Greek Anarchist Collective Targeted by the State

The far-right Greek government has been going after the anarchist collective Rouvikonas (Rubicon) in similar ways as the U.S. has attempted to dismantle the ‘Cop City’ movement with state-level domestic terrorism and RICO charges. From wrongfully charging two Rouvikonas members with murder to attempting to label the collective a criminal organization, the government has voiced plans to use “all means” to dismantle the revolutionary anarchist group. Rouvikonas members say the state is trying to outlaw their collective and they released a statement entitled “The State’s final assault on Rouvikonas has unfolded,” which is published below.

“The Greek State just unfolded its final attack against our organization, its goal is to declare our organization a ‘criminal association’ or ‘gang,’ which would mean that all members would go to jail and the organization will be outlawed.”

Rouvikonas, prelude to statement published below

Rouvikonas is a deeply rooted anarchist collective headquartered at K*Vox social center in the heart of the Exarcheia district in Athens, Greece. This past summer, the group voluntarily helped to battle raging wildfires in the country, helped flood victims, and continued to provide mutual aid and support where the state has routinely been absent.

The collective is known for their elusive, controlled attacks against high-profile economic exploiters and abusive governments. Their actions are organized and consist of small-scale acts that fit within the lower confines of the Greek legal codes, such as vandalism by spray paint or breaking glass, and confronting figures of authority and corrupt bosses. At their direct actions, which are recorded and published on their website, their YouTube channel and across the internet, members leave pamphlets at the scene that explain why they took the actions.

Some of their recent acts have been in solidarity with Palestine and include the unfurling a large Palestinian flag off the roof of a building across from the Israeli embassy in Athens and holding a genocidebanner in front of the house of the ambassador of the State of Israel in Greece.

When the far-right New Democracy party took power in 2019, former socialist PASOK member Michalis Chrisochoidis returned to his fourth term as Greece’s Minister of Citizen Protection. Dubbed the terrorist hunter for helping to dismantle the aging Revolutionary Organization 17 November and arresting members of the Revolutionary Struggle, Chrisochoidis has a zero tolerance against crime and has continued his promise to target anarchist and anti-authoritarian groups.

Rouvikonas has since faced unrelenting attacks by the government. Nevertheless, the group has continued their actions. A 2019 Unicorn Riot report featured an interview with Rouvikonas member Thanos. See two videos at the bottom of the article featuring the interview.

Passing the Point of No Return: Interview with Rouvikonas Anarchist Collective [2019]

Related: Greece: Political Prisoners Pt. 2 – Targeting of Anarchists & Autonomous Groups [2017]


The State’s final assault on Rouvikonas has unfolded

“For years, we have been facing one attempt after another to get us rid of. Dozens of arrests and trials have not succeeded in breaking us. Despite the hardships and the financial and political cost, we have continued to fight undeterred, always aware of the importance of our struggle.

As their plans to stop us continued to fail, in 2018 they tried to create a single criminal case against us by combining dozens of our activist actions. When they were completely defeated during the trial, they set up an improbable plot and accused two of our members of homicide. Once again, our members were acquitted by the court in 2021.

The State and the New Democracy political party that governs the country for the last 5 years realized that, in order to silence any anti-establishment voices, they would have to work much harder. We need to understand that, the state is not trying to prosecute us with any misdemeanor charges that come along with Rouvikonas’ activist actions, such as disturbance of the domestic peace or incitement to revolt. The state is trying to defeat us and erase us by any means necessary, since we are its enemy.

This time, we have to admit, they really tried harder. They have been working on this case for almost two years, since march 2022 when the new law was passed, until now!

Based on this ad hoc law passed by the New Democracy, Rouvikonas is accused (at the preliminary stage of the investigation) of being a gang, based on a series of misdemeanor charges brought against 15 people. Some of them are members of Rouvikonas and some are not. Two of our members appear as leaders, which could mean a harsher criminal punishment, apart from its obvious ideological content. Under the new law, if convicted, we’ll be jailed and the political organization outlawed.

The current case against us is unprecedented. Besides the evidence gathered regarding our activist actions, the prosecution shows the overall way the State sees Rouvikonas, anarchism, and the broader social struggle. It is a political lesson on state security which goes as far as including in the case file, Facebook comments from alleged members about the ‘prime minister of our country,’ as police put it.

They attempted to analyze our words and our choices, and it is of great interest the conclusions they get from this and how they build their narrative against us. A narrative that ends up with Rouvikonas as the first political organization after the military dictatorship to be jailed for practices that are socially legitimized by the vast majority of the social base.

To put it simply, the new law says that if three or more people commit a series of misdemeanours, they can be imprisoned for years. A demonstration is a misdemeanour, just as much as a workers’ strike, or putting up posters. In addition, according to junta laws that are starting to resurface, revolutionary speeches and even views can be classified as misdemeanors. If the State and New Democracy manage to apply this law for the first time to Rouvikonas, the only question is who will be next?

We will talk much more extensively about this case in the future as it potentially impacts the whole social base. After all, it’s not certain that the investigation is closed. We’ll have the final picture when the charges are officially handed down. For now, we mention the fact that the case clearly centers on political beliefs – the anarchist ideology.

We were not surprised by the tone of the royal officer who spoke about social peace or the aesthetics of the gendarme who hunt down communists. There is no attempt at all to hide the political content of the prosecution. Quite the opposite, it stands out as a point of pride. This makes the political dimension of this final attack of the State against Rouvikonas, and potentially on the entire struggle, more important than ever. It fits perfectly with the changes the Right Wing made on the legislation, as well as its efforts to organize social control through propaganda and harsher penalties. Changes we see in the new Floridi’s Law.

We knew this would happen sooner or later. The State will move heaven and earth to punish, not only us and the radical movement but the entire social base. In a way, it is our honor to be on the front line of the social war. We will put up a great fight, we will cross these trenches, and their plans will ultimately prove futile.

We address all the people who struggle as well as the entire social base, and what we say is pretty clear: If they want to pass, they will have to do so over our bodies. If we can stop them here, they will have to retreat and regroup.

Equally clear is our answer to the question ‘What will Rouvikonas do now?

The same as before, but even better.

We’ll be back soon…”

Watch and hear the full interview from our 2019 report below.

See more Unicorn Riot media from Greece.

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