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#M22, standing up to racism and fascism

London: In view of the global day against racism, around five thousand marched in central London to condemn immigrant scapegoating and combat the possible electoral success of ultra-authoritarian crypto-racist parties in the Euro elections, spreading the message of unity and friendship.

Trade unionists, immigrant and refugees organizations, Roma support groups, left-wing parties and other activists assembled in front of the Parliament and then marched towards Trafalgar square, where speakers (mainly trade unionists, immigrant activists and representatives of anti-racist institutions) denounced racial police profiling and criticized the policies of David Cameron’s government that has openly targeted the Roma communities in Britain.

Similar protests took place as well in many other cities across the globe: in Athens approximately 7000 joined forces and condemned racism and police brutality. Similarly in Thessaloniki and other Greek cities, thousands participated in the event, whilst in Berlin clashes with the police took place. Finally, the message of unity was even spread to South Korea.

Below: a collection of videos and images from the London rally.

Solidarity brochure about the persecuted anarchists of the Velvento case

STATEMENT-PART A:

A chronological presentation of the case

On Friday February 1, 2013, a double robbery took place at the local branch of the Agricultural Bank of Greece and the Hellenic Post office in Velvento, Kozani, Greece. Following a mass police mobilization in the whole area, one person was detained in the surroundings of Ptolemaida, and three more were arrested later on during a police chase operation.

From the outset of their arrest the four detainees – G. Mihailidis, D. Politis, N. Romanos and A.D Βourzoukos – declared themselves to be anarchists. The comrades were forced to stop a passing vehicle in their attempt to escape during the police chase. They avoided armed confrontation with their pursuers so as not to jeopardise the driver’s life.

(περισσότερα…)

Briefings from Greece: 22/2 – 1/3

22 February
Athens: The 6th session of the trial of the two murderers of Shehzad Luqman took place at the Mixed Jury Court.The 26-year old Pakistani was stabbed to death by Golden Dawn supporters Dionisis Liakopoulos (25) and Christos Stergiopoulos (29) in the early morning of January 17 2013 in Petralona, Athens. Luqman’s parents have travelled from Pakistan to attend the trial. The next session was scheduled for April 10 (Sources: 1, 2)

24 February
Thessaloniki: A bus driver was sentenced to ten months in prison suspended for three years and received a 1000 euro fine for forcing two African passengers to get off the bus, claiming that they hadn’t paid for their ticket. He was found guilty for refusal to provide services with racist motivations. (Source: 1)

Athens: Three Korydallos residents were arrested as they were heading to the demonstration outside Korydallos prison (the main prison of the country) to protest against the conditions under which prisoners are held at the prison hospital. The arrested were released two and a half hours later. Recent news reports have brought attention to the appalling conditions of the hospital where over 200 patients with cancer, heart disease, HIV, TB, hepatitis, scabies and renal insufficiency are housed next to each other in a space made for 60 patients. The following Facebook page has been promoting the issue (link)

ΝΟΣΟΚΟΜΕΙΟ ΦΥΛΑΚΩΝ ΚΟΡΥΔΑΛΛΟΥ - ΔΙΑΜΑΡΤΥΡΙΑ - ΣΥΓΚΕΝΤΡΩΣΗ

Sources: 1, 2

27 February
Athens: The health centre of Ag. Dimitrios is under occupation for the 11th day by an initiative of residents of the area, workers, unemployed, pensioners, for the defense of free and public healthcare. Doctors of the health centre who take part in the initiative examine patients daily. The Samaras government and Health minister Georgiadis (former MP of the far-right party LAOS), intend to close and/or privatise many local health centres, including this of Ag. Dimitrios.

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28 February
Athens: Members of the union of teachers, cleaners of the Ministry of Finance, and school guards who have been made redundant demonstrated outside the Ministry of Administrative Reform and were confronted with riot police who made use of tear gas. Minister Mitsotakis was due to meet IMF Chief of Mission Paul Thomsen at 10 am. Plastic bottles were launched at Thomsen’s car as it was leaving the ministry of Finance where the meeting with Mitsotakis finally took place. 17 were arrested (16 teachers and 1 school guard) and later released. Later, a woman was injured in a confrontation with riot cops at Syntagma. (Sources: 1, 2)

1 March
Athens: 200 marched towards the Praktiker store in Egaleo to protest against the practices of the company bosses which led to the suicide of sacked employee Stefanos Valavanis on February 3rd.The demonstrators shouted slogans, distributed leaflets and pelted the store with red paint. (Source: 1)

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Statement on the situation in Ukraine – Autonomous Workers Union

149239-kiev

Translated by S2W from Avtonomia.net

Ukrainian anarchists give their take on developments in Ukraine as the uprising continues and the death toll rockets.

Civil war began in Ukraine yesterday. A less than peaceful demonstration clashed with state defense forces and divisions formed by the adherents of the current government near the Vekhovna Rada (Parliament). On February 18, police, together with the paramilitaries, arranged a bloodbath in the governmental quarters during which numerous demonstrators were killed. Butchers from the special divisions finished off arrestees. Deputies of the ruling Party of Regions and their bourgeois lackeys from the “Communist” Party of Ukraine fled from the Parliament through an underground tunnel. The vote for constitutional amendments, intended to limit presidential power, did not take place after all.

After their defeat in the governmental quarters, demonstrators retreated to the Maidan. At 6 P.M., the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Internal Security Bureau (SBU) declared an ultimatum to the protesters, demanding their dispersal. At 8:00 P.M., special police forces and paramilitaries, equipped with water cannons and armored vehicles, began their raid on the barricades. Police, the special divisions of SBU, as well as pro-governmental troopers made use of their firearms. However, the protesters managed to burn down one of the armored police vehicles, and it turned out that governmental forces were not the only ones in possession of guns.

According to the data released by the police (on February, 19, 4 p.m.), 24 people were killed: 14 protesters and 10 policemen. Thirty-one policemen received gunshot wounds. Even if their estimate of losses on the side of the police is accurate, the number of victims among the protesters was definitely diminished. Maidan’s medics cite at least 30 killed.

One gets an impression that President Yanukovich was certain that by morning the resistance would be crushed, and so arranged for the Opposition leaders to meet with him at 11 A.M. on February, 19. As the negotiations did not take place, we can conclude that the government’s plan had failed. During the unsuccessful operation to clear off the Maidan, the citizens of several western regions occupied administrative buildings and chased away the police. At the moment the police, as an institution, do not exist in L’viv. According to the SBU, protesters have captured 1500 firearms. In less than 24 hours, the central government lost control over a section of the country. Right now, the only solution may be the stepping down of the President, however, that would mean that he, his family, and their multiple acolytes and dependents, which form a rather large group in the ruling government, would lose their source of profit. It is likely that they will not accept this.

In the event of Yanukovich’s victory, he will become a ruler for life, and the rest will be doomed to a life in which they face poverty, corruption, and the abolition of their rights and freedoms. Rebellious regions are now experiencing massive restorations of “the constitutional order.” It is not improbable that the suppression of such “terroristic groups” in Galicia will have the character of ethnic cleansing. Mad Orthodox radicals from the Party of Regions have, for a long time, seen the conservative Greco-Catholics as the aids of “Eurosodom.” Such an “antiterrorist” operation would be carried out with the assistance of the army, as the Minister of Defense, Lebedev, has already announced.

Today, Ukraine experiences a tragedy, but the real horror will start when the government breaks down the opposition and “stabilizes” the situation. Signs of the preparation of a mass-cleansing operation became noticeable as far back as early February, when criminal cases were opened against the Maidan self-defense divisions as illegal military formations. According to Article 260 of the Criminal Codex, members of such divisions may face imprisonment for 2 to 15 years. This means that the government was planning to put more than 10 thousand citizens behind bars. In the regions, as well as in the capital, special “death divisions” are acting as a supplement to the usual police forces. For example, responsibility for burning alive a Maidan activist from Zaporozhye was claimed by such a “death division,” calling itself “Sebastopol Ghosts.” They announced that they are ready to subject Maidan participants in the East to similar treatment.

In the event of the Opposition’s victory life would be far from perfect as well. Although fascists form the minority of the protesters, they are quite active and are not the sharpest tools in the shed. A few days of truce in mid-February lead to conflicts between the rightist groups, resulting in several pointless and violent confrontations, as well as attacks on ideological ‘heretics.’ Besides the fascists, old and experienced Oppositionists will also attempt to seize power. Many of them already have some experience with working in government and they are no strangers to corruption, favoritism, and the use of budget funds for personal purposes.

The “concessions” that the Opposition is demanding in Parliament right now are pitiful. Even the Constitution of 2004, that they are trying to restore, gives too much power to the President (control over the riot police and special forces is one example), and the proportional electoral system, with closed listings, hands parliament over to the control of a group of dictator-like leaders, who can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Together with the President they will rule without obstructions.

Their second demand – the appointment of a Cabinet of Ministers composed of Opposition leaders – is altogether shameful. Are people risking their health, freedom, and life for the sake of someone becoming a prime-minister, and someone-else getting an opportunity to control the flow of corrupt-money? This is the logical outcome of preferring pathos-ridden conversations on “the nation,” and focusing on vertical structures tied to the same hated politicians, instead of developing ground-up organizations around financial and material interests. This is the main lesson that Maidan is yet to learn.

However, we will be able to apply this lesson in practice only if the current government loses the battle.
The Opposition inside and outside of the Parliament is broken into multiple hostile and competing factions. If it wins, the ensuing regime will be unstable and lacking in coherency. It will be as bourgeois and repressive as was the Party of Regions before their first show of force against the protesters in November.

The guilt for the spilled blood is partially on the EU which gladly receives money from the corrupt scumbags in Ukraine, Russia, and several African countries, while diligently neglecting to check the source of such “investments.” It is only after seeing the dead bodies of the victims of such “investors,” that it gets so very sentimental and full of humanitarian pathos.

This is not our war, but the victory of the government will mean the defeat of the workers. The victory of the Opposition also does not promise anything good. We cannot call the proletariat to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the Opposition and its interests. We think that the extent of participation in this conflict is a matter of personal choice. However, we encourage all to avoid being drafted to serve in the internal military forces controlled by Yanukovich, and to sabotage by all means available the actions of the government.

No gods, no masters, no nations, no borders!

Kiev organization AWU (Autonomous Workers Union)

Letter from comrade Kostas Sakkas, 17.02.2014

kostas_sakkas

ANARCHISTS AND COMMUNISTS ARE SOCIAL FIGHTERS

STATES AND CAPITALISTS ARE TERRORISTS AND THIEVES

The current state of -permanent- exception, that constitutes an attempt to pave the way to yet another developmental invasion by the capital, unleashes an onslaught against almost all working people, confirming that class war is not only raging but is also becoming more extreme. States have always been instruments of class rule; the state is a system of social organisation that aims to reconcile the historically irreconcilable contradictions between exploiters and the exploited.

The unpopular government policy, perfectly aligned with their bosses’ (EU, IMF) orders, aims at the unconditional surrender of the contemporary working class and its decommissioning of each conquest of the past in order to make it even more exploitable, even more profitable for capital. More than any other period, the political system is acting on behalf of the transnational economic elite serving its interests. It’s acting on behalf of bank colossus, loan-shark states, serving, and facilitating, the economy of the markets and global capital.

The capitalist system, which is in the midst of one of the most severe structural crises in its history, both in terms of its depth as well as its multiple manifestations (banks, real estate, trade), has also launched a crisis of equivalent weight in the political system.

It is self-evident for the capitalist system that the accumulation of capital will always be the norm as well as a point of crisis, not only for the system itself but also for the political establishment. The flow of capital and its profitable growth, that is, a basic principle on which the whole system is built , will always determine the political alignments of nations. Wealthier states implement policies that transfer their debts either to the European or to the global periphery, in order to ensure a powerful geographic concentration of capital. Poorer countries, on the other hand, impose exhausting austerity policies, regardless of the economic conditions of poverty and misery which they cause. They destroy the lives and dreams of entire peoples, jeopardize their future, and remove all hope, in order to secure the interests of particular economic elites and to safeguard a system that maintains their dominant privileges.

«Propaganda is to a democracy what a bludgeon is to a totalitarian state» suggests N. Chomsky.

Today, unpopular and extreme political imperatives that the rulers are called to impose require both a bludgeon and the fabrication of consensus through media. During the first memorandum between the greek state and the so-called troika, major media owners were called to a meeting with the prime minister to negotiate how onerous economic measures would be promoted as necessary in order to minimise the risk of social uprising. Instructions were sent to well-known journalists through usb memory sticks about how they should align their positions with the government’s policy, while it is a fact that a number of journalists were removed from their posts because they were not as effective as the political circumstances required.

Today, objectivity and the reliable character of the mainstream media floats somewhere between governmental «blackmail» of media owners through the auctioning of channel frequencies and the liberalization of the broadcast licences market – a term in the memorandum -, halts in bank loans to media owners without guarantees and, of course, common media and government interests in dismantling workers’ rights. It is no coincidence that all three memorandum governments have outrageously exempted major media owners from their tax obligations while the people are suffering from high taxes and austerity in general.

The unofficial propaganda ministry of the government, with the help of mainstream media, is struggling to convince us either by propaganda or suppression that any kind of resistance to the present unequal economic and political distribution is futile and doomed, since it will always be confronted with all the mechanisms, institutions and functions of the current totalitarian regime. They want a confused society, passive towards developments and perceptively decommissioned that will accept without protest the government’s extreme anti-popular policies. They construct an artificial climate of precarity so that memorandums and measures of new impoverishment can be applied unquestioningly.

  • They characterise militant anarchists as terrorists and employ rhetorical mudslinging in an attempt to persuade the public that it is threatened by their actions.
  • But how effective can this propaganda be in the context of the current situation?
  • If more than 4 million people living below the poverty line are asked who is responsible for the poverty they experience…
  • If 1.5 million unemployed are asked who is responsible for their exclusion from modern wage slavery…
  • If 20,000 homeless are asked who is responsible for their impoverishment…
  • If they asked themselves who is responsible for over three thousand suicides recorded in the years of memoranda…
  • If you ask yourself who is responsible for the huge increase of psychiatric drugs use – an effect closely connected to the current economic and existential poverty – and a host of other examples of social decline, will the answer be «Sakkas» or any of those that the regime’s media call «terrorists»?
  • I don´t think so…

Whoever wishes to identify the real terrorists, they can look at the ministry of finance and the ministry of labour which are responsible for people’s impoverishment.They can look at the state’s account department and the social security funds that gambled taxpayer’s money in the stock market. They can look at the SRADF [T/N: State Republic Asset Development Fund] and all these committees responsible for the selling-out of public property. They can look at political parties and their accounting departments that indebt people with huge loans for their election campaigns. They can look at the ministry of public order and the maritime ministry which are executing assassination contracts in the name of «immigration policy».

  • Actions of terrorism for the people are the sell-out of shipyards, airports, ports, the Hellenic Railways, the Thessaloniki Water supply and sewage disposal, the country’s resources.
  • Terrorist actions are the olympic games and the corruption, the tax exemptions and loans for media owners, the disintegration of health and education, the mortgaging of the lives and dreams of future generations…

Mass media with their dirty propaganda are trying to undermine social activists’ struggles and to convince people that their actions are directed against society. They seek to portray tension between the ministry of public order and the ministry of justice within the government, but in fact these are working together to lay the grounds for intensifying repression against political prisoners. The intensification of repression aimed against today’s anarchists and communists is obviously aiming to intimidate and deter tomorrow’s rebels and resisters. It’s an act of preventive repression.

The way mass media reported the «news» of me fleeing from trial is telling.

Although I haven’t been convicted by any court to date, according to the media crows the fact that the counter-terrorism police have found me guilty is sufficient. They have promoted the counter-terrorism administration [T/N: «ΔΑΕΕΒ» stands for Administration Dealing with Special Crimes of Violence] into a higher constitutional authority which judges and decides while the rest of the «misbehaving society» refuses to align with its outcomes («the counter-terrorism police gets them and the judges are letting them go…»). There’s a series of despicable news reports alleging favourable treatment of my case by the judicial mechanisms, purposeful indifference, even a left-wing para-state (!), that opened the prison doors and let me go…

Absurdity and feasibility are in conflict with common sense.

  • Let’s recall that I am the person who in 2010 was held in preventive custody for participating in an «unknown terrorist organisation».
  • I am the person who six months later was remanded again for participating in the CCF [T/N: Conspiracy Cells of Fire is a radical anarchist organisation based in Greece], even though both I and the organisation have denied my participation from the very first moment.
  • I am the person who after my 18 month remand had ended and I had to be released, was in remand again for actions of the same organisation (!).
  • I am the person who after my second 12 month remand had come to an end, had my imprisonment extended for another six months illegally.
  • I am the person who was on hunger strike for 38 days in order to be released with the decision of the second council after I announced to the officials that I was ready to start a thirst strike if they rejected my demand for the second time.
  • I’m the person who had the pleasure of feeling what solidarity and having comrades means… I am the person who experienced the political satisfaction of a genuine solidarity movement occasioned by my case which determined the victory of this struggle, a fact that the judges and political superiors know very well.
  • I’m the person who, five months after my release, I was arrested again by the counter-terrorism police because I didn’t sleep at my house(!), regardless of the restrictive terms which didn’t require that I stayed overnight at my residence.

Nonetheless, although the court ruled that I shouldn’t be convicted, the media crows had a different opinion…

Fortunately, people like Pretenderis, Kosioni, Mina Karamitrou and other mealy-mouthed, shufflebutt holdovers of the media don’t have the right – yet – to appeal court decisions.. For them, the magistrate’s court should send me to prison since this was the decision of the counter-terrorism administration, since this was Dendias’ [T/N: minister of public order and citizen protection] decision, since, to call things by their name, the previous day Ch. Xiros had violated his permit and they decided I should be re-arrested in revenge.

I’m the person who one week later was rearrested because the counter-terrorism police supposedly matched my fingerprints with those found in the house of 25th Martiou street in Chalandri [T/N: the apartment in Athens that cops in 2009 labeled a ‘terrorist base’] which were collected in 2009, with the ridiculous pretext that they hadn’t properly entered my fingerprints into their system when I was arrested back in 2010, although there’s a -published- report from the counter-terrorism police confirming the opposite. I was set free after testifying to the investigating judge and public prosecutor.

Once again media crows had a different view. Once again the judicial authorities «didn’t act as they should have»… According to the regime’s journalists, the judges act properly only when they set corrupted state officials free. When they release tycoons. When they release the media owners and the publishers… Once again, they conscripted their dirty propaganda to construct an atmosphere of terror and hysteria and to disorientate public opinion. This is what their job was, is and always be: the system’s crutch…

Especially today, when the need to «rescue» the economic and political system of power requires its operation as what it really is, namely a modern totalitarian regime, the rulers need the dominant media and their propaganda more than ever. Cultivating a climate of fear, terror and hysteria, they aim at the social disorientation and ultimately to alienate the people from the real fields of struggle.

There can be no doubt, today, that the struggle against the regime’s media is an integral part of social liberation.

We have to oppose the mentality that considers any real resistance as pointless. That considers unnecessary any real struggle, that wants all prospects of social liberation from the state and capital’s shackles to be nonexistent.

Especially today, when the leaders can only provide poverty, misery and repression for modern slaves, we can and must put all our efforts into realising our imperatives. We need to intervene in real time and space, in order to shape events towards a revolutionary direction. We should withstand those mentalities that doom to defeat and failure any attempt to take our lives into our own hands. To resist the dominant morality that wants humans subservient and with a bending head towards the oppressors. To resist the reality presenting today’s humans as unconcerned, passive, helpless and doomed to tomorrow. To resist the mentality of delegating and waiving those things that we must do on our own. In opposition to the legality of submission, we should engage in resistance, in an insurrectionary transgression.

Consciousness bears the burden of historical responsibility.

FIGHT AGAINST STATE AND CAPITAL.

ORGANISE AND ACT FOR SOCIAL REVOLUTION.

LONG LIVE THE ANARCHIST PRISONERS NETWORK!

Kostas Sakkas

17/02/2014

Source: freesakkas.indivia.net