Announcement from the Occupied Polytechnic School of Athens / Call Out for International Solidarity to N.Romanos by Void Network

Nieuws, gepost door: nn op 03/12/2014 12:11:17

Wanneer: 04/12/2014 - 00:17

Athens: Second announcement from the occupied Polytechnic School after Exarchia riots, 2/12/2014.

On the 2nd of December 2014, a demonstration took place in solidarity with anarchist comrade Nikos Romanos, prisoner on hunger strike since the 10th of November, demanding the granting of educational furloughs. Today’s march saw participation of thousands of people, some of whom later headed for the occupied Polytechnic School.

For us, the occupied ground of the Athens Polytechnic School is not a value in itself. On the contrary, it is yet another piece on the mosaic of dignity and resistance against all those who want to turn society into a graveyard. It is a piece on the mosaic of resistance against the modern-day totalitarianism that spreads its power over our lives; from the anarchists who have gone on a hunger strike, the mobilizations against maximum security prisons, and the hunger strikers from Syria, to all those who are fighting for dignity and freedom across the world.

We call on everyone in struggle to take any necessary initiative towards the vindication of hunger striker Nikos Romanos: from faculty occupations, to production blockades; from breaches of the media omerta, to attacks against the guardians of order.

Let’s rise to the challenge of our time in the face of state repression, contrary to rationales that want us to remain passive spectators and voters. Uncompromising solidarity with Nikos Romanos, who is on hunger strike since 10/11, and hunger strikers in solidarity Yannis Michailidis (since 17/11), Andreas-Dimitris Bourzoukos (since 1/12) and Dimitris Politis (since 1/12).



Assembly of the occupied Polytechnic School
Athens, 2/12/14


Call Out for International Solidarity to N.Romanos
by Void Network

In 2/12/2014 about 10.000 people marched in Athens in one of the most massive demonstrations of the last couple of years in solidarity to anarchist Nikos Romanos, who is kept imprisoned by the Greek state. Demos took place in almost all major cities of Greece at the same time.

Nikos Romanos was only 15 years old when his name first became known to the Greek public. Romanos was close friend with Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the unarmed pupil who was shot dead by a policeman in the Athens neighborhood of Exarheia. Romanos watched his friend die in front of his eyes after being shot through the heart. The shooting proved to be the spark that lit a tinderbox of rage and triggered rioting in the capital and other Greek cities against police violence. The shooting proved to be the spark that lit a tinderbox of rage and triggered rioting in the capital and other Greek cities against police violence.

Several years later Nikos Romanos was arrested together with a group of young men for a double armed robbery in the city of Kozani. The police and other state organs have tried to link the armed robbery to the anarchist group “Revolutionary Organization of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire,” but Romanos claims that while he is an anarchist and anti-establishment he is not a member of this group. Romanos was subsequently convicted of participation in the robberies although the court accepted his claim of not being a member of the armed guerrilla group. As such he was convicted on charges of armed robbery as opposed to terrorism. Since the 10th of November, Romanos has been on hunger strike demanding the right to be allowed to attend university.

Last spring while in prison, Romanos studied for and took the pan-Hellenic high school exams earning high enough marks to gain a place at a top Athens polytechnic university in business management.
At the time, the Justice Ministry had praised him and other inmates for their academic success and was to award Romanos a prize of 500 euros. However Romanos refused to attend a ceremony to accept the prize from the Justice Minister, saying that doing so would violate his principles. Regardless, at the time the Justice Minister Charalambos Athansiou stated that, “the state does not make distinctions on the issue of studies. He is praiseworthy for following the advice of his teachers and working hard to gain a place at an institution of higher education.” However despite this praise, the door subsequently was shut on Romanos’ putative academic career when the relevant prison council denied his application for prison leave to attend classes. According to the law, a special magistrate must rule in favor of the prison leave. However in Romanos case he ruled that, given his criminal record, he posed a flight risk. Following the denial of his prison leave Romanos launched his hunger strike, releasing a long statement reaffirming his anarchist principles and explaining his motivation.

Void Network invites all friends and comrades in Athens to participate at the occupation of Polytechnic school in solidarity to the hunger striker Nikos Romanos. The struggle of the anarchist Nikos Romanos for freedom and dignity is being shown the real face of the establishment, offering to all of us the opportunity to understand that democracy doesn’t exists, to see that behind its democratic façade the establishment is based in various forms of the same authoritarian and oppressive state, ruled by the economic and political powers that govern this world, protecting for centuries the monetary system, serving the accumulation of wealth, effecting widespread social control, reproducing exploitation and expanding entrenched inequalities.

We invite our international friends and comrades throughout the world to organise, mobilise and intensify their struggle against the totalitarianism of the state and market, against all established authorities, against all these politicians, judges and businessmen that prey on and destroy our lives.

We Will Fight Back! We Will Never Surrender!
Death to the Tyrants!
Viva la Liberta!


Athens: Request of anarchist prisoner Nikos Romanos denied a second time; the comrade continues his hunger strike

On the night of December 2nd, 2014, it was confirmed that the request of anarchist prisoner Nikos Romanos – who has now entered the 24th day of hunger strike – was denied a second time. In particular, he had filed an appeal against the denial of special judge Eftichis Nikopoulos to grant him educational furloughs, whose decision was eagerly approved by the Koridallos prison board. The comrade’s appeal was dismissed in Piraeus courts by the competent judicial council.

On December 3rd, Nikos released an open letter from the hospital stating he will fight till the end. The comrade dismissed a proposal to attend distance learning classes, or worse yet video conference courses inside prison walls, and persisted in his demand for a few breaths of freedom.

Contrary to allegations made by the justice minister Charalambos Athanasiou, who did not hesitate to spread through the mass media that the anarchist hunger striker is fed a liquid diet(!), Nikos Romanos made it very clear that he has strictly refused to be put on any sort of intravenous drip (according to physician Pantelia Vergopoulou, he only drinks water mixed with sugar).

Below is a short excerpt from the comrade’s text titled “Dancing with death for 24 days”:

I for my part go on, I walk past any probability of backing down, and I respond with STRUGGLE UNTIL VICTORY, OR STRUGGLE UNTIL DEATH. In any event, if the State murders me by its stance, mister Athanasiou and his associates will go down in history as a gang of murderers, instigators to the torture and killing of a political prisoner. Let’s just hope free spirits turn up and judge the justness of their justice system in their own way.

In closing this text, I would like to send out my complicity and my friendship to all those who stand by me with any means at their disposal.

Finally, a couple of words for Yannis, who is also hospitalized, Andreas, Dimitris and several other brothers and sisters of mine. The struggle may also bring about losses; in pathways towards a dignified life, we need to take death by the hand, running the risk of losing everything in order to gain everything. The struggle continues with bare hands and clenched fists against the knife, over and over again.

All for everything!
For as long as we live and breathe, long live anarchy!
To the streets of wrath on the 6th of December!
My thoughts will be wandering through the familiar streets.
It’s worth it to live for a dream, even if its fire is to burn you.
And as we often say: Strength.




Achtergrond informatie:

Hongerstakende anarchist wil verlof voor studie

De 21-jarige anarchist Nikos Romanos is drie weken geleden in de gevangenis in hongerstaking gegaan omdat hij geen studie mag volgen. Volgens zijn artsen en familie is Romanos in kritieke toestand opgenomen in het ziekenhuis.

Romanos zit sinds februari 2013 een celstraf van vijftien jaar uit. Hij werd met drie vrienden opgepakt na een dubbele gewapende bankoverval in Kozani. Het viertal wordt ook verdacht lid te zijn van de stadsguerilla Samenzwering van de Cellen van Vuur, maar de jongens ontkennen dat. Na hun arrestatie werden ze door de politie in elkaar geslagen. Maar toen de politiefoto’s werden vrijgegeven, bleken hun verwondingen weggephotoshopt.

Tijdens zijn verblijf in de gevangenis heeft Romanos zijn middelbare school afgemaakt. Ook slaagde hij met vlag en wimpel voor het universitaire toelatingsexamen en werd hij toegelaten op een faculteit in Athene. De openbare aanklager weigert hem echter verlof te geven om de lessen te volgen (wegens vluchtgevaar), terwijl Romanos daar wel recht op heeft. Daarom besloot de jongen op 10 november in hongerstaking te gaan.

Een betoging om steun te betuigen aan Romanos liep vandaag in het centrum van Athene uit op rellen. Anarchisten raakten slaags met de politie en staken auto’s in brand. Ongeveer 9000 mensen liepen mee in de demonstratie.

Romanos was een goede vriend van Alexis Grigoropoulos, de 15-jarige jongen die op 6 december 2008 werd doodgeschoten door een politieagent. De jongens waren op dat moment samen in de Atheense wijk Exarcheia en Romanos was één van de weinige ooggetuigen van de schietpartij. Hij zegt dat de dood van Grigoropoulos een executie was.

Na het incident waren er wekenlang hevige rellen in Athene. De agent die de fatale schoten loste, werd in 2010 veroordeeld tot een levenslange gevangenisstraf.



The background

When the policeman Epaminondas Korkoneas killed the teenager Alexandros Grigoropoulos on December 6th 2008, Nikos Romanos happened to be the only witness to this murder. His friend Alexandros died right in his arms. Nikos’ maturity and social conscience was won under these difficult conditions and under observation by the police; now, he is indeed a victim of a process as clearly murderous as that which befell Epaminondas. His decision to stake his life on the right to be educated, in defiance of a repressive state, is a measure aimed at rectifying these injustices.

The situation today

Due to the deterioration of his health Nikos Romanos has been transferred to the hospital where his hunger strike continues. “Already on the 13th the muscles, including the heart, slowly stop functioning and a cannibalism of the cells begins”, as Lina Vergopolou, anesthesiologist and hunger strike specialist, said in the press conference on December 2nd at Embros Theatre, Athens. She also pointed out that psychiatric expertise has proven that this is not merely a case of psychopathology.

The authorities have tried to escape their moral and legal obligation by giving an order to force-feed Nikos, and thereby infringe his autonomy and refuse to substantially acknowledge the motivations behind his hunger strike. Without the refutation of civil voices the state will stop at nothing, including penetrating a hospital. Fortunately the doctors have refused to be used as torture machines.

Petros Damianos, the teacher of Nikos Romanos, has intervened with a letter signed by all teachers of all prison schools, inviting the public to join a fight for the right to education. They support Nikos because society needs visionaries like him for its better future. In response, letters of support have arrived from all cities in Greece. Several demonstrations take place daily in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and other cities.

Why Nikos is in prison

Nikos Romanos is sentenced for 15 years in prison because he is an anarchist. He and his comrades performed a bank robbery as an anti-capitalist protest. “What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?” (Bertolt Brecht). Because no evidence relating Romanos to armed organizations could be found, the court brazenly convicted him of an ordinary crime.

Anarchist are not terrorists

Yorgos Romanos, father of Nikos, stated at the press conference that the situation with his son is an example of the attitude of the state towards the society.

The denial of Nikos' right to attend University is only one aspect of the repressive mechanisms employed by the state to silence and defeat internal objection. While these mechanisms are allowed to stand without defiance, the right wing gains more power day by day. State-sponsored “investigations” into Romanos and his comrades seek to declare anarchists as terrorists in order to introduce high security measures to their cells, to upgrade them from the category “Beta” to the category “Gamma”–which is in essence solitary confinement – as well as to extend the length of their sentence.


Letter from Nikos Romanos in hospital, in response to the rejection of his demand for educational leave:


Fierce fighting took place Tuesday after a rally for anarchist prisoner Nikos Romanos turned into a riot:


Piraeus: Open letter of hospitalized comrade Yannis Michailidis, on hunger strike since November 17th:


Occupied buildings in solidarity to the hunger strike of anarchist prisoner Nikos Romanos:


Poster in solidariteit met Nikos Romanos en andere strijdende hongerstakers.



Thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens on Saturday to mark the sixth anniversary of a police killing of Alexandros Grigoropoulos.

The 5,000 or more protesters marching Saturday were also showing their support for a friend of Grigoropoulos, jailed anarchist Nikos Romanos, 21. He was given a 15-year sentence for bank robbery in October. He has been on a hunger strike for more than three weeks, demanding to be allowed to leave prison to attend university classes. He is currently hospitalized under police supervision.

Below are some videos of yesterdays protest:

Athens erupts in riots over killing of a teenager by police six years ago:

Chaotic scenes in Athens, as peaceful march turns into clashes:

Fire filled Athens - clashes on anniversary of teen's killing:

Video of undercover cops pretend protesters going into the riot:

Cops plant a petrol bomb bottle into an arrested riot's bag:


Solidariteitsactie in Amsterdam.
In de nacht van 5 op 6 december zijn er in de stad meerdere stencils gezet.



Solidarity action at the Greek embassy in Amsterdam (6/12/2014).



Greek prisons: Solidarity with anarchist Nikos Romanos and the rest of prisoners in struggle:


Solidarity with the 59 protestors and activists arrested during the demonstrations of 6-12-2014 in Athens, Greece. Solidarity with Nikos Romanos, on hunger strike since 10-11-2014:



The political management of the case of the hunger striker Nikos Romanos by the Greek government is murderous: The ridiculous "offer" of distance-learning classes from his cell to the hunger striker who is asking for educational leaves to attend classes at the university, the indifference to the life of hundreds of Syrian refugees stranded on Syntagma square, as well as the orgy of state propaganda and police repression against a tremendous and resilient social movement in the last days, are proof of another great qualitative leap in authoritarianism in Greece.

Today the hunger striker will stop drinking water.





Assembly of the Occupied Labor Center in Thessaloniki



'This morning Nikos stopped his hunger strike as the state after the parliament voted for a justice ministry's amendment which allows him to attend courses wearing an ankle bracelet.
This fight was a combined stuggle that went far beyond the grey walls of the prison to which occupations, solidarity attacks and protests, the massive solidarity made us think of December 2008.

Not a single comrade will find themself alone in the hands of the State - until the victory of all our struggles!'

Solidarity with N.Romanos, .


Statement from Anarchist Nikos Romanos 11/12/14 – Athens – Greece

Following 31 days of a tough and tenacious struggle, I end my hunger strike, having scored an important victory. The amendment voted in Parliament with me its single recipient, had important differences to the initial proclamation of the Minister of Justice, eventually meeting my demands – even if this involves me “wearing an electronic bracelet”.

The only thing certain is that this victory was an outcome of the political pressure applied for it by the people in struggle and Combative Anarchy are indisputably the great moral, political and practical victors. The multiform revolutionary struggle and us, as political prisoners, resurface from this struggle stronger than before.

I raise my fist, sending the warmest regards and my unlimited love to all those comrades who stood by my side.


PS: A detailed text will follow in the days to come.
PS2: I would like to also thank the hospital doctors who refused to bow to the pressure by the attorney regarding my forced feeding, and who supported me to the possible extent.


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