On the Hunger Strikers in Greek Prisons
The post 9/11 era initiated an anti-terrorist crusade that was introduced and carried out by the strongest governments of the West, having a global impact. In the same vein, the Greek government has since put in motion a series of repression tactics and legal changes. The beginning was made by the establishment of the first anti-terror law on 2001 and was followed by upgrading legislations that both broadened its target group and increased the years of imprisonment. As final hit of this process, the maximum security C-type prisons (the Greek version of Guantanamo) was last summer.
This process has been recently reinforced, especially in the European territory and thus Denmark, after the last incidents of extreme fundamentalist attacks that took place in France and here. Western governments, using these attacks as an excuse, applied even harder repressive laws that target the radical movements, narrowing even more the limits of political resistance and finally broadening by far situations treated under the state of exception.
Towards this process there has been a vast history of resistance both inside and outside the Greek prisons during the last 15 years. However, it is the first time that such a broad hunger strike of political prisoners is taking place with the participation of many comrades with different political backgrounds, as well as social prisoners. The main target of the current struggle is the very core of the state of exception as it is applied through these laws, the maximum security prisons, as well as the refuge concentration camps (at the same moment there are hunger strikes going on in 2 of these camps by a big number of imprisoned refuges).
Furthermore, whoever has the slightest notion of the social and political situation in Greece could easily realize that these policies are in direct relation with the last years’ neoliberal attack that is taking place under the excusal form of the “crisis” and focuses on the lower classes of Greek society. High security prisons are nothing less than another form of the memorandum’s implementation, but this time in prison reality.
Since the 2nd of March and under this context, combative prisoners launched a hunger strike in various Greek prisons, fighting against the legal and repressive state of exception, which has been established by the Greek state since the beginning of 2000. So far, those who have joined the political prisoners’ mobilization and collective hunger strike are nine imprisoned anarchists who participate in DAK (Network of Imprisoned Fighters), three urban guerrillas incarcerated in the freshly operated E1 wing of Domokos type C prison, a number of communist political prisoners originating from Turkey, and several social prisoners.
Their demands can be identified as following:
1. Abolition of articles 187 and 187A of the penal code (1st & 2nd “antiterrorist” laws)
2. Abolition of the “hoodie law”
3. Abolition of analysis of mixed DNA samples, abolition of the law of forcible taking of DNA samples, and enabling the presence of an expert witness on behalf of defendants in DNA evidence analysis
4. Abolition of Type C prisons
5. Immediate release from prison for health reasons of the 17th of November member Savvas Xiros
Victory for the struggle of hunger strikers
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Announcement of a solidarity gathering on Wednesday, 1st of March, at 16.00 in front of the Greek embassy in Copenhagen (Hammersgade 4, 1267 København K)