“I am in the unfortunate position to announce that I am discontinuing this difficult struggle without having won anything substantial.” With these words, Greek anarchist Giannis Michailidis, who had been on hunger strike for 68 days, suspended his protest on 28th July. A day earlier, judges had rejected a request for his conditional release and the corrupt right-wing conservative state did let another demonstration in central Athens smothered in tear gas fog that evening. The decision was clear, rather Michailidis should die a slow death by hunger strike in jail than to be released after 3/5 of his sentence following the legal requirements. Giannis Michailidis stressed in his statement that he would continue: “However, this fight is not over and I do not intend to leave it unfinished. The suspension is temporary.”
The current corrupt right-wing conservative state junta of Greece wants a total rollback and therefore wants to execute an example on Giannis Michailidis also because he represents an example of a continuity of social struggles in Greece, through which various corrupt governments in the past partly stumbled.
At the moment, demonstrations are hardly possible in Athens, neither against patriarchal violence and femicides, nor against gentrification in Exarchia, and not at all on the situation of prisoners. They are brutally suppressed or partly banned. All this even during the days when the German Foreign Minister Baerbock was in Athens and praised Greece as the “most important partner in the region”. At the same time, the German real estate speculator Engel & Völkers is buying up entire districts in Athens.
The so-called Ministry of Citizen Protection has declared a state of emergency until the beginning of October, with random checks and video surveillance in numerous neighbourhoods of the capital Athens, because the protests and demonstrations did have grown stronger and broader. The right-wing government of “Nea Dimokratia” (a right-wing conservative party allied with the German CDU) has long been concerned not only with breaking the prisoners’ resistance, but also with smashing the entire antagonistic anarchist scene and any protest by left-wing and autonomous groups with the full force of the police apparatus, which has been step-by-step directly equipped since some time now with new deployment techniques. Also because they know very well that the social struggles and strikes in Greece will certainly intensify again in the near future in the face of state totalitarianism and the crisis that is intensifying again (price increases, gentrification, etc.).
From the beginning, Giannis Michailidis’ struggle has been supported by an international campaign that has reached far beyond the borders of Greece. There have been many actions, from demonstrations to occupations to militant actions.
And especially now, while things are getting more and more harsh and intense in Greece, it is time again to stand together with the fighters and comrades against the right-wing conservative corrupt Greek police state with internationalist solidarity actions.
Solidarity Assembly with Giannis Michailidis Berlin, August 2022