Eight students, members of the self organized , occupied, students’ center of Athens University of Economics and Business are facing severe charges including formation of and participation in criminal organization, charges fabricated under a state police scheme which is backed by the university rector council. Confirming the loose file, authorities fail to detain the eight comrades -due to lack of sufficient evidence- but impose 3,000€ bail for each of the four, along with man-datory report of presence at police stations once a month, while the remaining four are left completely free until the trial.
We are 8 people, politically active in the radical / anarchist movement in Greece, particularly in Athens. Among others, we participate in the Self Organized Students' Center in the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), which is a squat inside the main building of the university. It's occupied up to 18 years until now, constantly active as a political group, in most of the movements against suppression, racism, fascism, police violence, homophobia, austerity measures, public transports restrictions, anti-immigration and neonazism, or participated in other political acts.
What is happening now and why we are in need of cross border solidarity:
After an action in solidarity with evicted squats that happened in 29th of October 2020 law en-forcement started an attack against the center. The action itself is not to be discussed, we are not affiliated in any way with it or the group that took responsibility. Greek state, is now ac-cusing 8 students and members of self organized student's center for participating in that, mak-ing them the main suspects of the legal case which will be taken in courts. In 23/12, police sent calls for interrogation for 8 comrades, while the brief of the case hadn't been filed or formally handed out yet. In 08/01, all 8 comrades were interrogated and passed through the regular pro-cess in front of the district attorney. Confirming the loose case file, the authorities scheme and the targeting of student's political identity, attorney didn't decide the prosecution and deten-tion of any of the 8 accused comrades.
This happened while the comrades face severe charges such as Criminal organization forming etc. Four of the comrades were left free until the hearing of the trial, while the remaining four others are obligated to report for their presence to the nearest police station once a month and imposed a 3000€ bail until the 19th of January. Additionally, every one of the 8 comrades is ob-ligated to be fingerprint and DNA recorded until the trial, which is a new aggressive tactic of the state with several implications. On the one hand the short period of time given, on the oth-er the corona situation that is stressing out every economical structure personal or communal, are creating a threatening situation for the freedom of the four comrades. This is why we are asking for global financial solidarity and support for this fund
Public statement of self organized student center of AUEB regarding the scheme against students for the university’s rector’s case:
We are forced to publish a statement because of the unbelievable and unprecedented attempt of the law enforcement authorities to get the self organized student center of AUEB and indi-viduals who are participating in it, invoved - with a loose case file - in the well known case of the action at the rector’s office in the university (AUEB) by the group “Militant Solidarity Initia-tive” at 29/10/2020. In fact, as it’s already known, a new repressive operation has begun since 23rd of December, resulting in having 8 individuals called for a hearing to an investigating mag-istrate and prosecutor, with accusations placed on them for the particular above action.
The criteria which have resulted to the selection of these 8 individuals as suspects, are relevant to their student identity in AUEB, their lasting presence in students’ movements within the school, the friendly or political relationships, or their social associations in general.
The blatant fabrication of the accusations by the state police and their attempt to declare the identification of the 8 accused individuals is crossing a lot of boundaries. More precisely they criminalize the physical presence of the students at the university that specific day with the pretext of lectures not happening on the time period given, but with all the other services such as student’s restaurant and secretariat, operating normally. They perceive students’ presence in school in the middle of the day as illegal using as “evidence” their phone conversations and the most illegal of all for them, their social relationships among them.
But the obscenity doesn’t stop there. A loud example of this constructed case is that a member of the students’ center and one of the 8 accused ones, was working in his official job position, during the time that he faces accusations of being at the university, while another comrade is being charged, with only evidence, a phone call that he did to another comrade, a suspect also. During that call, his phone is triggering a mobile carrier’s antenna in the region of Exarchia, which is his permanent residence area, just after the action they 8 are accused of participating in. In the same terms of hilariousness, the other “findings” of the police, are based on phone calls among students that are regularly and daily in the school and have social relations among them. In a fabricated loose case like this, the “anonymous” phone call couldn’t be excluded. They cops’ beloved tactic, that we ‘ve seen all these years , decorating schemes against mem-bers of the radical movements.
Except of the above, while we witnessed the press, claiming from police sources and celebrat-ing that the suspects have been identified from footage, the very same case file is failing them, we think that this text is not the space for the loose case to be decomposed and exposed. The accused may make public statements about it. It turns out that it is a typical plot case, like all the others that had loudly collapsed in the past years.
But in this particular case, some things that we will explain below are not that typical.
Since the very first moment that it became known that the specific action has happened, there was a constant and continuous targeting of the students’ center in press releases and articles, that mentioned that the physical space of the students’ center was used as starting point of people that participated in the incident, quoting ”about 15 assailants started their attack using as a starting point the anti-authority center of AUEB (capital.gr)” . All these happened, before any investigation was ever conducted and could result in any conclusion. Obviously the articles weren’t an initiative of the media, but came as indications from police and state security that needed a tension and targeting atmosphere to be created against the students’ center based on fake reports.
Admittedly, it’s not the first time that the center is being targeted. Self organized center of AUEB, counts at least 18 years of active presence in the university and in general in the radical movements. From the very same center, multiple generations of radical students have passed. It’s targeted by the rectoral and law enforcement authorities, because of its consistency and constant presence in movements in and out of the school limits. It declared and showed soli-darity with immigrants that are selling low value products on the streets but also substance addicted people that have been chased from murderous hordes of any kind of cops, around the school. It has resisted against every attempt of making universities prone to authoritarianism, participated in the movement of abolishing public transportation’s tickets, has been active member of antifascistic coordinations among groups, have supported the occupation of the university that had been decided by the students’ association and have also participated in nu-merous students’ movements and events. For its particular presence in the social rallies, it has been evicted twice in the past, while the last time was accompanied with grotesque reports from government members talking about “a terrorists’ hideout’ in which weaponry and muni-tions had been found, “similar with those of Syrian insurgents”. In the meantime, the photos would depict flags’ masts and sticks and a handful of empty alcohol bottles.
Another reason of targeting the student’s center, which targeting becomes obsessive, is the fact that AUEB is not a random school, its spatial position in the city center, next to Exarchia and in the triangle shaped by schools of NTUA and Law School, places AUEB right in the target of the authorities, taking into account the radical presence that traditionally is being observed inside this triangle. It’s not accidental that AUEB had been one of the occupied buildings during the uprising of 2008 but also a hearth of struggle during other large social incidents and events. This is how it’s often referred to in public articles, a space that the police should definitely en-force total control. But the peculiarity of the particular plot is not just the targeting of a politi-cal space, this is just a regular routine for the repression forces. The unprecedented of this new plot, has to do with the unmatching confrontation by the state, as it is evident from the amount of multiple governmental reports, literally prior noticing political prosecutions, with the order of upgraded accusations that- include("crime") status of offense ( which among others it is considered as an extreme intervention in the justice system, by those who claim that they respect the separation of powers) and with the imposition of a bounty on the assailants of the act against the rector for 100,000euros (during a pandemic, that no social request for financial enhancement of the nation healthcare has been fulfilled)
The above are not an image of some dystopian future, but of the very dystopian present. For us, the criminal upgrade of this case and the fabricated involvement of members of the center, students and people who maintain friendly relations, through an inaccurate and lame indict-ment, is used in this case as a tool, as a Trojan horse for a general attack against student strug-gles and militant student groups. This is happening, not accidentally, after the end of the Gold-en Dawn trial, where many government officials, including the Minister of Civil Protection Michalis Chrysochoidis, openly announced that it is now the time to deal with the other ex-treme, that of "red fascism". Fully in line with the theory of the two extremes, the government aims to eradicate the social resistances with the main concern being the field of universities, which have historically been starting points and centers of struggle in times of social polariza-tion. They therefore estimate that by applying zero tolerance policies in faculty premises and by attempting to politically exterminate militants through manufactured charges, using even their social relations to offer gravity to them, they will manage to significantly reduce resistance against their authoritarian policies.
For our part, we believe that the militant student movement and the anti-authoritarian student collectives will prove them wrong. We also note that the criminal upgrade of political actions is at the heart of the government's agenda in a number of cases, where slogans outside of jour-nalists' homes are labeled as "terrorist acts" and demonstrations and interventions outside po-litical offices are labeled as attacks to justify the arrest of militants and heavier charges. The ban on gatherings of more than four people on the anniversaries of November 17 and Decem-ber 6 follows the same logic, while twenty days later the churches were allowed to function during the festivities, being granted the freedom of gathering up to fifty believers indoors. The repression we saw in these days, the arrests of 90 comrades for occupying both campuses of the Polytechnic, the attacks by thousands of police that swarmed every part of the city in order to disperse any attempted gathering, the banning of access to the monument of the murdered anarchist student Alexandros Grigoropoulos, even to individuals who attempted to approach and pay tribute alone, the DELTA motorised riot police raids inside people’s houses with stun grenades and the image of police armored vehicles firing tons of water against protestors form the image of the new situation that the resistance movement is called to face from now on. The level of repression is shown by the abduction and summary deportation of the anarchist militant Erol, just because he chose to participate in the protests of December 6 and by the po-lice raid on the dorms of Athens University in Zografou (FEPA) in an attempt to terrorize the students residing in them who the previous week had organized mobilizations claiming a series of demands from the Rectorate. The case of the four comrades accused as members of an im-aginary "terrorist" organization called "Comrades" - An organization out of the sick imagination of police "brains" - follows the same political choice of attacking the anarchist movement by any means possible.
Everything points to the direction that this new fabrication that is being attempted against the occupied student center and all those who are persecuted for the action in the Rector's Office, is part of a larger repressive plan, which among other things includes the restructuring of uni-versities through the voting of the law on university police. They are using an ill-conceived, far-cical case as an excuse to impose police control on our campuses, although leaks in news web-sites and papers prove that they had actually been planning this law months in advance. They talk about the presence of police officers in campuses and how this will create a safe academic environment, while less than a year ago an armed cop threatened students inside the premises of ASOEE University, pointing a gun directly at them and threatening to shoot them. Their aim in this case is to turn the universities into guarded places, stripped of all political activity, their main concern being the crushing of every weapon of autonomous student struggle, but mainly of the self-organized spaces and squats within the universities.
The abolition of the university asylum is aiding this repressive policy and reminds us that the only way to defend and expand the gains of social struggles, is the struggle itself. As mentioned earlier, we do not consider the intensification of repression across the social spectrum, includ-ing universities, to be accidental. It comes as a response to the government's recent loss of image, to the thousands killed by the pandemic, whose blood is in its hands due to its criminal practices, and in the long run acts as a counterweight to its neoliberal policies in every field. Specifically for the right-wing conservative public, to whom the government addresses, the doctrine of "Law and Order" provides a balancing act against the economic and labor scourge that has already hit a huge number of workers and in the near future will only get worse. We see the political and moral defense of our comrades and of the persecuted students as an ab-solute necessity. We will not let them become for the beast of repression. Nor will we watch idle as our social relations and our very presence in the campus is being criminalized.
Announcement concerning the decision of the prosecutor and investigating judge for the 8 per-secuted students:
On Friday the 8th of January the 8 comrades appeared before the investigating judge and pros-ecutor in order to defend their case. The result of this time-spending procedure was that due to lack of supporting evidence, none of the accused was prosecuted, while in addition half of them were left free without any restricting orders.
However, the rest are required to report to an officer in a police department once in a month and they need to deposit 3000 euro per person to be bailed out of jail until 19th of January. The investigating judge also assumed necessary the DNA extraction and fingerprinting of the ac-cused until 11th of January. Solely by looking at the investigation process and the casefile it is self-evident that it should have been a mistrial. The state security under the mandates of the Minister of Civil Protection Chrisochoides exerted pressure to the investigating judge and the prosecutor in order to force the DNA extraction.
The case is indicative of the raging and retaliatory sentiments of the state and the police against militants. State and Police in unison cooperation bloat the criminal charges while no one can prove the presence of the alleged perpetrators at the time and place of the event by examining the casefile. The only goal of the procedure is the abuse of their lives by listening to their phone calls, by constantly surveilling them but also by expropriating their DNA leaving them exposed to the fabricated casefiles of the police.
Occupied self organized student center of AUEB
Sur l’affaire de l’Université d’Economie d’Athènes et les 8 compagnon.e.s inculpé.e.s
Le 8 janvier, 8 camarades sont passé.e.s devant le juge d’instruction et le procureur. Après une procédure qui a duré plusieurs heures, par manque d’éléments suffisants, personne n’a été mis en détention provisoire, et 4 camarades ont été libérés sans conditions restrictives.
Les 4 restants sont obligés de se présenter une fois par mois au commissariat et chacun doit payer une caution de 3000 euros jusqu’au 19/1. Par ailleurs, le juge d’instruction a décidé que tous les 8 doivent se faire obligatoirement prélevé l’ADN et les empreintes jusqu’au lundi 11/1. Malgré le fait que l’affaire est clairement manipulée, ce qui est également prouvé par la pro-cédure de l’enquête, la police de sécurité, sous les ordres de Chrysochoidis (le ministre de l’ordre public grec) a mis la pression sur le juge et le procureur pour qu’ils se prononcent favo-rablement sur le prélèvement forcé d’ADN pour tous les inculpés.
Cette affaire reflète clairement le caractère hostile et vindicatif de l’Etat et de la police envers ceux et celles qui sont en lutte. La sévérité pénale des accusations, pour une affaire où même la présence des inculpé.e.s sur le lieu au moment des événements ne peut être prouvée, a comme seul objectif de s’attaquer à leurs vies à travers la surveillance de leurs communica-tions, de leurs actions et le prélèvement de leur ADN, en les laissant exposé.e.s aux affaires montées par la police grecque.
ESPACE AUTOGÉRÉ D’ASOEE (UNIVERSITE D’ECONOMIE D’ATHENES)