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Sunday 5 December 2010

FOR DECEMBER. Giannis Dimitrakis

Yiannis Dimitrakis

Memories that need to be recalled, emotions and images. All of them exiled and buried deep in the depths of the soul and the mind. It’s a painful procedure to describe how you experienced a situation in which you weren’t present but your whole being raged to be there.
The murder of a child and the fragile and hollow social balance tumbles down like a house made of cards. The mass media are late to realize the magnitude of the chain reactions that the death of Alexandros Grigoropoulos will unleash and the first clashes with the pigs in uniform on the dawn of December 7th are considered the beginning and the end of a small and anticipated protest. The next hours and days will prove otherwise.
In the background of an insurrection and around it, a different and parallel reality, in its own space/time, exists and takes breaths. It listens carefully to the beats of a society that is awake from its slumber and desperately seeks to join it, in a common course. It is my own, personal, individual reality. Wrapped in a shroud for the last three years, “protected” by bars, walls and CCTV, and although it has had its own small insurrections-breaks of illegality and of abolition of everyday normality behind the prison walls nonetheless it lusts for freer, more comradely, more incendiary moments to clash with the existent.
My operational inability in transferring the external reality to the prison body, infecting it with the insurrectional virus tuning in also other individuals to the rhythm of a generalized clash against those who hold life tied in chains, creates disappointment and sadness. The apparent, personal defeat against the prison, the communication bridges with the fellow prisoners that are already dissolving or have already long ago crumbled, the emotional charge with everything that is happening out there leads me with mathematical precision to complete isolation.
Confined within the confined, the evening of December 7th I lay empty and breathless in the detention cell of some prison, trying to understand how I ended up thrown away in a wet and filthy dungeon as a hunger striker demanding my transfer to another hellhole(!) while outside the walls all my friends, acquaintances, comrades are living days of unparalleled magic. The magic that life has when you arm yourself and together with others you attempt the impossible, the ideal, the oneiric. When you allow a rush of emotions to overflow which are then transformed into energy and action.
Four walls, a disciplinary cell, dark and cold, with two squalid mattresses thrown on the filthy floor, without natural light and with a yellow lamp that is slowly frying the last of your brain functions. And, as a topping off to the ill-favored and martyric scenery the endless and unbearable irony of getting a television in the middle of the cell, with the “possibility” it provides to observe from nearly a breath away the fires, the street clashes and everything taking place, a friendly nearly comradely being that commands the mind and the soul to a one and only duty. To stare with absolute devotion at every image it projects and to listen to every upstart screaming like a hysteric about the ordeals and the end of the world possibly coming after the days of December or every wishy-washy attempting to find a psychological alibi for the insurgents in order to demonstrate his philanthropic understanding but of course also his disagreement with acts of “blind violence”.
It is certain that if my punishment for transgressing the laws and moral codes of this society could have a metaphysical texture, this would have been my own individual eternal hell. The posthumous cauldron deriving from a fictitious christian inspiration in which I will stew in repayment for my mortal sin. The sin of walking in streets of liberation. Streets of self-knowledge and self-consciousness.
To be bound down to a standstill by the weight of personal and other bonds, to adopt the role of a spectator without having a choice, at the same time that you would sell your soul to the devil to be free, participating in an endless festival of fire, is a torture that is difficult to match even if it does not entail physical pain.
A knot in the throat, a tight feeling in the stomach and a tidal wave of emotions shaking me violently whenever I share the ecstasy, the joy, the intensity and the anguish of comrades who in those days were a part of this insurrection. Moments immersed in contradiction. The deceptive feeling of living the lives of others is completely stripped naked and I am brought back to the harsh reality, where action defines life.
Every memory from those days an open wound and the pain festers in silence. It’s been years now that my eyes can’t shed any tears, only black clouds shadow my face every time that like a castaway on a desert island I look into the distant horizon at another ship passing me by.
With comradely greetings
Yiannis Dimitrakis

A communication from the Assembly for Solidarity (Athens)

It's been more than four years since the morning of January 16th 2006, when the anarchist Giannis Dimitrakis was arrested, heavily wounded by police fire, after a robbery at a branch of the National Bank in the center of Athens.
From the very first moment a storm of constructed information broke out, systematically supplied by the police and readily carried out by the mass media. The police constructed "the gang of robbers in black," so that other comrades could be named as members, to which was attributed a string of robberies but also a close association to armed revolutionary groups, and then it was proclaimed that the whole of the anarchist- anti-authoritarian movement is closely connected to organized crime !!
Gianni's arrest, the slander and the manhunt unleashed against his three supposed accomplices (which were later on declared wanted for astronomic rewards) - four comrades known for their many years of political activity - on the one hand aims for their legal annihilation and on the other, promotes a holistic plan of stripping of meaning and criminalization of anarchists, anti-authoritarians and class struggle. Because of his political identity, the state moved with rage against him from the first moment.
Parallel to the crescendo of misinformation and impression creating by the media, the district attorney tried to interrogate him in the emergency room while he was bedridden and under pharmaceutical influence. The charges against him were based on the "anti-terror" law and enriched with six unsolved robberies, attempted manslaughter and money laundering. He was probably the first man in custody to be held at Malandrino maximum security prison, which is intended to hold convicts only, while attacks by prison guards, vindictive transfers and disciplinary sentences, the exhausting sentence of the first trial (an unheard of for a robbery sentence of 35 years) and the provocative deprivation of basic rights for the preparation of his defense at the court of appeals supplement the oppressive aggressiveness against him.
In these extreme conditions, the comrade defended from the beginning his choice to expropriate a bank, without statements of remorse and with clarity as towards his motives and intentions. He gave meaning to his act as a moment in his critique and action against the system of wage slavery and exploitation, against the antisocial role of the banks and as a part of the polymorphic social struggle.
urthermore, in the wretched reality of the prisons, he stood dynamically and with dignity from the beginning. He participated in all of the prisoner's struggles happening the past years in Greece. Advancing to hunger strikes and abstinence from the prison meals - despite the permanent health problems given him by the cop's bullets - showing his solidarity for his fellow prisoners and fighting for the terms of his survival and existence in the difficult position of imprisonment. Along with other imprisoned anti-authoritarians he was an interactive channel of communication with the grandiose prisoner's movements in the fall of 2008.
All these reasons - and because Giannis Dimitrakis and the other three anarchists are some of us, comrades and co fighters in the diversity of the struggles for freedom - fired off a mass of actions of solidarity and political defense for them in many cities in Greece. From the posters, texts and brochures to the flyers, banners and slogans on walls and from the attack actions against banks, other economic targets or government vehicles to the massive presence of people at the public events in the amphitheaters, the march in the center of Athens and the demonstrations outside of the prisons of Malandrino, Koridallos, Neapolis and Alikarnasso, the anarchists and anti-authoritarians made clear the way in which they respond to their comrades being held hostage by the state.
For active solidarity to Giannis Dimitrakis!
With comradely greetings,
Assembly for Solidarity (Athens)

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