Letter by Vassilis Palaeokostas, Greece’s fugitive social bandit

Vassilis Palaeokostas, Greece’s legendary social bandit and helicopter
jailbreaker, offers a penetrating critique of power and servitude from
the deep underground.

On Sunday 31/1/10 Eleftherotypia, the liberal left greek daily,
published the first ever letter to come from the hand of Vassilis
Palaeokostas, greece’s legendary social bandit whose double jailbreak
from Koridalos prison with a helicopter has made him a symbol of
freedom. The letter comes on the eve of the trial of the Milonas case,
relating to the abduction of north greece’s richest industrialist and
head of the industrial board two years ago. Two anarchists/
revolutionaries, Polykarpos (Polys) Georgiadis, and Vagelis
Chrisochoidis are sitting on trial accused as accomplishes of the
fugitive Palaeokostas (“providing refuge”). It must be noted that V.
Palaeokostas is accused of bank robberies during which no one has ever
been harmed, including cops. He and his brother Nikos (also a legendary
social bandit) are reputed for helping the poor in the destitute rural
areas of mountainous greece. They form a living continuation of the
social banditry that flourished during the Ottoman Empire and the first
100 years of the greek state and are subjects of solidarity by the
anarchist movement. The translation of the letter is based on the one
provided by rioter.info, with some linguistic corrections.

“On the occasion of the upcoming trial on the kidnapping of the
industrialist G. Mylonas, that begins on Tuesday February 2, I would
like to clarify certain issues. Through different periods of my life I
have been a first line fugitive, nearly 12 years in total an escapee (I
hope there’s more of that coming) and 8 years a prisoner. During all
those years that I have lived hunted by the official state, there has
not been even one snitch to deliver me to the hands of my prosecutors.
Even though, during my first escape in August 1991, there was a large
reward for that, from the -generous to snitches- Greek state. On the
contrary, I met people with troth, honor in their words, and dignity.
People that opened their door for me, provided cover and help, often
without even minding the risk they took for themselves. People that
helped me in hard times for me (as in a prison escape) endangering
their own lives, people that prove that in this country there aren’t
only resigned, submissive fellows, but also many (so many I am
surprised) people that honor the traditions of honor and solidarity to
the hunted. Proud people that despise snitching, servitude and the
constable [use of word for the police current under the junta]. I
publicly express my gratitude to all those remarkable persons for their
valuable help and for giving me the joy of having met them. Two of them
are Vaggelis Chrisohoides and Polys Georgiades, each one of them stood
by me in his own way, at the time I needed them, without expecting
personal gains, but only acted upon their conscience. Declaring my
solidarity to these two young men, who the state strangles everyday
knowing their only “crime” was their solidarity to the hunted, I would
expect to see for once the magnitude the Republic of Greece takes
prides in. Because its pettiness I consider myself more than competent
to describe: it’s an Abyss. I will say nothing more. I only address
those that care to retain some garment of justice and dignity. And
everyone should do what his sense of honor and his conscience tells him
to do.

On 4/14/09, afternoon around 20:00 while driving on the central
coastal road of Alepohori, suddenly three cars blocked my way and
another two stuck on the back of my own car. Among them was a black
Audi A4, a Peugot Rally and an Opel Athens Taxi. Each one of them with
three persons (15 in total), all in plain clothes. All of them got
instantaneously out, pointing at me, the drivers with H&K MP5
sub-machine guns with double cartridge, nad the other with Glock and
H&K U.S.P semi-automatic handguns. I instantly understood these
armed mercenaries of the Greek state where on a prowl for blood. This
same moment on my right, through an invisible from the main road,
alley, comes another car with the driver standing aghast and stopping
on the crossroad with the main road. Without second though I turned the
wheels right and let it rip. Slightly hitting the other car (given the
alley could barely take my jeap), I got right in the alley without
knowing where it gets to. From my initial speeding to getting 20-30
meters in the alley, bullets where dancing on my car’s cabin. Those
guys opened fire with their machine guns and handguns aiming right at
me (the only thing undamaged was my car’s tires). From my considerable
experience in intense conditions, I am more than certain that they shot
more than 150 bullets in 15 seconds (the whole scene didn’t last any
longer). Most probably, some of them also found the unwary civilian’s
car, while he was inside it. These unscrupulous, blind shooters of the
Greek Police where determined to carry out fully the order they had
take from their natural and political leaders. Trace and kill. In this
case, they can blame their bad luck, since luck is female and cares for
the daring. [transl. see latin: “Fortuna Favet Fortubus”]. The reason I
refer to this incident is to show the contemptible way the Mass Media
report such cases. The car I was riding and left 100 meters from the
scene, because the alley was a dead-end, was full of bullets. This fact
was not reported and the car never appeared anywhere, it magically
disappeared. Just like the other car (hit and possibly riddled with
bullet holes), together with its misfortunate owner, the only witness
that actually took part in the scene, without his will of course,
watching the whole thing from start to end.

So, instead of inquiring all these important facts to show what
exactly happened in that scene, the daring and ingenious reporters of
the Greek Mass Media gathered inside the room I was living in, and in
exclusive reporting were waving around my unwashed underpants,
informing by means of flaming howls the uncomfortable, ignorant,
petrified tv-viewer. This fact clearly reveals the “journalist
community’s” will to silence and cover-up, which essentially consents
to the criminal activity of police desperados and those who give them
orders, in full cooperation with them. “We will allow you to enter the
house for an exclusive report, but you ‘ll keep your mouth shut about
everything else”. Such was the filthy deal between the two sides. The
media would get their money, since underpants are worth more in their
stockmarket of values than the life of their owner. As long as he is
“notorious”. And finally, who cares about how the police acts? If the
police and its leadership holds that a man must be killed just because
he is wanted, why should we disagree? They brag: whenever we need
information, the police’s head officer obliges. While, the hunted man
has no phone. And even if he has one, it will be turned off or without
a signal. This is the way our daring and independant journalists think.
My congratulations, the future belongs to you. May I suggest the two
organizations, police and media, could even integrate in one, for
functional reasons. It’s both innovative and carries many advantages.
Then, it won’t be for nothing that you elected a police correspondent
as president of ESIEA (journalists-editors union). If only these
ingenious reporters, showed the same eagerness they manifested towards
my underpants, for performing a diligent control [on the state i.e. the
supposed role of the media according to the constitution], denouncing
to the Greek citizens that:

* 13.000 humans are in a state of captivity (under the pretext of
illegality), subjected along with their families to total exploitation
by the official state. Who after passing the symplegades [deadly
clashing rocks in the Argonauts myth] of a corrupt police and an even
worst justice system, end up with heavy penalties in medieval
conditions, by which this rotten system strives to control and then
annihilate whatever dares to make a mockery of it.

* The armed guardians of the Greek state kill in cold-blood citizens
(preferably the young) in the middle of the street, in front of the
citizen’s own eyes. Humiliating and torturing to death people in the
police stations. Setting up wilfully indictments sending “guilty”
humans in jail for years. Setting a whole network of criminal
activities not controlled by anyone.

* If they really cared to exercise some control over the modern
Pirates of the political system, that helped by the gimmickery of the
election system and the blessings of the Mass Media take over the
Parliament, turning it into the headquarters of full domination on
their voters citizens. Into a nest of intertwining interests, dealing
transactions, bribes. Into a “terrorist hideout” where the loots from
pillaging are divided around. A loot every citizen dares to question,
becoming an obstacle in their plans will feel upon him the brutal
democratic violence of a blood-thirsty repressive organization. He will
feel the revengefulness, the revanchism, and the deep hatred the Greek
state has for all those that rejected the status of an obidient citizen
that understand his personal liberty as a necessity to do what he’s
told to, but remain human with free will and claim an opinion on what’s
going on around them with their own actions.

* If they revealed the great responsibility of this criminal
organization for the establishment of a police state in Greece, through
which they exercise an unbearable psychological violence to the citizen
with hundreds of road blocks with cops armed-to-the-teeth with
“survivor”-style weaponry, and the same menacing, numb look they had
back in the junta days. The thousands of policemen one faces wherever
he turns the eye (not to count the undercover ones). The dozens of
head-hunters that prowl the mountains acting on their own taste,
reminding of the begining of the 20th century, though with a modern

* If they denounce these and innumerable other things that de facto
cancel the “social state” and “justice state” notions, as their role
supposes, then today’s regime, they eagerly guard and name democracy,
would be incomparably more humain, qualitative, and certainly more just.

You ‘d now say I am not the most adequate person to give
recommendations, even less for matters of the regime. That’s correct.
In the place democracy was born, they can do whatever they want with
her [i.e. democracy], even burry her if they so wish. It’s a good thing
to die in the place you where born. But, they shouldn’t feel angry when
the kids throw stones to her. They see her old and rotten, it’s stones
she’s gonna get. Primitive as they might be, these insticts are
unmistakable. Because the kids are more honest and upstanding than the
grown-ups. Nobody would want to grow up just to find a dead body in the
closet that his parents have been hiding so as to exploit her pension.
They desire something more than a body in formol, and be sure they ‘re
gonna get it, no matter how many dreads you put in their street.

On what concerns me, it is my absolute belief and surely of
thousands others conscious people, that the damage caused to the social
body by one shiny tv-presenter in a single news bulletin (preferably
the 8 o’ clock one), cannot be equaled by me even if they give me 10
lives to spare. What’s the damage my old shot-gun [transl. use of term
for 18th to early 19th century guns of the mountain bandits and
guerrillas]. I have never turned it against an other human, much less
against another human’s mind. Now my question is why it is I with my
old shot-gun the prosecuted one who risks his life at the hands of an
enraged death-squad, while my judges and my hunters are those who with
their lucrative superweapons degenerate and sterilize the spirit of a
whole people, leading them to mental necrosis. a On second thoughts
maybe the law on weapons should change. Whoever holds an old shot-gun
should be prosecuted for a capital offence!!!

Now, since it’s the first time I intervene with a public statement,
I wouldn’t want it to end in a dispiriting way. So, let me add an
allegoric enigma-quiz, I find it won’t trouble you much to solve. What
is the name, of a deputy sheriff of some mountainous and remote village
of Utah, USA, overjoyed to his award winning by the FBI, for heroically
and always risking his life arrested and gave to justice some dangerous
elements to the order of his village? Who, apart of that precious
award, also fed the ambition to have his triumphous achievement turn
into a big Hollywood move, with George Clooney acting as him, something
that pissed off his american patrons so that they exiled him, reducing
him to the ranks of minister of “Citizens Protection” of some
independent Balkan state. Who, to my exclusive information keeps
fantacising about and anxiously sweeping for new “troublemakers”! To
make it even easier for you, I can also add some of his favorite words:
Democracy, Revolutionary Fund, Ghetto, Communicating Vessels,
Destabilization, Zero Tolerance, Organized Crime, They will be arrested
and prosecuted. He is also a devoted fan of snitching and loves “rats”
and his hobbies include setting prices for the heads of wanted. Keeping
in mind though, that one of his many qualities is revanchism, I come to
clarify that any similarity to real person or events is totally
unintended. Every police reporter that solves the quiz, enters a
lottary for an exclusive interview.

My militant regards to all those that don’t surrender the weapons the chose to fight with, for the life they dream of.

PS. Some oil guys, they do rust.

signature and fingerprint Vassilis Palaeokostas

fonte: Libcom.org

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