The Solidarity Fund for imprisoned and persecuted militants was established in 2010 in a circumstance where, on the one hand, a hard capitalist restructuring was carried out under the guise of the “economic crisis” and, on the other hand, the radical movement, having very recent memories from the experience of the social revolt of December ’08, was in full bloom. Under those circumstances, repression became even more intense, resulting in an ever-increasing number of political prisoners. It is precisely in this context that the Solidarity Fund was formed, initially setting out to provide regular and consistent support to those persecuted or imprisoned for their subversive action or for their participation in social struggles. The basic aim of the structure is to ensure decent living conditions for the imprisoned comrades through a process that would take place within the political movement; thereby taking the material dimension of solidarity a step beyond close family, friendly and comrade relationships, as well as to help with the immediate coverage of emergencies (such as court expenses and bails for the persecuted). Yet, the actions of practical solidarity and the building and development of communication bridges and united struggles between those inside prisons and those outside of it, remain as priorities of the people who form and sustain the structure.
From 2010 until today, the Solidarity Fund has been trying to obtain a regular and consistent political, moral and material support for collecting funds, which derives primarily from the conscious participation of each and every one of us, as well as from groups and collectives, that contribute to the continuation of factual solidarity. Continued state repression, however, results in a large number of political prisoners and legal costs, and consequently, in particularly high material needs. At this moment, the Solidarity Fund supports 24 prisoners on a regular monthly basis; Athanassopoulou Konstantina, Valavani Dimitra, Yagtzoglou Konstantinos, Dimitrakis Giannis, Koufontinas Dimitris, Kostaris Iraklis, Michailidis Giannis, Xiros Savvas, Petrakakos Giorgos, Sakkas Kostas, Seisidis Marios, Stathopoulos Vangelis, Christodoulou Spyros and the 11 militants from Turkey and Kurdistan (Harika Kızılkaya, Hazal Seçer, Sinan Oktay Özen, Sinan Çam, Ali Ercan Gökoğlu, Burak Ağarmış, Halil Demir, Hasan Kaya, Anıl Sayar, İsmail Zat, Şadi Naci Özpolat). In many cases we also try to cover -as much as our (financial) capabilities allow-the legal expenses and bails of comrades who are persecuted for their political identity, their actions or even for their family or comrade relationship with imprisoned militants.
During these 10 years of activity, we have turned to comrades and collectives many times, as securing financial resources has always been a difficult process. Solidarity and participation of comrades both from Greece and abroad is the main reason why we have stood by our imprisoned comrades with consistency. In this current circumstance, especially in light of the new facts about the virus spreading and the restrictive measures imposed by the state on this occasion, it is again extremely difficult to secure the resources to support the material needs of the ones within the walls. Perhaps it is more difficult than ever. Unfortunately, this has to be added up to the already difficult times that our comrades are facing within the walls, as well as the prison population as a whole, and this is why we are once again turning to our comrades.
The overcrowding of Greek prisons, with the forced packing of prisoners in cells and wards reminiscent of human hives, the inadequate – and in some cases – non-existent medical care, the refusal to provide self-protection measures (prohibition of medical supply, such as antiseptics), the fact that even the most vulnerable (the elderly or the sick) are still incarcerated, create conditions for a pandemic outburst with significantly higher mortality rates than the ones in the society outside the walls. This may amount to the death penalty for many people in prisons. This concern has prompted a series of prison mobilizations with key demands the decongestion of prisons and the implementation of basic protection measures for the inmates. The starting point of these mobilizations was Korydallos women’s prison and was followed by the prisons in Chania (Crete), Agios Stefanos (Patras) and Larissa, while 856 inmates from all the wings of Korydallos men’s prison signed and published a statement.
Under these particular circumstances, the state and its repressive mechanisms follow a beaten track. While no effective measures are being taken to protect the prison population, they block communication with the outside world by suspending visitations with relatives and lawyers, and take reprisals and retaliatory measures where outbreaks of protest occur: abductions-transfers of comrades / militants in the case of the mobilization in Korydallos women’s prison with the abduction of two female prisoners and their transfer to Thiva prison under quarantine (one of which is the political prisoner and member of Revolutionary Struggle, Pola Roupa, and a few days later a violent transfer of Nikos Maziotis took place, who is also a political prisoner and a member of Revolutionary Struggle, to Domokos prison), deprivation of yard time in Chania prison, cops raids, investigations and destruction of cells in Patras prison. At the same time, and while the pandemic is still under way, comrades are facing false indictments, they are being persecuted and imprisoned, reminding us the permanent priorities of the state whose declarations about the decongestion of prisons concern only a small number of prisoners –considering the total population – as the number of prisoners they affect does not exceed the one thousand five hundred.
As Solidarity Fund, at this moment in time, we are announcing our decision to suspend all of our planned public actions for the immediate future, but we are not suspending our solidarity with political prisoners. In this difficult situation that we are experiencing, we are in a difficult position to announce a temporary reduction in the amount of material support for imprisoned comrades in order for us to be able to support them with consistency during the months that follow.
Comrades from Greece and abroad, the Solidarity Fund is currently facing a serious problem concerning the viability and the function of one of its fundamental components, the financial support of imprisoned militants. Due to the objective conditions of the current conjecture, the inability of the fund to secure resources from public actions is going to lead to an economic stalemate during the summer season and the support of political prisoners will be practically impossible. The only way to avoid this is the material / financial support from the wider antagonistic movement around the world. From all the individuals and all the collectives who consider the imprisoned militants to be part of the people who struggle, a struggle that we all engage in -in any way we can- against the barbaric world of authority.
The slogan “no one left alone in the hands of the state” is becoming more crucial and tangible these days than ever. We urge you to defend it once again in practice. Factual solidarity will again be our weapon.
UP UNTIL THE DEMOLITION OF THE LAST PRISON NONE OF US IS FREE
SOLIDARITY WITH POLITICAL PRISONERS
Solidarity Fund for Imprisoned and Persecuted Militants
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