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)
(accused for the same case)