Letter from Haralambos “Babis” Stylianidis

On November 16, 2011, Haralambos “Babis” Stylianidis (see the latest Greek anarchist prisoner list for more information about him) was brought to the Thessaloniki Courthouse. Upon entering the examining magistrate’s office, Stylianidis declared: “I am a revolutionary anarchist and I refuse to take part in these proceedings.” Nevertheless, the prosecutor and examining magistrate presented him with a new charge, this time for burglarizing the accounting office at AHEPA hospital. The only piece of evidence against our comrade is a headscarf that, according to the police, contains his DNA and was found near the hospital. Two days after his appearance at the Thessaloniki Courthouse, Stylianidis released the following letter (in Greek here):

On Monday, November 7, I was handed a summons to appear before the prosecutor at Regular Hearing Section Number 5 of the Thessaloniki Court of Primary Authority and give a statement regarding charges of burglary, simple complicity in burglary, and illegal weapons possession.

The ironic part of the whole matter was that I didn’t know—and I still don’t know—what burglary I was being summoned for, since the piece of paper that reached my hands mentioned neither the place nor the date of the burglary’s occurrence. Of course, when my lawyer asked to be informed of the details, the response he received was: “We can say nothing until the defendant himself makes an appearance.” At the same time, a rumor was spreading about a headscarf containing a sample of my DNA that was found near the unknown site of the burglary.

I obviously didn’t show up, as I considered it an aggravation to make that journey of over 1,000 kilometers round-trip—a day-and-a-half in the transfer vehicle, with me in a 1-square-meter cage for 10 hours.

Regardless of the act being attributed to me (and whether or not I had something to do with it), what I did during the previous examination and formal interrogation proceeding for the prior cases in which I’m being charged, just like what I did during the six-month formal investigation, is exactly what I will do during the upcoming trials.

I refuse to converse, on either a personal or political level, with any authority “in charge.” Otherwise, I would be legitimizing in my conscience, the conscience of my comrades, and the conscience of my enemies a proceeding in which some—whom, of course, I bear hostility toward—are deemed fit to judge the anarchist struggle.

Beyond the issue of whether or not some anarchist took part in the acts in question, I view the criminal persecution of those in struggle, my recent prosecution, and the captivity of dozens of revolutionary anarchists as part of a general conflict between different values—as part of the social-civil war.

This is about an attempt by the state to strike fear into revolutionaries so that they cease their activity, an attempt to stop the spread of anarchist ideas and practice.

Their intention is to discourage young people from taking action.

Therefore, under no circumstances will I do the judicial authorities the favor of playing their little legal game, seeking an alibi of innocence, and exposing my personal life to them. Under no circumstances will I appear before them as “certainly troubled, but basically a good honest kid.”

Under no circumstances will I give them the gift of a chat, not even now. I will remain consistent with my desire and the commitment I made to myself and my comrades to keep being myself and honorably continue the Struggle, without conversations with my persecutors.

I will not regurgitate the language of domination, claiming my innocence or guilt like a parrot.

I acted in accordance with my conscience, I am against the capitalist-democratic system and authoritarian civilization, and I support every method of struggle that is in keeping with my values and contributes to the intensification of the struggle, regardless of whether such method is characterized as “legal” or “illegal.”

In addition, the goal of anarchist struggle is the destruction of hierarchy, and thus it can be nothing but illegal in the language of domination.

This is further demonstrated by the street confrontations around the world, the attacks on targets of domination, the development of polymorphic structures and infrastructures of struggle, and the continual propagandizing and dissemination of revolutionary anarchist discourse.

Forget about all the many ways repression can intensify. No matter how much repressive tension increases, no matter how many years in prison they make us carry on our backs, no matter how many of us they keep prisoner, THE VERY WILL FOR REVOLUTION CANNOT BE IMPRISONED, ISOLATED, OR SILENCED.

The anarchist/revolutionary struggle continues and will continue to be expressed under any condition, defying all costs.

On November 16, when I am summoned for the second time to give a statement in front of those who have locked thousands of people up in prison, I will remain silent in order to allow the deafening noise of the clash between two different worlds to be heard—a noise that is getting louder.

My solidarity and respect to all who, through their actions, smile at us while wounding authoritarian civilization.

To the anarchist prisoners of war, who continue their struggle inside prison.

—Babis Stylianidis; Monday, November 14, 2011; A Wing, Korydallos Judicial Prison

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3 Responses to Letter from Haralambos “Babis” Stylianidis

  1. We get where you’re coming from, but isn’t the transliteration of Greek names into English a bit of an inexact science? For consistency’s sake, we pretty much use whatever Ekathimerini comes up with, as it’s the only mainstream Greek news organ that regularly reports in English. And regardless of the fact that they may suck as a media entity, we’re simply using them for spelling, and so far it’s worked out okay for us.


  2. contra info says:

    Charalambos ‘Babis’ Tsilianidis
    [NOT -Sty-lianidis]

    please correct the comrade’s name, everywhere
    in solidarity


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