Translated by Act for freedom now!
BELOW ARE THE TRANSLATIONS OF A SERIES OF TEXTS THAT WERE WRITTEN BY ANARCHIST COMRADES AFTER THE CRITICISM OF LEFTIST NEWSPAPER “KONTRA” ABOUT THE ANTI-JUDICIAL POSITION THAT SOME OF THEM HOLD TOWARDS THE TERROR COURT IN KORIDALLOS PRISON
On 28/7/14, the report of “KONTRA” newspaper (which also goes online through www.eksegersi.gr) on the ongoing terror-trial of the Pefki case (which involves imprisoned anarchist comrade G.Mihailidis), among other information related to the trial’s progress, wrote:
“At this point we would like to open a parenthesis and raise an important issue publicly for the first time. We think that the tactic of some anarchist fighters to not be present at the court or when they are present to not participate, or – in the cases where they are represented by lawyers – to not allow them to intervene is wrong, leads to a dead-end and should not continue. We raise this issue with a political and comradely interest and, furthermore, we think that through this stance a case-law could be created against the movement. Besides, according to the huge experience of the movement, we think that the presence of accused communists and anarchists at the hearings is imperative, because it is the only way to use the terror-trials as a means to expose the crimes of the capitalist system and to project revolutionary ideas. Because this is the only way the repressive mechanisms of the civil state can be exposed and the only way the movement’s breathe can be felt by the judicial authorities.
We open this discussion publicly now, because especially on these last two sessions of this specific terror-trial (July 11th & 25th) in which 7 witnesses testified, 6 of which were policemen, the judge, the prosecutor and the deputy judge trampled on juridical legality. They gave the impression of predators that swoop in and devour their helpless victims. They took advantage of the fact that G. Mihailidis demanded that his state-appointed lawyers would not intervene in the procedure. In the session on July 25th, lawyer Sp. Fitrakis who was representing the appointed lawyer of G. Mihailidis, reached the point of saying that “today all kinds of absurd things happened”, things he could talk about for hours about, he said that he is “fed up”with the court (he characteristically brought his hand to his forehand) and will never again represent a lawyer that is ordered to remain silent by their client. He also told the judge that he wants his statement to be written in the recorded minutes of the session”.
A DAY AFTER THIS THIS REPORT WENT PUBLIC, ON JULY 29TH, IMPRISONED ANARCHIST COMRADE G.MIHALIDIS REPLIED WITH A TEXT ON athens.indymedia.org:
I write these lines because of the public critique I received by the communist newspaper“Kontra”, concerning my stance to discredit courts by being absent from the procedure. Initially I would like to clarify that I do not dispute even a little bit the comradely intentions of this critique and I recognize the contribution of this specific project as being very important to the struggle, with the presence at and updating of all terror-trials.
I think the root of this disagreement is the crucial difference between anarchist analyses and marxist ideology, concerning the role of the state mechanism, its institutions and the social contracts. Marxists attribute a secondary role to the state as the guarantor of capitalist interests, while in my analysis, the state as well as capital consist of two of the maximum forms of authority which are equally hostile to me and co-evolve while in the chaos of social reality you cannot distinguish whether the chicken laid the egg or the other way around. Respectively therefore, marxists “read” history deterministically and believing that history has a pre-carved flow towards the paradise on earth of communism (transferring the dominant religious dogma into a materialistic form), they refer to legality not as something they want to destroy but reform, and thus they often invoke the side of the legal code which as a product of the social contract, allegedly defends their class interests.
Directly contrary to that, to me the social contract is a scrap of paper that must be torn up since its function is none other than stopping the development of the clash between the authorities of the regime and the possible rebels. And considering this clash fertile contrary to the murderous social peace, I promote it with all means. Thus I refuse to converse with the carriers of state authority, I refuse to speak its language, which is the law. I do not desire more“fair decisions”but the intensification of the contradictions of the court.
However, let’s cut to the chase.
The court for me is part of the despicable mechanism of justice, which in every form, or the dear to communists popular courts, performs the same role to rule life and enforce the will of the many upon the individual. My ideal for human relations pre-supposes the foundational destruction of institutional Justice, regulatory ethics and the mass society it needs to operate.
Let’s examine the role of this specific court:
It is logical that the state seeks the physical extermination of its enemies. Why then does it not do it directly and stages trials-theatrical plays? Because IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO SHOW ITS HUMANISTIC FACADE THAN THE PHYSICAL EXTERMINATION OF ITS ENEMIES, in the present period. Because it needs to always conquer the role of the arranger, because it has to confirm legitimacy and defend the social contract. In order, however, to stage these theatrical plays of SHOWING OFF THE BALANCE OF THE LAW, it also needs to recreate the side of each of its enemies. And it succeeds in recreating it completely falsely, since the price of participating in this procedure is finding yourself in the position of the accused-defendant with the relevant loss of anarchist characteristics. Because although the only possible relation you can have as an anarchist with the judicial authorities is that of conflict, you end up conversing with your enemies for the length of your sentence or the reliability of the evidence. Because although as an anarchist you are hostile to the idea of being represented, you end up accepting the representation of a lawyer. Because although as an anarchist you want to destroy the laws, you end up invoking them. (Of course being there to reverse this procedure is a completely different case which I will comment on further down). NO, I DO NOT ABSTAIN FROM THE COURT IN ORDER TO BE CLEAN FROM CONVENTIONS. BEING IN PRISON I MAKE NUMEROUS CONVENTIONS EVERY DAY. And recognizing that conventions are a strategic choice, whether for the struggle, or individual survival, I am aware of a point of view which wants participation in the procedure in order to use it as a public forum. I simply think that in this specific time, compared to some decades ago, this point of view does not stand. The only information form that these trials can reach nowadays is counter-information media in which my resonance can be publicised immediately without at any point participating in their theatrical plays, since with modern communication means such as the internet, our resonance is everywhere, but the ears we would like to hear us are stuffed by the spectacle, virtual reality and advertising. It’s this barrier we must break.
And the sentences? Many ask. Is it worth it? Making a distinction between the above point of view that sees the court as a public stand of expression (where the sentence would remain high) and a personal strategy that aims at the fastest disengagement from the correctional clogs, I reverse the question. Is it worth being the actor in a shadow theatre for a shorter sentence, quitting my anti-judicial political content? Is it worth becoming the shadow of myself, speaking the same language with the judicial executioners, the language of authority, the boring legalistic language? Is it worth the price to play their staged game and accept the validation of the democratic character of the state law?
Everyone gives their own answer and obviously it is understood, since for me there were situations where I chose to give a different answer than the one I am giving now. The weighing up between more time of inactivity in prison and retreat is thin and clearly subjective.
Speaking of this answer I will comment on the charges for a little, something I was aiming to do anyway. Because it is not in the interest of the state to admit that we are its political enemies, it seeks to distort our actions and attribute characteristics to our relationships that we hate. Thus, besides the attacks I defend against structures of authority and property, they have included my actions, as well as almost any anarchist they arrest, in the CCF, aiming (besides swelling our indictments) to show that anarchists operate aggregately under the shelter of a specific organization negating the diffuse character of our actions. Also, the even more serious and insulting charge is that of instigation, implying that there is a relationship of hierarchy (and even orders!) there where the refusal to surrender to the enemy is expressed spontaneously and consciously. Something I failed to publicly talk about until today.
Now if I may go on to the “counter-attack”. I consciously chose silence since I did not consider a public conflict with the comrades fertile, but now silence has no meaning since (and with no misunderstanding from my side) the arrows of critique have started. Because for a while now I have been following the updates of the comrades of Kontra and the victimization that is creeping into these articles concerning the anarchists implicated in these terror-trials.
The fearful and cowardly judges that execute the orders of their superiors while shitting their pants, are presented as powerful in order to serve the image that wants us in a position of weakness, while in every action we are accused of, the comrades from Kontra adopt arguments of a fantasy defence that wants our participation to not be proved. Thus now, the unasked legal defence of Kontra, presents me as leaving “like a gentleman” (!!!) with the cop car, downgrades the fact that I gave a battle for my freedom, in order to project the image of a victim of state frame up (to the point where they actually claimed that the eye witness had a seminar on what to say, since for the ideologists, if the ideology does not agree with reality, that is too bad for reality!). As I said in another public letter of mine in the past, for me it is of great political importance to defend the violent refusal to surrender, this is why I chose it, knowing that I would suffer the consequences.
In this case therefore, although it might not suit lefty rhetoric, I am not a victim. I fought for my freedom, and Drosos as well as Leodopoulos, who attempted to be a hero, suffered the consequences of anarchist revolutionary violence. Unfortunately, it was less than I would have wanted for two guards of authoritarian legality who blocked our freedom, something that is of the greatest value to me.
Closing, I would like to stress that what I wrote here concerns the comrades alone and it is not for the faces of any judiciaries, since the only thing I would like to show them are the barrels of our guns. I will continue to abstain from these boring bureaucratic shenanigans of the court.
ON 1/8/2014,”KONTRA” REPLIED TO THE TEXT WRITTEN BY G.MIHALIDIS:
A few comments on the answer of comrade Giannis Mihailidis
A critique of “Kontra”on matters of handling the trials taking place in the terror-courts of Koridallos prisons caused the answer of comrade Giannis Mihailidis, accused in these trials.
We think that a discussion has opened on a very important tactical issue. A discussion in movemental-comradely terms, which helps the clarification of opinions, without entrenchments and pointless controversies. A discussion on merits. This is why we are making some comments on the comrade’s text, not because we want to have the last word, but in order to make clearer the substance of our opinions, just like the real field of our disagreement with comrade Mihailidis.
1. To begin with, comrade G.M. commits a methodological mistake, seeking the root of our disagreement in the (given and known) differences between the marxist and the anarchist direction. It is an“easy”interpretation, which obscures the substance and, of course, it does not find a foothold in reality. Communists and anarchist revolutionaries both participated in the terror-trials (and in all eras). When we say participation, of course we are not referring to the acceptance of the legal status of the class enemy, like in common penal trials, but political participation, which aims at the emergence of the supremacy of evolutionary opinions and revolutionary action, their confrontation with bourgeois legality, the uncovering of the brutally class character of the alleged independent civil Justice, the leveling of the indictment (without giving any evidence to the class enemy), to show the fact that a trial of political opponents is taking place here and not a penal trial, the revealing of frame-ups (where they exist) etc.
We could refer to numerous political trials in which anarchist fighters followed this attitude. We will limit ourselves to one. In the terror-trial for the case of the Revolutionary Struggle, the members of the organization, anarchist fighters for armed revolutionary action, actively participated in the procedure, demonstrated the supremacy of revolutionary action, transferred their political resonance to the court room of the terror-trial, without omitting to annihilate the indictment, prove its rottenness, to reveal the numerous police fabrications, rip apart the charge of“directors role”etc. Even in the question of their participation in the militant-armed actions of the RS, which they defended one by one, without the slightest retreat, the arrested members of the organization made sure they clarified from the start and repeated it many times in the terror-court: We will not tell you what our role was in the organization, we will not tell you where we were or were not in each of the acts of the organization. You were obliged to do prove what your indictment claims. All this is recorded not only in the articles of “Kontra”, but also the minutes of the terror-trial, which the solidarity movement recorded and publicized.
A similar attitude was followed in the trials of the R.O. 17N by marxist revolutionary Dimitris Koufodinas. Our disagreement with comrade G.M., therefore, is not reduced to the differences between marxism-anarchism. An undisputed witness of this is reality itself, not only of the far future as well as the recent past and present. We are unfair to marxism and anarchism, if we seek differences and contradictions in the way revolutionaries (must) stand in the courts of the class enemy.
2. We consider the critique concerning“creeping victimization”of anarchists in terror-trials, addressed to us by comrade G.M. as leniently false. In order for this critique to be credible, it should have at least been accompanied by some examples. If anything else, we have journalistically covered all the terror-trials since 2002 and there was never any suggestion of something like that. Besides, when you recognize from the start the accused who take political responsibility for their participation in organizations that also apply armed revolutionary counter-violence (communists or anarchists) as such, that is to say as political opponents that turned against the system with arms, there are no margins for victimization.
This does not mean, however, that we will not simultaneously uncover the indictment, the witnesses’ fabrications, legislative arbitrariness and everything else that characterizes the terror-trials, which from the start we characterized as“special court-martials”, with the relative vignette diachronically accompanying our reports from them. We stress that we are referring to cases where there is a political responsibility claim by fighters and not in the cases where fighters are against them, in which our responsibility to reveal the rottenness of the indictment is greater (most recent example is the case anarchist communist Tasos Theofilou).
To reveal that some witnesses are fabricated, that the real incidents are not as the anti-terrorist force presents it, that some proof (especially the infamous DNA) is fabricated, that some reports of expertise cannot hold up to an elementary scientific critique etc., is not victimization of the accused fighters, but the uncovering of the class enemy, the mechanisms of oppression and the its alleged independent Justice. A revealing that concerns also the accused in the specific trial, and the fighters that will be found in a similar position in the future (a case law is created), but it has also contributed to the general anti-capitalist brew, since it digs the foundations of the“social contract”and creates ruptures in the social conscience.
On the contrary, one could say, that non participation in the terror-trials and the absence from all that we briefly mention above, on one side leaves the class enemy with free ground to roam and on the other resembles the christian mythology for the attitude of Jesus before his judges. We are sure that comrade G.M. and those fighters who have the same opinion do not seek some sort of “sanctification”, a mistake however is a mistake.
3. The participation of a revolutionary accused in the terror-trials, with the dominant issue being the political one of course, does not mean any form of conversing with bourgeois Justice and acceptance of its rules, let alone conversing about the sentence or about the reliability of the evidence. We must stand at this point for a little. To attack the charges, without making the slightest political retreat, does not mean that you are conversing. But it is much worse to speak of conversing when the matter is the reliability of the evidence. If we follow this logic, then we will come to the conclusion that the right revolutionary attitude is to say: “you caught me, you can load me with whatever charge you want, you can create whatever evidence you want against me, you can set up all the witnesses you want, I don’t care”! Jesus had every reason to not care, because he had… the back-up of resurrection (son of god you see), the revolutionary prisoner, however, has what reason? Does such an attitude not lead to a revolutionary sanctification, with ideology characteristics, that is to say canard conscience?
4. Dimitrov stood before the court of the nazis and annihilated the charges against him and his comrades. Belogiannis stood before the special court martial of monarcho-fascism and annihilated the charges, although he knew that his destination was the firing squad. Koufodinas, Tsigaridas, Maziotis, Roupa, Gournas (to mention some modern terror-trials, concerning communists and anarchists) stood before the terror-trials and annihilated the charges, indifferent to their sentences and without taking a step back from their revolutionary opinions and the defence of the political physiognomy and the actions of their organizations. None thought to blame them of conversing with the class enemy or for discounts on their revolutionary dignity.
5. Concerning the specific trial (clash at Pefki), which involves Theofilos Mavropoulos and Giannis Mihailidis, we remember the court session of February 25th 2013 in the 3rd trial of the CCF (chairwoman of the court was Maria Tzanakaki), during which exactly the same case was examined, with Th.M accused. In that session the phrase was heard that whoever grabbed the police car “left like a gentleman”.. Not literally, of course, but he was answering the lies of witness cop Leondopoulos, who like another Bruce Willis, with three bullets in his body, jumped through the open window of the police car and for 150 metres tried to stop the driver, while he was accelerating! We wrote, then (G.Mihailidis was not in the indictment, there was only some “second perpetrator”), that all this was a fairytale, so the cops could cover up their ridicule, when Th.Mavropoulos’ comrade took the police car and escaped.
The fact that someone is implicated in an armed clash with the cops, grabs the police car and leaves, is by definition a guerilla act. It needs no notes or comments, because it “speaks” on its own. From this indisputable fact, however, to the fabrications of the cops (which they formed after the first testimonies they gave to their colleagues) there is a big distance. When we uncover these fabrications, we do not degrade the fact (we say it again: it is in its own so “powerful” that no one can degrade), nor do we – much more – try to present comrade G.M. as a victim of a conspiracy. We simply, uncover the oppressive mechanisms and we will not allow them – to the degree that we can – to fatten up the charges and sentences. We do not think that martyrdom has any position in political trials.
This is why we consider it a slip of the comrade when he referred to the “unasked legal defence of Kontra”. We are mostly bothered by the“unasked”. For twelve years now we give our own battle in the terror-trials, at the side of the fighters and for the benefit of the movement. The revolutionary duty, as perceived and carried out by each fighter and each revolutionary collective, could never be called “unasked”. It is self-evident and imperative!
PS.1 We do not find it appropriate to answer to what comrade G.M. “unloaded” on marxism: acceptance of the “social contract” (!), deterministic reading of History under religious standards (sic!), a direction… of reforming legality and defending the legal code with the perception that…. it allegedly defends class interests (a look at our opinions of the role of civil Justice would be enough!) etc. It is easy to create a caricature of marxism – not even of a manual type – and fight it. But this is not our subject right now, this is why we are leaving it out of this discussion.
P.S.2 Needless to say everything written in this text is written in a clearly comradely spirit, in the framework of discussion inside the movement. And that any fighters who choose the same tactic in bourgeois courts, had, have and will have our solidarity.
ON 5/8/2014, A TEXT WRITTEN BY IMPRISONED ANARCHIST COMRADE G.NAXAKIS WAS PUBLISHED on athens.indymedia.org:
“Text by G.Naxakis on the ongoing discussion concerning the anti-judicial stance”
Taking the opportunity of the dialogue that has begun, I will also say a couple of things on this much discussed issue concerning our stance towards the judicial mechanisms. A dialogue which it is obvious to see is taking place in different languages, and which confirms the perspectives’ gap, that can hardly hide behind politeness and sooner or later makes its appearance in a dead-end world in which we all try hard to find the revolutionary exit, only in the end we will always bump into one another. So, I am given a proper “pass” to intervene obviously in order to put my own piece on this mess, which reflects nothing more than our general existential dead-end. In this way I also want to contribute to the chaotic dimension of the issue, provoking the continuation of the dialogue, evolving the clash of our contradictions even more, which always ends up being the only thing that gives us motivation to go further within the frames of the continuous anti-authoritarian battle. Practically though, I am not doing anything new, I am doing what any average person would do, from whatever side he/she comes from, I am publicly defending the publicly criticized part of the lifestyle I chose, simultaneously revealing that in this world the “guide” is conflict and not prevalence.
First of all, “Kontra” talks about the “supremacy of revolutionary views” and thinks that they have some kind of “revolutionary duty” as this is why they do what they do. So we are talking about massive contradictions with whatever liberties are present in most revolutionary mindsets. Contradictions that struggle to be deconstructed but obviously the inflexible perception capabilities of their carriers, not only do not help the deconstruction, but on the contrary, consolidate them, turning them into an ideology, a sort of compass that is to say, under the fear of a general theoretical and practical disorientation towards a new and unknown, possibly more dangerous direction.
So, to “Kontra”, the best thing freedom can do is “secure” itself, taking breaths of relief behind legal bulwarks in order for there not to be any case-laws against us in the future. But if we do not “gamble”those, always theoretical, “vested” rights of ours, how are we going to escape the existential mediocrity of the predictable future? Where exactly do the bulwarks help us? To think that we are closer to the fulfilment of our aim, the revolution? This logic sees the enemy as something static, as if only the revolutionary forces exist and gain space and get closer every day until one day comes the great moment of victory. Behind this logic however, beyond the weakness of understanding the supplemental role and the co-dependence/co-supplying relation between revolution and authority, what is also revealed is the hidden desire of “Kontra” to maintain the balance between us and the enemy since although the change of our stance towards the enemy creates a case-law the above-mentioned theory of the static enemy shows how they would like the enemy to be, obviously ignoring that the enemy not only is not static, but on the contrary evolves in accordance with our moves. A revolution that is waiting to take place in the (eternal) tomorrow cannot but be a sign of insufficiency of its revolutionaries. The revolution is happening while we speak or (for the more pessimists) it will never happen.
When you believe that battles are won inside court rooms you are either a lawyer or you are irrelevant. The judicial system wins whether you are acquitted or not, whether you “apologise” or not, whether you do not participate in the procedure, whether you attack them hard with words, or anything else. The judicial system cannot be defeated because human value concerning justice (with its many interpretations) is one the most basic elements that determine human evolution. The judicial system is nothing more than the extension of the sense of justice that begins from the individual and develops constantly along with the development of the crime called civilization. Even if the ones in today’s judicial authority get out of the way, the day when they get replaced by others is not far off. Besides, if we think about it, we all become judges at some moments in our daily life. Right now many of those who are reading this text are surely thinking of what is written here in justice terms (the comrade is unfair towards “Kontra”, ‘the guy is right’) and others will express themselves in alternative ways of justice for the writer (“he should get beaten for what he writes”, “this guy should be in a psychiatric hospital”). I’m saying these things only to show how deeply rooted inside us the judicial perception is. However, you fight the system because it dominates (like all of us dominate and we all need to be fought) even if we know that this war never ends. From there on, it’s up to each one’s taste how they will do it.
Part of my war, therefore, with authority, is also to discredit the judicial procedure. Trying to interpret it a bit better, i would say that this act of discrediting is brought by intuition and not by some pre-chosen political consideration. The act of discrediting comes (if it comes) at a specific moment for each one and is definitely not a proposition for everyone and for always. In some of my older trials I had aligned to full legal defence and also to a more regular “anarchist” stance. But when you have become very well known to the authorities for your hostile intentions and your criminal record has bulged up, when you know that the cops have very good information about your moves over the years, when you know that the fucking time has come for the enemy to take their furious revenge without any pretext, then you get a good whiff of the legal procedure dead-end and only the thought of any legal defence seems ridiculous. It’s too much of a contradiction for me to “use” the law when at the same time I am in prison because I loathe its existence. The fact that many still want representation from a lawyer, in other words want mediation from a person of the law, is something that should be thought solely by them when they examine their anarchist characteristics. If it fits them, then good for them on having such a stance. For me, lawyers are not neutral, they have a hostile role. At most, they can be used as a shield on the first days of the arrest in order to avoid getting tortured by the cops (the cops still have the fear of the lawyer) or as a channel of communication with comrades when nobody else can reach you. And in order for me to not sound categorically absolute about the limit of their use, I am sure they have more uses that I cannot thing about right now. We should never forget that prison is not the absolute worst and that life outside of it is also a kind of prison, in order for us to use any means available to get out of it. Prison is another field of struggle and only our mind can really enslave us. Coming back now to the part of the discrediting, during your captivity, a desire is born inside you to not give the judges the pleasure of existential confirmation with your presence in their space. Let the special seat for the defendants be empty, which is also is at a lower level than the judges seats, in order to not forget the symbolism.
On to the part concerning retort now, our hostile intentions were publicly known from the first months of our captivity through the internet, as we also mentioned our intention to refuse any discourse with the enemy. We have imputed all we could against authority, of which, the judicial system is only a part section. It is pretty obvious that you from “Kontra” either don’t read the texts by those who abstain from the procedure, or you read them and you mock us, because I find it hard to believe that you think of us as some kind of masochists that revel in the large sentences we get. Can you not understand the fact that internet has existed for many years now and covers our need for public statements? Right now we are talking through the internet. Do we have to come face to face in order to have a conversation? If I was standing in front of you reading this text would you understand something different? At most, if I was standing in front of you, you would take it as a gesture of respect. The judges and the prosecutors however, do not have our respect and they do not respect us, we do not have to analyse that further. What we want is nothing less than their total annihilation and saying this I hope help you understand why we don’t want to give them even a bit of existential confirmation. When they see us present in the procedure, they are pleased for their democratic achievement that even allows opposite views. What makes you think that the procedure gets diverted when we read offensive texts during the trial, while the judges go on following the bureaucratic procedure like normal? And if the years are fewer and some charges get dropped, what exactly changes? Will trials stop happening? Or will they stop prosecuting people that give shit to the system? Or maybe for a dropped charge in a court there is a regulation that says that it cannot be put on the next one arrested? Or nobody else can be convicted after a “successful” trial? The discrediting of the procedure is a small moment of dispute of the smooth progress of their democratic celebration. Why not give them some contempt sometimes since they still get credited pretty well.
However, we cannot remain on trials, we should discredit ethically and negate the whole concept of justice. Just like we want to break the law, we also want those we have against us to do the same. We want wild situations and not a balance of power between us which perpetuates boredom. If I’m their political opponent then I’m their penal opponent as well. If I am carrying out a political struggle, I am not doing it in order for a different way of managing the existence to prevail, I am carrying out a struggle against the logic of politics. Just like I break the law not because the revolution also goes through some illegal passages, but because I want to factually question the logic of the law. If you are still fantasizing post-revolutionary societies, fantasize me across your popular courts.
The position that someone holds against the court and not only, is something that should always be under criticism or else we remain stagnant in the evolutionary field. Something that you seem to understand very well up to a point. But nobody is “above” criticism, not me or you, not Revolutionary Struggle, nor Koufodinas and Tsigaridas which you mentioned. Anyhow, conscious and unconscious criticism exists since so many different stances exist. Texts are just a stage of the criticism. But also, within texts, we should not forget that the writing style and word selection are just representations and intensity regulators. Criticism exists de facto. But the critical analysis of “Kontra” looks “squared”, as its members seem stuck only in the romantic part of the analysis, which sees the bad state on the one side and the good revolutionaries on the other, as they justify every act (out of the court) that aims at state and capital. For them, some acts are by definition “guerilla” acts and the acts of revolutionaries speak for themselves. But if an action speaks for itself, why is counter-speech needed inside the courtroom? This “sanctification” of the revolutionary movement reflects poor thinking and acts negatively, because it separates and raises the “political” part compared with the general stance in life. A blind faith and trust towards the revolutionary force seeing everything threw a dry political filter. An unrepentant one-sided interpretation of things always within the limit of the political sphere and always in the role of the “opposition”. It surprised you when Giannis called you the “unasked legal defence”, and you answered in a way that gives away your almost religious perspective around your revolutionary motives, something that was imputed on you already by Giannis earlier in his text, but you didn’t realise that by talking about “duty” and “responsibility” you once more fall into the trap of the metaphysical dimension and expose yourselves again. Isn’t the role of a journalist a bit far from the one anointed to you by an unknown force as revolutionaries? How revolutionary can a news report be? Isn’t the “spectacle” also a part of the authoritarian world?
It’s really cheap to cover our position talking about revolutionary “duty” calling the things we like “movement solidarity”. The movement is such an abstract concept that it fits everything. When we always put the blame on the bad enemy, then it is logical that we slowly become “sanctified” and enter without even realizing it into the world of metaphysics. Thus, we automatically enter the “good” side since we know who the “bad” ones are who always are to blame. But if right now I am in a concrete shit-hole of the state, I know first of all that this is a result of my own choices and my own mistakes. How else could it be anyway? Choices of struggle which, regardless of any negotiation with others on the act, are above all and first of all my own choices. And if I have many more years to serve inside here, nobody could be more responsible than me. And if misery has taken me over and my daily mess is growing, this is a result of my choices and the mistakes that follow. And if I get attacked sometimes by the powers of prison, this is no one else’s fault but mine and the decisions I make. And if disappointment has crushed me and I get really pissed off with the “loosening” of our rupture stance that we have inside here, that’s a consequence of my own choices and mistakes. And if bitterness has flooded my existence and the grouchiness has become permanent seeing that nobody, not even from the close comrades who used to co-exist in the attack, didn’t do anything particular about my and Sarafoudis’ case, this cannot be a burden on anyone but me and my choices. Only we know how to get out of our slavery. Let’s wipe off the last traces of the old world that are stuck on us.
Giannis Naxakis, Korydallos prison, 5/8/2014
ON 6/8/14 A TEXT WRITTEN BY IMPRISONED ANARCHISTS OF THE D’ WING OF KORYDALLOS PRISON WAS PUBLISHED on athens.indymedia.org
“Text of anarchists from D’ wing of Korydallos prison on the discussion that opened concerning the stance towards the court”
The intervention of “KONTRA” offers us the chance to state publicly our position on our general stance towards the terror-trials. Even though we hold different positions in these trials and everyone supports his position against the other ones, even critically, this doesn’t mean we think that one’s position is competing with others. From 2011 when the state started a series of trials against anarchists, accused of armed revolutionary action, some comrades chose to intervene in the court while others chose to abstain from the procedure. A trial with political content and importance is not something that stands alone. It follows some choices of struggle and it connects with them dialectically. (It also shows the level of the antagonistic relation between the state and the radical scene at a given period).
Under this meaning, the presence in court in order to contradict the police-judicial position at first and to point out the indictments on one hand, and the absence from court as a factual and total discrediting of the institutions, the roles and the procedures on the other, are not positions that contradict. Either inside or outside the courtroom, no anarchist has remained silent. The positions, perspectives and choices have been explained and stated.
Revolutionary history and tradition is enriched continuously through daily conflicts and negations, and that is exactly why we don’t accept any stance as the most “revolutionary suitable”. The unmistakable difference is not in the position each comrade chooses to follow at a trial, but how their words and attitude contribute to the intensification of the conflict.
Besides, the result of every such trial does not exclusively reflect the judicial procedure, but the level of general social competition. In political trials of the last years, even though there has been tough articulation of speech and defence of armed choices, a case-law that targets those who put them forward continuously, gets more solid as a result of the broader retreat of the movement. To put the problem in its correct base, we shouldn’t concern the stance of the comrades at the court (granted that, as mentioned above, the conditions of the political conflict observed) but why these trials with such an importance aren’t main events for the movement.
Why trials of this level, that show the state’s will to repress revolutionary choices, are taking place in empty or half-full courtrooms. Why after so many years the anarchist/antiauthoritarian scene with so many trials that took place and so many that are taking place against it, hasn’t managed to set up a counter-information structure by capitalizing on the experience of the debate in the courtrooms, something that “KONTRA” does with notable consistently. In these trials, where the state, through the judicial authorities, doesn’t deal with us only as persons but mainly as exponents of a revolutionary perspective hostile to it. This is why, we raise these questions not as those “accused”, but as anarchist comrades to our comrades outside the walls.
As long as differentiability is promoted as a characteristic of division and not of composition against the attacks we’re receiving, the dynamic of our collective strength weakens. And we think that this perspective of composition of different positions and views shouldn’t be limited to the recognition of different stances towards the court but must “expand” to all fields of struggle, where the revolutionary scene is activated. One of our basic advantages as anarchists, the pluralism of theoretical considerations and practices which all aim, each one in its own way, at authority and the alienated lifestyle of today, with the inflexibilities, the hitches and the fortification of each one in their own one and only truth which incorrectly think they represent, has turned into the main obstacle for the scene to become a really combative, forceful REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT.
In order to organise our struggle, based on anarchist characteristics, its necessary to recognise each fight given by each comrade in his own way, and most important to see what unites us and act together on individual struggle fields. And because acts speak much better than words, our experiment with the Network of Fighting Prisoners is included in the above perspective.
Anarchists with different views about the role and the structure of authority, act collectively on the struggle against prison because we think that the things that unite us are more important than the things that divide us and we don’t think that each single perspective goes against another, on the contrary, it composes the mosaic of the anarchist struggle.
In order to become real danger for the state and capital we have to organise. In order to destroy this mass alienated society we have to understand the meaning of community, we have to recognise the different thoughts/stances/perspectives and act collectively, overcoming our differences. The connection and composition of our positions and views is the only way to make a step forward on the ongoing war.