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(en) Greece, Yannis Serifis - anti-authoritarian trade union militant - made his own appeal

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 15 Nov 2002 18:02:10 -0500 (EST)


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   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 Serifis says:-

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 Bush?s so-called ?war
against terrorism?.

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 Serifis?s 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
   ACTIONS.

   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 movement.

   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 don?t 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 isn?t 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
   interrogator?s door was opened to an industrial
   worker of 40 years standing, and one who has been
   under surveillance for 35 years of those years.

   NO MORE! I DON?T 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 bosses? orders;
   · 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 working-class movement;
   · 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.

   Yannis Serifis
   27/10/02



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