Received on 16.01.18:
Responsibility Claim for the Bomb Attack on the Athens Appeals Court
Bourgeois Justice, a Weapon in the hands of Capital
“Justice is like a snake. It bites only the barefooted.”
In the years of the memorandum, capital has found in bourgeois “justice” a prop with a special role and active participation in the constant and barbarous antisocial assault we are experiencing. Naturally, this does not happen by chance, instead it stems from its own institutional and class nature. We must remove from bourgeois “justice” the halo of
“neutrality” and “the common interest of the whole society” that has been given to it by the dominant ideology and to see its role in real life. This is not for philological purposes, but because we know well that in the class war that is constantly raging the battle of ideas is a material battle. The overthrow of bourgeois ideology is yet another revolutionary task.
The dominant ideology identifies the will and the interests of a handful of plutocrats with the general will of the whole of society. But in reality, bourgeois justice is one of the components of the exploitative capitalist mode of production and is under the full possession of the owners of the means of production. The exploiters, the industrialists,
the shipowners, the plutocrats and the guard dogs are protected by “Justice” out of its generosity. As a special bureaucratic coercive mechanism, the main goal is to impose the class power of the bourgeoisie, to shield and safeguard its collective interests and to
consolidate its dictatorship (under the mantle of parliamentary democracy). In short, “Justice” is not blind but wears class glasses.
On the other hand, there are some aspects that may create confusion about the class nature of bourgeois “justice” and obscure its real role by presenting it as a neutral arbitrator. The internal contradictions of the dominant bourgeois bloc (e.g the government’s conflict with the judiciary over its salary or other issues) may lead to the illusion that a “Clean Hands” party, as with Di Pietro, of “honest judges” will bring
salvation from corrupt civilian personnel. Or, at a more structural level, the reflection in Law itself (and in its practical application) of the correlation of power between the classes and the incorporation in it of certain conquests of the subordinate classes can spread the illusion and false hope to large parts of society that some honest Tertsetis [an ‘honest judge’ of the early Greek state] are enough to save the people by removing the memorandums through the court. Clearly, we do not underestimate any conquest of the oppressed, even when it occurs in an already mined and structurally hostile legal construct, since each (even a small) victory in the field of law is a crystallization in the
legal form of the unceasing class struggle. We have to guard every conquest and not underestimate it because we are playing away from home on the enemy’s field. On the other hand, the fetishism of lawfulness that submerges its poison into the masses is an obstacle to the development of the class movement and must be resolutely dealt with as
an enemy. Not only because it moves within the predominant bourgeois ideology but also because it sabotages our class interests in practice, spreading in the first place pacifistic delusions and frightful hopes and finally disappointment and resignation. The exploited can only respond to the brutal violence they receive with just popular counter-violence and collective disobedience. Only the class organization and the actual questioning of the state monopoly on violence can stand as a real barrier to the furious attack of the memorandum. Any hope of delegation is disorienting and hostile and must be hit ideologically and politically.
Bourgeois justice not only cannot stand by the people being tested, but by its own institutional nature in periods of capitalist crisis such as today, it further deepens its reactionary, anti-labor and antisocial role. In spite of any (rare) and pro-popular decisions taken by the lower tiers of the judiciary, both the general framework of bourgeois justice and the central direction of its application are directly defined by the class interests of capital as the legal expression and realization of exploitation relationships. At the same time, the hierarchical dependence of the higher tiers of the judiciary on the narrow core of the state apparatus (executive power) limits its relative autonomy, which in formal bourgeois ideology appears as a “separation of powers”. Higher tiers, such as the Areios Pagos[High Court] and the Council of State, which form the case law and the broader framework of legal policy disseminated at the existing levels, are appointed directly by the government. Thus, despite the moaning of the institutions of the judiciary, such as the Union of Judges and Prosecutors, who had the audacity to issue a hypocritical announcement last year against the continuing memorandum and the anti-social insurance law passed by the SYRIZA / ANEL coalition, the very class position of judges, the pre-determined bourgeois nature of the justice they apply, and their hierarchical dependence on their executive power places it opposite the proletariat.
That is why the Council of State, in the name of “protection of the public interest”, legitimized the memoranda and the bleeding of the social majority to protect the interests of the respected bandits of usury. Imperialist dependence, generalized poverty and the decimation of society, the plunder of public property, and the theft of social wealth by the vultures of international and domestic capital, are nothing more than the “protection of the public interest” to the Council of State.
The same Council of State judged lawful and constitutional the wage and pension cuts for fiscal adjustment reasons, proving once again that the judiciary as a whole (and in particular its upper tiers) has been wholeheartedly transformed into the upholder of the memorandum policies.
Capitalism is organised crime and bourgeois justice is its laundering machine
The intensification of state authoritarianism in the years of the capitalist crisis, in order to discipline the popular sections and to implement the neo-liberal austerity policies, has as its key partner the judiciary. At the same time as employers’ arbitrariness and impunity are consolidated in the name of the crisis, each strike is considered illegal and abusive. At the same time that employers’ crimes go unpunished, workers are condemned for their trade union action or simply because they are propagandising strikes. While the Halyvourgia strikers were sentenced to imprisonment, on the grounds that the “right of enterprise” is sacred and constitutionally outweighed the right to strike, they never accused criminals like [the oligarchs] Latsis or Vgenopoulos, who sacrificed workers at the altar of profitability. At the same time the crackdown on protesters and the brutal repressive police policy is legalised by prosecutors, a net of protection is being set up over Mafia capitalism. As thousands of socially impoverished prisoners are stacked under inhumane conditions in prison warehouses and political prisoners are experiencing a special regime of exception, white collar criminals are virtually immune. Even when there are a few exceptions (concerning inter-system cleansing and rearrangements within the dominant power bloc or some cases arising from social pressure), the bourgeoisie have privileged treatment, as we have seen in cases like Martine, Papageorgopoulos, Georgiou’s case over ELSTAT, the defendants in the case of Energa and many others.
We do not forget the crimes of the bourgeoisie and their concealment by their class “Justice”.
We do not forget the crime at Ricomex on September 7, 1999, when they murdered 39 class brothers with the collapse of the factory. The plant’s owners and managers have never accounted to “independent justice” for this massacre.
We do not forget the sinking of Samina when 80 people were sacrificed on the altar of capitalist profitability. The representative of the shipowning company escaped with a few misdemeanors, and a few years later the Areios Pagos ceased prosecutions with legal tricks.
We do not forget the four dead workers in Hellenic Petroleum, when the chief murderer Latsis enjoyed not only judicial immunity but also the political coverage of SYRIZA / ANEL co-government and the then Development Minister P. Lafazanis[current leader of anti-austerity party LAE].
We do not forget the impunity enjoyed by the guard dogs of capital, the cops, who are striking protesters, drowning the popular mobilisations in tear gas and killing young people such as Isidoropoulos, Koumis, Kanellopoulos, Kaltezas, Grigoropoulos. We do not forget that the torturer of the Cypriot student has never been punished in the “zardiniera” case in Thessaloniki. The fascists of the Delta team who hit and injured D. Koutsoubou were never held to account. And we know very well that the cops responsible for the serious injury of the 15-year-old Kosta B. will escape with a typical warning. These incidents are mentioned only by way of example, since we could write whole volumes on the coverage that police barbarism enjoys from bourgeois justice.
We do not forget the acquittal of the landowners who were shooting Pakistani land workers in Manolada’s strawberry fields. It was yet another unpunished racist and class crime, out of the hundreds in the long chain of a continuous underground war of the bosses against the working class.
We do not forget the acquittal of the large-scale smuggler Kountouri, who was given the opportunity to continue his antisocial action and cause the ecological disaster in the Saronic Gulf with the saga of Agia Zoni II.
We do not forget the preferential treatment of the owner of the noor1 Marinakis, who remains untouched despite the barrage of “mysterious” murders, even in prison, of the accused for the case.
Let us remember the outcome of all the scandals of the bourgeoisie and its political representatives: Vatopaidi, the structured bonds, the koubarous scandal, the MEVGAL scandal, the involvement of Mantoubalos in the preliminary circuit. Let us remember how the case of the alteration of the Lagarde List came from the Memorandum Finance Minister G. Papaconstantinou, the court acknowledged that its sole purpose was to preserve his political image but said there was no damage to the state!
But even when “Justice” condemned a worthy slave of the bourgeoisie, Diotis, it made sure to give him a suspended sentence, slapping him in a friendly way on the back and paving the way for his release in the appeal trial.
Let us also remember the scandal of the Stock Exchange when the Supreme Court ratified the councils of courts of law, which closed the files for the frauds, and the big capitalists and stockbrokers were acquitted even of the misdemeanor of stock manipulation.
However, the SIEMENS affair is the crown of the scandals, since it demonstrates in the most clear and emphatic way the adherence of legal and illegal capitalist activity, the complex of corruption between business, judicial, political and journalistic power, but also the way in which German imperialism actually operates, covering its ravenousness
and rapacity behind scathing morality. Under capitalism the legality of corruption, morality with amoralism are united as Siamese twins. The SIEMENS black funds from 1990 to 2006 funded politicians and executives of state organizations across a huge geographical range, from Europe and America to Africa and Asia, in order to facilitate the business activity of the company and to secure contracts amounting to €1.3 billion. In the context of this global campaign, the company proceeded to intensive bribery of Greek politicians to “cultivate the political landscape in Greece”, as the CEO of SIEMENS Greece Christoforos himself stated.
Altogether, at least DM 130 million was given to Greek politicians, while damages to public funds amounted to €2 billion. According to the German courts, SIEMENS gave 10% of its turnover to bribes, a large proportion of which was directed to the New Democracy and PASOK funds.
Th. Tsakatos, a close associate of [former Prime Minister]K. Simitis, received a million DM in 1999 to fund PASOK, while T. Mantelis received a total of 500,000 marks.
SIEMENS maintained privileged relationships with Greek politicians such as the Mitsotakis family and with journalists such as Pavlos Tsimas and Olga Tremi while also serving dozens of business executives such as OTE, Vodafone and Forthnet. This has created a huge network of protection and promotion of its business interests. A network that went into operation when the company got into difficulties. On December 15, 2007 Christoforos (among the key managers, along with Prodromos Mavridis, of the money that by way of offshore companies greased the politicians) escaped to Germany under “mysterious” conditions, like the president of SIEMENS Greece Folker Jung. Germany, for its part, while selling its harsh pro-ethical morality to “lazy and corrupt Greeks”, gave Christoforos a special immunity status, rejecting all extradition warrants and refusing to give evidence of the illegal activities of German capital in Greece (SIEMENS, VOLKSWAGEN, FERROSTAAL, etc.).
Eventually, Christoforos was convicted in Germany of bribery, while in Greece, prosecutor Stelios Kostarelos demanded the removal of the prosecution warrant against him with frivolous excuses. Finally, after all the parties involved in the scandal, from SIEMENS and its executives to the parties, politicians and journalists bribed by the company’s “black funds”, in a neo-colonialist out-of-court compromise, responsibility for which is with the then Finance Minister and current Governor of the Bank of Greece, Giannis Stournaras, SIEMENS was asked to pay just 90 million euros!
We mention all these examples, not because the tendency of scandals touches us, but just to highlight the combination of legal and illegal capitalism and the hypocritical and class role of bourgeois “justice”. A “justice” which did not hesitate to lock an unemployed father in prison, Strato Daskarolis, for refusing to pay the predatory state and large
enterprise run tolls. A “justice” that legitimized, by decision of the Supreme Court, the employer’s arbitrariness in regards to changing the place, time and manner of work at any time. Who, then, can have delusions about its class nature?
Solidarity to the Political and Social Prisoners
Beyond the central role of bourgeois “justice” in the reproduction of an unfair and exploitative system, we should also talk about its special role in yet another crime. Let us speak, for example, about the encroaching industry that has been set up on the backs of the weak, the damned, the poor. But also for its role in suppressing those who
consciously turn their anger through every means possible against injustice and humiliation. We have to say a few words about the social and political prisoners who are rotting in the warehouse of souls that are euphemistically called “correctional facilities”.
For us coming from the struggles of the broader antagonistic movement we perceive incarcerated political prisoners as comrades and companions in the merciless battle between exploited and exploiters that is constantly evolving. At the same time, we think that the general prison population is also a wasteful productive potential that the cannibalistic system has marginalized. The minimal extreme cases confirm the rule.
Men, women and children of thousands of families are under the vice of bourgeois “justice” beneath the appearance of “correctional foundations”. In the cement and iron-walled warehouses of souls, which are mostly stacked with the poor of this society, they are experiencing a condition of brutal and degrading incarceration. “Modern” democracy
states that deprivation of liberty, inhumane and outdated living conditions in prisons inside and outside the urban environment will protect the citizens of this country from the criminals’ unlawful and antisocial actions and will release the prisoners as prudent and honest, docile candidate workers. By the same logic, it also deals with its political opponents, anarchists and communists who in any way disputed the omnipotence of power and capital. Special detention conditions, abusive sentences, attempted statements of repentance, criminalization of friendly and family relations, blatant and overburdened files that refer to long-term custody and dozens of years of detention are some of the means used by bourgeois “justice” to subdue the morale of the fighters, in full harmony with the imperatives of maintaining the exploitative system.
The judicial grinders are made up of unaccountable, harsh and vengeful scum, enshrined in injustice, exploitation and the reproduction of crime. Judges, investigators and prosecutors of this country, apart from a few exceptions, are the modern mockers of any fighter or marginalized proletarian who moves outside civil law. They have created a huge factory of unnecessary detention, making Greece a champion of the temporary arrest (imprisonment without trial) within the EU. And when it comes to euphemizing “justice”, the sentences have an outrageously disproportionate burden on all the poor who can not recruit well connected big lawyers, especially immigrants who are being thrown into jail by fast track procedures. Moreover, within the prison, judicial power is expressed through the prosecution veto at the Prison Council, depriving the prisoners of basic rights.
There is not the same treatment in the rare cases where intra-system competition leads a big fish to the net of the law. Those who belong to the political and economic elite will almost always face discreetly more favourable handling from the judicial robots and will be treated similarly within prisons. None of them has experienced the desperation of
thousands of other prisoners. In a despair that has brought hundreds of suicides, deaths from excessive use of narcotics or other wasted energies.
It cannot be for nothing these thirty years of hard and bloody struggles that have been given inside the walls by incarcerated social and political prisoners. In memory of all these struggles, the people who either motivated or inspired them. To the blood and the pain that has been poured into the hell of the prisons, we pay a small tribute with our action.
At the moment this text is written, another battle is taking place among the prisoners. A struggle to improve an obsolete prison code and against the changes proposed in many articles by the Ministry of Justice, which moves towards an autocratic framework. We express our solidarity with this struggle, and also our desire that the imprisoned conquer the guards of their dreams.
On the new cycle of anti-social attack
“There are now kings without crowns. They are monopolies, real masters of entire countries. ” – Ernesto Che Guevara
What we have said so far leads to an inevitable conclusion: no confidence can be given by the oppressed to the judiciary, since this is a bureaucratic caste of the servants of capital. Only the institutions of popular justice that the armed people can make on their own can give real justice. And this Justice will again be class Justice. With the difference that the course of violence will be reversed and that those who are enriched by our effort, those who plunder the place, those who rob the social wealth will pay.
From this text, therefore, one could not miss a piece seemingly separate from its basic themes. We have to talk about how the violent antisocial assault is unfolding in the present moment.
The SYRIZA / ANEL coalition has proved to be the most competent and faithful servant of the imperialist lenders. That’s why the bureaucrats of Brussels find the glazing for the “success story” of Tsipras. Even through Kathimerini’s pages, Dijsselbloem spoke of impressive fiscal improvement and described Tsipras as “a successful politician capable of guiding the country on the road to stability”. Tsipras, who promised to remove the memorandums with a single article and a law before his arrival as prime minister, that the markets will have to dance, and that all this would happen immediately. Tsipras who in June 2015, a month before signing a new memorandum, said: “This government and this parliament will not vote for a new memorandum.” Today’s praise, therefore, comes as a reward for SYRIZA’s active participation in the EU shambles.
But what is the “impressive fiscal improvement” and the “path of stability” that the head of the Eurogroup speaks about? It is nothing more than the constant massacre of the world of labor, the amputation of its rights, the class bleeding it has experienced, is experiencing and will experience by the establishment of the memorandum policy. Thus, with the third assessment, we expect to open yet another cycle of barbaric assault against workers and poor social layers. The myth of the Greek ‘come back’ drips from all its pores of proletarian blood and sweat. The bloody surpluses that build the image of recovery are an enduring murderous machine in the hands of the exploiters of our lives.
These surpluses, over which the government so much boasts, are formed by an axe on social spending, increased taxes, intensification of the exploitation and slashing of labor rights.
The budget for 2018, which incorporates and extends the memorandum of the previous years, predicts a surplus of 6.67 billion. The surge in the surplus over the past year will reach €2.7 billion! “Social benefits” (pensions, EKAS, allowances, etc.) this year will be €900 million less than last year at the same time as the mass of state revenues will
increase by €1.2 billion. Indirect taxes alone, which have a horizontal character, will swell by €550 million, giving another heavy blow to the social majority and popular consumption. Public health and care will be discarded once again, as costs will be reduced by €350 million. At the same time, state-owned entrepreneurship will be strengthened, as business groups will pocket €6.75 billion (of which 1 billion comes from the state budget and the rest from EU funds). There is no reason to make a more detailed journalistic record of the measures envisaged by the state budget for 2018 as part of the Medium-term Financial Strategy Framework 2018-2021, since it is self-evident that it continues and broadens the existing anti-popular policy within the framework of the colossal redistribution of wealth from bottom to top.
The same is true of the closure of the third review, which includes a series of pre-requisite measures in a clearly anti-popular direction, such as the abolition of EKAS in 2019, the cuts in pension expenditure (1.9 billion), the reduction of the tax threshold- anti-labor and anti-strike arrangements, privatizations (Hellenic, Hellenic International, ports, etc), energy restructuring (PPC lignite depot and liberalization of the gas market) the management of bad loans etc.
Moreover, the introduction of electronic auctions in the face of popular mobilization creates a framework for servicing bank capital and directly threatens the first home of popular families, especially after the end of the Katseli law [of 2011] at the start of 2018. The autocratic downhill trend of the government has reached the point of criminalizing
popular resistance against auctions, just to protect the interests of banks and other vultures of capital!
For this policy, capital’s gangs are rubbing their hands, like the SEV [Federation of Greek Industrialists], which, in its turn, welcomes the memorandums, saying that the prevalence of part-time work and the reduction in the minimum wage helped to curb recession and unemployment!
Obviously, they think that they are addressing lobotomised people and not people with flesh, bones and souls who live by the skin of their teeth in unemployment and middle ages conditions! Employers have many reasons to rejoice: reduced wages, flexible working relationships, marginalization of sectoral and collective labor agreements, and the generalization of individual and business contracts, the deprivation of labor rights, trade union barriers, and additional obstacles are institutionalized against the right to strike and many other memorandum measures serve the fixed class interests of capital.
If we do not resist the plundering of our lives, the Memorandum will remain a permanent nightmare, since at the end of the program in August 2018 the tight budgetary policy of high surpluses (3.5% of GDP by 2022 and 2% from 2023 to 2060) will remain, while Brussels is preparing a “secret” memorandum through the “reform clause”. Apart from the additional measures that will be imposed in this case, this clause also provides for the commitment of the subsequent governments that they will not withdraw the Memorandum of Understanding. And this is well-known to Mr. Fortsakis, Deputy New Democracy finance chief, who, with his cynics, admits that “the end of the memorandum is a fake”. After all, the special supervisory bodies, these sophisticated instruments of neo-colonialism, will remain until the repayment of 75% of the loans granted. A fact that means that the memorandum is here to stay forever if the people do not break it!
But as long as the government and its bosses are trying to show us the magical image of “recovery,” reality itself denies them. Not only because capitalist development is fed by the flesh of the poor but also because it is once again stumbling over the inherent and insurmountable contradictions of the capitalist mode of production. Their recovery has
short legs and a new global capitalist crisis is at hand. The trillions that were given to the banks may have given a temporary breath of life to capitalism, but they did not save it. It just once again shifted the explosion point of its accumulated contradictions. Today, global debt is more than three times higher than total world GDP, capitalist growth is inadequate with steady deceleration in the years to come, and a capitalist bloc can not pull the economy out of the mire of stagnation.
It is, therefore, a matter of time till the outbreak of the next global capitalist crisis and we must be prepared this time. It is a matter of survival for our class to organize, to resist and to fight back. Either we will be crushed under the shadow of fear and obedience, or we will raise a rebellious tower against them.
WE HAVE NO REASON TO FEAR
THEY HAVE EVERY REASON TO FEAR US
Ο. Λ. Α. -POPULAR FIGHTERS GROUP-
P.S: SYRIZA / ANEL, just like its predecessors, are a gang of devoted servants of imperialism and the local bourgeoisie, and do not hesitate to give land and water to their transatlantic bosses by putting the country in the eye of the cyclone. This was just the case once again at the meeting of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with the global master
Donald Trump in October. The political scammers of the “ruling left” are even prepared to bring in nuclear weapons, turning Greece into a privileged ground for the expansion of American boots in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. And they have the audacity of those who sell out to invoke the sacrifices of the Communists and to raise their fists to Makronisos [prison island of the 1940s]. They have the audacity of the people’s guards to declare they are the political descendants of the heroes who were hit with American Napalm on Mt.Grammos [in 1946-49]. But what could one expect from a party where a
member of Parliament commented on selling the land for 99 years through the super-fund says: “99 years must not scare us because the Turks werein Greece for 400 years…”
P.S 2: Once again, we are sending our solidarity to the Palestinian people who are receiving the raging attack of American imperialism and Zionism, after Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In this context, it is our imperative international task to sabotage by any means the reactionary axis of Greece – Cyprus – Israel -Egypt, as well as all kinds of cooperation of Greece with reactionary regimes such as that of Saudi Arabia. The weapons of the Palestinian Resistance organizations and the Intifada, stones, knives and molotovs, will win!
(Translated from the original Greek language text that first appeared on Athens Indymedia)