The ‘greatness' of democracy: repression, exception, and extermination

A translated article that gives a short info about the ongoing hunger strike of greek anarchist prisoners that started on 2/3. The artice was originally written by the greek anarchist group "Convention of Anarchists for the Social and Class Counter-Attack".

Submitted by Kostav on April 1, 2015

In recent years, along with the all-out attack carried out by bosses and the state in response to the capitalist crisis, it has been equally vital to the state’s agenda the restructuring of legislation and repressive mechanisms, along with the imposition of a state of emergency in society through which passes the physical and political termination of those who resist these actions. This is a process which targets society as a whole, and the resistance which arises within it, and it is being gradually realized through the continuous escalation of repressive state strategy on the legislative, ideological and material levels. From the ‘anti-terrorists’ laws, the criminalization of militant demonstrations, baseless slander, indictments and the circus of show trials, to the targeting of the friends, family and partners of suspects, the home invasions of militants and the terrorist scenarios fabricated by the police it has been made clear that none of the restructurings so coveted by the state will be negotiable. It is also to be fully understood the clear message of criminalization not only of resistance in the present, but also for those in the future that attempt to struggle against state-barbarity, through exemplary actions and vengeance for those who fall into the hands of the state.
So repression then, becomes a weapon of great importance for both state and bosses towards the weakening, and final elimination of social resistance, and towards combatting the ‘internal enemy’, becoming a strategy as important as restructuring, as the success of the one depends on the viability of the other.
Within this framework, from Monday, March 2 political prisoners N. Maziotis, K. Gournas, D. Koufodinas and the members of the Network of Fighters Prisoners A. Stamboulou T. Theophilus, Ph. Harisis, A. Dalian, C. Karagiannidis started a hunger strike which gradually came to include other militant prisoners. On March 9, a hunger-strike began in Gr. Sarafoudis and on the 16th D. Politis and P.D. Bourzoukos, while from March 11 Turkish and Kurdish political prisoners are participating in the strike as well.
The demands of their fight are: The elimination of special prison conditions and of high security prisons (type C). The abolition of anti-terrorist laws (Articles 187 and 187A) and all special provisions, emergency measures and courts applied against militants. The repeal of the law on concealment features in demonstrations (better known as the ‘hood-law’), and all special repressive laws adopted against demonstrations and social-class struggles and the abolition of taking DNA samples and unscientific methods as evidence.

In September 2001, a climate of pervasive terror following the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York ushered in the global anti-terror campaign. In full compliance with the directives of the EU, the Greek state ratified the first anti-terrorism law, and some years later passed the second. Under Articles 187 and 187A, even the suspicion of being a member of an organization justifies imprisonment, which means that no offense is actually necessary to detain an individual. It is also forbidden to glorify designated terrorist acts, while intimidation against family and associates of dissidents continues.
In the same context, and in increasing efforts to suppress militant demonstrations, in April 2009 the state adopted - just months after the social revolt of December 2008 that rocked the system to its foundations - the ‘hood-law’ so that any act of social / class counter-violence might be called a felony. In many cases of the implementation of the above mentioned provisions, it has been made possible to swell charges against arrested militants based on arguments of formation or membership of terrorist/criminal organizations, while there exist instances in which the taking of DNA was used to fabricate guilt. A supposedly scientific means which has ambiguous results, DNA can be transferred, reproduced, and even constructed, and used against condemned militants who actually are targeted because of their political identity. Typical cases of this are those of anarchists Aris Seirinidou and Tassos Theophilus, who were persecuted and imprisoned based on the supposed existence of DNA in cell findings. Of particular importance is the case of Theophilus, who was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment by via this ‘finding’. Moreover, we must not forget the efforts of the state to create a plasma bank through the illegal forced extraction of DNA, with an indicative example the persecutions against militants fighting against the gold mining in Skouries Chalkidiki.
The repressive crescendo ends so far with the recent enactment of a bill establishing specific conditions of detention for certain prisoners, and provides for the creation of high security prisons (type C). These are special prisons in which particularly harsh detention conditions prevail (without license or right to reduce the sentence, and their stay in constant isolation). It is essentially a treaty of exemption, an exile in prison intended for detainees / convicts who represent a high ‘risk’ (criminal association, ‘terrorism’, involvement in prison fights). Obviously the main objective is the internal enemy of the state, of those whose ideas and practices must not be diffused socially within or outside prison because they threaten power. The first such prison already operates in Domokos.
Finally, we cannot overlook the case of Savvas Xiros, who has for 13 years been incarcerated in the "white" cells of democracy with very serious health problems that gradually led him to acquire 98% disability. To date, the state vindictively refuses his release for health reasons and treatment in hospital.
The political management of today (Syriza), despite its pronouncements on human rights and ‘democratic sensibilities’ proves in practice that it is not going to make substantial changes at any level. Since launching new antisocial measures to continue the operation of concentration camps with a different name, and create special high-security cells in each prison finally seems that the exploited and those who resist slavery and misery have nothing to expect from the government policy and they should not have any illusions about the same criminal and anti-social nature of the state, whatever guise it may take.
As far as we are concerned, we stand in solidarity with the struggle of political prisoners and hunger-strikers, recognizing that this is part of the struggle against state repression and capitalist restructuring, against the treaty itself of incarceration and the exemption status. And it is part of the wider global struggle for social liberation, for social revolution and the creation of a world of equality, solidarity and freedom.