On Friday 8th of November 2019, the anarchist comrade Vaggelis Stathopoulos is arrested by the Greek Anti-terrorist Service with the excuse that he took part on a robbery in a gaming agency in Holargos, Athens on the 21st of October2019. During the next day of his arrest, within a crescendo of terror-hysteria reaction, he is suddenly being announced that he is also accused of participating in the organization “Revolutionary Self-defense”. Our comrade’s arrest is accompanied with an alloy of radio and mud towards his face, from the government’s right hand, the massive media, through various press publications and television reports which reproduce fabricated accusations and present him as the “domestic terrorist” and “the Kung Fu teacher who gives classes of military defense in order to create an army”.
Τhroughout the whole period of his pre-trial detention, we witness the “theater of the absurd” which the Anti-terrorist Service and the Ministry of Citizen Protection has carelessly set up, since every single clue that they are trying to present is shaked down – DNA tests, accusations for specific attacks of the “Revolutionary defense” organization during which the comrade was in prison for a prior case, supposed evidence for his participation in the robbery while at the specific time he was teaching in his martial arts’ school in the center of Athens, and so on…
From the first moment of his arrest, our comrade is denying the accusations, both of the robbery and his participation in the “Revolutionary defense” organization, and as he has personally stated: “All this spectacle in my face is part of a repressive policy of the current government against the anarchists and the anarchist movement. The authorities spread lies for the way we act as anarchists; basically I have been charged with half of the criminal code simply because I showed solidarity in an injured person.Under the spectrum of solidarity I admit that I have helped a person who was injured. I am an anarchist, I am an active member of the anarchist movement… I deny all the accusations for the robbery and the “revolutionary defense”.
Bristol Defendant Solidarity is organising this fundraiser.
People in Bristol standing up to unprecedented new police powers have faced immense police violence since Sunday March 21st. The last week has seen police charging crowds with horses, releasing attack dogs on protesters, pepper-spraying people indiscriminately and physically attacking journalists. Those arrested will face harsh charges as the state seeks to make an example of them.
We believe that no one taking part in protests for social justice should face the system alone. If you do too, please donate.
Hidden behind the police statements branding demonstrators “a mob of animals” and the later-retracted claims of officers facing broken bones and punctured lungs, is the hard work of activists pushing for police accountability. Bristol Defendant Solidarity (BDS) have been working for over a decade to support people facing police and state violence as a consequence for their activism. Now, we need your help.
We are aiming to raise an initial £15,000 with a stretch target of £30,000 to support people following Bristol’s #KillTheBill protests.
Avon & Somerset Police already have a long history of committing violence in our communities. The proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill currently making its way through Parliament would give police sweeping new powers to criminalise protests, intensify the attack on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities way of life, and increase the harsh effects of the criminal justice system with longer sentencing. And while people take to the streets to oppose it, the police have cracked down hard on the demonstrations.
Depending on need, and in this priority order, we will use this fund to support those targeted by police in connection with the Kill the Bill protests by:
• Supplying money for legal fees not covered by legal aid.
• Paying any travel costs to court.
• Covering loss of earnings sustained as a result of attending court.
• Supporting legal cases made against the police.
• Helping pay rent to ensure they can return to their homes after any custodial sentences.
In the unlikely event of there being any money left over from this, it will be held by BDS to support people in a similar way in the future. Solidarity is our best defence.
In solidarity, Bristol Defendant Solidarity (BDS)