“They’ve got something to tell you upstairs”
Monday, 26th of August at 10 in the morning, some hours after the police invasion into the anarchist squat GARE, the migrant housing squats Sp. Trikoupi 17 and 15, and in the building where Rosa de Foc squat was housed in the past, in Exarchia. Coming out of Bouboulinas squat, where I had entered half hour before –the building which had been reoccupied last May by the Self-organized Community of Squatters, Migrants and Internationalist Comrades, which was born out of the Ground of Occupied Gini, following the last barrage of squat evictions by the syriza government against migrant squats and one feminist squat- I am surrounded by four cops who ask me if I am I, by my name. One of them, whom I recognized from my imposed frequent signings on at the police station, part of many years of suspended captivity, turned to me and says in a friendly manner: -They’ve got something to tell you upstairs. Shortly after, I am transferred, handcuffed, to the police hq, by an opke (heavily armed unit) squad.
It was certain that they wouldn’t ask me any questions. They would not expect to find out anything. The interrogation threats and the tortures have been curbed years now, by the stamina and perseverance of the fighters who get arrested and by the response of the movement. Neither did they intend to make suggestions, give me “alternative options”, negotiate some capitulation (methods that the state experiments on with its opponents). After years of arrests, trials, different kinds of suspended captivity, constant tete a tete with the bastards of the repressive mechanisms, they would not waste their time talking. For one hour I remained sat on the bench, on that familiar to so many comrades corridor of the ‘state security police’ on the 6th floor, along with the three arrestees from GARE, who were not allowed to contact a lawyer since the cops would not announce their arrest, and five migrants from Sp.Trikoupi who were led to court the following day on heavy charges. Nonetheless, they had something to “tell” me, “tell” us upstairs.
A civil cop calls me: -Come with me.
-Where are we going?
-For an investigation
-What investigation and where?
-I don’t know. The prosecutor knows.
We return to Exarchia, a convoy of civil cops and opke. They park and we get off on Ippokratous near the corner with Kallidromiou. The parading circus, with me in the middle, goes into the pedestrian street Methonis. Twenty meters down the way, a civil cop points to an abandoned university building (probable option for a squat). It must be this one.
At the same time a suit turns up. I immediately turn to him.
-You are the prosecutor?
-Whats going on? Why am I here?
-There is a report that you are hiding drugs and weapons in this building.
It doesn’t take much to realize, in this sequence of events, that what they are trying on you is a repressive method without precedent in the forty five years of veiled dictatorship. A scenario with unlimited options. My abduction, on this particular scenario, is a clear message to all those who fight against the state: “We can trap you whenever we decide, pin whatever charges we want on you, bury you in the prisons, eliminate you from the social field, physically and as political subjects.” Here is what they had to tell us upstairs, at the political cadres of repression.
The show continued as an ekam team (special operations unit) raided the abandoned building, followed by the rest of them, civil cops, the prosecutor, opke. I said to the prosecutor that their scenario is unreal and that the only way they would find anything is if they have planted it themselves. Then they announced that there would be an investigation also in my home. The “investigation” in the abandoned building “was completed without any findings”. Afterwards the show continued at my home, which they have raided twice before. After the end of the investigation, from which certainly no one expected to reap the results anticipated by the media, “drugs and weapons”, the prosecutor gave the order to uncuff me. The parading show was rounded up as if nothing had happened.
From this leap that the state made, the threat of planting drugs and weapons on fighters and squats with a legal stamp, to the next step, the materialization of this threat, the distance is minuscule. Within the evolving conflict in the ground of Exarchia and the squats front, this event disappears, it is registered as yet another legally arbitrary and politically targeted investigation in a comrade’s home. It is crucial not to lose the significance of this particular event. What is unfolding is a political method of penal, militaristic and even paramilitary annihilation, familiar from parts of the planet and from recent history where counter-insurgent terrorism has become totally bold.
The pre-trial detention of ex-political prisoner Christoforos Kortesis and the persecution of unionists on charges of “robbery”, on the occasion of a common and daily social practice of appropriating basic goods, had already marked the turn of the state towards the unpretentious physical and political annihilation of fighters. The boundless stretch of legal terms, also to the opposite direction, as confirmed by the court decision to release the murderer of Alecis Grigoropoulos, aims to become the new institutional form of repression, at a time when the new penal code of syriza (reinforced by new democracy) provides for mass incarceration (obligatory prison sentence) as a measure of subjugation of the movement and of social discipline (‘little’ prison time for a lot of people).
In the current conditions of radical militarization of the greek (and of every state), and of total devaluation of political representation, the only trench against the implementation of such and other, paramilitary, methods is the power of resistance and of solidarity. The state has shed all pretenses. The only thing they consider is the insurrection that they will inevitably be faced with. The movement needs to acknowledge the evolving conditions of the conflict. Let nothing take us by surprise. The threats of the state should be returned to their sender, thereby confirming their fears. Let’s freeze the designs of the state and the bosses by our unexpected mobilization.
Let the brainless dictators keep trying. We will not abandon the centers of struggle, we will not live head down, with cops in every corner and inside our homes, we will no perish in poverty and in their terrorism. We will fight for anarchy, in all times.
Anarchists? Drugs! Drugs in the squats. Drugs in Exarchia. Drugs in the universities. Drugs in Omonoia. Drugs in the camps. Drugs in the neighborhoods. Drugs, drugs, drugs!
The practice of dressing up the political and social repression with the pretext of drugs is not merely a tactic for slandering, depoliticizing and demonizing the enemies of the state. The “war (against) of drugs” is, for decades now, the dominant strategy as much in terms of repression as in financial hegemony, globally. On the one hand, it aims at the fragmentation and annihilation of the excluded, at the militarization of the social ground, at the isolation and elimination of social movements. On the other hand, it serves the flow of private funds into the banks of the monopolies at the top (constant primary accumulation), the over-concentration of profits into shady business networks, and their unhindered transfer and investment. The drugs war funds the state and para-state militarism directly (covert war and counter-insurgency campaigns), and indirectly (official counter-criminality campaigns that flood state and private money into the police-military organs).
The favelas of brazil and the ghettos of the usa, which are bombarded with chemical drugs and shot at by the cops, the fighters who are murdered by mafia paramilitaries in mexico and elsewhere, in the forests and rivers of latin america, the “counter-drugs” guerrilla war in Colombia, the related interventions by the usa, these are not distant situations. Here also, it is the fat cats, the media lords, the drug barons and the big sponsors of the state and especially of the police and army, who govern the place. Xrisochoidis, who voted for the memorandum agreements even though he “never had the time to read through them”, never heard about the impounded tones of drugs which the customs neglected to record, never heard about serial murders of witnesses and about court cases that have mysteriously got stuck, which implicate big industry owners, the ones who control the mainstream flow of information and appoint mayors. He never heard, just like his predecessors in the ministry of state terrorism, that the distribution of drugs in the greek territory is entirely controlled by cops, that everyone in their ranks get a monthly share of the black market proceeds, that the greek prisons, which will now come under the supervision of the police force, are controlled through drugs throughout the past two decades.
The barons and their institutional servants, the governments, the judiciary, the scientists and technocrats, they attack the plebe in the camps, in the poor neighborhoods of Athens, in the alleys, in the hills, parks and universities. The last pogrom in Exarchia was initiated by the “social” fascist government of syriza, with sweep arrest of replaceable dealers and users on the square and with evacuations of housing squats coupled with house raids in known drug dealers’ houses. In every case the target was migrants. Regardless of the penal development of these small scale sweeps in the drugs market, the desirable aim of the state is the prevention of the self-organization and radicalization of migrants. The far right government continues the counter-drug sweep, this time broadening its scope: Anarchists who struggle and co-organize within the world of migrants, are threatened to be eliminated as drug dealers.
I will not divert here into expressing my opinion and practice regarding the drugs of the bourgeois world, the position of the oppressed within the pyramids of their control, the militarization of the neighborhood, the proposition for struggle from a proletarian revolutionary perspective. There are several collective statements published on these subjects and existing experience from the movement. This is an issue of the social movement on the ground of struggle. Certainly though, the language and methods of counter-insurgency, the war (“against”) of drugs, is not our way.
The social movement and anarchists must keep the resistance within our lines of conflict: Socialization of the ground, in a way of equality and participation, combatively, with abundant solidarity. And to return terrorism to its birth place. If the state takes the responsibility to plant drugs and weapons on fighters, it is a common duty of the movement to start planting the heads of the bourgeoisie, the drug and war lords. They are trying to choke us in smoke? Let’s roast them in the fire.
From the social front of the universal bourgeois prison