In an extremely surprising decision, the Thessaloniki 4 have effectively won their appeal against sentences ranging from 5 to 8.5 years, and have been released.(except for Michaelis Triakapis who remains inside for a different matter).
Chapman's ordeal began when cops planted a black rucksack full of petrol bombs on him
This has been confirmed by a text from a close personal friend of UK defendant Simon Chapman, and by this post From the Greek Streets:
“All of the Thessaloniki 4 are free. The four comrades, including UK anarchist Simon Chapman, have been found not guilty for all (except one minor charge) in Greek court of the charges going back to the EU Summit protests and riots in Thessaloniki in 2003.
All four of the defendants are free. All the initial charges were dropped apart from “distinguished defiance of authority” which was then reduced to “minor defiance of authority”. This is a misdemeanour, carrying a 6-month suspended sentence, but none of them will be imprisoned unless of course someone is charged again during these six months. This was the best the juries could ever do, since they had to be charged of something, in order to “justify” the six months they had spent in prison back in 2003.” Continue reading
Court decision likely on 31 January / Bristol fundraiser on Saturday 5 February
The appeal by the Thessaloniki 4 against their sentences is likely to conclude on Monday 31 January, in Greece. The 4 face sentences of at least 5 to 8 years in a Greek prison if the appeal fails. Their alleged crimes occurred during protests in Thessaloniki in June 2003 against an EU summit. Background info here and here. Continue reading
January 2011 finds us enthused by recent events around the world that point to the coming year as being a potentially significant one in the struggle against capital and oppression. Events in Belarus, Algeria and a little more successfully in Tunisia, show that many ordinary people can only be pushed so far before fighting back. Despite 2 decades of dictatorship and tightly controlled police states, and despite the consequences of resisting, people in these 3 countries have shown amazing bravery and determination.
We remain enthused by the actions of students and youth in late 2010 across the UK, into Italy, and spreading across Europe, giving a small indication that the ongoing 2 year rebellion in Greece is slowly spreading an anti-capitalist virus that the state has no final antidote to. Encouraging in these struggles have been displays of solidarity with people arrested, and a very fast learning curve amongst protesters of the need for legal info & support. Continue reading
The 14 and 17 January sees the start of 3 major political trials in Greece, in one instance dating back to events over 7 years ago. In the face of widespread radical opposition and street protests, the right-wing Greek state appears determined to try and lock up as many radicals as it can, while it still can. Continue reading
Echoing the large mobilisations of November 2008, when prisoners went on meal abstaining/ hunger strikes across the country, a fresh wave of mobilisations in the Greek prisons began last Monday 29 November, as first reported here.
Solidarity poster for Dimitrakis: "What's breaking into a bank compared with founding a bank?" Bertolt Brecht (the Beggars Opera)
This comes as there is a fresh escalation of struggles across various sectors in Greece. December 6 marks the 2nd anniversary of the murder of the teenager Alexis, that led to weeks of street battles. There are then further protests leading up the next Greek general strike on 15 December. Many anarchists & anti-authoritarians in prison face trials in the next few months, starting with the appeal trial of Giannis Dimitrakis on 6 December – read the callout for solidarity. Perhaps unsurprisingly, over the last couple days there has been a huge crackdown by the state in major Greek cities with searches and arrests. Continue reading
Beaten Up, Fitted Up, Don’t Let Them Get Banged Up
Over a hundred people were arrested after a demonstration confronting the European Union summit, held in Thessaloniki in Greece back in 2003. Seven people were imprisoned and held on remand, including UK protester Simon Chapman. The prisoners began a hunger strike that lasted more than 50 days.
A massive worldwide solidarity campaign followed including demonstrations, direct action and occupations leading to all seven being released on bail (archive of solidarity actions). All the charges were eventually dropped.
Years later after appeals from the Prosecutor the charges were reinstated. The first case finally came before the Courts in January 2008 where Simon Chapman and three of the other defendants – Suleiman “Kastro” Dakdouk (Syrian origin), Fernando Perez Gorraiz (Spain) and Michaelis Triakapis (Greece) – were found guilty.
Cops plant black rucksack filled with petrol bombs on Chapman after he'd been beaten up
All of those accused maintain their innocence and video and photographic evidence clearly shows police planting a rucksack filled with petrol bombs next to Simon. This didn’t stop him receiving a prison sentence of more than eight years, with the other defendants all receiving over five years.
They will now face the Appeal Court again in January 2011, Continue reading
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Tagged films, fundraisers, Greece, legal, money, police, resistance, rights, solidarity, state repression, writing
Saturday 20 November, in London, sees the capital’s second Tattoo Circus of the year, and it looks like being another weird and wonderful cracker of an event!
It all kicks of at 11am in the morning. For venue details ring 07908 037170 or 07908 068724 after 10pm on Friday 19 November. Continue reading