Hunger strikes in Greek prisons – A brief chronicle of the past few days

REPOST from contra info.

While the Greek society is watching the post-election fables of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government in an almost dormant state, incarcerated anarchists and combative prisoners in the galleys of democracy have once again decided to clash with the Power and its laws, using hunger strike and abstention from prison food as weapons of their struggle.

On February 27, 2015, Giorgos Sofianidis, social prisoner in the E1 wing of Domokos maximum security prison, begins a hunger strike demanding to be transferred back to Koridallos prison, where he was held until New Year’s Eve, so he can continue his studies at the Technological Education Institute of Piraeus and the Institute of Professional Training of Koridallos prison. At the same time, along with his fellow inmates, he claims the definite abolition of type C prisons. On the same day, all other prisoners in the E1 special wing of Domokos – anarchists Nikos Maziotis, Kostas Gournas, Yannis Naxakis, communist Dimitris Koufontinas, and social prisoners Alexandros Meletis, Konstantinos Meletis, Vasilis Varelas, Mohamed Said Elchibah, Alexandros Makadasidis – declare prison food abstention, stating they will continue their mobilisations. Besides, in early February, a joint protest was carried out by inmates in Domokos prison in response to yet another death of a prisoner because of medical negligence.

On March 2, prisoners that share a common political context of demands launch a hunger strike, mostly aiming at abolishing the 2001 and 2004 antiterrorism laws, articles 187 and 187A of the penal code, the ‘hoodie law’, the legal framework for type C prisons, the prosecutorial provision of forcible taking of DNA samples, and demanding that the convicted 17N member Savvas Xiros be released from prison on health grounds. Those who announce their participation in the collective mobilisation are Kostas Gournas and Dimitris Koufontinas with a joint statement, Nikos Maziotis (type C prison of Domokos), and five comrades from the Network of Imprisoned Fighters (DAK); namely, Antonis Stamboulos (Larissa prison), Tasos Theofilou (Domokos prison), Fivos Harisis, Argyris Ntalios and Giorgos Karagiannidis (Koridallos prison). The rest of the participants in the Network of Imprisoned Fighters will join the hunger strike later on. On March 2, Mohamed-Said Elchibah also initiates hunger strike in the type C prison of Domokos. A day later, two women incarcerated in the female section of Neapoli men’s prison in Lasithi, Crete, declare their abstention from prison food in solidarity with political prisoners on hunger strike.

Meanwhile, since February 28, police have arrested several people in relation to the case of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire attempted escape from Koridallos prison: Christos Rodopoulos, anarchist fugitive Angeliki Spyropoulou, Athena Tsakalou (mother of the Tsakalos brothers) and a friend of hers, a friend of the brother of Giorgos Polidoros, as well as the wife of Gerasimos Tsakalos. Therefore, on March 2, CCF imprisoned members Olga Ekonomidou, Michalis Nikolopoulos, Giorgos Nikolopoulos, Haris Hadjimihelakis, Gerasimos Tsakalos, Christos Tsakalos, Giorgos Polidoros, Panagiotis Argirou, Damiano Bolano and Theofilos Mavropoulos announce a hunger strike until death or until their family members and the friends of their relatives are immediately released. Angeliki Spyropoulou, from the holding cells at police headquarters, also goes on hunger strike with the same demand. On March 4, anarchist Panos Michalakoglou, held in pretrial detention in the prison of Nigrita in Serres, initiates abstention from prison food in solidarity with CCF hunger strikers. Both friends of relatives of CCF members are released, however the bastards Nikopoulos and Asprogerakas, special appellate judges in charge of the investigation, order that the mother and the wife of Gerasimos Tsakalos be remanded to prison. Additionally, two more arrestees are sent to pretrial detention; namely, hunger striker Angeliki Spyropoulou (Koridallos prison) and Christos Rodopoulos (Domokos prison). Furthermore, on March 6, Christos Polidoros (brother of CCF member Giorgos) is also arrested and currently held by the antiterrorist unit.

Giorgos Polidoros and Christos Tsakalos have explained that the ten political prisoners of CCF support the other collective hunger strike that’s currently underway in Greek prisons, emphasising that the latest machinations of the antiterrorism agency against their family members are an extreme consequence of antiterrorism legislation. Nikos Maziotis has also stated that, regardless of the different context of the hunger strikes’ demands, he supports the struggle of CCF prisoners.

Faced with this rapidly developing situation while waiting for further updates, it’s up to those of us on the outside who fight to abolish the prison society in all of its aspects and crush all Power, to support each and every prisoner in struggle for the immediate fulfillment of their demands, and try to bring about the complete destabilisation of the system of domination. Let us not forget that what we fight for is the total destruction of the State/Capital, and that struggles for partial demands are used as a means of destabilisation to this end, not as an end in itself; otherwise, there’s always the danger of being assimilated into reformism. Let us multiply the actions of agitation and attack against institutions, persons and symbols of Greek democracy inside and outside the borders. Let us make solidarity into praxis.

in Greek (6/3/2015), Spanish, French

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