The prisoners of December

N. & Mi: Anarchists from Exarchia who participate in, among other things, the movement of solidarity with the prisoners

Submitted by Uncreative on February 1, 2011

Apostolis Kiriakopoulos, one of the prisoners of December, is currently in Korydallos. He was arrested in the first days of the insurrection, outside the Polytechnic, and he is in prison awaiting trial. They filed a motion to release him but it was rejected. He is accused of being a very dangerous person who could commit the same actions if released. The judge made clear in his statement that these kind of people have to be eliminated.

Talking about the prisoners of December, we have to mention that there are an unknown number of immigrants who were arrested, and the police never provided any names or lists of them. They say that there were about 300 people arrested in December, and of these seventy were kept in pre-trial detention. Among these are immigrants about whom there is no information, and we only have contact with a few of them. The basic accusations are for rioting and looting. Gradually these cases are going to trial, and some of the detainees have been released. To sort through the chaos the movement created a single blog that includes all the info we have been able to gather, and this helps coordinate the solidarity.

One important group of prisoners were the nineteen high school students arrested for rioting in Larissa. The local judge charged them under the anti-terrorist law: Four of them, as of April, have been locked up for months and were only released recently Because of the fact that they applied the anti-terrorist law there was massive participation in the solidarity movement in Larissa, especially on the part of other high school students.

Elias Nikolaou was arrested on the 13th of January 2009, near the scene of an arson attack on a municipal police car. He is currently in the Amfissa prison. Elias is one of the prisoners who was indicted for arson last year and he had been on the run. In November of 2007, the police arrested Vaggelis Botzazis in Thessaloniki. They convicted him for many different arson attacks, on the French car company Renault (in solidarity with the anti-terror arrests in France), a bank, one attack against the building of the electricity company but they didn’t have any proof connecting him to these other actions. Nonetheless the police announced that they had arrested a highly active gang. They said Vaggelis was operating together with three other people, one of whom was Elias.

When the police started to search for the three comrades they went underground. After one year, Vaggelis was released from prison for lack of evidence, and in the meantime he had been active on the inside. One month later the three comrades appeared at a police station and presented themselves. They said there was no proof at all connecting them to these incidents, so there was a meeting with the authorities and they decided not to give them pre-trial detention and just let them await trial on conditional liberty.

In November they let Nikolaou go free and in January they arrested him for burning the cop car. He doesn’t speak about this action because he doesn’t admit to doing it. In his letters he has explained that he is imprisoned for being an anarchist and this makes him a target for the police. And he will stay in prison at least one year until his trial.

We have to mention that throughout December many incidents also took place inside the prisons in reaction to the murder of Alexis. However, major revolts did not take place, because the prisoners were physically exhausted from their hunger strike and the struggle that lasted all through November. Still, to express their solidarity with the insurrection many prisoners refused to eat during those days.