Friday 12.07.19, in the Leroy Merlin store in Piraeus, a simple attempted theft of a few items becomes the pretext awaited by the manager of the store, in cooperation with OVIT SA, the store security company, to bring about the resignation or dismissal of the worker G.A. as a supposed accomplice in the affair. G.A. is a militant known for his political and unionist activity in the store. He is also active in social struggles and the class struggle. The event that unleashes everything, which takes place between the windows and shelves of a large store, is an attempted theft of objects estimated to cost 180 €. A daily practice for a large part of the proletariat in the years of the capitalist crisis. But which in this case becomes an unprecedented persecution leading to the accusation of seven comrades and finally the imprisonment of anarchist comrade X. Kortesi in just 24 hours.
The two comrades suspected of having committed the crime were apprehended with force by the security guards and locked in a room-cell in the store. After some time, and when it seemed that the incident could be resolved, Konstantinos Drivas, ex-soldier, security agent and owner of OVIT starts threatening the two comrades, by blackmail and appeal to psychological and physical violence, to make them rat on the worker, G.A. as being their “accomplice”. Drivas is accustomed to using information extraction methods and management thanks to his knowledge acquired in military seminars that meet the standards of OTAN! Thus, Ovit voluntarily assumes the role that the Leroy Merlin society confided to him as repressive mechanism and it is here that the story starts to take on disproportionate dimensions.
At first, it seems that G.A. was targeted for being an active militant in trade union action, being in solidarity with comrades in struggle, because of his participation in strikes and labour struggles, in short the thorn in the side of the store administration. He is also a member of the Association of employees working in the commercial sector of Piraeus. With the two comrades’ refusal to legitimize the scenario that the company is trying to set up, Drivas threatens to involve the police, taking advantage of the fact that one of the comrades, X. Kortesis is out of prison on bail. The two comrades who took the products demand that they be let go. But Drivas and the other security cops hold them back by force. Three hours later, those in solidarity and comrades arrive at the store to pay the amount and denounce the company’s action, Leroy Merlin and his security agents. They manage to release the two comrades. The first attempt collapses when the personal and political relationship between the employee and X. Kortesis is exploited by the store management to get the former to hand in his resignation. Which does not happen. This is also the reason for which G. A. is apprehended by the Piraeus police as a witness. The accusation transmitted by the police to the Prosecutor’s Office in Piraeus mentions three offenses: theft, unlawful use of force, assault.
The next day, comrade X. Kortesis is arrested by the police in the centre of Athens. Police put a hood on him and take him to an unknown destination, while beating him during his arrest. The comrade is brought to the Prefecture of Piraeus. At the same time, a terrorist-type investigation is conducted at his home by a large number of police.
A few words on the exaggerated and premeditated accusations and the attempt at the political and physical elimination of comrade X.K.
The vengeance of the State vis-à-vis Comrade X. Kortesis takes full reign when the theft becomes a serious crime, so as to involve the second comrade. The refusal of the comrade to name the other persons, and his political course, is enough to put him in danger. As Pantelidis the investigator insists, the comrade is suspected of having committed further offences. The State and its repressive mechanisms have accounts with its declared enemies and the fighters who have been struggling for years. X. Kortesis is an anarchist and has never concealed it. He was sentenced for participation in the organization “Revolutionary Struggle” and imprisoned for two years; one of the many people who stood by his side and attended his trial as a witness is anarchist comrade and employee of Leroy Merlin, G.A.. The political and personal relations between the two comrades are enough to initiate new acts for their political and physical elimination. The recipe is simple: criminalize the obstinacy of comrades to be part of social and political struggles and give an example to all those who strongly oppose the State. Certain so that comrade G.A. from witness quickly became suspect and accomplice on the same charge of aggravated theft. The prosecutor Angeloudi investigates another five persons, bringing the number of persecuted to seven. While a usual and well-known practice of the police and judiciary of the “anonymous call” makes sure that anarchist comrade P.X. also finds himself accused. On Thursday, July 18, the employee G.A passed before the investigating judge. There, they try to dismantle the accusation of prosecutor and the role played by the boss, Leroy Merlin and the company’s security OVIT. He is released without restrictive conditions.
Persecution of the anarchist movement and its multiple aspects, criminalisation of class struggles and social struggles, political and physical elimination of comrades, the repression and intimidation of self-organised movements are at the core of the doctrine “order – development of capitalist-security” that the Greek State and its political staff has served for years.
Some noise about the anomie and annihilation of Exarchia, squat evictions, more recently that of “Brooklyn” in Ioannina, repression (attack on the protest against AirBnB and tourism development by the CRS in the Koukaki district) up to the criminalisation of the strike, the abolition of the law prohibiting police presence inside the universities, the prosecution of 20 former and current political prisoners based on their political identity and for reasons of expression of solidarity in prisons, against the State and the bosses, all contribute to the construction of the new totalitarian framework that is being set up in order to face every social contestation and struggle.
We declare and present ourselves on the class war front. We declare that we will not leave any comrade alone in the face of the repression of the State, the bosses and their accomplices who are the real thieves. A permanent and daily theft, sometimes violent, sometimes by methodically extracting the consensus of people who are exploited but who sometimes confront them.
No challenge will remain unanswered
Let’s crush the terrorism of the State and the bosses
IMMEDIATE FREEING OF COMRADE X. KORTESIS
NO CHARGES FOR THE OTHER COMRADES
AGAINST THE STRATEGY OF THE STATE AND THE BOSSES
RESISTANCE AGAINST THE CRIMINALISATION OF SOCIAL AND CLASS STRUGGLES
GATHERING MONDAY 22/7, 18.30 AT THE OFFICES OF THE OVIT SECURITY COMPANY
TUESDAY 23/7, 18.30, AT THE LEROY MERLIN STORE IN MAROUSI
Assembly of anarchist collectives, Comrades and others in solidarity
Translated by Act for freedom now!
To write to comrade:
Dikastiki Fylaki Korydallou