Greek prisons: A few updates on comrades’ hunger strikes (ongoing)

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Ten comrades are on hunger strike to date. You may read previous short notes here.

In the evening of Monday, April 23rd, the anarchist prisoner Giorgos Karagiannidis was moved to the ‘hospital’ of Koridallos prisons, due to serious health complications after 18 days of hunger strike (since April 6th). Shortly after midnight, on April 24th, the comrade was urgently transferred to the General State Hospital of Nikaia, where he is now treated, guarded in a special hospital room-cell.

Despite the hazards for his health, Giorgos Karagiannidis refused to be put on an intravenous drip and continues the hunger strike, along with the imprisoned anarchists Alexandros Mitroussias and Kostas Sakkas, demanding the lifting of their new vengeful pretrial incarcerations as well as the immediate release of the anarchist comrade Stella Antoniou on health grounds.

On April 21st it was announced that the CCF imprisoned members Haris Hadjimihelakis, Giorgos Polidoros and Damiano Bolano have lost 8, 7 and 6 kilos, respectively. The three comrades joined the hunger strike on April 17th, in support of their brothers Panagiotis Argirou, Gerasimos and Christos Tsakalos that are on hunger strike since April 8th, demanding the definitive transfer of Panagiotis Argirou and Gerasimos Tsakalos in Koridallos prisons from the hellhole of Domokos.

Gerasimos Tsakalos and Panagiotis Argirou are in Koridallos prisons, currently fighting not to be led back to Domokos but to remain there. It must be clarified that both have repeatedly tried to be moved from Domokos prisons through numerous acts of insubordination, which would require prison authorities to order their disciplinary transfer. Nevertheless, those efforts did not succeed. It is always better for fighters to begin hunger strike at the detention facility where they’d rather be, instead of starting one at the prison they want to leave from. In addition, the transfer of inmates from one prison to another while they’re conducting a hunger strike is out of the question. Thus, Gerasimos and Panagiotis decided to begin hunger strike after they had been moved from Domokos to Koridallos prisons with emergency transfers due to the new interrogations and prosecutions of the CCF 250 arson and explosive attacks. All of this was well explained by Christos Tsakalos in a recent radio98fm recording.

Spyros Dravilas is also an inmate of Domokos prisons, who is currently held in the ‘hospital’ of Koridallos prisons, conducting hunger strike since April 4th. On April 20th, during his 16th day of hunger strike, he had reportedly lost a total of 10 kilos, while his blood sugar levels dropped too low (36). The Domokos Prison Council has vindictively denied him the 5day temporary leave from prison that he’s entitled to for 2.5 years now. Hunger strike is Spyros’ ultimate means of struggle in order to protest against these arbitrary rejections, which are directly related to a former accusation of his alleged involvement in the helicopter prison escape of Vassilis Palaiokostas.

Apart from the aforementioned audio recording by Athens free radio98fm, with Christos Tsakalos speaking from inside the walls about the hunger strike of CCF members on April 18th, numerous significant and combative texts have been published but haven’t been disseminated in more languages yet, such as the long proclamation of Sakkas, Mitroussias, Karagiannidis from Koridallos prisons on April 19th; the declaration to the court by Christos Tsakalos and Damiano Bolano on April 20th (both comrades were absent from the last trial session due to their ongoing hunger strike, thus Michalis Nikolopoulos read their text), as well as the statement by Athena Tsakalou (mother of Christos and Gerasimos Tsakalos) regarding her firm negation of giving any testimony before judges, from the same hearing; finally, the announcement about the demands set forth by Sakkas, Karagiannidis, Mitroussias, whose defense lawyers and supporters will hold a press conference on Wednesday, April 25th, at 13.00, in the building of the Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (ESIEA) in downtown Athens.

On April 24th, by 17.00, more than 50 comrades assembled in Kapnikarea Square on Ermou pedestrian shopping street (near Monastiraki) for the scheduled PA’s gathering in solidarity with the imprisoned anarchist hunger strikers. It was a lively gathering, where thousands of fliers were thrown and more than 1,500 counter-informative texts were shared out to people. Also, comrades pasted posters propagating the solidarity demonstration on April 27th outside Koridallos prisons (photos from the action here). A few hours later on the same evening, at about 20.00, a PA’s gathering in solidarity with the imprisoned hunger strikers took place in the downtown area of Thessaloniki, near the Rotunda of St George.

We are pleased to note that it’s getting really hard to keep track of how many solidarity actions dedicated to the hunger strikers have taken place and are scheduled to be held across Greece but also in other parts of the world. We intend to give related references and further updates as soon as possible —but to keep fully updated you should check regularly ActForFreedomNow and ThisIsOurJob, too.

Full and ardent solidarity with all captives in the dungeons of democracy and those prosecuted and oppressed by the Greek State.

For last year’s words have never sounded louder…

I should never accept the role of the persecuted,
but only of the attacker; attacker in society;
attacker in clandestinity; and I remain
an attacker in prison.

—Damiano Bolano (May 2011)

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