Greece: Text from anarchist prisoner N. Romanos about the court decision for the case of «individual terrorists»
April 2, 2018by actforfreedom
Yesterday, the cycle of our criminal cases ended with the state condemning us for dozens of years of imprisonment as «individual terrorists» with elements and accusations that would be a routine case in a formal court of ordinary criminal law.
The decision of yesterday’s court is a decision point for the political trials and the new correlations that are shaped on the map of criminal repression against the anarchist movement.
They claimed the legal weapon of the state, the instrument of «individual terrorism», which is nothing less than the criminalization of the anarchist political identity, as sufficient evidence for the condemnation of fighters under the counter-terrorism law (187A). Even so, if a comrade has been irrevocably acquitted for their participation in an organization, as with us, their political identity may be the vehicle for conviction with 187A, as has been said many times from the mouth of Prosecutor Apostolaki –“they are anarchists, so their acts are terrorist”, “they have not changed their views so that their actions can be characterized differently”. At the same time, a new upgraded field to expand 187A is created whereby an anarchist action which goes beyond the bounds of civic legitimacy will be described as “individual terrorism” increasing the length of sentences and time remaining in prison.
Characteristic is my own example, while for the expropriation in Velvento, Kozani, I was sentenced to 11 years in prison without the provisions of 187A, for some cartridges and three arsons I was sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment, it is obvious even for a first-year law student that these acts have much less criminal weight than an armed expropriation of a bank. So, for the reason that I entered prison, I would have been released from prison for some time while I am held with tens of years on my back based on the repressive innovation of individual terrorism which for the first time is applied against anarchist prisoners.
Of course, this fact is not a neutral finding, nor is it a victimized presentation of reality, it is the best proof that anarchists are a real threat to the system even during periods of reversal for the anarchist movement. Because, in fact, yesterday’s convictions were nothing less than the condemnation of anarchist identity. The condemnation of the political defence of our actions and our choices in the bourgeois courts, the condemnation of the fact that we do not bend to kiss the cross of repentance, or kneel in front of our oppressors as is the case every day in the halls of the Court of Appeal and [the court of] Evelpidos, but we stand with our heads held high against them.
In fact, what yesterday’s sentences wanted to impose was a resounding message of state terror to those who give subversive battles on the lines of the anarchist movement. An attempt to leave the poison of fear in the midst of radical ventures, to cast doubt on the effectiveness of struggle, to prevent new comrades from lighting and spreading the flames of solidarity within the metropolis, to separate the means of the anarchist struggle into permissible and non-permissible on the basis of the criminal repression and the extension of 187A, which is nothing more than a sharpened knife in the hands of the police and judicial complex, to become the captive trophies in the zoo of the correctional colonies that will be there to remind you what you might suffer from any attempt to attack the system. Moreover, it is not by chance that until the condemnation was reached there was complete silence on the matter from the media, as soon as it was delivered the decision became a matter for news stories as a permanent reminder that the state is taking revenge on its political opponents.
And it is indeed a reality that the state and its mechanisms of imprisonment reserve the most vengeful attitude to those who have disputed its omnipotence. It is also a fact that speaking the language of truth, our heart hurts. It hurts for the years of our one and only youthful life being thrown onto the wastes of prisons, hurting for our relatives who are experiencing a merciless psychological war and turning into the collateral damage in a war they did not choose, it hurts for our friends and comrades who grow up together in the prisons, it hurts for our people who leave the courtroom with dismal steps, hurting for those who cry feeling the rage choking them. But it is also a reality that this pain could never be compared to the pain of a life choking in apathy, indifference and self-interest. Those for whom turning back the crimes of the state and capital has never been a realistic choice.
The pain that the state and capitalism generously distributes in prisons, psychiatric hospitals, concentration camps and refugee camps, on the land and sea borders, in the workshops of the civilized West and the deathshops set up by multinational monopolies in the countries of the Third World to expand their productive base by pressing on the corpses of children, can not be overcome by turning away our gaze, by closing our eyes, with a harmless protest within the framework defined for us by the system.
The pain that is felt by a person devoted to the struggle for the cause of freedom is the one who feeds the hearth of disobedience and insurrection against the state and its servants. They are the one who produces radical theories, who becomes an accomplice in the historical formation of subversive events, it is the tightness in the stomach when they find themselves with a book in hand studying the stories of the past historical experiences of comrades who by their action contributed to our common cause by adding their stone to the development of revolutionary history.
On the opposite side, the pain of a life drowned in compromise and apathy is a pain that is existential, it is the pain of a new life that has learned to obey orders, to be disciplined in front of the powerful, to be indifferent to the oppression and exploitation of those next to them so long as it does not touch them, it is the pain of the psychologically damaged, the homogenization behind the produced social standards, the diffuse individualisation, it is the pain of the existential vacuum which in the era of capitalist prosperity was covered by car rentals, a new set of home furniture, cheap entertainment, and now remains trapped in the OAED [unemployment service] queues, in the church meals, in the choice of tolerance to this condition, and not in organizing resistances to overthrow it.
Therefore, as many times as we could turn time back, our hearts would choose to walk through the wild and special beauty of the anarchist struggle, on the paths of conflict with power in all its forms, in all those moments where the murderous class of a civilized world is disturbed by insurgent slaves, by those who refuse to be slaves, by fighters who bear the flames of freedom within them.
Those who are anarchists are proud, and all these contemptible and petty people like Ganiatsos, Apostolakis, Mouzakis and the like who are raving to extinguish us, can invent new legal terminologies, build indictments, tear up the criminal code itself in their fury against those in front of them.
The anarchist movement has spilt its blood and has proven in its long history that it will seek with perseverance and persistence the ways to respond to those who consistently organize its extermination. The responsibility for the judicial coup belongs to many with each individually assigned their own part. From the political responsibilities of the SYRIZA government, which relate to anti-terror laws and its selective sensitivity to cases where it may have a political interest, in the blocked mouths of all those “of the movement” or “of rights” seeking the issues they will raise to change the current political agenda, to the names of those involved in the particular coup d’état till the anti-terrorist unit and the investigators who carved up the charges and built indictments for the purpose our legal extermination.
A nexus of power that independent of its inner conflicts finds a common field of action in dealing with the “internal” enemy and fighting it with every available means.
If anything is certain it is that this particular judicial coup will not be forgotten in oblivion, but will be a springboard for struggle against the anti-terrorist policies, current terror trials and the regime of exception against political prisoners. The names of Ganiatsos, Mouzakis, Apostolakis and all the rest will be engraved in the memory of all those struggling faithfully for anarchy and freedom and the feet of the movement will make sure that they kick the stools out from under those standing, throwing them from the pedestal of arrogance and vengefulness to a new discredit and stigmatization. There the false idol of the blood-painted god these people worship will watch them fall.
In conclusion, we can safely say that the condemnations of the state and its appointed servants neither bend us nor terrorize us, neither us nor the comrades who are fighting for our common cause. Anarchy in our heart will continue to burn until it burns the last remnants of this aged world which generates all that technocratic ugliness that covers every centimetre of this planet. Until that beautiful day when free and captive comrades will have the smile of satisfaction for the just act of our struggle imprinted in every gesture, the struggle continues and will continue against the architects of all the small and great blows against our lives.
Strength and solidarity to all those comrades who stand next to us each in their own way.