Solidarity Demonstration for the 'Thessaloniki 4'Tagged as: repression social_struggles solidarity thessalniki_7 thessaloniki thessaloniki_4 thessaloniki_solidarity
A group of around 30 people demonstrated today at the Greek Embassy in London following a call by the London Thessaloniki Solidarity Group. This demonstration coincided with the start of the second trial in Greece of the four remaining defendants that face sentences raging from 4 to more than 8 years after they were arrested, beaten up and fitted up during the anti-EU Summit demonstrations that took place in Thessaloniki in June 2003. Read on ....
One of the defendants is Simon Chapman, a UK protester that, along with the other defendants, maintain their innocence. Video and photographic evidence clearly shows how a rucksack filled with petrol bombs was planted next to Simon at the moment of his arrest in 2003. As a result, him and 6 other protesters were imprisoned and held on remand. They became known as the 'Thessaloniki 7', and they started a hunger strike that lasted for as long as 63 days to force their release [timeline] Hundreds of solidarity actions took place all over the world, including several in London [video] and all over the UK [full lists 1 | 2]
After all the charges were dropped in 2004, the prosecutor of Thessaloniki appealed against that decision in 2005, resulting in the charges being reinstated. Legal arguments continued for more than two years, and a trial date was finally set for January 2008.
The first trial took place and found the defendants guilty passing sentences of between four and eight and a half years for charges including "distinguished" and "repeated" rebellion, possession of explosives, resisting arrest, and causing explosions. The second trial was due on September 2010 but it was eventually adjourned until the 14th January 2011.
Out of the original 'Thessaloniki 7', three have so far had their cases resolved. The remaining four will have their future decided this coming week in a Greek Court. The 'Thessaloniki 4' are:
Simon Chapman, Britain
Suleiman "Kastro" Dakdouk, Syrian origin
Michaelis Triakapis, Greece
Fernando Perez Gorraiz, Spain