On the 21st of October, around 11pm, together with one more person, I made an appropriation of a state casino shop in Cholargos (suburb of Athens). Before our departure from the shop the rifle that was used for our self defense passed from the other person’s hand to mine. An automatic rifle, if available, is a convincing deterrent during any act that may come into confrontation with the murderous mercenaries of capitalism. Bastards like those who tortured to death George Floyd, the same bastards who gang killed Zak Kostopoulos, who was already wounded by the fascist shop-owners in a pedestrian road, in the middle of the day, in the city center, bastards who, shortly after, killed Embouka Mamasoubek inside a police station, and whose names are still kept secret, having enjoyed the full cover of the then leftist government and bourgeois justice, these bastards don’t understand any other language than the one they have learned to implement.
The moment I took the weapon, it fired, due to my negligence. The bullet hit my leg. After leaving the place, I sought refuge at the nearby home of an old friend. Estimating that very soon the repression mechanisms and their minions, the regime’s journalists, would publish my photo, I decided to evacuate a flat in which I was storing a number of tools for the resistance, with the aim to rescue them. So these tools ended up in the house where I had gone wounded, and from there into the warehouses of the militarist-statist rulers, about two weeks after my injury.
The following text is my political debriefing and statement about the continuation of the struggle, with reference to my injury and to the repression operation that followed. It was written in January this year, and was shared with collective bodies of the anti-state/anti-capitalist movement, on certain open political criteria. What preceded this, a few days after the arrests, the abduction of fighters and home raids, was a first informative public statement by which I took the exclusive responsibility for the possession of the tools that where found in the home of my friend, among which was a rifle identified as belonging to the Organization of Revolutionary Self Defense. This second text about the events of the 21st of October and all that followed, is made public now.
The statement (of January) is made up of three sections. The first describes the political methodological framework of the debriefing, followed by a description of the facts on political terms and an overview of the political conditions which led to the particular repression operation. It concludes with a note on the fundamental shortcomings of the movement, persistent many decades now, which condemn those who struggle and those who rise up to stand like lambs to slaughter, faced with the murderous might of the state. These are the same shortcomings that lead combative formations into inevitable dis-continuity.
The second section is a summary of the first and a practical specification with regards to solidarity. It addresses the comrades who mobilized in solidarity in relation to the repression operation that followed the injury, and delineates certain facts for orientation. The third section is a debriefing, practical and political of the events that led to my injury.
In the end follows an epilogue, and an updated address to comrades, from the particular condition that I am in.
Debriefing and propositional statement of comrade Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis to the comrades
In a debriefing, the first thing to do is to declare what is being accounted for. In conjunction to this it should be stated who is making the debriefing. What is accounted for is determined by who is making the debriefing. I should firstly note that when critique comes from outside a common field, then it is infertile, even hostile. Specifically, given that issues arise from the loss of an armed resistance infrastructure and the repression of a resistance organization, I begin, unquestionably, from the observation that critique towards actions and forms of organizing the armed foundation of the class struggle, which is the lung of every social struggle, is simply reactionary if it does not stem from procedures of armed organization, in the traditional materialist dialectical sense of the term, and it functions in a counter-revolutionary manner. It is meaningless even for former members or members of former organizations to make a public debriefing, if this does not take place within the context of a new organizational effort, or at least of a new proposal, and even then, this should be done with restrain. When this happens, it both entails and reveals selfish purposes. From self-satisfaction to the transformation of history into personal and political honors.
Therefore, you will not receive from me any critical comments about the history of the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense nor of any Organization, outside the framework of a committed dialogue towards the reconstruction of struggle, for which armed power is a necessary element. I defend, unconditionally, the organizational formations that have fought in the front line. Armed organizations and only they can express honest, consistent, and fertile critique, one to another, publicly. Everything else is political rubbish. And of course, I have always defended, both I, as well as the political formations I have participated in, the actions of existing and historical armed organizations, without calculating penal consequences. My reference to the actions, the speech and the practical legacy of organizations had, has and will have at its foundation only what they themselves have done, or said, and such references only have a meaning when they serve a common orientation in struggle.
These observations further explain, for those who are used to thinking in a contrary manner, the meaning of my statement that “It is not my place to personally speak for the presence and cessation of the particular organization. Its communiques speak for its actions. As to the history of its construction, its continuity and its cessation, this is a political dialogue that belongs to the resistance movement, and particularly to those who will continue the armed struggle.” However, in the course of this text, I will further specify the prevalent conditions of the class-social conflict and political struggle, through which the recent events of repression and the position I am now in assume their meaning.
Every debriefing should be political. Neither this text, nor the previous one with which I took responsibility for the weapons found in Cholargos, are manipulations against repression. We have a duty to protect people and structures against repression, but not by political lies. It is not a matter of the relation between means and ends, rather it is a matter of conflicting ends. Defending the social-political aim could not have as its prerequisite that the persons come away unscathed. Those who believe this do not believe in revolution, do not believe in the evolutionary dynamics of societies, do not believe in the capacity of people to live free. They are merely doing a hobby, at the same time as they perpetuate the dominant lie of the bourgeois world, security, and ideally, the immortality of the individual. The political aim, when we defend it honestly and consistently, serves the social need to protect people against repression. It serves it in its integrity, without distortions. Common experience speaks for itself: rarely has someone who entirely denies the political ground of actions that are unquestionably his/hers, had more lenient judicial repercussions.
Right now somebody is making a debriefing based on the responsibility that he ought to publicly defend, the keeping of a weapon -flag of a resistance organization, the preservation of the capacity for combative struggle and the contribution to the defense of the social struggles whenever this would become necessary and feasible in the midst of the savage attack that is constantly unleashed against the exploited, the excluded and the movements. Later on, I will analyze the dialectics of my own perception about what is necessary, according to the movement’s terms. Consequently, those misinterpretations of my last statement which saw distancing instead of recognizing indivisible responsibility (an interpretation that is contrary to the logical coherence of my statement) will evaporate. Indivisible in the collective space and in evolutionary time. From this indivisible stems the whenever (it would become necessary).
Now we begin from the fact that it is one person doing the debriefing. This is a restrictive condition. The fact that only one person -if not no person- could speak for the history of an armed political project signifies something. We will come to the political meaning of this fact later on, in its turn. Reality makes critique to history. I -whoever that may be- did not need and should not need to add anything more than the public information that the particular project, the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense, had ceased to exist as a political body, organizational procedure and practical activity, at a time when its actions should have gone on and intensified according to its political thinking, its specific goals, as set analytically in its last communique, and the evolution of the state-capitalist onslaught.
In reference to those of my responsibilities that extend beyond the incident of the finding of the weapons and of the persecution and imprisonment of two persons, the analytical self-critique that will take place publicly within the movement, will come in a few decades. Revolution takes time and memory. I will be here. In conditions of guerrilla warfare, personal responsibilities, for events that have not been personalized in public, cannot be publicly accounted for. Only in cases of anti-social ‘crimes’ (from a proletarian perspective) or ‘crimes’ against the movement, should a public account be made. Beyond this exception, the immediate debriefing of personal responsibilities is done within the procedures of the organization. Tekmil is the organic procedure of the combative forces. I will comment on the finding of the weapons, as an educative sharing of an experience, in the end notes of this text. If some expected more detail or self-critique from a public political debriefing, they should look inwards (as an old slogan used to say, “go psychoanalyze yourself by drowning “)
Furthermore, we should not fall into the opposite trap. The fact that someone has the duty and the capacity to speak personally, is not an opportunity to cultivate a political profile. Such “easy” issues still need to be talked about, since the big-shots of the movement, who were trying to choke it during the last government (leftist management), and for decades, have not yet gone through people’s justice. This culture remains active.
As for me, I am not interested in any honors of any past. Not because I am (truly or feigning to be) humble, but because I want to continue to live in the radical incarnation of historical myths, rather as a fulfilled historical myth. Bare of elitism, whoever wants to, gets my point. From this perspective, what is important is the current meaning of the historical continuity-discontinuity and not the past. In addition, those who are looking for the incarnation of the myth ideal in others, and not in themselves, will not push the struggle forward, even if they offer valuable solidarity. Only the comrades with whom we are fighting together today (and in the future today) need to know where I have been, in what battlefields, so as to know what experience, mainly political, I have to convey. Aside from them, only the state has serious reasons to care about where I have participated.
In order to complete this methodological introduction to a personal debriefing, which is necessary despite toning down the gist of my text, I will make a last extensive observation on the seemingly self-evident point of collective knowledge and history. The purpose of this and any debriefing should not be to extract general knowledge. In our matters there is no general knowledge. In the social struggle, in politics and, more broadly, in war, there is no general rule that asks to be extracted from our experience. The general conditions and the basic measures are very simple and have been written down over and over again. All the rest, that is, all the necessary wealth of evolution and of the struggle, cannot be defined by unchangeable rules. Let’s study the comments of Panagiotis Kondylis on Lenin and the fine sense of judgment (Theory of war). Methodological dogmas (of any political-ideological creed) are bullshit. Let’s study the books of Clausewitz On War, the one that analyses the issues on theory that arise (methodicism, paradigms and critique). His materialist dialectics on the matter is unsurpassed. Way more educational than the abstract and idealistic anarchism on philosophy of knowledge of Feyerabend.
It may seem like I am philosophizing whilst I am not taking responsibility for any action. We will come to that. As to the philosophy, I am setting the framework for mutual comprehension. Had all comrades studied a little, free from their ideological ties, we would have avoided countless hours of redundant speeches in assemblies, texts and interpersonal discussions.
Methodological dogmas are evasions from what is at hand, excuses so as not to adjust our actions, our organization, our opinions, our habits, our lives to the current conditions of the class struggle. They are the arrogance of the subject vis-a-vis natural evolution and change. A small internal counter-revolution. From this perspective, we ought to be very careful when judging “mistakes.” Those who act collectively based on a political target, have certainly examined all the different options before acting. They have made their estimates, they have rejected some options, they have weighed up the limits and risks and they know that there are always uncontrollable and totally indeterminable factors at play. The key to coherence and incoherence is not to be found in the available facts (a gap that will prevail even if we determine the facts that were missing the last time). The key is to be found in the physical capacities of the actor (practical, mental, active and “environmental” etc). Therefore, following a defeat, the matter is not to find what we had not calculated, but what persistent conditions led us to the particular result, consciously or subconsciously. A defeat may be the result of the best political decision or the best practical choice. History cannot be corrected, not even in the future.
Can we see, in this observation, a stance of continuity through the history of urban guerrilla struggle in Europe over the past 50 years? If not, then please study a little further, not texts that tell you how we should or should not do things, what to do or not to do, but anything that may assist you to understand why the battles that have been fought were the best that they could be. But even more importantly, why the struggles we will fight in the future will be again the best that they can be, even though they will be fraught with defeats and mistakes. Of course I am writing to urge you as to what we should do and I just now urged you to do something, if you haven’t already. Because, the recognition of the causality/consequence as a natural given (or simply the tautology of consequence) does not translate into the isolation or absence of the subjects. On the contrary, it means that the subjects shape the world (and themselves). The foundation of participating in the co-shaping process, on revolutionary terms, is the activity of people who arm themselves and strike the class enemy in immediate time, in whatever way they deem right. When we are ready to leave the past to rest and turn to the future, open to the needs of the present, then we learn to understand why the past was what it was and could not have been different. And this accepting look towards the present, the future and the past is an active and radical move. Only revolutionary action can truly account for history effectively. And it does this much like it is embracing its mother. Because it is the only point of view from which the subject is not afraid to face itself. Even though everything is part of the evolutionary conditions that have already been shaped, the subjects are not bound to any external determinism (teleology). The boundaries are collective. Science overcame this issue decades ago.
Perhaps this cognitive form is considered deeply Marxist. I won’t deny this. I will refer, however, to two of “our paternal texts” (Bakunin’s texts), because Marx underestimated the issue of religion (the superstructure), contrary to Bakunin. History confirmed Mike (Bakunin) on this point also. Not because in the time of increasing collapse of capitalism religions make a comeback, as powerful forms of management of such collapse, but because we never really did away with theology at its roots. If we are finished with god, then we must be finished with determinism and with luck. But not with causality/consequence. But, never before in history have people acted in such a distorted manner in relation to this as they do today, during the phase of the total domination of value: One fragment of the compromised fetish, (tn: concept introduced by the Red Brigades), yields to the deterministic program of authority, while the other gambles, passively, on divine “luck.” Where the two meet and unite is the indifference towards consequence! I am not out of the topic. Anarchists fight each other over the paralyzing determinism of the ‘organized movement’ and the randomness of structurelessness. Moses’ flying oceans or Mount Olympus’ soap opera. And at the same time, reality passes before their eyes as if they feel no urgency to confront, directly, the consequences of the onslaught of state and capitalism, as it should be done.
Having suffered a defeat, all the alternative proposals that were not put to the test seem better, just like, in general, new ideas seem better than those which are currently being worked through in all their complexities. Until these new ideas are put to the test or examined thoroughly. Just as Kurosawa said in 7 Samurai, “the fish that got away seems bigger.” The after-the-facts effort to find the alternative that would bring us success would have no relevance to actual facts. It is neither educative, nor is is a way towards a meaningful debriefing. Rather it serves our existential need to resist the causality of weakness, but in ways that are deceiving, idealistic and non creative, thus, in ways that transfix us to this weakness. In fact, this is a return to theology: a supposed correction of the chance factor by constructing a Utopian teleology, stripped of the factors which were really at play. Theology also explains why people “get serious” as they grow up, and leave youthful revolt and individualism behind and seek stability.
In view of this, if a debriefing could shed any light, it would be so as to clarify the evolution of the conditions of class struggle -which is all the gist. Class conditions (the base of the conflict), social and political conditions (what we call the world of resistance), organizational conditions. The subjects in the struggle intervene to all these conditions, starting from the most specific level, that of self-organization and co-organization in conflict with the class-political enemy. However, the organizational weaknesses express in a proportionate and condensed way, the weaknesses of the class subject. Firstly, there are weaknesses relating to the fundamental material level, that of survival and safety vis-a-vis the violence and terrorism, on which is based the control over all conditions. Then, there are social weaknesses, contradictions that deconstruct and assimilate the social dynamic into the bourgeois civilization, and the fractionation of the class struggle down to the lowest level. Last, there are political conditions: put simply, the ways in which the aforementioned and pre-established weaknesses limit the growth of revolutionary struggle, or are internalized within it. Here is a topic on which I have something to account for.
So, summarizing, we don’t need to ‘discover’ what we should have done then, or what we should do tomorrow according to what we didn’t do yesterday, but to recognize the sources of our weaknesses so far, so as to change these (or not to change them). Just as Bruce Lee said when he closed down all his schools worldwide, “you don’t need to learn any system, you need only learn to see the causes of your weaknesses.” About what we must do, ten words are enough, more than enough since one word leads to another, if we are honest: Direct confrontation, co-organization, arming ourselves, collective development. The deconstruction of that which keeps us “imprisoned,” that which limits the things we should be doing, this takes determination, it takes all that we should be doing plus political dialogue. Because, in the end, the first and last enemy is ourselves as a reflection of the dominant order, that which feeds the virus of fear and of insensitivity, plus the germs of the enemy within our social world, within our subjectivity -wretched physical satisfactions in mutually divergent worlds of pseudo experiences.
The Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense did its duty, as it could, for as long as there was a collective body that perceived this duty. The best one is always missing. The responsibility of the rebel militant body lies with reality and the responsibility of reality lies with the rebel militant body. I am glad that I was, am and will be an active subject of this responsibility and not a spectator or a sidekick. Recognizing the weaknesses as reflected in the events of repression related with the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense, may have one and only purpose: The continuation and strengthening of armed struggle. This and purely this, is the orientation of my debriefing. As was stated in the claim of responsibility I made about keeping an armed infrastructure, and as was stated clearly in the previous section. What is the present situation, in all its levels? What is the need? What is the prospect? Which is the particular position of the one making the debriefing, in coherence with the way in which the aforementioned questions will be answered?
Now that we have a coherent foundation of perception, we can move on to the matter at hand.
If the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense existed as a political body, even an inactive one, in October 2019, it should have spoken publicly. If it had members who had not been arrested, it should have spoken as an Organization, since it was connected in practice, though a weapon marked with its deeds, with a sequence of repression events. The persecution and detention of persons, whether they are connected with the organization or not, could not be a reason for staying silent. On the contrary. Any revolutionary organization should speak, to inform, to take a stance vis-a-vis repression. The organizations do not disappear under the blackmail of captivity. If it were so, they would have no reason to exist.
If the Organization existed as a political body and it had members who had not been arrested, as well as captive members, it would have been a matter of its concern what the captive members would publicly state. Every Organization decides this in advance. Having said that, I cannot imagine an Organization which would maintain a political line by which its members would completely distance themselves from the existence of the Organization, as did comrade Stathopoulos, or even more, they would sign condemning statements to the police, pointing the finger at other arrested persons, as did my friend Bakas. Certainly though, no Organization would remain silent faced with these events. Perhaps this logical conclusion means nothing to the judges, but it needs to be said, in order to clarify towards the movement what really happened -who is who- so that there is true knowledge of the political context.
Consequently, had all the members of the Organization been held captive, at least some, if not all, should talk about the Organization according to the political agreements and the practical planning of the Organization. But in this case, this is not even a hypothetical question. It is not possible that those 2 specific persons are the Organization, that they deny it, and that a third person takes responsibility for its infrastructure.
If the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense continued to exist in October as a political body, as an organizational procedure and as a practical capacity, I would not need to take responsibility personally for the keeping of part or the whole of its infrastructure. Even if I had remained alone following the captivity of all the others, even if I had been assigned the role (as every Organization should do) to take initiative for the activity and the public speech of the Organization, I would not be speaking personally, as Dimitris, but as the Organization. In any case, the Organization should speak about how at least one of its weapons was lost. Moreover, my opinion is that, faced with the wave of repression and the black propaganda that were unleashed after my injury, had this combative collective body continued to exist, it should counterattack. If anyone believes that the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense dissolved the moment of my injury, or that it self-dissolved because I didn’t take its responsibility, they are thinking just like the repression mechanisms.
The public information about the cessation of the active contribution that was called Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense is not a trick of legal defense. Besides, laws and judges don’t bother with such details. For them, the possession of these materials is enough to convict me for organization, even if I am alone, and the possession of the particular weapon is enough to convict me for participation in the particular organization. Lawyers can argue on such issues, so as to counteract the lengthy sentences. But, whatever one says from the condition of clandestinity has no penal significance. And the main thing is, that I am speaking politically. The movement has a duty to want to be informed and I have a duty to inform.
I was clear in the responsibility that I took publicly. But I will repeat it analytically so as to clear the dust. I was not doing a favor (as many persecuted persons have declared in the past). I was serving a political duty. In the hardest condition: alone. It was not a responsibility towards the past, but a responsibility for the present and future. The reference to history is not about the past, but about the present and future. I was not a storage keeper. I had absolutely (yet not uncritically) the political responsibility about the infrastructure that I was keeping. And so the political responsibility of the contribution to possible new projects. It must not matter to anyone, except to the repression mechanisms, that I declare whether I have participated in projects of armed struggle in the past (I explained this earlier), or to what length I would go to in the future (in other words, hot air). The responsibility I took is part of the armed struggle for halting the state-capitalist aggression and towards the construction of a revolutionary movement.
Every event holds a meaning. I don’t believe in divine interventions, therefore I don’t believe in the ghost that is called “luck.” There is only knowledge and ignorance (in my previous text, the phrase “they discovered by chance” was a reference to their ignorance). This is even more the case when we are referring to events for which a conscious responsibility has been declared and can be recognized. The weapon-flag of the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense was not lost by chance along with many other tools. Beyond the events of the 21st of October and its political causes, which I will analyze in the end, it was a given that the particular weapon would become exposed in the event of repression. I could have buried it so that it may never be found, even if I intended to use it in due time. As long as the Organization was active, such a measure would have been useful. From the moment I exclusively took this responsibility, it was a conscious political decision to not isolate this weapon from the rest of the tools with a mind to better protect it. The loss of this particular weapon is not and could not become a factor inhibiting the creation of new like-minded projects, neither could it mean the restriction of the activity of the Organization as long as this was present. And this is how it should be, entirely: the loss of the armory for which I took responsibility should not inhibit anyone form doing all that they can do.
On the contrary, the knowledge and the practical responsibility of the fact that a potential loss of the material that was lost after my injury would have as a consequence the reference to the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense, expresses a conscious responsibility to history vis-a-vis the movement: not a responsibility for what was lost -a political dynamic- but the responsibility to not let it vanquish in silence and to make it clear that it had already been lost. Keeping a flag in the front line, even though its unit has ceased fire, was the way to protect its history. It was, moreover, the way to declare the true power -weakness- of this fort, so that the movement knows (and so that those who knew don’t forget). It was also the way to keep the proposals of the particular Organization active, even after the possible deprivation of every capacity to act from the one who took the responsibility to continue.
The moment when this exposure would become necessary would be when I, who had the exclusive responsibility since I was alone, would lose the capacity to keep any prospects open. Going into clandestinity officially (not by my own initiative, but by order of the prosecutor) is exactly the kind of condition that brings about this loss of capacity, given the general retreat of the movement and the deconstruction of combative formations. A condition which, within a healthy environment of struggle would result in proliferation of power, of capacities, of freedom of movement, is in this case, within existing conditions, the reflection of the general political dead-end. Or, in a play of words, it is the vanguard of our common weakness.
Subsequently, the risk of being associated with the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense was not a mistake, nor were the consequences of my injury “a matter of chance.” Not only would it not have been possible for me to avoid, after the facts, the consequences of the historical reality, but I was the one who had already assumed the responsibility, very practically, to change this reality, or at least bring it to the light.
Here is the reality, in its full political meaning, from which the general observation was extracted, that “the weapons do not constitute an organization, in and of themselves. Even a weapon that is identified as a tool of a particular organization, and as such holds a symbolic significance on top of the practical capacity that every tool holds, is not sufficient in itself to maintain an organization of political activity. What is required more is the collective body that will continue the public presence of the organization through its deeds.” This could not have been an evasion. The Organization would have denied such an observation, were it not true. Its truth is therefore unquestionable through the particular history of struggle (much like a mathematical theorem, proven that it cannot be false). It can only be negated though practice.
The personal responsibility that I took objectively signifies the absence of the Organization. I believe that I explained this sufficiently, both in the previous text and in this one. There is no meaning, nor should it be allowed to talk publicly now about how the Organization’s activity came to an end (I explained this in the introduction). However, everyone should know that this storming ground had no guard for two years. They must know, not so much those who assign their desires to others, but primarily those who are looking to get organized and to act. They must know, not so as to compromise with repression, but in order to take new initiatives. Now, and for this purpose is why it is needed to clarify the general conditions that led the organization to inactivity. The evolution of the class and political conflict in the Greek territory, but also globally, makes this clarification all the more imperative to be done. It would be superfluous for me to repeat what we have in front of us. It is not at all superfluous to look at where we are standing.
It is obvious that had I wanted to, I could have acted individually during the time that I had to keep the weaponry that the enemy found. I never wrote, nor insinuated that I received this material a day before the accident. Certainly this was a juncture during which there was no shortage of reasons to act, as expressed precisely in the communiques of the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense. Moreover, since I took the responsibility for keeping a prospect alive, I did not have the right to stand by. Every anarchist should understand this. In the words of the Organization: “Revolutionaries do not watch history pass before their eyes. They change it.” Why then were all these weapons in storage, while the state continued its onslaught? For example, when the new openly fascist government took its turn to attack the squats, starting with the one in which I was participating?!
The answer is difficult to swallow, not least for myself. It was difficult every day that I had to insist on it. And although government officials, bourgeoisie and cops may be relieved in reading these lines, I still maintain that it was the right decision, politically. I believed that the combination of two factors was such to exclude any other decision: On the one hand, following the cessation of the activity of the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense, I could not see in the horizon any hands-on attempt at creating new bases of armed resistance and co-organization of forces in the Greek territory. This observation does not stem from my own whims, rather it depends on the mobility among the people and movements in the struggle. On the other hand, I was so blatantly targeted by repression, that in any case of reemergence of resistance in a similar direction to that of the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense, even I if were not involved, it would be certain that I would be trapped, either by imprisonment, in the worst case, or if I were to take the necessary measures, by being isolated in a condition of clandestinity. By taking initiatives in action, we open up the space for future prospects. There is however one more requirement for this to happen: that there is momentum in the movement to continue, or that there is space for us to move (even having the space is not enough without the movement’s momentum). With no air to breath, I would not go very far. And in the near end, we would not be counting one more action, an expression of might of the movement, but a dead end. For this political judgment and decision -inactivity involves making a decision and a heavy burden of responsibility, especially in the dominant culture that is built on indifference- and only for this, I apologize towards the movement. And I submit my further arguments.
By virtue of the results, we can say that merely taking the responsibility that I took alone was already putting me in the trap of this “dead-end.” Besides, the dilemma of clandestinity or capitulation, which is not really a dilemma, was objectively posed to me on the 26th of August, at the start of the sweep operations against squats and with my abduction by police forces. Why then should the time since then have gone wasted? Why should we let ourselves be swept away by the militarist onslaught, even for a brief time? I would agree that we shouldn’t. Such is my political perception, and I think such has been the political perception and morality of anarchists throughout history. There cannot be a condition of minimum cost. It is both immoral and absurd for us to wait for such a condition to exist. It is the weak who revolt, not the strong. And they revolt today because they need to (it is not a hobby that you do when you feel like it). However, it was clear that the issue was neither my personal survival and conventional freedom, nor personal revenge, but building the pillars for the continuation of the struggle; that the threat posed by the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense to the class and political enemy, despite the Organization’s stagnation, does not extinguish like firework. Despite the perpetuated sterility of the movement, I had to remain in a state of anticipation.
If some say that my solitude is also a matter of communication, procedures etc, I will juxtapose that here in this territory we are like a village. The organs of repression and their mouthpieces, ever since my pre-trial detention 10 years ago, implied my involvement in every scenario of “domestic terrorism.” How can it be that the cops know who to turn to, but the comrades don’t? I cannot believe that my political stance and presence within the movements’ procedures have been that imperceptible. As for those who would say they would go into action, but not with me, for whatever reason, I would say: where have you been? So that I may do my debriefing towards the movement, deliver the weapons, go for a rest, so that the struggle may continue?
I remember the interview (documentary) of an Irish fighter after years of imprisonment, who had been arrested on a ship loaded with guns. It was a present of Qaddafi to the IRA. This old man was deeply sad. Not for going to prison, but because the ship load never made it to its recipient. The history of armed struggle in the Greek territory, after the first wave of repression in the last decade, is much sadder. The ship is stranded mid ocean, not because the state has achieved some serious blow, but because there is nowhere for it to harbor. And this is what practically happened with the historical legacy and the tools that I had the responsibility for. The general situation remains such.
It is not about the stagnation of the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense particularly, nor of any other Organization or armed group. It is about the sinecure post of the European anarchist movement, which failed to rediscover its revolutionary roots after the 2nd imperialist war. It is the chronic stagnation of the social movement in the Greek territory, which failed to take up arms again after the civil war. It is the decay of the majority of the political organizations of the anti-capitalist movement globally, be they leftist or libertarian, which stand by watching the slaughter of proletarian peoples at the borders, in the wars, in the revolts, in the work camps and the prisons, without being able to fire even one shot against the enemy. It is the prevalent culture of “individual choices,” a life that is consumed or trampled on the sidewalk like bubble gum and cannot join arms with the struggle even for the slightest cause.
In a way, the minister of state terrorism is announcing the same conclusion: armed resistance, and slowly, every kind of resistance is withering away in oblivion, it has been isolated, it is being wiped out. The state is treading on the reality that we create, in order to promote itself. It hasn’t achieved anything by pioneering designs – it exploits and deepens this reality. In the words of the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense, “when poverty is rampant and the state seems unbeatable, this reflects the lack of revolutionary initiative, unity and organization, lack of social morale.” I am not demeaning the movement vis-a-vis repression. I am sounding an alarm. With collective shame for the time that is lost and infinite sadness for all those who vanquish without getting justice in the meantime. Recognizing the historical structures that cripple the revolutionary movement is the prerequisite for subverting the prevalent relations of power. A bucket full of cold water is a good way to stay awake during watch, so that the whole community is not slaughtered overnight. Here it is. I hope and continue to fight for my observations to be disproven by the evolution of the struggle.
This is not the time to criticize the wrong directions taken, the wrong retreats (to put it gently), the wrong little lies. It is the time for anarchists to assume their historical duty. To defend not only their ideas and their own people, but all the oppressed peoples and the struggles as befits the scale of the savage state aggression. Liquidationism (likvidarism) that has taken deep roots in the movement is decadence. Chile is another tragic example of this. If the heartless enemy does not bleed, like it bleeds the world, it will not stop until it has crushed everything.
The illusion of the individual choices is decadence. The illusion of the “stages theory” is decadence. All each, (tous uns) as Étienne de La Boétie wrote half a millennium ago.
So that we crush the terrorism and the domination of the exploiters
- In my previous public statement I had paid tribute to living and dead fighters, revolts and ongoing struggles. I had neglected those who became martyrs in the most obscure fields of struggle, within the imperialist territory.
Honor to comrades Mikhail Zhlobitsky and Willem Van Spronsen
Short guide to supporters of armed struggle and of captive and persecuted fighters:
What does the concept “exclusive responsibility” mean?
-The storage of a weapon-flag of an organization and of a set of tools for armed action was not a favor, it was not the job of an antique keeper, nor the limited responsibility of a storage manager. The political aim was declared from the outset. The coherence with the struggle of the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense was clear. Whoever fails to recognize this is simply undermining.
-The collective body has left its traces, but is now absent. It was absent already long before the “accident” of Cholargos. And this absence was catalytic for the resulting loss of the material legacy of the Organization and the persecution of persons who had nothing to do with it.
-The absence of the Organization was a political weakness, something which only the state and its companions could rejoice about. It was a wound on the lines of defense and counter-attack of the social movement. Any discussion that circumvents this reality does not help in overcoming its causes, which are common (as in shared). “Armed organizations have the responsibility to arm the despair and the hopes…”
-The absence of the organization cannot be judged by anything other than the measure of its propositions, its targets, its commitments and its actions. Without the recognition of these, its absence cannot be felt. Any reference to anything regarding the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense (eg. a rifle, a persecuted comrade, the naming of the captives as members of the Organization, house raids and of course its existence and absence) should begin with the comradely political recognition of (which does not mean identification with) its actions, its orientation and particular contribution. This is so for any relation of solidarity. The debriefing of this absence can only be completed when the purpose is reinforced: “the construction of broad armed social resistance.”
-One person cannot speak for an absent organization, whatever his/her relation has been with it. This would be a transformation of weakness into posterity. I don’t want honors, I want comrades. If we move forward, it is easy to defend the past and take responsibility for our mistakes. And we can raise whatever flag we want. Old and new. If we stay stagnant we tend to nitpick. When it will be necessary to say where each of us has been, we will have to apologize on the spot about our absences. Rather, we should begin with that. Until the chain is made that will pass on “the weapon that was raised, through the hundreds of hands that have the desire and can raise it again.”
-One person takes the responsibility of the inactivity for which we are all, literally all, accountable. Just like for the Organization, we can judge the one who takes its responsibility, (in fact, he is the only one available to judgment), based, however, on the responsibilities that he assumed, if we are able to share these and on the condition that we have recognized the particular significance of his effort. The fundamental and irreplaceable act by which to breech an exclusivity is to join arms with the struggle. So comrades, I beg you, have you something to say? The door is wide open. Of course, there are coffee shops in the neighborhood, there is always the “freedom of choice.”
-Lingering in the past, in the glorious past (the characterization here is not sarcastic), undermines the significance of the continuation and of the effort to continue in the midst of disintegration, the most difficult task. Does it matter whether I was in the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense? What matters is who takes on action today “for bringing the armed struggle inside the social battle fronts”, and who “will organize together a sentry in every neighborhood.”
Debriefing of the events of 21st October 2019:
Lets begin with the comment that there are aspects of the events about which we can talk, and others which we are obliged not to talk about. The distinction between these is clear. What is more complicated, albeit necessary, is not to create greater confusion by what we say around what we cannot say, and even worse, not to project the opposite conclusions to what the writer has come to but cannot share here. This takes a lot of care. Estimations around interpretations are inevitably made. Just like an exercise on game theory. It would help to know that the readers of this debriefing would avoid arbitrary hypotheses and interpretations about what they don’t know. However, neither the ideal reader exists, nor do I have the right (that which stems from the consistency of my word, not by some authority) to chose who can judge and who not. So, instead of attempting to preemptively answer to every product of prejudice and imagination (which is impossible) I will set the framework. As I did in the introduction of this text.
What is the subject of debriefing? The appropriation of a mini casino of OPAP. My injury. The transfer of materials to the house where they were found by the police.
The debriefing of the appropriation is meaningful only in relation to the political matters at hand. It does not take any effort to defend the socialization of capital. I don’t want to be banal. This would be self-evident, just like pouring yourself a glass of water when thirsty. What one does with the money from a robbery is a cunning question. It is appropriate for the case of a robbery as much as it is for the case of wage labor. What does one do with their wage? I will not give any answer on this, because no robber is accountable for their desires and I reject the distinction between the political and the social on the matter of survival. Especially about a casino, in a residential neighborhood, even the prosecutors would not find it difficult to agree with me. What remains is the matter of the law and of crime. On this also, I don’t think I can add anything more to the huge bibliography spanning many centuries and the rich personal accounts of grand robbers. Naturally, the target (a mini casino) should not be a topic of conversation not even from a practical point of view. Whether it should be the European Central Bank or we should appropriate in more “clever ways,” like hacking. Wishful thinking…I make such comments, because such discussions are common. Moving along…
Therefore, the appropriation is of concern here only in relation to the assumed responsibility of keeping a set of tools for the struggle, and of the political foundation of this, the pursuit of the continuation of armed resistance. A first remark: there was no confusion between means and ends – it was a relation between means and ends (as regards me personally and not the person who was with me at the robbery). Not only in the narrow sense of the funding of a political work, but also as a way of managing economy and time, given my large political work load. As said before, a debriefing means the clarification of the conditions through which the contradictions are manifested. A first defining contradiction is showing. Taking a risk for small to medium rewards is disproportional to the care that is required when having an exclusive responsibility for something whose loss would result in grave political consequences.
The subjective condition of this contradiction is either the arbitrariness of over confidence, or despair. In most cases that this question is posed, the answer is both. It is the relation between cause and effect. The excess in self-confidence fills the abyss of despair. This is natural, and it is a radical, creative and evolutionary automatic procedure of life. I will unfold its political dimension later on. However, this feedback loop can become a destructive accumulator when the subject fails repeatedly to produce the pursued results. We could say that the inherent self-destructive dynamic in such conditions, is a natural structure that ensures innovation. Following a sum of failures, if we cannot change, nature has already provided for our replacement. (Don’t haste to rejoice, I’m still here.)
Let’s unfold the political meaning of this layered subjective condition. The critical point here is the collective dynamic. If we begin to search for the consequences of a belief starting from the subjective target, then it is impossible to repair the dialectics between subject and conditions. Rather, we remain trapped in a regression between relativist indeterminacy of the facts and the conservative acceptance of the prevalent conditions. Instead, we should, from the outset, look at the subject in relation to the weaknesses of the social and collective background and then with its consequences. Because by focusing on the relation between subject-reality, we are dealing with a perspective of power over nature’s movement, a mediated, veiled relation of powers. We reproduce the engineering of authority, where the subject may have some ephemeral rewards, but what survives is the machine: the value that goes back into production. While here, our matter, the class and political issue at hand, is always the relations between subjects.
The degree of collectivization determines the degree of necessary, and even schismatic, initiative, in an inversely proportionate manner. And subsequently to the degree of necessary excess and possibly arrogant over confidence. In a world that is essentially a-social, where we must reconstruct the social body, we tread on the border line between these contradictions. It is not a boundary, (it has not been collectively set, since the commons is still fragmented), it is a borderline, a contested ground.
The dis-continuities of our communities demand that we take crucial initiatives. The loss of comrades and the disorganization of collective fields, in whatever way this happens, oblige us to take initiatives. Having taken on a solitary duty, not generally alone, but particularly on a bridgehead of the guerrilla resistance, I continued with some excessive sense of duty and an over-confidence, with catalytic results. But it was not arrogance that led to isolation and the resulting blow. This psychological kind of interpretation cannot withstand the lived experience. It was the chronic defeat of the movement, which was attempted to be dealt with in a series of phases and which finally dismantled all the combative formations (not only the guerrilla ones). The armory that was lost, depended on my handling, because it had already been abandoned by the movement, with all the meanings that this conclusion carries.
The forward flight is an attempt to counterbalance the collective trauma by the only way that Gordian knots are untied. Within the general retreat and abandonment, those who remain are left to take on more responsibilities. Inevitably, since everything is subjected to limits of transformation, this cumulative resistance cannot withstand for ever. In the midst the numerous responsibilities, contradictions begin to surface that become disruptive. Moreover, disorganization stems from the quantitative factor: the load of responsibilities, the resources, the time, the fatigue. The political problem is manifested through the final results, exponentially.
Before commenting on the technical mistakes which led to my injury, it is important to keep in mind the political background as described above as the defining factor, since I was well aware of the technical measures that were not upheld. I knew very well what should be done and what should not be done. I had cultivated the necessary automatic behavior. However, the combination of carelessness from fatigue and an over-confidence on acquired skills led to tragic clumsiness. It is not the case of some “conspiracy of chance.” Simply, in absolute natural coherence, the political weaknesses, which are in turn reflections of class relations, are manifested in the most grounded way through the human gesture and on human flesh, that is down to the specific level.
There is no shortage of technical manuals. I will note the technical measures that were not kept (handling of a weapon), only out of the obligation towards any reader who may not have absorbed these so far. A weapon that has a safety installed, should always be handled with the safety on. Even if we think it is not loaded, that is without a bullet in the chamber. It should better not be loaded if we are not in immediate danger. But in any case, the safety should be on. You never need more time to take the safety off than the time it takes for any threat to be enacted. Especially when a weapon changes hands, the safety should always be checked. This takes no time at all. It is a mere touch of a finger (not even a glance) from the one that delivers and a glance from the one that receives it. Then, you should never rest your finger on the trigger. It should rest outside, protecting the trigger, until the moment you need to shoot. It never takes more time to place your finger on the trigger than the time interval between the appearance of a threat and the enemy shot. The easiest accident is the push of the trigger by a sudden thrust. Finally, you should never deliver nor receive a long barrel gun from its grip. Delay is not the issue: it is sure that two hands on the grip will get mixed up. Naturally, the gun is a threat when delivered and received by the grip until it is turned to the right angle.
Catching the thread of the political meanings, the same political causes that led to the loss of vigilance on action led to the loss of clarity immediately after. It was my decision to transfer the stored material to the place where I sought refuge after the injury, which was in close proximity to where the robbery had taken place. As a result of the same subjective factors, I underestimated the capacity of the cops to use the video footage from the area to find routes and persons, in particular an area spanning short distances. It was wrong to confuse the area of action with the area of refuge. The most significant problem was not the confusion of geographical space (which occurred), but the confusion of roles. Anything can be hidden in any place. This is something that falls into the art of concealed warfare. But when you seek refuge, in short time and without planning, within the dragnet, it is unlikely that the same place can serve multiple purposes. Moreover, the management of the tools in that place was a foregone dead-end; it was something that only I could do, surely not my friend, and I should have calculated this. Had the tools remained somewhere else, perhaps the cops would still find them. However, they would not as easily be able to incriminate others with the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense, nor to blackmail other persons.
Even though I don’t have the space to explain this further, with convincing arguments, I know that the result confirmed (negatively) a personal acknowledgment, already ascertained through experience: Nobody could have kept, more efficiently than me, the material that I took the responsibility to store, for as long as I had this duty. On the crucial moment, when statistics prevailed over the personal acknowledgment, a catastrophic chain of events unfolded.
Epilogue (June 2020)
or anarchy is a young girl with the infinite faces of the universe, many girls who already know the history of the world
Since January, two processes of pivotal global social developments have occurred (these are not two passing moments): the class-social conflict on the interstate management of an epidemic and the most mass insurrection of all times in the USA. Both radical mass processes reinstate to the entire proletarian world the historical time, that time which the captivated perception kept losing from its horizon. At a time when, through the voice of our weaknesses, the state has been confirming that our acceptance of it will endure, that same voice is realizing that life can make no more allowances for more insult and pillaging. In extremity, life’s dynamic astonishes the imprisoned “conscience.” In the moment when no rationalization can withstand the raw violence without which authorities would not last one second, the enraged solidarity storms the planet. The Masses, the height of boundless love, of immediacy, of collective development, of spontaneity, of self-organization, of human power, of revolution, they once again seize the time, knowing that they want and they can let nothing be the same again. Every time with greater clarity of purpose. Now, bare of every fetish of authority. There is nothing left by which to beautify the rivers of blood shed by the history of the state and capitalism. However, the social Masses are at the same time bare of revolutionary memory and language, of spaces where they practice self-direction, of tools for their self-defense. Therefore, let’s give no quarter to the time of our ecstatic duty.
I will stop here with the reference to current events. There are many ways to discuss the political analysis, the one that is necessary for the continuation of the struggle, and surely it is not appropriate to limit this analysis within the context of a personal account. Whoever wants to can read. Whoever does not succumb to the decrees of death-policies, knows how to arm themselves. Whoever can listen carefully to the momentum of the masses, those that poured out and the ones that are brewing, knows how to meet with others. With the honest admittance that whatever we have done until today is too little for the measure of reality, and with the courage of our conviction to call for joining arms with the struggle, now or never, and by each of us taking a step towards uncertainty.
To close this debriefing, returning my glance to the mirror, I feel the political need to “correct” a word and to subvert certain conservative beliefs. The first is an expression of solidarity that on this occasion was addressed to me, yet it is a widespread belief. The path that is called “going underground” is not an arduous one. It is certainly easier than the path called prison. For anything that breaths. And it is certainly a path full of springs, contrary to the water-less path of voluntary captivity. If we study history, particularly history of war, we should know something that has been noted in numerous texts, that the arduous path is the one that changes the relations of power.
The truth is that between the grounds of the existing or the visionary resistance that has yet to take roots here, on the one hand, and the voluntary captivity that ties the hands and legs of the anti-capitalist movement, on the other hand, lies an area more imperceptible than prison. Exile on the margins of an immobilized world. Coincidentally, but not by chance, a few months after I found myself in this state, the whole planet discovered this same state of exile. Whether you are a persecuted “terrorist” or the most law abiding citizen, the difference was almost extinguished! And at the same time, the difference in our sensitivity towards the slaughterhouse wherein we live, began to diminish deeply. So, treading somewhere between the line of exile, the mountain and the universal prison, whose prison bars are inevitably melting down, I am in the pleasant position to see in the horizon the armored currents that will dissolve every bit of tyranny.
The return of the historical time gives me the opportunity to express a particular call. When we overlook on life as if we are standing from the outside (like science), everything appears like an evolution of self-organization. But in the lived experience of life’s evolution (where the distinction between the objective and subjective determination is canceled), everything is an act of passage to youth. Everything dies in order to offer the world to something better in its innovation. During the past two centuries of capitalism’s development, the differential between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in the reproduction cycle has increased. The bourgeois world creates its descendants in an eclectic way, in conditions of security, with a program, controlled. The planet’s Third World, in the capitalist center and in its peripheries, continues to reproduce en mass. There is a fundamental class meaning on the backdrop of this cultural differentiation. And a consequence. The planet belongs to the proletarians and mainly, the women, since there is an inherent natural multiplying trend of the female. No genocidal design -which are always classist and racist designs- has succeeded, nor can it succeed.
The historical necessity and the emerging capacity for women to lead the global class war -similarly to how Jenkins Han made it to the depths of Europe- prescribes also the form of the new world: in the civilization of social self-direction and equality, age relations will turn upside down: the elder will serve (service, in the Zapatistas’ sense of the word) the creative initiative of the younger and will be guided by it, through experience, in practice, in ideology. Anarchy is not the work of a mature intellectual with a beard, and surely not the work of a muscly man. It is a young girl with the infinite faces of the universe, many girls, who already know -it is already inscribed on her flesh- the history of the world. In everything we do in the struggle against tyranny, we should keep in our mind the face of the society that will inherit the earth and the myths that we bestow: the free community of children.
Original post in Greek: https://www.athens.indymedia.org/post/1606060/
Message to captive comrades, on the occasion of the week of solidarity with revolutionary communist Zorz Ibrahim Abdalah
Comrade Zorz Ibrahim Abdalah is a shinning star radiating the power of revolted life against a system that is trying to delay its own death using its terrorism as a crutch. The lengthy imprisonment, the most paranoid and anti-social torture in human history, that became a productive model by the bourgeoisie, expressed nothing more than the self-fulfilling weakness of the state to subjugate life. Imprisoned for thirty-six years, the unshakable fighter Zorz Ibrahim Abdalah, seals the defeat of statism and of imperialism with every day that his captivity is lengthened.
The solidarity campaigns to political prisoners is a work towards reminding us that capitalism is terrorism, general isolation and indifference. But this is secondary. The consecutive international campaigns of solidarity to Zorz Ibrahim Abdalah asseverate that as much as the imperialist tyrants try to bury the proletarian struggle of the Third World, the revolutionary will is strengthened. Zorz Ibrahim has long ago and forever defeated state terrorism. The coming revolutionary explosions, in other words the fulfillment of the acts of resistance for which states take revenge, are present in every day of captivity that is added to his sentence.
Almost four years have passed since the attack of the Organization of Revolutionary Self- Defense against the French embassy in Athens, in the context of the open call for solidarity to Zorz Ibrahim Abdalah, and having the duty to transfer this legacy to higher levels of struggle, I express the belief that there is a way to show effective solidarity with the captive comrade: the commitment that we will continue the revolutionary class war until we tear down the imperialists, their political agents and guards from the Middle East to the center of Europe, from the global South to the capitalist North.
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