We are witnessing a process of intense social transformation, a savage restructuring of capitalism. The working rights achievements, the fake welfare and the consumerism privileges that extracted the social consent during the post-dictatorship era vanish rapidly, leading inevitably to states of social polarization. The terms under which class antagonism takes place quickly revert to those existing in previous periods and the reality surrounding us seems like coming out from another era, that one of the post Civil War and dictatorship’s ‘plaster’ years. As then, repression becomes the main means used by the regime to impose its acceptance. While the control of the social explosion remains the overall goal of repression, the radical movement becomes its immediate recipient. Due to its dangerousness of being a necessary, though not sufficient, condition to trigger the social rage. Due to the fact that its fragments/parts propose, through time and far from illusions, the reality of social war and bear the corresponding battles. Thus, the new terms of repression, the dense net of surveillance and monitoring, the higher levels of criminal severity, the manipulation resulting in a wide hostage condition, are pointed primarily towards this milieu.
Nevertheless, these conditions apart from being hard, may prove beneficial for the revolutionary perspective. Those who realize the potentials hidden in the current conjuncture, should though not remain mere witnesses of the procedure but organize its subversion. Organizing involves the creation of material infrastructure and the development of structures that will need to deal with real problems. Therefore, the existence of imprisoned comrades poses an urgent need to support them in a responsible and coherent way. Apart from the various actions of political solidarity, highlighting and bringing to public the various cases, it is additionally required to ground solidarity in its material dimension. It is necessary, namely, the function of a structure that ensures the conditions of a decent living for the imprisoned comrades, beyond the narrow limits of the personal relationships but on the basis of a collective dynamic that is characterized by revolutionary features.
So the solidarity fund was established in 2010, during a coercive conjuncture in which dozens of anarchists were imprisoned for various cases. The main goal that has been set since the beginning, was to cover the struggling prisoners’ real needs for subsistence. Since then, the recipient of the money raised are comrades who, for one, were arrested or prosecuted for their involvement in social struggles, their revolutionary choices and their subversive activity, and for other, defend themselves in such a way that confirms their position in a movement that is fighting against brutality and alienation in different ways, from different origins and by any means. The structure also concerns those accused for the case of the revolutionary organization “17th of November”, who are imprisoned since 2002 in the special wards of Korydallos, and have demonstrated militant attitude as well as an interest and desire for contact. At this point it should be mentioned that for various, either political or personal, reasons some of the detainees have chosen not to participate and not to rely on the structure of the fund. Besides, solidarity is a relationship in which we vindicate mutual acceptance and bidirectional intention to communicate. However, without seeking for political identification, we recognize that those who are fighting against the existing social system with undoubtedly subversive intentions, are entitled certainly not to our unconditional acceptance, but to our sincere support. Last but not least, our common desire to contribute effectively in spreading the word of prisoners still remains, the result of which are the issues of the ‘Demolish the Bastille’ zine, consisting entirely of their own texts. Based on the above, the constant function of the fund was initiated and continues.
The whole structure is based on the function of autonomous assemblies, these being geographically defined. All meetings are open, operate horizontally and all decisions are taken collectively. Comrades from each assembly involve in the overall coordination of the nationwide meeting, taking place mainly in Athens but also in other cities, when possible. Alongside, different subgroups manage the website (https://tameio.espivblogs.net/), where updates on the cases of imprisoned militants are posted, edit the publication of the zine “Break down the Bastille”, manage the fund’s contributions and, finally, run initiatives to raise money through various activities.
The money collected each month derive from regular individual and/or collective contributions, from collective initiatives such as concerts or events, while positive approach and support receive also side initiatives, such as the publication and distribution of books and other pamphlets of political content, the equivalent of which is reserved to cover the cost of issuing and supporting the fund.
Thus, during the two years operation of the fund, dozens of imprisoned militants, were able to cope with the adverse daily life in prison. Although the number of detained militants has fortunately decreased compared to the one in 2010, there are still comrades who are serving sentences and need the basics, while the overall intensive context of police and judicial repression and vengeance describes a situation in which, unfortunately, the arrests and detentions will not be missing. Consequently, the solidarity fund for imprisoned and persecuted militants, remains a movement’s vital infrastructure.
Furthermore, during the last period the intensity of repression includes massive arrests and prosecutions of people involved in social struggles and movement’s activities, and therefore their financial surcharge through bail, imposed to avoid pre-trial detention. In such occasions, where there is a race in order to obtain the money, comrades have applied to the solidarity fund to assist in this necessity. The assembly of the fund has been many times confronted with this issue, namely whether some of the money collected for the detainees may be even temporarily bound in order to cover the bail of prosecuted comrades. Moreover, the reasoning according to which covering guarantees as a way to prevent the burgeoning number of imprisoned comrades, which in turn would require, at a multiple degree, a consistent and long-term support of them, does not seem absurd at all.
Notwithstanding, the-economic-reality is relentless for us all. As “difficult” as it is not to assist in covering the bail money of some comrades, so too is the fact that the financial support to prisoners, whose reality is much more relentless, should be given the next or the following month. For all the above reasons, since neither the prisoners can be forgotten nor comrades’ bails can be ignored, the assembly of the solidarity fund decided to establish a side fund. This side reserve will collect 10% of the total monthly contributions and will firstly be used solely to cover needs arising from mass arrests and prosecutions related to the movement’s activity and always with the implicit proviso that these amounts will be returned after the prosecution has ended in order to be used again in the same way. This choice is of course not related to an overrating of such cases over others, where the number of prosecuted is smaller. It results from the high difficulty to obtain large amounts of money, a procedure far beyond the capacity corresponding to individual collectives and narrow fellow cycles. Finally, note that in cases where comrades are willing to contribute only to that side bails’ fund and not to the rest of the functions of the structure, this could only be respected.
However, the prospects of this project do not stop there. Expecting to see the dynamics that this structure will evolve on its further development and provided that the number of all those who support it will increase, we have additional objectives such as the widening of the circle of the supported ones by involving more prisoners in struggle: people whose offenses are not contrary to our own values, as well as those whose attitude during their captivity is marked by dignity and struggling choices. Moreover, we would be interested to connect with immigrants, imprisoned in concentration camps, who are persecuted for their combative attitude inside them and against them. Last but not least, remains within our goals the prospect to cover judicial costs (legal fees, bail applications, etc.) as much of the already imprisoned comrades as of those who are persecuted for their involvement in social struggles without necessarily the prosecution carrying a prison sentence.
This process has already been experimentally implemented in cases of imprisoned comrades, in the form of temporary covering of such needs in an emergency case and after responsible pledge for the on time return of the amount, so that its further functions are not blocked, provided the fund’s reserve does not run under a limit of being capable to support the prisoners for the next two months period.
Finally, we want to point out that the solidarity fund is not established with the aim to replace individual funds or fundraising initiatives created to support specific cases. It is not willing to act contrary to any other similar structure, but instead wants to develop relations of communication and coordination with them. It doesn’t wish to monopolize the solidarity issue or the activism choices of its participants, since we conceive its position to the overall struggle as another tool and not as an end in itself. On the contrary, the fund hopes to be a struggle and organization proposal, which will evolve dialectically with other structures that our times demand to be developed.
for further information on the fund’s activities and contact info of the imprisoned militants or the fund’s assemblies:
or via post:
PO Box: 1571
Απο τις 11/11/12 λειτουργεί το blog “Υστερόγραφα μιας σκευωρίας”, με ηλεκτρονική διεύθυνση: http://astop.espivblogs.net
Το blog αυτό θα φιλοξενεί κείμενα που αφορούν την υπόθεση του και κυρίως κείμενα που στοχεύουν σε μία, όσο είναι δυνατόν, διεξοδικότερη περιγραφή της συνθήκης του εγκλεισμού.