Greece: International call for political and financial support of the case of the prosecuted Thodoris Sipsas

Nieuws, gepost door: “Solidarity with Thodoris Sipsas” Assembly op 28/05/2014 05:11:36

Wanneer: 28/05/2014 - 10:01

Solidarity with comrade Thodoris Sipsas, who is wrongfully accused in the case of the Marfin bank arson.
The comrade has been framed for the tragic incident in the Marfin bank branch on May 5, 2010, indicted on charges that were blatantly fabricated. A solidarity bar will be held on June 14 in Amsterdam, more info here:

The nation-wide strike of May 5, 2010 against the 1st memorandum will go down in the history of social/class struggle as one of the most widespread insurrectional demonstrations, during which up to half a million protesters clashed for several hours with the riot police in Syntagma Square, in front of the Greek parliament building. This day was darkened by the arson of the Marfin Bank branch on Stadiou Street and the subsequent death of three trapped employees due to suffocation. This tragic incident constituted the staging area from which the state propaganda initiated a vulgar ideological war, attempting to criminalize social, justified counter-violence, victimizing the entirety of those who resist its politics, namely the anarchist movement.

In April 29, 2011, on the eve of the 1st anniversary of the May 5 incident four people, three of them anarchists, are being abducted by cops, lead to the Attica General Police Directorate (GADA) and confined to total isolation without any explanation or justification, save an anonymous memo addressed to the state security department *. Meanwhile, a large-scale misinformation campaign is being initiated by the Greek media, announcing that the “perpetrators” of the “Marfin Case” have been caught. These events are immediately followed by the invasion and search of their homes by the police, identification procedures and comparison of photos, naturally without any incriminating evidence showing up. The four prosecuted are being released after their deposition. Their depositions, alongside any “findings” are being forwarded to the prosecutor, who, being unable to press any charges, sends the archive back to the police and the whole case seems to be closed.

In May 8, 2013, again on a date close to the anniversary of the May 5 incident, without any new evidence occurring, the Judicial Council remanded the “Marfin case” and pressed felony charges (3 homicides and 23 attempted homicides) against our comrade Thodoris Sipsas. Of those four that were initially arrested in 2011, no charges were pressed against the other two comrades, while the fourth person was prosecuted for the arson of a bookstore opposite to the Marfin Bank branch in Stadiou Street. In February 2013 Comrade Thodoris states in his defense that which he has always maintained since his initial statement: “The entire case file, the testimonials, the witnesses, the photos and the surveillance camera recordings prove beyond any doubt that I am not related, in any way, at any point to any attack that occurred during that day in the center of Athens”. The examiner and the prosecutor then decided to release comrade Thodoris from custody on conditions, which is a very unusual treatment on behalf of the state for someone accused of three murders (a condition worth noting is a prohibition from participating in future demonstrations).

Initially the trial was scheduled for December 2013 but was postponed due to the unavailability of the state’s attorney until May 2014. The trial was postponed again due to the recent elections until December 2014. The exact date is uncertain. At this point, it should be noted that on July 2013 three high ranking executives of the Marfin Bank were tried and convicted of charges mostly associated with the lack of fire safety precautions which resulted in the delayed evacuation of the building.

The infamous “Marfin Case” aims at the criminalization of the entirety of society’s counter-violence, self-defense methods as they have been put into practice during the mass demonstrations and protests against the austerity measures and the degradation of the value of our lives, with an obvious focus on the anarchist movement. This case aims potentially in every part of our society that is prone to uprising, in essence being a demonstration of strength on behalf of the modern “constant state of emergency” government, and a display of what may happen to all those who choose resisting it. From our point of view, as anarchists and anti-authoritarians, we are not going to renounce “violence, whatever its origin”, because we will not accept any equation between social, class counter-violence and the violence of the police, the violence of the bourgeoisie in the workplaces, the violence of the fascists against the immigrants and all those that do not belong in their “aryan” vision. We will not accept the equation of the violence of the ruling class with that of the oppressed. It is our self-evident principle that the expression of the social counter violence, at a most practical level, is always targeting capitalism and the state. The notion of the disregard for human life is totally alien to us. As anarchists, we have – and will – never appropriate terms and concepts such as “collateral damage” or “tough luck”. These are the alibis of the state and the ruling class, used to justify the assassinations committed by the suppression forces, the murders in the sweat shops and the fascist attacks. This is the rotten world of exploitation and barbarism we are trying to abolish, creating a new world of freedom, equality and solidarity on top of its debris.

While comrade Thodoris’ frame-up is not an incident detached from all other fabrications of the state, it is the most outrageous indictment ever handed down to an anarchist participating in a demonstration, aiming directly in the deprivation of every insurrection’s political meaning and in the labeling of an entire political movement as “anti-social”, a movement that has gained widespread support over the last years, mainly due to its constant presence and participation in the social-class struggle. The case of comrade Thodoris Sipsas is the case of each and every one of us. The prosecution of our comrade constitutes a prosecution against all of us, against all those that fight totalitarianism and barbarism, the degradation of the value of our lives and our dignity. The world of those who resist, from the anarchist and anti-authoritarianist movement to the primary-level trade unions and the neighborhood assemblies, will never let anyone stand alone against the suppression and the machinations of the state.

The trial (that has been postponed to December 2014 due to the elections) is expected to be a rather protracted and strenuous procedure, and the legal expenses very high. The “solidarity with Thodoris Sipsas” assembly is updated by and maintains constant contact with our comrade’s attorneys regarding all legal and financial affairs. As of now, 12.000 euros have been already spent and the sum of 8.000 euros is immediately needed for further legal expenses and technical support costs, as far as we can currently predict. However, the nature and length of this trial is such that legal costs may rise well above this sum. The generalized destitution in conjunction with large legal expenses and the huge amounts of money granted as bail, which, in recent years, have taken the form of a simultaneous war on a financial level against the social/class movement, have prevented us from gathering the necessary sum.

As we understand the immense political importance this particular trial holds, as much to the anarchist movement in particular, as to the entirety of all those who resist, we call on every organization, collective, assembly or social center, every group or individual that recognizes themselves as a potential target of this attack to support this case on a political and financial level.

“Solidarity with Thodoris Sipsas” Assembly

*Prosecutions of comrades based on the sole evidence of anonymous memos and calls to the state security department have lately become a staple tactic of the police. This tactic is already considered controversial by the mainstream media, as well as by prominent law circles.

DIY documentary by the worker's collective DIAKOPTES (English subtitles available): The accidental prosecution of an anarchist

“Solidarity with Thodoris Sipsas” Assembly

"In February 2013 comrade Thodoris states in his defense"
Should be
"In May 2013 comrade Thodoris states in his defense"

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