Nikos Maziotis statement to the court (1999)

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2009 Αυγούστου 23

Dear comrades,

The following text is the translation of what Nikos Maziotis said to the court during his trial which took place on the 5th to 7th of July 1999 in Athens, Greece. He was convicted and given a 15-year prison sentence for �attempted explosion with danger for human lives� and �possession of guns and explosives� for his action of placing a bomb in the Ministry of Industry and Development on December 12, 97, in solidarity with the revolt of the villages in Strymonikos against the installation of a gold metallurgy by multinational company TVX GOLD. During the trial he again supported his choices politically, as he did from the beginning when he had sent a letter from prison with which he took responsibility of the action against the Ministry. Though he never accepted the charges the state was accusing him of, as revolutionary acts cannot be described in terms of the penal code. In that sense, this trial was not a typical procedure of convicting someone who pleads �guilty� but it turned into a political confrontation as much between Nikos and his prosecutors, as between his comrades, anarchists and revolutionaries and the state and its mechanisms. This confrontation was strongly supported by the presence of comrades from Sardinia (Costantino Cavalleri), Italy (Alfredo Bonanno) and France (Hellyette Bess) who testified in the court in solidarity with Nikos and by the letters sent in support by the imprisoned militants of Action Directe, France, by the ABC of Barcelona and by other anarchist groups from Spain. All these together, along with the presence inside and outside the court of anarchist comrades and of course the speech of Nikos Maziotis against his prosecutors, gave a sense of the international struggle for freedom and of solidarity with all the people in revolt, with all political prisoners captured in moments of the social and class war against the state and the capital.

Solidarity,

Comrades from the Anarchist Circle and the collective Anarchists in Solidarity�

Excerpts from Nikos Mazotis� Statement to the Athens Criminal Court

First, I do not intend to pretend to be the �good guy� here when I was forced to come. I will not apologize for anything, because I do not consider myself a criminal. I am a revolutionary. I have nothing to repent. I am proud of what I have done. The only thing I regret is the technical error that was made so the bomb didn’t explode, so that my fingerprint was found on it later and I ended up here. This is the only thing I repent.

You must keep in mind that although you are judges and sitting higher than me, many times the revolutionaries, and myself specifically, have judged you long before you judge me. We are in opposite camps, hostile camps.

The revolutionaries and revolutionary justice -because I don’t believe that this court is justice, it’s the word justice in quotation marks- many times judge their enemies more mercilessly, when they get the chance to impose justice. I will begin from many years ago. We don’t have any crime of mine to judge here. On the contrary, we will talk about crimes, but not mine. We will talk about the crimes of the State, of its mechanisms, of justice and police crimes…

The biggest lie of all time is that the State is society. I think Nietzsche has also said that the State lies. We are opposed to the division of society into classes, we are against a separation between those who give orders and others who obey orders. This authoritarian structure penetrates the whole of society and it is this structure that we want to destroy. Either with peaceful or with violent means, even with guns. I have no problem with that.

I will contradict my brother who said before, that he didn’t want the guns in order to make war. They were for war. Maybe they were just kept there. But guns are for war, you don’t just have them to keep them at home. I might have kept them as they were, but they are to make war and I make war… The bomb in the ministry was an act of war.

Our purpose, within the anti-State and anti-capitalist struggle, is to connect ourselves with different social struggles. Our purpose when interfering in these struggles is also to attempt to make things reach the edge, which means to culminate with the conflict of these social parts with the State and the police. To urge the people fighting to surpass the institutional frames, the trade-unions, the local administrations and all these manipulators who are enemies of human freedom. Many comrades of mine, with their small forces, were engaged in such struggles. I will tell you about them more specifically. In 1989, in a struggle of environmental interest in the village of Aravissos, the residents of the area didn’t want their water sources to be exploited by the Water Company of Thessaloniki. They clashed with the police and the riot police, they burnt water pumps, they set fires and put up barricades. And some of our comrades from Thessaloniki took part in this struggle and they were even arrested�.

Generally, wherever there are disturbances, there are conflicts we want to be in. To subvert things. For us, this is not a crime. In a real sense, these disturbances are the �popular sovereignty� that professional politicians keep talking about. That’s where freedom is expressed…

Now let’s talk about the struggle of the people in Strymonikos. Long before I placed the bomb, other comrades had been to the villages, they had been talking with the people there, they had published a brochure about this revolt, about the clashes in October of 1996. But I will talk more specifically about the struggle in Strymonikos in a little while. First, I want to talk exclusively about the action.

To tell the truth, I was inspired to place this bomb for a specific reason: The people of the villages had surpassed the limits, by themselves. If it was a struggle inside institutional frames, in the way that trade unions and local administrations try to keep these struggles restricted, if it was confined in a mild, harmless and not dangerous protest, maybe I wouldn’t have done anything.

But the comrades up there in the villages -who are not anarchists of course, but I don’t care about that, they are citizens who also want their freedom- had surpassed every limit. They had conflicts with the police three times -in the 17th of October 1996, in the 25th of July ‘97 and in November 9 ‘98-, they had set fire to police cars and riot police vans, they had burnt machinery belonging to TVX, they had invaded in the mines of Olympiada and destroyed part of the installations. Some of them also became a sort of guerrilla. In the nights, they were going out with guns, shooting in the air to frighten the policemen. And I thought, these people are cool, they�ve gone even further than us. And then repression followed, especially in ‘97 when marshal law was imposed in the area.

The Chief of Police in Halkidiki gave an order according to which all gatherings and demonstrations were forbidden. They also sent special police units and police tanks, which came in the streets for the first time since 1980. And now they were sending them out again there, in the villages of Halkidiki. So, I thought, we must do something here, in Athens. It is not possible that the others are under repression and we here staying passive. The ministry of Industry and Development, in Papadiamadopoulou and Michalakopoulou streets, was one of the centers of this case. The struggle in Strymonikos was a struggle against �development�, against �modernization� and all this crap they keep saying. What is hidden behind all these expressions is the profits of multinationals, the profits of �our own� capitalists, Greek capitalists, the profits of states’ officials, of the Greek state, of the bureaucrats, of all those who take the money, of technical companies… There is no relation between this

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