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(en) GREECE, ATHENS, Antiauthoritarian syndicalist, Yannis Serifis imprisoned

From James Sotros <anthropia@hotmail.com>
Date Mon, 28 Oct 2002 06:12:36 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Yannis Serifis, 63 year old anti authoritarian syndicalist, has been 
imprisoned and charged as being a member of the armed struggle group 
?November 17? and for the murder of CIA chief in Greece, Richard Welch in 
1975 (after the fall of the dictatorship). (This group has been active for 
27 years in Greece and 17 people have been imprisoned -prior to Yannis? 
arrest-since late June as being members. It should be pointed out that when 
first arrested some chose to collaborate with the police and gave names of 
other members when first charged. Since then, claims have been made by some 
of these prisoners of forced and/or fabricated confessions by police). The 
authorities? only ?evidence?- the confessions of 3 of those charged (it 
should be pointed out that these 3 men have since changed their statements 
and now say Yannis was never involved in the group and its actions).

After 2 hours of questioning by the Court of Appeal, Yannis? imprisonment 
was announced. Over 100 people- anarchists, antiauthoritarians, 
revolutionary leftists-who had gathered outside, tried to prevent the police 
jeep (with Yannis inside) from departing. One person was arrested. The riot 
police attacked the demonstrators who threw stones in defence. Tear gas was 
used to disperse the crowd.

This is part of an ongoing campaign by the Greek and American authorities to 
imprison Yannis. 25 years ago, Yannis was charged with the death of  
militant Christos Kassimis. It was later revealed to be the work of two 
security agents. He was imprisoned for 15 months before the court announced 
the frameup. He had the solidarity of many people  just as he has now. 
Yannis has always made it clear that he has opposed the tactics of armed 
struggle. For over 40 years as an industrial worker and member of the group 
?Class Unity? at his workplace (public transport), he has preferred to be 
open (in speech and practice) about his involvement in  the mass workers 
movement and class struggle. The authorities have no concrete evidence 
against him (ie. his DNA, fingerprints were not found in the hideouts) and 
his imprisonment is part of a broader campaign to criminalise the 
revolutionary left/anarchist/antiauthoritarian movement and create a culture 
of repression, curtail free speech and destroy independent syndicalism.

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