Friday, 11 September 2009

A growing anarchist resistance needs inernational solidarity

The following report comes from;
A group of six anarchists arrested under suspicion being connected with Black Elijah (Crni Ilija), which took responsibility for the 24th August molotov attack on the Greek embassy in Belgrade.
The anarchists are members of the Sindikalna konfederacija Anarho-sindikalistička inicijativa (Union Confederation Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative) which is affiliated to the International Workers' Association (IWA-AIT). The IWA-AIT Secretariat has made the following statement:
We are informing you that members of the Union Confederation “Anarcho-syndicalist initiative”, Ratibor Trivunac (who is currently delegated to the duty of IWA-AIT General Secretary), Tadej Kurepa and Ivan Vulovic have been arrested today (September, 3rd) under the fabricated charges of “causing general public danger”, after they were forcefully taken in for interrogation by the police. It is yet unconfirmed if other comrades were arrested.
We are trying to get in contact with their lawyers and to establish what are the exact charges against them and their legal status. We will keep you informed of the developments.
The IWA Secretariat can be reached by usual email address and phone number."
IWA-AIT Secretariat,
Belgrade, 3rd September 2009
The media later reported that the arrested are Ratibor Trivunac, Tadej Kurepa, Ivan Vulović, Sanja Đokić, Ivan Savić and Nikola Mitrović. The judge will do hearings today and also decide about charges. State attorney has asked for them to be charged with the criminal act of international terrorism (3-15 years of prison).
This incident has not been reported in the western media, which is also operating a self-imposed blackout on growing fascist, para-state activity and anarchist resistance to such in Greece. However, from dedicated coverage by activists on sites such as Libcom and Indymedia, as well as the solidarity among anarcho-syndicalists of the International Workers Association (IWA), we are able to gleam what has been happening in both countries.

In Greece, though the worst of the running battles between state-supported fascists and anarchists, who are acting in defence of an embattled immigrant community, is over, clashes and repression continue. On September 2nd, Libcom told of the tension that was building in the country;
In the run-up to the huge protest marches of the coming weekend in Salonica, Greece sees immigrants' hunger strikes, Wind workers take up pickets for national strike, as well as the Athens Stock Market and one Ministry hit by guerrillas.
Tension is building across Greece in expectation of the International Exibition of Salonica, the annual start of the protest season in the country when the PM usually announces the new year's programme. As this time around the PM is expected to either announce the dissolution of his government and immediate elections or make some life-saving surprise move, the stakes are high. Huge protest marches which traditionally swamp Salonica in the first weekend of September are expected to be militant, while even police unions having announced they will uniform...
In the run-up of the weekend, a series of social and labour struggles as well as the ever-surprising re-emergence of urban guerrilla attacks have been setting the pace. More specifically:
In Pagani, the notorious immigrants' detention camp in Lesbos island recently brought to the public spotlight after UN condemnations of barbarity and No-Border actions, 47 minors from Afghanistan, Somalia and Palestine have started a hunger strike on Tuesday 1st of September. The hunger strikers announced: ''We don't need anything but freedom no food, no medicine. We are in hunger strike.'' For of the minors are in a "dry" hunger strike, refusing to take any liquids, and already suffering medical consequences. The hunger strikers have already been imprisoned in the camp for 60 days with no sign of their release.
At the same time workers of the international telecommunication corporation Wind have declared a national strike for Thursday 3rd of September picketing all the central premises of the corporation. The industrial action has been taken in response to the recent lay-off of a female worker in the company which the strikers have denounced as a "antiunionist terrorist measure".
Meanwhile on the urban guerrilla front, Athens was rocked by a big explosion on Wen. 2/9 which destroyed the facade and two floors of the newly built Athens Stock Market setting off a fire in the inside that was controlled by the fire brigade. The explosion was caused by a bomb in a parked van outside the Stock Market and was pre-announced to the press to avoid injuries. Nevertheless due to police incompetence one woman was slightly injured by broken glass as officers failed to evacuate the area properly. From the explosion several car-expos around the building were also damaged. Earlier the same morning another bomb caused small damaged to the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace in Salonica. Speculations on the culprits fall on the usual range of left-wing guerrilla groups, yet as of this moment no organisation has claimed responsibility for either of the attacks.
During the actual protests in Salonica, five days later, "Geeece saw the bare teeth of class antagonism in defiance of the ever increasing police brutality and unaccountability." "Meanwhile, in Athens Exarcheia, the anarchist enclave in down-town Athens, was once again transformed into a battle zone after policemen tried to stop and apprehend two people doing graffiti in the outskirts of the area on Friday 4/9 early in the morning. When people ran to help the arrested graffiti boys, the police pulled guns against them, aggrevating the crowd. The reaction to the police harassment then led to a full riot police attack on the liberated park of Navarinou, only meters above the site of A. Grigoropoulos assassination last December. Soon pitched battles broke out between anarchists and police forces. During the clashes 5 people were arrested and four are accused of molotov cocktail throwing even though not a single molotov fell that night. One of the arrested was seriously injured and has been hospitalised."

Today, we discover that the injured man "was snatched early this week from hospital by police forces violating doctors orders and basic rights to healthcare." His injury, it transpires, occurred when "had his chest pierced with an iron rod, receiving serious injuries throughout his body and head." However, "nstead of even ordering an investigation on the assassination attempt, the greek authorities moved to arrest an eye-witness of the incident and to abduct the unfortunate immigrant from hospital. Both are now held in the notorious police department of Agios Panteleimonas which a few years ago came under protester attack after systematic torture of underage Afghan boys in its basements." This incident follows the news, three days ago, that the man "has exposed the greek police for an unrepenting recourse to torture'"
According to the accused and his solicitor, the veteran defender of human and civil rights Mr Papadakis, the 27 year old man was arrested by Delta force motorised policemen acting on no evidence but mere revengeful motives. The young man was apprehended, brutally beaten and tied to a tree. As a result his whole body is suffering from wounds and bruises while one of his ribs broke piercing his lungs and setting his life in serious danger.
In a press conference on the latest case of police torture, Mr Papadakis dismissed police allegations that the accused attacked them with molotov cocktails, arguing that not a single molotov was thrown that night as numerous neighbours and shop owners testify: "In the last few months" claimed the solicitor "we have been visiting our clients not in police departments, but in hospitals. Every time I get a call for the defense of a new accused, I ask: is he healthy or in the hospital? In most cases it is the latter case".
Human rights groups point out that although the young man was hospitalised after his arrest, the persecution failed to order a medical examination regarding the causes of his injuries, thus 'normalising' police brutality and torture.
The level of violence and repression that these articles expose is appaling, and points to a systematic recourse to coercive measures by a Greek state faced with ever growing resistance. BBC News reveals that, in response to massive protests and a crisis of government, "Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has confirmed that a snap general election will be held on 4 October." The BBC gives the growing resistance a cursory mention when it says that "Greece has also been dogged by social unrest since police shot a teenager dead last December," yet clearly considers "financial scandals and the effects of recent wildfires" as far more important that institutional state violence and populace moved to open rebellion. This tells you all that you need to know about a media community wherein Reuters, the BBC, and the Times are among those giving coverage to a bomb at the Athens stock exchange but make no mention of the injuries inflicted on ordinary people by the Greek riot police.

It would now seem that Serbia is the first to follow Greece down this road of overt repression, with the aforementioned arrest of six anarchists. This is why, in immediate response, the Soldiarity Federation (Solfed, British branch of the IWA) has organised a picket of the Serbian embassy in London. Similar events are being organised for Vienna and Melbourne. It is utterly vital that anarchists and worker and imigrant-activists show their immediate solidarity with those at the sharp end of a crackdown of dissent that is spreading worldwide. As Solfed themselves put it, "this injustice will not pass quietly."

Nor should it. The past year has seen workers and ordinary people across the world reassert their independence from the dictatorial control of the state and corporate capitalism, and it is only natural that those who hold power would move with speed and force to reassert that control. What is vital is that we do not let them and, through solidarity and concerted organisation and highly-visible acts of disobedience, keep pushing towards social, economic, and political freedom for the working masses.