Dimitris Koufontinas was abducted without announcement from the agricultural prison where he was serving his sentence after a new law -specifically designed for him- which denies him the right to serve his sentence in an agricultural prison was passed in 2020. Instead of transferring him to Korudallos, the prison of his last residence, as the same law states, the government broke its own law by secretively transferring him to the high security prisons of Domokos. Furthermore, they illegally denied him the right to object to this decision by refusing to deliver him the official documents of the decision.
A hunger strike is one of the various means that prisoners can use in order to fight for their “rights”. When a state chooses to arbitrarily deprive the “legal rights” of prisoners, forcing them into further misery, repression and degradation, they can be faced with having to resort to a hunger strike. Prisoners use this method of protest to demand basic conditions of survival while incarcerated, without any exceptions regimes deem to impose on them. It is the culmination of their struggle when they choose to risk their body and their life in order to create pressure against any authority.
A dead hunger striker means the abolition of the already lacking social contract and the establishment of any possibility of deprivation of rights by any authority, and stepping on his dead body shows an uncompromising regime and the beginning of a state of totalitarianism. It must be made clear that the state is killing against its own law, and that it wants to impose this murder as the new normality. Force feeding with the purpose of avoiding the death of the fighter means the pausing of his or her struggle, and it is considered torture even by the UN and Amnesty International.
Globally, states always intervene violently, whether that be in their interiors, with displacement of communities, through gentrification, through class war and through racist laws or abroad, with imperialist and colonialist policies. State management of Covid 19 sees a return to more conservative models of society, the implementation of more authoritarian policies and an increase in fascism and police violence. This aggravation of working and living conditions composes the agenda of the interior policies of every state worldwide. However concerning exterior policies the examples are also countless. Turkey, with it’s fascist regime, is oppressing and massacring every opposition. We should not forget the deaths of hunger strikers Helin Bölek, Ibrahim Gokcek (members of the musical group Grup Yorum) and Mustafa Koçak, as well as others currently hunger strikers in the turkish prisons. Europe, with its fortress borders, sends millions of immigrants that are trying to escape from war to their deaths. The USA and Russia invade Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. Germany defends “their security at the Hindu Kush” by force of arms (quote from Defense Minister Peter Struck). Greece murders refugees at its EU external border. They all make their message clear: the interests of capital are enforced at all times with torture and murder.
And when the oppressed decide to demand what has been stolen from them, when they self-defend themselves and their existence, this counter-violence is named by the oppressors of this world as “terrorism”. The definition “terror” is then used randomly to discredit progressive movements and to deny them their political content. This is what happened in the case of 17N, an armed struggle organization which chose counter-violence against state terrorism. Those responsible for the suffering of the kidnapped, tortured and murdered people during the junta were many, some of whom were called to account by the revolutionary organization 17N. German companies like Krupp, Siemens, Hoechst and Degussa also profited from contracts with the dictatorship during the time of the Greek junta.
Even those who do not agree with the elimination of fascist subjects will know that the actions of 17th of November, as with many other armed organizations, were never arbitrary and always targeted those responsible for numerous deaths (such as the CIA, Turkish agencies etc), and those responsible for the exploitation and starvation of people (such as politicians and millionaires). Arbitrary, however, are the people who starve and are killed all over the world because institutions like Citibank speculate with their resources, because profit and dominance always come first. This makes clear that the only terrorist organization is the state.
For a long time cruelties have been committed by all states against individuals or entire populations under the banner of “fighting terrorism.” The state, which presents itself as the protector of capitalist interests, defends them with brute violence. The same institutions which have created all this terror worldwide are imposing even more violence when people decide to resist.
The persecution of all those who fight for their freedom and the freedom of others also has a long tradition in Germany. Both at home or abroad, German security authorities take action against revolutionary structures. Social movements that do not abide by the laws made by the rulers are to be brought to their knees with the full force of the “rule of law”.
Through legislative decrees, as now in Greece, the paths to the revenge and torture of political prisoners have been and are being paved. From targeted killings during arrests to torture through force feeding resulting in death, to years of isolation of prison inmates, the repertoire of the German authorities ranges.
Also related, the German democracy is defended with so-called terror reference procedures. A large number of Kurdish and Turkish activists have recently been sentenced to absurdly high prison terms for “membership in a foreign terrorist organization”. At the same time sometimes merely collecting funds for the Kurdish movement brings repression.
In the public media, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the federal authorities are currently passing the staff rod from one to the other when it comes to labeling militant struggles against fascists and real estate speculators, against the oppressors of this world and for libertarian conditions terrorism. In Leipzig, Frankfurt, Berlin and other cities there are ongoing proceedings against comrades with reference to terrorism. By creating “criminal organizations” from scratch, German state and police are trying to enforce laws to give themselves an even stricter legal arsenal. A legal arsenal and a repressive strategy which is exported to other countries, including Greece. The two governments made their collaboration obvious when the German and Greek police raided simultaneously, in perfect coordination, houses in Berlin and Athens.
At the same time, the German government, particularly the CDU whose members have always been the bedfellows of the exploiters and profiteers, is responsible for countless losses of lives. As the sister party of the current right-wing Greek government, Nea Dimokratia, they are not just structurally responsible for the planned murder of Dimitris Koufontina they are also responsible for the social and financial situation that is developing in Greece. By supporting Nea Dimokratia, the CDU is complicit in the murders on the Greek borders, the austerity policies that were implicated in the last decade in Greece, the protection of a whole network of child sexual abuse that is now unfolding in Greek society and the authoritarian policies and police brutality that everyone faces in the so called Greek territory.
Being in the heart of the beast, we should take the collective responsibility and resist the organized murder of Dimitris Koufontinas. Our struggles must be connected! The murder of Dimitris Koufontinas will be a strike to every subversive struggle. We have the historical duty to self-defense ,and to fight against exploitation and oppression. So that we do not get used to death*. Until the social revolution! Until all are free we are all imprisoned!
*a Greek slogan commonly used in cases of police, fascist and state violence implying that none of this violence should be accepted.