September 3, 2013 could be a day of darkness for the democratic rights of the Geek people and for the EEK, the Greek Section of the CRFI. It turned into a triumph against the class enemy, and a beacon of revolutionary struggle.
The trial of Savas Michael-Matsas, the General Secretary of the EEK, and of Konstantinos Moutzouris, former Dean of the National Technical University of Athens, after a lawsuit by the Nazi ‘Golden Dawn” promoted by the judiciary arm of the bourgeois State, had as a direct aim to penalize anti-fascist activity and to produce a legal precedent against the revolutionary vanguard, against the Left and the workers movement as whole, against the freedoms of the people. The entire operation to condemn the “accused” for “defamation” of the Nazis, for “instigation of violence”, and for “disruption of the social peace” turned into a boomerang against the Nazis and their protectors in the “deep” State and in the Samaras government, the instrument of the hated troika of the EU/ECB/IMF.
After a gigantic mobilization of solidarity internationally and in Greece, and a powerful fight in court by the accused and by their defenders during the two days of juridical procedures in court the fake “charges” were destroyed, the conspiracy came to light and the final unanimous verdict was to declare “not guilty” both accused.
It was the first defeat of the “Golden Dawn” in courts from the time of its ascent as this openly Nazi Party enjoyed a revolting legal immunity for its criminal activities so far.
The victory was the result of a powerful mobilization of solidarity by thousands of workers, activists, intellectuals, youth, “well known” personalities and “unknown” simple people both world wide and in Greece . More than three thousand and half signed the petition; thousands of personal messages of support came from dozens of countries, from all continents, as well as from all corners of Greece itself. Leading philosophers, scientists, economists and theoreticians like Michael Lowy, Bertell Ollman, Alain Badiou, Giorgio Agamben, Etienne Balibar, Robert Brenner, Milton Fisk, Nancy Holmstrom, Eleni Varikas etc wrote powerful public statements and organized activities of support. Articles were published in newspapers of wide circulation internationally like in the Guardian in Britain, in Liberation, Le Monde, Charlie Hebdo in France, Junge Welt in Germany, Libre Belgique in Belgium, Izvestia, Komsomolskaya Pravda et al. in Russia, Haaretz in Israel etc.
Protests in front of the Greek embassies and consulates were successfully organized in Buenos Aires( by the Partido Obrero and the Left Front ) in Rome and nine other cities of Italy( by the PCL and other left wing organizations), in London ( by the Ad Hoc Committee for Savas Michael-Matsas following a call by the Socialist Fight group), in Moscow, and Leningrad in Russia (by the Russian Party of Communists, the Association of Marxist Organizations, the Social Movement Alternativyi, and others), in Odessa in Ukraine( by the ‘Against the Current” organization), in Chicago in the United States by local activists etc. The International Anti-War Assembly in Hiroshima, Japan sent a message of solidarity voted in its meeting the day of commemoration of the nuclear holocaust, August the 6th.
The trial, although the pro-government Greek mass media were absent, was followed by journalists of all the newspapers and web journals of the Greek Left (including Rizospastis, the daily of the Stalinist Communist Party of Greece), a journalist of the Russian Press, and covered live by the National Radio-Television of Belgium (RTFB) and by the French TV5. The arrival of the “accused” General Secretary of the EEK was received by more than a thousand workers, and youth holding banners and red flags, shouting anti-fascist slogans, and singing the “International”. The supporters of the “Golden Dawn” did not show up, apart from those in the ranks of the huge police force mobilized on this occasion.
The juridical procedure was a real battle. Despite the obvious hostility of the Procurer, the accusations were falling part. From the side of the fascist plaintiffs only two appeared; one who said that he signed the lawsuit “ because they told him to do so” , and a second, the official lawyer and legal adviser of the “Golden Dawn” who said that he was ‘afraid for his life because of the leaflet of the EEK’!!
Dozens of witnesses of defense spoke courageously and powerfully: many deputies and leading members of Syriza, leaders of the Antarsya, a Russian representative of the Left in his country, leaders of the National Federation of Public Workers (ADEDY), of the Federation of professors of the secondary education (OLME), of the Federation of Hospital Doctors (OENGE), Rectors, Deans, and many University professors, leaders of the Local Government Workers, of many other unions, Councilors in the Local Governments, leading members of the EEK itself.
The accused became accusers against Nazism, and anti-Semitism, against the capitalist government and State, against the troika, the ruling classes and world capitalism that want to crush the masses by the ruins of their own bankruptcy and by barbarism. When the near one hour apology by the General Secretary of the EEK ended, the comrades and supporters who packed the court room started a thunderous protracted applause and the Judge, very upset, adjourned temporarily the procedure.
Afterwards, even the Procurer asked the Judge to rule “not guilty” for both accused, and so the final ruling declared the innocence both of Savas Michael and of Konstantinos Moutzouris. The announcement of the ruling was received again with thunderous applause, with antifascist slogans (“The people does not forget, it will hang all the fascists!”, “Death to fascism-Freedom to the People!”, “Bosses and fascists will be smashed- Long live the world proletariat!”), and the singing of the International.
The first reactions in the aftermath of the trial are significant. The people received and hailed the verdict as its own victory. Some characteristic examples: The journalists and workers in the State Radio-Television (ERT) occupied and self-managed by them from last June after its arbitrary closing by the government firing 2700 workers, declared publicly on a national scale: “When we learned that Savas was acquitted by the Court, we started shouting, embracing each other, crying, and singing!”; or, in the general assemblies all over the country of the Federation of Education OLME, where they decided by 96 per cent of its tens of thousands of members to start next week an indefinite General Strike against the demolition of education by the government and the troika, all the speeches were beginning by hailing the result of this historic trial. The same happened in the general assembly of the Union of Bus Workers; of the local government workers et al. Workers now identify their own struggles with our political battle against the Nazis and the capitalist State behind them.
From the side of the class enemy, fascists and the State look for revenge. At the end of the tens of thousands strong demonstration in Thessalonica on September 7, although no violent incidents occurred, the riot police arrested 150 demonstrators, including some cadres of the local organization of the EEK. When the police arrested our comrades as well as workers from the occupied self-managed factory of VIOME, the policemen insulted them with the most vulgar way accusing the comrades to be “supporters of the party of the dirty Jew” (i.e. Savas). Something even more sinister: the young son of a well known comrade and trade unionist of the EEK was stabbed in the back by a gang of fascists in Pyrgos, in Peloponnese.
We are conscious that we won an important battle with great repercussions internationally and in Greece but the class war continue and become even sharper!
Savas Michael-Matsas, 10/9/2013