“The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’ we are now living in is not the exception but the rule. We must manage to grasp history with this awareness.” – Walter Benjamin.
The Greek state is in the process of strengthening and intensifying its repressive mechanisms and under the umbrella of the doctrine of “law and order” is further arming its defences. It creates and nurtures daily bipolar and tactics of social division (vaccinated-unvaccinated) and at the same time focuses on the narrative of the enemy within, with the anarchist space and its militants at the forefront. It applies a doctrine of shock, with the regime’s peak being terrorism, this time through the virus, the external threat from neighbouring countries, the projection of “violent” incidents in university campuses and the simultaneous silencing of the revaluations, impoverishment and poverty of the largest population of the country, the resisting parts of society becoming the recipients of the state’s vengeance. The aim of the current government of the New Democracy is to consolidate impoverishment by completing the work of the social democracy it succeeded. At the same time, faithful to its historical rendezvous with revisionism, the Greek right aspires to put a tombstone on the struggle against impoverishment by intensifying repression against the resisting parts of society and trying to delegitimise the memory of the struggle against the state and capital.
For more than 3 months now, the latest episode of this attack has been unfolding, the prosecution against comrade Haris Mantzouridis, who currently remains in custody in the psychiatric hospital of Korydallos prison. The case is based on a trumped-up indictment, which, in addition to the classic tactic of the “anonymous phone call” that pointed him out as a suspect, is reinforced with the last tool the repression has at its disposal, the “genetic material mix”, accusing the comrade of robbing a money transport company in 2018 and setting fire to a car dealership in 2009. After being kidnapped outside his home by security guards in October, the comrade was initially taken to Korydallos. There he had a first panic attack, which resulted in a head injury and his transfer to the psychiatric hospital in Dafni. During his hospitalization in Dafni he made two suicide attempts, for which the prosecution authorities vindictively and sadistically charged him with disciplinary misconduct, accusing him of “false self-harm with the purpose of escape”. Their goal is obvious: The physical and psychological annihilation of the comrade. At the same time, the attack on Haris Mantzourides sends a message to the wider antagonistic movement. The concerted persecution is part of a broader context of intensifying the use of genetic material for the construction of persecution against the anarchist space. The state has the ultimate goal of spreading fear in the ranks of the militants, showing that at any moment it can collect a sample (in cases even for petty charges) and through a mixture of matching, fabricate indictments, detain and torture physically and psychologically the people of the struggle.
Along with the targeting of the struggling sections of society, we are also experiencing a generalized attack on the territories that these sections are collectivizing and organizing their counterattack on the ruling classes and the misery they are trying to impose on us. In this context, at dawn on 31 December, cops accompanied by a crew and on the order of the rectorate entered the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and evacuated the squat “Biologico Steki”, completely destroying the interior. 12 days later, security guards, accompanied by a platoon, entered the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki again and evacuated the new steki that had been occupied two days before. After the militant defence of the shelter, they make arrests. The state, hand in hand with the paid media informers, builds a narrative of lawlessness and blind violence within the universities by proposing as a solution the evacuation of stekis, the introduction of uniformed garbage colleges and the installation of turnstiles at the entrances of the universities. What the ruling class naturally calls lawlessness is in fact self-organization and struggle against hierarchy, and what it calls blind violence are instances where oppressed subjects return some of the violence they receive on a daily basis to those responsible for it. Beyond the transformation of the universities into spaces of disciplining and mass production of skilled labour, as well as a new field of profitability for capital through privatisation, partnerships etc. the broader strategy of the state is the uprooting of the antagonistic movement from the universities. University spaces are a vital part of the movement as a meeting point, an exchange of positions and a point of fermentation. Within their halls for years the movement has been self-organizing, debating and collectivizing itself. They are spaces that beyond self-organization and the hangouts within them have an organic relationship with the wider antagonistic movement, since they have for decades been a territory that has been a collective base and shelter for the mass confrontational movements of the grassroots, movements that give self-confidence and experience to the world of struggle against the forces of repression, ground in which the momentum of spontaneity and mass of the oppressed meet with self-organization and the need for collectivization, constituting a crucial part of our counter-attack against what is ravaging our lives. Its expulsion from these spaces is identified with the de-territorialisation, weakening and isolation of the antagonistic movement.
In order to implement its repressive campaigns, the government has in the last year renewed the police fleet with new police cars and motorbikes, equipment and cops. At the same time as it is firing hospital staff, passing anti-worker bills and undermining the already degraded health care system, it does not hesitate to allocate extravagant sums of money to “upgrade” the police in order to increase repression and police democracy. In this context, it has also concluded a deal to rent luxury cars and jeeps for the benefit of the Greek police with the private car rental company Hertz. By offering the vehicles at a lower price and at any time, Hertz (whose cars are scattered and unattended in various parts of the metropolis and are targets in Greece and abroad) is entering into a partnership that gives the cops an even bigger and better infrastructure. At a time when our lives are being reduced to statistical measurements, the oppressed are being impoverished and the attack on the movement is coming to the forefront of the government’s agenda we are called upon more urgently than ever to take action and choose resistance by any means. We are called to defend our spaces and structures, to build roadblocks to the plans of the state and capital and to create cracks in the existent. This is why we chose at dawn on Thursday 13 January to carry out an arson attack on two cars of the Hertz dealership at Moni Petrakis/Vasilissis Sofias in Kolonaki, sending a signal of solidarity to comrade Haris Mantzouridis and the comrades of the Biologico Steki, proving that even in a police-dominated metropolis, it is possible to hit them even in the city centre.
The current juncture, at first glance, appears to be a period when an armed state is unleashing its vengeful counterattack on the oppressed and the wider antagonistic movement, at a historical moment that they may not have the constitution and reflexes to face. At the same time, however, collective memory and the experience of those from below has made it clear to us that emergencies and crises are the normality through which capitalism and the state legitimise themselves and on which they build their existence. In this context, it is clear that there will never be ideal conditions for the oppressed to organise self-defence and counter-attack on their own terms. We believe that as an anarchist space we have a responsibility to activate, seek and create tools against the projects of the ruling classes, to be present in the front lines of the multiform resistance by all means, advocating solidarity with all oppressed parts of society, self-defence and self-organisation from below.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF COMRADE HARIS MANTZOURIDIS – SOLIDARITY WITH THE PRISONERS OF THE SOCIAL/CLASS WAR
SOLIDARITY IN THE EVACUATED STEKI BIOLOGICO – EVERYTHING IS OURS BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS STOLEN – CONTINUOUS STRUGGLE UNTIL THE SOCIAL REVOLUTION