About the case

Vaggelis Botzatzis is a Greek Anarchist who has been remanded into custody since the end of 2007. He is accused of setting fire to 2 company cars belonging to the Greek national energy company, setting fire to a Greek bank, and of an arson to a French car dealership. Vaggelis was arrested at 26 november 2007. Due to Greece’s laws, he can be held in prison for up to 18 months prior to trial. For the same case three more comrades are wanted by the police and they are still on the run. They are all accused under the greek anti-terrorist law and if they get convicted they are facing huge sentences. Vaggelis is claiming that he is innocent and he says that the reason for his arrest is his participation in the anarchist movement. It is important to mention that the only evidences that the greek state has is a testimony of a security guard and a fake testimony of woman that it was taken under threats and psychological pressure from the police. This last testimony was withdrawn after several days with a public statement.
The days after Vaggelis arrest we experienced a huge police movement in the city. Several comrades were taken to the police station for questioning, houses got searched and riot cops surrounded the neighborhood that vaggelis and the 3 comrades were living. Also some media of the country published the photos of the 3 wanted comrades. Against this situation a big variety of solidarity actions rised up from the first days and they are still going on all over greece.
This case of state repression is one of the most important cases for the greek radical movement the last years. Because the greek state is trying to accuse people under the anti-terrorist law for practices like arsons, that previously were not defined as so. If they succeed now, they will continue. The states effort is to reduce the possibilities of uncompromising and radical resistance, to spread fear and weakness to the population. Also to sell the image of security. Finally to “trim” the population to the current necessities of capital. The criminalization of resistance is one of their methods, the huge media propaganda is another. There are many more. The world is turning more and more in a totalitarian way, in this process anti-terrorism is a tool, a name for a state’s tactic to confront its internal or external enemies, to secure and extend its power. Anti-terrorism is global strategy with similarities and differences appearing in every country. But the discrimination of resistance, the extension of repression and surveillance mechanisms, the strong ideological propaganda, the offensive social demand for security and the militarization are things that we experience everywhere.
We have to understand it and to fight against it on a local and an international level as well. That is why we think that there is need for international solidarity for the case of vaggelis and the 3. During the next months they will be calls for national and international solidarity action days and they will be also announced from this blog. Keep in touch to get informed.

P.S. Letters can be sent to Vaggelis at the address below. Vaggelis can receive short messages of support written in English or in french. When writing to Vaggelis, please remember the authorities do censor his mail so please do not write anything that could be regarded by the authorities as “dangerous”.
Komotini Juridical Prison (“Dikastikes Fylakes Komotinis”)
T.K. 69100

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