Giannis, who was arrested after being almost killed by cops following a bank robbery in central Athens, has been given a deadly sentence of 25 years. Representatives of the Greek government and bankers have not known tranquil sleep thanks to the solidarity of the anarchists
Anarchist comrade Giannis Dimitrakis was arrested in Athens on January 16, 2006 after being shot and seriously wounded in various parts of his body by cops following a robbery in a bank in the city centre. Three other comrades who managed to get away have been named and also charged with the robbery. 29 year old Giannis spent several months in hospital before being sent to Korydallos prison in Athens and eventually ended up in the grim maximum security prison of Malandrinos in the centre of Greece.
Ever since he was struck and arrested Giannis has been the object of hysterical media sensationalism, referred to as one of a ‘notorious gang of Robbers in Black’. As always in such cases, he was accused of seven other unsolved robberies and even murder, but these charges were later dropped. Ever since his arrest anarchists have demonstrated solidarity with every means possible, meetings, posters, attacks on banks, the media, etc. On March 21 a 2-day discussion, counter-information, video-projection and benefit gig was held in an Athens university that had been squatted for the occasion, in solidarity with Giannis and other anarchist prisoners.
On April 23 a prison revolt broke out in Malandrinos prison after Giannis was attacked by a guard. 200 prisoners armed with metal bars and stones staged a rooftop protest that they kept up for 4 days without food or water. A prison built for 260, packed with 440 prisoners in the scorching heat. There had been no water for four days preceding the mutiny. That night 100 anarchists demonstrated outside the house of the Greek president K. Papoulias in solidarity to Dimitrakis and all the prisoners in revolt that was to spread to another 10 prisons in Greece, supported by hundreds of anarchists in the streets and on demos outside some of the prisons.
The trial was set to start at the beginning of July and extra police were stationed in the centre of Athens in anticipation of passionate manifestations of solidariy to Giannis. In fact, on July 3 the Greek ministry of culture was attacked with molotov cocktails, sticks and stones while the minister Voulgarakis was inside, resulting in one ministerial vehicle being totally destroyed and serious damage to the front of the building. The minister’s bodyguards responded by shooting straight at the comrades who managed to escape unharmed. The attack was claimed in an anoymous phone call to ‘Eleftherotipia’ daily as having taken place in solidarity to G. Dimitrakis. Next day, in Leukosia, Cyprus, cash points of the Bank of Cyprus were destroyed following an attack with gas cannisters, claimed by a ‘Communist Sect’ in solidarity to G. Dimitrakis. In Athens, at 12am, the main building of the National Insurance company and an adjacent conference centre on Syngrou Avenue were attacked with sledge-hammers causing extensive damage. Windows and a cash machine were smashed and paint thrown. Leaflets were scattered and walls were sprayed saying ‘Freedom to Giannis Dimitrakis on trial July 6 for the National Bank robbery’, just after 10am in the centre of Athens, on July 4. At 5pm, a group of anarchists occupied Sport fm radio station and played a pre-recorded 15 minute counter-information cd in solidarity to G. Dimitrakis and other imprisoned anarchists and social fighters. On leaving the radio station 17 comrades were arrested and taken to the Athens police headquarters but were later released without charge. July 5, Athens, 10.05am, in spite of a massive presence of various types of policemen in the area, the bank robbed by Giannis and other comrades was attacked with rocks, heavy sticks, iron bars and red paint by comrades wearing masks and motorcycle helmets. Leaflets in solidarity to Giannis, whose trial was due to begin next day, were scattered. 9 people were held and later released. At the same time the Bank of Cyprus, the Commercial Bank and Piraius Bank were attacked in another part of the city.
On July 9, a branch of the National Bank in Crete was attacked and messages of solidarity to Giannis scattered in leaflets and sprayed on walls.
On July 16, just before midnight, the National Bank in Neo Psychico, north Athens had windows smashed and the building was set on fire.
On July 19, after Giannis Dimitrakis had been sentenced to 25 YEARS, a group of about 15 anarchists wearing masks and helmets attacked branches of Eurobank and National Bank using iron bars, rocks and sticks. During the attacks the comrades scattered leaflets calling for his release.
Just after 11.30pm on Saturday 21 July, an improvised petrol bomb exploded in a parking lot belonging to Piraeus Bank on the eastern outskirts of Athens, damaging around 80 cars. No one was injured in the attack. Police said they were investigating the possibility of the attack being carried out by anarchists in solidarity with Giannis Dimitrakis.
Early in the morning of Monday 30th July damage was done simultaneously to more than ten cash point machines in the town of Hania, Crete. Polyurethane foam was used to block the card slots putting them out of order till the next day. A statement was made that the actions had been done in solidarity with the anarchist Yannis Dimitrakis who had just been sentenced to 25 years for bank robbery. The comrades claimed responsibility by email to the local newspaper in Hania.
Meanwhile the real robbers: the stock exchange, the government, the banks in Greece and all over the world, manned by millions of unquestioning employees and protected by the hired hitmen of the State, carry on robbing and reducing the lives of whole peoples to nothing more than toil and misery.
Freedom to Giannis Dimitrakis!