Letter from Christos Politis

Thessa 2003

Letter from imprisoned comrade Christos Politis, one of the 6 arrested on the 4th of December during a widespread anti-terrorist operation

Some very first thoughts on my detention:

1. This letter does not constitute an overall political analysis of the anti-terrorist operation which began on December 4th, but rather a first political reading of my detention; of its meanings and wider aims.


2. It is a fact that I find myself in prison exactly because I am an anarchist; because for 15 years now I am continuously active through this radical political element. A reading of the legal documents of my case, together with the cynical statement by the chief of the greek police – that I was arrested because I was released in the High-court case*- are indisputable proof of this. I find myself locked up here, and I am deeply convinced of this, for our reactions to the murder of Christoforos Marinos in ’96, for the barricades outside the examination centres in ’98, for the anti-war demonstrations in ’99, for the demonstrations against the european leaders’ summit in Thessaloniki in 2003, for the student protests in ’06-’07, for our solidarity to the prisoners’ struggles and to all those prisoners who refuse to bow their head, for the December insurrection, for…, for… For being everywhere, with our smaller or larger forces, where nothing seemed certain and social entropy gave again a meaning to our lives and strength to our struggles.


3. On the 4th of December we were taken to police headquarters together with my friend and comrade Kostas Barlis, from outside a café in Exarchia by police officers from the Delta force and the antiterrorist unit. My friend is released approximately 16 hours later. I am handed the report of my arrest 26 hours after I was taken in. And then the madness begins. Because if during the last period we can see in a series of cases the criminalization of relationships of friendship and comradeship, in my case they can’t even “invoke” that. I am in prison for a case in which I do not even know my fellow accused. No witnesses recognize me, no police officers are claiming that I met with anyone of my fellow accused, none of the phone taps have a mention of my name and as far as the search carried out in my house the only thing worth mentioning is that they stole my shaving machine, so also my DNA (I will note that this is not even mentioned in the confiscation report). However, according to the antiterrorist unit the first “incriminating” evidence was that on the night of November 24th they saw me moving parallel to Praxitelous street in Piraeus. So what if on Iroon Politehniou street, three side-streets down the road, is were my attorney’s office is situated. So what if I paid him a visit that night as in a few days I had to present myself to the interrogator in regards to the High-court case. The second “indisputable” piece of evidence is that I had a drink in Exarchia, the area in which I socialize with dozens of people everyday, with an “unknown person” who according to the antiterrorist unit had eaten earlier a souvlaki with one of my fellow accused. Each can come to their own conclusion. Of course, for that whole week that I was kept in the antiterrorist division I remained isolated in a 1by3 cell, without a window and with the light constantly switched on. And then came the pre-determined decision for my detention and not only that but in Grevena. Grevena is a high-security prison where only long-term convicts are held and not those accused pending trial, plus it is situated 500km away from Athens, making any communication with friends, comrades, family and lawyers almost impossible.


4. The two very serious prosecutions against me within the space of two weeks and my detention should not spread confusion and be considered only as a continuous effort for me personally to be placed in a regime of suffocative control. On the contrary, this whole setting of extermination lies in the heart of modern repressive policy; in the heart of a multilevel plan aiming at the intimidation and the imposing of discipline on the new “dangerous classes” and the neutralization of the regimes’ political rivals. Aiming at the stultification, in other words, of the projects of self-activity, direct action, solidarity and the struggle for the re-appropriation of life; at the undermining of the anarchist and anti-authoritarian dynamic inside social fermentations. So that the recent general strike and the dynamic demonstrations of December 15th last for only a day, so that resistance is devalued, those in struggle are scorned, Keratea becomes simply an area a little outside of Athens, December is forgotten and celebrated like the 17th of November. And for the kingdom of death and order to be established, for the victorious attack of the capitalist world to triumph, it is necessary to multiply all those that find themselves targeted. The penal spectrum must be widened and legal concepts must be expanded with a permanent character of intentional vagueness; to lose every meaning or rather, even better, to acquire their full meaning with the enforcement of a state of emergency. Without any reserve, the interrogators and the prosecutors keep proving that their only preoccupation is how to crush the enemy within. And after, it’s the turn of the monotony of the correctional facilities and the pure, raw violence of incarceration.


5. The fabricated and canalized prosecutions based on the scenarios and fixations of the antiterrorist unit resemble cluster bombs. They aim somewhere in order to strike in a large radius around them, to destroy a wider area. This prosecution is not about me personally. This prosecution wants to instill fear in everyone. To make us cautious with who we talk. With who we go fly-posting. With whom we bring out a pamphlet. With whom we walk side by side in demonstrations. With who we exchange points of view at different events. And of course where we go. To infuse our everyday life with suspicion and fear. The clerks of the troika offer us generously the permanent “alibi” of obedience, a transient security and the false certainty of submission. Because who will dispute, without making a complete fool of themselves, that if we wanted nothing, if we were anarchists until we finished high-school, if we were “relieved” with the signing of the memorandum, if we hated immigrants, if we were fuming against the koukouloforoi (hooded-ones), if we were in fear of the “terrorists” neither myself nor many others who resist would have suffered the consequences of repression.  6. The struggle, however, will not retreat. The regime and its various officials will never feel neither joy nor relief. We stand by the imprisoned anarchists, the prisoners in struggle. Until their liberation. We continuously contribute to the –theoretical and organizational- composition of our class and we develop the necessary strategic planning for achieving its victory. Let’s stand up. And let us take the next step. For the social/class counterattack. For the proletarian storming of the heavens.  P.S. As a good comrade once said to me: “Patience. Strength. Faith in the cause. We are right. Final.” These words will be my guide in these truly difficult moments. Christos Politis Grevena Prison 16/12/2010 * On May 22nd , 2008 and around noon on the way to get my motorbike which I had left near Panormou metro station I was taken to Police Headquarters where I was asked various questions on my whereabouts the previous night. After some hours I was released. On the previous night an arson attack on vehicles had taken place within the perimeter of the high court of Athens. From this moment in time and onwards published articles start to appear based on police scenarios, which link me in the beginning with the arson attack against vehicles at the high court and later on present me as participating in various organizations and attacks, many times as being a leading figure. Last November they actually reached the point of announcing through the television an arrest warrant against me, which in reality did not even exist. At the same time, for long periods I had visible police surveillance. And the highlight, 2,5 years later I was summoned to defend myself as I was accused for the High court case. Indeed I presented myself to the interrogator on December 2nd and was released (for 2 days!).

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 On Saturday December 4, around 16:00 and while we were sitting with the comrade and friend Christos Politis in a cafeteria in a central area of Exarchia, we became witnesses of a Hollywood-esque police mission. We would soon find out the hard way we were to become co-stars.


 While we were uneasily observing the 20-30 policemen standing close to us and looking at the opposite direction, we decided to leave. To my surprise I saw them moving towards Christos and when I got closer to see what’s going on, they moved towards me too. They forced us to the wall, and they gave no answers to our questions on what’s going on. Amidst protestation from people working in or visiting the area, they lead us cuffed behind our back to Akademias street. There, they put us in a police car and with the company of a noisy convoy of motorbikes and cars they lead us to GADA (Athens Police Headquarters). On the way, a policeman on a motorbike approached the window of the car we were in and, calling us with our last names, he told us we were going to pay for a lot…


 Once we were there (GADA) they lead us to the 12th floor and, following orders of someone they called “chief” they lead us to a room and immediately separated us from each other. I was put in an adjacent room cuffed behind my back, facing the wall, with three hooded men guarding me. In my repeating questions on why was I there, why was I cuffed and if was accused of anything, the only answers I got were “you will see” and “when you’ll be accused of something you’ll be the first to know”. They searched me top to toe for the umpteenth time, they thoroughly noted everything I had on me, subsequently put it in nylon bags and took it away.


 Time was passing by and while I was still getting no answers, at a certain point towards nighttime I heard from a nearby area a newscast talking about arrests (men-women), guns, explosives, terrorist lairs and so on. The scenario that had been already constructed hours before our adduction, was now taking shape.


 Later, while I was still tied up facing a wall and deprived of any communication or eye-contact with anyone, I demanded a chair to at least sit, which they gave me. Some hours later, I heard from outside the room some people saying “let’s see him now”. The door opened, the hooded guards turned me to face it and left. Their place was taken by others who tried to interrogate me. In their typical questions, and in their prompt to make a conversation that “might help me in my present state”, and in their asking me to provide “explanations to ease my situation”, the only answer I gave was that I wanted to know if I was accused of something and talk to my lawyer or otherwise, to be let go. After insisting for a while they commented “he is not cooperating” to each other and left the room. Their place was then taken by a hooded man and a more “pleasant” guy, who suggested I didn’t turn back to the wall and to chat for a bit instead. I gave him the same answer and I turned to the wall myself. Some hours later I heard some voices saying “he is going”. They got in, untied me and said “take your stuff, you’re leaving”. While I was gathering my stuff I repeatedly asked about Christos, for whom they told me he is being held.


 Despite my 16-hours discomfort, the real discomfort began once I left GADA. While the lawyer couldn’t find out if Christos was accused of anything, I began to discover the attack of the media against me during my retention. I learned that I’m extremely “violent”, “blood-thirsty”, “ruthless” and more, according to the media. When I got home I found out that not only a search had been carried out with no witnesses apart from policemen, but also the lock had been changed. Still trying to realize what’s happening, what’s missing from my apartment and what I can do, I learn (from the media again) that my comrade Christos Politis is being charged (with non-existent evidence apparently) as a member of an armed organization, the name and actions of which were not specified. The following day in the court where the arrested of Saturday were being tried, there was a solidarity gathering. There I was informed by lawyers on the      confiscation account on my apartment, which included the following “unspeakable” elements: old photographs, books, a knife inside a black holster with the inscription “Crete”, my computers, as well as a wisp of hair, which I suppose testifies to the fact that I cut my hair myself, and not the desire of the anti-terrorist sector (ATS) to have my DNA spare for any use. After I left the area of the courts, cops were waiting for me by my motorcycle. They stopped me and searched me and to my question “What now?” they told me the officer had something to tell me. After a couple of minutes, while comrades were gathering around me, they let me go. In the following two days, Christos is summarily remanded in custody, making evident that no evidence is needed, apart from the profile that the ATS concoct and leak through their cooperators, the journalists.


 So the more non-existent the evidence, the more shameless the media mendacity that followed. Just like a cesspool exploding, unsigned publications emerged, which present me as a definite member of organizations and “temporarily free”, my house as a terrorist lair, and the ATS at fault for still leaving me wander free. Many comrades are photographed as members of one or another “organization”, completely unsubstantially, arrest warrants are being advertised on newscasts and so, what was already commonplace is being proven yet once more: that blood-thirsty, ruthless, cannibals and henchmen of the mechanisms of the system are the journalists and co., who reproduce this mud.

In a period of political, social and financial crisis, when the certainties provided by the system have collapsed and everything seems possible, the state, by personifying the internal enemy, by intensifying the suppression against the movement, diffuses it into all social levels. Where in the recent past in lack of evidence the state penalized personal relationships and friendships has now begun creating them in order to penalize them.


 And if the state has decided to annihilate its political enemies by fabricating culprits and suspects, the journalists have undertaken the dirty work of slander and social isolation of those who are targeted.


 As of my person, I declare that I am an anarchist and the only “organization” in which I actively participate for years is the one of the social fights which promote friendly relationships, solidarity with the oppressed and the fighters, the self-organizing, the horizontal structures, the clashes for the overthrow of the state and the capital, to the freedom of all of us.



Kostas Mparlis

Eine deutsche Übersetzung des Briefes von Kostas findet sich auf de.indymedia.org: