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#Greece: Fundraising for the legal expenses of anarchist comrades G. Dimitrakis and C. Sakkas

On the 12th of June 2019, anarchists Giannis Dimitrakis and Kostas Sakkas were arrested, after attempting to expropriate an ATM cash supply delivery in Thessaloniki. Anarchist Dimitra Syrianou was arrested a few hours later for the same case. The next day, the three comrades were interrogated, prosecuted and charged. Comrades G.Dimitrakis and C.Sakkas are accused of robbery and are remanded, while D. Syrianou is accused of simple complicity and is set free on restrictive terms. The arrests, after an organized operation – ambush of the anti-terrorist and EKAM squads, were presented as a huge success for the Greek police, since both comrades had been systematically targeted by the prosecuting authorities in the past. Our two comrades have walked the path of the struggle, steadily taking up action and resisting as part of the social movements, making the choice of direct confrontation with the state and paying the price of extreme repression for it. Incarcerations, bullet wounds, torture, prison riots, hunger strikes, flights from trial, arrest warrants and then arrests and imprisonment again.

Originally published by Fire Fund.

In 2006, comrade Giannis Dimitrakis had undergone arrest after the expropriation of a bank in the center of Athens, and was heavily wounded by the police who fired bullets at him. The comrade was taken to the hospital, where, while in intensive care, the authorities tortured him and threatened his life, demanding information about his associates. Meanwhile, the news of the arrest became a main story in the media, which, following police orders, launched a campaign of misinformation targeting his comrades, his friends, and his political environment. Names and photos of “suspects” were published, while, at the same time, arrest warrants were issued and comrades were prosecuted. At the same moment, the authorities expanded the accusations, using the imaginative concept of “the robbers in black”, who supposedly carried out robberies in order to finance “terrorist organizations” through the “revolutionary fund”. The large and militant solidarity movement that grew then throughout Greece, organizing events, protests, gatherings and attacking state targets, managed to block the campaign of terror launched by the authorities, but also to deconstruct the accusations, through its constant and determined presence during the trials. Comrade Giannis Dimitrakis left a rich heritage of struggle during the six years he spent in prison for this affair, before his release in 2012. He kept a dignified and relentless stance against the penitentiary repression, leading the way for prisoners’ struggles, that culminated with his major contribution to the first mass hunger strike, in with 20 prison institutions participated in 2008, as well as the great riot and the burning of the prison in Malandrinos in 2007, after he was beaten by penitentiary staff.

Comrade Costas Sakkas was arrested in 2010, following an operation by anti-terrorist units in a warehouse with weapons. He was accused of illegal possession of firearms and of “participating in an unknown terrorist organization”. During the 4 months of his pre-trial detention, additional accusations were made against him, identifying him as a member of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF). In April 2012, just before the completion of his 18 months in detention (the legal maximum for a pre-trial detention) he was once again sentenced to an additional 12 months, accused once more of committing 160 arson and bombing attacks as a member of the CCF. But the repressive state’s obsession with comrade Sakkas didn’t end there. After 2 and a half years of irregular detention pending trial, and just before completing the second detention, the authorities decided to prolong his incarceration for six more months. Been turned into a hostage by the enforcement of an extreme exception policy against him, comrade Sakkas was lead to begin a hunger strike in demand of his release, on June 2013. After 38 days, having been admitted to hospital and having lost 16 kilos, and with the support of a massive and international solidarity movement, he managed to obtain his release. But, yet again, the authorities obsess-fully and vindictively created a suffocating dragnet against him, seeking to imprison him once more. A mere 5 months after his release in January 2014, comrade Sakkas was arrested for violating parole conditions, because ,according to the police ,“he did not sleep at home”. A week later he is arrested yet again, with the supposed accusation this time that his fingerprints had been found in the house of a member of the CCF. And while he was released on both accounts, since the charges were substantiated, the suffocating conditions that were created through his constant arrests and close surveillance, lead him to flee from trial on February 2014. He remained a fugitive until August 2016, when he was arrested after a police chase and shootings, along with anarchist comrade Marios Seisidis, also a fugitive, accused alongside Giannis Dimitrakis for the case of “the robbers in black”. After 2 more years in prison, comrade Costas Sakkas was finally released in August 2018.

On the 16th of September 2020, our three comrades will be put to trial in Thessaloniki for attempted robbery of an ATM cash supply delivery. Comrades from Greece and all around the world, we call upon you and upon every person in the anti-capitalist movement, upon all the people and the collectives who believe that imprisoned militants are part of the wide struggle against the barbarism of authority, to financially support our three comrades. After many years of wholehearted devotion to the struggle, after having experienced extreme state repressive violence, with bullets, persecutions and imprisonment, they need our solidarity once again, as they have already benefited from it but also shown it themselves in the past, with their constant participation in solidarity movements for all those comrades that have been targeted by state repression.

The total sum needed to cover the legal expenses is 10.000 euros. Given the objective circumstances created by the covid-19 pandemic, public events and concerts that could otherwise cover said needs cannot take place. This is why we deploy all available means of economic support. This is why this firefund campaign was created.

Solidarity is our weapon

No one alone in the hands of the state

No one of us will be free, until the last prison is demolished

You can donate for the legal expenses of anarchist comrades G. Dimitrakis and C. Sakkas here:

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