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
Eco-anarchist prisoners Marco Camenisch, Luca Bernasconi, Costantino Ragusa and Silvia Guerini started an hunger strike the past 10th September.
Communiqué from Italy Indymedia:
We – Billy, Costa, Silvia and Marco – eco-anarchist and revolutionary individuals hostages of the Swiss state have decided to start a hunger strike from 10th September 2010. Because of our situation and the delay in communicating with each other (which for 3 of us means we can’t communicate with each other at all because we’re under preventative arrest), the arrangements and organisation of this initiative are very difficult and most probably you will only be able to have more detailed news, confirmations, and individual declarations only later on during the month. Continue reading
You don’t hear much about Greece in the news these days, just the odd snippet buried away on the inside pages of the ‘serious’ newspapers, or perhaps on their on-line business/economic sections. If you check those then you may be aware that the Greek economy is in such a mess they may be kicked out of the eurozone, which is one reason the euro has dropped so much in value these last few weeks.
You may be aware of a degree of unrest amongst the workers, faced by severe austerity measures proposed by the ‘socialist’ government. You probably wont have heard about the massive mobilisations by farmers that have brought much of the country to a halt and closed its borders to the north. You almost certainly wont have heard about the trial of the killer cops that was due to start this week. Thats the cops who shot to death the 15 year old kid, that started the insurrection on 6 December 2008, that led to 17 days rioting across much of the country, and led to the ongoing low-level insurrection happening ever since. Continue reading
Marco Camenisch, 58 years old this Thursday, has spent 20 of the last 30 years in prison for his political actions, and has at least another 8 years to do. For the 10 years he was not in prison, he lived on the run, clandestinely, in Italy, Switzerland and elsewhere. Recently, in late December, he participated in a global hungerstrike by some 15 anarchist prisoners to draw attention to their struggle and affirm their resistance to state repression.
The following article has been translated from the Italian website set up to support Marco, and gives a brief history of his life and motivation (any links & highlighting have been added by translator):
“Marco Camenisch was born on 21 January 1952 in Switzerland, in a small village of the Graubunden region. At the beginning of 1980 Marco was arrested for damaging electricity pylons and transformers, once against the NOK company (which ran nuclear power plants in Switzerland) and once against their distributors, the Sarelli company. The sentence was very harsh: 10 years. Marco was well aware this reflected the seriousness of what was at stake: the ecocide perpetrated by the the power industry as part of the wider system of destruction, which formed the target of his own struggle. Continue reading
Update on the hungerstrike (translated from Italian): “Around 7 people were arrested and 2 “Carabineros” injured at a demo in Santiago, Chile. According to Chilean press there were around 70 people at the demo, which was organised in solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike in Europe and Chile itself. 2 Chilean anarchists, Matías Castro and Pablo Carvajal, are under “preventative arrest” since September after an arson attack at a police station and have both joined the hunger strike. The “Carabineros” Special Force intervened to stop the demo and 2 of them were injured. Buildings and cars were also damaged.
To my knowledge, pickets outside jails will be taking place in the next few days and New Year’s Eve in Italy and Switzerland in solidarity with the strikers and all prisoners.”
And here is a later update at the end of the stike.
hungerstrike poster in Spanish
Following Gabriel Pombo Da Silva’s call for an international hunger strike 13 anarchist prisoners from all over the world have so far joined in. The strike started on December 20th and will carry on till January 1st.
The initiative comes spontaneously from the prisoners themselves, in particular to remember the Chilean anarchist Mauricio Morales who died in May this year while he was trying to place a bomb outside a local penitentiary police’s school.
In his initial communiqué Gabriel writes: “To me hunger strike is a strategic tool of struggle…in the situation we are – kidnapped by the State and the Capital – we only have this form of struggle seen as we all are spread in different jails and countries.”
The prisoners who have so far joined in are: Gabriel Pombo Da Silva (Germany), Marco Camenisch (Switzerland), Juan Carlos Rico Rodriguez, Francisco Maya Fernandez, Honorio and Alberto (Spain), Diego Petrissans (Argentina), Sergio, Mike, Evelin, Luca and Pasquale (Italy), Matias Castro (Chile).
Notes: Gabriel Pombo Da Silva is a Spanish anarchist who escaped from the notorious FIES prison system in Spain, but was subsequently recaptured in Germany. You can read some background info about him, and some of his writings, here (small pdf). Here is a callout for solidarity with him in 2007. He has now spent 24 of his 40 years in prison. You can write to him here: Gabriel Pombo da Silva, JVA Aachen, Krefelder Str. 251, 52070 Aachen, Germany
For further information on the hungerstrike (not in English) have a look here or here.
[Update 18/11/09: Yesterday 17 November saw mass protests on the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising against the Colonels’ Junta in Greece. Despite heavey repressive policing people marched in Athens, Salonika and elsewhere. In Athens and Salonika protesters fought back against riot police provocation and heavy teargassing, building barricades and targetting corporate businesses. Over 270 were arrested in Athens, and another 13 elsewhere. However it seems that only 8 or 9 have actually been charged, with the rest released. Report here, update here.]