Tag Archive | Yiannis Skouloudis

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

Letter from Yiannis Skouloudis’ father

The fine folks over at Act For Freedom Now! have posted a short-but-sweet letter from Yiannis Skouloudis’ father that’s definitely worth a read. It’s rare but refreshing to see parents supporting the conflictive decisions of their children, even more so when they contribute their own ideas to the analysis motivating those decisions. Much respect to Giorgos Skouloudis and his son.

Roundup of recent actions in Greece

From Culmine (April 1, 2011) via Indymedia Barcelona (March 21, 2011):

It would be impossible to keep track of every sabotage that has taken place during the past few weeks in Greece, and we are therefore limiting ourselves to details about attacks that have been claimed.

In the early hours of February 20, a Piraeus Bank in the Athens neighborhood of Votanikos was attacked with hammers and then set on fire. The action was dedicated to those being charged with membership in the Fire Cells Conspiracy, but the accompanying communiqué was unsigned.

In the early hours of February 21, a gazaki (camping gas canisters plus a flammable liquid, like gasoline) exploded at the Treasury Office in the Thessaloniki neighborhood of Touba. The action was claimed by the International Revolutionary Front: Arson Attack Cell and dedicated to “those being charged with membership in the Fire Cells Conspiracy, social bandit Rami Syrianos, and all dignified prisoners in struggle.”

On March 1, a Zografos driving school was torched in the Athens neighborhood of Kaisariani. The accompanying communiqué—simply signed “Action”—explained that Zografos was attacked because of its collaboration with the pigs, as evidenced by its participation in the Police Day celebrations at the Hellenic Police Academy’s Officers’ School last October. Like many other communiqués connected to actions commemorating the one-year anniversary of the death of Revolutionary Struggle member Lambros Fountas (shot and killed by the pigs on March 11, 2010), it ended with the slogan “Honor forever to Lambros Fountas.”

A group called Shadows for the Instigation of Nighttime Sabotage claimed responsibility for a series of arsons that took place in Athens on March 2. A Eurobank EFG branch in Kaisariani, the Treasury Office in Holargos, and the local New Democracy party headquarters in Tavros were all set on fire. These actions were dedicated to anarchist prisoner Christos Politis and the five others being charged in the same case (all six comrades were arrested on December 4, 2010), anarchist prisoner Aris Seirinidis, and the hunger-striking Chilean comrades being charged in the “Bombings Case.”

In the early hours of March 6, the Lambros Fountas Guerrilla Formation set fire to an Emporiki Bank branch located right in the middle of the bourgeois Athens neighborhood of Kolonaki. The action was dedicated to the “captive Guerrillas of the Fire Cells Conspiracy, Revolutionary Struggle, and November 17,” as well as the Chilean comrades on hunger strike.

That same morning, a KION construction site was torched. KION is one of the companies that constructs prisons and courthouses in Greece. The unsigned communiqué dedicated the arson to Aris Seirinidis and “all dignified prisoners of the war on the regime.”

In the early hours of March 14, the local PASOK party headquarters in the Thessaloniki neighborhood of Sikea was set on fire. The accompanying communiqué was signed by the International Revolutionary Front: Incendiary Plans for Nighttime Disorder. It mentioned the Chilean comrades caught up in the “Bombings Case,” the imprisoned Fire Cells Conspiracy members as well as the other prisoners being charged with membership in the group, and the five imprisoned Thessaloniki anarchists (Yiannis Skouloudis, Dimitris Fessas, Dimitris Dimitsiadis, Haralambos Stylianidis, and Sokratis Tzifkas) being charged with the arson of Public Power Corporation (DEI) vehicles.

In the early hours of March 15, the Chaos Warriors torched two Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) vans parked in the city of Gerakas, just north of Athens. The arson was a display of solidarity with the five comrades arrested the previous day and charged with membership in the Fire Cells Conspiracy.

During the afternoon of March 18, a gazaki exploded on the doorstep of Health Minister Andreas Loverdos’ office in downtown Athens. In the accompanying communiqué signed by Revolutionary Liberatory Action, the arson was dedicated to Aris Seirinidis, Christos Politis, and the six prisoners being charged with membership in Revolutionary Struggle (three of whom deny  the charges). The communiqué also made reference to Loverdos’ vile career as Labor and then Health Minister, the recently ended hunger strike by 300 illegal immigrants in Athens and Thessaloniki, and the revolts sweeping through the Arab world.

Additionally, there have been a number of solidarity protests in front of prisons. On March 13, 100 comrades demonstrated in front of Grevena Prison (photos), where Christos Politis has been locked up since his December 4, 2010 arrest during an Antiterrorist Unit operation. And on March 19, there was a demonstration in Ioannina in support of Rami Syrianos, who is imprisoned there (photos).

Apart from the above, there have been several anarchist “invasions” of Athens metro stations, during which ticket validation machines were destroyed (last month, the price of a trip on public transportation rose from 1 to 1.40 euros). There have also been a number of semi-organized stone and Molotov attacks on riot police in Exarcheia, as well as a few clashes with Nazis. In addition, the Keratea residents’ struggle against the construction of a local garbage dump continues in full swing, with support from a large portion of the anarchist milieu. Finally, several luxury cars have been torched in immediate response to the arrests of certain comrades, and there have been numerous protests and demonstrations in solidarity with anarchist prisoners Aris Seirinidis and Simos Seisidis, whose trials are both currently underway.

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.

Updates on anarchist/antiauthoritarian prisoners in Greece (November 26, 2010)

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

Another imprisoned comrade

Panayiotis Giannos was arrested on October 7 for “possession of an incendiary device,” a charge that in the past has sometimes landed people in pretrial detention, and sometimes not. History is also very ambiguous when camping gas canisters are involved. There have been trials in which they were considered “incendiary devices,” but there have been plenty of cases in which they were designated as “explosive devices.” In any event, our comrade is currently imprisoned.

The Fire Cells Conspiracy case

The recent weeks have been full of crucial moments for the Fire Cells Conspiracy. On November 1, Panayiotis Argyrou and Gerasimos Tsakalos were arrested for mailing package-bombs. On November 22, Argyrou and Tsakalos released a letter admitting their participation in the Fire Cells Conspiracy, and Harilaos “Haris” Hatzimichelakis released a similar letter the same day. Hatzimichelakis, who was arrested on September 23, 2009, had been maintaining a position similar to Konstantina “Nina” Karakatsani, Panayiotis “Takis” Masouras, and the other two people in pretrial detention for the Fire Cells Conspiracy case: always claiming a revolutionary anarchist political position while denying all the charges. Since his arrest, Hatzimichelakis has released two letters on his own, plus a third written with Karakatsani and Masouras two weeks ago.

On November 25, the Fire Cells Conspiracy released their latest communiqué. It comprises three parts: a communiqué regarding the arrest of Argyrou and Tsakalos on November 1, a claim of responsibility for the mailing of 14 package-bombs in the context of an international solidarity campaign (for example: targeting the Chilean embassy in solidarity with Freddy Fuentevilla, Marcelo Villarroel, and those arrested on August 14; targeting the Swiss embassy in solidarity with Marco Camenisch, Luca “Billy” Bernasconi, Silvia Guerini, and Costantino “Costa” Ragusa; etc.), and a call for international solidarity ahead of the Fire Cells Conspiracy trial scheduled for January 17, 2011. The communiqué is 14 pages long, and an attempt will be made to translate it as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Tsakalos mother has appealed to the prosecutor in an attempt to improve conditions for her son. Tsakalos is currently locked up in Malandrino High-Security Prison, which is usually reserved for people who have already been sentenced to lengthy prison terms. He is in solitary confinement along with four others who are serving sentences of dozens of years. The prosecutor’s cynical response to his mother: “Tell your son to change his views!” This clearly demonstrates the vindictive nature of choosing this particular prison for Tsakalos.

The authorities aren’t standing still, as they want to attach even greater importance to the entire Fire Cells Conspiracy case. On Monday, November 22, a special meeting was held between the chief of police and the main prosecutor for the highest court in the country in order to discuss the location of the January trial. It will almost certainly take place at the courtroom within Korydallos Prison, where the trials of the leftist November 17 and ELA armed groups were held.

Some solidarity actions

In the early morning of November 15, a strong explosion was heard coming from the lavish Professional Journalism School building located in the Kolonaki neighborhood of Athens. The action was claimed by Terrorist Complicity/Combatants from the Abyss in solidarity with Panayiotis Argyrou and Gerasimos Tsakalos. In their communiqué, the group talked about “a gleaming series of 30 explosions,” which seems to be a reference to the number of camping gas cylinders used in the attack. Also from the communiqué: “Our objective, apart from sabotaging this particular school for the formation of snitches, was to demonstrate the effectiveness of terrorist violence in the center of the metropolis. The only weapons in our arsenal are conspiracy and our point of view, expressed through the collaborative practice of individuals. We thus invalidate the conviction that the only legitimate revolutionary violence is the violence of the masses or the movement.”

In the early morning of November 16, devices made out of camping gas canisters caused fires at three Thessaloniki locations: a municipal services office in Menemeni, a New Democracy party office in Toumba, and a van belonging to the Sikies district council. The actions were claimed by the Urban Warfare Formation and dedicated to Yiannis Skouloudisimprisoned a month ago for torching two Public Power Corporation (DEI) vehicles—and the four others named on arrest warrants pertaining to the same case.

Additionally, there was a series of solidarity arsons in Athens: several DEI vehicles in the Nea Ionia neighborhood (in solidarity with Skouloudis and the four people wanted in connection with the same case), the personal cars of two pigs in Nea Ionia and Ambelokipi (also in solidarity with Skouloudis and the four others), a UPS van (in solidarity with those charged in the Fire Cells Conspiracy case), and the Interoperability Systems International Hellas SA (ISI Hellas) headquarters in Argyroupoli (in solidarity with the Chilean comrades arrested on August 14). ISI Hellas is a military contractor that recently took part in an international aerospace industry show held at a Chilean military base. Their corporate headquarters was attacked using a suitcase filled with gasoline and activated by a fuse. All these arsons were claimed by Disreputable Conduct for the Diffusion of Revolutionary Terrorism/Anarchist Action Cell via a lengthy communiqué analyzing the current situation of the Greek anarchist milieu and strongly emphasizing international solidarity. The communiqué contained greetings to several groups in Chile and Argentina, and mentioned that the group itself would be releasing its own translation of the text.

Changes to the prisoner list

Alfredo Bonanno can thankfully be removed from the list, but we must sadly add another name:

Panayiotis Giannos
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-D pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens – Greece

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