Greek Anarcho Syndicalist Imprisoned
eugene at tao.ca
Sun Dec 8 18:40:30 MST 2002
Once again it is clear that the reality of the so called war on terror is
actually being used by the state as class war on workers, unions,
immigrants and human rights. Again our solidarity is needed to oppose state
yserifis at mutualaid.org - 16.11.2002
For the restauration of truth and justice in Greek society
THE GHOST OF THE "JUNTA" STRIKES THE AUTONOMOUS WORKERS MOVEMENT - YANNIS
SERIFIS IS ONCE MORE A HOSTAGE OF STATE TERRORISM
On 27 October the Greek state arrested the fighter for social justice,
Yannis Serifis, and sent him to the new "white-cells" of Korydallos prison.
Serifis is 63 years old and is known in Greece as an anti-authoritarian
trade union militant who, during the past 35 years, has taken part in many
struggles, mainly in the name of the autonomous working-class movement.
The magistrates ordered his detention, on the basis of the false claim that
he had confessed to the offences of "participation in a terrorist group"
and "secret possession of weaponry". Following the announcement of the
decision, demonstrators in solidarity with Serifis - members of leftist
groups, members of the "Coalition Against State Terrorism" and anarchists -
came into conflict with the police and one demonstrator was arrested.
In a written declaration distributed before entering the court Yannis
Throughout my case, the authorities have tried to cast aspersions against
all those who took part in the resistance against the military junta
(1967-74), and who - instead of selling out - have chosen to continue to
resist. Their real target is the growing autonomous class movement. They
want to hinder and attack the revolutionary left and the anti-authoritarian
and anarchist movements.
Yannis Serifis must not stand alone against state repression!
This is not the first time Serifis has suffered from state repression. This
time the authorities want him to confess to their false allegations that he
has participated in the organisation known as "Revolutionary Organisation
17th November" ("17N"). The only evidence against him is that he was
mentioned in testimonies of arrested suspects of the "17N".
Years ago, Serifis was accused of attempted sabotage against the AEG
factory, and of killing Christos Kasimis. He was found innocent of these
charges; and at that time there was a strong movement of solidarity with
him. Serifis is, above all, a social fighter. He resists, and speaks out
against, the abuse of authority, and publicly declares his belief in freedom.
Only those who hide their true intentions behind authority and violence can
be afraid of the truth. Such people are behind the well-organised state
attempts to frame social fighters such as Yannis Serifis. They are also
behind the growing suppression recently of social movements in Greece,
which, in turn, relates to US President Bushs so-called war against
If you want to stand by the side of the social fighter Yannis Serifis, and
to act against his unfair imprisonment, please sign our petition:
The signatures will be used in the campaign for Serifiss release and for
the abolition of the "anti-terrorist" law, which gives the power to the
authorities to carry out such inhuman actions.
In his October 2002 statement, Serifis made his own appeal as follows:-
My persecution has a long history and many false accusations against me in
the past have been brought up again in relation to my alleged participation
in the organisation known as "17th November", and other organisations that
have been in the news.
I WOULD LIKE ONCE AGAIN TO STATE UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT I HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP
WITH THESE ORGANISATIONS, AND THAT THEY ARE NO CONCERN OF MINE BECAUSE THEY
ARE IRRELEVANT TO MY POLITICAL BELIEFS, AND TO THE LOGIC UNDERLYING MY
I have been an industrial worker for more than 40 years. My political
statements and activity have always been open, and within the context of
the mass syndicalist movement. I have taken an active part in the
development of a principled and uncompromising autonomous working-class
I am aware that, for 35 years, I have been targeted by those controlling
the machinery of persecution and repression in my country. This has been
the case even while I was for many years an emigrant abroad.
During the 7-year military dictatorship, I was twice sentenced in absentia
for my participation in the resistance organisation "Movement of 20th
October". My personal persecutors were well known in Greece: Hatzizisis,
Adamopoulos, Karathanasis and others.
On the arrival of the post-military government in 1977 I was arrested for
"participation in an attempted bombing action" in the AEG factory, where I
had been working - but was fired after a 77-day strike. In the armed
conflict that took place in AEG the same day, Christos Kasimis was murdered
in cold blood. I was also accused of that. After 15 months in custody I was
declared innocent and released in an atmosphere of mass celebration.
Now the third round is coming. They want me accused of being the main
recruiter and administrator of all the armed organisations and groups in
Greece. They pretend they dont know that, from 1977 onwards, my family and
I have been under close surveillance. The authorities know every step we
take, every move we have ever made. Yet they have found no proof of
anything illegal against me - for the simple reason that there isnt any.
They will never find any, no matter how many "hideouts with arms" they have
or will discover, because I have never been at any of them.
So they are driven to rely on the "testimonies" of other people they have
accused. No one knows under what circumstances these testimonies were
taken, or even if they were taken at all. But they have been used to
fabricate charges against me.
I do not think it is accidental that, at the same time as the American FBI
and CIA opened their doors to the Greek Minister of Public Order, the state
interrogators door was opened to an industrial worker of 40 years
standing, and one who has been under surveillance for 35 years of those
NO MORE! I DONT WANT THEM TO BOTHER ME ANY MORE.
But why me?
· They want to be rid of me and my family because of my disobedience to the
· by attacking me, they want to intimidate all those who played a part in
the struggle against the "Junta" and, refusing to sell out, have continued
with their resistance to injustice since it fell;
· they want to strike a blow against the development of an autonomous
· they want to hinder and silence the revolutionary left, the
anti-authoritarian and anarchist movements.
My plea to all my persecutors and those who slander me is to have me
arrested and tried for what I really am, and not for what they want me to be.
The working class, in which I belong, and with which I have struggled all
these years for the abolition of every social injustice, is now being told
to accept the "reality" of the universal dominion of the "global new
order". The only thing we have left is to answer with irreconcilable,
uniting class struggles.
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