is to make everyone think about the reality experienced by thousands of people who are voiceless, or who don’t count because they’re “crazy.”

These people are also imprisoned, just because they’re depressed, because they don’t think like everyone else, because they view themselves differently, or simply because they don’t accept this absurd reality.

It’s necessary to fight these places, which obliterate minds and are just as abnormal as other prisons. But many people don’t realize this. Perhaps it’s simply because they or someone close to them aren’t suffering there, so it doesn’t directly affect them. Or maybe they think these very delicate issues are not their responsibility.

But this is reality, and it’s an error we keep repeating, dragging it behind us for so many years, yet another mistake weighing on our backs.

Yet if we all know it serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever, why do we allow it to continue?

Which is really another way of asking: Who has the right to deprive us of our liberty?

Who empowered them to judge our lives?

We think it’s important to reflect on whether prisons really serve us or whether they are used only to instill the fear of being inside them, and examine whether the terror they sow is of any use to us. Either be rewarded for being a “normal, exemplary citizen” and obeying all the orders you’re given, or be punished: “If you misbehave, you’ll go straight to prison.” But in actuality, any behavior outside the parameters of “normal” is considered bad behavior and deserving of punishment.

That’s all. You must always be afraid of (and respectful toward) authority and expect the worst from everything that appears evil. But you should know this: Going to prison or going crazy are the worst things that can happen to you in life, and society will then either brand you a criminal or a pitiful lunatic for the rest of your days.

We don’t want to allow such institutions to continue existing. We can’t allow it. That’s why we firmly believe they should burn alongside those who keep them functioning.

Everyone pays eventually. For so many years, these people have been responsible for cutting our experiences short, overturning our lives at will, and murdering our freedom. They should pay as much or even more than those who are suffering in prison, just so they feel for themselves what it means to be a prisoner of this lethal system.

They absolutely must burn, not just with fire spread by our hands, but also with fires started by others.

There’s no shortage of fire and dynamite. All that’s missing are more hands with the courage to use them. And there are plenty of things out there that need to be destroyed.

Until they all burn!

Extreme violence will topple what extreme violence sustains!!

In memory of  Xosé Tarrío and everyone murdered by prison society!!!

Solidarity with the prisoners of the Chilean state, Yiannis Dimitrakis, Gabriel Pombo da Silva, Marco Camenisch, and everyone imprisoned in the state’s death camps!!

Evolution requires freedom, and we cannot be free if we are not rebellious. . . . You must arm yourself, not with a useless vote that will only ever be worth as much as the tyrant allows, but with shrewdly effective weapons, whose use will lead to dynamic evolution instead of the regression advocated by pacifist fighters.

Never be passive! Rebellion, now and forever.

—Práxedis Gilberto Guerrero, revolutionary anarchist who died in combat on December 30, 1910 in Janos, Chihuahua, Mexico

At war with the state and prison society.

—Práxedis G. Guerrero Autonomous Cells for Immediate Revolution

Arrest, trial, and action updates from Greece

From Culmine (February 18, 2011) via Klinamen (February 17, 2011):

In the early morning of Friday, February 11, 38-year-old comrade D.H. was arrested in Athens. The main charge was weapons possession. According to the police, a pair of handguns were also found during a search of D.H.’s home. On Monday, February 14, D.H. was brought before the hearing judge and prosecutor, who applied the antiterrorist law in deciding to place him in pretrial detention. A small solidarity demonstration was held at the courthouse. Because police and mass media sources contain several contradictions regarding the arrest (including the area where it took place), but above all out of respect for D.H., we are going to refrain from further commentary until he releases a statement about the events.
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On September 17, 2010, three comrades were arrested on a country road on the island of Euboea (150 km north of Athens) and charged with a bank robbery that took place that same day in the town of Psachna. Michalis Traikapis and Alexandros Kosivas are currently in pretrial detention at Korydallos Prison, while Maria Ikonomou is out on probation pending trial. A letter from the three can be read here.

Six months later, the court of Chalcis (the capital of Euboea) has named another anarchist comrade, V.P., as an accomplice in the bank robbery. V.P. is well-known for his years of antiauthoritarian political struggle, and there is no evidence connecting him to the bank robbery other than his being an anarchist. A call has been made for a demonstration in front of the Chalcis courthouse on Friday, February 18.
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Simos Seisidis faces the first of his many trials on February 24. You’ll recall that he had been on the run since January 2006 after an arrest warrant was issued charging him with the same National Bank robbery that led to the arrest of Yiannis Dimitrakis. Seisidis was finally arrested on May 3, 2010 after being shot by the pigs. His wounds caused him to lose a significant amount of blood, and one of his legs had to be amputated due the intentionally substandard care he received. Since last summer, he has been in Agios Pavlos prison hospital, located just outside the Korydallos Prison complex. His February 24 trial is ridiculous, but it still poses a danger to his future since it will represent a line drawn in the sand by the state. At issue is a Rage Against The Machine concert in Athens in 2000, after which police were attacked outside the venue and a few small riots flared up. Months later, a police officer blamed several well-known anarchists for causing the disturbances. After a number of years, our comrades were eventually tried and found not guilty—except for Seisidis, who was in hiding at the time and therefore couldn’t just show up to stand trial. Now that he’s in their clutches, the state is going ahead with trying him for this post-concert fracas. In March, Seisidis’ trial for the January 16, 2006 National Bank robbery will begin. Of course, there is no actual evidence against him other than the assumption that he was one of Dimitrakis’ accomplices.
_____

The trial of Aris Seirinidis, another comrade imprisoned since May 2010, begins on March 9. It will be the very first Greek political trial in which the only evidence is DNA. Comrades in solidarity with Seirinidis, apart from their constant propaganda efforts regarding his case, are preparing a public campaign with demonstrations, etc., while the trial is going on. A letter from Seirinidis can be read here.
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Just over a week ago, the side entrance to the Gerakas (north of the Athens metro area) police station was torched using two incendiary devices made from 16 camping gas canisters and many liters of gasoline. The arson was dedicated to the hunger striking comrades on trial in the Fire Cells Conspiracy case and claimed by the Severino di Giovanni Commando of the International Revolutionary Front’s Terrorist Complicity/Warriors from the Abyss group.

Yiannis Dimitrakis: Escape from Oblivion (First Attempt)

From Culmine (November 26, 2010) via Indymedia Barcelona (November 26, 2010):

On December 23, Yiannis Dimitrakisfinal appeal hearing came to an end. The result was a reduction of his 35-year prison sentence (for the role he played in a 2006 bank robbery) to 12 years and 6 months. Greek law requires him to serve three-fifths of the sentence, and since he has already been locked up for almost five years, he has seven years and six months to go. He can be reached at:

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

The following is a translation of the first part of Dimitrakis’ own autobiographical account, recently published in the premier issue of Storming the Bastille: Voices from the Inside, which brings together a number of texts and letters written by prisoners in struggle.

I always keep in mind that image of myself, passing by the prison, unconsciously looking up at the high walls and the barbed wire on top. Which prison was it? Whenever I went with some friends by motorcycle to the Nikaia neighborhood, we rode down Grigoriou Lambraki Street, and the stone walls of Korydallos Prison mesmerized me. I don’t know why. Was it because there were times I found myself on the nearby streets—breathing room, but never too close, since all the approaches were completely blocked by the police—simply because of one of the marches in solidarity with comrade prisoners? Or was it perhaps because that enormous, imposing building, so diligently concealing everything going on inside its heart—an entirely unknown world with its own laws and rules, full of heroic stories and human torment—merely piqued my curiosity?

Now that I think about it, I remember another time when I was in front of a prison. It must have been in the spring of 2003, when we were demonstrating outside the Larissa “penitentiary” institution. Yet another dungeon located in the suburbs of that city, next to a school. There, prisoners have the unfortunate privilege of being able to test the Thessaly countryside’s paranoid climate on their own skin. In the summer, you stew in your own juices, with temperatures around 43ºC. And in the winter, you search frantically for a little heat beneath a mountain of blankets in order to escape the cold, which sometimes dips below -10ºC. Pure madness. I learned this first-hand from prisoners who did time there, and Vangelis Pallis confirmed it to me in the summer of 2008, when we were talking to each other every day.

The demonstration was held in the city’s main square, which was surrounded by cafés. I had the impression that the locals were staring at us in bewilderment, as if they were seeing something completely foreign or extraterrestrial. We had come to Larissa because rumors were spreading about the construction of a new prison wing—a solitary confinement wing—intended for the people implicated in the case of the November 17 Revolutionary Organization. This meant that they would be transferred from the special wing at Korydallos, which would cause many problems for them, their families, and their lawyers, given the distance from Athens. It’s not easy to cover 700 kilometers round-trip for an hour-and-a-half visit. I immediately noticed the combative-looking black bloc gathering in the square. Then, the march moved toward the prison. When the demonstration began, it naturally continued to draw stares from the locals. As expected, two or three buses full of riot police—plus rows of green uniforms containing something resembling human beings—were waiting for us at our destination, thus preventing us from getting any closer to the prison.

Our slogans and cries were joined by some loud whistling, and from the other side hands reached out as far as they could between the cell bars to greet us by waving shirts and sheets. Because of the distance, we couldn’t see their faces, so each one of us imagined someone desperately trying to give back what they were receiving. Was it solidarity, or just the simple presence of human beings? Who knows.

The march left us all feeling good. There were plenty of people, and it had “impact,” enthusiasm, and tension. However, what remains etched in my memory of that day is an image I don’t know how many others could have seen. As we were covering the last stretch before the prison—passing the last few houses in the city, our slogans echoing in the air—my gaze fell on a silhouette on the balcony of an old two-story home. Taking a closer look, I was astonished to see a little old man—about 80 years old, and clearly moved—saluting our march with tears in his eyes. Had we perhaps reminded him of something? What kinds of memories had we coaxed from the depths of his mind to make him compare them with what he was seeing at that moment? I don’t know, and it really didn’t matter. What mattered was the event itself and the flood of emotions it unleashed, on all sides. It’s extraordinary to realize that what you do in the present can cause someone you meet by chance in the future to shed at least a few nostalgic tears for their past. You and your comrades are creating and changing the present, yet you also experience it alone, as a separate and unique being within the group.

In the end, regardless of why that image of prison stuck in my mind, “curiosity killed the cat.” And what a cat! Armed to the teeth and ready for anything, or at least that’s what I thought. To tell the truth, as a “promising” young anarchist in the twilight of 1997 and the years to come, I immersed myself in the shock wave of social ferment without giving it too much thought, convinced that they would never catch me. I was just like that cat! Oh, what a mistake! Although, looking back at my record, the cold light of hindsight can confirm that “I was around for a minute,” like they say on the streets. It wasn’t a very long time, but I did hold on for more than eight years, like a fakir walking on hot coals until my skin finally caught fire. I was treading those hot coals in a certain way, and I decided to transform my stride into preparatory work, which in my opinion was necessary to pave the way for the arrival of the eagerly awaited future revolution.

But it didn’t take long for “the worst” to finally catch up with me, which was also partially the result of some bad luck that hung me out to dry at one of the most critical moments of my lifewhen I had to face three rabid pig bullets that seemed to be engraved with my name, destined to accompany me on a one-way trip. However, like a real cat with nine lives, for some unknown reason I remained on the dock without setting foot on that infamous black-clad boatman’s ferry. Instead, I found myself in the exact place I was so curious about, so curious to see what went on inside. Like I said, it was a place I never expected to enter when I was a promising young anarchist.

Behind Bars

A new chapter in my life opened, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to close anytime soon. They nailed me for a “felony,” according to what their penal code says. A bank robbery worth 110 million euros, expertly framing me for six other similarly mysterious cases and a stack of other crimes that the police jackals will easily be able to charge me with—serving their holy office with the flawless sense of professionalism and decency they’ve always been known for—plus three arrest warrants for my friends and comrades. For Marios, Grigoris, and Simos, who were called my accomplices and in time came to be known as the “master thieves,” the “iron links” that would help “dismantle the armed guerrilla groups.” Who knows what else has been written in the different putrid and “distinguished” newspapers, or said by the “unquestionably noble and ethical” TV reporters—stooges of police propaganda, all of them. The result? In October 2009, the newly-formed parliamentary terrorist organization PASOK put a price of 600,000 euros on the heads of all three, thus making their lives even more difficult, as they were already on the run from the law and hidden from the scrutiny of the prosecutorial organs, refusing to recognize the arrest warrants.

And had the worst stopped there, the difficulties may have certainly continued, but perhaps one would have been able to swallow that bitter pill. But that’s not how things played out, and the devil stuck his foot in again. This time it had nothing to do with me. Rather, it was about Simos. And he didn’t just “stick his foot in.” They actually cut it off entirely. An armed robbery at the Praktiker hardware megastore on Pireos Street in the Gazi neighborhood. Screams, shots, injuries, commotion. The police arrive at the scene of the crime and hear an eyewitness say that “one of the criminals was tall.” A butterfly flaps its wings in Vietnam and a hurricane slams into the Athens neighborhood of Keramikos. Not once but twice, because apart from Simos being found by chance and then seriously wounded and arrested, another friend and comrade, Aris, is caught in the same area and subsequently locked upon totally fabricated and ridiculous charges. The prosecuting authorities bury their findings in the district attorney’s report and delay their disclosure until just before Aris is released thanks to a lack of evidence regarding the charges he was arrested on. And as if robbing him of his liberty at the last minute wasn’t enough, they also deprive him of his father. He was a father to Aris, a comrade to us, and his heart couldn’t bear such injustice, indignation, and rage. He has left us forever. If I’m making an effort to narrate everything that’s happened recently, from the day this wretched 2010 dawned through all the horribly unsettling developments within the anarchist milieu, it’s only because of the names involved. At the very least, it’s a cautionary remembrance, so we don’t forget a single comrade. It’s so we don’t forget Lambros, stripped of his life by yet another police bullet in the alleyways of Dafni while he was expropriating a car for use in the general context of class war. It’s so we don’t forget Haris, Panayiotis, Konstantina, Ilias, Giorgos, Polykarpos, Vangelis, Christos, Alfredo, Pola, Nikos, Vangelis, Costas, Christoforos, and Sarantos.

For now, setting aside the tragically sad appraisal of 2010 and returning to the dark days of my past—to the beginning of a life caged by iron bars—I initiate a “search” of my biological hard drive and find myself at the end of January 2006.

I can still recall that sunny morning in Athens General Hospital, when the pigs notified me that I had to get ready for my transfer to Agios Pavlos Prison Hospital. I remember it well because it had finally stopped snowing. All of Greece was covered in snow that year, prompting chaos and confusion in the urban areas, bringing nearly everything to a standstill, dismantling—although only for a few days—the well-organized infrastructure of the great cities, and halting transportation as well as planned and routine construction and other work throughout the public and private sectors.

We had been waiting for this very snowfall—or at least some spell of bad weather, which according to the news had to arrive—to help us achieve our unholy objective. The goal was to rob the National Bank at the corner of Hippocrates and Solonos. It’s a spot right in the middle of Athens, and we optimistically anticipated a big haul—although clearly accompanied by enormous, almost prohibitive risk. It’s not like we would have postponed the day of our escapade if the storm hadn’t helped us out. We weren’t a bunch of kids. We had already decided on the date: Monday, January 16. It was a rather nasty day to attempt pulling off such a feat, because at the beginning of the week everyone is at their post and ready to do their duty, especially the pigs. Nevertheless, some madness pushed us to the edge of the abyss.

In the end, the storm played a dirty trick on us, and the sun—triumphant, and proud of its victory in the dead of winter—rose to the heights that Monday morning, effortlessly shining its warm rays on the citizens of Attica. On the one hand, this brought everyone out to do their jobs and errands, which worked in favor of our sacrilege since downtown resembled a viscous human river in which you could only get around with difficulty. On the other hand, like the others in the car, I was decked out in a sweater, a winter coat, and the martial tools of expropriation. Flushed and sweaty, I took off my scarf, cursed our bad luck, and watched all the smiling foot patrols march through central Athens under the warm sun.

Pensive and nervous upon seeing the first bad signs, we reached the rendezvous point, from which we had to set off toward our final destination. We met the others there. All of us definitely had the same strange feeling. We were like a little black hole of conspiracy, far away from everything going on around us, alien to the general atmosphere of pure joy radiating from those who had come downtown just because the day was bathed in sunlight. At that moment and in the moments to come, our own universe was light years away from the one everyone else belonged to. In a just few minutes, our universe was going crash into theirsviolently, of coursemaking our presence visible and disrupting our different yet parallel lives, which rarely crossed. Our lives and theirs. One world’s instant intrusion into another, setting off an uncontrollable chain of events. One more slap in the face of normality, one more slap in the face of the flat, rectilinear, coordinated sequence of things. Something like a multiple-car accident on the highway, when a lapse by some hurried, distracted driver drags the fate of everyone else on the road along with him, disrupting and blocking the flow of traffic all over the place.

The people waiting for us at the rendezvous point had some unpleasant news. As they were coming to meet us, they passed a police checkpoint that was close enough to the site of our action to pose a serious threat to the whole endeavor, making it almost impossible to pull off. The immediate reactionsranging from “Fuck it, let’s do it and whatever happens happens” to “Let’s put it off and try again some other time”balanced out, so we decided that some of us would go over to see if the pigs were still there, and we would then take action accordingly. Finally, the pigs were gone, although “gone” is somewhat relative if you’re talking about central Athens, even more so given the location of the bank. One has about as much in common with the other as a frozen supermarket pizza has with a pizza made at a good pizzeria. But like I said, something was pushing us to the edge of the abyss, and since the pigs were “gone,” we decided to go ahead. Of course, what happened next must have had something to do with Murphy’s Law, which says that “if a piece of toast with jam falls on the floor, nine out of ten times it will fall jam-side down.” The fact that everything fell apart is just like the anecdote about the toast—it’s those infernal, incalculable factors that can ruin everything, especially the unpredictability of human nature and behavior. A whirlwind of people and things that, after stopping its maddening twists and turns, overwhelms the cityscape; a stupid bank guard—with a totally mistaken and twisted perception of the extent of his duty—wounded because of his equally stupid and excessive determination to stop the escape of four bank robbers; a car that wouldn’t start; a bag full of weapons and money; three people frenetically scattering into the featureless crowd; and finally me, wounded and in the hands of my pursuers.

The sun that didn’t care about what was going on hundreds of millions of kilometers away, the sun that warmed a winter day in January, was the same sun that appeared again that morning in the hospital, stirring up that parade of memories.

I was waiting to see what would happen. I knew they were applying pressure to get me out of the intensive care unit as soon as possible, and I found out they were in a rush to bring me to the prison hospital and be done with me. My stitches—little pieces of metal in the shape of a Π (Greek “P”), like those things that fasten upholstery to the frame of a couch—were still in, running from my chest to my groin. Generally speaking, I still needed a bit of work, but no matter how strongly I objected to them moving me from the hospital, the pigs already had orders from above. “And if the boss says so, what can I do?” With a lot of pain and effort, I began to gather my things, even though my wounds didn’t allow me to stand upright. Those details didn’t matter to the boss. Evidently, this was also included in the price I now began to pay for my decisions.

Nevertheless, the final touches to my hasty expulsion from the hospital were yet to come. Before the police masterminds could even begin to calculate how many radios, weapons, boots, etc., they would need in order to coordinate the “secure transfer” operation, just at that moment, my mom showed up, arriving very early for the regular visit with her spoiled son.

My mom, Mrs. Eleni, separated from her son by just 17 years. In the 90s, whenever someone from the water or power company came by and we opened our door together, they would always ask: “Is your mother home?” Mrs. Eleni, who almost had a nervous breakdown when she heard the news that I was mixed up in a bank robbery and wounded during the shootout. Although she must have gotten over it, because the pigs at Police Headquarters were ultimately unable to get a single statement from her in the interrogation room due to the fact that she began to wail desperately: “I want to see my son!” Even the pigs were at a loss in the face of my mom’s reaction. What could they do? She was a mother fighting for her son. Beat her up? Send her to the dungeon so they wouldn’t have to listen to her? It would have been like that or worse 60 years ago during the dark civil war period of 1946, or even 35 years ago during the years of the arrogant Junta scum. However, it was now 2006, and we had already been through 30 years of the parliamentary oligarchy’s fake democracy, in which fascist and blatantly authoritarian arrangements were concealed behind other forms of violence—more flexible and perhaps more efficient. In any case, my mom’s wailing brought her—like it or not—to the hospital I was in, and her reaction was a given. That crazy woman wasn’t going to let them forget her!

Feeling that one of her little ones was being threatened or in danger, a woman with strong maternal instincts became a real hyena, a ferocious beast (especially when compared to her day-to-day attitude toward institutions, authority, and codes of conduct). Seemingly unprepared for everything that was going on that morning, she was actually so combative—like any true mother—that she opposed anything that could have endangered my physical and psychological integrity.

As you can easily imagine, the matter of my abduction/transfer to the prison hospital was now up in the air for a while until “the responsible power”—in other words, my mom—could see the doctors who were taking care of me. Like she said, they were the only ones who should decide if I was to be discharged. And that’s how things went. A throng of white coats—flustered and clearly surprised—appeared in the distance with my mother leading the way, heading for the stretcher that was already prepared for departure.

“Who ordered the patient’s transfer?” one of the doctors asked the pigs.

“We have orders from above, sir. It’s not our decision.”

“Perhaps I could speak to your superior?”

“Just a moment, I have to get authorization.”

And while the responsible people in charge were literally fuming, my stretcher was brought back to my room so that—in keeping with the outcome of the battle between the doctors and the pigs—they could take one last look at me. They said they were going to remove the remaining stitches and prescribe some medications that I should keep taking. They also explained that the most difficult and important part of my recovery was over, and now the only thing left was to recover my strength by resting and eating a lot. Incidentally, that was something of a half-truth, or more accurately a lie wrapped up in “not quite ready” packaging. I was able to listen in on the fight between the doctors, my mom, and the pigs, with the doctors insisting that I still wasn’t ready to be transferred, and the pigs monotonously repeating that they were “simply following orders.” “Following orders” obviously won, as expected.

But this wasn’t the first time the scales tipped in favor of the pigs and their fucking orders. Something similar happened before over the issue of guarding me in the intensive care unit, when the medical team managed to resist the pressure of the security forces—who wanted to invade my room—for two days, their basic argument being that such an invasion would pose a danger not just to me but to the other patients as well. Still, it would have been naive to believe that basic human values could prevail over the new “repression and security” dogma.

It was the same when the head of the ICU—shaken and beside himself—came to tell me he couldn’t keep me under his personal supervision anymore, even though my condition required it, because he was being severely pressured by the persecuting authorities, who wanted him to sign off on my release from the 24-hour intensive care unit and approve my transfer to the ophthalmology wing. Why there and not surgery? “Security reasons” again, of course. The pigs were demanding that an entire operating room be cleared and the other patients thrown out, just so they could keep a closer eye on me. They really believed that’s how it had to be, even though it would have been impossible for the hospital. So instead, they brought me to a specially “prepared” room in the ophthalmology wing, which I was told was where Dimitris Koufodinas had his “accommodations” during the hunger strike he carried out to make them remove the security netting that covered the yard of the prison wing he was locked up in. The room was certainly prepared, since there was nothing in it. They had removed or bolted down anything they thought a prisoner could use for an eventual suicide attempt or vigilante attack, and the balcony door was barred, naturally. The rigid logic of heightened stupidity.

Wasn’t it the dogma of security and intimidation that, in the blink of an eye, wiped away the last traces of the room’s dignity and humanity? Wasn’t it pure sadism and vengeance that pushed those subhumans to watch my mother while she cleaned the shit off my bedridden body, without looking away for a single moment? Wasn’t it their harsh behavior the whole time I was in their suffocating “embrace” that led to my being withdrawn, edgy, and exhausted when the interrogator and prosecutor came by to take my statement? Or was it perhaps a sign of compassion when head torturer and prosecutor Diotis, not just ignoring but jeopardizing the disastrous condition I was in at the timeintentionally or notvisited me for my statement while I had a tube stuck down my throat and was visibly incapable of uttering a complete sentence?

These are obviously rhetorical questions, and I ask them not to moan about the trampling of democratic rights, but to reveal the context in which the conflict between two counteracting forcestwo completely different worlds—is developing. On one side we have those who dream of a totally subjugated and enslaved society that serves the oligarchic desires of a few insatiable idlers. And on the other side we have those who are fighting for real equality, justice, and freedom; those who are creating a new reality far away from terms like profit, competitiveness, exploitation, and hierarchy.

While the wheels of my stretcher rushed over the little bumps in the hospital floor, each time transferring a sharp pain to my freshly operated-on back, the ruffian herd—in between a shouted stream of orders, and to their great relief—brought me toward my final departure from Athens General Hospital. When the first few rays of warm sunlight struck me in the courtyard—where an ambulance and its packed escort cars were already waiting to securely transfer me to Agios Pavlos Prison Hospital—it felt truly liberating, and seemed to make up for my three weeks of cohabitation with uniformed guard dogs. Those few seconds I spent outside before they put me in the ambulance were my last opportunity to breathe fresh air and see the sun without bars and barbed wire between us. With the sun as my comrade, I bid a final farewell to freedom, and entered the longest winter of my life.

End of installment.

Yiannis Dimitrakis
Domokos Prison
September 10, 2010

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