Text written by the three imprisoned members of Revolutionary Struggle about the trial of the organization which will start on October 5, 2011 (Greece) CLIK ON Poster…


Revolutionary Struggle trial solidarity zine


‘Revolution is the only solution
for the complete exit from the crisis’

A collection of letters, texts and communiqués from the armed group Revolutionary Struggle and their accused. Released during their current trial in Athens and intended to be one more nail in the coffin of the legitimacy of the State and the capitalist system.


by Actforfreedomnow – BoubourAs

Friday, May 18, 2012

Nikos Maziotis Statement to the Athens Criminal Court July 1999

Nikos Maziotis
Statement to the Athens Criminal Court July 1999

The following text is the translation of what Nikos Maziotis said to the court during his trial which took place on the 5th to 7th of July 1999 in Athens, Greece. He was convicted and given a 15-year prison sentence for ‘attempted explosion with danger for human lives’ and ‘possession of guns and explosives’ for his action of placing a bomb in the Ministry of Industry and Development on December 12, 97, in solidarity with the revolt of the villages in Strymonikos against the installation of a gold metallurgy by multinational company TVX GOLD. During the trial he again supported his choices politically, as he did from the beginning when he had sent a letter from prison with which he took responsibility of the action against the Ministry. Though he never accepted the charges the state was accusing him of, as revolutionary acts cannot be described in terms of the penal code. In that sense, this trial was not a typical procedure of convicting someone who pleads ‘guilty’ but it turned into a political confrontation as much between Nikos and his prosecutors, as between his comrades, anarchists and revolutionaries and the state and its mechanisms. This confrontation was strongly supported by the presence of comrades from Sardinia (Costantino Cavalleri), Italy (Alfredo Bonanno) and France (Hellyette Bess) who testified in the court in solidarity with Nikos and by the letters sent in support by the imprisoned militants of Action Directe, France, by the ABC of Barcelona and by other anarchist groups from Spain. All these together, along with the presence inside and outside the court of anarchist comrades and of course the speech of Nikos Maziotis against his prosecutors, gave a sense of the international struggle for freedom and of solidarity with all the people in revolt, with all prisoners captured in moments of the social and class war against the state and the capital.

First, I do not intend to claim to be the “good guy” here where I was forced to come. I will not plead for anything, because I do not consider myself a criminal. I am a revolutionary. I have nothing to repent. I am proud of what I have done. The only thing I regret is the technical error that was made so that the bomb didn’t explode so my fingerprint was found on it afterwards and I ended up here. That is the only thing I repent. And something else also. All that stuff shouldn’t have been at my house. It should have been kept somewhere else.
You must bear in mind that although you are judges and sitting higher than me, many times revolutionaries, and myself specifically, have judged you long before you judge me. We are in opposite camps, hostile camps. The revolutionaries and revolutionary justice (because I don’t believe that this court is justice, it’s the word ‘justice’ in quotation marks) many times judge their enemies more mercilessly, when they get the chance to impose justice.
I will begin from many years ago. We don’t have any crime of mine to judge here. On the contrary, we will talk about crimes, but not mine. We will talk about the crimes of the State, of its mechanisms, of justice and police crimes....
The first time I can say I was politicized is when I took part in a demonstration in 1985. It was the 17th of November. I was fourteen then, and one policeman, Melistas, shot and killed a fifteen year-old, Kaltezas. I had not participated in the riots that night. The same evening after the murder the Chemistry School was occupied and in the morning special forces carried out a police raid on the building to evacuate it and they arrested the anarchists and youths who were inside. The next day five thousand people occupied the Polytechnic School—if I remember correctly because I was young then and didn’t have much information. These occupations were precisely a reaction to the murder of Kaltezas by policeman Melistas. “Justice,” five years later, in January of 1990, found Melistas innocent.
What I mean by saying this is that in reality you are abettors of crimes, at least according to me. Then, in January and February of ’90 I took part in the occupation of the Polytechnic, which occurred as a reaction to the court decision that found Melistas not guilty for the murder of Kaltezas. There were riots and damage, store windows were broken, stones and molotov cocktails thrown.... I participated in these events. From then on I could say I was consciously an anarchist.
And when I say anarchist, I mean that I am against the State and capital. That our purpose is to subvert the State and the capitalist regime. We want a society without classes, without hierarchy and without domination. The biggest lie of all times is that the State is society. I think Nietzsche also said this—that the State lies.
We are opposed to the division of society into classes, we are against a separation between those who give orders and others who obey orders. This authoritarian structure penetrates the whole of society and it is this structure that we want to destroy. Either with peaceful or with violent means—even with guns. I have no problem with that.
I will contradict my brother who said before that he didn’t want the guns in order to make war. They were for war. Maybe they were just kept there, but guns are for war. You don’t just have them to keep them at home. I might have kept them as they were, but they are to make war and I make war.... The bomb at the ministry was an act of war.
Since 1990 I have been convicted many times for my actions, for multiform actions.
I was convicted because I refused to serve the army. Not because I have any problem with weapons or with violence, I repeated that in the military court. The fact that this time I was arrested in possession of guns means that I have no problem with weapons or with violence. I am not at all a pacifist. Because neither society nor the State are peaceful. As long as I receive violence I will respond with violence.
I spent seven months in a military prison. I was convicted for deserting the army and for evasion of military services. The second time I was released after 51 days of a hunger strike.
I was arrested in ’94 at the occupation of the Economics university along with 51 comrades of mine, when Giorgos Balafas and Odysseas Kampouris were on hunger strike. This occupation of the Economics Faculty was also an action of solidarity. In conditions where we couldn’t gather anywhere, nor demonstrate, we decided to squat a university and use it as a center of counter-information about the cases of Giorgos Balafas and Odysseas Kampouris, who were then imprisoned.
In ’95 I was arrested with 500 other people in the revolt of the Polytechnic in November. That occupation happened because there were many different political prisoners in jail—Kostas Kalaremas, Odysseas Kampouris, Giorgos Balafas who had been arrested again in the meantime, Spyros Dapergolas, Christoforos Marinos and four persons from Thessaloniki who were arrested when the demonstration in which they were participating was attacked by the police on the 14th of November—and because there was a prisoners’ revolt going on in Koridallos jail. For this occupation I was at last sentenced to one year imprisonment along with many more of my comrades. My comrades and myself have taken complete responsibility for all these actions.
So, during this decade in which I could call myself an anarchist, I have used many forms of action. I have written and distributed leaflets. I took part in flyposting. I participated in occupations, violent or peaceful. For example, the occupation of the Economics Faculty didn’t have a violent character but the Special Police Units and Riot Police invaded and arrested us. There were even policemen of the Special Units wearing ski-masks who entered in order to break the chains on the gate.
In the case of the Polytechnic we didn’t claim to be innocent, still without accepting the specific charges we were accused of. We explained why we went into the Polytechnic. Some time after, when I was court-martialed in February of ’98, I personally took responsibility for burning a Greek flag. I said that I burnt it. I consider it to be a symbol of a hostile force. I consider anyone bearing the Greek flag my enemy, because policemen have it on their uniforms, and also the marshals.... It is the symbol of the enemy.
Our purpose, within the antiState and anticapitalist struggle, is to connect ourselves with the different social struggles. When intervening in these struggles our purpose also is to attempt to take things to the edge, which means to culminate the conflict of these social parts with the State and the police. To urge the people fighting to transcend institutional frameworks—the trade-unions, the local administrations and all those manipulators who are enemies of human freedom. Many comrades of mine, with their small forces, were engaged in such struggles. I will tell you about them more specifically.
In 1989, in a struggle of environmental interest in the village of Aravissos, the residents of the area didn’t want their water sources to be exploited by the Water Company of Thessaloniki. They clashed with the police and the riot police, the burnt water pumps, started fires and built barricades.... And some of our comrades from Thessaloniki took part in this struggle and were even arrested.
In 1990 the aggression of neo-liberalism began in Greece (an aggression that had begun internationally in the ’80s with the Reagan and Thatcher governments), including de-industrialization, workers’ dismissals, privatization, restriction of the welfare State, reduction in salaries, pensions and medical treatment.... This attack that started in Europe and North America at the beginning of the ’80s only started in 1990 in Greece.
The first project was the “problematic” companies. In that section also, during the period of 1990-91, there were occupations in many factories in this country—in Mantoudi, Lavrio, Patras. Again, some comrades of ours, with their small initiatives, were there. More specifically in Mantoudi and in the Piraiki-Patraiki factory which is located in Patras.
After that we have the pupils’ movement of ‘90-91 which was a great one in my opinion. It managed to subvert the law of the Minister of Education Kontogiannopoulos, who finally resigned. In its effort to repress the movement,the right-wing government had mobilized its thugs in order to smash the school occupations, resulting in the murder of a teacher, Nikos Temponeras, inside an occupied school in Patras. It was one more crime of the State. Here we will recount the crimes of the State, no crime of mine.
Responding to the murder of Temponeras there was a demonstration of thousands of people. We participated too, to sharpen the situation. There were conflicts with the police, the Polytechnic was occupied once again for two days. Flames, barricades, damage.... There was also another crime those days, in the 10th of January ‘91. During the riots, tear-gas bombs thrown by the police caused a fire in the building of K. Marousi, a shopping-center in Panepistimiou Street. Four people died there as a result of this fire. For this crime nobody has yet paid, nor did “justice” pronounce itself. It was covered up.
One year after, in the summer of 1992, my comrades—not me personally but that doesn’t matter—participated in the clashes around Votanikos central bus-station, when the government attempted to privatize Public Transport. There were conflicts between the workers and the police. Then, some workers in the Public Transport were sent to prison accused of sabotage. They were smashing private buses belonging to the ruffian owners who had bought them. There also, anarchists were present.
Before referring to the struggle in Strymonikos, I want to mention the most recent examples: the jobless teachers the previous year and the pupils’ movement in the winter of ’98-’99. We were present there as well. A comrade who testified yesterday, Vasilis Evagelidis, tried to talk about it. He was arrested in the clashes that took place in January of ’99 in a pupils’ demonstration.
Generally, wherever there are disturbances, wherever there are conflicts we want to be involved—to subvert things. For us, this is not a crime. In a real sense, these disturbances are the “popular sovereignty” that professional politicians keep talking about. That’s where freedom is expressed....
Now let’s talk about the struggle of the people in Strymonikos. Long before I placed the bomb, other comrades had been in the villages. They had been talking with the people there. They had published a brochure about this revolt, about the clashes in October of 1996. But I will talk more specifically about the struggle in Strymonikos in a little while. First, I want to talk exclusively about the action.
To tell the truth, I was inspired to put this bomb for a specific reason: the people of the villages had broken the normal limits by themselves. If it had been a struggle within institutional frameworks—in the way that trade unions and local administrations try to keep these struggles restricted, if it had been confined in a mild, harmless and non dangerous protest, maybe I wouldn’t have done anything.
But the comrades up there in the villages—who are not anarchists, of course, but I don’t care about that, they are citizens who also want their freedom—had exceeded every limit. They had clashes with the police three times—on the 17th of October 1996, on the 25th of July ’97 and on November 9 ’98. They had set fire to police cars and vans of the riot police. They had burnt machinery belonging to TVX, they had invaded the mines of Olympiada and destroyed part of the installations. Some of them had also made a kind of guerrilla war. At night, they were going out with guns, shooting in the air to frighten the policemen. And I thought, these people are cool. They’ve gone even further than us.
And then repression followed, especially in ’97 when marshal law was imposed in the area. The Chief of Police in Halkidiki gave an order according to which all gatherings and demonstrations were forbidden. They also sent special police units and police tanks, which came onto the streets for the first time since 1980. Now they were sending them out again in the villages of Halkidiki. So, I thought, we must do something here, in Athens. It is not possible that the others are under repression and we are here staying passive.
The ministry of Industry and Development, in Papadiamadopoulou and Michalakopoulou Streets, was one of the centres of this case. The struggle in Strymonikos was a struggle against “development,” against “modernization” and all this crap they keep proclaiming. What is hidden behind all these expressions is the profits of multinationals, the profits of “our own” capitalists, Greek capitalists, the profits of State officials, of the Greek State, of the bureaucrats, of all those who take the money, of technical companies.... There is no relevance between this “development” and “modernization” they are talking about and the satisfaction of popular needs. No relevance at all.
So, I placed a bomb. The purpose was as I said in the letter with which I took responsibility for the action. In the passage of February ’98 I said that in placing the explosive device my purpose was to send a double political message. Everything is political. Even if you use such means, the messages are political. War itself is a means of political pressure. In this case, this was also a political means, a political practice. First of all, a message to the people of Strymonikos that “you are not alone, there are also others who may live 600 km away from you but care.” Not for personal reasons...I don’t know anyone from there personally. Other comrades know people there. I haven’t even been there. It was not my house that was threatened, but this is not the point.
Simply, my principle—and generally the principle of anarchists and of other non-anarchist revolutionaries—is that social freedom is one and inseparable. So, if freedom is partially offended, in essence it is offended as a whole. If their freedom is offended, mine is offended too. Their war will be my war, especially in an area where the “sovereign people”—again an expression used by professional politicians—does not want what the State and the capital want: the gold metallurgy of TVX.
On the other hand, I have said that, OK, there would be some damage—I knew that. Yes, I had intended to cause material damage. So, what damage would that be? On the windows, on that specific place, what kind of damage? Or outside the storehouse where I placed the bomb? In my opinion the damage would have been minimal. But even if it was more than minimal, for me it is not important at all. Because freedom can’t be compared with the material damage of some windows, to a State car or State property. For me, the ministry is not an institution of common benefit as the charges say. Of State benefit yes, but of social benefit no.
However, even if the device did not explode, I sent my message. I was caught because I made that technical error and left a fingerprint, but even if there was no material damage at all the message was sent. And you received it, the State received it, but also the people of Strymonikos received it. I know that they are saying I am one of them, even if they have never met me. There is nothing better than that. And of course, I repeat that I don’t regret it at all.
I am a social revolutionary, and when you say that it is like talking for the benefit of society. Not like—it is for the social benefit. As I have this principle I couldn’t harm any citizen. I could harm a policeman. I consider them my enemies. And you are my enemies too. I separate you. I make a clear class separation. On one hand we have those, on the other hand, we have the others. In this occasion though I intended to harm neither the policeman who guarded the ministry nor anybody else—and of course not one citizen.
The procedure that is used by groups or individuals in general is exactly this: first you place the bomb at your target and then you call a newspaper. In this case, I called Eleftherotypia and said: In half an hour a bomb will explode there. Exactly what is written in the evidence: “In 30 minutes there will be an explosion in the Ministry of Industry and Development, for the case of TVX in Strymonikos.” By this sense, as it was proven practically and not hypothetically, the police arrived at the place in time. The first of them who went there surrounded and evacuated the area for 200 meters around the building, as the police specialists themselves admitted, so that there wouldn’t be any car or person accidentally passing by. And then they waited for the bomb to explode. As they have already said, they were waiting for the safety time to expire, which is the 30 minutes that I had given! Whether the bomb did or didn’t explode there was absolutely no danger for humans lives. In the case that it exploded, there would only have been material damage. So, it would happen exactly as was intended to happen. Objectively, if the device had exploded there was no chance of an accident, like exploding before or after the given time.
And exactly because of the message being political and symbolic, it was not in my purpose to cause extensive material damage; that’s why I used only a small quantity of dynamite. And I had the possibility to put five or seven or ten kilos if I had wanted to.... But I didn’t. Since there such things were found in my house, I could have caused great damage, always talking about material damage! But I didn’t. If I could have demolished the whole building of the ministry without killing anyone, I wouldn’t have any objection. It is another useless building for the people and for society. As I said before, the only thing I regret is the technical error on the device.
Now, I want to say something in advance. This action was performed only by me, I did it alone, there was nobody else. The message of course said “Anarchist Urban Guerrillas.” This doesn’t mean that there were other persons aside from me.... It was just an expression to imply which milieu I come from. Of course, I wouldn’t use my name “Nikos Maziotis” to tell the newspaper where I placed the bomb. I’d say “Anarchists.” That’s all. I want to make it clear, finally, that the initiative for this action was mine alone, there was neither a group nor an organization nor anything. And also, it doesn’t appear even from the evidence that there was a group or an organization, that I would supply any group or organization. I was alone and the things found were all mine.
I want to refer more to what I call solidarity, to the motives that I had. What is this solidarity. I believe that people socialized—that human society was created—based on three components: solidarity, mutuality and helping each other. That’s what human freedom is based on. Any social group in struggle, in different space and time—whether they be pupils or farmers or citizens of local societies, for me and for anarchists is very important. It doesn’t have to do with whether I am a worker and identifying my interests with the interests of that class. If someone asks for a higher salary or has a trade-unionist demand for me that is not important. For me, solidarity means the unreserved acceptance and support with every means of the right that the people must have to determine their lives as they wish, and not let others to decide in place of them, like the State and the capital do.
That means that in this specific case, in the struggle of Strymonikos but also in every social struggle, for me what counts most is that they are struggles through which the people want to determine their fate alone. And not having any police chief or any State official or capitalist deciding what they should do. It is of secondary importance if they want or don’t want the factory, if the focal point of the struggle is environmental. The important thing is that they don’t want the factory because they don’t like something imposed on them with violence.
Concerning the matter of political violence now, from the very beginning they tried to present a case of “repulsive criminals” and “terrorists” who “‘blindly’ place bombs.” Something that doesn’t exist.
If theoretically terrorism is exercising violence against citizens and unarmed populations, that goes exclusively for the State. Only the State attacks civilians. That’s what the repressive mechanisms are for: the riot police, special police units, the army, special forces...mechanisms that also rob the people. They finance armed professionals, policemen. Aren’t they trained to shoot real targets? Aren’t the riot police armed with chemical gas? To use them where? On citizens, in demonstrations and in manifestations. So, only the State exercises violence against citizens. I didn’t use any violence against any citizen.
I will say exactly what terrorism is.
Terrorism is when occupations, demonstrations and strikes are being attacked. When the riot police attacked the pensioners demonstrating outside Maximou four years ago. When Melistas killed Kaltezas. When Koumis and Kanelopoulou were murdered by the riot police in 16th of November 1980. And if I remember well, they were not shot, they were beaten to death. Terrorism is when Christos Kassimis was murdered. But I will refer to this case more specifically.
A group of revolutionaries had tried to set fire to the German factory of AEG, in Redis. This was also an action of solidarity. I don’t know if you are aware of that, but I will tell you about it. Then, in ’77, some guerrillas of the RAF had died inside the white cells of Stammheim, in Stuttgart, West Germany. The white cells alone are terrorism. Prison is terrorism. So, then, some Greek revolutionaries went to burn the factory of AEG, as an action of solidarity with the RAF and also as a reaction to the murder of RAF militants in the prisons of Stuttgart. During this attempt, which was unsuccessful, somebody was killed. He was Christos Kassimis, shot by the two policemen, Plessas and Stergiou, who were guarding the factory. And according to what I have read, they didn’t kill him because their lives where threatened, they shot him in the back. He died with a bullet in his back.
Terrorism is when special police forces invade the Chemistry Faculty and beat up anarchists and youth. Terrorism is when Temponeras was murdered in Patras. Terrorism is when Christos Tsoutsouvis was murdered in ’85. But this case also has something special and I want to point it out. To Christos Tsoutsouvis fits an expression of Thucydides—if you know about him, he is the ancient historian who wrote down the story of the Peloponnesian War—that “dying in battle is an honour, followed by the acclaim of the citizenry.” He may have been killed, but he also took three of them with him. For me, he was a warrior, a militant. I believe that society needs more people like him.
Terrorism is when citizens are murdered by the police in simple “identification controls.” I will mention some examples. I will tell about Christos Mouratis, a Rom in the city of Livadia, who was shot in a police blockade in October of 1996. He was an unarmed citizen. This is a crime. But “justice” did nothing about it, what would it do? It just rewarded the crime.
In 1997, Helias Mexis was passing by the street in front of the Transport Detention Centre (for prisoners) and he was shot by the police guard Tsagrakos.
Theodoros Giakas was killed on January 10th 1994 by police officer Lagogiannis of the Moschato police station. This case is also quite peculiar. He was an unarmed citizen. He was stopped in the street for identity control. He ran away and the police shot him. Afterwards they said they found a knife in his possession and other crap. As far as I know, in the beginning he was shot three times. Probably all three shots were fatal. As Giakas was lying on the ground, Lagogiannis shot him another two times and even after he handcuffed him! Are you aware of what “justice” did about it? Sentenced him to 12 years on probation. That’s why I’m saying that your “justice” must be put in quotation marks.
Terrorism is when Ali Yumfraz, a Pomak from Vrilisia suburb of Athens, was arrested for being drunk and afterwards he was found dead in his cell in the police station. The police said he suffered a heart-attack and that this was the reason for his death. I can recall another incident, in January of ’91, when a Turkish political refugee, Souleiman Akiar, was beaten to death by policemen. The Minister of Public Order then said that the man had heart problems. But the medical examination found that there were bruises all over his body.
Terrorism is this court, here. Every trial of a militant, every trial of a revolutionary is terrorism, a message of intimidation for society. I said it before in my statement yesterday, when you called me to ask if I accept the charges, and I will repeat it. Because my persecution is political, the message is clear: whoever fights against the State and capital will be penalized, criminalized and characterized as a terrorist. The same for any solidarity with any social struggle: it will be penalized and crushed. This is the message of this trial and in this sense it is terrorism. Terrorism against me, terrorism against the anarchists, terrorism against the people of Strymonikos, who are also receiving similar messages during this period, as they have similar trials for their mobilizations. This is terrorism.
The fact that I put a bomb as an action of solidarity is not terrorism. Because no citizen was harmed by this action.
Many times, the media—sometimes even more than the police—promote a view of every action taking place (for example in molotov attacks) that “we almost had victims, almost, almost, almost....” But such a thing has never really happened. This is done to create impressions and these things are said so that there will be social consent for repression. So that I, for example, will be convicted with a long-term prison sentence. “We found someone who made the mistake of leaving his fingerprint. We caught him. And he says that he did it? Let’s fuck him!” My language is a little vulgar.
I want to refer to the struggle in Strymonikos. Even if I have never been there I will give you some historical rudiments. The mines which have now been bought by the multinational company TVX Gold have existed since 1927. They used to belong to Bodosakis. In these mines, where numerous work accidents have taken place and many miners suffered pneumonokoniosis, there was a big bloody strike back in 1977. The strike had demands such as wage increases, medical treatment, and security measures in the mines. At that time police tanks were also sent into the area. There were arrests and convictions, with terrorism imposed in the villages.
In the late ’80s the company was characterized as “problematic,” like many others. The State, through METVA, planned the installation of gold metallurgy. In ’92 the company, as “problematic,” passed into the hands of the State and in December of ’95 the latter sold the mines to TVX. But the residents of Strymonikos didn’t want the construction of a gold metallurgy plant. More than seventy years of mining activity had already caused serious environmental problems.
This struggle has great importance, and that has been proven, for international reasons. The mobilizations started in the beginning of ’96. The residents blockaded the national Thessaloniki-Kavala highway, they made guardhouses from which they supervised the mines and stopped any company truck that might try to pass or any machinery that would begin drilling activities. With these activities, the street blockade and the guardhouses, the people demonstrated: “We are here. You are not going to pass.”
This way they forced the company to temporarily suspend its activities. On the 26th of October ’96, TVX sent an ultimatum to the Greek state and the Ministry of Development, saying that “Unless the works start right away, we are going to leave.” Their investment, which is the biggest private one ever made in the country, an investment of 65 billion drachmas, would leave Greece.
When the first clashes took place, on the 17th of October, and the residents managed to violently repel the police forces from the area, Jason Stratos, the president of SEV, stated that “these disturbances damage the integrity of the country abroad.” And he was right, because “It’s impossible that two thousand provincials (I don’t mean this characterization in a bad way, but that’s how the minister or the president of SEV mean it; that’s how professional politicians and the political parties talk about simple people) will destroy our investments, not letting a Canadian company or any other foreign company come here and make investments. This reaction must end”.
So, you can understand that this struggle had no restricted local character. It had international implications, because it created a precedent: “If we can’t have an investment in Halkidiki, wherever a foreign investor may go it will not be able to proceed with the investment. If the people revolt and don’t want what the State wants, the economy is through.”
One year later, there was another attempt to start work for the installation of the gold metallurgy plant. In July of ’97 the residents destroyed a drill belonging to IGME and clashed with the police. In November, they gathered and demonstrated at the mines. But some months before—in September, if I remember well—the State had predicted that the people’s reactions would culminate and had sent hundreds of policemen from Thessaloniki. They had also sent riot police from Athens, special repression police units and police tanks, which as I said before appeared in the streets for the first time after 1980 when they were used to suppress demonstrations. There was a whole army of occupation installed there permanently. The police knew that there would be riots again so they had prepared a military force to repress the residents. As it happened, of course, it wasn’t completely successful because the police were defeated in clashes that took place on the 9th of November. And as I have said before police cars and riot police vans were destroyed, the drill of the company was set on fire and finally guerrilla activities took place, in which shots were fired to frighten the police.

As I have already said, I was inspired by these events to put the bomb in the
Ministry of Industry and Development. On this basis I want to repeat that this struggle had not simply a local character. It had transcended that.
For us, for the anarchists, social struggles and solidarity are beyond national limits. For me and for my comrades, struggles that take place outside the borders of the Greek State have a great importance.

There is huge importance for me in the Zapatista guerrilla that has burst out in Chiapas in 1994. It is one more struggle against neoliberalism, a struggle that is carried out with guns, with masks, a real war. It involves political violence and I am not against that. I have never made any statement against it and I do not want to pretend to be innocent.
Of great importance for me is also the movement of Brazilian farmers without land (the MST) who occupy the land of the estates in order to cultivate it collectively.
There is also great significance in the movement of the jobless people in France, who occupied work offices and clashed with the police during the winter of ’97-’98.

Also important is something that took place in Turkey and is similar to what happened in Strymonikos with TVX. Another multinational company, EUROGOLD, tried to make a similar investment in Pergamos. And what I am going to say now is very important. It was in the village Ovancik of Pergamos, if I remember correctly. The residents of that area, Turkish farmers, successfully frustrated the EUROGOLD investment, in the same ways that the people of Strymonikos have used to so far prevent the installation of gold metallurgy. The people of Pergamos made blockades in the Ismir-Istanbul highway. They clashed with military police forces. And, coincidentally, there was again someone who placed a bomb in the offices of the investing company, in Ismir. Like I did here.

So, as you understand, all these practices are part of social struggles, they happen everywhere. And for us, not only are they not crimes, they are an honor. We are proud of these practices.
Concerning this factory in Pergamos, the Greek media, the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Aegean had been hypocritically saying that if it was constructed it would pollute the Aegean sea. But they are not saying the same for Strymonikos Bay. So the factory in Turkey must not be constructed, but in Greece it is all right. Here the hypocrisy of the Greek State, of the media and of the politicians is obvious.

I don’t believe that you really judge me as a “terrorist.” I don’t believe that you judge me for “ intending to cause danger to human lives.” This is just a pretext. In fact, you are judging me for what I’ve said until now. For who I am. For being an anarchist, for believing what I believe, even for my past. Because all of these are aggravating elements: “So, you were in the Polytechnic occupation, you were in the Economic School occupation, you are an objector against military service, you were here, you were there....” I don’t have a “previous decent life,” according to you, of course, because according to me I am a very decent person. In reality, you don’t judge me for supposedly having the purpose of harming people.

In fact, the State has proven that it does not care for the citizens. On the contrary, when its domination must be consolidated, the State takes away human lives, as I have said in the examples I gave before. The only thing the State wants is to conserve a monopoly, the monopoly that “Only I, the state, can take away human lives.”

Only the uniformed police, the secret police, the riot police or the special police can take away human lives. Everyone else who does it is a criminal. But when the State does it, it proves to be unassailable.

Whenever citizens have been killed, “justice” has accepted the police allegations. Not because it believed them but for reasons of interest. It always accepts the allegation that “the bullet lost its way,” that supposedly “the policeman’s gun fired accidentally” or that he was supposed to be “in selfdefense.” In reality though, all these examples that I mentioned before, and I have more to mention, are cold-blooded murders. Very few policemen were ever accused and all of them are out of prison and proud of what they have done. Proud!
A witness for my defence said something earlier about the case of Alekos Panagoulis. And it is true that the attempt of Panagoulis to murder the dictator Papadopoulos was an action applauded by the Greek people. It was an attempt to kill. And so what? Who did he try to kill? A dictator!
Rationally one can oppose the argument that back then there was a status of military junta and that the means of political violence were justified to be used as a means of political pressure in the time of dictatorship, but now we have a “parliamentary democracy.” Now we have “freedom” and we have “rights.” Well, I don’t think it is exactly like that. With all I’ve said I don’t believe there are rights. They may exist on paper, but in reality there is nothing.

I will mention certain occasions of the political reform period, the time of the presumed democracy, where people have been killed within social struggles. It was once again proven that the people still don’t define their fate just because the constitution of the State changed in 1974. Specific examples: The first disturbances took place, as far as I remember, in July of 1975. Also in May of 1976 once again the police tanks appeared in the streets of Athens. Laskaris, the minister of Employment of Karamanlis’ government had then made a new law, Act 330, an anti-worker and anti-strike act. On the 25th of May ’76 there was an all-workers’ demonstration.

There were clashes with the police, an assault at the offices of “Bradini” newspaper..., molotov cocktails and fire... Then, a police tank which was chasing after demonstrators killed Anastasia Tsivika, a 67 year old saleswoman. Nobody was ever accused of this murder.
In other cases, there were new drafts of laws voted in the parliament without asking anybody’s opinion. For example in 1990 there was a revision of the agreement concerning the continuation of the American military base operations in Greece. The people of Chania [Crete] did not accept that... In June 1990 they had a demonstration which was attacked by the riot police. As a reaction, the people clashed with the police and burnt down the Prefecture of Chania.

In 1991 the farmers of Heraklion province set fire to the building of the Heraklion Prefecture. As you can see, political violence is exercised by everyone. By all of society and by every social segment or class that is threatened.
What the State wants is to deal with everyone individually. You must have heard an expression that Prime Minister Simitis is using a lot, speaking of “social automatism” whenever social reactions burst out. He uses this expression in order to present these social reactions—the blockades in the streets, the squatting in public buildings and all the actions of this kind—as being in contrast with the interests of the rest of society. Something that is a total lie. It is just the tactics of “divide and rule,” which means “Spread discord to break solidarity.” Because solidarity is very important as anyone who is alone becomes an easy target.

When a workers’ strike takes place and there is no solidarity it is easier to attack. They talk about a “minority.” This is the argument of the State, that it is “a union minority having retrogressive interests which turn against modernization, against development, against all reforms,” and all that nonsense. Well, there hasn’t been one social segment or group that hasn’t come into conflict with the State—especially during the ’90s, that hasn’t been faced with the argument that “You are just a minority,” and “Your struggle is in contrast with the interests of the rest of society.”
That is exactly what happened in every case. It happened with the workers in the “problematic” companies who were squatting their factories in ’90-’91, with the pupils who occupied their schools in ’90-’91 and recently in ’98-’99. The same thing happened with the workers in Public Transport in ’92, with the farmers who blockaded the national highways in ’95 and in ’96, with the teachers’ mobilizations against the repeal of the calendar and the new exam. The same thing happened of course with the people of Strymonikos.

What is really being attacked is solidarity. And that’s what is also being attacked—without any disguise—through my trial. The State wants to attack everyone individually. Because when it finds them together things are much more difficult.

Police brutality is, of course, not sufficient for repression. Coming back to what I was saying before, I have concluded with the fact that the difference between dictatorship and parliamentary democracy—or should I better say capitalistic oligarchy—is that the first one is mainly imposed by raw violence and the latter, presumed democracy, is mostly imposed by the intellectual control of the citizens, through the weapon of the mass media, through deception. Because I don’t believe that people voting for their bosses every four years means they have freedom. They vote for them but when they don’t do what they were elected to do, people can’t get rid of them.

In ancient Athens this didn’t happen. In ancient Athens everyone could speak in the public assembly. Anyone could express an opinion, no matter how modest his position was. And those having a public position could be removed by the people at any time.

But democracy has also proven that when deception and intellectual control of citizens are not enough, it has no problem resorting to police violence, killing, torture and terror.
Finally, I am not on trial because I placed a bomb, nor because I possessed three guns and ten kilograms of dynamite. After all, the army and the police have a lot more guns than me and they use them. The one can’t be compared with the other.

I have nothing else to say. The only other thing I’ll say is that no matter what the penalty to which I will be sentenced—because it is certain that I will be convicted—I am not going to repent anything. I will remain who I am. I can also say that prison is always a school for a revolutionaries. His ideas and the endurance of his soul are put to the test. And if he passes this test he becomes stronger and believes more in the things for which he was put in prison. I have nothing more to say.

The judge: Don’t turn the cameras to the bench!
Public prosecutor: In the beginning of your plea you said that you had the guns for war. Don’t you see a contradiction when you say that there was no danger for human lives?
I made it clear that none of my activities is turned against citizens. I already made that clear. Where is the contradiction?

Public Prosecutor: You said the guns are for war.
Yes but not for the people. For my class enemies. Look, I never said that I am a humanist generally. Nor a philanthropist, because the meanings of these words are degraded. In everything that I’ve written—if you have read—and in everything that I’ve said I made clear who my friends and who my enemies are. Not on a personal but on a social level. Who my social and class friends are and who my social and class enemies are. In the letter with which I took responsibility for the action as well as in my defence I said that society is another thing from the State.

I will go on to be more specific for the jury. On the one hand I place the State, State officials, the police, the army, the security forces, capitalists, and on the other hand I place the rest of the people: workers, farmers, pupils, the whole of society, the majority of the people, oppressed peoples.

Public prosecutor: You talked about “justice” putting the word in quotation marks. What ground for complaint do you have against justice?

I have been in prison for the last 18 months. I have personally been held in prison for 18 months and another 7 months in military prison. Simple and close examples. You are speaking of me, personally, are’t you?

These laws are made in order to suit your interests. From these laws you are earning your bread. Your job is to send citizens to prison and to oppose the argument that policemen have committed murders but don’t go to prison for it. I have already criticized the job of this “justice” you are talking about. That finally there are two weights and two measures. The matter is not what the law says or what the penal code says, but what really happens. Just like in the case of terrorism.

For example, the US consider the PKK to be a terrorist organization, but not the UCK. In the beginning UCK was considered, by the US, to be a terrorist organization but afterwards it wasn’t because its existence was convenient for their plans. Isn’t that right? The US did not consider the Contras to be terrorists, when they were going to invade Nicaragua, but they considered all the left revolutionary movements and guerrillas terrorists.

Public prosecutor: I will refer to the danger you said something about. Didn’t you know that the bomb could cause danger?
If I knew? I knew that it would not cause any danger. The procedure is stereotyped and it goes exactly like this: you make a telephone call to a newspaper as a warning, then somebody from the newspaper informs the police, the police arrive at the place and block off the area surrounding the target. In my case, they did blockade the area and the police specialists in neutralizing explosive devices who were then present have already testified that the blockade was safe for a range of 200 meters. So there was no danger for human lives. For material damages now, I told you my opinion about them....

I want to complete what I was saying before to the public prosecutor, about terrorism on an international level. In reality, for the time being, the US are the global gendarmery and terrorists, as the only great world power left. Which means it is the worst thing on earth. And according to our perception—as anarchists—the State, all States and all governments are antisocial, terrorist mechanisms, since they have organized armies, police, and hired torturers.

I also want to complete what I was saying about there being two weights and two measures. For example, the US provides weapons, financing and instigating every dictatorial regime all over the world. And in Greece as well. In Latin America, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru.... This is terrorism. Terrorism is to arm dictators, to arm death squads in Argentina or in Bolivia in order to kill people of the left, citizens, revolutionaries. Those who equip the death squads to torture, those are the terrorists.
Terrorism is when they bombard Yugoslavia for ten days, killing civilians....
Excuse me, Mr. Prosecutor, but the US is the one which pronounces who is terrorist and who isn’t. Its State Department issues official directions, advising Greece about who is a terrorist. In this period of time, it is putting pressure on the Greek State to make an anti-terrorist law, a model of law which will criminalize those who fight, making laws more draconian than those that already exist. This is terrorism.

Revolutionaries and militants are not terrorists. The terrorists are the States themselves. But with this accusation, with this stigmatizing (as terrorism) all States and governments try to criminalize social revolutionaries and militants inside their countries—the internal social enemy. In fact, the State, “justice” and the police are also facing me as this kind of enemy. As an internal social enemy. On the basis of the division I described before. That’s the way the State sees it. This is what is ventured in this trial.

Public prosecutor: What do you have to oppose to what exists?
Social revolution. By any means necessary.
It is generally proven, because I am well versed in Greek as well as in international social and political history, that never did any changes happen, never did humanity meet any progress—progress as I conceive it—through begging, praying or with mere words.
In the text I sent to take responsibility for the action in which I said that I placed the bomb and which was published in Eleftherotypia newspaper, I said that the social elite, the mandarins of capital, the bureaucrats, all these useless and parasitic people—who should disappear from the proscenium of history—will never quit their privileges through a civilized discussion, through persuasion. I don’t want to have a discussion because you can’t have a discussion with this kind of people...

I would like to add something. Precisely because I have studied a lot, (I know that) during the events of July of ’65, a conservative congressman of the National Radical Union came out and said about those who came out into the streets and caused disturbances when Petroulas was killed, that “Democracy is not the red tramps but we, the participants in parliament,” which means the congressmen who are well paid.
I will reverse that. Popular sovereignty, Sir Judges, is when molotovs and stones are thrown at the police, when State cars, banks, shopping centres and luxury stores are burnt down. This is how the people react. History itself has proved that this is the way people react.

This is popular sovereignty. When Maziotis goes and places a bomb at the Ministry of Industry and Development in solidarity with the struggle of the people in Strymonikos. This is real popular sovereignty, not what the Constitution says.
I forgot to commemorate the militants who have been murdered. Christoforos Marinos was murdered in the port of Piraeus, inside the ship “Pegasus” in July ’96. Michalis Prekas was murdered by the Special Police Units in October of 1987 in Kalogreza. Tsironis was murdered in Nea Smyrni in 1978.
I also want to add something concerning what Mr. Prosecutor said yesterday, during his speech, on the matter of humanism.
I will mention an event that happened abroad, to prove who are humanists and who aren’t after all, who the real criminals are.
The Tupac Amaru guerrillas occupied the Japanese embassy of Peru in December of 1996. They took more than a hundred hostages and these hostages were not simple citizens. There were ambassadors, diplomats from many States, Japanese businessmen and officials of the Peruvian regime—who are quite far from being democratic. They were demanding the freedom of their militants, the release of their organization’s leader and other comrades of theirs who were imprisoned in dungeons.

Not only didn’t they hurt any one of the hostages, they even released almost all of them—that is to say, who are really the humanists? On the contrary, after endless and exhausting negotiations, the Peruvian special forces invaded the embassy and executed each one of them in cold blood. I am saying all this in order that we know who are the criminals and who are the “humanists”—in quotation marks, because I don’t like this term and that’s why I don’t use it a lot.
I want also to mention some things that happened here in Greece. I want to speak for Charis Temperekidis, who may not have been a political militant, but for me he was a rebelling penal prisoner. He had been kept in prison for years. He also died gun in hand during a chase after the robbery of the Agricultural Bank in Klitoria, Achaia. Despite the fact that he was still alive when captured by the police, he didn’t inform against his accomplices. In the past he had taken part in prisoners’ revolts, like the one of 1987 in Kerkyra in order to close down this place of punishment.

And there is one more case—if we want to discuss crimes once more, the case of Sorin Matei. When Matei helda policeman hostage, the police didn’t make any move to arrest him. When Matei took civilians as hostages, the police couldn’t care less about their lives. In order to strengthen their prestige the police invaded the apartment where Matei had taken shelter, resulting in the death of a young woman. The criminals were more the policemen of the special units than Sorin Matei. As criminal as the manager of Nikaia general hospital, Alexiou, who ordered the transportation of Matei to the prison hospital Agios Pavlos, where he died either from the beating he suffered by policemen or by the drugs they were given to him. 
That explains who is criminal.

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