Letter from the three accused of the robbery in Evia, central Greece

We are witnesses of a key historical development, of a new even more devastating world unfolding in front of us. The so-called capitalist crisis and the merciless pillage that follows it, signal a new phase of the metropolitan war and its two devastating aspects. Violence and violence; ideological violence, repressive violence. We speak of a new phase of war exactly because we perceive the era that preceded the crisis equally barbarian and flattening. It was that unforgettable era of “affluence”, which prefaced insidiously and patiently what we live today. It was a continuous “low intensity” war, which during two decades managed to extend itself by handing out dreams, illusions and ideology.

Lending, as the last “invention” in order to extend the lifetime of the developed capitalist world, was not only the yuppies, their statistics and their numbers. It was also those. Mainly however it was the ideological promotion of the then modern way of life through loans, which penetrated, determined and mutated the total of social relations. It was the language of dominion and its advertisements. It was the cynicism and the stepping-on- dead-bodies hunt for happiness, which transformed the metropolis in to immense theatres of war. The triptych of force, wealth and power, which had to be achieved by any means, was glorified by all classes in all aspects of social life and paved a guilt-free path for a continuous crime to be perpetrated against the “others”. The invisibles, the outcasts, the poor, the immigrants. A barbaric mass within which, isolated and against all others, one could consume, exploit, manage, have fun and rape without qualms. It was the era of everything’s allowed. However, it was on loan and as everything, so this must come to its end.

The dawn of this new era carries with it poverty, misery and prohibitions. It is the era of voidness, which spits in the face of those who live with illusions. And now what? Now that there is nothing left for them to promise, they will only order. The language of dominion drips blood and the rhetoric with which the sweeping social transformations are promoted as an essential condition for countering the crisis, is a rhetoric of war. Direct, violent and merciless. The declaration of a “state of emergency” and the obligation to obey whatever is demanded by the “national interest”, leave no room for misinterpretation. We are at war. The state is fortifying itself by setting up an immense wall of protection around it. Because it knows that even though it still survives-the leftovers of the “affluence” of the previous decades-, even though still individuation and fatalism absorb dissatisfaction, even though still we “from bellow” have not constituted a solid antagonistic force, the moment when the accumulated rage will be expressed is not far off. And then it will explode. Even if it is a dead-end and full of contradictions it will explode. And the strikes that are being criminalized, the terror-laws that are being upgraded, the urban disturbances and the army that is being trained, the apparatus and the budgets that are being approved, the cities, the neighborhoods, the houses, our own lives that are being surrounded, prove this to us.

In this setting, the prosecution, the arrest and the imprisonment of those who fight are inevitable. Because it is now that they must, by striking us, spread the fear in those that are already thinking and are ready to act, because it is now that they must demonstrate their supposed omnipotence, because it is now that they must declare every form of struggle as futile and leading nowhere.

We find ourselves under attack, therefore, because without a doubt it is what our era dictates. This might make us vulnerable and exposed; however in no case does it make us victims. Rather the opposite. This is why we speak of choices and awareness of the struggle. For the awareness that from the moment you begin to fight, that you take your life back into your own hands, you cease perceiving yourself as a victim. Never again. Definitively. We therefore say again, we are at war. And with this as a fact we will recount our story.

On Friday 17th of September and at a long distance away from Psahna Evia, where previously a robbery had taken place at the local branch of the National bank of Greece, cops arrest us and lead us to the Artakis police station. While there is no evidence that connects us with this particular robbery, it is the police ID verification that reveals our “identity” and gives a specific turn to events. It is our arrests in the past for hostilities against the regime, which constituted the “indisputable” evidence of our involvement in this case. Our direct transport to the Halkida station and the cops’ persistent focus on our past during the interrogations, were indicative of their intentions. And since our presence in the wider area of the robbery on its own was not enough, the evidence had to be invented. What else therefore, than the ridiculous testimonies of some snitches-residents of the area, that “recognize” walking styles, watch brands, labels on jackets and other imaginative things that were dictated to them by the agents of Halkida, in anguish to fulfill the mission that was assigned to them by their superiors from GADA (central police headquarters in Athens) At this moment three of us are accused and two of us imprisoned based on, strikingly obvious, unsubstantiated charges.

We could denounce the police arbitrariness against us and make pleas of innocence. However for us words are not neutral. They are charged with meanings and rationales. They constitute entire worlds that are occasionally completely hostile to each other. Words are therefore in conflict. What does it mean in our strange times to denounce arbitrariness? For us it means nothing else but an indirect faith in the monopoly of laws. A consensual admission, that arbitrariness is not in the nature of the system, but a making of certain corrupted persons and perjurers. It is a disorientating tactic that skillful directs the problem away from the root. To revelations, scandals, isolated incidents. The system in its entirety is a criminal machine and violence and only violence is the oil that maintains it. Whoever still continues to ignore this, is either suspect or purposely turns a blind eye.

We will not focus therefore on the cops that “exaggerated”, on the public prosecutors that “acted with arbitrariness”, on the journalists that “misinformed”. What we seek also through our own story is to describe the modern terms of submission. To expose to common view these small stories that compose the whole of the barbarian world that surrounds us. Let each person take a position on them. We took ours. We demand the withdrawal of all charges against us and our immediate release, without begging for anything. We are not victims, we are a part of our choices. For all that we did, for what we didn’t have time to do, for other things that we left behind. No one should look for “innocents” among us. We have been for a long time on the side of the repeatedly “guilty”. We are next to the poordevils, the immigrants, the outlaws, the robbers, the “terrorists”. And we will remain here.

For the before, for the present and for ever.

Alexandros Kossivas, Michalis Traikapis

(imprisoned in the 1st wing of Koridalos prisons)

Maria Ekonomou

(accused for the same case)


About Yiannis Skouloudis

Yiannis Skouloudis was arrested by the cops on the 13th of October 2010 in the city of Thessaloniki, following the arson of a power company (DEI) vehicle. After his remand, he claimed -through a letter from prison- responsibility for the arsonist attack. The authorities also issued a warrant of arrest for four of his comrades. On the 13th of January 2011 the 4 fugitives (Dimtsiadis D., Tsilianidis M., Fessas D. and Tzifkas S.) are arrested in Athens.

On March 22, 2012 the court case of Y. Skouloudis, , Sokratis Tzifkas, Babis Tsilianidis, Dimitris Dimtsiadis, Dimitris Fessas regarding the arson of a power company (DEI) vehicle starts in Thessaloniki. From the first day, Yiannis Skouloudis, Sokratis Tzifkas, Babis Tsilianidis, Dimitris Dimtsiadis did not appear in court, refusing the whole process. The court, after a short recess, continues on March 26. Finally, the court decision was: Y. Skouloudis 5 years and 5 months imprisonment; Babis Tsilianidis, Dimitris Dimtsiadis 2 years and 10 months imprisonment (suspended sentence); Sokratis Tzifkas, Dimitris Fessas 2 years and 5 months imprisonment (suspended sentence).

Y. Skouloudis, having served 2/5 of his sentence, was released on 23/6/2012

The other 4 comrades, although receiving a suspended sentence, continue to be in remand in Diavata and Koridallos prisons, as they will have to face another trial in Athens, accused of participation in a “terrorist organization”.

Letter from Thodoris Delis

“Liberty is indivisible; one cannot curtail a part of it without killing all of it.”

For the past month-and-a-half, I’ve been experiencing the “marvelous hospitality” of Greek prisons. My voyage began with an inexplicably lengthy stay in the dungeons of Rhodes, my next stop was the transfer office on Petrou Ralli Street in Athens, and I ended up (at least for now) in Alikarnassos Prison on the island of Crete. Although I’ve been inside for too short a period of time to make sweeping generalizations, I’d still like to contribute my limited experiences to this very important project of creating a publication exclusively dedicated to the words of prisoners themselves.

Conditions in the dungeons of Rhodes were literally inhuman. Nevertheless, to seek freedom is strongly instinctive, and I therefore longed to glimpse a sliver of sky through a window somewhere. But I soon learned that windows are considered a kind of luxury. The cells were very small, and it was a struggle to breathe because a number of people had to fit into just a few square meters. There wasn’t enough room to sleep, and apart from the stifling conditions, the mattresses were stained with the urine and excrement of drug addicts, thus posing an obvious risk of infectious disease. I myself, for example, managed to stay awake for 36 hours because I additionally had to withstand incessant interrogation. With all this, plus the summer heat and lack of ventilation, I think each one of you can easily imagine the tragedy of the situation. Of course, I expected nothing better with regard to food, and it didn’t take long to confirm my suspicions. The meal given to us once a day was impossible to eat. Exhaustion and malnutrition were everyday phenomena.

Like I said, the next stop was the transfer office in Athens. There I managed to see the people closest to me, and thus steel my courage for the days to come. To my ears, “a visit” sounded magical, and seeing my people was the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me at the time, given how important the support of comrades and relatives is for a prisoner.

Then I was suddenly transferred to Alikarnassos Prison. Conditions there were just as harsh, and this soon sparked a prisoner uprising. There are cells, like mine, in which there is no toilet, meaning that many prisoners sometimes go as long as 13 hours without being able to meet their basic physiological needs. The size of the cells is roughly 10 square meters. Within are two to three people plus about 40 cockroaches, not counting other insect species, which naturally don’t leave you or your food in peace, resulting in frequent fights that we prisoners seem to be winning, for now. In addition, the “competent authorities” often prohibit certain products, even essentials like toilet paper and underwear. And finally, the meals consist of vegetables that look like surplus from the German occupation, and maybe some meat that seems a bit fresher—we’re guessing from the Junta era.

In this kind of atmosphere, and because a prisoner almost died recently thanks to the usual negligence of the jailers, the Alikarnassos prisoners rebelled on September 16. Considering that there are enormous differences in the “ethical,” economic, and political standards of prisoners here, the large scale and collective nature of the rebellion came out of nowhere. Particularly important during the events was the immediate response from comrades who, upon hearing news of the uprising, came from Heraklion by motorcycle to hold a solidarity demonstration. All prisoners feel the need for that kind of support and solidarity activity, and we saluted the initiative together. During the rebellion, there was no prisoner committee to make decisions or play ringleader. An informal assembly was held immediately, which essentially handled discussions with legal authorities, and all the prisoners were present during negotiations. It’s worth emphasizing that the mutual respect among prisoners stood out as the fundamental element of the uprising, as we all realized the urgency of solving vital problems in a dignified way. Finally, it’s important to mention that Albanian prisoners also took part in the rebellion en masse, despite the predominance of blatant racism against them here, due to—like they say—“things that happened in the past.” And the racism continues to this day: They have a separate yard and their cells are in another wing.

To conclude this letter, I want to salute all those who are doing the right thing, putting aside political and personal differences to support all political prisoners and prisoners in struggle. There’s a pressing need to understand that such nastiness is inappropriate, since we’re all facing similar situations. Finally, I unequivocally declare that I will keep fighting from inside the dungeons of democracy—continuously, intransigently, and irrevocably, just like I did when I was on the outside.



Thodoris Delis
Alikarnassos Prison
October 4, 2010