“The revolutionary organization of November 17 no longer exists. It was up to me from that organization to speak, to fill the gap of silence. In this long struggle, it does not matter if you fall, but to find another hand to continue. “Roads change, times change, ways change, but the purpose is the same.”
– Dimitris Koufontinas
On 22nd December 2020 revolutionary prisoner Dimitiris Koufontinas was abducted from his cell and transported from the basement of Korydallos prison, where he was held, to the prison of Domokos. On 8th January he started a hunger strike in order to return to Korydallos prison where he was supposed to be, according to a law that the government had implemented. In solidarity anarchist prisoners Nikos Maziotis and Giannis Dimitrakis have also been on hunger strike from 16/1. Other prisoners Vaggelis Stathopoulos, Polikarpos Georgiadis went on hunger strike for 5 days. Already 26 days have passed since he started the hunger strike and our comrade’s health has deteriorated significantly due to the fact that it is not the first time he has done a hunger strike. He has been taken to hospital and has been put in total isolation. It is obvious that the Greek state has no intention of changing their decision thus passively enforcing an unofficial death sentence. From the beginning of this hunger strike many people have shown their support.
What follows is a series of public actions that have occurred since our Koufontinas has been on hunger strike.
– Intervention at the Lawyers Association of Athens.
– Intervention outside the house of Arios Pagos (Supreme Court of Cassation)
– An interference was made at the office of lawyer and member of the Central Scientific Prison Council and close partner of General Secetary of Anti-Crime Policy, who is one of the main people responsible for Koufontinas’ transfer.
-Many comrades who stand next to Koufontinas occupied the ruling party’s offices (Nea Demokratia, New Democracy) and after stopped the meeting of the Greek Minster of Civil Protection in Patras.
During all this time, almost every day, people write wall slogans on walls, hang banners of every corner and even write texts for Koufontinas struggle. Many attacks on multiple targets (banks, capitalist entities, politicians etc) have taken place. Two days of action have already taken place so far in various cities of Greece, where police violently attacked them in order to stop any movement of solidarity with Koutfontinas.
In the midst of the pandemic, the repression of the State is evolving into the wildest and most regular form we have experienced in recent years. Based on the above and that the health of our comrade is in danger due to his hunger strike, it’s imperative for every struggling man and woman to be informed and stand next to Koufontinas, we hope the voice of solidarity to Dimitris Koufaontinas will reach every corner of the world.
Greek comrades involved in the solidarity movement for Koufontinas
Text by International Anarchist Comrades in Solidarity
Since the 8th January Dimitris Koufontinas imprisoned revolutionary in Greece has been on hunger strike in protest at being transferred to Domokos prison, a modern high security hellhole which is a graveyard for the uncontrollable prisoners in the Greek prison system. Even by the Greek state’s standards he should have been sent back to Korydallos prison in Athens. He has been imprisoned since 2002, being convicted for membership and actions while as a member of former revolutionary organisation 17 November.
Even though we do not agree with the theoretical stance of the former group, we feel it is important to give a background on the organisation which conducted an urban guerrilla campaign spanning over 27 years, of armed robberies, assassinations, and bombing attacks against the Greek state, banks, business, even targeting American, Turkish and British interests in Greece which included the shooting of Richard Welch, a CIA chief and Stephen Saunders, a British military attache. Other actions of significance include:
– 11 expropriations totaling $3.5 million.
– Assassination of Pantelis Petrou, the deputy director of the riot police (MAT)
– Killing of deputy chief of the Joint United States Military Aid Group to Greece George Tsantes.
– Assassination of right-wing newspaper publisher Nikos Momferatos. The proclamation left near his body accused Momferatos of CIA connections and that Greece “remained a puppet regime in the hands of the American imperialists and the economic establishment.”
– Shooting of Dimitris Angelopoulos, one of Greece’s leading industrialists, charging that he and other members of Greece’s “lumpen big bourgeoisie class” were plundering Greece at the expense of workers.
– The most significant assassination in relation to the present was of New Democracy member of parliament Pavlos Bakoyannis in September 1989, the father of Kostas Bakoyannis, the now Mayor of Athens, who is also the son of Dora Bakoyannis, the sister of the now prime minister Kyrias Mitsotakis.
– Other assassinations included the US Navy Captain William Nordeen, the U.S. defense attache, whose car was destroyed by a car bomb a few meters from his residence and U.S. Air Force Sergeant Ronald O. Stewart, who was killed by a remotely-detonated bomb outside his apartment. Çetin Görgü, the Turkish press attaché, was shot in his car and Ömer Haluk Sipahioğlu, a Turkish embassy counselor, was shot on an Athens street. Ship and shipyard owner Constantinos Peratikos was shot leaving his office.
– In 1985 the group exploded its first bomb targeting a bus full of riot police; a long cable was used to detonate explosives made of stolen quarrying explosives, which killed one.
– 17N bombed four tax offices in its first low-level attack against property.
– In December 1989, 17N stole 114 obsolete anti-tank rockets from a Greek military depot in Sykourion of Larissa. Between 1990 and 1999, 17N conducted 24 rocket attacks, all but three of them aimed at property rather than human targets. In November 1990, a rocket attack against the armored limousine of shipowner Vardis Vardinogiannis failed. A rocket attack took place on a building of BP. In May 1991 a rocket attack against Siemens offices. In December 1991 rocket attack against Viohalco, a Greek heavy industry corporation. In 1991, 17 N rocketed also a riot police bus, killing one officer and wounding 14. In May 1994 a rocket attack took place against an IBM building. In March 1995 two rockets against Mega Channel. The group used another rocket to attack a downtown branch of the American Citibank, which caused damage but no injuries, as the warhead did not explode. The rocket was fired by remote control from a private car parked outside the bank on Drossopoulou street in the downtown district of Kypseli.
– On 29 June 2002 Greek authorities captured an injured Savvas Xiros, following a failed bombing attempt on the Minoan Flying Dolphins ferry company in Piraeus. A search of Xiros’ person and interrogation led to the discovery of two safe houses and to the arrests of six more suspects, including two brothers of Savvas. A 58-year-old former mathematics student living underground since 1971, Alexandros Giotopoulos, was identified as the group leader and was arrested on 17 July 2002 on the island of Lipsi. On 5 September, Dimitris Koufodinas, identified as the group’s chief of operations, surrendered to the authorities.
We have been told by our Greek comrades that because of his age (68) his health has deteriorated badly, that he is passing in and out of consciousness, that he is most likely either to die or fall into a coma. Soon he will be sent to special hospital where people go to die.
Along with our Greek comrades we see the blatant attempt the Greek state to isolate and to not transfer Koufontinas to Korydallos prison as an extermination of a revolutionary they have a vendetta against because of the 17N assassination of Pavlos Bakayannis. Added to this is the attack upon the memory of the ‘armed struggle’ against not only the Greek state, but all systems of power internationally, to erase the memory of those who dare to use revolutionary violence against them, as they have attempted against so many revolutionary groups in the past. It is not a coincidence that after ‘economic crisis’ and now the occurring ‘pandemic’ that globally the controllers of our lives are trying to reset the ruptures that keep occurring, to inflict a new more repressive machine upon the world. They want to destroy the memory that violence was ever a threat to them. How they try to divide even now between those who are the ‘violent’ and the ‘non-violent.’
Now more than ever we need to act internationally, to not let each other be isolated. To not let them try to destroy our memory, for there to be continuation!
From the smallest spark can come a storm that will never be stopped!
“Dimitris Koufontinas! The conflict will continue!
Strength to the anarchist comrades also on hunger strike G. Dimitrakis, N. Maziotis!”
International Anarchist Comrades in Solidarity