Who we are
Solidarity to political prisoners
Struggle for their liberation
Resistance to state terrorism
Action For Liberty was founded by collectives and comrades from the left and the antiauthoritarian movement in order to develop a solidarity movement to political prisoners, which in recent years is in recession while the prisoners in the special prison at Korydallos wing for the past eight years continue to experience the State tyranny and desire for revenge. The solidarity movement that developed rich and diverse action over the period between 2002 and 2006 with protests, demonstrations and combative interventions, has to urgently recover and pick up where it stopped in order to move into a new phase of the struggle for the liberation of political prisoners.
It is our shared belief that political prisoners are integral members of the movement and that the group that they were convicted for belonging to (mostly on flimsy and fabricated evidence), the 17th of November group, was an anti-capitalist revolutionary group. It is therefore our duty, regardless of our agreement or disagreement with their action and their views, regardless of our agreement or disagreement with the attitude of each political prisoner after their arrest, to fight for their release and to unite to stop discrimination against them (from the isolation and the prohibition of day leaves to the shameful denied release on health grounds of Savvas Xiros).
We are aware that there are other political prisoners (who are in prison because of their activist or anti-state action), and that all prisoners suffer state barbarism ‒ and have shown our solidarity to these prisoners; however we believe that the nature, the charge and expediency of the 17th of November group require a targeted campaign which, in conjunction with the fronts and priorities of the entire movement will tackle the issues of political prisoners, from the necessity of their release to the lifting of the specific conditions of their detention.
Anti-terrorist crusade and State repression
Over the past decade on the pretences of “combating terrorism” and the “citizens ‘ security” a multi-tiered enterprise has been built up by the sovereign, on a national and international field, that has multiple recipients. Basic pillars of this undertaking have been the widening of the definition of «terrorism» to include many resistances and movements against the status quo, even if they don’t have revolutionary goals or a militant nature (such as “eco-terrorism”, or the law against hoods etc.), the preventive repression aimed at regulating broader segments of society, panoptical control, divisive policies (“peaceful vs. vandals, “Greek vs. Foreign” etc.), the ideological depreciation of those questioning the inevitability of capitalism as old fashioned, out of date or anti-social and the criminalisation of the “delinquency of poverty”, which is growing because of the economic crisis and social exclusion experienced by broader sections of the population, both domestic and foreign. It aims at crushing the force of those who don’t swear allegiance and were the torso of the December 2008 riots in Greece, at suppressing those who deny the capitalist “normality” and at intimidating those who are outraged by what they suffer because of employers’ and State immunity and, of course, at the manipulation of large sections of the society through the doctrine of security.
The way the State and the media handled the accused members of the 17th of November group in ideological and political terms during the period immediately following their arrests (defamation of their incentives, covering-up of the crime at the hospital where Savvas Xiros was held, accusation of those who actively complained about the previous etc.) and the subsequent judicial and detention treatment (isolation, trials of expediency, arbitrary annihilation sentences, etc.) were not simply a model policy for the way that the State treats those who challenge its monopoly of violence, but was and continues to operate as a pilot in the escalation of State repression, signalling the time when democracy evolves into the next phase where the State has declared war on those who question its righteousness. In this sense, we feel that solidarity to political prisoners is an organic component of the broader competitive movement, because its achievements depend directly on the movement’s development and its victories, but also because solidarity considerably strengthens the experience and the radicalisation of the broader movement.
On the political prisoners’ side until their liberation.
From the outset we have declared that we consider political prisoners as fighters of the movement and that this is our incentive for fighting to liberate them. Apart from this starting point based on values, there is a political parameter that is difficult to disagree with, if someone is open-minded: despite the fact that the State disregarded its own Constitution in refusing to recognise the political nature of the offences related to the 17th of November group activity, summarizing its whole stance in the triptych “special circumstances – special trials – special convictions” (isolation of the accused, trial in the prison grounds, absence of a jury, life sentences for moral aiding, overturning of any concept of legal culture, outrageous ignoring of beneficial aquiting testimonies, written judgment by the Court that is no less than a Manifesto against terrorism, statements by the then Prime Minister referring to “illegal passengers of the Left” etc.), it has demonstrated that the accused were treated as political opponents of the regime and not as ordinary «criminals». We strive to develop a movement that will make the appropriate correlations, and will force the State to recognise these prisoners for what they are: political prisoners. In doing this they will have to release them, as they did after the civil war and during the last years of the junta dictatorship. We understand that the European experience is not encouraging and that the international ‘ anti-terrorist ‘ policy is intensifying continuously, but we believe that, without action, what today is difficult, tomorrow will be even harder.
We therefore prioritise, in general terms and specifically, the issue of liberation of political prisoners aiming at coordination of the struggle both within and outside the prison, in an attempt to reopen the debate on the matter, character, needs and demands of political prisoners, in order to broaden its solidarity and alliances, and to achieve concrete victories in specific matters such as the immediate release of Savas, abolishment of isolation and reinstating the right to day leaves for Vassilis Xiros who has been denied them revengefully, and further this right for all life prisoners. These victories will cause cracks in the “anti-terrorist” regime, and at the same time in conjuction with the fight of all prisoners for their right to semi- liberated life in prison and reduction of life sentences, will aid the goal of liberation for political prisoners.
As Action For Liberty, we are open to all collectives and individuals who wish to fight for this case, we are prepared to march with any group, organization or person who believes that any part or all of this struggle concerns him in any way. We want to create a collective that functions on immediate democracy and within which everyone involved in direct cooperation with the political prisoners, will equally determine the course of action.
No movement can be victorious unless it defends its own people!
ACTION FOR LIBERTY