Giannis Michailidis is an anarchist prisoner in Greece who has been on hunger strike since May 23. As of this writing, he is on his 68th day without food and is in serious condition in a hospital cell in Lamia, central Greece.
Michaildis was sentenced to 20 years in prison for bank robbery, of which he served 8.5 years. Normally prisoners can be released after serving 3/5 of their sentence, but Giannis was denied parole on the grounds that he might commit other offences.
In Greece, the comrades know very well the meaning of a prisoner who goes on a hunger strike. And they know the meaning of solidarity, amplifying its fight by taking it to the streets and pushing it into the general consciousness.
Since the beginning of his strike, thousands of people have marched in the streets, dropped banners, attacked government buildings, demonstrated in court, occupied offices and even forced the media to allow them to transmit a statement on television. Other anarchist prisoners in Greece started a hunger strike in solidarity, while abroad actions took place in Greek embassies and consulates (including in London) and more. Comrades in Greece called for solidarity actions worldwide against targets of Greek state and capital.
The neoliberal New Democracy government led by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has, from day one in office, waged a crusade against anarchists and other freedom fighters. He pushed longtime revolutionary prisoner and hunger striker Dimitris Koufontinas to near death last year when he refused to comply with his request to be transferred to a prison closer to his family and legal team and to end his torturous conditions. He didn’t eat for 65 days.
Coming from a conservative political dynasty that has long waged war against anarchists, migrants, student rebels, squatters and other “undesirables”, Mitsotakis and his friends and family in power pursue a personal vendetta against anarchist prisoners and revolutionaries.
It is now
Time is running out quickly. The Greek state assassinates a young anarchist out of pure revenge. They dragged out the final decision on his release so that his condition deteriorated further to a critical stage. Meanwhile, the hollowness of his words is all too apparent when comparing the approach taken to recent high-profile cases.
Perhaps the most striking case is the notorious case of Epstein-like figure Dimitris Lignadis. A former director of the National Theater and a companion to Prime Minister Mitsotakis, Lignadis was recently convicted of the rape of two children in 2015. He is now free after less than a year and a half in prison – having originally been sentenced to 12 years in due to widespread media coverage and public outrage. A rule for them….
Michailidis’ struggle is not only for his own freedom but for the total liberation of all. Now is the time to be there for him.
Immediate freedom for Giannis Michailidis!
Until the destruction of the last cage!
Some writings of Michailidis:
UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Giannis Michailidis has announcement that he suspends (but does not end) his hunger strike.