Letter of the anarchist Vanggelis Stathopoulos
read at the event SOLIDARITY IN THE REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE TODAY & THE NEED FOR A FEDERATED MOVEMENT held on 10/04/2022 by the Assembly of Refugee Squats (SY.KA.PRO) at the Self-managed Canteen of Law university in Athens
I greet the comrades who organized and participated in this event.
I would like to refer to the question of social solidarity. Solidarity is a relationship-concept that inspires the broader movement, it is a basic component to build a world against the exploitation of man by man, a common practice of subversive movements worldwide. Practical solidarity is not a position, it is an attitude of life, it is a matter of consciousness, it becomes an experience in our lives. It is the practical critique against social cannibalism. By expressing it each and every one of us in our personal lives, we grow with it, giving it practical and meaningful significance. Solidarity is an experience, we hold it in our hands and distribute it generously when needed.
Practical solidarity is an idea, it defines our conscience, it is a code of values, it is the act between people without the mediation of money or power, and it is based on selflessness and characterises the human condition. It is our history and our future. It is the choice to remain human.
So I could not do otherwise. When my comrade Dimitris Hatzivassiliadis , injured, asked for my help, I could not have done otherwise and I could not not have tried to aid him. As I understand it, as everyone who knows me knows, I would do it for any of my comrades who asked for my help in a similar situation. Let alone for an anarchist comrade whom we have known for many, many years through the movement and have found ourselves fighting against State authoritarianism in the streets several times, as well as in various movement processes such as assemblies and events in the wider anti-authoritarian space. This stance would not change regardless of whether or not D. Hatzivassiliadis has or had any connection to any armed organisation. Clearly, of course, the State apparatus is the one that attacks, targets and retaliates against anyone who expresses social solidarity, especially when its defence becomes an act, and a revolutionary one at that. By setting up laws, constantly upgrading the anti-terrorism law to suppress and criminalise the expression of solidarity that is either given in the street or defended and promoted in print or electronic material or any other means. Just as it is also an atrocious reality the prosecutions and convictions of many years setting up court martials with false and fabricated evidence. My own case is one of such and which, in the case of a final conviction, sends a clear message of revenge against solidarity itself and for all those who struggle for the change of society, against power and fear, in the struggle for freedom and dignity.
This is why, for me, there must be a constant response of counter-information and practice on the street. It is very important to stand in solidarity with prisoners, with workers’ struggles, against new laws and decrees, against the control and prohibitions that they want to impose on our lives every day. Solidarity becomes flesh and blood when it overturns the segregation and isolation that the State and its repressive mechanisms want to impose.
The only way against the isolation of practical solidarity is the act of solidarity itself. After 19 years of imprisonment imposed on me for my solidarity.
I remain an unrepentant prisoner in Larissa prison
Translated by Act for freedom now!