|The statements of the comrades imprisoned in the activity : The speech in memory of the political prisoners.
On Thursday, June 9, within the framework of the Week of events for the restoration of the monument to the anarchist student Alexandros Grigoropoulos and in the presence of several comrades, an event entitled «Speech in memory of the political prisoners» was held. The event was attended by the following comrades: Giannis Dimitrakis, Giannis Michailidis (on hunger strike since 23/05), Fotis D., Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis, Panos Kalaitzis, Haris Mantzouridis and Thanos Xatziagkelou.
Below we provide pdf files of each statement separately, except that of Comrade Giannis Dimitrakis, which was purely telephonic and will be uploaded when the transcript is completed.
SOLIDARITY WITH ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
I think we all agree that time as a concept is a relative thing. Sometimes it passes as fast as a bullet, sometimes it flows slowly and tortuously, making tomorrow seem like a utopia.
In the embrace of captivity, the days are a corpse, dismembered equally into 24 identical meaningless pieces. At the same time, outside the walls we ourselves let time pass without using it, refusing to devote the necessary attention to true values. The present becomes the past and historical moments are the individual and collective experiential legacy of an individual, a group, a movement, an entire society. A realm of moments, experiences and emotions that raises walls and battlements. For me, personally, it is the lyrical representation of the most historical hostilities: the battle of memory against oblivion.
I often find myself in unsuspected moments obsessively whispering only one thing: not to forget in order to remember. The good times, the hard times, the dead ends. To remember with equal vividness both what I loved and what I hated. The power of memory lies not in selectivity, but in familiarity with the past. As vividly as I remember those who were the first to fall in the fire of battle, I remember those who surrendered prematurely, those who ran out of breath, those who betrayed us and sold out.
Beautiful or ugly, the memories are a notch in each of our minds and hearts. A moment when time stood still. All of this came to be overturned by the memory of the uprising, a series of images, experiences and emotions that anyone who has had the honor of living it carries on their shoulders every day and every night since then. Because I want to emphasize this point: the memory of the uprising is either erased as a museum image of the past or constantly carried as a point of reference and illustration of the horizon of subversion.
Fourteen years have passed since midnight in December and I personally have not forgotten a single step of what I experienced during those endless 24 hours. The first phone call, the initial numbness and then all the necessary preparations leading to the streets of fire. The thirst for vengeance of our dead comrade’s blood that flowed through the metropolitan centers. The truth is that in those moments, if you struggle to feel anything, you are already defeated. So we didn’t need to be in Tzavella that night to feel together with our comrade Alexandros. It hurts the same for that and engenders the same hatred in all of us.
None of us can make an operational assessment of December. Because whatever the violence expressed, it all started with the loss of a comrade, a young comrade. Obviously, it is not a question of speculating on where Alexandros would be today. The question was and remains one: where is he and what is each of us doing since Alexandros is not with us.
As the comrades who have undertaken today’s organizing initiative rightly say, power builds its own monuments honoring and highlighting historical crimes and the monopoly of domination. Statues of murderers and glorifiers of hatred and exploitation, names on the streets to remind us at every step who is the slave and who is the master. Living in the society of spectacle, where the power of the image is absolute, contempt is not hidden in exploitation but in the familiarity of its omnipresent dominance around us.
Faced with revisionism and the monopoly of historiography from above, we have the duty to erect our own monuments. Those that are built in the moments when death no longer has power. Those that stand before our eyes to remind us of the political and historical burden of leading the world of death and exploitation to its end.
The simplicity of the most important meanings hidden in the 2008 revolt is in the clearest and most sincere looks under the hoods. In the gestures of aggressiveness unleashed against the mercenary army of the Republic, unable even to look the Sword of Damocles in the face. In the disinterest of every rebellious heart that stubbornly refuses to return to normality. Our monuments are not to be found in gilded busts or names. They are guarded in the very representation of rebellion. In the blackened arcades that they have not yet managed to clean, in a cracked storefront that has not been restored, in the torn sidewalks that have been searching for 14 years for their missing pieces. The monuments of the uprising are deeply etched in the hearts of those who day and night fed the fiery fury that in its wake left the ashes of an aging world. They stand in the paths of those who were inspired, recruited, politically constituted and heartily enlisted through the historical readings of December. Today the memory of the uprising is in the agonies of those who seek to actualize the need for revolutionary formation and unrelenting conflict against the will of an unarmed and harmless Anarchy.
The war resounds unceasingly. From the first hours of the day until the moment one goes back to sleep. At work, at school, in human relationships, in the simplest gestures. In each and every one of us, inside us and gnawing at our guts. In December 2008 this war took on the character of a frontal conflict. With the uniformed assassins who marked social disobedience by executing the 15-year-old anarchist comrade Alexandros Grigoropoulos. With the tyranny that put the broken windows and burned temples of profit and exploitation above the value of human life. With the pillars of legality that sought provocateurs and security guards under the rebel hoods. With peaceful citizens who only wanted to forget, to talk about isolated incidents, to be indifferent, to equate state violence with social anti-violence, to turn the page, to move on, when time for all of us was freezing at ground zero.
The revolts do not die in the face of the stubbornness of those who seek a return to normality and social peace. Those who wanted an uprising to their liking, manipulating the uncontrolled flow and preventing the revolutionary overthrow. Let us not forget, therefore, those who «rushed» to speak of provocateurs, infecting armed action once again, in the face of the armed reprisals of the Revolutionary Struggle in Goudi and Exarchia against the mercenary army of occupation of the Republic. But when we all shout together that «blood runs, vengeance demands», some do not get it into their heads that there is a disinterested component that means it. That responds to bullets with bullets. Thus, those who first abandoned the streets of fire to return to normality charged the armed vanguard with ending the insurrection, opening the permanent dialogue of armed violence that brings repression. In speaking and acting as anarchists, we must remember that the state is the only form of institutionalized and constituted violence that, as long as it exists, is constantly an aggressive condition towards the needs and interests of the social base. So the road to social liberation itself will be a violent and bloody process.
December remains a nightmarish veil obscuring tyranny in the idea of regaining control. Recall that Chrysochoidis’ undeclared war, when he was restored to his beloved armchair, had December 6, 2019, as a reference point, with its euphemistic ultimatum to the squatters. As for my own journey, my frontline experience of rebellion and the conclusions I have drawn, December has left me with a set of unanswered questions. Why did the insurgents themselves extinguish the flame so quickly? Why was the December experience not used to build a revolutionary front to overthrow the world of exploitation in the following years, when the economic crisis was taking on social characteristics? I carry a big WHY the whole country did not burn when a few months later the same mercenary army executed our comrade combatant Lambros Founta. But above all the biggest WHY lies in the kinetic impossibility to find a fighting member to water the flower of the loss of our comrade Alexandros with the dirty blood of Korcones and Saraliotis. And every day that passes and these two are still alive is another dark page in the revolutionary calendar.
So in memory of our comrade Alexandros, in the struggles he did not get to live but shines from up there along with the other stars in our own sky.
Thanos Xatziagkelou captured member of Anarchist Action organization
Fourth Ward, Korydallos Prison
|Thanos Xatziagkelou, is arrested on February 18, 2022 and charged with the arson attack against the Foundation for National and Religious Reflection.|