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The following text is the political view of the Assembly in Solidarity with the four comrades in pre-trial detention Fotis D., Jason R., Lambros V. and Panagiotis V.
On November 14th, 2021 an unmarked police vehicle rammed into the comrades Fotis D. and Jason R. as they were in motion and then they were taken to the General Police Department of Attica. There, the uniformed garbage of the Greek Police proceeded to mandatory fingerprinting and DNA sampling, in order to link them to the attack on the Piraeus traffic police on the same night. In a process that took only half a day, they raided their homes, making sure to plant incriminating evidence, thus building a weak case against them. At the same time, the media indulged in their usual vile role, talking about homes being bomb and explosives manufacturing facilities, in an attempt to normalise the new criminal code in the public mind (which upgrades the possession and use of Molotov cocktails to a felony). It is worth noting, that the code came into force the day before their arrest. For the millionth time, the fabrication of guilty people by the media, has socially reinforced the prosecution’s argument and created the appropriate ground for the pre-trial detention of our two comrades, who have been held captive for 15 months in the Korydallos and Avlona hellholes.
With the trial date not being set and the case file still open, the interrogator had room to implicate more people. Following a prosecution conducted by the interrogator, on Tuesday morning 20/9, state cops accompanied by a prosecutor, stormed into the house of comrades Panagiotis V. and Lambros V. The comrades were arrested and detained in GADA, where for several hours the reasons for their detention were not known and they were not given the right to communicate with their lawyers or their close ones. The next day, they were tried by the Single-Member Plenary Court in Evelpidon for violation of the weapons law and were later released.
The comrades went to the Piraeus interrogator for the first time on the 26/9, for the case of the attack on the Piraeus traffic police, which was adjourned until the 6/10. Then, the intentions of the interrogator became clear to us, as well as her anger and prejudice, since she attempted to interrogate them without giving the file to the two lawyers. With an argumentative and ironic attitude, she did not forget to remind them of her power, threatening that she could issue an arrest warrant at that moment and take them into pre-trial detention. On the 6/10, a request for an exception was filed by the defence lawyers in order to replace the interrogator. Usually, the examination of these requests takes place one or two days later, but in this case it was rejected after the decision of the judicial council which was set up at that very moment, due to the interrogator’s constant pressuring to speed up the procedure in order to take our comrades into pre-trial detention, which seems to have been her main goal. The manipulations used by the state system in order to suppress in any way and by any means the struggling parts of society are not unprecedented. It proves once again how rotten their mob is, since the judicial council and the prosecutor in silent cooperation cover up a series of infringements on her behalf, such as questions of an interrogative nature in a postponement request and the aggressive attitude she had towards the lawyer. Late in the evening, using their companionship and personal relations with the comrades in custody, Fotis D. and Jason R., but also using the ridiculous and unheard of argument that our comrades had been hiding for 15 months, she puts them into custody and the next morning they are taken to Korydallos prison. Of course, we may “excuse” the interrogator because the state cops probably forgot to inform her about their daily surveillance for the last five months, at least, of their workplaces and home.
Although the pre-trial detention of individuals contradicts the supposed basic principles of their very own civil “law”, by depriving freedom without any “proof” of guilt, it is widely used against people in struggle. Especially when the case’s evidence, real or constructed, makes the acquittal of the accused possible, it is used to sadistically punish the very choice of a person to fight. It is the first stage in the application of the exception regime to those persecuted for political reasons, either as a constant threat for a particular level of charges and above, or as an almost obvious complement to 187A prosecutions. The state tries to cover up this punitive criminal treatment of the guilty and the innocent because of the supposed fear of fugitive justice and the danger to the wider community until the trial is held. These are arguments that do not reflect reality, as it is implied that fugitive justice and unlawful living are easy choices that each and every one of us can take to avoid the state’s frame-ups. As for the danger to society as a whole, it is at least ridiculous to use it as an argument against individuals accused of political actions targeting states institutions and services.
Another aspect of the present prosecution, which demonstrates the tactics used by authorities to crush those who continue to resist, concerns the repeated criminalisation of companionship and friendly relations, as it is explicitly admitted by the interrogator that there is no evidence other than the relationship of P.V. and L.V. with F.D. and I.R., who are already in custody for the same case. Of course, this tactic is not new. The case of comrade Vangelis Stathopoulos is an indicator of how easily and intentionally companionship is criminalised, as his choice to stand by his wounded comrade Dimitri Chatzivassiliadi was the reason he was sentenced to 19 years, without any other evidence and despite testimonies that place him in a different location from that of the robbery. A very important example is the case of the now released Panos Kalaitzis, who remained incarcerated in Korydallos Prison for six months, with the only evidence being the hospitality of his then ill companion Thano Chatziangelou, with whom he also cooperated professionally.
The intentionality of this atrocity on the part of the state is obvious. The attempt to isolate comrades is aimed at their physical and moral exhaustion. The voice of the courts in all these cases rings clearly in our ears: anyone who dares to show solidarity with strugglers is an enemy of the state. The very act of merely associating in any way with the people of the struggle is a criminal offence.
It is clear that in recent years, the state has been shielding itself legally and repressively, in order to be able to manage the probable social reactions due to the frequent crises (economic, health, energy, war). We have always known that civil justice is class-based and is a tool in the hands of the state against the oppressed who are struggling. The current government, especially, has made a clear choice to handle every social issue with repression. From the evacuations of political and residential squats and the legislation of a special police force for universities (which hasn’t yet accomplished its purpose due to the reactions), to the occupying army permanently camped in Exarchia to impose the redevelopment of Strefi Hill and the construction of the metro and the enforcement of the law restricting demonstrations (with clubs and water cannons), the state has now hired so many cops that it has ended up sending its “special” services DIAS (motorcycle-mounted police team) and DRASI (rapid response control force) to fires.
As is normal, the attack launched by the state on the wider society, is being specialised in the parts of society in struggle, and even more so in the anarchist field, with the intensification of prosecutions, the fabrication of charges, the opening of umbrella-cases which implicate a large number of comrades. All at the will of the state. At the same time, they are making their penal treatment more severe, aiming on the one hand to terrorise all and on the other hand to physically exterminate them.
Anarchist identity (and any identity that goes against their normality) has always been the target of the state and capital, with the state and the bosses terrified at the thought that there are still people who struggle and oppose their plans, with diverse struggles from solidarity actions (cooperative kitchens, mutual aid networks), to grassroots syndicalism, to the crushing of fascist and parastatal groups, to political and residential squats, and to attacks of all kinds on state and capitalist targets (cops, banks, police stations, etc.). We have been and will be here for many more years, using our bodies as a roadblock to their plans, putting forward our solidarity with the oppressed of this world and building comradeship and friendship through our struggles.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STRUGGLE CANNOT BE TERRORIZED
NO ONE ALONE IN THE HANDS OF THE STATE
TAKE YOUR DIRTY HANDS OFF OUR COMRADES
SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON
Assembly in Solidarity with the four comrades in pre-trial detention