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(en) URGENT no2 FROMGREECE

From George Fragos <anvo@otenet.gr>
Date Thu, 18 Feb 1999 15:32:24 -0500


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nautilus wrote:
THE HEALTH OF ANARCHIST HUNGER STRIKER VASILIS EVANGELIDIS IN DANGER.
CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
The pupils' mobilizations in Greece gradually faded away, leaving behind
over one hundred arrested people. Amongst them, in the worst position is
our comrade Vasilis Evangelidis, on huger strike since the 19th of
January. The pupils' mobilizations ended after the tough attitude of the
goverment and the constant pressure of parents, the mass media and the
'public opinion'. Another reason was the fatigue of the pupils, who were
on the streets for almost three months.
Below we will present the recent developments concerning Vasilis
Evangelidis' hunger strike and the call for international participation
in the day of solidarity (25th of February). At the bottom of this
newsletter, you will find some parts of the first message that we had
sent (for those of you that havenãt received it). Arban Perlala, the 17
years old pupil-emigrant from Albania, who was arrested with Evangelidis
in the 15th of January demonstration, was set free on Thursday 11th of
February, having to pay 2 million drachmas (about 7.500 US dollars)
guarantee.

On Monday 16th of February, Vasilis Evangelidis' appeal for suspension
of his custody was rejected by the relevant court. The last week,
Vasilis is on a wheel chair, as the condition of his health is getting
rapidly worst. For the last three weeks, Vasilis was held in the
hospital of Korydalos' prison, in Athens (actually a first-aid center,
without much medical instruments and equipment). The same morning that
Vasilis' apeal was rejected, he was transfered to a state hospital
outside of the prison, as he had problems with his heart. After his
situation was stabilized, he was moved again to Korydalos prison's
hospital. The last days he also had problems with his vision.
On Wednesday 18th of February, Vasilis was moved to the Nikaia state
hospital in Athens, having problems with his kidneys. For now on he will
be held in this hospital, under police surveilence.
Vasilis is on a very hard hunger strike. He only drinks water. Actually,
since January the 18th, when he started the hunger strike, the only
'food' he has received, was one glass of juice. Vasilis was exhausted
even before he started the hunger strike, as he was constantly taking
part in the manifestations and other political and social activities. It
has to be noted that this was his third arrest in one year. On December
of '97 he was arrested outside the Ministry of Education, during classes
between the police and unemployeed teachers. On September of '98, some
days before the national elections in Greece, he was arrested for
sticking anti-election posters. Vasilis has participated in the
mobilizations against the “education reform” for over one year. He is a
very active member of the anarchist movement in Greece and a total
objector of the military service.

CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION IN THE DAY OF SOLIDARITY TO
EVANGELIDIS, MITROPETROS, AND THE OVER ONE HUNDRED PROCECUTED FOR THEIR
PARTICIPATION IN THE MANIFESTATIONS AGAINST THE ''EDUCATION REFORM''
On Thursday the 25th of February, anarchists are organizing
manifestations in a dozen of cities in Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki,
Patra, Kavala, Chania, Giannena, Agrinio, Arta, Mitilini, Xanthi,
Ptolemaida, Volos and possibly in other cities). We call you to
participate in this day of solidarity, by organizing manifestations in
front of greek embassies and consulates, sending faxes to the greek
Ministry of ''Justice'', or doing anything else that you may consider
appropriate.
The whole situation has to be given the utmost publicity, which could
surely encourage our struggle here. We' d also expect solidarity e-mails
and/or faxes for our imprisoned comrades at: +(3031) 257364 or
nautilus@otenet.gr and we'll pass them further to them. Of great
importance would be the overfaxing of the Ministry of Justice:
+(301)7796055
Keep us informed about every action of solidarity.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Last November, a wave of school occupations and pupils'
mobilizations started shaking Greece. Pupils where demonstrating against
the application of ''2525/97 act", which connects directly education to
the needs of economy. "2525/97 act" had been anounced as a "broad reform
of the education system". In the eyes of the pupils, it meant
intensification, rivalry and total loss of their free time. Pupils'
reaction was spontaneous, and vast (although somehow delayed, as
"2525/97 act"'s first application happened a year ago, aiming to spread
rivalry among the unemployed teachers. The reaction of the latter
culminated last
June, with four days' clashes in many cities in Greece. In these
clashes, there was a very small pupils' participaton. During these
clashes, anarchist Costas Mitropetros was arrested. Last November he was
imprisoned until his trial -more info in another part of this text). In
the middle of December, over a thousand schools were occupied throughout
Greece. The goverment hoped that the pupils' mobilizations whould end
during X-mas vacations. On January 11th, by the end of vacations , 800
schools throughout Greece were occupied. The goverment threatened to
prosecute pupils who participated in the occupation of schools. A wave
of terror and threats started to spread.
On January 15th, demonstrations took place almost in every city of
Greece. The pupils were rather angry than scared. Clashes broke out in
various cities. In Athens, 14 persons were arrested. Two of them, Arban
Perlala, a 17-year old pupil -emigrant from Albania- and Vasilis
Evangelidis, a 30 years old anarchist and unemployed teacher, were
charged with heavy accusations. The rest were set free, facing lighter
charges. Two more pupils-emigrants from Albania were arrested during
clashes in Thessaloniki and were later set free.

On January 16th, V. Evangelidis was brought to the interrogator. Vasilis
declared the following:
"I deny all charges. I inform you that I participate in the
mobilizations against "2525/97 act" since it became law of the state. As
a graduate of the School of Philosophy and an unemployed, I participated
in last year's struggle of the unemployed teachers.
That struggle today continues with the pupils' movement, to which I
declare my solidarity, also as an anarchist. As one of the 25.000 people
who took part in Friday's demonstration.
The charges against me are fabricated, I refuse them and I protest".
The interrogator, with the agreement of the public prosecutor, ordered
Vasilis' imprisonment until his trial.

On January18th, Arban Perlala was also brought infront of the
interrogator. He denied the accusations. He was also imprisoned until
his trial. (He was set free on Thursday 11th of February).

On January19th, Vasilis Evangelidis announced that he started a hunger
strike:
"I don't beg for anything. From this day on I am on a hunger strike
against my imprisonment, which was decided by the repressive machine of
the State. They are putting me in jail because I am charged, among other
things, with an arson attempt. This accusation is fabricated, based on
fake evidence. I deny all charges and I demand my freedom. I declare my
solidarity with the pupils' movement, with the uneasiness of the pupils
in resistance. Their struggle is closely tied to the struggle for the
abolition of the system of exploitation and oppression.
The schools are fencing the youth, in order to produce deprived of
passion servants, human machines who give away their lust for freedom.
When the struggles go beyond passivity, compromise and trade-unionism,
then the system reveals its real face: terrorism, violence, repression.
In such moments, only solidarity from the other opressed and exploited
can deter suppresion and slander. Therefore, what is most important
today is the continuation of the struggle, the solidarity with the
occupied schools, the coming together and the communication of all
people in struggle".

Solidarity with schools' occupations!
Freedom for the imprisoned comrades!

Vasilis Evangelidis, Tuesday 19th of January 1999
-------------------------------------------

The afternoon of the same day, another big demonstration took place in
Athens, accompanied by minor clashes.

On January 21th, demonstrations against "2525/97 Act"
took place in many cities of Greece. Clashes took place in various
cities. More than 40 persons were arrested, 14 of the persons arrested
in Athens and 11 of the people arrested in Patras will have a trial in
February. Untill then, they are set free.

THE CASE OF COSTAS MITROPETROS
 The anarchist Kostas Mitropetros was arrested during the clashes of
June, 18th and was charged with heavy accusations. After 3 days of
continuing clashes, a troup of the neonazi band "Chrisi Avgi (Golden
Dawn)" attacked 3 students-members of a left wing group and caused
severe injuries to all three of them. The reaction was rather mild, as
far the leftists are concerned, but a group of about 30 comrades
attacked the police and cameramen with stones and molotow cocktails. K.
Mitropetros participated at the demonstration and had to pay the price
as the only one who was arrested. His main crime had been his anarchist
believes and attitude, along with his solidarity to groups of
immigrants, to pupils, teachers and all groups who resist nowadays.

SELF-MANAGED SOCIAL CENTER ''NAUTILUS'', THESSALONIKI, GREECE <nautilus@otenet.gr>


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