Today is the day of solidarity with anarchist Yiannis Dimitrakis, ahead of his court of appeals, which is tomorrow. Reports from the various demonstrations and actions in Greece and beyond will follow later – for now, we publish two texts translated by the solidarity assembly in Athens.
FREEDOM FOR GIANNIS DIMITRAKIS
It’s been more than four years since the morning of January 16th 2006, when the anarchist Giannis Dimitrakis was arrested, heavily wounded by police fire, after a robbery at a branch of the National Bank in the center of Athens.
From the very first moment a storm of constructed information broke out, systematically supplied by the police and readily carried out by the mass media. The police constructed “the gang of robbers in black,” so that other comrades could be named as members, to which was attributed a string of robberies but also a close association to armed revolutionary groups, and then it was proclaimed that the whole of the anarchist- anti-authoritarian movement is closely connected to organized crime !! Gianni’s arrest, the slander and the manhunt unleashed against his three supposed accomplices (which were later on declared wanted for astronomic rewards) – four comrades known for their many years of political activity – on the one hand aims for their legal annihilation and on the other, promotes a holistic plan of stripping of meaning and criminalization of anarchists, anti-authoritarians and class struggle.
Because of his political identity, the state moved with rage against him from the first moment. Parallel to the crescendo of misinformation and impression creating by the media, the district attorney tried to interrogate him in the emergency room while he was bedridden and under pharmaceutical influence. The categories against him were based on the “anti-terror” law and enriched with six unsolved robberies and money laundering (false charges which dropped in court,) and attempted manslaughter (false witness of the cops who shot and arrested him, that he had fired at them – despite no such bullets or shells ever having been found – which allowed the judges to have their way.) He was probably the first man in custody to be held at Malandrino maximum security prison, which is intended to hold convicts only, while attacks by prison guards, vindictive transfers and disciplinary sentences, the exhausting sentence of the first trial (an unheard of sentence of 35 years) and the provocative deprivation of basic rights for the preparation of his defense at the court of appeals supplement the oppressive aggressiveness against him.
In these extreme conditions, the comrade defended from the beginning his choice to expropriate a bank, without statements of remorse and with clarity as towards his motives and intentions. He gave meaning to his act as a moment in his critique and action against the system of wage slavery and exploitation, against the antisocial role of the banks and as a part of the polymorphic social struggle.
Furthermore, in the wretched reality of the prisons, he stood dynamically and with dignity from the beginning. He participated in all of the prisoner’s struggles happening the past years in Greece. Advancing to hunger strikes and abstinence from the prison meals – despite the permanent health problems given him by the cop’s bullets – showing his solidarity for his fellow prisoners and fighting for the terms of his survival and existence in the difficult position of imprisonment. Along with other imprisoned anti-authoritarians he was an interactive channel of communication with the grandiose prisoner’s movements in the fall of 2008.
All these reasons – and because Giannis Dimitrakis and the other three wanted anarchists are some of us, comrades and co fighters in the diversity of the struggles for freedom – fired off a mass of actions of solidarity and political defense for them in many cities in Greece and around the world.
His appeal trial will begin on April 28th, where the decision against our comrade will be finalized. Four years after his arrest, four years after the start of this particularly repressive undertaking, one year and some months after the December revolt, the state’s constant and manic attempt to oppress, marginalize and criminalize the people of the struggle is becoming all the more clear. Giannis Dimitrakis’ trial is very important, as much for the legal outcome of his case, as for if we will allow the state’s manipulations and experiments against us to flourish
Our key weapon against repression and the prison system is active solidarity with all means possible.
Freedom for Giannis Dimitrakis
Freedom for all prisoners in struggle
Assembly for Solidarity
REGARDING THE CASE OF GIANNIS DIMITRAKIS
THE STORY OF A ROBBERY
On January 16th 2006, a group of four people rob a branch of the National Bank, on Solonos St. in the center of Athens. A completely calm robbery, as all eye witnesses there that day confirm, was in the end turned into a record breaking, terror-crazed thriller of epic proportions, a breach in time that dramatically overturned the lives of tens of people, a critical point in the history of an entire political milieu. And that, thanks to the unique “heroics” of that bank’s security guard, who thought that he must run and stop the doers at all costs, because in his code of values the insured money of a bank is more important than anything. Even human life… or otherwise, as Einstein had said, two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the first.
The result of the overzealousness of that guard and a few other pigs who rushed to help in his “pious” cause was the midday transformation of Panepistimiou St. into a shooting range for cops on live targets, in contrast with those being pursued who didn’t use their weaponry… A nearly dead street vendor and a blood soaked, dying bank robber on the ground receiving kick after kick, close the curtains on act one.
Act two opens with the name and nature of the fallen wounded: Giannis Dimitrakis, anarchist. The authority unleashes a frontal attack on the anarchist milieu. Comrades are abducted from the streets, surrounded by cops with weapons drawn, and lead to police headquarters. Giannis receives the by no means friendly visits of the interrogator arch terrorist I. Dioti in the hospital emergency room. The mass media slander and try to devour him, his friends and family. Three of his friends and comrades are carefully selected based on their profile (long-standing presence in the antiauthoritarian space, continuous action against the enemies of freedom) so as to fill in the puzzle. The comrades Simos and Marios Seisidis and Grigoris Tsironis are propelled underground. The series “robbers in black – terrorists in red” has just begun.
A year and half later, Giannis is tried as member of a criminal organization for that and another six robberies. Although that scenario collapses in court and Giannis is found innocent for all the other robberies, the judges, wanting to raze the crystal-clear spirit of him who stood before them defending his actions, and set an example for any future Dimitrakis, convicted him with an exhaustive sentence of 35 years.
Four years have passed since the robbery of the bank on Solonos St. In these four years, Giannis has been transferred from prison to prison, has struggled against them, has survived under the worst conditions, has seen his name featured repeatedly in the papers. On April 28th, he will be tried in the court of appeals.
In these four years, he and we have seen the wanted comrades considered suspect and being blamed for anything that happens, from bank robberies to bomb placements and attacks on police stations, consistently targeted by the media and finally declared as wanted with reward money by the notorious villain M. Xrisixoidi in a new, wild and not so far west… We however want and continue to believe that society will refuse to cooperate and become an informant.
In these four years we have seen the arch-thieving capitalists in power shamelessly and legally rob our freedom, the air we breath, our incomes and of course the public funds, without EVER, not even ONE of them, the same who sentenced Giannis to 35 years in prison, being held accountable.
In these four years we have seen and suffered the serial criminal activity of authority against the impoverished, the workers and all those who struggle, with persecutions, imprisonment, beatings, layoffs, pogroms and murders. We have seen repression grow immensely and adopt the dogma of zero tolerance and guilty until proven innocent. We see a terrified authority, targeting and criminalizing the entire anarchist antiauthoritarian milieu, trying to deter the linking to and diffusion of its ideas and techniques in a society on the verge of… on what verge? Because we are romantic, we want and continue to believe on the verge of a new, even grander December. Perhaps March, perhaps June…
In these four years we have shown our solidarity for the wanted comrades and of course for Giannis. We have stood beside him, with the absolute respect which his steadfast fighting spirit and entire ethos have inspired in us. However since besides romantic, we are also stubborn, WE DEMAND HIS IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
NOT ONE MORE HOUR FOR GIANNIS IN PRISON
COURT OF APPEALS, APRIL 28th – WE WILL ALL BE THERE
PANHELLENIC DAY OF SOLIDARITY, APRIL 27th
ATHENS, MARCH, 18:00 PROPYLAIA
Assembly for Solidarity