Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis: Speech of internationalist solidarity in the context of the trial of the Organization Revolutionary Self-Defense

Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis: Speech of internationalist solidarity in the context of the trial of the Organization Revolutionary Self-Defense


There are moments when silence is an invitation to crime. There are moments when silence is complicity. Georges Ibrahim Abdallah

You are guilty not only when you commit a crime, but also when you do nothing to prevent it when you have the opportunity. Dimitris Tsafendasi

Since May ’22, a counter-revolutionary trial has been taking place against anarchist fighters, for participation in the armed Organization Revolutionary Self-Defense. This trial comes at a time when the state-capitalist regime is climaxing its aggression against the oppressed, the exploited and excluded. The anarchist Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis is also on trial for this case, while he has taken responsibility, both in public and in this courtroom, for his participation in revolutionary struggle through the Organization of Revolutionary Self-Defense, as well as for keeping the weapons (which in the repressive operation of November ‘19, fell into the hands of the state), in order to continue the guerrilla struggle through the experience and strategy of the Organization Revolutionary Self-Defense. The court of appeal of this particular military tribunal of the counter-revolution will be completed in January ‘23.

Throughout the course of this trial, Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis has been defending the right of revolutionary struggle, the necessity of guerrilla organization and of the armed social self-defense against the tyranny of power, and has been deconstructing and attacking bourgeois justice and its counter-revolutionary laws, inside the enemy field. With an eye to the world revolution, from the beginning of the trial, Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis is speaking about movements and struggles in all parts of the globe, expressing solidarity with those who are struggling, with current struggles, with the political prisoners and their fight today, and with reference to fighters who have been killed. These days, a struggle in italian prisons is taking place; comrade Alfredo Cospito is on hunger strike already for more than 65 days, against the state of total isolation, 41-bis, that has been imposed on him. With the awareness of how critical Alfredo Cospito’s struggle is, comrade Dimitris made extensive reference to Alfredo’s fight, during the trial. Meanwhile, the italian authorities rejected Alfredo’s demand for his removal from the 41-bis regime, and the comrade is continuing the hunger strike.

In order to complete this expression of solidarity, we want to convey the words of Dimitris from the trial, about each point, each struggle and each prisoner and each murdered fighter in other parts of the world, to which he referred. When the regime is globally intensifying its terrorism and violence so as to maintain its control, we have no other path than the internationalist revolutionary struggle for liberation.

From the very beginning of his concluding political statement (on the 8th and 9th of November and 9th of December), starting with the necessary clarification of what prison really is – the “ultimate place of class, social and political exclusion” – the comrade expressed his solidarity with prisoners in the prisons of the United States, and in particular in the state of Alabama, who in September-October held a strike against slavery in American prisons. “The United States, historically the frontline of the capitalist world, has been built on slavery, which continues through the prison system today. The so-called war on crime is the vehicle for the intensification of political repression and does not contain any crime or foster any kind of social cohesion; on the contrary, it structurally and functionally feeds back both the paramilitary organized crime for profit, as well as the diffused proletarian illegality, in order to maintain its workload in the service of the over-accumulation of class inequalities.”

Following this, the comrade stated his solidarity with the 11 political prisoners from Turkey and Kurdistan, Ali Ercan Gökoğlu, Burak Agarmış, Hasan Kaya, Sinan Çam, Şadi Naci Özpolat, Halil Demir, Anıl Sayar, Harika Kızılkaya, Hazal Seçer, Sinan Oktay Özen and İsmail Zat, who have been incarcerated in greek prisons since 19th of March ‘20 and are persecuted by the same counter-revolutionary law, the 187A. At the start of the trial, the comrade submitted a number of objections, by which he exposed the inherent counter-revolutionary nature of the 187A legislation, a crucial legal weapon of authority developed purposefully so as to repress revolutionary organization and generally social counter-violence. By making these objections, the comrade stressed how critical it is for this aggravating law to be repealed, specifically in relation to the upcoming trial of the 11 fighters from Turkey and Kurdistan. The 11 fighters, whose 2nd degree trial began on the 16th of November ‘22, are on hunger strike since October 7th, demanding that their case be taken off the 187A framework, demanding their immediate release and the end of the greek state’s persecution of fighters from Turkey.

On the basis of boundless solidarity with guerrilla struggle, as the continuity and grounding of insurrection, Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis stated his solidarity with revolutionary movements around the globe: “[…]Direct democracy of the social base is being constructed at the frontier lands. The recent living examples, the Zapatistas movement in Chiapas, Mexico, the Kurdish Movement for Freedom which has advanced a confederal democracy throughout northern Syria, the Mapuche movement in Chile, a community that has taken up armed resistance against capitalist colonialism, the revolt and guerrilla struggle in Myanmar recently, and today the revolt in Iran, revolt of the women and of all the oppressed, the resistance inside Russia against the imperialist war, all of these are living examples of constructing direct democracy of the social base in the frontier lands. Guerrilla struggle is the continuation of revolt and its grounding. […] Solidarity without borders that articulates and promotes freedom and equality has historically taken its most concrete practical form in collective responsibility. Its most sophisticated cultural realization is the democratic confederalism developed by the Kurdish Freedom Movement. The universal social solidarity, against class borders and political heteronomy, which thrives when the border-less organic revolutionary political unity is anchored at every point of proletarian struggle.”

Since captivity by the state in the context of the social-class war constitutes the ultimate class border of separation imposed by capitalism, revolutionary struggle can only be border-less and solidarity, internationalist. In the words of the comrade, the statement of internationalist revolutionary solidarity: “[…] We must speak of the transnational character of the counter-revolution. Despite the borders, despite the prisons, we are one with all the Turkish and Kurdish fighters in Turkish and European prisons, like those of the Greek state. We are together with Georges Ibrahim Abdallah who has remained a prisoner for three and a half decades because he is unrepentant. We are together with Alfredo Cospito in Italy, who is currently on hunger strike against the regime of total isolation, the so-called 41-bis, and I am in solidarity with the hunger strikers who are on solidarity strike with Alfredo Cospito, with Juan Sorroche who was recently sentenced to 27 years in prison for participating in demonstrations, with Ivan Alocco in France and with Alfredo’s comrade Anna Beniamino. And also to express my solidarity with the comrades of the last cell of the Red Brigades, who have been in this regime of total isolation for two decades, Nadia Lioce, Marco Mezzasalma and Roberto Morandi, and to commemorate Diana Blefari, who was murdered, who was driven to suicide in this regime of isolation. To express my solidarity with Toby Shone in Great Britain where, as our comrades in solidarity say, there are more political prisoners in Great Britain at the moment than we can count. From the position I am in, I am standing by the side of comrade Dimitris Koufontinas, whose murder was attempted a year and a half ago and who remains a prisoner because he is unrepentant, I am with comrade Nikos Maziotis and comrade Pola Roupa, who are being denied, in the case of Nikos, his release and in the case of Pola, for a long time, the prison leaves to which she is entitled, because they are unrepentant fighters, and together with comrade Yannis Michaelidis, who has fought an important battle against the prolonged captivity of fighters. The judiciary is the ministry of the prison, of armed enclosures and of the cover-up of institutional murder.”

Referring to the origin of the special counter-revolutionary law 187A – as a product of the 2002 directive convention – and to the history of counter-revolutionary law, precisely because counter-revolution is transnational, as is the global operation of capitalism, Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis referred specifically to the treaty of Italian counter-revolutionary law up to the law regarding “massacre” that has been applied to comrade Alfredo Cospito, hunger striker since 20 October against the 41-bis regime: “The law with which we are being persecuted and which you continue to uphold in this courtroom, 187A, has a very specific history and indeed, in its very wording, carries that history. Counter-revolutionary law in Europe begins in a specific historical context – because the head judge here wondered in what conditions we are talking about armed struggle – when, after the end of the second world imperialist war, the left in Italy had already capitulated to the capitalist system and, in the struggles of the late 1960s and afterwards, sided with all forms of repression by the Italian state. In these conditions, the struggle for social autonomy emerged, that is, the struggles for the political autonomy of the proletariat against the representations of capital and in this condition, the armed revolutionary struggle emerged, against which special measures were adopted that still exist today. Of particular importance is the fact that within this particular condition of struggle, it was the state with its paramilitary fascists, the one that was mass murdering people in Piazza Fontana, the railway station in Bologna, Capacci, etc., with bombs with dozens of people killed. It was exactly those actions that the state perpetrated which it passed on to the special counter-revolutionary laws, attributing them to the revolutionary movement, and they follow us to this day, in 187A: intimidation of the masses, danger to the country, etc. Already in the 1977 convention, in what way exactly, the heinous acts of violence coming from the state are used to slander and be blamed on the revolutionary movement. The most recent expression of this policy, which is also topical – it is important to mention this in current trials throughout the world – is the Italian law about “massacre”, which has been pinned on comrade Alfredo Cospito, who is currently on hunger strike, without having participated in any act which had deadly results. […] The specific “anti-terrorist” laws, starting from the Convention of ‘77 up to 187A […], have as their basic strategy the depoliticization of the revolutionary struggle, which aims at political extermination, as part of a total war of real extermination, with its most extreme expression, the 41-bis regime in Italy now, against which comrade Alfredo Cospito is fighting, giving his life. Whoever enters this regime, in which for decades comrades of the last generation of the Red Brigades have also found themselves, has no contact whatsoever with the outside world. That is to say, the militants are put in a state of living-dead.” Besides, “The 41-bis regime has already assassinated in 2009, Diana Blefari, a member of the new Red Brigades and a long-time prisoner in the 41-bis regime’s solitary confinement.”

During the political court martial on the case of the Organization Revolutionary Self-Defense, just as bourgeois justice seeks to eliminate revolutionary discourse from the field of legal debate, it likewise seeks to eliminate from public discourse, in the words of the comrade, “the massacre that is taking place on the Greek-European border, legitimizing class genocide behind economic concepts: people have become ‘flows’ and now, they have started to become a ‘hybrid weapon’ -a term used by regime journalists. So, since they (migrants) are a ‘hybrid weapon’, we can strike and eliminate them, as a weapon of the alleged national enemy. It is precisely this expression by the courts that itself asserts the necessity of the guerrilla struggle. As comrade Georges Ibrahim Abdallah said: The special court is an authentic representation of the peace that your system establishes, which is maintained by the extermination of millions of people in our regions, in the periphery. Despite the suffering of all the peoples of the earth, your masters impose the peace and the legitimacy of their criminal system, of which war is an integral part. But you are deluded if you think that war will never go beyond the periphery regions. It is precisely this political, class, a-social frontier that the Organization Revolutionary Self-Defense has attempted to break through, and it is for this reason that these special courts, i.e., the special courts that are tried under 187A, have been called political courts-martial.”

Then, referring to the war of social destruction and fragmentation that power wages on the subjects of the struggles, the comrade reaffirmed the Platform of June 19, 1999: “So in light of this segregation politics, as expressed as a whole by the counter-revolutionary politics of the state and especially, through the courts that apply 187A, I co-sign the declaration of the political prisoners, the so-called Platform of June 19, 1999, in which Georges Ibrahim Abdallah participated: Through this Platform, the signatories reaffirm their commitment to the cause of the peoples and to the struggle against oppression and exploitation. Beyond all possible strategic and tactical divergences, beyond all debates about the expediency of one form of struggle or another, at this or that time, the signatories affirm that recourse to violence is legitimate against exploitation and oppression, for social and popular liberation, for the conquest of a just and fraternal society. There is no peace without justice. Accordingly, the signatories reject and denounce all extortion of the type of release for repentance, release for separation, release for cooperation, etc. The signatories may have a critical look at their own experience of struggle, but this critical look is not and ought not to serve anything but the movement of social and popular liberation. They refuse, therefore, to make this potential critical view an object of exchange with the bourgeois apparatus, since the latter will only use it against the popular and social movement. Neither repentance nor capitulation.

Concluding with the statement that: “I take on the responsibility that falls to me, for the cultivation of the new proletarian Internationale inside greek prisons and the migrant concentration camps. There are many paths in life, one can lead to revolutions: the guerrilla path”, the anarchist Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis completed his statement to the court by conveying the words of a woman fighter from the resisting Mapuche community in Chile: “I will close with the words of a comrade from the Mapuche community in Chile who have taken up arms against colonialism, from the 2nd International Women’s Conference for Democratic Confederalism, held on 9th of November, a month ago, in Berlin, with the participation of women fighters from 41 countries. This is Comrade Nijol Longo. She commented that her people are also considered terrorists by the Chilean state: The word terrorist is a strategy of states to delegitimize the struggles for self-determination of peoples, struggles that challenge the powers of the state and show alternatives for building anti-state democratic societies. This, not in an apologetic way as regards the term terrorism, but in honoring this entire broad movement and its new subjects (women), who, as they themselves say, this century belongs to them.”

“[…] The main flexibility offered by the guerrilla way is not that of escape, but on the contrary, that of a more immediate and massive response to the need that arises. […] Twelve guerrillas, arriving in time at Shingalii, was a sufficient critical mass to turn the war upside down. One who took it on himself for the sake if the entire community and stabbed the knife into the tyrant’s heart, Caserioiii, was a huge mass, accumulated over countless years. Or as Comrade Bonanno put it: I know who killed Inspector Luigi Calabresi… Those thousands, and more comrades, who were there in tomb 434, sector 76, in the Manziore cemetery in Milan, all of us pulled the trigger.”


iThe communist who on September 6th 1966 stabbed and killed the prime minister of South Africa and architect of the Apartheid.

iiReferring to the resistance to the genocide of Yazidis by ISIS in 2014

iiiItalian anarchist who was executed in 1894, after stabbing to death the president of france, as a response to the murderous repression that the french state had launched against anarchists and the killing of workers.