Report of Jan 7th in Athens – Free the 5

Source: No Expo 1st May, #freefive

Yesterday in front of the Court a huge picket of more than 600 people supported the five Greeks comrades, singing and shouting loudly. The picket was made by the assembly of solidarity to the 5, the assembly of the district/neighborhood of Agia Paraskevi (where the five guys live and act politically), the Coordination of Basic Unions (to booksellers, telephone workers, waiters, translators and unemployed). There were also the youth wing of the KKE, a union of public sector workers and many others in solidarity.
Yesterday morning the workers of the municipality of Agia Paraskevi have called a strike for three hours. Todau the assembly of professors of Agia Paraskevi is striking in solidarity.
The trial lasted from 10am to 6pm and the defense witnesses talked all the time, who are knowen people (from a chancellor of the European left, the former president of Syriza to the Mayor of Agia Paraskevi) taking the defense of our comrades.
During the trial there were asked some questions to defense witnesses who obviously spoke in favor of the 5 saying it was unthinkable that 5 guys were sent to prison for a crime that in Greece has a sentence of two months and that in their opinion was a political trial.

8th update:
Court denied the extradition and removed restrictions on the firsts two comrades!

Public Announcement of the 5 Requested Activists from the Italian Authorities

Source: Free 5

1.
In May 1st of 2015, a large demo took place in the context of the May Day strike in Milan. It wasn’t just a day of national general strike, but a day of a meeting of movements from all over Italy (grassroots unions, social centers, students’ groups, struggle committees about housing, immigration communities, the No Tav movement etc) against the austerity measures that were voted and applied by the Renzi government. It was also the peak of the NO EXPO movement, against the international exposition EXPO, with the participation of people from many European countries against the glamorous opening of EXPO the very same day. The mass participation and the dynamics of the protest was the peak of a 7-year-old movement which questioned the exposition and its political campaign, setting in crisis the political careers of government officials and local authorities.

Seven years ago, in 2008, the municipality of Milan undertook hosting of the exposition. For its sake, 1,100 acres of land were concreted and local populations were displaced and their houses were expropriated, so they would submit to the development plans and their commercialisation. The bosses bet that Milan would be a city attractive to the capital, and were trying to showcase it as a business capital and promote it as the 8th Wonder of the Modern World for the local working class people, to whom they promise development and new jobs. The whole city was stylised with luxurious buildings, new highways and spectaculare projects. Behind the showcases of development, the bribes fell like domino one behind the other, the banks lended, managed and laundered money for the rest, the contractors took care to delay the projects so they could overprice them and, of course, among the contractors were involved the mafia with its businesses.

This profitability cycle for the bosses that started in 2008, was set and completed on the brutal exploitation of underpaid and voluntary labour of thousands of youngsters, sparing even more thousands of euros for the pockets of the capitalists. Alongside the building of the exposition, an operation of refinement took place for all those that could be considered dangerous for the maked-up image of the city. Large police operations took place to the neighbourhoods with evictions of locals and immigrants from the social housings, evacuation of social centers and strike requisitions, culminating in the strike of the subway workers a few days before the opening of EXPO.

2.
And while 6 months later the curtain falls for the exposition, the results and the aftermath remain. The EXPO finishes and leaves behind a deficit of 1.5 billions that is to be paid by increased municipal taxes, obligating the proletarians, under the “corporate responsibility” of the debt, to foot the bill and to say “thank you!” for the spectacular feast. It leaves behind looted land, flexible labour relations, establishment of volunteering and repression. Six months later from our adduction in Milan, and while the curtain falls for the EXPO, the Italian authorities start a new witch hunt fabricating indictments and issuing arrest warrants for 5 Italian protesters, while issuing a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for us. We have every reason to believe that our ex post charges, and those of the 5 Italians, are hiding political expediency behind them, and not only because the criminalise the participation in a protest on a basis of a fascist law which was established by Mussolini and still applies to this day, but also because the Italian authorities start an operation of masking and concealment of the “scorched earth” that EXPO left behind, focusing the attention of the public opinion from the scandals to the protesters, in order to save, construct and redeem their political careers. Our prosecution is for the Italian authorities the ideal opportunity to penalise and exemplify us and everyone that were in the streets those days. It is the ideal opportunity to show what future holds for anyone who decides to struggle and meet with other movements on a national and European level.

The issuance of a EAW, the ridiculous indictments, the criminalisation of the participation in a protest, the political trials that have shut in prison activists for 15 years, send a clear message that as long as the underclasses are in the streets uniting their voices, the repression will intensify.

3.
A EAW is issued for the first time for the prosecution of protesters (till now, it was only issued for heavy offenses like drugs and human trafficking, and money laundering). It clearly constitutes an effort to upgrade the internationalised repression, and an effort to criminalise the social struggles and the meeting of movements on a European level. At the same time, it is a bet for all the parts of the european antagonistic movement to put a halt to these repressive approaches, by blocking the extraditions

In 2008-2010, with the outbreak of the recession, due to the global capitalist crisis, in the European economies, the member-states of the EU, in order to save the (global) financial credit system, rushed to take measures to nationalise its damage and losses. First the Greek state, with other states of the Eurozone following. Certainly, this by itself couldn’t solve the problem, because the “financial crisis” is just a mere expression of the crisis in the production and reproduction of capital. So, the problem had to be hit at its root: devaluation of the labour power and downgrading of the lives of the proletarians, in order to achieve the overcoming of the crisis with favorable conditions for the profitability of capital.

Thus, the local and international capitalists and their governments, began to apply austerity measures or going into strict Structural Adjustment Programs. Measures and programs that here in Greece are known as Memoranda, which the coalition government of SYRIZA-ANEL is continuing to vote and apply, like wage, pension and allowance cuts, reductions in public spending, tax increases on food and basic necessities, privatisations, release of redundancy, increases of the retirement age, etc.

4.
All these could only be imposed on the base of a permanent “state of emergency” which, apart from the politics of the “public debt” as lever of enforcement and terrorisation, comes with the withdrawal of “welfare state” and the emergence of the “security state”. All of the above are just different aspects of the same strategy of the management of the crisis from the capital, for the imposition of new norms of discipline and exploitation of the underclasses.

A generalised “state of emergency regime” is imposed step by step in all of Europe, on the occasion of the threat of the “islamic terrorism”, with a widespread militarisation of the western metropolises. A large scale campaign of fear and total control is taking place, with raids on homes of activists, protests ban, introduction of new anti-terror laws and militars patrolling the streets. And it is well-known that this war climate is not only directed against the immigrants who manage to arrive in Europe from the war zones in Africa and Asia, but also to all of those who chose to today and tomorrow to take the streets and protest against the politics of austerity and devaluation, the Fortress Europe, the cemetery-like silence that they are trying to impose on us.

5.
In 7,8 and 11 of January, we are called to battle against these extraditions. The struggle for their blockage is a part of a wider mosaic of struggles which are the embankment of the continuing downgrading of our lives. It is a part of the students’ struggle against their increased schooling costs in universities, of the workers’ everyday struggles and strikes against their bosses, of the movements of local neighbourhood assemblies for the refusal of payment for our basic needs, of the demands of the precarious workers against the modern slavery of the workfare programs, of the riots of the immigrants at the borders and the modern concentration camps. It is a part of every community of struggle which erupts in the public sphere against the capitalist imperatives and the state repression.

We call all our colleagues, classmates, comrades and all the struggling people to make the case of our prosecution their case, to take battle positions, to block the extraditions.


An attack against one is an attack against all

EVERYONE TO THE PROTEST AT THE COURT OF APPEAL IN JANUARY 7TH, 8TH AND 11TH

The 5 requested activist from the Italian authorities

No all’estradizione dei 5 studenti in lotta! #freefive

Da: Autonomia Diffusa

Giovedì 12 novembre, giorno di sciopero generale, la polizia accompagnata da un magistrato, fa irruzione nelle case di cinque studenti ad Aghia Paraskevi e li arresta, su richiesta dello Stato italiano e in conformità con il Mandato Europeo di Cattura emesso contro di loro. Lo stesso giorno, a Milano, la polizia italiana arresta cinque ragazzi con lo stesso capo d’imputazione.
I reati contestati riguardano la loro partecipazione al corteo No Expo avvenuto il primo maggio a Milano Dalle autorità giudiziarie italiane e, indirettamente, dal governo stesso è stata richiesta l’estradizione dei cinque giovani affinché il loro processo si svolga in Italia, senza che l’intero fascicolo d’inchiesta sia ancora stato inviato al consiglio della Corte d’Assise, che dovrà decidere se accogliere la richiesta di estradizione.Le uniche prove fornite dall’accusa consistono nella loro presunta partecipazione agli scontri, senza specificare quali siano state effettivamente le azioni compiute e in che modo potessero essere attribuibili a loro. L’impianto accusatorio è rimasto alla mercé dei disegni politici dei magistrati della Corte d’Assise, che deciderà se il materiale raccolto sarà sufficiente a consolidare l’accusa.

No Expo – Come dire ora basta!

Che corteo era, quindi, quello a cui hanno partecipato i cinque studenti ?Quest’anno è toccato a Milano ospitare l’Esposizione Universale, un evento organizzato ogni cinque anni in una città diversa, il cui scopo primario è quello di spettacolarizzare le meraviglie del capitalismo e permettere alle grandi imprese di concludere affari di ogni genere. Chiamiamole Olimpiadi, chiamiamola Coppa del Mondo o Biennale, si tratta sempre delle stesse feste durante le quali lo champagne scorre a fiumi, rigorosamente servito da giovani sottopagati, dove tra gioielli e pellicce si raccontano le barzellette e le èlite mondiali del capitalismo firmano con la penna d’oro le ultime condizioni di sfruttamento dei lavoratori. Per l’organizzazione di questa festa non sono mancate mazzette e tangenti tra politici, mafiosi e grandi appaltatori, gli scandali e i buchi nei bilanci, parallelamente alle infami condizioni di lavoro nella costruzione e nello svolgimento di Expo, le speciali misure di sicurezza ecc. Ma sarà un successo assicurato! Non possiamo permettere alla miseria e sfruttamento di rovinarci la festa! Non dimentichiamo che questo enorme sperpero di denaro avviene contemporaneamente all’adozione di nuove misure di austerità da parte del governo italiano.

Anche se tutto questo ha un sapore greco (Olimpiadi e crisi in testa), si tratta di capitalismo mondiale. Contro questa fiera di svalutazione delle nostre vite, migliaia di persone da tutta Italia e non solo hanno deciso di unire le loro voci e il loro impegno in un collettivo “ora basta”.Il giorno di inaugurazione di Expo viene indetto un corteo NoExpo, condiviso da tutte le realtà di movimento e, grazie alla concomitanza del primo maggio, anche dai lavoratori. Sono riuscite a coesistere diverse logiche e diverse pratiche, componendo un movimento di resistenza sociale eterogeneo.

Ma che avevano da fare li i 5 di Aghia Paraskevi?

I cinque studenti accusati fanno parte del movimento studentesco greco, sono membri attivi delle assemblee del loro quartiere e hanno preso parte alle lotte scoppiate negli ultimi anni in Grecia. In altre parole sono parte di quelle migliaia di persone in lotta che negli ultimi anni sono scese nelle strade per la dignità e la solidarietà sociale. Sono una goccia nell’oceano dei milioni di persone che, organizzate o meno, resistono allo sfruttamento e alla svalutazione delle loro vite, alla violenza quotidiana del potere che arriva fino all’assassinio, dalle morti sul lavoro alle “esecuzioni” a freddo della polizia così in Grecia come in Argentina, passando per Tunisia, Egitto, Bosnia, Turchia, Messico e Brasile, solo per citarne alcuni. Era naturale che i cinque studenti partecipassero a una manifestazione del genere. Il giorno successivo, durante un rastrellamento, sono stati fermati davanti a un bar semplicemente perché uscivano da uno spazio sociale occupato; sono, poi, stati obbligati illegalmente, senza la presenza di un interprete, a fornire le proprie impronte digitali e il DNA.

Quando quelli di “sotto” si svegliano, quelli “sopra” tremano

É evidente che la resistenza generalizzata della classe subalterna non lascia indifferente lo Stato, anzi, fa aumentare la posta in gioco. L’attacco ai diritti dei lavoratori e a ogni condizione di vita dignitosa si intensifica, così da aumentare sfruttamento e paura e limitando quindi la possibilità di reagire. In poche parole vogliono costringerci a tenere la testa bassa, elemosinare le briciole e a dire pure grazie, senza avere né il tempo né la forza e l’energia per organizzare le nostre resistenze.

La violenza di Stato e la repressione fanno somigliare sempre di più le polizie nazionali a eserciti, tanto nelle tattiche quanto negli armamenti. E’ lo stesso filo rosso che unisce l’assassinio di Grigoropuolos, l’operato feroce dei MAT, le forze antisommossa, dei ΔΕΛΤΑ/ΔΙΑΣ (Delta/Dias) e in generale dei corpi di polizia durante gli scioperi generali in Grecia. Così come altrove, negli assassinii delle favelas brasiliane, nei ghetti americani e nelle banlieu francesi, a Genova nel 2001 con Carlo Giuliani, nel cosiddetti naufragi dei migranti nel Mediterraneo. É sempre lo stesso cartello d’avvertimento, quello che lampeggia sopra le teste dei dannati di questa terra a ricordarci: “state buoni, le vostre vite per noi non valgono nulla.”

Il sistema infine prepara la repressione dal punto di vista giudiziario. Il Mandato di Cattura Europeo, di cui si avvale la magistratura italiana per chiedere l’estradizione dei cinque studenti, è entrato in vigore con la legge antiterrorismo del 2004, che calpesta i diritti umani più elementari, come ad esempio il fatto che in Italia manchi un termine di scadenza massimo per la custodia cautelare. Ciò significa ad esempio che se i cinque studenti dovessero essere estradati, potrebbero passare cinque anni nelle carceri italiane, lontani dai loro cari, e successivamente dopo il processo essere assolti. Cosa alquanto probabile considerata l’esiguità di prove presentate attualmente dagli inquirenti. Questa estradizione comporterebbe il loro totale isolamento, una rovina economica per loro e le famiglie, nonché l’impossibilità di difendersi adeguatamente: altra lingua, altro diritto. L’integrazione europea somiglia a una Guantanamo generalizzata, vorrebbe vedere dietro le sbarre tutti coloro che riempivano le strade di Atene in tutti questi anni di lotte sociali, scioperi e manifestazioni.

É chiaro che l’unica accusa rivolta ai cinque studenti è quella di aver unito la loro voce a quella di migliaia si altri a Milano e altrove, di aver deciso di resistere alla sorte che i potenti di questo mondo ci vogliono riservare!

É altrettanto chiaro che la nostra solidarietà a chi lotta non è negoziabile!

– No all’estradizione dei 5 studenti in lotta di Aghia Paraskevi

– Cessazione di ogni procedimento nei loro confronti

– Solidarietà ai 5 italiani accusati per lo stesso caso

Martedì 24/11 Manifestazione all’ambasciata italiana 18.00, Sekeri & Bas. Sofias

Sabato 28/11 Corteo Monastiraki 12.00,

In occasione della giornata paneuropea di solidarietà agli arrestati per il Corteo del Primo Maggio NoExpo

                                                          Assemblea di solidarietà ai 5 studenti in lotta

Repression against comrades participating to May 1st in Milan

Source: Infoaut

On thursay november 12th morning a joint international police operation in Milan arrested 8 comrades – 4 of them being based in Milan and other 4 in Athens – in the framework of an inquiry about the riots which erupted during the great No Expo demonstration, last May 1st, in the Northern Italian metropolis. Other two comrades, a Greek and an Italian one, are on the run – while 4 more from Milan and Como and another one from Athens are charged and under investigation without being arrested.

The charges are those of arson, illegal disguise, aggravated resistance to a public officer, devastation and pillage – “devastazione e saccheggio”, a legacy crime from the Codice Rocco fascist law that was never abolished after the fall of the regime: just to be arbitrarily used through the years in several trials concerning street riots – but producing an executive sentence only in the case of the GenoaG8 trial, when sentences ranging from 6 to 14 years in jail were inflicted upon 10 demonstrators framed for public disorder.

Political police DIGOS commissioner Ciccimarra talked at the press conference of a work of analysis on 600 GB-worth video and photo material, fingerprints and DNA samples, warning about more arrest to come in the search for an “international masterplan” behind the riots.

Among the mainstream media, the most sickening work was that of the Milan-based national daily Corriere della Sera (one of the biggest Italian press outlets), which anticipated the arrests a couple of weeks ago, in the aftermath of the closure of the Expo kermesse. In spite of the different perspectives among the participants to that May 1 that reconstruction and the following arrests, coming after the show was over, implied a fear of retribution from the autonomous antagonist movement by the authorities.

The Corriere also published pictures, names and surnames of the convicted comrades, in spite of the legal safeguards of their presumption of innocence until found guilt.

We will publish addresses of the comrades in prison as soon as the will be available, in order to let everyone write them.

Liberi Tutti! Eleftheria!

Update 16/11/2015

You can write to the ‪4 No Expo Italian comrades imprisoned after the police operation last thursday at this address:

Alessio Dell’Acqua

Niccolò Ripani

Edoardo Algardi

Casieri Andrea

C.C. San Vittore
Piazza Filangieri 2
20123 Milano
Italy

We also invite to join actions organized by the movement in Athens in order to prevent extradition of the Greek comrades – which are now free but under investigation and compulsory sign-in – to Italy.

Solidarity is a weapon!

Against solidarity tourism in Greece [en, it]

Source: Classe

ITA
Per la traduzione in italiano dell’articolo vai qui: Contro il turismo solidale in Grecia

After the OXI referendum I have noticed that more and more people are becoming interested in the faith of the greek country.

I’ve also noticed some ridiculous arguments that invite middle class people (especially from northern European countries) to travel there in order to help Greece to get out of the crisis.

Anyway since I hate tourism as much as I hate capitalism itself I need to write something about both the idea of solidarity tourism, and the reality of tourism itself.

Why is solidarity tourism in Greece useless and wrong complete bullshit?

The very idea that tourism can work as an act of solidarity towards the poor* of a country is not only ridiculous**, but also wrong, because it is based on the ideological fallacy known as “trickle-down economics” (TDE).

TDE means that if the bosses, the employers, (e.g. a shop or hotel’s owner) get more profit, this will automatically produce a trickle-down effect that will make everyone in the economic system better off, including the poor.


This picture shows how we’re told it works

This is one of the main concepts upon which neoliberalism is based, and it has been proven historically wrong if not even false in its premises.

Basically because when the rich get richer, the rich get richer. That’s it.


This picture shows what actually happens

Only the organised struggle of the poor produces a real improvement in their material conditions of life by means of re-appropriation of direct and indirect income from the rich.

This means that the best way to help the poor in Greece is by understanding how you can help people organising struggles there. And I’m sorry to tell you that your option is a bit less easy than you thought. In fact to concretely help their struggle you may have to organise with other people around you, to achieve the noble objective of fucking the bosses where you live.

For example organising a struggle so strong that will induce other people to refuse austerity measures imposed by your government. The more people reject austerity globally, the weaker the institutions (banks, IMF, hedge funds) that use it as a tool of expropriation and transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich become.

Sending money directly to the workers and their organisations in Greece is nothing but it is still better than going to Greece as a tourist.

Which brings me to the second point.

Why do we fucking hate tourism?

I explained why tourism is ineffective, but why is tourism also bad for the poor in a country?

I tried to produce an explanation for this some time ago. Tourism only produces bad effects in the medium/long term for a country. Because tourism means consumption: of land, environment, services, relationships and affections.

Tourism is one of the biggest vectors of gentrification in many countries, cities, villages and neighborhoods.

I will quote what I already wrote because I believe it is still valid.

because, being in a position of power in respect to the visited countries (tourism brings the cash!), tourists also own an unimaginable power to modify (or better, have modified for them) the urban and rural assets to cater for their own needs and desires. Not only what the tourists consciously want, but also what is necessary for them in term of facilities, logistics, transportation etc.

Moreover, the people living in mass tourism destinations are also shaped by this duality of Desires and Needs. You may have heard this sentence before “they are so friendly, [because they are] accustomed to tourists!” in regard to people living in mass-tourism destinations.

That’s not “friendly”, that’s just a skill people develop to sell richer people an “experience” which consists in pure consumption, of land, cities and relationships.

A mass of consumerist tourists is no more than a swarm of unconscious architects and designers; the “attractions” – whether they are urban, natural environments or even subjectivities – their theme park, their actors; to be constantly shaped by the capital flows to maximise the value they can generate.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel to a place(!) but this means you must reconsider completely how you used to travel before: by what means, to do what, how and where you will stay, what connections you will make and if you will be just a consumer or a comrade with the people there. And no, transferring money from your wallet to their bosses’ by buying services will not make you their comrades.

*I will write “the poor” meaning generally the working class, the unemployed people, the proletarians;

**and extremely ignorant of how economics work. Tourism never solved the economic problems of the poor anywhere. There are highly visited countries where the poor lives in slums and, consequently, the rich in golden palaces. All the same, going to Greece will not solve the financial and productive crisis that caused the country to be in this mess.