Day 128: Coordinated attack of an assault squad

128th Hearing, Women’s Wing, Korydallos Prison, February 16th, 2017

I. Access to the Court

The courtroom remains open to the public upon presentation of a state ID card, which is retained by court authorities for the duration of the session. There was reduced public attendance, and there were members of the press present at the hearing. The microphones weren’t working for the entire duration of the hearing.

II. Presence and representation of the defendants

There were no defendants present at the start of the hearing, but defendant Skalkos appeared during the proceedings.

ΙΙΙ. Proceedings – Examination of requests

The hearing started with the witness testimony of Rodriguez and the start of the witness testimony of Miliarakis, both of whom were members of the Antipnoia squat.

A. Testimony of witness Rodriguez

When the witness took the stand, the presiding judge declared that the Antipnoia case has been already heard in the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeals, and pointed out that this Court will not deal with things that have already been deliberated upon. The civil action counsels motioned to read the relevant decision and the presiding judge decided that it will be read with the rest of the documents to be read.

Responding to relevant questions, witness Rodriguez pointed out that Antipnoia is an anarchist squat in Kato Petralona. It is still in operation, undertaking various activities in the neighborhood, and deals with matters of class struggle. The witness stated that he was born in Spain, that he has been a resident of Greece for the past 10 years, and that he has participated in the squat’s activities. On the day they were attacked by the assault squad, they were giving a Spanish lesson. Four persons were in the building: Giorgos Miliarakis, Vasiliki Margari, Katerina Gerouki, and the witness himself. The attack took place because of the particular characteristics of the squat and it was by no means an isolated occurrence. Ten minutes after the class started, a brawny man, wearing a helmet and dark clothes, came up the stairs, the door was open, and said: “Greetings from Golden Dawn, we’ll fuck you up”, he was holding a stick, he kicked over a chair, and in no time the hall filled with 10-15 people that arrived in a very coordinated manner. They were wearing black clothes, helmets, some had backpacks, some had knives –at least three of them– one had a lath hammer and the others just stood there, taking up space. One of them tore down the plate glass window, another tore down the posters and leaflets and the people of the squat couldn’t get away, they were trapped, one of the men carrying knives went towards the witness and another went towards Giorgos Miliarakis.

Their goal was clear, and there was one last person standing next to the door who could see everything that was happening in the hall. The witness was stabbed twice and before the third could fall the man by the door said END OF TIME, and everybody froze and in seconds they had all left. The witness believes there was a commander, and it was the one that first came down the steps. The girl then went out and saw them leave in a coordinated fashion, 10-15 motorbikes with two persons on every one and their plates covered. It wasn’t something random, even the perpetrators admitted that they had arranged to meet there. No one in the squat had any personal differences with Golden Dawn, but they had political and class differences. Golden Dawn didn’t know the anarchists’ surnames, they attacked them because they preach a world of solidarity and equality. They wanted to terrorize the people in the squat as well as the people that were supporting them, and also to send a message to the community, that those who do not obey, will get the same. The witness knows of other crimes perpetrated by Golden Dawn, such as the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, the assault against the unionists of PAME, the Egyptian fishermen, the arsons in the squats of Villa Amalias and Thersitis. They attacked the Egyptian fishermen because they were immigrants, the lowest of the low; they attacked the PAME unionists because they were fighting for their rights; they murdered Pavlos because he was an antifascist and had a mind for freedom, not a mind for death; and they attacked the Antipnoia squat because the anarchists there are solidarity fighters.

When panic reigned and Giorgos was in haemorrhagic shock, a patrol car came to ask for their names and they had also stopped a motorbike driven by the fascists Stratos and Siatounis. Golden Dawn denied any connection to the incident, despite the fact that it had their m.o. all over it, and despite the fact that Siatounis, whom the witness identified, since he came at him with a knife to murder him, was already a member of the central committee.
Responding to questions by the state attorney, he stated that women were hurt but not stabbed, that it was an assault squad, organized like all the rest of them. Responding to questions by the assistant state attorney, the witness stated that the Golden Dawners knew that the witness and his friends would be in the squat, because at the time the squat was open three days a week and the schedule was known, that they understood that each of the assailants had a distinct role from the way the attack unfolded, that the operation of the squat was not hampered by the assault, that their ideology was expressed through actions and activities in the neighborhood, such as the denial to install cell phone towers, to erect a fence around Filopappou hill, with talks, screenings, and events, and that there wasn’t any one thing that caused the attack.

Responding to questions by the civil action counsels, which were posed to the witness despite the objections raised by defense counsel Sapountzakis, the witness stated that the attack aimed at terror and murder, that the anarchists couldn’t escape and that they weren’t holding weapons, but pens. Responding to questions by defense counsel Malagaris, the witness said that the attack bore the signature of Golden Dawn, that Siatounis, who was among the assailants was a member of the party’s central committee, and that they put him on the ballot as an award for the assault, and that the fact that the assailants when arrested stated that they were Golden Dawners meant that they thought the police would cover for them. He went on to say that he knows that the actions of the assailants had been sanctioned by Golden Dawn, because on the day when they went to testify about the case in 2011, they were greeted by an assault squad helmed by Kasidiaris and Lagos.

Responding to questions by civil action counsel Zafeiriou, the witness said that the activity of the assault squads is directly connected to Golden Dawn, because leading members of the party participate in the squads, such as Siatounis, Kasidiaris, and by the fact that Michaloliakos assumed the political responsibility for the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. Responding to questions by civil action counsel Stratis, the witness stated that the assailants stated their identity, to send a message of terror and death, that a commando attack is a surprise, coordinated attack of an assault squad, that Golden Dawn espouses a Nazi ideology which it tries to impose by force, and that their goals coincide with the goals of the state and the capital, and that when the anarchists went to testify, Kasidiaris and Lagos came to protect their own and attacked them.

Responding to questions by civil action counsel Papadopoulou, the witness stated that the squad has been attacked in the past a few times by the organization Maiandroi Ethnikistes [:Meander Nationalists], and that Stratos and Siatounis participated in these attacks, and that they have been convicted of attempted murder. Responding to questions by civil action counsel Tobatzoglou, the witness stated that the leaflet of Golden Dawn stated that they had no connection with the attack, and to questions by civil action counsel Zotos he said that the press mentioned Golden Dawn, that in every attack the assailants far outnumbered the victims, that in their case and in Fyssas’ case knives had been drawn, and that they went to the Egyptian fishermen on motorbikes. Responding to questions by civil action counsel Kabagiannis, the witness stated that the assault on their person was connected with Golden Dawn and that Kasidiaris and Lagos came to their testimony, to prevent them from testifying and to protect their own, and that the decision of the court specifically mentions Golden Dawn. Concerning the Luqman case he knows that he was murdered by racist stabbers on his way to work.

Responding to questions by the defense counsels, beginning with defense counsel Georgopoulos, the witness answered that it is ridiculous, at the very least, for Siatounis and Stratos to apologize, when they tried to murder them, that a spontaneous rally was held after the incident, and the presiding judge then forbade any more questions by defense counsel Georgopoulos, who said that he utilizes these questions to show that the witnesses have been tutored, and the witness said that he had identified Siatounis from the start, but at the time he didn’t know his position in Golden Dawn. After a short recess, the presiding judge forbade defense counsel Georgopoulos to pose questions that have already been deliberated and that he should appeal the Court, and the witness, responding to questions by the defense counsel and through the presiding judge, stated that the attack on the squat had the same characteristics with other attacks, that he doesn’t know whether Siatounis had been attacked, but that he does know that he participated in the attack on their persons, that they were wielding knives embossed with swastikas, that they were arrested very near the squat, and defense counsel Georgopoulos motioned to call to the witness stand the police officers Tsiligakis, Skourlakis, and Stalios, as well as Liakatas Evaggelos.

Responding to questions by defense counsel Tsagas, the witness stated that he was standing when he was stabbed in the thigh, that in his testimony he had said that he identified them from their eyes, that after the incident many residents of the area came to the squat, and responding to questions by defense counsel Aggeletos he said that “parastate” means that whatever can’t be accomplished by the legal mechanisms of the state and capital, to effect the subordination of society, is undertaken by the parastate, that he has no wish to open a political discourse with fascist lawyers, and to questions by defense counsel Papadellis he said that when the two policemen came to ask for their names they were trying to save their lives, while the policemen had come to cover the fascists and he will not be turned a defendant when he has come as a witness, that one of the wounded was in hemorrhagic shock and that it is ridiculous for policemen to ask for names.

The president forbade a series of questions by Papadelis that were about matter that have been deliberated upon in a previous court, and the witness responding to questions said that when their case was tried in May there was a whole assault squad which attacked the people present lead by two MPs, who started the attack verbally, and then outside the courtroom, but nothing has been done about it and that’s why fascism must be fought in the streets. The witness also said that the MPs had full knowledge of the attack since a member of the central committee had participated in it, that the squat stands in solidarity with the people of struggle, and not with the people in power and their knife-wielding lackeys.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Alexiadis, the witness stated that when they were in the courtroom they didn’t attack the assault squad, and that he has come here as a witness, he will not be turned into a defendant, nor will he be judged by fascism.

B. Testimony of witness Giorgos Miliarakis

Responding to questions by the presiding judge the witness stated that he is a computer teacher and a member of Antipnoia since September 2007, and everyone can become a member irrespective of nationality or religion, it is an open community space, for whoever believes in a classless society without exploiters and exploited, oppressors and oppressed. He stated that it is important to illustrate the political character of the squat, because that’s what was under attack. The squat hosts events and rallies, for example concerning the abolition of the Sunday holiday, screenings, political talks, events against the memorandums, it’s not open every day, because the members are all working people, and everyone knows when it’s open. On the day in question they had a lesson of Spanish and it had been announced, the time and day etc. many people attended it but on that day as luck would have it there were only four of them. A man with a helmet came in and said, “You fuckers we’ll fuck you up, greetings from Golden Dawn”. When he said the introductory remark and stated his identity, he came directly at him and threw a chair on his head. He saw ten people come into the space, wearing black clothes and one of them was holding a lath hammer, they broke the plate glass and carried pepper spray. Finally, a voice was heard shouting END OF TIME and everyone left in a coordinated fashion. He was hospitalized for 20 days and needed 7 bags of blood, he would be dead instead of Pavlos Fyssas if the fourth witness hadn’t been a trained nurse. They later heard that the Golden Dawners left on motorbikes that had covered license plates. The victims said nothing, they were attacked in an organized, military fashion, the Golden Dawners came on a day that had been announced, the squat was open, a day when there weren’t so many people, with knives, axes, they had them on their person when they were arrested, they had a command to leave, they left with covered license plates. Siatounis himself had stated in his trial testimony that he had been a member of Golden Dawn for 8 years.

The witness said that he knows of other attacks by Golden Dawn such as during the rally about Imia, in concert with riot police, and a racist pogrom after the murder of Kadaris in 2011, lead by Kasidiaris, and there are videos that show Lagos and Pappas. In the beginning he was unconscious, and then came a police officer asking for his name, when he was on the floor, bleeding.

Responding to questions by the state attorney he said that one of them was stabbing, another was spraying with the pepper spray, another was breaking things, and when the commandment to leave was given they left, that Golden Dawn has a hierarchical structure, like every army, this is a part of their ideological foundation, every army has a general, a major general, and soldiers. It can deduced, then, that everything that happened had been organized from the leadership, that on that same day a rally was held, that the stance of the police has been shown in many occasions, that in the murder of Fyssas the neonazis were murdering as the police looked on and did nothing, during the occupation of the old appeals court by refugees the neonazis threw rocks from the ranks of the police. He can’t prove that all the attacks where the work of Golden Dawn, but the primary pole of the far-right is Golden Dawn. Responding to questions from the deputy state attorney, the witness stated that Golden Dawn didn’t want to stop certain activities of the squat, but that it wanted to put an end to the community activities of the squat, the space has been rented and they pay the rent out of their own pocket or with money they make from some events, that they attack resembled the attack on the members of PAME and on Pavlos Fyssas, that they were attacked by a motorized assault squad, that Roupakias had a distinct role, and that the same happened with the fishermen, Golden Dawners went to people who were sleeping and always stated their identity. After the attack, the activities of the squat did not stop, because they are fighters and they will continue their struggle for a better world. They were not afraid. They have a duty to continue their struggle, to their grandfathers, to the people that died in the crematoria and in the islands of exile.

At this point, amid general applause, the presiding judge adjourned for February 23rd, 2017, in the Women’s Wing of Korydallos Prison, at 09:00.