In the run-up to the trial of Ilias Nikolaou, the anarchist arrested last January in relation to an attack against the municipal police in Evosmos, a working class suburb of Salonica, a solidarity march took to the streets of Greece's second city.
On Friday 27 November a thousand strong solidarity demo took to the streets of Salonica, in nothern Greece, in support of Ilias Nikolaou, a local anarchist who was arrested on Jaunary 13 2009 in relation to an attack with an arson mechanism against the headquarters of the municipal police in Evosmos, a working class suburb of the city. Nikolaou who is being held in the prison of Amfissa is denying the accusations against him as well as police claims that he was caught immediately after the attack. The anarchist is one of the 3 comrades that had gone underground in 2006-2007 when the state had ordered their arrest in relation to an arson attack against a french car expo for which another anarchist Vagelis Botzatzis had been also arrested. The 3 had appeared in the central police station of Salonica a day after a mass march in solidarity to their cause, and after being led to the court in police cars besieged by hundreds of protesters were released. Botzatzis had been released after several months in prison due to lack of evidence a few weeks earlier indicating a collapse of the case against them. The subsequent arrest of Nikolaou is believed to be a revenge for the inability of the forces of repression to frame the above for the case, despite it being publicized as a cutting-edge success of the police. Ilias Nikolaou will be tried on December the 2nd, just days before the first anniversary of the December Uprising kicks in. In his owns words, from a letter published from prison last June, «The point for us in not if they are many, if they are organised,, if they have the means to hit us; the point is to give ourselves to the struggle. To the struggle not for some pacifist idea, for a beautiful world or some vague utopia, but to the struggle of dignity, of freedom, of the destruction of power". During the last weeks many attacks against state targets around the country have occurred as acts of solidarity to the accused anarchist.
At the same time, his co-workers have published a communique condemning the police state and demanding the liberation of Nikolaou. We are reproducing the letter here as an example of proletarian solidarity:
HANDS OFF OUR CO-WORKER ILIAS NIKOLAOU
On 13/1 our co-worker Ilias Nikolaou is arrested by Salonica's police, accused of an arson attack against the municipal police of Evosmos. He is badly beaten by the plain clothed cops resulting in two breaks on his arm, but not a single wound on a policeman. The police will claim "resistance upon arrest" (As if there was any chance of them to speak the truth...). AS workers we have ears and eyes. We refuse to enter the bog of stupidity and of course we will not believe the truth of the police. For the truth of the police says that flower-pots raise and beat students, and that Korkoneas shot [Alaxandros Grigoropoulos] as a warning. Our co-worker was led with minimal procedures to the prison of Amfissa, and the police realised its desire to jail Nikolaou. In the last year we have seen cinematic tranfers-abductions every time Ilias has demanded his release. As far as we are concerned, we must say we are on his side.
"When Mousaka threatens order and security" (or...police paranoia in special mission)
The day after his arrest another wonder-plan of the police unfolded. Plain-clothed police invaded Nikolaou's house and the findings were restricted (of course) to NOTHING. The scattered and mutilated books on the floor prove the deep love and respect of the police to written discourse...A few hours later they invaded the place where we work and forced us to prove in paper who each was, before starting to search everything. As they found no AK-47 in the rice, no bomb in the custard, no corpse in the cellar, their findings were (of course) restricted to NOTHING. To their insistent questions regarding the reason of their search we were informed that a very serious crime had been committed. If a broken window in the municipal police is a "serious crime", we can imagine if the situation was more serious: they would hang us from trees or parade us with placards on our necks. Amongst all the ridiculous things they did was check the papers of the customers whose crime was to have chosen to eat soup...And when we protested "gentlemen you have checked the cupboard thrice" the answer was inspired by the very democratic principles of Korkoneas: "if I feel like it I will search it 15 times over" (It is fortunate that Nikolaou did not work in the National Telecom in which case they would have to check the papers of 1000 workers and search the building for a couple of days...)
"When an 80 year old woman threatens National Security" (or how to construct new Korkoneas)
Simultaneously with the invasion of Nikolaou's workplace, 30 policemen invaded his granny's place in a village out of Kozani, upsetting and terrorising her. There too the findings were restricted (of course) to NOTHING. We wonder which dark mind sent 30 policemen to an elderly woman's house. We wonder if a single one of them was ashamed, if a single one of them refused to perform the horrible search. OF COURSE NONE! One question remains unsolved: what were the policemen really searching? Probably the slightest thing, so that "the story stands", this repeatedly badly manufactured police story...the old craft holds strong. In a time that the police is trying to mend up for Korkoneas types' atrocities it should be expected that they will target not only Nikolaou but also his friendly, family, work, and comrade environment. Just as they have done.
We are publicly denouncing the totally cowardly invasion of the Kozani police in Nikolaous parents and granny's houses.
We are publicly denouncing the effort of terrorising us and the police invasion in our workplace.
We are denouncing the effort to upgrade a broken window into a "serious crime" just so that the police can show off its productivity.
We are calling on anyone who is really thinking freely and whoever is sick of seeing policemen in this city behaving like serifs in the wild west, to come and support our co-worker Ilias Nikolaou at the court on 12-12-09.
We will be on his side.
The co-workers of Ilias Nikolaou