Sentences announced in 2nd Halandri Case trial
On Tuesday, October 2, the sentences were announced in the second trial of the Fire Cells Conspiracy Revolutionary Organization. The trial began in December 2011 and dealt with three bombings carried out by the Fire Cells Conspiracy in 2009: at the apartment of former Interior Vice-Minister Panayiotis Hinofotis, at the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace, and at the apartment shared by politicians Gerasimos Arsenis and Louka Katseli.
Recall that since September 7, when Conspiracy comrades Damiano Bolano, Giorgos Nikolopoulos, and Michalis Nikolopoulos walked out of the trial (Christos Tsakalos had already done so earlier) and fired their attorneys, none of the accused comrades have appeared at subsequent sessions.
The judges, as expected, twice assigned the comrades court-appointed attorneys. But the comrades rejected those attorneys, refusing to be represented by them. The comrades therefore received notice that the trial would continue “as if they were in attendance,” which in fact meant “without their attendance,” and the October 2 session went ahead as such.
Bolano and the Nikolopoulos brothers were each sentenced to seven years in prison for “participation in a terrorist organization,” ten years for each of the four acts of “fabrication, supply, and possession of explosives,” and seven years for each of the the three “instigations of simple collaboration in explosions caused by unknown perpetrators, which caused a danger to people and property.” The total sentence for each of the three comrades is therefore 68 years in prison, with the so-called “combined sentence” being 34 years, out of which 25 years must be served (because there is no life sentence in Greece).
Tsakalos was sentenced to seven years for “participation in a terrorist organization,” and he released the following statement:
Statement by Christos Tsakalos Regarding the Fire Cells Conspiracy Trial
Yesterday, while I was sitting down to a chat with my comrades here at Korydallos Prison where I’m locked up, I found out about the sentence the courts imposed on me for the Halandri Case.
It was the finale of a judicial-police performance that ended without our attendance, because weeks ago we had already distanced ourselves from the trial—offending its laws, insulting its power, spitting on its justice, and rejecting its attenuating circumstances.
I had hardly learned of the sentences when some comradely “ribbing” began. The reason is simple. The courts and their puppets separated our sentences, condemning each of my three comrades to 34 years in prison while inflicting a mere seven years on me!
The judicial clergy naturally gave me a “soft” sentence, not because—despite their burning desire—the Antiterrorist Unit was unable to link me to the Halandri Case, but because of the certainty of a more serious sentence of many years that they’re reserving for me in the upcoming trials. Everyone knows that my name is in all the accusatory briefs concerning the Fire Cells Conspiracy (and of course some of them attribute the role of “leader” to me, thereby surpassing the limits of ridiculousness), while the Italian authorities have also initiated criminal proceedings against me.
But the empty eloquence of legal verbiage has never meant anything to me, nor has the democratic discourse of justice, with its presumptions of innocence and its evidentiary proof.
I continue to be an enemy of the black plague of justice and its functionaries.
Therefore, when the first arrest warrants for the Fire Cells Conspiracy were issued four winters ago, I didn’t hesitate for a single moment. The newspapers and television were portraying me as the “head” and “founder” of the Fire Cells Conspiracy, but the Antiterrorist Unit couldn’t find the evidence to issue a warrant for me.
Nevertheless, I walked directly through the doors of anarchist clandestinity and joined my brothers and sisters named in the arrest warrants—equal among equals, friend among friends, comrade among comrades.
Because no arrest warrant and no prison are capable of separating those who defy power, those who make warrants explode with the endless poetry of dynamite, and those whose comrade is fire.
Thus even now I reject what separates us legally, and I throw my “soft” sentence back in the judges’ faces.
I’m disgusted by their hypocritical decency, and I’m keeping my accounts open with the judicial mafia.
Also, to me, freedom isn’t bargained for in the enemy’s courtrooms. Freedom is a strictly personal cause, not to be begged for but conquered—day by day, thought by thought, gesture by gesture, smile by smile, attack by attack.
I continue to be an unrepentant anarchist of praxis, a nihilist against all social peace, and forever an urban guerrilla of the Fire Cells Conspiracy.
I therefore nullify legal truth and the word of law, following the truth I chose to believe and struggle for—my own truth, that of permanent anarchist insurrection and the new anarchist guerrilla warfare.
There, where everything is possible.
—Christos Tsakalos; Member of the Fire Cells Conspiracy (Informal Anarchist Federation/International Revolutionary Front); October 2, 2012; Korydallos
Translation by act for freedomnow/boubourAs
Session 27, Wednesday 5/9/12
In this session the 4 members of the CCF refused to appear in court. They reacted with this way to the vengeful transfers they succumbed to during the summer, resulting in them returning to Koridallos prisons 24 hours before the trial began. The court adjourned for Friday 7/9
Session 28, Friday 7/9
In this session Christos Tsakalos, member of the CCF, refused to appear in court and sent the following statement:
‘I refuse to appear in the circus of your court. Your proposition smells of submission and your show is cheap and repulsive. As for your condemning decision, frame it and put it up in your offices, because it does not interest me… Nothing will stop the action of the CCF and the Informal Anarchist Federation-International Revolutionary Front. The wolf inside us remains restless and does not forget… Nothing has finished… everything continues… Anarchy and insurrectionist action will either be illegal or will be nothing…’ During the session there was tension between the members of the CCF, D.Bolano, Michalis and Giorgos Nikolopoulos, and the judges. The chairman mentioned the phrase used in a previous session by the members of the CCF, who addressing the judges they said “put your mitigations up your asses…”. The comrades repeated the phrase this way completely devaluating the court and stating their hostile intentions for the state justice. Besides, during the whole of the previous trial as well as the trial for the “Halandri case” the members of the CCF have kept an absolute anti-juridical attitude, whether it is through the refusal to appear in the court room and the ceasing of their advocates, or through the anarchist statements they make there against the state its society, or with their aggressive gestures towards the judges (throwing flyers, swearing at the prosecutor, attacking the cops in the court room etc). In the tension created in this session, the comrades swore at the chairman and prosecutor while simultaneously D.Bolano stood up and threw a bottle full of water, which broke when hitting the juridical seat. Immediately the comrades were surrounded by the cops, who stopped them from expressing their threatening moods further and the incident continued verbally! As an ending for the trial, the comrades ceased their lawyers and left. While leaving, and swearing at the judges, they managed to spit in their faces.
The session ended immediately after and the next session was set for Tuesday 11/9.
Session 29, Tuesday 11/9/12
In today’s session none of the members of the CCF appeared, while there were no lawyers either. The 4 members of the CCF sent written statements that they refuse to appear in a trial-circus, as they call it, and they do not accept to be represented by any lawyer. The court none the less appointed them new lawyers although, as the chairman said himself, it is a given that the comrades of the CCF will not accept them.
The next sessionwas scheduled for Wednesday 19/9.
Summary of days 26 and 27 (Wednesday, July 25 and Thursday, July 26) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
These sessions marked the beginning of the defense attorneys’ remarks.
As one of the attorneys pointed out, the four Fire Cells Conspiracy comrades have distanced their position from the “defensive” remarks of their attorneys, since the comrades don’t recognize the authority of the court and won’t make apologias. The attorney explained that the defense attorneys’ remarks would thus express only their own opinions, and not the anarchist position of the Fire Cells Conspiracy. Naturally, all the attorneys showed respect for the choices and attitudes of the four comrades, even directing the charges back at the court and declaring that “the terrorist is the state.” They also specifically referred to the notion of political responsibility, emphasizing that the act of taking political responsibility is fundamentally different from the act of taking criminal responsibility.
Here we must accent that prior statements made by members of the Fire Cells Conspiracy have made it clear that, to them, taking political responsibility also means actively defending every Fire Cells Conspiracy attack. Beyond that, they consider theory and practice to be inseparable, and they therefore never asserted that they were being “persecuted for their ideas” but rather for their decision to take up arms and attack the structures of power and its society by using all methods: texts, fires, Molotovs, bombs, firearms. That’s the choice they made—to take part in permanent anarchist insurrection. It’s a choice they will keep refusing to apologize for, a choice they even keep alive from inside prison with their texts, their books, their attitude against the prison system, their escape attempt, and their rejection of courtroom apologias.
Additionally, as the Fire Cells Conspiracy comrades have stated:
We are anarchists of praxis. Ideas and theories that don’t dare become practices end up as cowardly chitchat nourished by passive excuses and inhibitions. You aren’t criminally prosecuting us simply for some lovely anarchist theories printed on a piece of paper, but rather for our CHOICE that our ideas also speak through the flame that lights the fuse, the cloth that stoppers the Molotov, the still warm barrel of a gun.
The trial was adjourned to Wednesday, September 5.
Summary of day 24 (Tuesday, July 10) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
The session was to feature the apologias of the four Fire Cells Conspiracy comrades.
However, before the proceedings even began, Michalis Nikolopoulos read a statement in which he made it clear that the Conspiracy doesn’t defend itself, apologize, or back down, and that the anarchist war continues. In another statement, Christos Tsakalos said that the judges were being ridiculous if they expected the comrades to justify themselves, and he emphasized that they were all proud to be members of the Fire Cells Conspiracy and part of the Informal Anarchist Federation/International Revolutionary Front.
Concluding, Tsakalos addressed the judges directly: “And just so you don’t forget us, you can stick the ‘extenuating circumstances’ of your democracy and your justice up your asses.” Then, while insulting the judges, all four comrades got up and left, completely surrounded by an ample escort of pigs who were bewildered by our comrades’ attitude and afraid that perhaps they were going to attack the judges. Meanwhile, the few comrades present in the courtroom audience shouted: “The passion for freedom is stronger than all prison cells!” A recess was called, but when the session resumed the defendants didn’t return, deciding against attending and making their “apologias.”
The trial was obligatorily adjourned to July 20, which session is scheduled to begin with the prosecutor’s closing arguments. While our four comrades, accompanied by a special escort of pigs, were being led back to prison, they ran into the presiding judge in a hallway. Damiano Bolano shouted at him: “Your days are numbered, judge!” This caused the judge to return to the courtroom to take refuge, leaving smiles on the faces of our comrades.
Summary of day 23 (Friday, June 29) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
During this session of the court martial against the Fire Cells Conspiracy anarchist organization, the prosecutor requested that the group’s “The Sun Still Rises” pamphlet be read, as well as the communiqué for the explosion at the Thessaloniki Courthouse. Both texts were read by the presiding judge, and the trial was then adjourned to July 10.
Summary of day 22 (Friday, June 22) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
Comrades Giorgos Nikolopoulos, Michalis Nikolopoulos, and Christos Tsakalos—in a gesture of solidarity with Olga Economidou, who has been locked up in solitary confinement at Diavata Prison for 49 days—demanded that the trial be suspended. Comrade Damiano Bolano also submitted the same demand in writing, since he didn’t attend the trial in person.
The judges contacted the Justice Ministry to find out more about Olga’s situation and the status of her transfer. The Ministry informed them that Economidou’s solitary confinement will end in a few days, at which point she will be transferred to Thebes Women’s Prison.
Therefore, the judges insisted on continuing the trial. But despite everything, the Fire Cells Conspiracy comrades refused to take part in the proceedings, saying that “the trial will continue solely and exclusively after Olga is removed from solitary confinement, transferred, and we have spoken to her ourselves, because the Ministry keeps saying the same thing it already said a month ago.” Given the comrades’ definitive, irrevocable rejection, the presiding judge was obligated to suspend the trial.
The trial was adjourned to Friday, June 29.
Summary of day 21 (Friday, June 8) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
The court martial session at Korydallos Women’s Prison lasted just 15 minutes, since comrades Damiano Bolano, Christos Tsakalos, and Giorgos and Michalis Nikolopoulos walked out of the courtroom for the second session in a row, staying faithful to the statements they made at the last session. Those statements made it clear that as long as comrade Olga Economidou remains locked up in a solitary confinement cell in the dungeons of Diavata, the defendants—as a display of solidarity—will walk out of every trial session and push for the trial’s suspension. Comrade Haris Hatzimichelakis, a witness in the case, followed suit by sending in a written statement explaining that he will not be testifying as long as Economidou remains in solitary confinement.
It must be emphasized that Economidou, who is a member of the Fire Cells Conspiracy/Informal Anarchist Federation/International Revolutionary Front, has been in a Diavata solitary confinement cell since May 4 because she refused to submit to the degrading body cavity search required by the guards as a prerequisite to placing her in the general prison population. Comrade Economidou’s transfer from Thebes Prison to Diavata was a disciplinary measure imposed on her after she beat up another prisoner—a snitch serving the prison authorities. More than a month later, they keep applying consecutive punishments of 10 additional days each in solitary confinement for the same “minor offense,” all in an attempt to crush her resistance. It’s an attempt that continues without bearing any fruit. With her unbending attitude, Economidou has even managed to cover up the surveillance camera in her cell.
HANDS OFF COMRADE OLGA ECONOMIDOU.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE MEMBERS OF THE FIRE CELLS CONSPIRACY REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATION AND THE OTHER DEFENDANTS IN THE SAME CASE.
The trial was adjourned to Friday, June 22.
Damiano Bolano’s attorneys requested that the trial be postponed since both attorneys for the three other comrades were absent due to their attendance at other trials. Comrade Christos Tsakalos then read the following statement:
At this point in the trial we would like to clarify something.
We find ourselves here before you because we carry war within us. War against the guillotine of power, against the resignation of the crowd, and against the silence of our times.
In order for there to be war, two sides are always needed. You are on one side: puppets of power, little lawmen, scarecrows of order. When power says “jump!” you jump. When it says “bark!” you bark.
We are on the other side. We are beyond and outside your laws. The filth of your power doesn’t touch us. We are nullifiers of your laws, guerrillas of life, anarchists of praxis. We do not fear prison and we laugh at your “fair” sentences.
When we took political responsibility for belonging to the Fire Cells Conspiracy, we simultaneously committed to keep struggling against your world until our last breath.
By taking political responsibility, we didn’t simply take responsibility for a bunch of fine anarchist ideas and theories. We also took responsibility for the precious practices born from those ideas. We took responsibility for the explosive devices we assembled, the explosions we caused, the weapons we held in our hands, and the communiqués we released.
And if the police and their investigations are unable to find our fingerprints, well, our prints are scattered everywhere.
They are on the dynamite and ANFO being tirelessly carried around by our brothers and sisters in Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina, sowing terror in the empire of the existent.
They are on the weapons of our Italian brothers and sisters who are spreading the new anarchy. On the travel gear of our comrades at large here in Greece. They are everyplace where the history of subversive practice and anarchist significance is being written.
However, under no circumstances will we offer up anything—no matter how minuscule—to the curiosity of the police machinery.
We will not give them even the tiniest bit of information about what we have done, with whom, and when. Let the police bloodhounds reveal all that if they can. The only thing we are saying is: “We were, are, and will continue to be unapologetic anarchists of praxis.”
You may have captured us, but you haven’t defeated us.
We will never give in. We give strength to one another with a promise in our eyes: “Solidarity among anarchists of praxis isn’t just words.”
Now our thoughts and hearts are with our comrade Olga, who has been locked up in solitary confinement for 26 days. With Olga, who hasn’t submitted to prison rules and humiliations for a single moment. Our voices are also hers, and her actions are our actions. We therefore offer up our favorite saying: “Memory isn’t garbage, and blood isn’t water.” We pledge that we will never forget during those thousands of days that await us, nor will we ever forget that freedom isn’t given. One must take it!
—First phase of the Fire Cells Conspiracy
Michalis Nikolopoulos then continued by reading the second part of the statement:
Today our sister Olga Economidou remains locked up, for the 26th day, in solitary confinement at Diavata Prison. She is there because of her intransigent, dignified, and combative attitude, which she has also continued to maintain inside the walls as an anarchist prisoner of war. More specifically, during her imprisonment at Thebes Women’s Prison, a disciplinary transfer was imposed on her after she directly refused to share a cell with a prisoner snitch. Olga therefore attacked the snitch with a flurry of punches and managed to get her thrown out of that wing of the prison. Then, while she was being transferred to Diavata Prison, Olga—being proud and consistent with her ideas—refused to submit to that infamously humiliating body-cavity search. That’s why she is in solitary confinement and why they have leveled a new disciplinary punishment at her.
Olga’s attitude is yet another brilliant example of dignity in the quiver of the anarchist legacy, an example that all who consider themselves Revolutionary Anarchists and anarchists of Praxis can arm themselves with to defend anarchist values and freedom.
Because only through everyday dissidence and the destruction of every authoritarian relationship do we tread the paths of Anarchy.
We reject any kind of petty politicking, inhibition, or excuse whose goal is to mask fear or impotence.
We continue to be enemies of society, whether prisoners or not, via continual anarchist attacks on the authoritarian complex.
Attacks that were carried out by the Black International of Anarchists of Praxis, consisting of dozens of actions by the Informal Anarchist Federation around the world. Attacks that target the head of domination, with the goal of completely eradicating it.
The new Conspiracy, after its recent strike against a Post Office vehicle and a Christian church, stated: “The act of doubting things is the source of knowledge. By questioning, people become aware of the misery of the existent. This act of doubting, in order to become and embody a useful weapon against the enemy, nevertheless requires dignified, daring, combative people with appropriate plans. The revolutionary violence exercised by such people can, under existing conditions, be considered a quite relevant and efficient project. That’s because, to us, “healthy” political positions don’t consist of simple dialogue with the enemy. Rather, they represent a war in which, instead of engaging in dialogue with your enemy, you stick a knife through it.” (Informal Anarchist Federation/International Revolutionary Front/Fire Cells Conspiracy/Revolutionary Groups for the Spread of Terror)
This direct dissidence by all Anarchists in struggle is what makes us stronger than ever during the battles we now take part in behind the walls.
As far as the process of your court martial, it is inconceivable to us to participate in it while Olga remains in solitary confinement. Therefore, as a small gesture, we are walking out of here and suspending the trial.
—First phase of the Fire Cells Conspiracy
Immediately after the statements were read, all the defendants left the courtroom. The trial was adjourned to Friday, June 8.
Summary of day 19 (Friday, May 25) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
The session was purely bureaucratic, with the presiding judge and another judge simply reading out the list of charges. The defense attorneys stated that at the next session they would be submitting a number of written petitions regarding legal procedure, as well as adding their own commentary. The trial was adjourned to Wednesday, May 30.
Summary of day 18 (Wednesday, May 16) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
The session began with the following statement read by comrade Christos Tsakalos:
A few days ago, some exceptional news transformed the slow death of prison into a sign of life.
In Italy, our brothers and sisters from the Olga Cell of the Informal Anarchist Federation/International Revolutionary Front rewarded Roberto Adinolfi—head of nuclear energy company Ansaldo Nucleare—with three bullets in his legs. An enemy fell to the ground and a marvelous beacon of war dawned.
At this very moment, black-clad messengers of destruction are continuing to carry the flame of anarchy in the most faraway places.
They are our brothers and sisters from the Bolivian Informal Anarchist Federation, who tirelessly attack the frozen immobility of social death. This time, they placed an explosive device at a business that imports Renault cars from France.
We have some ugly news for this world’s law-abiding citizens.
For all of you who hide behind your very sober neckties, who work in your sterile offices, who live shut away in your stylish apartments, who wear your expressionless masks, who lie down in the mediocrity of your desires and sleep through borrowed dreams.
Your world is a guillotine that murders life.
Your ideals are concealed within your well-fed bellies and your empty hearts.
This society massacres our freedom, while your soldiers lock us up in your prisons, far away from our brothers and sisters.
But we can still hear their voices.
They are the conspirators of the Informal Anarchist Federation/International Revolutionary Front and the anarchists of praxis of the Black International, who emerge from the unknown and set thousands of fires to society’s peaceful dream.
They are our brothers and sisters. When they laugh they have stars in their eyes, and when they cry their tears become thorns, bullets, dynamite, and stones.
They are all of us who have chosen to inhabit the extremes. They are all of us who have no country and whose home is the sky and the stars.
They are all of us who destroy with a laugh and set fires with a song.
And power will die, the state will die, society will die.
Because only outside the limits of every compliance, every obligation, every rule, and every society can autonomous individualities exist who are nourished by the fire and chaos of an unyielding spirit.
Long live our brothers and sisters in the Olga Cell.
Long live our brothers and sisters in the Informal Anarchist Federation/International Revolutionary Front.
—Imprisoned members cell of the Fire Cells Conspiracy
Tsakalos continued to speak. He said the attempts by the presiding judge and the prosecutor to suppress the political nature of the trial were in vain. By trying to speed up the proceedings, they were indirectly admitting that the sentences had already been predetermined. Tsakalos also spoke about the political higher-ups who are in fact deciding on everything that goes on at the trial. In addition, he made reference to a certain Eleni Kondopoulou, who was subpoenaed as a witness but never appeared. Tsakalos said she doesn’t exist. Antiterrorist Unit pigs initially stated that they had identified her as one of the people who used to visit Haris Hatzimichelakis’ apartment in Halandri, so the judicial authorities issued an arrest warrant but then declared her innocent, evidently in order to cover up the mistake they made. The woman most likely doesn’t exist, and she existed only in judicial orders.
The defense attorneys then reminded the presiding judge about the petitions they had submitted during prior sessions. Among other things, they requested to once again subpoena all the Antiterrorist Unit police as witnesses (since enormous discrepancies emerged in their testimonies), as well officer Tziotis (who hasn’t yet made an appearance) from the same department, politician Louka Katseli, and former vice minister Stavros Kalafatis.
Defense attorney Frangiskos Ragousis reminded the judges that, despite accepting his request to subpoena Antiterrorist officer I. Frangiskos, the witness never made an appearance. Prosecutor I. Liakopoulos suggested that all such requests be rejected because they supposedly “don’t meet even the most minimal standards.” Liakopoulos considered the request to subpoena Katseli to be especially “exaggerated,” saying that “since her husband came here, there is no need for her to come as well.”
The examination phase for prosecution witnesses thus came to an end. Witnesses for the defense would now ordinarily have to testify, but the defendants rejected this “democratic right” since, according to Tsakalos, “only we ourselves can defend our actions.” The only one to testify as a defense witness was comrade Theofilos Mavropoulos, who made the following statement:
Growing up in a society of submission, resignation, hypocrisy, and stagnation, I felt the urgency to live my life as a human being and not as a number. To be a protagonist of my life and not a spectator. To satisfy ALL my desires here and now and avoid the muck of a passive waiting. I therefore sought out a new path, far removed from the endless pursuit of power.
I quickly realized that the only way one could live without power was to stand against it. Against institutions, against society, against relationships and perceptions that foster the human perversion of desiring the existence of hierarchy.
The enemy—power—undoubtedly has a spiritual as well as a material basis. In other words, it has subjects at its disposal who are determined to defend it with material violence, but it also has followers who spread the authoritarian obsession throughout the diffuse social fabric.
Thus, during centuries of human history, power developed through destructive wars and flourishing civilizations, arriving at its current globalized state while keeping thousands of years of experience in its curriculum in order to protect itself and extend its reach. Naturally, its greatest achievement of all is the fact of its consolidation within the prevailing social conscience.
What I, for my part, had to oppose against all that was the application and spread of my anarchic code of values.
However, the obvious inequality in the ratio of forces leads to the unavoidable choice of a strategic war against the regime—specifically, anarchist revolutionary war. The collectivization of antiauthoritarian action whose principle is the polymorphism of the means of struggle has thus become my existential priority.
I participated in different anarchist interventions in social space-time. From demonstrations, rallies, distributing political texts, postering, and powerfully combative marches to conspiratorial urban guerrilla actions.
By dedicating the most recent period of my life to armed anarchist struggle, I came to appreciate the tactic of urban guerrilla war. Surprise attacks on the structures of authoritarian society paralyze its defense mechanisms, since it is almost incapable of meeting a blow that is unpredictable insofar as the space and time at which it will be struck. The effects of a series of successful guerrilla attacks directed against strategic targets located behind the front lines of power, apart from causing material sabotage, naturally have a negative impact on the enemy’s morale as well. Urban guerrilla war, as a methodology and as a way of life, uses discourse and practice to intensify the rupture with the existent and create limitless prospects for bringing about anarchy.
With this viewpoint as my basis, I came into contact with my comrades, creating the strongest of brotherly relationships.
Some of them are in front of you today, seated in the dock, while society has entrusted you with judging them for their anarchist political action.
But unfortunately for you, your court martial is incapable of repressing anarchist action’s impetuousness for freedom. Because anarchy is always seeking and finding new ways to escape from prison.
The defendants proudly and unapologetically took responsibility for their participation in the Fire Cells Conspiracy revolutionary anarchist organization, honoring and cementing their choices. Instead of their remorse, which you had perhaps hoped to elicit, what you are receiving is their total rejection and their general rupture with the world of power to which you are doing faithful service, as well as a sardonic smile—the same one we had when we were all sitting together at a table and polishing our weapons. We were undermining your society, maneuvering against it, sliding bullets into the clip with the same insolence with which we now flip through the pages of these charges. A page, a bullet, a page, a bullet.
We are not afraid and we will not retreat, because as long as we keep trying we are alive and free.
LONG LIVE THE FIRE CELLS CONSPIRACY REVOLUTIONARY ANARCHIST ORGANIZATION/INTERNATIONAL REVOLUTONARY FRONT.
PERMANENT INSURRECTION FOR ANARCHY.
The judges then moved on to the next part of the proceedings, which consists of the reading of texts and statements by witnesses who were unable to appear at the trial.
The trial was adjourned to Friday, May 25.
Summary of day 17 (Friday, May 11) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
Former Antiterrorist Unit chief D. Horianopoulos finally made an appearance after multiple requests to subpoena him. Despite being the one who set up—at least on an operational level—the Halandri arrests, he now tried to pass himself off as a simple “office worker” who signed warrants from his desk and was only in the loop thanks to other Antiterrorist officers. Using the tactic of “I know, saw, and heard nothing,” he said there was no surveillance or pursuit until September 20, 2009—three days before the raid on Haris Hatzimichelakis’ apartment in Halandri—and that the only information assisting the Police in targeting said apartment came from an anonymous telephone call.
Comrades Christos Tsakalos and Michalis Nikolopoulos insistently and repeatedly asked Horianopoulos how that could possibly be true, given that certain articles to the contrary had appeared in the bourgeois press long before that date. Already in August 2009, reporters known for their good relationships with the Police were making reference to the surveillance of people—during vacation on the island of Icaria, for example—who were later charged with membership in the Fire Cells Conspiracy. And Tsakalos was specifically being mentioned by the press as “someone related to several neoterrorist groups” since at least February 2009, when Revolutionary Struggle parked a car bomb containing 50 kilograms of ammonium nitrate/fuel oil mixture (which ultimately didn’t explode) in front of Citibank’s main headquarters in Kifissia. The press insinuated Tsakalos’ “guilt” because the apartment he was living in at the time was just across the street from the attempted bombing.
In September 2009, Horianopoulos was the first to insist that Hatzimichelakis’ apartment was “a Fire Cells Conspiracy safe house,” yet he now admitted that it was simply an apartment and the only notable thing that went on there was a party. Also, many points of his testimony were somewhat contrary to those of his four lackeys—the Antiterrorist Unit police who were watching the apartment and who testified at the trial some weeks ago. The only suspicious thing those four saw in the garbage bags found near Hatzimichelakis’ apartment was some cabling. However, at that time Horianopoulos also took note of “gloves, work coveralls, masks, watch parts, etc.” Now, under examination by defense attorneys Frangiskos Ragousis, Ifigenia Karandrea, and C. Sipsas, and also obligated to answer Tsakalos’ and Nikolopoulos’ questions, Horianopoulos tried to portray himself as a victim who knows nothing, even to the point of recanting his own prior testimony. The defense requested to subpoena his four subordinates once again, but the judges rejected the request, saying that Horianopoulos’ testimony “clarified things.” Karandrea reminded the prosecutor that it was he himself who initially accepted the petition to examine all the police witnesses and their chief, but the prosecutor repeated that such a measure was “no longer necessary.” The strange thing is that Horianopoulos was subpoenaed to the trial on the basis of the testimony of one of his subordinates—a certain Hinopoulos who asserted that he knew nothing and that any information he did have came from his chief. Now the former chief was attempting to demonstrate just the opposite. It seems that no one in the Antiterrorist Unit is willing to take public responsibility for their actions.
After Horianopoulos’ testimony, Hatzimichelakis’ father took the stand. Among other things, he revealed a number of inconsistencies in the testimony of the police. For example, Horianopoulos said that after the Halandri apartment was raided the keys were handed over to Hatzimichelakis’ father. But Hatzimichelakis’ father refuted this, saying that the Antiterrorist Unit forced the doors and left them open after making their arrests and carrying out their search.
The trial was adjourned to Wednesday, May 16.
Only one of the defendants, Michalis Nikolopoulos, appeared in the courtroom, as he is the only one who still isn’t on hunger strike.
The presiding judge first read the statements of the three hunger striking defendants (Damiano Bolano, Giorgos Nikolopoulos, and Christos Tsakalos), in which they explained that they weren’t going to attend the trial and they asked for a postponement of the judicial proceedings. Defense attorney Frangiskos Ragousis then also requested a brief postponement. Presiding judge H. Vriniotis became furious, repeating again and again that “the trial can continue even if the defendants are absent,” etc.
Comrade Michalis Nikolopoulos then spoke, on the one hand requesting a postponement of the trial and on the other threatening Vriniotis by saying: “Don’t even think about continuing this trial without the presence of my three comrades.”
Prosecutor Liakopoulos had no objections and proposed that the trial be postponed. The next session is scheduled for May 11.
In the context of the various hunger strikes begun by different members of the Fire Cells Conspiracy and other combative prisoners in Greece, the session began with statements regarding those hunger strikes—one read by Michalis Nikolopoulos and the other read by Christos Tsakalos and Damiano Bolano.
After the two statements were read, the presiding judge called for a 15-minute recess so that defense attorney Frangiskos Ragousis could find out “if the Ministry has perhaps already made a decision concerning the transfer demands.” Since the Justice Ministry had obviously done nothing, the presiding judge said: “I can allow the trial to be postponed for a week due to health reasons, and by doing so I am exhausting all the limits of clemency.”
Defense attorney Ifigenia Karandrea then stated that she had found the address of former Antiterrorist Unit chief D. Horianopoulos, whom the defense had asked to be subpoenaed to testify. You’ll recall that during the previous session the judges said they were incapable of serving Horianopoulos with a subpoena since they didn’t have his address, and they insolently told the defense attorneys to look for the address themselves. Now the presiding judge had the nerve to question if the address obtained by Karandrea was correct. Ragousis reminded the judges that—according to the law—it is their duty to subpoena witnesses and, if said witnesses refuse to appear, order their arrest.
Ragousis then handed the judges a letter from Athina Tsakalos, the mother of brothers Christos and Gerasimos Tsakalos. She herself was present in the courtroom but she refused to testify. The letter wasn’t read in court, and the presiding judge simply announced that “it will be added to the transcript.” The complete letter is as follows:
TO THE COURT
Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.
I am asking myself: why are parents of the revolutionary anarchists of the Fire Cells Conspiracy being subpoenaed to trial? Why are they subpoenaing me? Are they doing it in order to ask me if I know something about the organization? To ask me questions about the personal lives of my sons, sketch out their “psychological profile,” or get an opinion on their “family life”? Or to ask me if I agree with the actions of my sons and, in general, those of the organization? To stand me up in front of this court, supported by that little book, and make me swear to that god you have placed in the service of power? To make revolutionary anarchists feel uncomfortable while their parents are asked a bunch of awkward questions? Or is it so that you yourselves can rejoice at the thought that you have made us believe that it is we who must give the answers and make an apologia?
I declare, once again, that in no instance am I going to respond positively to your invitation. And since, as demonstrated by everything that’s going on, an entire series of similar trials is set to begin, I tell you that it’s not worth the effort to send me more subpoenas because my position will continue to be the same. Under no circumstances am I going to attend this trial. I will not answer a single one of your questions. The actions of my sons and their comrades was and is clearly political, revolutionary, and anarchist, and it is therefore unnecessary to investigate the parameters of their private lives. The organization, membership to which they have admitted, has formulated its positions with total clarity, precision, and courage. Anything I could say would be slight and insignificant. And since I would like to leave certain things as clear and potent as they already are, and because I don’t want to give anyone the satisfaction of ruining everything with stupid, excessive questions, I am choosing the position of absence.
Referring myself to this trial, I don’t want to allow a certain phrase—one that is continually repeated with great zeal and emphasis—to hang in the air as a potential display of temerity and honesty. I’m talking about the phrase: “We are trying the case by examining it in depth.” Which means that, as you say, you are trying the case in accordance with nothing less than the clauses of your laws. Which means that you will pass judgment based on evidence, and not on the circumstantially conclusive or according to the logic of collective responsibility. And if I am mentioning that phrase it’s not because I suddenly expect miracles, but because at a certain moment—and especially in cases dealing with the revolutionary actions of certain people—words must take on importance and responsibility. Despite the fact that, thus far, this judicial process has indicated nothing of the kind. Every objection based on common logic, like that of recognizing the prisoners as political (exactly as defined by your Constitution and in exactly the same way it’s also mentioned in the charges), was rejected out of hand, without any logic. The concept of assuming political responsibility has been mistaken for criminal responsibility, and that’s obviously not due to ignorance or chance. Therefore, I underscore that phrase and at the end of the trial we will be able to see whether you are indeed serious about what you are saying.
It’s true that, since the beginning of the criminal prosecution of these revolutionary anarchist contemporaries, I have discovered and paid particular attention to a painting: Bruegel’s painting entitled Landscape with the Fall of Icarus. The fall of Icarus has to do with the desire of human beings to escape Earth’s grip. To fly. To also be sovereign in the air, as well as to walk on air.
It is about pride, arrogance, disobedience, and the desire to show that human beings are capable of doing anything. And now comes the painter, and in the foreground he places the farmer. Dedicated to cultivating the land, nothing else matters to him. And in the background the shepherd, a bit more curious, but he is also looking in the wrong direction. Even further in the background is the impressive boat continuing its journey, and there in the corner is the drowned Icarus’ poor little foot. I never before saw the glory of Icarus’ project treated in such a way, and perhaps that’s no coincidence. I don’t know what the painter’s philosophy was, but perhaps the meaning is that people today are too fixed in their ways for bold experiments, too afraid of change, not daring enough to recognize or try something new.
Looking at the painting, I don’t accept its treatment of that glory. Especially now, when in our country they judge people who still have the audacity to believe that if anything in this life is worth doing it is the projects of Icarus, no matter how much pain they may hold, how much imprisonment and sentencing they may impose. I want to maintain the hope and belief that at some point the people involved in today’s rebellions will be placed in the foreground, recognizing the urgency of flight.
P.S. And if I am sending this note it is because the court’s insistence on my appearance there is very personal, and above all because I do not allow myself silence. Silence only corresponds to the dead, and in our times it is being applied during these trials by those who are completely subjugated to the orders of power.
And if you truly want to understand the people who are being judged, read their discourse and look at their attitude. Christos Tsakalos, Gerasimos Tsakalos, and Panayiotis Argyrou are on day 12 of a hunger strike, yet they declare: “The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction” (William Blake) and “When one doesn’t die for another, we are already dead” (Tassos Livaditis).
On April 17 they began a hunger strike in support of their comrades Giorgos Polydoras, Damiano Bolano, and Haris Hatzimichelakis, while the other members of the imprisoned cell of the Fire Cells Conspiracy will follow suit at certain dates.
The trial was adjourned to Friday, April 27.
Summary of day 14 (Friday, April 6) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
The session’s first testimony came from the Alter TV network phone operator who received the warning call about the explosive device left in front of former Interior Vice-Minister Panayiotis Hinofotis’ apartment, but the witness had nothing of note to say.
Next to take the stand was a Filipina immigrant who worked as Gerasimos Arsenis and Louka Katseli’s maid. She said that at around noon on the day in question she had taken the elevator up to the apartment while bringing back the shopping. The prosecutor reminded her that her employer Arsenis already testified that the elevator was broken, and he continued his questioning of the witness in similar fashion: on one hand trying at all costs to conform the woman’s testimony to Arsenis’, and on the other simply trying to scare her.
Defense attorney Ifigenia Karandrea also tried to question the same witness, but the judges kept interrupting. Karandrea then reminded the presiding judge about the defense’s requests to subpoena certain witnesses, especially former Antiterrorist Unit chief D. Horianopoulos. The judges indicated that Horianopoulos sent a fax to the court in which he stated that he would decide whether to respond to the subpoena within the next 15 days. One of the judges also said: “We don’t even have his address, so perhaps the defense would be able to look it up.”
The defendants then spoke. They said that holding two trial sessions per week is not possible because two of their attorneys are court-appointed, poorly paid, and obligated to work on many different cases at once. They also posed the following (quite rhetorical) question: why are defendants’ family members and people who have nothing substantial to contribute being subpoenaed to testify, while key witnesses like police officials and their political superiors remain absent?
The trial was adjourned to Friday, April 20.
Summary of day 13 (Monday, April 2) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
At the beginning of the session, five family members of the defendants took the stand, as well as a friend of the Nikolopoulos brothers. The questioning by the prosecutor and presiding judge was far too personal. They accused the mothers of “failing to keep an eye on your children in order to know what kind of company they keep” and pressured the father of the Nikolopoulos brothers to take a position on the fact that his sons admitted to being members of the Fire Cells Conspiracy as well as give his opinion on “the value of human life.” The latter line of inquiry was an obvious reference to the Fire Cells Conspiracy statement read in court two sessions ago. Defense attorney Ifigenia Karandrea and her clients reacted immediately, with Christos Tsakalos rereading part of the statement in question and emphasizing that “the presiding judge is provoking us when he says that our organization generally disregards the value of human life.”
Two more police officers—presumably “eyewitnesses” to the Fire Cells Conspiracy attack on the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace—then took the stand, but neither one was actually on duty the day of the attack and therefore neither had anything of note to say. Nevertheless, the judges had the gall to ask them what they heard about the incident from coworkers and television.
Two store employees and and EMS worker also testified, repeatedly stating that they didn’t see the faces of the “perpetrators” and thus couldn’t describe their physical features. The judges then asked them to look at the defendants in the dock “to see if you recognize some of them.”
Three Special Guards who were “robbed of a logbook of fines by a threatening group of youths” (apparently the logbook was found during one of the searches) had nothing of consequence to contribute, nor could they positively identify anyone.
Finally, Gerasimos Arsenis took the stand. It was his apartment (which he shares with his wife Louka Katseli) that was attacked by the Fire Cells Conspiracy in September 2009. He testified that the explosion was very weak, but that “it theoretically could have endangered human lives” since the courtyard windows were broken and a door was destroyed. Arsenis neglected to mention that the Fire Cells Conspiracy placed a warning call, the apartment building was evacuated, and the courtyard windows were broken by firefighters in order to allow smoke to escape. Tsakalos and Michalis Nikolopoulos posed several questions to Arsenis in an attempt to make him recognize the political nature of the attack on his apartment, but the former minister just kept repeating that it was “an act of terrorism.”
The defense attorneys then resubmitted their request to subpoena former Antiterrorist Unit chief D. Horianopoulos, who has already ignored two prior subpoenas.
To conclude the session, Michalis Nikolopoulos read the following statement in the name of the entire Fire Cells Conspiracy:
Gerasimos Arsenis is a recognized dignitary of power. During the course of his lengthy political career, he was in charge of the Ministries of the Economy, Defense, and Education, and he also led PASOK for a time.
In short, we have in front of us a man of power whose decisions have contributed to the shape of today’s reality.
No one can forget the notorious “Arsenis reform,” which once again demonstrated that schools are nothing more than intensive laboratories for the production of docile apprentice citizens.
Institutional education constitutes a structural value for the system of power. Its role is crucial to the management and fabrication of young people’s consciences.
It is the second (the first being the family) link in the chain of submission, which essentially teaches the normal, orderly incorporation of people into the social fabric of power.
However, Arsenis knows quite well that insubordination, disobedience, and rebellion do not sit at desks, do not fit in classrooms, and do not accept recommendations.
During the era in which Arsenis was in charge of the Ministry of Education and attempted to bring about his reforms, he saw himself confronted by the absolute black rejection of the many troublemakers in the student community.
We could also say more about the other things Gerasimos Arsenis did as an institutional and political organ. But now it’s time to get to the point.
We didn’t attack Arsenis, Hinofotis, or Katseli because of the political work they undertook in the past.
We attacked the choice they made to support the structures of political power that form one of the cornerstones of the authoritarian social machine.
We didn’t attack the symptoms. We attacked the disease.
Austerity measures, economic crisis, increased repression, education reforms, and economic poverty are nothing more than symptoms of a disease called democracy.
A disease that breeds the existential poverty thriving in the metropolises of the modern Western world, a disease whose primary role is to function as cover for the beastly machine of capitalism.
Because, as our organization wrote in its communiqué accompanying the attack on Parliament: “Capitalism is the leader and democracy is its press secretary. We aren’t stupid enough to think that ‘the 300 chosen by the people’ are really in charge or have some power. Those ‘honorable ladies and gentlemen’ are clearly just there to maintain balance and execute the state’s orders.”
Therefore, as an Anarchist Revolutionary Organization we have already frequently mentioned that we aren’t asking for a better democracy. Instead, we fight democracy just like we fight every system of power.
With our weapons we take aim at those who embody domination, while through our discourse we simultaneously level a powerful critique at every social behavior that reproduces, maintains, and perpetuates the existence of authoritarian society.
We spread the new nihilism—anarcho-individualism—in Greece as well as globally through the Informal Anarchist Federation and the International Revolutionary Front.
The new nihilism will annihilate those who embody the system; explosively purge human beings of the values of submission, apathy, consumerism, and wage slavery; and blow up the whole spectrum of similar attitudes that can be found in a large portion of the social body.
The social behaviors of reconciliation, misery, and vanity of an entire silent multitude.
A multitude that has learned to fall in love from shop windows, learned to change its mood at the touch of a button on the TV remote, learned that it’s always “someone else’s fault,” and learned to never look in the mirror to view its own responsibility for the world it has built and continues to support.
A multitude that knows how to scream only when the economic interests of its own union are in play, and doesn’t even try to see the essence.
The essence of a truly free life. A life led according to values of respect, solidarity, friendship, and understanding. The creation of an anarchist culture that will shake every form of power off of every human relationship.
This sounds faraway, and it is.
But on the paths we walk, we will remain intransigent during every battle, more proud than ever.
Our day will come, and until we achieve our goal We Will Fight, We Will Fight, We Will Fight.
Because we know, just like you know, that insurrectionary anarchy is and will continue to be the regime’s internal enemy. Therefore, all you modern inquisitors of the judicial Mafia can be certain that no matter how many years you dole out through your Courts Martial, you will never be able to imprison the idea of Anarchist Revolution. You will never be able to imprison the Fire Cells Conspiracy.
Because a current of ideas can never be imprisoned.
—Imprisoned members of the Fire Cells Conspiracy Revolutionary Organization
The trial was adjourned to Friday, April 6.
Summary of days 10 (Saturday, March 3) and 11 (Wednesday, March 21) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
On March 3, the Antiterrorist Unit pigs tasked with watching Haris Hatzimichelakis’ home in September 2009 continued their testimony. This time, it was the turn of G. Mourmoukoutas, who was unable to attend the previous session due to “psychological problems,” and surveillance team leader P. Hinopoulos. Mourmoukoutas is the pig who was arrested a few months ago for attempting to rob a betting parlor, and his testimony was full of contradictions regarding even the most basic description of events, especially as compared to the testimony of his two colleagues. Nevertheless, just like his colleagues, he positively identified Damiano Bolano despite not being able to recognize any of the defendants during prior questioning. Defense attorney Frangiskos Ragousis’ request to initiate an evaluation of Mourmoukoutas’ psychological viability as a witness was rejected by the court, and as Mourmoukoutas left the stand, our four comrade defendants pelted him with a hailstorm of pills.
Hinopoulos was next to testify, and he said that everything he knew was the result of information supplied to him by the team members under his command. Yet, despite none of his subordinates being able recognize any of the defendants during their initial questioning on September 21, 2009, Hinopoulos positively identified Bolano and the Nikolopoulos brothers just a day later, which information he now claims came from “different sources.” When pressed by the defense to name those sources, Hinopoulos said they were none other than Antiterrorist Unit higher-ups D. Horianopoulos and G. Frangiskos, and Ragousis immediately requested that Horianopoulos and Frangiskos be subpoenaed to testify.
The trial was then postponed until March 21.
The March 21 session began with the defendants having an opportunity to question the prosecution’s witnesses. Michalis Nikolopoulos started the proceedings off with the following statement:
Before beginning to question the defendant Hinopoulos, I’m going to explain why we refer to certain witnesses—especially police and politicians—that way, since the same thing also occurred during the previous session. I want to make it clear, given that neither then nor now did it happen inadvertently, accidentally, or by mistake.
Here at this court martial, there are obviously two contradictory poles, two enemy sides. One is yours, that of power and its subjects. The other is that of proud anarchist combatants, people who guide their lives toward the rough pathways of anarchist revolution.
According to your authoritarian system, you say that we are the defendants. We are telling you that, in the war we have declared, we are guilty. Guilty in the face of your interests. Guilty in the face of your bosses, the political system, your power. Guilty in the face of the police, in the face of the values you produce and defend through your bourgeois legality.
But you must know that, to us, you are the defendants. You are the defendants because you oppose rebellious people. Because you do everything possible to protect your bosses. Because you uphold the social values of submission, consumerism, egoism, misery, and acceptance. Because you will always do what your superiors command. Because you, quite simply, have chosen your side. Because you are enemies of anarchist revolution.
You must know that, in addition to being defendants, you are also guilty. You must know that there will come a day when our revolutionary councils will determine your sentences.
That, of course, should be passed on to Horianopoulos, Syros, Tzoitis, Papathanasakis, and all the rest who were or are part of the Antiterrorist Unit.
Further questioning of Hinopoulos by Michalis Nikolopoulos and Christos Tsakalos only yielded more confused, contradictory responses, and led defense attorneys H. Sipsas and Ifigenia Karandrea to add their support to Ragousis’ request to subpoena Antiterrorist Unit bigwigs Horianopoulos and Frangiskos, who Hinopoulos says are in charge of the entire “anti-Fire Cells Conspiracy project.”
Tsakalos then read a statement in the name of the entire Fire Cells Conspiracy organization, a complete English translation of which can be found here.
Next to testify were five witnesses (one of whom is a police officer) to the Fire Cells Conpiracy attack on the apartment of Panayiotis Hinofotis, who was interior minister at the time. Their testimony was also so riddled with inconsistencies and defendant misidentification that, in order to stave off further embarrassment, the presiding magistrate didn’t even bother to question all five of them.
Finally, after a heated incident involving a guard who wanted to search Bolano’s girlfriend and her handbag, the courtroom was cleared and the trial postponed until Monday, March 26.
Summary of day 9 (Friday, March 2) of 2nd Halandri Case trial
The trial continued with lead defense attorney Ragousis reaffirming the defense’s objections to various aspects of the trial (the vagueness of the charges, the prohibition on audio recording, the collection by police of attendees’ ID cards, etc.), all of which objections were again overruled by the court. Ragousis then said the defense would be taking its own detailed notes on the proceedings and comparing them with the official transcript every eight days, just to make sure everything was being done properly.
Thus, the preliminary phase of the trial ended, and the witness examination phase began. The first to be questioned were two of the three Antiterrorist Unit pigs ordered to watch Haris Hatzimichelakis’ home in Halandri. The third pig was unable to appear due to “serious psychological problems,” no doubt stemming from the fact that he was recently arrested for the armed robbery of a betting parlor that netted him a grand total of 140 euros. Of course, the two pigs who did show up to testify experienced a miraculous memory improvement, with one positively identifying Giorgos Nikolopoulos and Damiano Bolano and the other recognizing Bolano. All this after both men had previously testified that they saw no one enter or leave the Halandri apartment except for an unidentifiable youth wearing a motorcycle helmet.
Bolano then read a statement signed by the entire Fire Cells Conspiracy before surprising the court by hurling a bunch of flyers into the air. The statement as well as the flyers can be viewed here.
The trial was postponed until Friday, March 9.
Summary of Days 7 and 8 (February 2 and 22) of 2nd Halandri Case Trial
Due to a lack of time, our summary of the February 2 session was very brief, so we will now better explain what took place.
During the session held on Friday, February 2, prosecutor I. Liakopoulos rejected all the objections presented by the defense.
He basically defended the “increased security measures” implemented by the police and once again made it clear that “this is a prison and prison rules are in effect.” Regarding the objection involving the issue of “political crime” (the intent of the defendants and their attorneys was to make the court recognize the charges and therefore the trial itself as political), Liakopoulos argued in accordance with the official line, saying that “we only talk about a political crime in the case of a coup d’état attempt”—in other words, a crime recognized as political can only be attributed to representatives of the state machinery. Defense attorney F. Ragousis responded by reading, among other things, excerpts from the statement made by Christos Tsakalos at the prior session. Ragousis indicated that, even according to the charges, the nature of the Fire Cells Conspiracy is political, saying: “We can’t close our eyes and say that ‘this isn’t about a political crime’ when all organizations of this type are clearly political.” H. Sipsas, the secondary attorney for three of our comrades, then spoke. He criticized the judges’ attempts to speed up the proceedings and almost fix the duration of the trial in advance, and he also quoted Tsakalos, saying: “This is a court martial.” At that point, the presiding judge began to repeatedly ask Sipsas: “Have you simply adapted Tsakalos’ opinion?” The presiding judge also asked Sipsas to apologize for what he had just said, but Sipsas refused. I. Karandrea, the attorney for Damiano Bolano, then spoke, and she also criticized the judges’ attitude.
Tsakalos then spoke, saying, among other things:
This trial is certainly a court martial, we are certainly your enemies, and our attorneys certainly have our confidence, but they also certainly have their own point of view and at least want it to be heard. However, that’s apparently not happening. An objection to the “poor composition” of the tribunal was made by M. Nikolopoulos, but neither the prosecutor nor the judges considered it important or commented on it. If you aren’t listening to us, then it makes no sense for us to be here. Plus, according to what the prosecutor said, political crimes are only coups d’état and attempts to carry them out. The system thus flatters and glorifies the military. Nevertheless, the most recent version of the antiterrorist law itself makes direct reference to crimes of a political nature. Yet the courts decide that political crimes don’t exist!
Tsakalos also reminded the court that, in the past, many people were charged for the simple act of visiting or passing by a certain house (he mentioned the case of Christos Politis, who was arrested during the December 4, 2010 antiterrorist operation). Therefore, “the identity data collected from the people attending our trial will be used by the police in the future.”
Finally, Michalis Nikolopoulos also spoke. Addressing the judges, he said:
You must be more clear and openly state that identity cards are being checked in order to obtain data on people. You must openly state that you want to depoliticize the actions of a political organization. You must admit that you are a bunch of fascists and that this is a court martial being carried out in accordance with your interests.
The trial was postponed until Monday, February 13, but the lawyers’ strike prevented it from resuming on that day and it was instead postponed again until February 22.
At the beginning of the session held on Wednesday, February 22, defense attorney Sipsas submitted a statement in which his client Tsakalos explained that he wouldn’t be attending the trial because of the lawyers’ strike. The judges didn’t even read it, while Sipsas himself said that he is also participating in the lawyers’ strike—which will last until February 29—and that came to court solely and exclusively to submit Tsakalos’ statement. The prosecutor then spoke, criticizing the lawyers’ strike by saying: “It could go on until March or Easter, and it’s possible that afterward there will be elections. Other events might also take place, while time is getting shorter and shorter.” The prosecutor was obviously referring to the limit of 18 months that, according to Greek law, a defendant can spend in preventive detention without being sentenced. Then, addressing Sipsas and Kariotis (Bolano’s secondary attorney), the prosecutor called on them to obtain a letter from the Athens Bar Association that would allow them to attend the trial. Thus, he actually asked them to become strikebreakers.
Michalis Nikolopoulos then spoke, asking the prosecutor to explain what he meant by “time is getting shorter and shorter.” Nikolopoulos also made it clear that, even if the Bar Association were to authorize the defense attorneys to attend the trial, the defendants themselves would not allow it.
The prosecutor continually interrupted our comrade and at one point said: “They are going to ask for explanations as to why this trial is being delayed.” He naturally didn’t specify exactly who is “going to ask for explanations,” yet he again made it clear that he isn’t the one making the decisions.
Presiding judge H. Vriniotis also tried to persuade the defense attorneys to get permission from the Bar Association to continue to attend the trial. Nor did he fail to point out that “prisoners are prisoners,” once again nullifying the “presumption of innocence” according to which, it is assumed, democratic courts operate.
The trial was postponed until Friday, March 2.
Summary of Day 7 (February 3) of 2nd Halandri Case Trial
In short, all the objections and demands presented by the defense during the previous session were rejected, and the trial was postponed until Monday, February 13.
Meanwhile, the comrades read a statement in which they declared that if the mobilizations currently taking place in Greek prisons continue, then they will not attend the trial.
Certain legislative reforms that could have led to the release of 1,500 prisoners were recently “promised” by the justice ministry, but they were ultimately shot down in Parliament by the right-wing parties. Part of the prison population, realizing that the politicians were once again playing their dirty games on the backs of prisoners, undertook collective protests. On February 1, prisoners at Korydallos, Alikarnassos, Trikala, and Larissa refused to enter their cells after their midday hour in the yard. On February 3, prisoners at Avlona juvenile prison did the same, while 103 prisoners at Korydallos women’s prison signed a statement announcing their boycott of prison food from February 3–9. We will continue to update this story as it develops.
The following is the complete statement by the Fire Cells Conspiracy:
Political Statement by the Fire Cells Conspiracy Revolutionary Organization Regarding the Prison Mobilizations
Anyone who has stood in front of a prison and not felt ashamed at human history’s degradation must either be blind or a prison guard.
A few days ago, mobilizations began in a number of Greek prisons to add the benefits of leave-taking and sentence reductions to the rights of prisoners, as well as to regulate the accumulation of sentences by stripping them of their vindictive character.
At the same time, the reality of Greek prisons is well-known: overpopulation, people sleeping on the floor, and a lack of food, heat, and hot water.
These are images drawn from a parallel future of modern civilization, images that will soon be spreading outside the prison walls.
Conservatives and loyal citizens might say this is all about “criminals who don’t have the right to protest or demand anything.”
But prison is the mirror of society. It is a storage space where society tosses its “mistakes” and hides its guilty secrets.
Because it’s an open secret that the system of power and the society of exploitation and oppression themselves produce their own “criminals.”
Naturally, we know that a prison with hot water and better food, even if it perhaps becomes more bearable, will always be a prison—a monument that forever recalls the captivity of freedom and life.
Material supplies (which are nowadays being eliminated) are often conceded in order to further numb prisoners and keep them quiet and disciplined. Nevertheless, prison is always prison, and the struggle against it will not end until the destruction of the last wall entombing our lives.
We aren’t going to stand around with our arms crossed waiting for that day to come.
Each small or large jolt—by the “free” as well as the prisoners—to society’s peaceful dream is a beginning, whatever shape it may take. Perhaps those jolts will become the first raindrops before the storm, at which point we certainly won’t be sitting in your courtroom.
We will be right where our anarchist conscience guides us. There, where voices and actions nullify the timetable of the guards, imprisonment, and captivity—by the fires, in the clashes, on the prison roofs.
Summary of Days 5 & 6 of 2nd Halandri Case Trial
Day 5: Tuesday, January 24
At the start of the session, Ifigenia Karandrea, the lawyer assigned to represent Damiano Bolano, asked to speak. She said the three days (two of which, Saturday and Sunday, weren’t even workdays) that had gone by since the last session were not enough time to either study the voluminous case briefs or properly communicate with her client. She mentioned that in order to see Bolano she was forced to interrupt a family visit, and that if the judges didn’t give the defense more time she doubted whether she would continue to attend the trial, since “what should prevail is the rendering of a fair trial.”
Diamantis Kariotis, the other court-appointed attorney assigned to to Bolano, then also asked for the trial to be postponed for a few more days. The request by Bolano’s lawyers was echoed by Fragiskos Ragousis, the attorney for the three other comrades on trial.
The presiding judge, clearly perturbed, asked the lawyers in a rude, unpleasant tone if they would be amenable to postponing the trial until the following Monday. They responded affirmatively, and the prosecutor agreed as well. After a short recess, it was announced that the trial would continue on Wednesday, February 1.
Day 6: Wednesday, February 1
Defense attorney Ragousis, who represents Christos Tsakalos and the brothers Giorgos and Michalis Nikolopoulos, submitted three objections and two demands to the court. Specifically, he presented objections regarding the lack of competence and “inappropriate composition” of the court’s panel of judges, as well as demands for the audio recording of the proceedings and for an end to the police-imposed security measures that require the confiscation and photocopying of ID cards belonging to family members and people showing solidarity who attend the trial. The objections and demands were also supported by the rest of the defense attorneys—H. Sipsas (the other lawyer for Tsakalos and the Nikolopoulos brothers) as well as Karandrea and Kariotis (the court-appointed attorneys assigned to represent Bolano). This presentation by the defense took almost three hours.
Michalis Nikolopoulos then spoke. Addressing the judges, he said: “Neither you nor any other institutional organ of power deserve to judge us. Simply put, you don’t deserve to politically judge either the choices made by the Fire Cells Conspiracy revolutionary organization or those of any other free, rebellious person. You can’t judge us, no matter how many trials you’re going to hold, no matter how much propaganda you’re going to spread via the mass media.” He continued by saying that the three attacks in question for which the Fire Cells Conspiracy claimed responsibility “have yet again pushed the political system up against the wall.”
Three acts of anarchic terrorism whose objective was to bring terror to the homes of politicians and the doorsteps of their ministries. Three attacks that were declarations of anarchist revolution and once again affirmed the positions of our organization. It’s clear that we are in favor of, support, and identify with the attacks carried out by our organization, like these three. The truth is that the only evidence you have against us is our own statement in which we revealed our membership in the organization. Nothing else. Let’s make one thing clear: we didn’t release that statement because we were being crushed by a mountain of evidence, as that was never the case. Nor did we release it out of a belief or a desire to engage in the logic of confessing something about our revolutionary activities to the state, or the belief that the Fire Cells Conspiracy revolutionary organization had come to an end then and there. We released it because, as dignified revolutionaries, we have a responsibility to defend our struggle and our proposals from inside the walls as well. It’s a matter of historical necessity that has nothing to do with “winners” and “losers,” but rather the “dignified” and the “servile.” If we hadn’t revealed our membership in our organization, then what would you be doing? Absolutely nothing. We never get involved in all that “guilty or innocent” of bourgeois legality. We are illegals, armed enemies of the regime. We simply position ourselves with regard to those things because we like to shed light on the real tactics used by the state against its political enemies.
Nikolopoulos concluded by commenting on the police assertions that “the Halandri apartment was a Fire Cells Conspiracy safe house,” saying: “The same pieces of evidence showed that the home in question never functioned as an organizational safe house. The Fire Cells Conspiracy certainly had many safe houses. However, the bloodhounds of the Antiterrorist Unit never managed to discover them.” Regarding this point, and to back up what he was saying, he read excerpts from Haris Hatzimichelakis’ statement.
Tsakalos then spoke. This is his complete statement:
According to the charges, the Fire Cells Conspiracy is a terrorist organization. But words never were, are, or will be neutral. They acquire the meanings given by those who use them. We don’t speak the language of judges and prosecutors. We speak the language of the hunted who have rejected the role of victim, the wanted who haven’t turned themselves in to the authorities, the imprisoned who haven’t caged their will for freedom, the anarchists who have never knelt before power. Solidarity, Dignity, Urban Guerrilla War, Anarchy: those are our words, which we hurl insultingly at their system.
Yes, we are therefore anarchist urban guerrillas and we are proud to belong to the rebellion of our desires called the Fire Cells Conspiracy. To those of you seated behind the judge’s bench, we are terrorists, because your spirit is a frightened shadow that only feels safe behind the pigs, that only feels safe in the books of your dead laws.
We are terrorists in opposition to your interests and your power. The life and personal integrity of each one of you; the security and property of your judicial gang, political power, the oligarchy, the rich, and the bosses: all those things are in our crosshairs as well as the crosshairs of our comrades who haven’t been arrested.
Nevertheless, another terrorism is hanging over most people’s lives. Terrorism is the endless lines in the tax office, throughout the public sector, in the banks. Terrorism is the orders given by bosses to their employees. Terrorism is the heavy hand of the police falling on petty criminals and poor devils. However, the worst terrorism is the TERRIFYING verification that no one is raising their head. Terrorism is silence and passivity. Terrorism is the fact that no one is taking their life into their own hands. We have also seen your terrorism. The terrorism of justice. We have seen countless prisoners return from your courthouses with blank stares and lives weighed down by dozens of years in prison. We have seen friends and family collapse after hearing your “fair” sentences.
We have seen your completely expressionless faces and well-fed bellies getting into your luxurious armored cars. We have heard and know about your considerable salaries and your secret, under-the-table deals that favor your distinguished friends—big-shot editors, industrialists, and your politician superiors. Really now, how many centuries of prison have you dealt out over the course of your careers serving the very system that, through exploitation and oppression, gives birth to those whom you consider criminals?
Therefore, beyond your law books, if one wants to find out the meaning of terrorism in real life—out there where the fearful today dreads the arrival of a threatening tomorrow—then the terrorists are you and power.
As far as your own meaning of “terrorism,” it has to do with the human will for freedom and anarchy. You seem to fear that will, so you pass new antiterrorist laws, convene extraordinary courts martial, take special security measures, prevent us from talking to our families and comrades during trial recesses, and handcuff us while you bring us to holding cells 10 meters from the courtroom. This means you are actually afraid, and that is an honor and a joy for us, because it shows that a group of people—a company of action-minded anarchists—is capable of terrorizing an entire state. It shows that, far from the silence and passivity of the masses, the will of just a few people is enough to strike a blow at your system.
You should know that there are plenty of unyielding individualities out there who live in self-exile from your society. They are getting prepared, arming themselves, and collectivizing their desires in order to subvert the history of slaves and masters. Then you will really feel the concept of anarchic terrorism—an anarchic terrorism expressed through fire against banks, ministries, and police stations; an anarchic terrorism exploding out of bombs in front of the luxury villas of the rich, courthouses, and the multinational corporations and industrial conglomerates that exploit animals and nature; an anarchic terrorism written with bullets fired at the dictators of our lives and freedom; an anarchic terrorism spoken in courtrooms through the mouths of prisoners of war just like us, who don’t fear your sentences and prisons. This is anarchic terrorism. You should therefore correct your charges. You must add to your judicial reports that the Fire Cells Conspiracy is an ANARCHIST terrorist organization.
And all of us who participated in it are proud of being members, and our rage is like an ax hanging over your heads, always swinging, swinging, swinging.
Prosecutor I. Liakopoulos then insisted on postponing the trial until February 7 in order to prepare his proposal regarding the objections and demands presented by the defense. Presiding judge H. Vriniotis was very inflexible and, after a short recess, announced that the trial would continue on Friday, February 3. In addition, he decided (and this time the prosecutor was also in agreement) that the defense attorneys had to mandatorily submit all their objections and demands at the same time, after which the prosecutor would present his opinion about them. Only then would the court make its decisions on the matter. All that “in order to not waste more time.” It should be pointed out that objections are normally presented by the defense at the same time that disagreements arise regarding the proceedings. Therefore, the court is thus attempting to obstruct the defense—“preventively,” shall we say.
Meanwhile, on January 31, judicial functionaries responsible for the different cases involving the Fire Cells Conspiracy issued three orders, each consisting of many pages. The first order contains the decision regarding the comrades arrested during the December 4, 2010 antiterrorist operation. Apart from Dimitris Michail and Christos Politis, who were in fact acquitted of all felony charges (although they will have to appear in court for misdemeanor charges relating to, respectively, a bottle of pepper spray and a small quantity of marijuana found in their homes), the other four—Stella Antoniou, Giorgos Karagiannidis, Alexandros Mitrousias, and Costas Sakkas—are being charged with “membership in the Fire Cells Conspiracy,” “explosives possession,” etc. Antoniou and Sakkas are thus now officially charged (up to this point it was a matter of “membership in an unnamed terrorist organization”), while Karagiannidis and Mitrousias—who have already been sentenced—will be tried again for the same crime, i.e., “membership in the Fire Cells Conspiracy.” Additionally, the six comrades arrested after December 4, 2010 who have revealed their membership in the group (Michalis Nikolopoulos, arrested at the end of January 2011; and Bolano, Tsakalos, Olga Economidou, Giorgos Nikolopoulos, and Giorgos Polydoras, arrested in March 2011) will also be tried in the same case.
The second order contains the decision to summon all nine comrades who have revealed their membership in the Fire Cells Conspiracy (including Hatzimichelakis, despite the fact that he was already behind bars at the time), plus Karagiannidis and Mitrousias, to the trial for the mailing of incendiary packages (which action was carried out on November 1, 2010 and claimed by the Fire Cells Conspiracy). We must add that, already some time ago, several of those being charged for the packages—Karagiannidis and Mitrousias among them—submitted petitions requesting face-to-face meetings in the presence of the prosecutors with the prosecution witnesses and shipping company employees who supposedly recognized them. All those petitions were denied. Also rejected was the petition to release Antoniou based on the serious health problems she is facing.
The third order has to do with the “Volos Case,” i.e., the March 2011 arrest of five comrades. The nasty surprise is that nine people will be summoned to trial for this case. We still don’t have details about the four other people in question.
Summary of Day 4 (January 20) of 2nd Halandri Case Trial
The trial session scheduled for Monday, January 16, was postponed due to a lawyers’ strike.
At the beginning of the session on Friday, January 20, one of the attorneys assigned by the judges to represent Damiano Bolano (the other attorney was unable to attend that day) submitted a written resignation. According to their statement, the two court-appointed attorneys decided to resign owing to disagreements over their mandate regarding the desired defense strategy. Among other things, they mentioned that: “After thanking us, Mr. Bolano rejected the legal characteristics of the defense strategy we chose, informing us that every position, statement, objection, etc., that overstepped a position of political responsibility constituted an acceptance of bourgeois justice and therefore required the political decision and position of his organization. For that reason, despite our willingness to take part in the current trial, we feel we cannot do so under such preconditions and we thus submit our resignation. Mr. Bolano is aware of and in agreement with this.”
The presiding judge, clearly irritated by the decision, launched into an entire discussion about whether the attorneys were resigning of their own accord or whether Bolano had in fact dismissed them. According to the law, defendants have the right to dismiss their attorneys, and that’s why the presiding judge didn’t want to accept the absent lawyer’s resignation. Nevertheless, the attorney who was present made it very clear that the absent lawyer definitely had moral and ethical issues and would not be continuing under any circumstances.
After a short break, the prosecutor—who looked rather reserved for the entire duration of the previous discussion—spoke and suggested that the attorneys’ resignation be accepted and that new attorneys be assigned.
After another break, this time lasting an hour and a half, two court-appointed attorneys—Ifigenia Karandrea and Diamantis Kariotis—appeared and accepted their assignment. Bolano, asked by the presiding judge if he would accept them, responded that he needed to talk to them first.
The presiding judge verbally attacked Bolano several times for constantly turning around to look at the public seated in the gallery behind him, talking to family members and people showing solidarity, laughing, and making eye contact. The judge also directed inanities at the public, such as: “Why are you talking? It’s prohibited to talk in court.” Bolano commented in his own way, etc.
In any event, the new attorneys requested that the trial be postponed in order to give them time to read the briefs and reports. The presiding judge announced that the trial would continue on Tuesday, January 24. The attorneys objected, given that three days is obviously not enough time to both delve into the matter and communicate with their client. The presiding judge argued, saying: “This trial must end as soon as possible since one of the defendants is reaching the limit.” Naturally, he meant the limit of 18 months that, according to Greek law, a defendant can spend in prison without being sentenced. What this means is that, if the trial isn’t over before July, comrade Michalis Nikolopoulos (arrested in January 2011) will have to be released. The presiding judge also threatened the attorneys, reminding them: “There is an Attorney Code!” To which one of them responded: “We are going to help out our colleagues, but you are mistaken if you think you can threaten us.”
Frangiskos Ragousis, the attorney who represents the other three comrades, mentioned the possibility that there might be an attorneys’ strike on Monday or Tuesday, as several Bar Associations were calling for one. The presiding judge answered: “Tell your comrades to ask permission from their Bar Association to attend this trial, because it needs to come to an end as soon as possible.”
Christos Tsakalos spoke on that point, saying: “The statement you just made, that ‘the trial must come to an end,’ is recorded in writing in the transcript. What you’re saying is unprecedented. I’m personally no legal expert, but I’ve certainly attended other trials. Never have I heard a presiding judge presume to determine how much time a trial is supposed to take.”
The judge tried to interrupt, but our comrade continued: “You specifically said: ‘We must finish this trial.’ But that statement, which prefigures the duration of the trial, is without precedent according to your own rules and guidelines. I myself am outside the law. I am an illegal. Nevertheless, I am referring to your own words, which are in the transcript. I’m not saying anything with my head bowed. I’m simply asking: ‘How is it possible for a judicial proceeding, which according to your own laws is supposed to be “an open, public process” (at which point the presiding judge again tried to interrupt, but Tsakalos continued), to take on a character that requires it to be conducted with “urgency”?’”
The presiding judge interrupted our comrade in order to disparage what he was saying, but Tsakalos continued: “Secondly, you and your ‘you must ask permission to attend the trial’ are trying to interfere in what the Bar Association is doing. Excuse me, but does the jurisdiction of this trial extend to things like attorneys’ strikes? It’s would be better for the attorneys themselves to explain their position on that, because while I am speaking here and now, instead of expressing political content like I wanted to, I find myself obligated to talk about legal matters corresponding to various jurisdictions, which I don’t have the slightest respect for. However, I have to make reference to them, not to defend ‘my rights’ but to comment on ‘your way of conducting the trial,’ as you call it. To put it another way, I’ll ask you clearly: ‘Are you receiving orders? Are you serving the interests and ends of political power, which says that this Fire Cells Conspiracy trial must come to an end? Could there already be a sentence in place “by request”?’ Come on and say it. We’re not going to stay here for the sake of staying here. Not even if you handcuff us.”
The presiding judge interrupted again, but Tsakalos continued: “What I’m saying is very specific. These aren’t presumptions. It’s all in the transcript. I’ve never heard of a trial ending up like this. What is going on? Is this trial being conducted under orders? Is it so urgent that we have to end it?”
The presiding judge shouted: “Sir, you are in preventive detention!”
Our comrade continued: “That’s your view of things. Have I said anything about that? I’m talking about the trial going on right here. I’m also going to say something else and give a very specific example. During the last trial session, you gave a few days more for comrade Bolano to agree to the attorneys he was assigned at the time, Kaniaris and Kanellopoulos. Why isn’t the same thing happening with these new attorneys? Who is compressing the time needed to communicate with attorneys like this? One last thing and I’m done. My comrade Damiano Bolano said that, when communicating with his attorneys, which took a certain amount of time, a very specific issue emerged. You continue to repeat that ‘the important thing is to move the trial forward.’ But in order for the trial to move forward, even in accordance with your orders, one must have time to communicate with one’s attorneys. There are very few days until Tuesday, that much is clear. Even the prosecutor says so. You have answered only for yourself. How can that be? You said: ‘Will you have time? Yes, you will.’”
The presiding judge shouted: “Monday, you can communicate with your attorneys on Monday!”
Tsakalos: “You’re joking with me! Listen to what you’re saying.”
The presiding judge: “Enough, thank you.”
Tsakalos continued: “If the strategy of trying us in this manner has been dictated by the Antiterrorist Unit or the State, then things will go on that way. You are a faithful lackey of the authoritarian system you serve. We know all about those orders and directives given ‘under the table’—if that’s how it’s done—involving you specifically, you personally.”
The presiding judge: “Wait just a minute! We’ll make a decision.”
And the decision was the same—in other words, Tuesday, January 24 at 9 a.m.
freedom to CCF prisonersThe trial of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire was interrupted until the 16thof January, after a demand by the defendants, who once again have been spread out to various prisons around the country, so that they cannot have any communication with their advocates.As soon as the procedure began and after the reading of the defense witnesses that had been called for today’s session, Mihalis Nikolopoulos asked to speak, in order to make a statement of all four defendants, regarding the matter of their transfers to the prisons of Trikala, Grevena and Komotini. We remind that on December 20th, after a demand of the advocates and defendants, the court had decided the interruption of the trial for the 9thof January, in order for the advocates and defendants to collaborate.The advocates had submitted the demand to the public prosecutor and the court that they make sure that the defendants remain in the prisons of Koridallos, so that the interruption of the trial has a meaning. The chairman and public prosecutor declared they have no jurisdiction on this matter. According however, with the claim of the defendants, the public prosecutor of executing sentences answered orally to the management of the prison to their written demand that they remain in Koridalos, that they have no jurisdiction. He referred the matter back to the court! In other words, the court and public prosecutor are playing ball games with their responsibilities, self-proclaiming that they have no jurisdiction, while at the same time the defendants are provocatively transferred to prisons far away from Athens.The chairman of the court faced the defendants with the same provocativeness. Initially and for a few minutes insisted to not let M. Nikolopoulos speak, who declared immediately from the beginning that he wants to make a statement concerning the transfers. M.Nikolopoulos had to insist as well, that he should precede the advocates (that would ask for new interruption), which he had agreed with, in order to force the chairman to let him speak.The statement made on behalf of all the defendants by M.Nikolopoulos, interrupted by the chairman, obviously in order to it makes him lose line of thought, was the following:“This court, as I said also in the past, is a political court martial. Very good proof of all these is the matter of transfers. In the previous session it had been asked that from now on, via our advocates, that we reamain in the prisons of Koridallos. The court declared non-jurisdiction and it has been written in the proceedings -if you want you can find it and see it- and referred us to the public prosecutor of executing sentences. The public prosecutor, after our demand through prison, answered us, again through prison, that he has no jurisdiction and that the court is responsible. Obviously this is not one individual fact. For a year now they transfer us from prison to prison having made all together dozens of transfers. Obviously, this happens in order to physically isolate us and cut off all communication between us. For example Giorgos Polydoros who has been imprisoned for ten months now, has gone to six different prisons. Also, from the beginning of our imprisonment we have been placed in special wings, where the majority were rapists and snitches. Obviously this aimed at our moral extermination.
We clarify that we do not ask for any leniency and no rights. We are at war anyway. Simply, from the beginning we showed our intentions and did not hide. We took our responsibilities. You did not, in any way. First of all you are afraid to say that you are serving as a political court martial, but you also lie about the matter of transfers. The court has no jurisdiction, the public prosecutor has no jurisdiction. What’s going on, what’s happening? I cannot understand what’s going on. Obviously there are political plans. Why are you afraid to keep us for ten days in Koridallos prisons? What are you afraid of if we stay in Koridallos for ten days? What plans exist? Who gave the order? Did the anti-terrorist give the order? The time has come for you to take your responsibilities”.
“In any case the court gave no order”, was the bitter comment of the chairman, who had tried previously to interrupt M.Nikolopoulos. He asked the defendant if he has a written answer by the public prosecutor of executing sentences. ‘We have our written demand’, answered Christos Tsakalos, ‘and we took the oral answer from the management of the prison that the public prosecutor declared non-jurisdiction and indicated you as responsible. If the question that you place, is having a written answer, we will ask from the prison that the answer comes in writing’. “I do not ask for a written answer”, hurried to say the chairman, closing in a hurry the discussion which he himself began, disputing the sincerity of what the defendants claimed!
Afterwards, the advocates asked for a few days interruption, so that they can communicate with their clients and plan their defence. The public prosecutor immediately hurried to accept the demand. And the chairman, with an apologetic tone, asked the advocates and defendants two-three times if the time of interruption was long enough and he interrupted for Monday the 16th of January.
TRANSLATE BY BOUBOURAS/ACTFORFREEDOMNOW!
translate by Actforfreedomnow!/boubourAs
The defence advocates asked for a postponement of the trial because of the short time they have had to prepare their defence with their clients. All accused comrades agreed on this. The advocates also asked for the comrades to be kept in Koridallos prisons and be spread out to different prisons, in order to be able to cooperate with them. After a short break the judge accepted the postponement and also answered that its not up to the court to decide if the prisoners are moved. Neither did he comment on the point of the advocates which mentioned that if the comrades are spread out to different prisons, the postponement which they asked for and the court accepted is cancelled, because you cant prepare for a trial without the possibility of cooperation with the accused.
The trial will continue on January 9th.
Before the end of the session, the comrades asked to read a statement, which was read by Ch.Tsakalos, who said before reading: “We want to read a political statement concerning the facts of the recent escape we carried out from Koridallos prisons. Maybe initially the matter might seem irrelevant with the case of the court, but it has immediate importance for one particular reason. This attempt, which we made, not only transferred a message to Koridallos prisons and generally towards the whole correctional system, but also towards this court.”
POLITICAL STATEMENT of the R.O. Conspiracy of Cells of Fire
“This statement is in order to clarify and publicly place our position concerning our recent escape attempt from the prisons.
The fact that we are prisoners in the cells of democracy does not mean that we accept even for a moment our position either as prisoners, neither as accused in front of the political court martial you have set up against us.
There will never be a warden who will lock our soul, neither a judge who will judge our values. We are everlasting enemies of lawful order and eternal escapees of the prisons.
Obviously these few words that follow cannot describe the degradation of the correctional institutions which is experienced by all prisoners who did not surrender their dignity, but they carry it with them in every isolation, to every disciplinary room, on every transfer, in every torture, every beating…
You appointed martial judges of the juridical mafia maybe from over your desks you share out hundreds of years of prison, obeying the hands which mobilize you like puppets, but you should know that our will for freedom blazes day by day.
With your decisions as modern executioners, you bury people in tones of cement and bars hiding thus the consequences of the rotten system you serve. As for us who are anarchist urban guerrillas, you want to revenge and punish us, because you know that your names and those like you are already written in the list of our future targets. The prison you send people with the same ease as you read a trial brief, is a massive mincer which mills bodies, emotions, thoughts, imagination…
it is a sterilized mechanical world where orders echo from loudspeakers, locking up of cells and the noise of human resignation.
The large majority of the prisoners made a deal of idiots and surrendered their freedom and dignity in exchange for a days work, a leave, a promise for bail or even nothing.
All discussions for the humanization of the correctional system is nothing but meaningless and hypocritical talk. The solution is one, either you escape or you destroy the prison.
In this decision of ours, we heard knocks on the wall from different circles of acquaintances and met people who which we share the common desire for freedom. We can clearly say that we are proud of our choices and the relations we have built with them through this common attempt to escape, even if it did not reach our expectations. Unfortunately we were less lucky than we wanted, while stupidity found its expression in a little person-warden proving that it is powerful.
Some will rush to speak of failure.
However, our escape was successful. We escaped from the defeatism of the acceptance of our role as prisoners. We escaped from the sleepiness of the psychotropic drugs which are distributed generously in the prisons, from the benefits of prison work, from the illusions of future leave and bails and we acted as anarchist revolutionaries.
If the job of the wardens and judges is to lock the doors of the prisons, ours is to unlock them by forcing them open. Even if we did not manage to liberate our bodies, we liberated our existence even if just for a few moments by occupying a space in prison.
That feeling is unique and we do not regret anything.
Besides, we fight for a freedom beyond the official version of the laws and the values of this society. This struggle cannot be tried, neither can be imprisoned.
Today many people die from car accidents, from addiction to substances, from industrial illnesses. Others accept the death of boredom and loneliness sunken into the conventions of a law abiding life. We choose to risk our lives for the leap towards freedom even if there is no safety net under. There is nothing greater than that.
Now we lost a battle, but not the war. We look ahead.
Every moment promises a new plan, a new cooperation-friendship, an unexpected possibility which opens in front of us dangerous and subversive.
In any case, its not important if you are caught hostage, but if you surrender inside yourself.
LONG LIVE THE CONSPIRACY OF CELLS OF FIRE – INFORMAL ANARCHIST FEDERATION (F.A.I.)
LONG LIVE THE INTERNATIONAL REVOLUTIONARY FRONT
LONG LIVE THE BLACK ANARCHIST INTERNATIONAL
the imprisoned members of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire”
C.C.F. TRIAL UPDATE, (second Halandri case trial)
The court was adjourned until 20/12/11 at 9am after the demand of defence advocate F.Ragousis. Ragousis represents Mihalis and Giorgos Nikolopoulos and Christos Tsakalos. Damiano Bolano appeared without a lawyer. The comrade was transferred yesterday afternoon from Trikala prisons to Koridallos and consequently could not have found a lawyer, let alone be prepared for the trial. The court self-appointed two defence advocates who accepted their appointment. The chairman of the court gave the suffice, for him, deadline of 6 days to study a massive trial brief such as the 1 Halandri case one.
In the political part, the comrades began with a political statement while reading the communiqué
of F.A.I./Freedom to Eat and Billy Cell/ I.R.F. concerning the mailing of a bomb letter to the central offices of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, with Ackerman as the receiver.
The comrades from the first moment declared that this is a political trial or better a court martial, where anarchist urban guerrillas are being tried. They continued saying that they do not realize their selves as defendants, but as proud members of the revolutionary organization C.C.F. and that for them defendants are the prosecutors and judges, which they will show during the court-martial that is taking place in Koridallos prisons. They unanimously declared that they do not recognize this procedure or the prosecutors as their judges but through that they will reverse the terms with which the trial is taking place transforming it into a step to promote their political beliefs.
Finally, matters were mentioned but will be analysed in the process, the matter of filing the information of those who attend the court in solidarity by the anti-terrorist and the cops and the non-recording of the trial minutes.