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The Organization of Anarchist Action is Waging War Against the Police in Thessaloniki
The Thessaloniki outfit of Greece’s newest anarchist urban guerrilla network, the Direct Action Cells (DAC), has carried out its first attacks on the homes of police officers after declaring war on the Hellenic Police earlier this year. The Organization of Anarchist Action (OAA), as DAC’s Thessaloniki cell is known, published the names and addresses of 21 active Hellenic Police officers in July of this year. On November 21st, OAA published a communique claiming attacks targeting the homes of two police officers early on the morning of November 15th, which the claim describes as “explosive attacks with low-powered devices”—the same improvised incendiary devices (IID) commonly deployed by DAC cells in other attacks.
(IID left outside the home of a Hellenic Police officer in Thessaloniki)
The claim cites the October 22nd fatal police shooting of unarmed 20-year-old Romani man Nikos Sampanis, following a pursuit of the vehicle Sampanis was riding in, which was reportedly stolen. Members of the Hellenic Police’s DETLA motorcycle unit fired 38 rounds into the vehicle after claiming that the driver tried to ram them. Seven officers involved in the shooting have been charged with intentional homicide.
(Aftermath of the Oct. 22 Sampanis shooting)
The attack came just after the latest scandal to rock the Hellenic Police involving sexual abuse and human trafficking was revealed to the public. Earlier in November, a 29-year-old police officer was accused of sexually abusing his 4-year-old daughter, after another police officer was charged for imprisoning and prostituting his teenage daughter earlier this year. The recent claim acknowledges OAA’s July publication of police names and addresses, in which the authors call the Hellenic Police “pimps” and “uniformed murderers”—language that again appears in their latest:
Last July, we proceeded to put a public bounty on 21 hired killers of the Greek Police […]
A few months later, our deeds complement our words. As long as you are unpunished, you are unprotected. History itself has shown that murderers and torturers will always meet the punishing hand of revolutionary violence, of true justice. That is why our attacks on the political descendants of the junta’s torturers, a few hours before the anniversary of the ’73 uprising, are a tribute to the memory of the dead of the Polytechnic.
This last sentence alludes to the November 17, 1973, massacre of dozens of people during the students’ uprising against the Regime of the Colonels, which is observed annually in Greece and often concludes with violent clashes between rioters and police.
(Damage to the Nea Ionia police station following Revolutionary Struggle’s ‘07 armed assault)
Interestingly, given that OAA has officially began attacking police targets, their claim quotes an infamous communique from an older-generation anarchist urban guerilla organization, following the latter’s armed assault on a police station in the Nea Ionia suburb of Athens in 2007:
“…To all those defenders of social normality and class peace who, in every small or large social uprising, try to marginalize the most dynamic and politically pioneering part, which for them is always “in the minority” and “acts against the peaceful majority”, we must point out that the history of social and class struggles is written by people determined to clash for their beliefs. By people who, even when they are few in number, manage to connect, to inspire, to mobilise many more, who manage to set the political terms of the struggle and create legacies for new, bigger and more decisive struggles.” – Revolutionary Struggle – Armed Attack at Perissos Police Station
Revolutionary Struggle was formed ca. 2003 and almost immediately stepped into the shoes of infamous red terrorist organization, 17 November, after the latter was dismantled in 2002.
The OAA attack claim concludes by reiterating the call for a network of revolutionary violence issued by the DAC in the spring of this year by imploring individuals and cell-sized groups to plan and carry out direct action despite the increasing risks:
… this struggle will be violent, illegal, militant and radical without pity and compassion for any of them, unleashing all the appropriate means to give exemplary and punitive responses to tyranny.
Fighting comrades, we call on you to support in practice the revolutionary war that is raging. Raise the tools of practical challenge to the domination of the enemy. Create new groups, organisations, cells of revolutionary violence and radical formation. Re-energize the public dialogue of aggressive coupling of militant resistances and actively support the networks of revolutionary violence that are waging relentless battles with their small and large forces. With the insurgent memory at the side of every dead, at the hands of the uniformed units and the fiery power at the side of every prisoner of the social-class war, we invite you to the paths of the war confrontation. Where life becomes truly meaningful, meeting the responsibility towards historical duty. The task of subversion and revolution.
(D. Chatzivasileiadis in custody, August 2021)
The communique reiterates the author/s’ indignation at the police shooting of Sampanis, as well as the death of a Greek immigrant while in the custody of German police earlier this year. In what is becoming a bit of a trend among Greek anarchists, the author/s also mention the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis last year, a viral video of which sparked months of violent protests across the United States in 2020. Last fall, Greek anarchist guerrilla and then-fugitive, Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis, repeatedly invoked the murder of George Floyd in a communique that called for a “week of revenge,” following the fatal shooting of antifascist and “Portland shooter,” Michael Reinoehl by a Federal US Task Force amidst 2020’s unrest. Chatzivasileiadis was arrested in August after being on the run for several months.
We have the right, the anger and the determination. And these are enough. In Piraeus his name was Nikos Sampanis; in Wuppertal, Georgos Zantiotis; in Minneapolis, George Floyd. Elsewhere he didn’t even have a name, just blood on the hands of the cops. In detention centres, prisons and psychiatric hospitals, on borders and fences in Belarus, in the Aegean Sea… For this bloody list of victims of the Republic in uniform, which grows day by day from incidents of abuse, torture and executions, one single word echoes nightmarishly: REVENGE!
Attack without mercy on the security forces
Houses, police stations, ministries under fire
(Kevin Fernández, 2018)
In what is a well-established trend among Greek anarchists, the communique includes a post-script paying homage to Chilean anarchist Kevin Garrido Fernández, who was stabbed to death while in police custody, November 2nd, 2018.