Update on the prison struggle in Greece, 2007-8

12/01/2008

ON 3 NOVEMBER 2008 NEW WAVE OF PRISONERS MOBILIZATIONS STARTS WITH A COLLECTIVE HUNGER STRIKE AROUND THE WHOLE COUNTRY

PRISONERS DEMANDS

We the prisoners of the hell called with an euphemism: prisons of the greek state, tired with the fake promisses of all justice ministers in the last 10 years, to ameliorate prison conditions and the penal code and the penal justice code, decided to move forcefully, in order to claim our rightful demands.

WE DEMAND:

1. Abolish disciplinary charges. Modify the Penitentiary Code’s articles 68, 69, 70, 71. In any case, the disciplinary charges must be removed after the are served, and not accumulated nor taken into consideration when it comes to days off, work, education and discharge under conditions after they are served.
2. Reduction of the sentence limit for discharge under conditions, from 3/5 to the 3/7 of the sentence time. Immediate abolishment of the anti-constitutonal treaty that increased up to the 4/5 of crimes related to drugs.
3. Once and for all 3 year reduction of all prices, to make easier the relieve of over-crowding of prisons. NO to the new panoptic prisons, built isolated away from the cities social tissue.
4. Abolish the juuvenile prisons. Adopt open structure to take care of and protect the teenagers and youth.
5. Reduction of sentence limit of 25 years of continuous detention. Reduction of the minimum detention time to be discharged under conditions to 12 years from 16 that it is today, according to european legislature.
6. Immediate and without exceptions application of days-off, suspensions, and other benefits of the law, reduction of the minimal sentence time limits. Increase the number of days-off to 60 for those that have a right to 5 days and to 96 for those with a right to 8.
7. To end the over-use of pre-trial detentions and reduce the time limit to 12 months.
8. The para-justice racket is known for its hysteria of the last 8 years, leading to revengeful killing sentences. We as for proportionate sentences and wide application of the measure of suspension and discharge under conditions.
9. Full, permanent and 24 hour medical treatment and respect to the patients. Creation and improvement of adequate hygiene spaces (baths and toilets). Immediate integration of the Korydallos prison psychiatric and medical clinic to the National Health System, with new aisles for women and juveniles, that lack now. Immediate transportation of patients to public hospitals with ambulances and not in police vehicles, tied up with their hands behind their back.
10. To be provided the right in beneficial work payment, education, second chance schools, technical workshops and participation in diverse similar programms, to all prisoners proportionate and without any discrimination. To be given educational days-off, for all prisoners, that meet with the criteria and terms to study outside prison and for all levels of education and technical skills learning. Substancial amplification of withdrawal projects to all prisons.
11. Abolishion of the prison no-go zone. Free access for social and political institutions, Lawers Associations, Hellenic Medical Association and EINAP, organizations for human rights, NGOs and international organizations. Free circulation of political and educative press, with no exceptions.
12. Alternative forms of detention, amplification of agricultural prisons and of the institution of semi-free sentence as well as community service.
13. Amplification of the institution of free visits in humain conditions with respect to the personality and dignity of the prisoners and the visitors. Private place to meet with our companion.
14. Work and access to creative activities for all of us. Beneficial account of days of work in the sentence.
15. Right to selection of serving the sentence in their country of origin, for the prisoners from other countries, once and if they wish.
16. Humain transport conditions with improvement of the room in the preposterous transportation means of the greek police. More stops, improvement of the detention room in the miserable “Metagogon” transfer prison and faster transfer to the destination prisons.

DEMANDS OF THE WOMEN PRISONERS AT ELEONAS, THIVA PRISON:

On the occasion of the third-world life conditions inside this establishment but also our treatment by the totality of the ministry of justice services, and more precisely: Inexistant medical-pharmaceutical supply. Few, to even inexistant hygiene supply (without any right to a private purchase). Inexistant basic hygiene (no warm water). Inexistant social services and care. Preposterous food, because of luck of supplies. Even first need stuff is an unknown word here. Racist treatment of the prisoners when it comes to days-off and suspensions. Injust treatment of sentence accounts for suspension proportionate to the offence (2/5, 3/5 etc). Vast delays when it comes to bringing the case to the courthouse and especially the court of appeals. The peculiar stiffness of the persons judging us, despite the recommendations they have received. The inexistant second chance we are all waiting for and most of us have a right on it, but are never given. We decided to abstain from prison food commons from 03/11/2008 until proportionate measures are taken in regards to all the above. We expect your understanding.

Last update on the struggle inside, outside and against the prisons in Greece

An update on Greece’s prisoners collective hunger strike, reported actions in solidarity and some other related news. Most news come from athens.indymedia.org, some mainstream media, and a few prisoners and comrades.

October:
Diverse actions such as boycottage of prison meals around greek prisons and especially in Crete, informal prisoners committees form a network of communication and coordination. They spread a letter with prisoners demands and give a deadline of three weeks for the authorities to start working on them. After these three weeks mobilizations will peak with a boycottage of prison food, starting on 3/11 and a collective hunger strike from 7/11.
In Greece, more than 13.000 individuals are imprisoned, 1/3 of them without any trial yet, in awful conditions leading to more than 50 inmates losing their lives only last year.
On 30/10 the leftist “Initiative for prisoners rights” went with motorbikes to Diavata prisons in Thessaloniki. On 30/10 also, the anarchist prisoner (accused for participation in the kidnapping of northern Greece’s industrialists president) Polikarpos Georgiadis publishes an open letter on the prisoners mobilizations, making clear his disagreement with the hunger strike as having a deleterious effect on prisoners forces, creating fighters of many levels, some going on in a self-sacrifice spirit, others eating regularly etc. though stating his commitment to the prisoners struggle, “same as when he was outside” (letter can be found at http://halastor.blogspot.com/2008/10/blog-post_30.html).
November:
1/11: Lawyers association express their sympathy for the prisoners mobilizations.
2/11: Around 30 anarchists march to Volos prisons chanting and spray painting walls with slogans in solidarity to prisoners struggle.
3/11: Prison guards invade cells, harass prisoners and try to intimidate them in the face of the collective hunger strike. Riot police brigades deployed around many prisons.
3/11: Unannounced motorbike demo of dozens of anarchists to Korydallos (Athens) prisons where they chanted slogans in solidarity to prisoners struggle.
3/11: More than 8.000 prisoners boycotting prison meals.
4/11: Committe of the (left) parliament party SYN/SYRIZA meets with “minister of justice”, to discuss on an institutional committe from all parliament parties on prisons.
4/11: Anarchists/Antiauthoritarians in solidarity to prisoners organize demonstration-microphonics at Kamara, Thessaloniki centre.
4/11: At the juvenile prison of Volos, prisoners threw their stuff out of the cells and denied leaving their cells to go to the prison yard.
4/11: “Conspiracy of Cells of Fire” claims responsibility for a three-day rampage against military/police targets and sends “signal of fire to the prisoners that started a prison food strike since Monday, November 3”.
5/11: The president of the republic K. Papoulias speaks of the “major problem of prisons” with the typical humanitarian banalities.
5/11: Clubs of football fans such as PAOK-GATE4 and Panahaiki-NAVAJO expressed their support to the prisoners struggle.
5/11 Collective official form of complaints sent to the authorities undersigned by most of the prisoners at Diavata prison, outside Thessaloniki
6/11: Committe of the (leftist) “Initiative for prisoners rights” meets with “minister of justice” S. Hatzidakis, to negotiate on the prisoners issue.
6/11: Around 400 anarchists and revolutionaries ride with motorbikes and cars to Diavata prisons where they chanted slogans, torn down part of the barbed wire fencing and threw fireworks. The prisoners responded with slogans and howls.
6/11 Attack with fire at ruling party offices in Thessaloniki in solidarity to prisoners struggle, by the Cells of Aggresive Solidarity to Prisoners (more info at http://directactiongr.blogspot.com/)
7/11: Around 1000 prisoners on hunger strike. Less than 10 had to be tranfered to hospital.
7/11: Solidarity microphonics gathering in the market area of Chania, Crete
7/11: 98fm self-managed radio station of Athens, transmits prisoners demands and solidarity speach (http://www.radio98fm.org/home.html)
7/11: Prison guards try to intimidate prisoners in Ioannina and Diavata prisons, some transfers and night invasions in cells continue.
7/11: Solidarity demonstration-microphonics in Athens
7/11: Solidarity demonstration in Serres
7/11 Solidarity demonstration in Lamia
7/11: Prisoners demands and solidarity speach, and interview with ex-con on 1431AM, student self-managed radio station (http://www.1431am.org/)
7/11: 2 mainstream radio stations are occupied by anarchists transmitting prisoners demands and solidarity speach in Thessaloniki and Lamia
7/11: Attack with paints against the council of state in Athens in solidarity to prisoners (more info at http://directactiongr.blogspot.com/)
8/11: Solidarity demonstration in Volos (photos at http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=923248)
8/11: Student unions and NGO express their sympathy to the prisoners mobilizations.
8/11: A prisoner dies in Chios prisons. More than 50 prisoners died in the greek prisons this year only.
8/11: A prisoner in hunger strike from Diavata prison, Thessaloniki, trasfered to a public hospital because his health as in danger, but returned to the prison the next day.
9/11: Three kurdish prisoners in Trikala, mainland Greece, sew their mouths in hunger strike! Another 14 will do the same the following days!
9/11: Solidarity demonstration in Lamia, afterwards police stops and harasses the demonstrators but leaves them free without charges few hours later and after lawers and friends arrived at the police station.
9/11: Arsonists set on fire 4 expensive cars in Exarchia, Athens centre and attack the offices of PASOK. Unknown person phoned to “Eleftherotipia” newspaper claiming “The arsons of luxurious cars Saturday night in Athens centre were in solidarity to the hundreds of prisoners in hunger strike, at the dungeons of the greek republic. The owners of luxurious cars should limit their rides at the northern suburbs and keep off the proletarian neighborhoods of the centre. Fire to the mansions and the cars of the riches”.
9/11: 3.300 in hunger strike. In juvenile prisons the vast majority are on hunger strike.
10/11: 4.500 in hunger strike.
10/11: Delta Squat organizes a solidarity intervention, with a huge banner and leaflets at Thessaloniki centre (photos at http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=923026)
10/11: Prison guards leave warm cooked food near prisoners on hunger strike (to torture them), or in other prisons invade in cells of prisoners that weren’t on hunger strike but boycot prison meals and take away some food cans, later photos of these are sent to fascist media provocating the prisoners struggle!
10/11: Al. Giotopoulos and V. Tzortzatos imprisoned in Korydallos special cells for allegedly involved with “November 17” organization political prisoners, go on hunger strike in solidarity of common prisoners and denounce the role of “initiatives that speak in the name of the prisoners and get to speak with the minister of justice, covering him politically for his apathy, even if they are indeed in solidarity to them, the only one legitime to speak of the prisoners are the prisoners themselves”. They state that “the only way is the common prisoners to be the only ones taking part in these committees” and that “the reason there are no prisoner insurrections is the vast dispension of drugs within the prisons”.
10/11: The leftist “Initiative for prisoners rights” organizes a solidarity concert in Athens centre. A bank is set on fire in Athens centre.
11/11: Solidarity flyers appear around towns in north western Greece.
10/11: New Democracy (ruling party) offices at Halandri, Athens, burnt with an improvised gas canister device.
10/11: Kyriakoula Lymnioudi, medical attendant at Chios prisons, publishes an article at a local newspaper describing the medieval conditions of the prison.
11/11: Solidarity demonstration in Thessaloniki centre, during the march of around 800 called by most anarchist/antiauthoritarian collectives of the city and the “Initiative for prisoners rights”, some surveillance cameras and bank ATMs are vandalised.
11/11: The State’s council on prisons, in a special meeting suggest the discharge of 1.500 prisoners and satisfaction of some of the prisoners demands (smaller sentences, 3/5 for drug users, 12 months of pre-trial imprisonment instead of 18, 6 days off instead of 5 etc). Prisoners turn down this mockery.
11/11: 18 ANO group for social rehabilitation of toxic addicts expresses solidarity with prisoners mobilizations.
11/11: Geology students of Aristotle university (Thessaloniki) after an assembly, come with a vote in solidarity to prisoners.
11/11: Posters and communiques circulate in all major cities around the country.
11/11: Mobile microphonics moves for hours around Chania, Crete, stops at the city hall where immigrants were on hunger strike too, and at the city’s prisons, where it was greeted with slogans.
11/11: Prisoners demands and solidarity speach, and interview with ex-con (replay) on 1431AM, student self-managed radio station (http://www.1431am.org/)
11/11: Around 40 anarchists attack with bottles filled with red and black paint the new offices of PASOK (opposition party) and G. Voulgarakis (ex-minister) offices in Athens centre. Two undercover policemen threatened them with their guns, but were repelled with bottles and stones. On their way back, the anarchists broke down a National bank and a Eurobank branch, a bank’s van, undercover police motorbikes and a fascist bookshop of Adonis Georgiadis (LAOS right wing party member), throwing flyers in solidarity to prisoners struggle, throughout their way.
11/11: Around 10 anarchists attack the building of the ministry of press with stones and molotovs in solidarity to prisoners struggle.
11/11: More than 5.000 prisoners in hungerstrike, another 6.500 boycotting prison meals.
12/11: The “National Prisoners Committe” sends an open letter to the minister of justice: “We have started a struggle as citizens claiming our rights. Our fellow prisoners participation has overcome every hope and every previous mobilization. We want to manage our struggle ourselves. To speak in our name, with our name. We ask for our elected national prisoners committe, which are the real representatives of the prisoners, to meet with the minister. The meeting can take place in Korydallos, and we ask to help the persons of the committe be transfered there. The National Committe is: Radza Jabar (Trikala prisons), Aleksandar Kola (Trikala prisons), Abdel Halim Fatah (Trikala prisons), Vaggelis Palis (Chios prisons), Karabulea Danny (Kerkyra prisons).
12/11: Meanwhile, the (leftist) “Initiative for prisoners rights” meets again with the minister of justice who said he would come up with a new pack of measures in the following days. Justice minister also met with republic president K. Papoulias who in his turn said a new pack of nonsense. The “Initiative” announces they support the prisoners committe, and that determination, consistence and unity are needed”.
12/11: More than 5.500 prisoners in hunger strike, and around 6.000 boycotting prison food. Dozens of prisoners, especially drug addicts, needed to be transfered to hospital after a week of hunger strike. Around 20 inmates sewed their mouths in Trikala and Amfissa prisons.
12/11: The “Arsonist committe for prisoner solidarity” claim responsibility for incendiary attacks against a New Democracy vehicle at Halandri (8/11), a security car at Gyzi (8/11), a police car (10/11), offices of a constructin company involved in police barracks (10/11), an Emporiki bank (10/11), a Cyprus Bank (11/11), a vehicle of “Sklavenitis” supermarkets that supplies with food the prisons (11/11), the private car of the former public order minister S. Valyrakis responsible for the repression of prison mutinies of 1995, and a government vehicle at Ambelokipi (11/11) in solidarity to prisoners struggle.
12/11: Kostas Karatsolis, Dimitris Koufontinas, Iraklis Kostaris, Vassilis Ksiros, Savvas Ksiros and Christodoulos Ksiros, all prisoners in Korydallos special prisons for involvement in November 17, express their solidarity with the prisoners struggle, and call for unity in action.
12/11: Reports around most press and internet media on the prisoners struggle and the “problem with prisons”, while in the same time they describe the last wave of direct actions as an anarchist warm-up for the annual 17/11 march, where the police is expected to “get square” deploying 8.500 cops, pre-arresting suspects etc. Media try to obscure any connection among the “prison problem” and solidarity actions outside prisons.
12/11: The lawyers associations coordinative committee supports the immediate satisfaction of the prisoners demands, and ask to meet with the prime minister K. Karamanlis.
12/11: Spray painting and vandalism in solidarity actions at the Greek Embassy in London, and Moabit prison memorial in Germany.
13/11: Anarchist collectives call at solidarity demonstration at 18:00 in Propylea, Athens centre, where more than 2.000 people march. Riot-police brigades are repelled by the demonstrators with wooden sticks with flags, and spray painting slogans and leaflet distribution takes place. A car of the national television is set on fire after the march. Photos http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=924567 and http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=924304 and http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=925702)
13/11: Microphonics solidarity demo in central Heraklion, Crete by anarchists/antiauthoritarians.
13/11: Parts of three prisoners letters published at “Ta Nea” newspaper, revealing aspects of the conditions inside prisons, such as the lack of doctors, miserable food (everyday potatos for Eleonas women prisons, after a treaty among prison authorities and potato company), toilets not functioning, only cold water available at the showers and days-off only for the management’s “favorites”.
13/11: A prisoner is found dead in Grevena prison. Nikolas Bardakis was in hunger strike, though the ministry of justice claims his death was not related to the hunger strike.
13/11: Solidarity demonstration in Veria, called by “Schinovatis” local antiauthoritarian group.
13/11: Chemistry students association of Crete votes for solidarity to the prisoners struggle.
13/11: Arsonists hit 5 banks and supermarkets during the night in Thessaloniki.
13/11: Greek economy minister G. Alogoskoufis is pelted with eggs in London during a speach in London School of economics by a group throwing leaflets and chanting slogans in solidarity to prisoners. On his way back to Greece, he was attacked again in the airport by a group in solidarity to prisoners throwing yoghurts at him!
14/11: The association of hospital doctors votes for solidarity to the prisoners mobilizations.
14/11: A groups claims responsibility for the arson against an ATE bank in solidarity to the prisoners and to three anarchist fugitives.
14/11: A bloggers initiative “Not in our names” calls for solidarity to the prisoners mobilizations and starts a signature petition.
14/11: Ministry of justice proposes via the mass-media a new set of measures. Prisoners aren’t satisfied.
14/11: The “Alternative Lawyers Intervention of Athens” expressess its solidarity to the prisoners mobilizations and demands.
14/11: In Giannena, local students associations have voted for solidarity to prisoners, while the local prisoner solidarity assembly demonstrate outside Giannena prison during visit time, chanting slogans in solidarity to prisoners. An info-stall runs everyday in the city center.
14/11: In Arta, municipal employees tear down a banner hanged by the local Open Assembly, in solidarity to prisoners, after an open gig organized in the town center.
14/11: Athens media students association vote for solidarity to prisoners.
14/11: Legal management students association votes for solidarity to prisoners mobilizations.
14/11: Athens: “Incendiary Solidarity” claims responsibility for attacking companies cooperating with the ministry of justice and supplying prisons and several banks around Athens.
14/11: Lisbon, Portugal: Anarchist distribute solidarity flyers around the greek embassy. More info at http://anarcores.blogspot.com/2008/11/greetings-from-lisbon.html
15/11 98fm chaos radio station (self-managed) transmits solidarity speach and prisoners struggle info.
15/11: Around 20-30 people in Chios island, from a local solidarity committe and a collective from Lesvos island, climbed in a roof near the prisons with a red-black flag and got contact with prisoners. On their sight, the prisoners greeted them loudly and started breaking glass windows of the prison. The two sides chanted slogans together. Later on, a solidarity concert takes place in Chios town. Photos: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=925051 and http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=927251)
15/11: Solidarity and info gathering at Naxos island by the Autonomous Initiative of Naxos with microphonics. Photos at http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=925019
15/11: Common letter from the anarchist prisoners P. Georgiadis, G. Dimitrakis, G. Voutsis-Vogiatzis, on the prisoners struggle.
15/11: Anarchist prisoner P. Georgiadis gets tranfered from Ioannina to Komotini juridical prison.
15/11: A few prisoners send letters with complaints to a newspaper “Eleftheros Tipos”.
16/11: Anarchists/antiauthoritarians solidarity marches to Alikarnassos and Lasithi prisons in Crete.
16/11: Info and solidarity demo at Brixton oval, London UK and walk to Brixton prison. Some photos at http://bezmotivnik.blogspot.com/2008/11/brixton.html
16/11: Minister of justice, K. Gletsos unannouncedly visits the prison of Larissa, and has a talk with prisoners on the new set of measures he will announce on the following days
16/11: Christos Tsibanis, 30 years old, hangs him self inside a toilet of Domokos prison. Fellow prisoners find his body and try to do CPR on him, while prison guards came only half an hour later, and no doctors were present. Christos is in a coma. Domokos prison was the issue of a popular TV show, bringing into light the major illegalities of the prison authorities, such as giving days-off to inmates in exchange with some “favors” connected with prison officials’ illegal business outside. All this came to light after a prisoner talked to the reporters, and prison manager and guard chief were suspended.
16/11: Lisbon, Portugal – “Sunday night anarchists attacked the greek embassy in Lisbon (Portugal) with black paint-bombs. Greetings to the comrades. Solidarity to the prisoners in struggle!” (http://www.325collective.com/direct-action.html)
16/11: 5.800 prisoners in hunger strike.
17/11: More than 6.500 prisoners in hunger strike. 3 dead in Grevena, Chios and Domokos prisons. Dozens stopped consuming even water!
17/11: A prisoner named Constandinos Polidorou, communicates with a TV station denouncing the existance of “Blue Cells” of torture inside Korydallos prison, where guards were leaving inmates naked, and lowering temperature, while until 1997, inmates were tied on a marble cross, treated with drugs and water under pressure.
17/11: In some cities anarchists connect the annual November 17, 1973 anti-junta insurrection remembrance day to the prisoners struggle, calling to demonstrations.
17/11: In Nicosia, Cyprus the local group “Antiauthoritarian Autonomous Action” organizes a demonstration to the greek embassy in solidarity to the prisoners in struggle (more at http://adakiprus.blogspot.com/).
17/11: In Corfu, anarchists march to the local prison chanting slogans, while the prisoners welcome them with slogans ans setting fire to matresses and clothes.
17/11: Gathering with banners and flyers in Kozani.
17/11: Open assembly of a Citizens Initiative in Chios, on prisoner support.
17/11: 1431 AM holds a radio show on prisoners with members of the (leftist) Initiative for prisoners rights, and the “Common Action for prisoners rights” (which is formed by the “Marxist-Leninist Communist Party”, “Left Refoundation”, “left Anticapitalist Formation”, “Workers Anti-imperialist Front”, “Workers Revolutionary Party”, “New Left Current”, “Workers Party” and an organization self-titled “Antiauthoritarian Movement”).
17/11: The (left) “Initiative for prisoners rights” publishes a petition signed by 3.000 citizens and many left politicians and celebrities “joining their voice to the prisoners”.
18/11: 7.000 prisoners in hunger strike, according to the mainstream mass-media.
18/11: Solidarity march outside Korydallos prison in Athens, called by the leftit “Initiative for prisoners rights”, attended by some 600 persons, mostly anarchists, that burnt a greek flag hanged outside the prison entrance, and threw fireworks. There were riot-police brigades, but demonstrators had eye-contact with prisoners inside. Prisoners made light signals, chanted slogans, set on fire clothes at their cells’ windows, and demonstratores replied by setting garbadge bins on fire and chanting slogans together. There were also some live phone-calls with prisoners from people outside.
18/11: Members of the left parliament party SYN/SYRIZA visit Trikala prisons.
18/11: Greek lawyers associations denounce the justice minister on issues concerning prisons and justice in general, and ask for his replacement.
18/11: A local assembly in solidarity to prisoners, by anarchists and autonomists, occupies two radio stations in Ioannina to make known the prisoners struggle, and organizes interventions in the city centre.
18/11: A prisoner speaks live on a well known left-wing performer’s (Jimmis Panousis) radio show, on the hunger strike, notes that prisoners aren’t in well-maintained health, and with the hunger strike this is much worst, and asks for the minister to talk with the prisoners committee.
18/11: In Nikea, Piraeus, a prisoner gets a day-off to be present at his mother’s funeral, but later the cops invade the church, hand cuff them and take them inside a police van.
18/11: In Thessaloniki, the open assembly for prisoner solidarity holds an open assembly with the people at Kamara (a central piazza).
18/11: 50-60 demonstrators attack with paint-bombs the courthouse of Thessaloniki, after a microphonics demo.
19/11: Three prisoners, two men and one woman from Diavata prisons, transfered to a public hospital after their health was in danger because of the hunger strike. The men felt better and returned to prison, the same day.
19/11: After relatives and families of prisoners meet with the minister of Macedonia-Thrace in Thessaloniki, the “Common Action for prisoners rights” (formed by the “Marxist-Leninist Communist Party”, “Left Refoundation”, “left Anticapitalist Formation”, “Workers Anti-imperialist Front”, “Workers Revolutionary Party”, “New Left Current”, “Workers Party” and an organization self-titled “Antiauthoritarian Movement”) organizes a mobile concert from Thessaloniki centre to Diavata prison, and announces the opening of a bank account for a “prisoner solidarity fund”.
19/11: City hall of Thessaloniki attacked with paints and flyers against prison appeared around it.
19/11: S. Hatzigakis, minister of justice, in his speach inside the parliament speaks of “certain non-parliamentary circles that inflame this case” and mentions that “opening the prisons to let the prisoners go is not normal, once society has its defences”.
19/11: March to Larissa prisons by the (left) Antiracist Initiative of Larissa. Prisoners welcomed demonstrators chanting slogans.
19/11: Minister of justice presents the new set of measures on prisons to be discussed in the parliament is made known through the mass-media. Release of all imprisoned for minor misdemeanours (1.500 prisoners) once and for all, without bail. All imprisoned for up to 5 years, enabled for dismissal on bail, apart from serious felonies and drug related cases. Disabled and AIDS patients dismissed under certain conditions. Disciplinary charges are not added to the penal charges. One more day-off. Access to the prisons by a committe of all parliament parties, and some more minor benefits, especially for drug users, as well as: The construction of 4 new prisons and the expansion of 3 existant prisons, to “better comfort the prisoners rehabilitation”.
19/11: During day time, few dozens of persons attacked the city hall of Thessaloniki with paints and spread flyers against prisons. (photos http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=927020)
19/11: Dozens of prisoners taken to hospitals, because of the hunger strikes. More than 30 from Larissa prisons, another 30 from Patras prison, and 4 women from Eleonas.
19/11: Around 50-60 anarchists gather outside Patras prisons, chanting slogans and holding banners, flags and fireworks. The prisoners (more than 900 in hunger strike) greeted them with slogans and setting clothes on fire. (Photos http://patras.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=2467)
20/11: The Left Radical Doctors Group announces their support to the prisoners struggle and the creation of a mobile unit to provide health care to prisoners in hunger strike.
20/11: More than 200 bloggers post, undersign and forward to the government and other institutions a text supporting prisoners mobilizations.
20/11: The brothers of Demokritos Vouvakis, found dead in Chios prisons on 8/11, raise a lawsuit against the prison authorities. The unfortunate man, was found dead of excessive drug pill consumption prescribed by the prison doctors, an incident possibly connected with threats he received against his life while in pre-trial imprisonment, something he had expressed to the prison authorities that didn’t take any measures.
20/11: The “Common Action for prisoners rights” and the “National Prisoners Committee” announce the cease of the hunger strike on 21/11, after the last declarations of the minister of justice, expecting from the parliament to pass a law affirming them within 3 months. They thank “the solidarity movement, every institution, political party, and every fighter that stands by us by any means he or she selects and declare that our struggle against this human disposal centers continues”. The “Common Action for prisoners” announces they stop a gathering outside the ministry because of the cease of the hungerstrike. Less than 10 persons attended anyway. Most NGOs consider the measures suggested as very limited. Meanwhile, many prisoners seem to continue the hunger strike despite the announcements.
21/11: Minister of justice, S. Hatzigakis speaks in the parliament of the measures taken, saying there will be no further reforms. Prisoners condemned for misdemeanours that have spent more than 1/5 of less than two years sentence or 1/3 for more than two years sentence, may be discharged, for this time and only. Most prisoners for drug use will be able to serve 3/5 of their sentence before being discharged under conditions. Pre-trial imprisonment is set to 12 months instead of 18 but only for some cases. One more day-off a year. Smaller disciplinary charges. Some AIDS and other diseases patients may be discharged under conditions. Nothing gets better for felony (capital crimes) offender, no possibility to buy off a long (over 5 years) sentence, even if for a misdemeanour (the case for the vast majority of prisoners). Nothing gets better for juvenile prisoners. Cumulative sentences remain. Nothing gets betters for the prisoners transfers. The prisoners committe will not be allowed to see the justice minister. S. Hatzigakis mentioned it is the first time since 1982, where the first prisoner mobilizations started, that a protest ends in a peaceful manner, through succesful dialogue and a synthesis of opinions. He added that this peaceful protest is a heritage for future situations, and that every political party and institution helped in the solution of the prison problem (sic).
21/11: Prison authorities prevent a lawyer from taking a protest letter by a client inmate in Diavata prisons, undersigned by many of the prisoners, out of the prison. They finally give him the letter after they note down the signatures.
21/11: Three detainees escape from Thiva police prison, cettung their cell’s bars with a hack saw.
21/11: Night event of economic support at Delta squat, Thessaloniki, with video-projections and live concert with “Intibah”.
21/11: The “Assembly for prisoner solidarity” in Ioannina calls “all citizens, associations and institutions” in a march to Ioannina prisons.
21/11: Chios island, the local prisoner solidarity committe circulates a report of the prison guards asking for the tranfer of the prison doctor (the one that had denounced the conditions in a local newspaper earlier), because after they (the prison guards) beaten up a prisoner causing him head injuries, the prison doctor dared to ask the prisoner who beated him so brutally. According to the prison guards “she should mind her own business”.
21/11: Trash h/c benefit gig at the self-managed infoshop of Kavala, hosted by Accion Mutante, in support of the prisoners struggle.
21/11: Solidarity night at Evaggelismos squat, Heraklion, Crete. Projection of the film “I hate sun that rises for everyone”. More at http://katalipsievagelismou.blogspot.com/
21/11: Following a rather typical tactic, the Communist Party through its newspaper and a “Democratic Coalition” it has formed on legal issues, asks for prison reforms by the time of the cease of the prisoners mobilizations, blaming the ruling party and the opposition for the current situation. It also asks for obligatory basic education for prisoners and free access to prisons for social and scientific institutions and political party representatives…
22/11: Solidarity motorbike-mobile concert (artists on a van playing music)-demo to the prisons of Diavata, Thessaloniki, after an initiative of relatives of some prisoners affiliated with the “Common action for prisoners rights”. The event is cancelled due to bad weather conditions.
22/11: Fundraiser DIY hip-hop “Until we break da chains” party at the polytechnic university, Athens.
22/11: Assembly on the prisoners struggle in Greece, and “classic punk” night at “To fanari tou Diogeni” squat in Cyprus (http://www.squatofcyprus.blogspot.com/).
22/11: Solidarity demo and microphonics in Mytilini, Lesvos island.
22/11: 280 walk to Ioannina prisons, in a march called by the (leftist) “Prisoner Solidarity Assembly” and a prisoner solidarity assembly of local anarchists and autonomists.
22/11: “A sign of solidarity to the thousands of hungerstrikers in the dungeons of democracy” was according to an unknown person’s phone call to “Eleftherotipia” newspaper the incendiary attach a few minutes after 11:30 in the night of Tuesday, wrecking a Millenium bank branch, on 25 Pentelis Avenue, Halandri. “We encourage the justice minister and the prison guards not to mess around with fire. Victory to the prisoners struggle untill the destruction of every last prison.
24/11: Open speak on prisons, prison conditions and the prisoners struggle, by the “Alterative Lawers Initiative” in Thessaloniki, where a member of the “national prisoners committee” V. Pallis will speak through phone.
25/11: The “Common action for prisoners rights” calls at a demo outside the justice ministry during some affiliated with them prisoner relatives meet with the minister inside.
25/11: Ioannis Kamberis, 38 year old prisoner in Corfu, is found dead in his cell during his 17 year sentence for some thefts. According to the guards, by heroine. Another one, 24 years old, was found in a comma, and transfered to the hospital. He is better now.
26/11: Demonstration of the “Common Action for prisoners solidarity”, with some 500 persons.
26/11: Justice minister adds a paragraph enabling for dismissal any prisoners over 80 years old with mental diseases. According to the opposition, this “photographs” the only over 80 y.o. prisoner who happens to be D. Ioannidis, imprisoned for his leading role in the military junta of 1967-74 since 1974…
26/11: The minister of justice, during a tv interview mentions we should also think of other ways to let more persons out of prison, such as micro-chip implants…
26/11: The government committe accepts the justice minister’s plans, and “3.800 prisoners are expected to have christmas at home with their families”.
26/11: Solidarity intervention with flyers and banners outside the Greek embassy of Hage, in Holland. (Photos: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=929809)
27/11: A bulgarian prisoner is found dead in Chios prisons. He was transfered to a hospital a few days earlier with a chest ache, but returned back to prison the same day. Chios prison authorities have banned any communication with prisoners, for any committe from outside, including even lawyers association, NGOs and political parties.
27/11: Demonstration at Neptunplatz, Köln, Germany, in solidarity to the prisoners struggle in Greece. This same initiative organizing the demo, also announces a demo to the local prisons on new year’s eve, a gathering at the city’s central station on December 1, in solidarity to the prisoner’s collective hungerstrike in Italy that begins then, and other events and radio shows during December. (photos: http://anarcores.blogspot.com/2008/12/blog-post.html)
28/11: Live talk with anarchist and other prisoners at 98fm pirate radio station.
29/11: Two interventions in Veria, outside the technical school and at the open street market, by the local group “Shinovatis” (sxinovati(at)yahoo.com)
1/12: “Eleftherotipia” newspaper reports another death in Chios prison, of a 53 year old Belarussian this time, according to the prison authorities due to heart disease. Unrest among prisoners.
1/12: Former military regime leading member D. Ioannidis ask with a letter to the minister of justice to be included in the prisoners to be discharged.
1/12: A 32 year old suicides while under custody, inside Alexandria police station, near Thessaloniki.
1/12: Anarchist weekend in Florina, including posters, videos and info material on the prisoners struggle, by local anarchist students.
4/12: Manager of Diavata prisons gets beaten up during a speach in Law school of Aristotle university Thessaloniki, and transfered to hospital!
4/12: Anarchist event on prisons in Alexandroupoli.
Struggle continues!
Keep in mind: Across the world, prisoners fight their incarceration, by all means.
Across Italian prisons, a collective hunger strike has started since 1/12, initiated by life-prisoners against life sentence (currently 26 years in Italy).
In Germany as well, self-organized prisoner struggles have infested German prisons with unrest. Learn more: http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20081201123441564&mode=print
In the UK, the absence of any collective action has given way to prisoners violence towards themselves, with drug use, suicides and conscious self-harm raising.
In North America, several cases of fights among prisoners, have turned to prison riots during the last months.
Keep warm!

greece

Germany:

Greetings from Lisbon

From e-mail:

Friday, Nov.14, at 11h in the morning we distributed 200 A4-size leaflets in front and around the building of the Economy and Comerce Section of the Greek Embassy, in the center of Lisbon, leaving some of them inside the building also. The leaflets included a small introdutory text to the prisoners’ struggle, a few of their demands, and a chronology of the events until that day. Besides, it also included the following text:”

Prison is everywhere, in all our life. Constantly we are watched, controlled, identified, listened… it is the cop, the surveillance camera, the court, the judge, the police station, and our entire reality of forced interactions… it is the fear of being what we are, of saying what we feel, of doing what we would like to do… it is the everyday misery, it stalks us in our memory, it is a permanent threat….
Prison is also that isolate building, where only the convicted and the hangmen are… it is the siege from where we can not leave, it is the guards that control and torture us, it is our body in the hands of the state…it is the walls that enclose and hide us, that push us away for years… it is the place where everything is taken away from us…
Prison is, at the same time, an idea and a building. But always a reality.
In Greece, like everywhere else, the struggle of the prisoners is the only way to face and fight the reality to which they are forced. To accept prison is only possible due to all the means of alienation the state uses, inside and outside the prisons, and that create a daily life of fear and resignation. What’s happening today in the Greek prisons has born from the determination of individuals kidnapped by the state, and although we are outside the walls, that doesn’t mean we’re free. That freedom, we have to conquer it.
In Greece, in Portugal, and anywhere else, no condition of life inside a prison will ever be human, because that’s impossible inside a prison. There’s no reform of whatever nature that can, in any way, humanize this place where we’re locked up; where everything, with the exception of dignity, is taken away from us.
But dignity will always belong to those who struggle, to the insurgents, to the individuals.
There are countless ways with which to show our solidarity and spread the revolt, attacking control and the controllers of this world; the first step is to decide on which side we are.
Having said this, the only “demand” we have is the destruction of every prison and of this prison-society!

SOLIDARITY WITH THE PRISONERS IN STRUGGLE IN GREECE!

anarchists”

***

Portuguese: Alastrando a solidariedade

Na sexta-feira, dia 14 de Nov., às 11h da manhã distribuímos 200 flyers tamanho A4 em frente e em redor do edifício da Secção Económica e Comercial da Embaixada Grega, no centro de Lisboa, deixando também alguns dentro do edifício. Os flyers continham um breve texto introdutório à luta dos presos, algumas das suas exigências e uma cronologia dos acontecimentos até à data. Além disso, incluia também o seguinte texto:

A prisão está em todo o lado, em toda a nossa vida. Constantemente somos observados, controlados, identificados, escutados… ela é o polícia, a câmara de vigilância, o tribunal, o juíz, a esquadra, e toda a nossa realidade diária de interacções forçadas… ela é o medo de sermos o que somos, de dizermos o que sentimos, de fazermos o que gostaríamos de fazer… ela é a miséria quotidiana, persegue-nos na nossa memória, é uma ameaça permanente…
A prisão é também aquele edifício isolado, onde só estão os condenados e os carrascos… é o cerco de onde não podemos sair, é os guardas que nos controlam e torturam, é o nosso corpo nas mãos do Estado… ela é as paredes que nos fecham e que nos escondem, que nos afastam durante anos… ela é o sítio onde tudo nos é retirado…
A prisão é, ao mesmo tempo, uma ideia e um edifício. Mas sempre uma realidade.
Na Grécia ou em qualquer outro lugar, a luta por parte dos presos é a única forma de enfrentarem e combaterem a realidade a que são obrigados. Aceitar a prisão é apenas possível por meio de todos os métodos de alienação que o Estado emprega, dentro e fora das prisões, e que criam um quotidiano de medo e resignação. O que se passa hoje nas prisões Gregas nasceu da determinação de indivíduos sequestrados pelo Estado, e embora nós estejamos no exterior das paredes, isso não significa que sejamos livres. Essa liberdade temos nós de a conquistar.
Na Grécia, em Portugal ou em qualquer outro país, nenhuma condição de vida dentro da prisão será humana, pois isso é impossível dentro de uma prisão. Não existe reforma de qualquer natureza que possa, de alguma maneira, humanizar um local onde estamos presos; onde tudo, à excepção da dignidade, nos é retirado.
Mas a dignidade pertencerá sempre aos que lutam, aos insurgentes, aos indivíduos.
Há inúmeros modos através dos quais podemos dar a nossa solidariedade e alastrar a revolta, atacando o controlo e os controladores deste mundo; o primeiro passo é decidir de que lado estamos.
Posto isto, a única exigência que temos é a destruição de todas as prisões e desta sociedade-prisão!

SOLIDARIEDADE COM OS PRESOS EM LUTA NA GRÉCIA!

anarquistas”

***
Domingo à noite anarquistas atacaram a embaixada grega em Lisboa (Portugal) com bolas de tinta preta.
Saudações aos companheiros.
Solidariedade com os presos em luta!

Brixton, UK…