Greece. Pola Roupa’s position on political crime, the right to resist, the accusation of the management and the incompetence of the court in the appellate court of the 3rd trial of the Revolutionary Struggle (From a recording made 6/11/2020).
Originally published by Abolition Media Worldwide.
P. Roupa: We have made several courts regarding the action of the Revolutionary Struggle for which we have taken political responsibility and I personally from the first moment I was arrested. We defend in these proceedings but also outside the courts the political nature of these prosecutions and accusations and my own political status as a human being. I am a political prisoner, I believe I am a political prisoner. And this is in harmony – so to speak – with an old tradition, which of course has now ceased to exist because these acts are not recognized as policies by jurisprudence – not by legal science and analysis – by the law itself. case law. That is, the courts themselves have excluded action such as that of the Revolutionary Struggle from the realm of political “crime.” As we have made several objections to the incompetence of the court – as I told you last time – this does not concern individuals and persons. That is, the recommendation of the court. It concerns the claim of a right enshrined in the Constitution itself and Article 97 which states that political crimes are tried by mixed jurors. Of course, many acts and those specific to this right have been excluded, but this exception has never been justified, analyzed or scientifically substantiated. And I do not say that, analysts I have read say it because it concerns me. So as we have made several objections to the incompetence of the courts that have tried us, I felt the need to do more research because I would like something more comprehensive to be done on this issue. So far, the objections we have made have concerned the jurisprudence and the tendencies that existed within the legal world, the modern legal world, on the issue of the objective, the subjective, the mixed theory about political crime, the complex, the pure political “crime”. “ etc. Our objections stayed there. But at some point I had to start researching the history of political “crime” a little bit to see my own roots, my political roots in history. As I read a book that dealt with political crime through the centuries, I realized that it dealt with political crime only from the perspective of the state power, whether that state power was structured and expanded or not. This is the book of the Party. What I mean; He referred, for example, to the issue of political crime during the period of the ancient Athenian democracy, in the case of the Roman Empire and “democracy”, in the case of Byzantium, in the case of the Middle Ages, etc. But from my own knowledge I have with Based on what I have read – because I also read in prison and some other historical facts – I have found that this approach is completely misleading. What I mean: Political “crime” does not always exist under this condition because there has not always been an established state power. There were state formations initially, which claimed their role as a state, as a political entity that controlled societies. However, the initial conflict in relation to political crime concerned the state itself. That is, the first political crimes were committed by the state and not by societies. What I mean; First of all, let’s take a break, I want to share with you the work I did in prison which was very difficult…
(President: Half a minute, Ms. Roupa, you will first tell us your allegation and then submit whatever documents you want. You claim that it is a political crime. So tell us the reasons).
P. Roupa: I have no requirement to read them now, I will submit them to you. It’s a real gift to the court. It’s not exactly the objections you have encountered, it is a job that I did with difficulty, I have not completed it yet, due to the conditions I am in, because I had neither the material nor the ability, the conditions and the conditions to do such a job and to the extent that I have reached it until today that you have defined the trial, that and I testify to you. Of course, at some point in the future this will be enriched, it is a first attempt. Anyway, I continue.
I was left with the issue of the conflict in relation to political crime, state-society. Societies were not always “state”. The state has not always existed, it is a modern historical phenomenon. There are too many analysts – but I have relied heavily on P. Kropotkin who was an anarchist anthropologist and other sources which, of course, I can not name at this time because we are tired – who said that societies were built into communities. These communities did not have a hierarchy, they did not have the structured form of hierarchy we know, they were autonomous, they were democratically structured – in the sense of direct democracy – and we know such an example from the Athenian democracy. The Athenian democracy was a direct democracy, it had nothing to do with the current state of representation. The current state of representation, whoever has dealt with it, knows that it was unacceptable to the ancient Athenians. According to them, direct democracy meant the direct participation of all citizens in the political institutions and, as Aristotle said, “democracy was the state that functioned through the clergy.” That is, anyone could participate in the draw, be able to receive specific positions. The church of the Municipality was attended by 6,000 people in a population of 30,000 people, which was the body that decided everything. It was executive power, it was legislative power, it was judicial power. And the political crime in this case refers to the analyzes of contemporary scientists, it was considered that it was what was being fought against the state order in ancient Athens. Of course, the ancient Athenians did not recognize political or non-political crime. They were separated on the basis of common and private offenses. The commons were very large and concerned the whole city, such as homicide, selling one’s body as a slave, and even robbery was – as in our time – a common crime. However, those who opposed the regime were dealt with quite severely. For example, in the church of the Municipality, someone who promoted a law that was unconstitutional was persecuted. Anyone who accepted a bribe was severely persecuted. Anyone who lied in the church of the Municipality was also prosecuted. That is, all these practices that today in the representative system we see going unpunished, in ancient Athens were persecuted with great severity. But political crime, over the years until the modern states were formed, was in fact carried out – and this seemed very strong even before the ancient Athenian democracy across the spectrum of human societies, but also later until the late Middle Ages – as a conflict. carried out by the state against the autonomous communities in order to prevail, to succeed in imposing power on them. The communities, as I told you, had an autonomy, too many of them were formed at one level of confederations.
President: Ms. Roupa, tell us why your crime is political?
P. Roupa: We will reach this, I will tell you. I tell you, these are my roots, Mr. President. They are my political roots. My roots go back to ancient Athens to… Look, Mr. President, what we are proposing as a Revolutionary Struggle is direct democracy to replace the representative one. We propose direct democracy in the sense that there is a society built on the core of the communes as was the ancient Athenian democracy – it was a commune in essence – because communes have always existed in the centuries, they also existed in the Middle Ages. The communes formed the free medieval cities which were a confederation of communes, the people there had autonomy and they also formed constitutions, of which you may have heard. They are the famous Charters of the Middle Ages in which they secured the degree of freedom they had towards the aspiring lords, kings, dukes, bishops, that is, both the secular and ecclesiastical lords on what to do and what not to do and how far limits of their responsibilities. And this was secured legally, with legal terms, with the constitutions of their time, the famous Charters of the Middle Ages. And in them, their right to resist anyone who plotted the powers he had, anyone who tried to dominate the medieval communes, was legally guaranteed. The right to revolution was guaranteed. And in fact, if I had the time and if you gave me the opportunity, I would read you excerpts that show that there were kings who consolidated their power on the basis of common criminal crimes, as we would characterize them today: such as theft, kidnapping of merchants, animal abductions, land grabs, etc. Medieval cities and communes were organized against this power to confront and fight against all of them, armed.
Medieval cities, in fact, were created after a pan-European – I would say – revolt and almost simultaneously in the early Middle Ages after a pan-European revolt against feudalism. They built walls, attacked the castles of would-be kings, princes and bishops, destroyed them and built free structures. These communes then fought very fiercely until their freedom was suppressed. Some fought for 70 years, like some medieval cities in Italy. For 70 years they fought to maintain their independence. I say all this why? Because people once did not need the state to be able to coexist peacefully. The state is what was created on the basis of violence and that was what started the uprising against the first societies, the communes. That is why in this work that I have done for the political “crime”, in fact the title that would suit it is “State against Commune”. Along the way, this story of the conflict between people, the tendency of people to create societies by decentralizing power and the state on the other hand, which has always acted in a direction of concentrating power, we have reached revolutions. That is, we go beyond, that is, we spend all the following years – and not to get tired – to reach the revolutions, especially the French Revolution which is the historical starting point for the legal recording of political crime. I think this is understandable to get a little into the more modern field. The French Revolution, however, was also an attempt to create such a decentralized system of power with communes, communist confederations, which, of course, were initially fought by the regime of King Louis XVI and later by the state created by the decisive power of the bourgeoisie. Because it was not a bourgeois revolution – just the bourgeoisie managed to prevail over the revolution and fight, to put a “brake” on the revolutionary impetus of that people – and to manage to create a centralized bourgeois state. The only difference is that he did it with the use of terrorism. I’m talking about the Jacobin state. So there, in the French Revolution, we meet and recognize everyone, lawyers and analysts, that then there was for the first time the recorded case law of political crime and terrorism. But what terrorism? The state terrorism recognized by that regime as a state strategy to be able to dominate the French people and create the conditions to build and consolidate the modern bourgeois state. Reading, for example, A. Loverdos, we see that he considers that terrorism was necessary for that period because these urban structures did not exist, e.g. the constitutional ones that were necessary to structure and create the modern bourgeois state. No, they were not necessary at all, because social structures existed. There were the Autonomous Sectors, there were the assemblies in the provinces, there were the local courts, there was an equality that was structured during the progress of the revolution. But this process was beaten again and again.
In this book I have written, I analyze how a people came to commit political crimes and why these “crimes” became so violent. It has been recorded in history that the French Revolution manifested such a great degree of violence that in the end – linked to the Jacobin state of terrorism as the end of the revolution – the French Revolution is used as an example to be avoided for all revolutions. That is, what do they say revolutions are? “Revolutions are a theater of violence and crime so brutal and so ruthless that it is better to have a power, even if it is somewhat authoritarian, than for societies to commit such a brutal, violent coup.” But this “terrorism” that was carried out from below, the political “crimes” as we would call it today, was the result of a relentless power which did not give in to the demands of a people who were massively claiming to secure it. For political crime now, reading and trying to understand history, I saw that there were differences. That is, in the case of France – Loverdos points out again – that while it was recognized, for example, in 1810 the political crime (there are references to the term in the preparatory work of the French penal code as elements determining the scope of punishment) was not recognized in more lenient terms but more strictly. In the process, a few years later, in 1830 in the Julian monarchy, there was a political “crime” enshrined in the French constitution, and in fact, the political “criminals” were treated favorably. It was a period when they were treated as people with noble motives, as people who deserve a respect, not to be dishonored in the way they serve their sentences. The death penalty for others had been abolished for political “crimes”, they had to serve their sentences in special conditions and not like other prisoners, etc., etc. This was overturned. It was overthrown in the course of the political history of France itself. The whole history of jurisprudence in a nutshell, from the time of the French Revolution until today on political “crime”, is a direct consequence of the prevailing political conditions. That is, jurisprudence has never, as everyone acknowledges, ever come up with a definition and a commonly accepted analysis of what constitutes a political “crime” and applies it. The same is true in Greek jurisprudence. They have structured some theories on the basis of which it must be investigated whether something is a political “crime” or not, etc. In France, for example, as I have already mentioned, we find the synthesis of subjective – that is, the motives of the perpetrator – and objective theory; the impugned, as he says, good is political. In the process, research began on which of all the theories was correct and which was not. This book that I mention and that I use as a source in what I have written, as well as Professor I. Manoledakis and others, have made a great analysis of whether, for example, the phenomenon of “terrorism” should to be recognized or not as a political “crime”. They have come to the conclusion that they should, under certain conditions. They believe that all the theories that have been recorded have their problems. But the conclusion of the jurisprudence to use the narrow theory of political crime, that is, that you must have directly attacked the state, the state, and have managed to overthrow it. As Symeonidi-Kastanidou used to say, “whoever has not managed to overthrow it is not a political criminal, whoever has succeeded is.” That is, a futile condition in relation to people claiming their political identity through the courts. The narrow objective, everyone says, was never the result of research and analysis in legal science. It is an extension of the case law itself to suppress and depoliticize political crime. That is, through depoliticization, the judiciary can achieve its most effective repression. That is what all those who have analyzed political “crime” have come to – not me.
As for the Revolutionary Struggle and 187A, the article I am on trial for: 187A essentially prosecutes political “crimes”. That is, it states the objective conditions for prosecuting an act under Article 187A which is carried out “in a manner and to the extent that it is possible to cause harm to a country”. It remains to be seen what we mean by “country”. Obviously we do not mean air. We mean specific political and social characteristics of the country. Which means that the objective conditions for considering an act as a political crime refer to it cumulatively, not divisively, as many courts read and did “and” or “or”. In other words, there must be cumulative political motives with the aim and purpose of creating damage and overthrowing the existing political-economic regime. I say it now verbally so as not to read it verbatim and we are late. Obviously 187A is a law that contains – we do not analyze the objective and the subjective, obviously you know that – the mixed theory of political crime. It contains the objective theory, that is, the goal that is affected must be political, which concerns the objective conditions of the “crime”, in order to recognize the subjective theory because the motives are also mentioned. But jurisprudence does not recognize political motives, although it photographs political motives, it photographs the objective political essence of an act. Nevertheless, he has exiled, he has erased the mixed theory of political crime by using the complex political “crime”, not the pure, the objective with the complex. The jurisprudence has deleted it as inappropriate for the investigation and for someone to be recognized as committing a political “crime”. And all the objections we have made to the incompetence of the court end up being rejected using narrow objective theory. This is a huge contradiction. That is, you have a law that describes the political “crime” to you, but a political crime is not recognized. Only the coup is recognized as a political “crime”. But the coup is never carried out by a political opponent of the ruling system. So it can not be understood, as Manoledakis said, a political “criminal” who has a military status in the state. It is contradictory. So we end up being recognized as political crimes by modern jurisprudence, only coups. That is, the attempt at a change, or rather a regime by people who have been involved in it before.
I do not think it is in honor of the modern legal system. Sincerely. It does not recognize a political opponent. It has also been written that in modern democracies it does not mean a political opponent. But is it possible that this system of power, which is not meant to be opposed to it, has reached this level, the highest form of perfection? It is an attitude of totalitarianism. That is, not recognizing your political opponent and doing everything to not have that characterization and while it exists, to do what does not exist, is an attitude of totalitarianism. A complete system, of course, and does not recognize that there is anyone who disagrees with it. I also mention in what I have written the right to resistance, because I believe that as a political subject I had the right to resist injustices and a system of power which is recycled and reproduced on the basis of injustice, on the basis of divisions, on the basis of social marginalization, poverty, etc. The act now for which the Revolutionary Struggle took political responsibility, the placement of the bomb in the BoG which is a branch of the ECB – it is not an autonomous mechanism – and the IMF, took place at a time which was the period of “memoranda”. And in fact it happened at a time, which has become in history as the period of “memoranda”. which had ceased to show social reactions to the “memoranda”. We are talking about a goal, a structure that is economic in nature but also political because the connection between politics and economy today is very strong and everyone knows it. Also, it is not only national, it is a supranational organization and both. In other words, we are talking about two structures, which are also political – not only political – because they shape the policies within a country and even impose them, it is not a result of “democratic” processes what the IMF will impose and what the ECB through the BoG . The memoranda were unconstitutional and this has been acknowledged by many constitutionalists, including Kasimatis who has published a book. Of course, I do not have all the books I needed because I am in the situation I am in (due to the constant transfers). However, Kasimatis recognizes and had recorded, had analyzed the reasons why the “memoranda” were and are unconstitutional for many reasons. However, not all of these violations of the Constitution by the “memoranda” were recognized as the abolition of the constitution. But the abolition of the constitution existed, some have said. Kasimatis once said at an event that if these roads are not found to overthrow the regime of “memoranda”, then the people have the floor with article 120 of the Constitution. However, Article 120 S., which justifies the resistance in case of overthrow of the Constitution, is restrictive. As I told you before, in the Maps of the Middle Ages there was the right to revolution and resistance. The same was true of other constitutions, the French or the 1784 Hampshire Constitution in America, there was the “Right to Revolution.” And in fact, in general terms, not limited to the defense of the constitutional order, but to the defense of the rights of society.
For example, Spyropoulos writes in “Right to Resistance”, if you have the abolition of the constitution, the a 120 of the Constitution ceases to be valid because the Constitution has already been abolished. But where can the right of resistance be based in this case? His answer is “in natural law”. But natural law is superior to the positive as many jurists recognize. Natural law draws its tradition from the depths of the centuries and has at its core solidarity, justice, real justice, the social equality of all people and not only before the law, political equality. That is, things that are being eradicated from modern society. I consider that this act for which I am being tried was, in principle, a political act. That is, it meets all the conditions. Both those of objective theory and in terms of motives, of course, were political. So we are talking about an act that is being prosecuted and could be recognized as a policy based on all theories: the objective, the subjective, the mixed about political crime and even the narrowly objective. But in the last one I refer to now, I have not said it. This was said by the prosecutor in the previous trial, who in his speech on the sentences, mentions something that I had never said, but he said it himself. That the BoG building could have collapsed and if the specific building had collapsed, the Greek banking system would have collapsed. But if, I say, the banking system collapsed and the prosecutor was right then – okay, he exaggerated – but if he was right, that is, if under certain conditions the collapse of the banking system in Greece could be caused, we are talking about the collapse of regime. So he recognized – without wanting to – the appropriateness of a single action in relation to what is required by the narrow objective theory of political crime. That is, to overthrow a system of power. But I wanted to tell you – because you have the decision for Mr. Drakos – because I reacted immediately because I know, I was informed about these issues and I recognized that in fact he overturned all the Greek jurisprudence from the beginning of the century – the jurisprudence of A .P– in relation to the narrow objective, which was consolidated in 1977 with the deportation case of Pohle. I do not know if you know her, a German city guerrilla member of the RAF (Red Army Faction). In this case there was a legal dispute over whether Pohle was a political “criminal” under the constitution and whether he should be extradited to Germany or not. The Court of Appeal then recognized him as a political “criminal”. Too many PASOK politicians – A. Papandreou and many others – had written with the “brave” as the Athens Court of Appeals said at the time, who said “yes, here we are talking about a case where the mixed political crime theory, we have acts related to political “crime”, the Pohle case is covered by the Constitution and it was rightly decided not to extradite him to Germany because he is a political prisoner under the constitution “. And they based their decision on the fact that the constitution itself says that they have no right to deport a man who is “persecuted for his actions in favor of freedom.” This does not specify exactly which theory should be applied, so the mixed theory of political crime and the theory of “crime” related acts were appropriate for Pohle to be recognized as a political prisoner. However, the AP then opposed this decision, issuing this jurisprudence which is still used to this day in various variations without, however, ever mentioning that this particular theory is applied, the narrow one about the political “crime”. theory. They just apply it without ever naming it.
In my case, in the case of the Revolutionary Struggle, we are talking clearly, very clearly about political acts and political action. And I meet all the conditions to be recognized as a political subject. I would also like to make a footnote because the discussion in the court of appeals that was hearing the case of the attack on the BoG for Nikos Maziotis, the prosecutor had said “that what you say about the constitution is correct, but the resistance must be within existing legal framework “. But this is contradictory. Spyropoulos that I mentioned to you in the book “resistance based on a. 120 of the Constitution “, says that there is no legal resistance. That resistance that does not break the law is not resistance. Because legality is what ensures for the system compliance with a treaty where constitutional legitimacy has been catalyzed. Non-compliance and resistance must violate the law. So it can not be legal. He mentions it in more detail and more aggressively, I would say. I will not expand on this anymore. That is, even at this level, the issue of the right of resistance in this period, I believe that even in this case I pay, we meet all the conditions. So I believe that the competent body, the competent court to adjudicate my own cases, is the mixed jury based on the Constitution. What I have written now and I submit to you, you read it in peace and because it will be published in time, you are the first to receive it.
Pola Roupa: For the category of management and the doomed. In addition to what the lawyers said, I want to add something briefly. I will use only one phrase of E. Symeonidis-Kastanidis in relation to the fact that the political crime has not been defined by the jurisprudence. However, a number of acts from the concept of political crime are excluded – Loverdos spoke about the onslaught of depoliticization. For the violent, authoritarian, as he characterizes, depoliticization of acts that were characterized as terrorist. From this gap, yes, law is created by jurisprudence. I know that. But it adds to a political expediency – as I said before, things other analysts say – that it is not the result of analysis, it is a matter of political expediency. The political expediency is to encircle the political “crime” to such an extent that it excludes everyone, any person who reacts in practice to a political system of power and to keep this political status only for those who come from the very system. That is, it encircles the notion of resistance within the state apparatus itself. But this does not exist in historical reality, ever. There has never been a system of power that did not have an opponent, some opponents who in the alpha or beta way to fight it. Or seek some change, some change or even overthrow. But with a proposal, which will concern another type of social organization and not just as a protest. But even as a protest to express – this does not concern me because the action of the Revolutionary Struggle was not a protest – the acts that concern me against the violation of rights, and this is recognized by many analysts as a political crime. That is, the defense of a right that is being violated by the existing system of power.
To close, I will only mention the thought of Symeonidis-Kastanidis who says in relation to these issues: “what would be simpler, more certain and more in line with the requirements of the Constitution for security in the administration of justice (Article 8 of the 1975 Constitution), to define the meaning of political crime in the text of the law, the Greek legislator has so far refused to do so, for fear – the very reasonable – that what is treated today with political sympathy, tomorrow may to turn against those who, with their parliamentary majority, always express the political will of the state “. This is stated by E. Symeonidi-Kastanidi in her analysis “The criminal protection of political bodies in Greek law”. This is the reality and this is what many recognize. That is, the case law was formed on the basis of political purposes and not on the basis of the needs of legal science. Let me say a few words about the issue of “management” and the doomed. First of all, the accusation of “management” was attributed to me and my colleague Nikos Maziotis not from the beginning, but from the moment when the need arose to take political responsibility. That is, since we went out and declared that we take political responsibility for participating in this organization, the Revolutionary Struggle, criminal proceedings were instituted for this reason. For no other reason. Because we are politically defending our history, our choices, the reasons and political goals that this organization had, etc. The first court that judged us for the activities of the organization from 2003 to 2010, accepted that there is no management. Mr. Liogas, the prosecutor at the time, had accepted and made a proposal for acquittal because, as he said, “we are convinced that because they are anarchists and the anarchists do not look to any hierarchical organization, they have no hierarchy within their own organizations and in their own political formations, so the accusation of the leadership is not correct “. He also used some elements that were in the case file at the time, in relation to some phone calls that showed the direct democratic nature of the decisions – and he had then named some persons – through the indictment for some telephone communications. Of course, I do not have them in front of me now these elements, but he used them plus this argument – as I told you – “because they are anarchists, so their political organizations do not have centralized, hierarchical models of this type”. However, the issue of the pending trial or the adjudicated one that I have raised as an objection in other courts…. Let me tell you here that in the appellate court of Nikos Maziotis for the same case, of the BoG, the accusation of the management had collapsed, he has not been convicted for it. It remains to be seen what will happen to me now. But there is a fragmentation of the time of existence and action of the organization. So based on this fragmentation, the courts come out and say that we are talking about a different period of activity of the organization, so we have to reconsider whether in the new period there is a new directorate that may have existed the previous time or did not exist. However, the other court accepted that it did not exist. I have always asked – and my lawyers – the question, that if we are talking about the same organization, which all the indictments recognize as the same – because it presupposes the duration for this accusation to exist – then the address, if there is an address , if there is a board in such an organization, it should be a building block of the organization itself. Which means, if you’m fragmenting time and talking about an organization with a manager and an organization without a manager at different times, then you’re talking about another organization. On this dialogue and disagreement, the courts’ response was that this was an instantaneous crime and not a permanent one (the issue of “management”).
But I can not understand and explain it in simple words and I ask it: How is it possible to judge a “crime” as momentary when it lasts for some years? Two, three, four, five? I was never given an answer to that. The question, however, remains that the question remains whether the judgment is valid on the basis of the case-law, as my lawyer has developed, and whether it can be acknowledged that this should be extended, without the issue of my acquittal being considered by this court. specific category. Of course, the issue of my acquittal for me is not so much in the level of criminal treatment as in my political treatment. That is, I do not want to accept, I can not accept the role of director, because quite simply, we have never had directors in our organizations. And as Herodotus used to say (in the Third Book of his Stories) “I do not want to start or not to start”. This is the beginning of my life, my action and the organization for which I have taken political responsibility, that is why I say this. And I want this category to fall.
Pola Roupa member of the Revolutionary Struggle