16 months after our arrests on 29/01/2020, after all the media propaganda that followed and our isolation in different prisons, we are being put on trial on 31/5 at Loukareos Court. Αs an anarchist I oppose this procedure as I refuse to be judged by the chosen caste of judicial authority. But we are facing an extended indictment that composes a narrative which distorts the events and has as its main aim the extension of our imprisonment.
Briefly, we have been charged with ‘criminal organization’ as well as possession and transportation of heavy weaponry (the comrades also face this charge, whereas from the first moment I stated to the investigators that the weapons found in closed bags in the back seat where I was sitting, were my own), forgery, use of forged documents, force against officials and judiciaries, and disobedience. Furthermore, I have also been charged with the bank robbery of the Piraeus Bank in Erimanthia, Achaia, robbery-abduction of a policeman in Thessaloniki, and escape from the rural prison of Tirintha.
From my side, despite my known detestation of the boring and devious language of the law, I have the obligation to fight the cops’ allegations in the court, to fight the plans of the state that aim for the extension of the captivity of the two comrades, as well as the defamation of our relationships. Because by giving us specific hierarchical roles in a ‘criminal organization’, the charge is not only false but affronts in total our choices, our positions, and above all the relationships of solidarity and equality that we try to promote. A charge that is based on zero evidence since the only event connecting all three of us is the event of our arrest, as neither Konstantina or Dimitra are in any way connected with the robberies and thefts written in the case documents. For these reasons, the fabricated story of the police is not going to be left without a response.
To end this update text, I would like to express how much the solidarity actions around our case warm my heart.
Solidarity is our weapon
Translated by Act for freedom now!
On 30/1/2020, comrades Dimitra Valavani, Konstantina Athanasopoulou and Giannis Michailidis were arrested in a stolen car in Agia Paraskevi following an anti-terrorist operation.
Weapons were found inside the car, which was driven by Giannis Michailidis. He and Konstantina Athanasopoulou were wanted, the first as fugitive from the rural prisons of Tirintha and for participation in the E.A. , R.O. REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE the second for bank robbery.
All three comrades are being tried on May 31 in the courts in Athens , Loukareos Street, room D80ST, 2nd floor.
The robbery of Piraeus Bank in Achaia on 29/8/2019 has been added to the case, as well as holding a police officer hostage in Halkidiki on 30/12/2019.
All three are also accused of forming a criminal organization.
TO BE ALL NEXT TO THEM
HANDS OFF THE FIGHTERS
NO HOSTAGE IN THE HANDS OF THE STATE
Act for freedom now!
To send letters to the comrades:
Dimitra Valavani (Δήμητρα Βαλαβάνη)
Dikastiki Fylaki Korydallou
Gynaikeies Fylakes, (women prison)
Kostantina Athanasopoulou (Κωσταντινα Αθανασοπουλου)
Eleonas Women’s Prison
Giannis Michailidis (Γιαννης Μηχαιλιδης)
Malandrinou prisons (Κ.Κ. Μαλανδρίνου)
A first statement from comrades Valavani, Athanasopoulou and Michailidis 2/3/20
Difficult is the moment when freedom is lost. Especially when it had been won in adverse conditions. The situation gets worse if we consider that the blow we received on a material level has even stronger symbolic implications. Our cinematic arrest was followed by similar media propaganda, our graphic tour with bulletproof vests and the usual judicial management to find ourselves once again with an overblown set of charges, elements that form an extension of the handcuffs and weapons of the uniformed assassins.
A look at the wider social situation around us which is changing at a rapid pace so that we can slip away from our own microcosm a little.
From the magnitude of the workers’ exploitation and abolishing of labour rights to the stranglehold of animals in meat production units. From the intensive repression against protests and the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment from anti-terrorist services around the world, to deforestation and the disappearance of wildlife. From the financial exclusion of a growing social segment to the violent marginalization of most of the earth’s population. To the murders of the poor, the excluded, of all who are leftovers in the world of the mighty. From the provocative economic and business elite to the peoples being bombed, shot and uprooted. Where the interests of the powerful mean death, danger or a life drowned in submission. Nature, animals and humans mean nothing more than units generating profits and wealth. These and many others led us to choose the anarchist struggle, a choice that
challenges the existing social order. Our initial focus is on creating authentic and sincere relations, while at the same time there is the lasting need of our participation in the multiform struggle. After all, the anarchist struggle does not differentiate its means or support a hierarchy of forms of struggle. It is imperative and adjusts according to the conditions of each era, placing its bet on collectivization and diffusion on the social fabric.
All the time until our arrest – though not all of us were under the same ‘legal’ conditions – we realized that the antiterrorist forces were tightening their grip around people close to us with the known-unknown methods of surveillance, the open secret that officially the Greek State denies exists. No matter how much they scream about the legitimacy they are supposedly defending, they invade every aspect of our families and friends’ personal life in the most outrageous and depraved way. Telephone surveillance, 24-hour physical surveillance behind every step of our people, tracking devices, people waiting in cars outside houses. No matter how they try to convince of the supposed legitimacy of their ways, the Counterterrorism Service uses illegal practices.
On the morning of Monday, January 29th we set out for the car which had been stolen 2 days before and with which there had been no contact from the time of theft to the aforementioned cursed day. From Vyrona’s quiet streets we moved to the mountain (Ymittos) where it was obvious that we were not being followed or following another vehicle on the road and on dirt tracks, indicating that the monitoring was probably electronic. When we came out of the mountain to Agia Paraskevi there was unnatural movement around us. We soon realized that we had been ambushed by anti-terrorist units when we were surrounded on all sides by many cars and motorcycles in a coordinated way. Our conclusion is that the police, suspecting that we might use that particular car model, as soon as they were informed of the theft of this type of car were mobilized in a tracking process scanning specific areas where for reasons we are not sure they thought it might be parked.
But who are they who, according to their statements “considering the conditions”, decided to intervene at noon in one of the busiest spots in Athens? Who are they who pulled out guns at midday in the middle of a street with pedestrians and cars? Who are they in the end, with the responsibility of the Minister of Security Michalis Chrysochoidis and the commander of the “anti” terrorist agency Lefteris Hardalias, who risked setting up and validating an operation in the middle of the road IGNORING THE SAFETY OF CITIZENS to arrest two wanted persons? That’s how they value the importance of human life and the safety of citizens passing by? According to the thirst for results? Children, schools, people on balconies, random drivers are automatically of no importance. Only work to get results at all costs. They never asked themselves who was really endangering and terrorizing society as a whole, two wanted people in a car or the risky intervention of armed police officers in hoods in the middle of the road?
Of course this is not the first time that the opportunistic minister has chosen to risk or even sacrifice the lives of citizens. In his previous administration a 25-year-old Albanian worker, Nikola Todi was executed in a police operation by cops in Vyronas that considered him to be one of some hunted escapees. Chrysochoidis covered the murder politically, calling it the successful arrest of 2 “dangerous criminals” while still today all the media refer to a dead body found amidst an exchange of gunshots.
What follows the arrest of anarchists is more or less known. Violent depraved treatment, isolation, etc. We don’t intend to give more details in describing what followed so as to not help spread the terror message that the repressive mechanism of the State emits. But we have to make known that during the violent taking of DNA samples from the two comrades who clearly did not accept this process, an anti-terrorist bully hit comrade Valavani’s head against the wall despite being informed of her recent surgery to the head. Then, after they got her genetic material both with the swab as well as from the spits in their faces, she was forbidden to contact the doctor who had operated on her and they took her to a hospital where she had examinations irrelevant to her case. They acted as the law stipulated, as the lawfully positioned commander of the anti-terrorist Lefteris Chardalias told us in person. It is worth remembering that his predecessor is now wanted for arms smuggling through this otherwise law-abiding service. We assume the modern Iaverides are searching for him too as intensively as they were us but he probably has ghost-like capabilities. We’re also sure they’ll spend as much as with our own research on discovering the gold smuggling ring his service officers are involved in as also for their dozens of “purely legal” services for prominent businessmen. So these people are our persecutors and that is their ilk.
The prominent role in the repression of dangerous ideas and actions in our wonderful media democracy goes to the ideological mechanism of the media of mass deception. Who with its famous tricks plays the dominant role in altering reality. Obvious example, the official house of our comrade gets baptized a hideout by the canal junta without actually finding anything illegal within it. Their focus is by no means accidental. Having already secured many years of imprisonment of two of us with heavy penalties, with comrade Michailidis 6.5 years in prison and comrade Athanasopoulou already 18 months in jail, sentenced to 35 years in prison, they are trying to upgrade the charges of comrade Valavani for which they did not have some heavy penalty ready, thus making obvious their will to avenge her attitude, that of the solidarity she showed.
Really who are all these excellent owners of all of these television and publishing groups that through their employees effortlessly throw their poison against us. The reality re their ilk is devastating. Smugglers, drug dealers and murderers.
Representatives of the propaganda instruments of the regime dare to call us terrorists, a word all regimes slanderously use worldwide against rebels – insurrectionaries from the time of the French Revolution onwards.
Let us remind them that bourgeois democracy used the method of terrorism against its rivals to establish its authority. Our life-attitude seeks to collectively defeat the fear that the State mechanism dispenses and overthrow this oligarchic regime calling itself democracy. We fight every day against State and capitalist terrorism. At the same time during the media management of our case sexist terms are clearly used, both undermining the stance and attitude of women and highlighting the patriarchal model of a male leader of a “criminal organization” that used women around it. This is more than offensive to our relations and
stance in general.
The repressive operation that was carried out against us is not one isolated police operation but the persistence of the State in an attempt to exterminate and crush all forms of resistance, every rebellious heart beating in freedom. It comes as a moment of the State’s absolute resolve against the evacuated squatters, the refugees in the concentration camps, broken heads at protests, sexist violence against women in Exarchia, restructuring of the legal arsenal of the State.
Some final conclusions: Sure it was worth it. Every free day expropriated from prison slavery is priceless.
Confrontation with a mechanism that is becoming more and more powerful is getting harder and harder to uphold. Protection is also required in matters where until recently we did not imagine, while it is imperative that we don’t repeat ourselves and are insightful.
Luck plays a decisive role but the odds were against us. At this last point, it is worth pointing out that there is so much at stake here. Every repressive operation sends a message of power. This message is intended to terrorize people who actively resist the State machine. This has the effect of reducing the actions and subjects that act, which results in focusing the mechanisms on the remaining few. Exactly this is asymmetrically increasing their chances against us. That is why it is necessary to defeat fear, to re-popularize direct action. To not give up the street, to not give up the hostilities with the State and capital.
Solidarity finds meaning through the development of multiform subversive action.
Let us oppose their upcoming trial-parodies, on the overloaded charges, on the anti-terrorist ‘s scenarios-fiascos.
STRUGGLE WITH NO RETREAT UNTIL TOTAL LIBERATION
Translated by Act for freedom now!