Statement at a trial
The text below is a political statement made by the anarchist Rami Syrianos during his trial on May 2012, for the expropriation of ODDY (a state structure responsible for organizing auctions of confiscated cars) on January 2011 in Thessaloniki. Τhe statement first appeared in the “Demolish the Bastille” zine (December 2012), published by the “Solidarity fund for imprisoned and persecuted fighters”. The comrade was condemned to 8 years and 8 motnhs, a penalty that he serves actually in the prison of Larisa.
First of all, I would like to clarify that whatever I will state, is in no case any kind of apology. I do not recognize any political or moral legitimacy in this court, that could motivate me to consider necessary an apology of mine to it.
The total of my statement is a public testimony of the political reasoning on which my choice of expropriating the money gathered in the auction of ODDY on the 31st of January 2011, was based.
Before referring to the facts concerning particularly the choice of expropriation, there are some things that should be said in order to define the general circumstances where both the expropriation and this court are being placed.
It cannot anymore be other than clear to anyone, the fact that we ‘re living in an era of turbulence. There’s no need for someone to be a sociologist or a financial analyst in order to understand that the social circumstance has since some time ago taken the character of an open conflict. The crackles brought by the financial crisis of 2008, have outreached the sphere of economy and crossed vertically through every aspect of social relations. The shining showcase of capitalism was turned into shivers, revealing behind it the rotting of an — existentially — bankrupt social regime, preserved to life with technical support. The fake well-being image of the previous decades, demystified along with the democratic illusions and the capitalist promises that accompanied it, is being replaced by the image of a dystopian future, where fear and uncertainty prevail, while social coherence, having its until recently watertights wrecked, gives its place to social polarization.
In this explosive situation that is being constructed, where social peace looks like a fairy tale from the past, Dominance throws away every mask and launches an all-out attack. Exploiting the general transitional phase of the social scene, declares a permanent ‘state of emergency’ and adopts a polemical rhetoric. To anyone willing to listen, it’s obvious that behind every declaration for more policing and every call for national unity, hides a statement of war. The new voice of Power is blood-dripping and its message is it will stay alive at all costs. That a new circle of profitable growth and capital accumulation will open, marching on corpses. In the name of achieving this blood-thirsty Growth, the dominant political and economical complex recruits all means available. Politicians, journalists, judges, cops, entrepreneurs, prison guards, financial analysts, sociologists, in short, each and every kind of the system’s planted persons , place theirselves with heart and mind into saving the empire of profit. While the political and financial sharks organize the new terms of poverty, through over-intensification of work, exterminating taxation and commercialization even of the last trace of human life, the police state is being established with the blessings of the Media. Public life is getting militarized with the omnipresent mercenaries of police, while new anti-terrorist laws, biological data bases and surveillance systems are being used for protection against the internal enemy that threatens the fragile social equilibrium. Repression is being lifted as the central axis of social mechanics and broadens its targets. Every radical action is being criminalized, while persecutions of conscience, incarcerations and political pogroms complete the dogma of zero tolerance. Every aspect of life is being attacked by the mechanical functions of the social regime that wraps firmly into a new form of totalitarianism. Within this belligerent situation, every aspect of existence is being converted into a sometimes individual and sometimes collective-battlefield. Every person is called to take a stand, every minute.
While the ones in Power sweat to build the new totalitarian world order, along with their minions and the social cannibalism, selfishness and fascism are being consolidated, a whole galaxy of individual and collective practices of resistance is being developed in geometrical progress. In the city’s streets at nights, inside hideouts and squatted public spaces, people with different experiences and starting points are getting coordinated while setting their selves into the multiform procedure of social liberation. Dynamic implacable demonstrations, guerrilla attacks, self-organized solidarity structures, illegal, without a guardian strikes, collective expropriation of goods, sabotage, denials of payment and occupations of public spaces and buildings, compose together with uncountable other practices the entire of the mosaic of a revolutionary procedure in development. A community of people is being built upon the conscience of rebellion and proposes by word and acts that the bet for the liberation of the human experience from the degeneration of oppression, is still on.
Organic part of this community of people, is also the multiform anarchist movement into which I place myself. During my political course, I have participated in various aspects of the anarchist movement, seeking every time for these thought and action paths that would contribute in the best way to the subversive procedure. Through this course of mine, I have fumbled and I keep on fumbling the different pieces of the mosaic of denials that make up the anarchist subversive vision. A vision that maintained the clarity of the revolutionary perspective intact, both in the dark years of repression and in the years of assimilation and conformity. That kept the unity between theory and action, personal and political intact, rejecting the bourgeois capitalistic logic which fragments the human existence into seemingly independent and separate fields.
Carrying this very conscience of the inseparable unity between perception and action, theory and daily life, I cannot imagine how I could perceive the current social situation as oppressing and enslaving, without fighting by all means for its subversion. How could I perceive the dominant relations as alienated and empty, without trying to create substantial, expropriated relationships of solidarity with the people around me. How could I perceive waged labor as a blackmailing procedure of inequalities, without acting towards individual and collective liberation.
My choice to expropriate the money gathered in the auction of ODDY, consists my individual answer in this last dilemma. Denying for myself the roles of both worker and boss, exploiter or exploited, I decided to put into active application my opposition against waged labor, attacking a parasitic fence organization of the state.
If someone wants to understand the motives behind this choice of mine, he/she only has to reflect upon his/her own daily life. The feeling of emptiness and encapsulation created by the repetitive routine of the working timetables and the pre-fixed routes. The isolation, boredom, loneliness and insecurity that one feels when left alone at home, exhausted. From the morning wake-up to the night’s consumption, life is getting crushed inside the belligerent situation of the waged blackmail. And if someone thinks that terms like “belligerent situation” are used to impress, they just need to consider even the most modest and conservative statistics in relation to the cost of the waged labor upon human life, in order to confirm beyond any doubt the literalism of this expression. Only in Greece, one worker dies every 3 days. Globally, more than 2 million people die every year by some working accident. And there’s no any statistics, of course, about how many people suffer from depression, how many have been led to psychoactive pills or drugs, trying to fight the absence of meaning in the schizoid circle of production and consumption. There are no statistics about the suicides that this constant, low-tension war has provoked.
Nowadays, with labor being totally demystified, few are those who do not realize its real nature.
People all over the world transform every day into action their will to be against the nature of work, denying in total or just for some moments their role as human components within this globalized profit machine. The sabotages in the production lines, the destructions at labor spaces, the fake illnesses in order to avoid work, the stealing from bosses, the deliberate under-productivity, the expropriating raids upon the accumulated wealth, consist aspects of the common disgust produced for work, into anyone that has been working even for an hour in their lives. Practices of resistance within a procedure that degenerates the human existence into a sequence of automated moves and thoughts.
So, these are the motives of this act of mine.
I am here to be judged as a thief, by a court which – under the disguise of morality and justice — undertakes the task of legitimizing a social regime that systematically and ruthlessly robs the very existence of the people. By a court, the substantial existence of which, is the preservation and the perpetuation of oppression and inequality.
I ‘m here in order to be judged as a public danger, in front of a justice which constantly prefers to exhaust its cruelty and hatred upon every marginalized, any outcast, any stranger. A justice of which the mission is to place the last stone in the fortress of terror that Dominance builds around itself. That criminalizes friendly and comrade relationships, throwing extremely heavy condemnations to every fighting person, creates new anti-terrorist laws where everyone could possibly fit in, persecutes people because of their political identity.
I am standing here as anarchist and revolutionary human, against this justice of yours. Against the total of the dominant financial and political complex that is the definition of barbarity and which you express.
I am standing here for my decision to release myself from this wretched and necrotic reality, served as moral and legal.
Finally, I am standing here because I consciously chose to steal time from the production procedure and money from the state’s machine, in order to allocate them into the final destruction of both.
About this choice of mine, I declare myself strongly unrepentant.