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

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

THE “PLEADING” OF ANARCHIST NIKOS MAZIOTIS Assembly of Anarchists, September 1999

(The following text is the translation of what Nikos Maziotis has said to the court during his trial which took place in the 5th to the 7th of July 1999 in Athens, Greece. He was convicted in a 15-year prison sentence for “attempted explosion with danger for human lives” and “possession of guns and explosives” for his action to put a bomb in the Ministry of Industry and Development in 6-12-97, 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 supported politically again his choices, as he did from the beginning when he had sent from prison a letter with which he was taking responsibility of the action against the Ministry. He never though 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 so much between Nikos and his prosecutors, as much as between his comrades, anarchists and revolutionaries and the state and its mechanisms.
This confrontation was strongly supported by the presence of comrades from Sardegna (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 speach 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 political prisoners captured in moments of the social and class war against the state and the capital.)

First, I do not intend to pretend the “good guy” here where I was forced to come. I will not plead for anything, because I do not concern myself a criminal. I am a revolutionary. I have nothing to repent of. I am proud of what I have done. The only thing I regret is the technical error that was made and the bomb didn’t explode, so that my fingerprint was found on it after and I ended up here. This is the only thing I repent. And something else also: all that stuff shouldn’t be at my house, they should be placed somewhere else.
You must have in mind that although you are judges and sitting higher than me, many times the 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 merciless, 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 17th of November. I was fourteen then, and one policeman, mr. Melistas, shot and killed a fifteen year-old, Kaltezas. I had not participated in the riots of that night. The same evening after the murder the Chemistry School had been occupied and in the morning special forces carried out a police raid in 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 correct because I was young then and didn’t have much information. These occupations were exactly 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 occured as a reaction to the court-decision which found Melistas not guilty for the murder of Kaltezas. There were riots and damages, stores were broken, stones and molotov cocktails thrown... I participated in these events. From then on I could consciously say I am an anarchist.
And when I say anarchist, I mean that I am against the State and the Capital. That our purpose is to subvert the State and the capitalistic regime. We want a society without classes, without hierarchy and without domination.
The biggest lie of all times is that the State is the society. I think Nietzsce has also said that, that the State lies.
We are opposed to the division of society in classes, we are against a separation to 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 the guns. I have no problem on that.
I will contradict my brother who said before: “he didn’t want the guns in order to make war”. They were for war. Maybe they were just kept there. But the 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 in the ministry was an act of war.
Since 1990 I have been convicted many times for my action, 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 have been convicted for deserting the army and for evasion of military services. The second time I was released after 51 days of hunger strike.
I have been arrested in ’94 in the occupation of the Economic university along with 51 comrades of mine, when Giorgos Balafas and Odysseas Kampouris were on hunger strike. This occupation of the Economic School was also an action of solidarity. In conditions where we couldn’t gather anywhere nor demonstrate, we had 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 was arrested again in the meantime, Spyros Dapergolas, Christoforos Marinos and four persons from Thessaloniki who were arrested when the demonstration in which they participated was attacked by the police in 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 others of my comrades. In all these actions me and my comrades have taken completely the responsibility.
So, during this decade, since I can call myself an anarchist, I have used many forms of action. I have written and distributed leaflets, I took part in postering, I participated in occupations, violent or peaceful. For example, the occupation of the Economic School didn’t have any violent character but the Special Police Units and the 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 pretend the good guys, without still accepting the specific charges we were accused of. We said why we went in the Polytechnic. Some time after, when I was court-martialed in February of ’98, I have personally taken responsibility of burning one of the greek flags. I said that I burnt it. I consider it to be a symbol of a hostile force. To anyone having the greek flag I see my enemy, because the policemen have it on their uniforms, the marshals also... It is the symbol of the enemy.
Our purpose, within the anti-State and anticapitalist struggle, is to connect ourselves with the different social struggles. Our purpose also when interfering in these struggles is to attempt to make things reach the edge, which means to culminate the conflict of these social parts with the State and the police. To urge the people fighting surpass the institutional frames, the trade-unions, the local administrations and all these 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 watering pumps, the set fires and barricades... And some of our comrades from Thessaloniki took part in this struggle and they were even arrested.
In 1990 the aggression of neo-liberalism started in Greece (an aggression that internationally had started since the 80’s with Reagan and Thatcher governments), including de-industrialization, workers’ dismissals, privatization, restriction of the welfare state, reductions on salaries, pensions and medical treatment... This attack that has started in Europe and North America since the beginning of the 80’s, it 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 of the country, in Mantoudi, Lavrio, Patras. Again, some comrades of ours, with their small powers, were there. More specifically in Mantoudi and in Piraiki-Patraiki factory which is located in Patras.
After that we have the pupils’ movement of ’90-91 which was a grand one, according to my opinion. It managed to subvert the law of the minister of Education, Kontogiannopoulos who finally resigned. The right-wing government, in its effort to repress the movement, had mobilized its thugs in order to smash the school occupations, resulting to the murder of a teacher, Nikos Temponeras, inside an occupied school in Patras. It was one more crime of the state.
Here we will count 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, damages... There was also another crime those days, in the 10th of January ’91. During the riots, tear-gas bombs thrown by the police caused fire to the building of K. Marousi, a shopping-center in Panepistimiou street. Four citizens died inside there due to this fire. For this crime nobody has yet paid, nor did any justice say something. They covered it.
One year after, in summer of 1992, my comrades -not me personally but this doesn’t matter- participated in the clashes around Votanikos central bus-station, when the government attempted to privatize Public Transports. There were conflicts between the workers and the police. Then, some workers in the Public Transports went to prison accused of sabotage. They were smashing the 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 in. 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 put the bomb, other comrades have been in the villages, they have 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 say the truth, I was inspired to put this bomb for a specific reason: The people of the villages had broken the limits, by themselves. If it was a struggle inside the institutional frames, in the way that trade unions and local administrations try to keep these struggles restricted, if it was confined in a mild, harmless and not dangerous protest, maybe I wouldn’t do 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 surpassed every limit. They had conflicts with the police three times -in the 17th of October 1996, in the 25th of July ’97 and in November 9 ’98-, they had put fire to police cars and vans of the riot police, they had burnt machinery belonging to TVX, they had invaded in the mines of Olympiada and destroyed part of the installations. Some of them also made a kind of guerrilla. In the nights, they were going out with shooting 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 there was marshal law 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 in the streets for the first time since 1980. And now they were sending them out again there, 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 here staying passive...
The ministry of Industry and Development, in Papadiamadopoulou and Michalakopoulou streets, was one of the centers of this case. The struggle in Strymonikos was a struggle against the “development”, against “modernization” and all this crap they keep saying. What is hidden behind all these expressions is the profits of multinationals, the profits of “our own” capitalists, Greek capitalists, the profits of states’ 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 covering of popular needs. No relevance at all.
So, I put a bomb. The purpose was the one I said in the letter with which I took responsibility of the action. In the passage of February ’98 I say: 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 they care”. Not for personal reasons... I don’t know anyone from there personally. Other comrades know people from 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 principle of the 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 damages - I knew that. Yes, I had the intention to cause material damages. So, what damage would that be? On the windows, on that certain place, what kind of damage? Or outside the storehouse where I placed the bomb? According to me, the damages would be minimal. But even if they were more than minimal, for me it is not important at all. Because freedom can’t be compared with the material damages on some windows, on 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 I 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 will refer a little to the technical parts. Exactly because 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 didn’t intend to harm neither the policeman who guarded the ministry nor anybody else; and of course not a citizen.
The procedure that is used by groups or individuals, in general, is exactly this: you first place the bomb in your target and then you call to a newspaper. In that case, I called to ‘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 200m 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 alone, they were waiting for the safety time to expire, which is the 30 minutes that I HAD GIVEN! Whether the bomb would or wouldn’t explode there was absolutely no danger for human lives. In case that it exploded, there would be only material damages. So, it would happen exactly what was in my intention to happen. Objectively, if the device had exploded there was no chance of an accident, like exploding before or after the time given.
And exactly because of the message being political and symbolic, it was not in my purpose to cause extensive material damages; that’s why I used a small quantity of dynamite. And I had the possibility to put five or seven or ten kilos. if I wanted to... But I didn’t put... Since there were such things found in my house, I could cause great damages, always talking about material damages! But I didn’t. If I could demolish the whole building of the ministry without having anyone killed, 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 except from me... It was just an expression to imply which is the milieu I come from. Of course, I wouldn’t say my name ‘Nikos Maziotis’ to tell the newspaper where I placed the bomb. I ‘d say ‘Anarchists’. That’s all. To make clear, finally, that the initiative for this action was mine only. There was neither a group nor an organization nor anything. And also, It doesn’t appear 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 only 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. So, that’s where human freedom is based on.
Any social group in struggle, in different space and time, whether they are pupils or farmers or citizens of local societies, for me and for the anarchists it 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 it 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 letting others to decide in default 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 mostly is that they are struggles through which the people want to determine their fates 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 to 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 “put ‘blind’ bombs”. Something that doesn’t exist.
If theoretically terrorism is exercising violence against citizens and unarmed population, that goes exclusively for the State. Only the State attacks against civilians, that’s what the repression mechanisms are for: the riot police, special repression 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? Isn’t the riot police armed with chemical gas? To use them where? On citizens, in the demonstrations and in manifestations. So, only the State exercises violence against the citizens. I didn’t use any violence against any citizen.
I will say exactly what is terrorism.
Terrorism is when occupations, demonstrations and strikes are being attacked. When the riot police attacked the pensioners who demonstrated 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 can remember well, they were not shot, they were beaten up to death. Terrorism is when Christos Kassimis was murdered. But I will refer more specifically to this case.
A group of revolutionaries had then 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 is 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 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 guarded 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 School and beat up anarchists and youth. Terrorism is when Temponeras is murdered in Patras. Terrorism is when Christos Tsoutsouvis was murdered in ’85. But this case has also something special and I want to point it out. To Christos Tsoutsouvis fits an expression of Thoukidides -if you know about him, he is the ancient historian who wrote down the story of the Peloponnesian War- that “dying in the battle is an honor, followed by applause of the citizens”. He may got killed, but he also took three of them with him. For me, he was a warrior, a militant. I believe that society needs more persons like him.
Terrorism is when citizens are murdered by the police in simple ‘identification controls’. I will mention some examples. I will say 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 Center (for prisoners) and he got shot by the police guard Tsagrakos.Theodoros Giakas was killed in January 10th 1994 by police-officer Lagogiannis of 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 of them were fatal. As Giakas was lying on the ground, Lagogiannis shot him another two times and even after that he handcuffed him! Are you aware of what did justice do about it? Sentenced him in 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 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 up to death by policemen. The Minister of Public Order had 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 again in my statements yesterday, when you called me to say if I accept the charges, and I will repeat it. Because of my persecution being political, the message is clear: whoever fights against the State and the Capital will be penalized, criminalized and given the characterization of terrorist. The same for any solidarity to any social struggle: it will be penalized and crushed down. This is the message of this trial and by this sense it is terrorism. Terrorism against me, terrorism against the anarchists, terrorism against the people of Strymonikos, who are also receiving similar messages 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, especially the media, even more than the police sometimes, promote a view of every action taking place, for example in gas-bomb attacks, that “we almost had victims, almost, almost, almost...” But such a thing has never really happened. All these happen to create impressions and they are said so that there will be social consent for repression. So that I, for example, will be convicted in a long-time prison sentence. “We found someone who made the mistake to leave 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 are now bought by the multinational company TVX Gold exist since 1927. They used to belong to Bodosakis. In these mines, where numerous working accidents have taken place and many miners suffered pneumonokoniasis, there was a big bloody strike back in 1977. The strike had demands such as the increasing of salaries, medical treatment, security measures in the galleries. Then there were also police tanks sent in the area, there were also arrests and convictions, terrorism imposed in the villages.
In the late 80’s the company was characterized as “problematic”, like many others. The state, through METVA , plans the installation of a gold metallurgy. In ’92 the company, as “problematic” passes to the hands of the state and in December of ’95 the latter sells the mines to TVX. But the residents of Strymonikos didn’t want the construction of a gold metallurgy. More than seventy years of mining activity had yet caused serious environmental problems.
This struggle has a great importance, and that was proven. For international reasons.
The mobilizations started in the beginning of ’96. The residents blockaded the national highway Thessaloniki-Kavala, they made guardhouses from where they could supervise the mines and stop any truck of the company that would try to pass or any machinery that would begin drilling activities. With these practices, the street blockading and the guardhouses, the people demonstrated: “We are here. You are not going to pass.”
This way they forced the company to temporary suspend its activities. In the 26th of October ’96, TVX sent an ultimatum to the greek state and to the ministry of Development, saying that “Unless the works start right now, 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, in the 17th of October, and the residents managed to repel violently the police forces from the area, Jason Stratos, the president of SEV , stated that “these disturbances damage the validity 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 more a restricted local character. It had international extensions, because it created a precedent: “If we can’t have an investment in Halkidiki, wherever a foreign investor may go, 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 after, there was another attempt to start the works for the installation of the gold metallurgy. In July of ’97 the residents destroy a drill belonging to IGME and clash with the police. In November, they gather and make a demonstration to the mines. But some months before -in September, if I can 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 didn’t happen completely because the police was defeated. The clashes took place in the 9th of November and like I said before police cars and riot police vans were destroyed, the drill of the company was set on fire and finally the guerrilla practices took place, when there were shootings to frighten the police.
As I have already said, I was very much inspired by these events to put the bomb in the Ministry of Industry and Development. On this base I want to repeat that this struggle had not a simple local character. It had surpassed it.
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 is part of the political violence and I am not against that. I have never stated to be against and I do not want to pretend the good guy.
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 made occupations in working offices and clashed with the police during the winter of ’97-’98.
Also important is something that took place in Turkey and that is similar with what happened in Strymonikos with TVX. Another multinational company, EUROGOLD, tried to make a similar investment in Pergamos. And it is very important what I am going to say now. It was in the village Ovancik of Pergamos, if I remember correct. The residents of that area, Turkish farmers, have frustrated the EUROGOLD investment, in the same ways that the people of Strymonikos have prevented so far the installation of the gold metallurgy. The people of Pergamos made blockades in the highway Ismir - Istanbul, 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.
So, as you understand, all these practices are part of the social struggles, they happen everywhere. And for us, not only they are not crimes, but 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 in case 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 “having the purpose 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 objector of military service, you were here and 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 to harm 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 said in the examples I gave before.. The only thing the state want is to conserve a monopoly, the monopoly that “only us, only me, 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 were killed, justice has accepted the police allegations. Not because they believed them but for reasons of interest. They always accept the allegation that “the bullet lost its way”, that supposedly “the policeman’s gun had accidentally shot” or that he was supposed to be “in legal defense”. In reality though, all these examples that I mentioned before, and I have more to mention, are cold-blood 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 of my defense said something before 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 in the papers, 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 have taken place, as far as I remember, in July of 1975. Also in May of 1976 for one more time 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. In 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 considering the continuation of the american military basis operation in Greece. The people of Chania did not accept that... In June of 1990 they made 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 had set fire to the building of Heraklion Prefecture. As you can see, political violence is exercised by everyone. By all society and by every social part or class that is threatened.
What the state wants is to deal with everyone alone. You must have heard an expression that the prime minister Simitis is using a lot, talking about “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 the 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 be attacked. They talk about a “minority”. This is the argument of the state, that it is “a trade-unionist minority having retrogressive interests which turn against modernization, against development, against all the reforms” and all that nonsense. Well, there hasn’t been one social part or social group that didn’t come up in conflict with the state, especially during the 90’s, and that hasn’t been faced with the argument that “you are just a minority”, that “your struggle is in contrast with the rest of society’s interests”. That is exactly what happened in all cases. It happened with the workers in the “problematic” companies who were squatting the 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 Transports 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 attacked, without any disguise, through my trial.. The states wants to attack to everyone alone.
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 to 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, the presumed democracy, is mostly imposed by the intellectual control of the citizens, through the weapon of the Mass Media, trough deception. Because I don’t believe that the people voting their bosses every four years means they have their freedom. They vote for them but when they’re not doing what they were supposed to, the 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 people having a position could be revoked by the people at any time.
But democracy has also proved that when deception and intellectual control of the citizens are not enough, it has no problem to resort to police violence, to kill, to torture, to terrorize.
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 thing I’ll say more is that no matter the sentence to which I will be convicted, because it is certain that I will be convicted, I am not going to repent for anything. I will remain who I am. I can also say that prison is always a school for a revolutionary. His ideas and the endurance of his soul are experienced. And if he surpasses this test he becomes stronger and believes more these things for which he was found 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 plead 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 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 these meanings are degraded. In everything that I’ve written- if you have read- and in everything that I’ve said I made clear who are my friends and who are my enemies. Not in a personal but in a social level. Who are my social and class friends and who are my social and class enemies. In the letter with which I took responsibility of the action as well as in my defense 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 placed the rest of the people: workers, farmers, pupils, the whole of society, the majority of the people, the oppressed people.
Public prosecutor: You talked about justice putting the word in quotation marks. What ground for complaint do you have against justice?I am in prison for the last 18 months. I have personally stayed in prison for 18 months and another 7 months in military prison. Simple and close examples. You are speaking of me, personally, don’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 in prison. And I opposed the argument that policemen have committed murders but they don’t go to prison for that. I have already opposed the argument what kind of job is 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 PKK to be a terrorist organization, but not UCK. In the beginning UCK was considered, by the US, 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 Contras being terrorists, when they were going to invade Nicaragua, but they considered terrorists all the left revolutionary movements and guerrillas.
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 that: you make a telephone-call to a newspaper for warning, then somebody from the newspaper informs the police, the police arrives to the place and blockades 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 in 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 telling before to the public prosecutor, about terrorism in an international level. In reality, for this moment, the US are the global gendarmery and terrorist, as the only great word power left. Which means it is the worst thing on earth. And according to our perception -as anarchists- the State, all the states and all the governments are antisocial, terrorist mechanisms, since they have organized armies, police, hired torturers.
I also want to complete what I was saying about having two weights and two measures. For example, the US provide with weapons, finance and instigate every dictatorial regime all over the world. And in Greece also. 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 are the ones who tell who is terrorist and who isn’t. Their State Department issues official directions, advising Greece about who is a terrorist. This period of time, they place pressure on the greek state to make an anti-terrorist law, a model of law which will criminalize those who fight, to make laws more draconian than those already existing.. These are Terrorism.
The revolutionaries and the militants are not terrorists. Terrorists are the states themselves. And with this accusation, with this stigmatizing (of terrorism) all the states and governments try to criminalize the social revolutionaries and the militants inside their countries. The internal social enemy... In fact, the State, justice and the police face me also 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 the existent?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 words only.
In the text I sent to take responsibility of the action, when I said that I put the bomb and which was published in “Eleftherotypia” newspaper, I said that the social elite, the mandarins of the capital, the bureaucrats, all these useless and parasitic people -that should disappear from the proscenium of history- they 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. Exactly 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 went down to the streets and caused disturbances, when Petroulas was killed, that “democracy is not the red tramps but we, the participants in the parliament”, which means the congressmen who are well paid.
I will reverse that. Popular sovereignty, sir judges, is when molotov and stones are thrown to the police, when state cars, banks, shopping centers and luxury stores are burnt down.... This is how the people react. History itself has proven that this is the way people react.
This is popular sovereignty. When Maziotis goes and places a bomb in the ministry of Industry and Development, in solidarity with the struggle of the people in Strymonikos. This is the real popular sovereignty and not what the Constitution says...
I forgot to commemorate militants who have been murdered.
Christoforos Marinos was murdered in the port of Piraeus, inside the ship ‘Pegasus’ in July of ’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 to 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 are the real criminals.
The Tupac Amarou guerrillas occupied the japanese embassy of Peru, in December of 1996. They caught more than a hundred hostages and these hostages were not just citizens. There were ambassadors, diplomats from many states, japanese businessmen and officials of the Peruvian regime -which is quite far from being democratic. They were demanding the freedom of their militants, the release of their organization leader and of other comrades of them who were imprisoned in dungeons.
Not only didn’t they hurt anyone of the hostages but 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 everyone of them in cold blood. I tell all that 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 revolted penal prisoner. He had been kept in prison for years. He also died with his gun in hand during chase after the robbery of the Agricultural Bank in Klitoria, Achaia. Despite the fact that he was still alive when caught 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 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 kept a policeman as 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 to the death of a young woman. The criminals were more the policemen of the special units than Sorin Matei. As criminals as the manager of Nikaia general hospital, Alexiou, who ordered the transportation of Matei in the prison hospital Agios Pavlos, where he died either by the beating up he suffered by policemen or by the drugs they were giving him.
That is to say who is criminal...
July 7, 1999