Note: 19 members of the anarchist collective Rouvikonas were arrested in Athens on 26.10.15 for occupying a building that houses the political offices of the far-right Independent Greeks party who are part of the coalition Greek government lead by the so-called ‘radical left-wing’ SYRIZA party. For more on the action that led to the arrests check HERE.
According to an announcement made by the group, the main witness and lawsuit plaintiff was absent and since the squatters demanded the presence of all witnesses, the court is scheduled to convene on November 13th. Panos Kamenos, leader of the far-right Independent Greeks party, not only accused but made a ridiculous claim that the anarchist collective is the ”source of his financial troubles” due to an earlier attempt to occupy the building .
Part of the announcement is as follows:
One of the wealthiest politicians in Greece, responsible for the economic looting of the third memorandum, along with other state actors, is now whining in his deposition and plotting the conviction of 19 people who are not willing to watch the impoverishment of society silently. The comrades asked for all witnesses to be present during the trial and since no one appeared, the hearing is to resume on November 13th 2015. The photos below depict the interior of the building as an answer to the ridiculous articles in the press saying that we occupied the rooftop.
– Anarchist Collective Rouvikonas
PS.1. Panos Kammenos mentions in his deposition that after our previous attempt to occupy the building, the police increased surveillance in the area surrounding the building. In addition to the information network of state security regarding our mobilization, how was the occupation carried out on Monday then?
P.S.2. ”Gangs” are the political parties that voted for memorandum and ”guides” are their political leadership.
Below are translated excerpts of two depositions that differ significantly in terms of their depiction of the occupation, proving that the repression of the anarchist collective is merely another political tactic of criminalization of direct action and protest. The first one is made by the leader of the far-right party Independent Greeks, while the second was the testimony of a witness who remained inside the building during the entire occupation.
P. Kamenos’ deposition
”A few months back I was informed by state security and mass media that members of the anarchist group Rouvikonas were planning to occupy the office of the party and the building on Syngrou avenue. This became widely known later which resulted in the fact that all tenants abandoned the building and existing interests to buy or rent office properties was negatively affected, which created financial troubles for me and my family.
The only storeys functioning is the first, where the HQ of the Independent Greeks party is, the fourth, that is owned by an insurance company and the sixth which is used as an office by my father. Despite the tight security measures of the police, the employees in the building are experiencing feelings of terror and insecurity and many volunteers no longer come to the party’s HQ. In spite of the arrests made as a prevention measure to obstruct the occupation of the HQ, the members of the organization carried out their threat, as they violently removed police and certain employees and took others as hostages for over ten hours inside the building. They vandalized the interior, broke the door and trespassed on the 6th floor, took control of the rooftop and shut down every exit of the building, while citizens were held as hostages.
The life of a claustrophobic employee was in danger since it got to the point where she attempted to jump off a window during a panic attack in order to escape. Fortunately the other hostages prevented her from doing so in the last second.
Serious crimes were committed by this gang created by members of the organization Rouvikonas and with every legal right I am entitled to I am asking their prosecution and civil compensation. The above described events took place at 18:30 on the 26th of October and ended after the intervention of the police at 22:30. Gang leader and organizer is George M. Kalaitzides, who was shouting and screaming ” we will burn you alive you fags”, refusing to co-operate with the police, threatening and causing fear to the hostages. The remaining detainees also took part in the commitment of crimes”.
Private security guard’s deposition
”I am an employee of the management of the building ”Kamenos Mansion” located on 196 Syngrou street and 2 Charokopou street in Kallithea district. At about 18:45, while I was on the mezzanine where the press office of the political party Independent Greeks is located, three men came inside saying the following: ”could you please go outside, the building is being occupied”. I would like to add here that the office door was open and apart from me, a party employee was also there, named Konstantinos Lavidas. So we went down the stairs and headed to the main entrance on the ground floor. Then, since Lavidas took off normally, the approximately 20 people who had already entered into the building used the remote control to close the security shutters of the main entrance. At that moment, Simeonidou Eleni, the last remaining person in the office of the Independent Greeks party was leaving so the people were asked to open the shutters in order for her to depart, which was then done and the same was repeated when employees of the Insurance company ”NN”, located on the fourth floor, wished to leave.
Nevertheless, because the police arrived after a while, the people did not open the shutters again, which resulted in the fact approximately 20 employees of the Insurance Company ”NN”, had to remain in the reception area of the ground floor. Some of these people turned to me and said: ”we are going upstairs to hang a banner and then we are leaving”. Four or five of them climbed the stairs to the first floor which houses the Independent Greeks party office, which is worth noting that it was open, but it was not possible to place the banner through the windows. So they came down the stairs to the ground floor and asked me to open the exit door to the roof top so they could hang the banner there, and confirmed that no damages or violation of any other space would take place. So, along with four or five of these people I went upstairs to the rooftop, I unlocked the door, they went out, hung the banner through the railings on the front side of the building overlooking Syngrou avenue and then they came inside. I locked the door again and we all went down to the ground floor.
After some time, they opened the security shutters so that the employees of the insurance company would leave, but at that time police forces came into the building and led them outside and the building was essentially evacuated. After the people departed, all the areas where these people had access to, the mezzanine, the first floor and the rooftop, were checked by myself and the police. We found that there were no damages caused or any equipment missing and none of the party’s officials reported any such thing to me. The only thing was pamphlets lying around, on the one side of which was written ”RESIST THE NEW MEASURES GET OUT ON THE STREET ANARCHIST COLLECTIVITY ROUVIKONAS” and on the other ”NO NEGOTIATION WITH THE DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL ANARCHIST COLLECTIVE ROUVIKONAS” which they had scattered around. Finally, I am submitting to you one of those pamphlets and the two banners hung on the roof top. One banner has the slogan ”RESIST THE NEW MEASURES EVERYONE OUT ON THE STREET” and the other ”NO NEGOTIATION WITH THE DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL”. I would highlight that I did not endure any form of violence from these people, nor did I witness any such incident against the employees inside the building. I have nothing else to add. I do not wish for anyone to be indicted.”
SOLIDARITY WITH THE 19 MEMBERS OF ANARCHIST COLLECTIVE ROUVIKONAS WHO ARE ON TRIAL!
STOP THE CRIMINALIZATION OF LEGITIMATE RESISTANCE AGAINST THE REPRESSIVE GREEK STATE!