We take the responsibility for the execution of mafioso Habibi, who for years now was in the forefront of violent incidents towards residents and regulars in the area of Exarhia, culminating in the murderous attack on three comrades of the occupied social centre VOX, last month. The paranoid character of this specific individual and the ruthless violence he inflicted at the slightest provocation, rendered him a potential serial killer, the fear and terror of the area. The bullying, the theft and stabbings that were included in the repertoire of his daily presence in Exarhia square, gave him the space to pretend to be the leader who (allegedly) no one could dispute. With the strength of a herd of cannibals that surrounded him, but also with the backup of the mafia and police, he acted undisturbed selling drugs and terrorizing the neighbourhood, which was defenceless and unable to deal with him, subjugated to his power and silenced.
The fear his criminal activity caused, gave him more and more audacity, since he repeatedly carried out assaults with murderous intentions in front of the eyes of dozens of locals, leaving behind bloody and half dead people, while he remained in the area undisturbed and proud. And this because, although he was a drug addict and paranoid, he knew very well that there would be no consequences. Because he knew that no one will intervene, because of the consensual subjugation imposed by fear. Because he knew that he would not be arrested, since being that he was an employee of the mafia he was essentially an employee of the police also.
However, his audacity proved to be “suicidal” in the end, when he made the mistake of attacking three anarchist comrades from occupied social centre VOX, injuring two of them. The camel broke and the implementation of popular-revolutionary justice required his death sentence. Not only in the frames of revenge for the injured comrades, but also in defence of such a distressed neighbourhood, which we are sure that upon hearing about the execution of this scumbag, will be relieved. Because someone had to take action. For the even marginal restoration of power relations in the neighborhood of Exarhia, for the reminder that the long arm of the para-state has to deal with the punishing arm of the movement.
Speaking of the para-state, we must clarify that for us the execution of this specific individual, is not limited only to a blow against the ‘cannibalism’ that reigns in Exarhia. We do not perceive ‘cannibalistic’ violence as a generalized social phenomenon. We are not sociologists, but positioned in the class which is at war with capital and as such we enter the battle to win back Exarhia. With this orientation, this specific execution extends also to the physical conflict with the parastate cluster of the mafia-police. I.e. it extends to the battle against one of the toughest expressions of capital. And this because Habibi was recruited by the mafia of Exarhia, not only as one more of the dozens of drug dealers who operate in the area, but also as a gendarme who violently guarded the smooth profitability of his bosses. Habibi’s rich background, which included all sorts of anti-social activity, had rendered him the henchman, the enraged guard dog of the mafia in Exarhia square. And he was a guard dog because this violence of his, regardless of it being psychotic and imprudent, functions as a threat against anyone who even imagined to disrupt the smooth dealing of drugs. Against, finally, anyone who disputed the reign of the mafia in Exarhia square.
By executing Habibi, we made it clear that we factually dispute the reign of the drug dealers. That we also have the means to deal with them and that if necessary we will engage in a head-on confrontation with them. A confrontation that is historically and politically imperative. The cluster between mafia and police, although a phenomenon ascertained numerous times that does not surprise anyone, in Exarhia it is expressed with revealing overt terms. Those who live, work or hang out in the area, know very well that the drug selling spots are not at remote areas, contrarily they take over the main spots around Exarhia square. They also know who and when drugs are sold, since we are talking about almost 24hour shifts carried out by individuals who live and move around Exarhia. They know what shops operate as fronts for money laundering, who the leaders of the mafia are, and where they hang out, visibly armed. They also know that the commander of Exarhia police station meets up with some of them in a particularly friendly climate. All this takes place before our eyes every day and no one says a word. And no one says a word because fear or indifference dominates. And even worse because even among the healthy forces in the neighbourhood, the futility dominates that nothing changes. Indeed, the rootstock of the network of thugs, “anarchists”, hooligans, big shop owners, drug dealers and police is deep. And it is so deep that it needs an earthquake to be uprooted. This earthquake is our aim, and to accomplish it we must initially clearly divide the camps. Who we are and who are against us. So we can measure up and so tolerance, dealings and balancing between two boats ceases. We are not all a neighbourhood and there is no room for all of us in this neighbourhood. It would be tragic-comic for police to claim ignorance about people and situations and even worse about the inability to intervene because of the fear of anarchists. And it would be tragic-comic, because the police raids, tortures and arrests the anarchists with particular ability and viciousness when there are clashes in the area. Why can the same not happen with the drug dealers, thugs and henchmen? The question is obviously rhetorical. And it is rhetorical, because of our position as social fighters, we could not denounce the inactivity of the police, implying that we need their intervention to solve the problem. Contrarily, what we are proving by talking about the absence-protection of the police is the blatant merging of interests, it is the existence of a parastate front, which can be dealt with by the people in the struggle and only them. Let’s not delude ourselves therefore, by awaiting the help of official bodies and institutions. They are all in on it and are all against us.
Therefore the issue of Exarhia, concerns in its core the clash with the mechanisms of collateral accumulation of capital. I.e. we are talking about the parastate, about the other side of capitalist profitability. The so-called para-economy is a network of unimaginable size that brings in billions. Besides, today the admission that the “black” capitals rescue the banking system internationally is particularly characteristic, proving thus not only the size of the profits, but also the aggregation of “illegal” and “legitimate” capitalist economy. Therefore, given this aggregation, it is obvious that the mafias are the organized expression of “black” economy, therefore also the lateral organization of the state mechanism. Judges, journalists, politicians, businessmen and police consist the board of executives of the para-economy, using as “front men” the various useful idiots to do the dirty work. Thus the drug dealers of Exarhia, comprised of lumpen-parasitic elements, “bouncers”, petty criminals and wannabe gangsters, are simply the useful idiots for Exarhia police station and GADA (Athens police headquarters), the official centres of controlling the dealing of drugs. These scum, who pretend to be Escobar and fearless, are common snitches and associates of the police, they are bullies and sneaky because without their protectors they would never dare not only to lay their hand, but not even their look on those who fight for the neighbourhood of Exarhia.
Understanding the problem from its root, we reach the conclusion that the war against the mafias, is a war in the heart of capitalist accumulation, it is an anti-capitalist war. For this, and so we will not get lost in fanciful theoretical schemes that lead to us not clashing with the mafias because capitalism (will) exist without them also, we say that we should finally start from somewhere. Because capitalism is not an abstract relation, but contrarily a tangible, material and very specific. This, the war to keep a neighbourhood clean of the sludge of capitalist junk the mafia washes down, it is not war of ideas, but a war for the shifting of the material correlation of power. Clearly, the neighbourhood of Exarhia is plagued by a series of problems. The beginning of all this, is the transformation of Exarhia into mass consumerist zone, which attracts the mafia and finally brings the political and cultural deterioration of the area. The concentration of dozens of catering outlets, which reap the historical and political charge of the area and profit by selling an alternative lifestyle and pseudo-insurrectionism, has as a consequence the gathering of thousands of youths with terms of consumerism and de-politicisation. And exactly here is where the mafia finds a fertile ground to blossom. Because the area yields unimaginable profits from the “protection” of dozens of shops and even more from the dealing of drugs.
It is a sad fact that the hundreds of youths who hang out in a neighbourhood of constant political turmoil, seem to have a false interpretation of freedom, which ends up getting confused with the use of drugs. The urban ideologies that nourished all kinds of forms of “alternative lifestyle”, aimed at disorientation and ideological aphasia, promote the use of drugs as an alleged liberating experience, transforming thousands of young kids into addicted or not users and into “customers” who economically support the criminal organizations of the mafia. We call on all these young kids, who could and should be on our side, to consider that drugs are a means of sedation and not liberation, we call on them to not economically contribute to the mafia, we call on them to take a stand in this battle, either by stopping to take drugs, or leaving from Exarhia. Otherwise, as the struggle intensifies, the users and the vast demand they offer to the drug dealers, will have to be dealt with even with violence.
Speaking on the issue of drugs and the drug culture in general as a phenomenon that mainly inundates the youth, we are absolute, stating that to poison our brain and body with substances, is a fleeting experience, a misleading of our oppressed senses and a false escape from the real and common problems that plague us. Specifically in the western societies where capital has raided every aspect of our emotional world, the concept of personality has been deconstructed, through its placement into an asphyxiating alienated social environment. That of loneliness, insecurity, emotional amputation and depression. Into an unreasonably demanding and unbearable life. The justifiable seeking of ways out, when carried out under a state of lack of class conscience, will in fact lead to wayward paths. Drugs are one of them. And are probably the toughest expression of self-punishment and introversion, since the desired “way out” leads back to ourselves and our problems on the worst terms. In other words, we do not respond with liberating violence to the violence enforced on us by class society, but with violence that is aimed at ourselves. This is why as revolutionaries, we fight against drugs, which are a support on the enforcement of social paralysis, but also a direct attack on the most lively part of society, the youth. We said earlier that there is no room for all of us in this neighbourhood anymore. And with this we mean not only the mafia, but also the hooliganism wherever that is expressed. Whether with a political cloak, or apolitically and raw. The struggle for Exarhia, even if we have to get into an armed conflict, does not concern the means of struggle but the content they represent. The battle of Exarhia, is a battle of civilizations for the simple reason that it’s not two gangs clashing but two worlds. On one side the world of the parastate and rot and on the other our world of: hope, solidarity and struggle. However, the formation of our camp is not accomplished only with declaratory calls to battle, but with education and compliance on cultural standards of the new world we represent. This is why the battle of Exarhia, is a battle against capital and its mafia, as well as against the internal corrosion of the movement. Against the drug culture, indiscipline, anti-socialism and meaningless violence. Otherwise, we are doomed to lose this struggle or even worse become a part of the problem. It is a given that when something is not limited at some point it will expand so much that it will crush you in the end. It will spread like cancer. So in the case of Exarhia, where the otherwise romantic
character of the neighbourhood, which always embraced the outcasts, the uncompromising and the disinherited, today is proven wrong. Not because these people must not be embraced, but because they should be embodied with fundamental rules of social solidarity. They should accept the offer but also reciprocate, proving in practice that solidarity is not the back door of chaos and cannibalism but the epitome of social maturity, through its ability to self-institutionalize itself and operate in harmony. Social solidarity is therefore a matter of responsibility and not simply tolerance.
More particularly, when we are dealing with criminal-anti-social elements, the managing of which is not adjusted by some invisible hand, but from our capability to maintain at least a balance of forces. We should keep an eye on them, impose ourselves on them and remind them that they are in a hostile environment. Otherwise the mafiosos and hooligans will feel safe and strong, will impose their hegemony and eliminate us. Therefore, in respond to the incomprehensible theories like “this is always how Exarhia was”, we say that those who claim this belong to the conservative forces, to those that is, who with their attitude perpetuate the decadent situation of the neighbourhood. Therefore, from now on they will also be considered a part of the problem.
Exarhia is one of the most politically charged regions of Europe. In there, tough struggles have been fought, comrades have been murdered by the police, insurrections have started, movements and ideas were born. The image of this neighbourhood now surrendered to the decadence of drugs, pseudo entertainment and hooliganism, is a sad image. However, we must admit that it reflects the structural, organizational and ideological problems of our movement. In the name of a latent “anti-authority”, which identifies the terms of formation of the proletarian front, at a level of ethics and relations, with the terms with which we fight against the civil world, we forget that you do not respond to brutality with caresses. So when our ideas about social relations transform into an ideology, and not in constant conflict in order to guard them, then gaps are created, and the powers of the enemy find the space to sit on our “anti-authority”. All are judged by the real material correlations and not by our abstract visions. “Anti-authority” therefore, in order to survive in the urban environment it evolves in, and to convince that it is a realistic proposition of social organization, should exercise authority on its enemies. Otherwise it is doomed to crash. On the other hand, the wider meaning of tolerance, which allows the anti-social elements to act undisturbed in the neighbourhood of Exarhia, raises some basic questions. Why are we (should be) tolerant of anyone, who using as an alibi their national or alleged political identity (that of an immigrant or “anarchist”) exercises anti-social violence, and we are not tolerant of the local society which justifiably protests against them? Why are the former attributed as friendly forces and the latter as petty bourgeois and fascists? Who are we addressing and who are our allies? This is where we enter the depths of the historical character of the movement, its distortions concerning the class struggle and its role within it.
Tolerance therefore, is not a coupon of free contribution that is priced at will. It has a hefty price. The price of responsibility. And in the face of danger of becoming outcasts in our own neighbourhood, being ethically and politically assailed and unable to defend our vital space and losing the credibility of a responsible political proposition towards society, we say that this responsibility is ours. At any cost. Therefore, how do we factual defend the self-organization in the neighbourhood of Exarhia, let alone when we are threatened? Surely not with simply claiming it as an abstract formation, or as a structure that does not communicate anywhere with the outside world. Self-organization means the form (and not the content) upon which we comprise our forces. It means we have the ability, with our own political and experiential tools, to form the organized proletarian camp against the bourgeois class. Unions, assemblies, commissions, occupations, armed groups etc, are the physical expression of self-organization, they are our weapons against the bourgeois state and its institutions. And exactly because self-organization does not mean islands and communities of freedom, but points of brewing, alertness and onslaught of proletarian forces, we
must guard it. From reformism, as well as the class enemy.
Militias as a form of self-organization, wherever and whenever they appeared as a necessity, defended the collectively vested, but also the right of the people and the movement to counter attack the violence of the capitalists and those who serve them. Against the police, military, the fascists and all sorts of paramilitaries. The militias were always flesh of the flesh of the people and the movement, because they served its needs and expressed the collective respond to the question of how our struggles will be guarded by the violence of the bosses, and how we will defend ourselves against our threatened bloodshed. Because, finally, they expressed their factual acceptance of violence as a necessary prerequisite in the development of class struggle and the inevitable obstacles it encounters when carried out with real revolutionary terms.
Today in Exarhia, although we are in a completely different time-space from the one that gave birth to last century’s militias, we encounter the same issues our ancestors encountered. Issues of organization and guarding of the struggle against the violence of the class enemy. Even if it’s inappropriate to proceed to automatic reductions and mimicry, we are obliged to re-read history, study the reasons that created the armed guards and learn from them. Therefore, here we are talking firstly about content and secondly about the form. And this because the content is common and concerns the diachronically existential need of the movement to defend itself. The form this defence will take today, given the violence required on one hand, and the particular current correlations on the other, are in the jurisdiction of the movement to be analysed.
Therefore in the frames of this necessity, of finding answers concerning the issues of guarding the people and the movement, we incorporate also the justified execution of Habibi. Motivated by the imperative need to cease to impassively watch the fall of Exarhia, to not bow the head to the violence we receive by the thugs who act in the area, but also maturely open the discussion about the means of battle the situations demand, we carried out this specific action. This choice of ours is dialectically connected with the mobilizations taking place these last few months in Exarhia against the mafias and the general social “cannibalism”. We, positively assessing these mobilizations, wanted to contribute with our own terms. Because first of all, unity is important under a common and imperative target and not ideological identifications. Because the mafia has declared war on us and we have no more time to waste. Otherwise, everyone will hold high the banner of their ideological purity, while at the same time we will become a defenceless minority. Therefore everyone should make their choice. Either with the movement and its history or alone with their ideological delusions.
ITS THEM OR US. THERE IS NO MIDDLE SOLUTION.
ARMED MILITIA GROUP
Translated by Act for freedom now!