clandestina

Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘Resalto’

Testimony from the Petrou Ralli hell

Posted by clandestina on 11 February 2010

more about the Petrou Ralli in these posts.  Source of the following text: anarxikoiaigaleo.squat.gr article translated at occupiedlondon.org/blog reposted at athens indymedia.

Testimony from the Petrou Ralli hell

(Testimony from the hell of Petrou Ralli by comrades that were detained in the prison wing for migrant women on P. Ralli St. after the occupation of the Keratsini Town Hall in solidarity to the 22 persecuted in the “Resalto” social space on 5th December 2009).

The scene is the same as if it were a high security prison; the difference is that no one has committed any “crime” here. The cctv’s that are everywhere in the cells, apart from the toilets, are an example of how human dignity is violated in here. The detainees are under 24/7 surveillance, they can’t get a moment of privacy and no personal data protection policy is in effect. Even the cell doors are made of iron bars, from top to bottom, and in order to create a somehow private space the detainees have hung bed sheets. “I cannot bear it that everyone walking up and down the corridor can see me”, an immigrant woman told us. The wings made of cement have electric doors of latest technology, windows (some without pane) that look out on… the rest of the cells and are at a height that you cannot reach in order to see what is happening outside. The cells are equipped with “post-modern” beds made of cement (square ones that remind of benches) with worn-out foam rubber on top, a “soft” blanket that resembles emery cloth (exclusively sponsored by the Greek army) and no pillow whatsoever.

Hygiene conditions are non-existent, which explicitly shows the intention to “decompose” the body and to eliminate any characteristic that reminds detainees that they are human. The medieval-style toilets – which often host cute insects such as cockroaches– are only four and superdirty. The idea in the Petrou Ralli St hell is that cleanness is a fallacy [trans: play on words on a popular Greek saying]… Soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper and sanitary towels are considered “small bourgeois residues” and consequently are unnecessary. Instead of a mirror, they use a piece of plastic that reflects like tinfoil the faces of those who live there for up to 6 months (according to the new law): distorted and partial reflections of persons that eventually forget who they are. All adds up in order to forget your very own existence.

Food is transported daily from GADA [trans: police headquarters] and of course it does not contain milk because there is fear that it will go bad during transportation. Everybody is given an instant coffee, a juice and a chocolate croissant. Even children are given the same (from 12-month babies to 10 year-old boys); age and personal needs do not matter. For lunch we were given bean soup, olives and one loaf of bread per cell to be shared by all the detainees, as well as oranges from Arta [trans: Greek city] at preference. The detainees serve themselves in plastic yoghurt-pots. There is no refectory or special room for food to be served, and they are obliged to place their bread on dirty, miserable blankets. Special needs are not taken into consideration, and diseases like diabetes, intestinal dysfunctions, cardiopathies etc do not receive any special alimentary treatment. We heard the detainees complain that they and their children suffered from itching. Cases of dermatological problems, such as mycoses, scabies, allergies and other kinds of dermatitis are frequent; they are mainly due to the sordid mattresses and the horrendous hygiene conditions in the cells and the toilets. They even face serious problems with their teeth, as they are not given enough bottled water and are forced to drink tap water from the toilets.

The women also talked to us about the aggressive behaviour of their underage children. And what is more reasonable for a child that grows up in prison than to develop an “antisocial” and aggressive behaviour. How can it not hate the world, as it is experiencing it from this hell? It has been marked for life by this experience and we better not dare to ask it in puberty why it’s throwing stones. Surely, in any case, the prisons on P.R. St. are an ideal environment for panic crises and psychosomatic conditions. The human being is a part of nature itself, and therefore it cannot survive in an environment made of cement.

Some prisoners have made artistic interventions to their cells in order to make them feel cosier. A Russian detainee has drawn huge cartoons on the walls. My soul is in pain… she misses her baby. She has transformed the cell into a child’s room. Love graven in hearts, and around the beds graven lines that mark days and months that have gone by. Engraved poems, promises, memoirs, names. In other cells the detainees have made an iconostasis; they have hung pictures of Saints everywhere in an effort to keep their hopes and dreams alive. Above their heads Angelina Jolie and Helen Menegaki [trans: Greek television star] next to shampoo labels, anything that can fill the empty walls.

Communication with the outside world is difficult and only those who have the money to buy a phone card have the possibility to make calls. Even the communication between the detainees is difficult as many of them do not speak nor understand Greek. There are no interpreters whatsoever and communication takes place through eye contact and gestures in an effort to exchange information on daily survival. Of course, this means they are deprived of their right to claim their rights or to be informed on their detention status and the date of their release. Complete isolation and loneliness.

Contact with the air, the rain and the sun is simply zero, as there is no yard to go out to. Detainees can only walk in the corridor (1 meter width and 20 meters length) that is outside the cells. They are deprived of a room where they could sit or do physical exercise; as a consequence they can only walk or lie down, in other words they carry around their pestered body. In this decorative background we saw small kids holding dolls, climbing up the iron bars and walking barefoot on filthy water and liquids of unknown origin. Their shoe laces had been taken away from them, thus they cannot even run. Some older children have understood what’s going on and every spark of life in their eyes has disappeared. Who can explain to them how one day they were returning home after school with their mum and suddenly they found themselves behind prison walls?

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Solidarity with Resalto social center, Keratsini

Posted by clandestina on 23 December 2009

source: article submitted bytaxikipali user at libcom.org.

March in solidarity with Resalto social center, Keratsini (Athens) and updates from Greece.

More than a thousand march in Keratsini in solidarity to the 21 comrades arrested during the police raid on Resalto, the anarchist social centre of the proletarian suburb of Peiraeus.

More than a thousand protesters marched on Saturday afternoon in the industrial proletarian suburb of Peiraeus, Keratsini, against state terror and the police invasion of Resalto, the local anarchist social centre two weeks ago which resulted in the arrest of 21 people who are being accused of preparing explosives for…some empty beer bottles and a few litters of heating kerosene found in the remises. Initially the state accused the arrested for terrorism but the state interrogator subsequently dropped the charges. The invasion of the 4th of december had resulted to a sponteneous local attack against the police forces guarding the centre a few hours later and to the occupation of the Keratsini city hall which was too invaded by the police with 42 people arrested despite the opposition of the mayor, the local council and the lawyer association of the town who have subsequently published official decisions condemning the repression.

The march gathered at People’s square and after reading texts through the microphone stressing that “the arrested are the physical and political discendents of the guerrillas executed by the Nazis at the blockade of Kokkinia”, the protesters marched around the working class suburb enjoying overwhelming popular support: people chanting anti-police slogans from balkonies and clapping in approval from the sidewalk, despite strong police presence.

The march was part of a 3-day call against state terror by Resalto whose case has become a symbol of the socialist government’s ruthless strategy of counterinsurgency. A hefty monetary guarantee has been imposed on the 21 accused which is being covered by donations and free-donation gigs and parties throughout the country.

On Sunday locals of Exarcheia realised a demo at the square of the area protesting against the persecution of the Resalto comrade. To put the point across regarding the ridiculous claims of the persecuting authorities, the demonstrators made a public display of the exact number of empty beer bottles, hammers, and litres of heating kerosene considered “tools for constructing explosive” – surprisingly the antiterrorist bureau did not try to arrest them…

The march took place within a tense climate across Greece:

In Salonica, the social center of the west territories, opened after the December Uprising, came under attack by parastate thugs who invaded the premises beating people inside and smashing everything on their way. Earlier the same day a police patrol car had come under attack by radicals in the centre of the city, while the night before a security systems shop had been torched.

In Kavala, police detained a group of fly-posting radicals near the autonomous centre and the anarchist squat of the city. The unusual detention could be a sign of collective retribution for the large-scale attack last Thursday when the city centre’s banks were smashed and burned by radicals who have identified themselves in a communique as “anarchists of praxis”.

In Athens, on Friday afternoon the political office of a PASOK (Socialist Party) MP was attacked with an arson mehanism, a further attack after the Thursday night half hour barrage that destroyed half a dozen PASOK offices across the city. Also the PASOK offices of Agioi Anargiroi outside Athens were smashed on Saturday evening.

On a less angry side of things radical, the union of Wind workers has published a communique condemning the police invasion of university grounds during last week’s riots, and the efforts of rectorial authorities and the state to render the asylum a symbolic institution.

> MORE ABOUT RESALTO AND WAYS TO SUPPORT WITH MONEY OR OTHERWISE AT http://sysiphus-angrynewsfromaroundtheworld.blogspot.com/2009/12/resalto-update.html

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