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A letter from the special cell in Lamia hospital – Giannis Michailidis

Lamia. Greece. A letter from anarchist prisoner Giannis Michailidis, who is on hunger strike since May 23, 2022.

Originally published by Anarchist News.

Since the anthropocentricity of the majority of our society attributes the above mental attributes exclusively to humans, I will probably be accused of anthropomorphism (you will tell me of all you have been accused of, did that bother you?). However, I do not attribute characteristics to scorpions that are not inferred from their behavior, such as rational thought. It is encouraging that newer neuroscientific research suggests that the architecture of neural circuits associated with the function of consciousness in humans and other mammals is even detectable in insect brains.

How does this relate to the current situation? A few hundred million years after the appearance of scorpions, a being walked the earth that constructed permanent enclosure structures for other living beings, including its own kind: cages and guardians.

Many intelligent animals in captivity stop eating and are driven to death (e.g. of the dolphins that are captured, few survive). Countless people in captivity, (since so long ago that the beginnings have been erased) have gone on hunger strikes in prisons to gain their freedom or dignity. This is the equivalent of self-centering by beings with enough intelligence to try to provide a way out of the impasse. That is why nowadays, the hunger strike is internationally recognized as a historically powerful means of struggle, especially for prisoners.

In Greek circumstances (where even the junta of the colonels backed down on hunger strikes) modern judges and prosecutors are governed by a different perspective. The majority are driven by ultra-conservative views and, having caused untold pain to tens of thousands of prisoners who have been deprived of their long-term freedom, they work for a torture industry entrenched behind obvious lies such as correctionalism. Like slaughterhouse workers, or like fighter pilots bombing the enemy’s cities, they have killed any trace of empathy in themselves and can eat their lunch by convincing themselves that they are doing something useful. That is why they see the hunger strike as a means of challenging their omnipotence and show zero tolerance.

How else to interpret, what judges and prosecutors write, up to the 46th day of my hunger strike, when the prosecutor’s proposal of the court of appeal for my release was issued?

I was preceded by two councils where I was tried for what the judges believe I will do and I was held on remand as a “risk of committing further offences”. In the second even theirs they didn’t ask me a single question, not even about the facts and just issued a predetermined decision after 40 days (30 of which already on hunger strike). Without even a rationale, it took them 40 days to write “in accordance with the prosecutor’s proposal, to avoid unnecessary repetition”. I was treated with defiant indifference.

In the face of this squalor, I started a hunger strike. And in the announcement of its opening, I listed both the arbitrary acts against me and numerous examples where the judges have opened wide the doors when it comes to children of the system (cops – murderers, prison guards – torturers, fascists, big capitalists).

Meanwhile, in the midst of my strike, Alexandros’ killer, one of Zack’s killers who did as much jail time as I do hunger strike time, and rapist Filippidis have been released early on the improbable grounds that the potential victims are not at risk because he is now known for his actions and will avoid him. And I who completed 3/5 of my sentence 7 months ago “have not yet been corrected as not enough time has passed” according to the prosecutorial reasoning! Unrepentant murderers are enjoying what I have been fighting to earn for 50 days risking my life, what I have been entitled to for 7 months, freedom.

Seemingly unrelated, and yet relevant, is the murder of the chimpanzee that escaped from Jean-Jacques Leshwar’s wild animal prison. I wonder if Greek ‘justice’ will deal with a serial killer and torturer of wildlife? Too much money…

Anyway at this moment, my own stinger has already pierced my body and is spreading poison destroying its vital organs, probably irreversibly. However, it will inevitably pierce, even if only temporarily, the murderous order that sustains this system of generalized enslavement and exploitation of nature (human and otherwise)…




Giannis Michailidis

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