Bits of the World in Brief


Fifth Estate # 313, Summer, 1983

GREEK LIBERTARIANS: As of May 14, Greek libertarians, Photis Danatos and Kyriakos Miras were in their 54th day of a hunger strike. They were arrested on the apparently minor charge of “hooliganism”—a catch-all charge used to imprison protesters (peaceful or otherwise). The arrests took place during a march (to protest at the “suiciding” and torture of, prisoners in Greece under the so-called “socialists”) that took place in Piraeus when a motorist (presumably a provocateur/extremist) drove into the crowd so as to break up the march. In the resulting melee the two—who were in the crowd protesting and are known by the police as “politicals”—were picked up and they have been in prison ever since.

Both prisoners have been subject to arrest on many other occasions: each charge being minor, but cumulatively amounting to a form of harassment and intimidation for their persistence in voicing dissent against the continuing authoritarian measures meted out by the supposedly more liberal government.

The media in Greece has attempted to suppress all news of the hunger strike and the reasons why Photis and Kyriakos are taking this extreme action. Nevertheless there has been a tremendous amount of support for the two. On the 1st and 8th of April demonstrations took place outside the parliament buildings. On the 17th of April 2,500 people in Aigaleo marched to Korydalu Prison, where the two are held. On April 29, the day after there was a deputation to the Minister of Justice about the case, another march took place, which was violently attacked by the police.

AS WE GO TO PRESS: the Greek government has pardoned Photis and Kyriakos, finally giving way to public pressure, ending their hunger strike on its 55th day. A third comrade, Logovitis, however, who had also been jailed, refused to accept the hypocritical offering of the state until the government abolishes the laws used to intimidate protest against the authorities.

Black & Green? In Bonn, W. Germany, Werner Vogel, the eldest member of the anti-NATO Green Party (an alliance of anti-nukers, ecologists and feminists) said he would resign the seat he won in Parliament after finally admitting he had once been a Nazi stormtrooper. Vogel, as oldest member of the Bundestag, was scheduled to preside over the first session of the body in March until a permanent speaker was elected. Vogel at first refused to resign, saying he had done nothing wrong, but finally succumbed to Party pressure and quit.

Yippie Phone Code: Clearly frustrated by Ma Bell technology, the Yippies have finally admitted that, due to a new, “indecipherable system inhogurated” by the phone company, their people’s operators will be unable to break the 1983 Credit Card code. The Yippies had been providing hours of free dialing pleasure for the last eight years. They do, however, have some alternative suggestions for those insistent upon not giving any extra cash to the profit-swollen, government-protected monopoly. For info on free fone service write them at Overthrow, Box 392, Canal Street Station, NYC 10013 (212) 533-5028), and include a buck to cover the cost of their newspaper.

Militant Vegetarians: Calling for McDonald’s garbage-food chain to: provide a non-animal product (lentil, soy, etc.) in their 4,000 (!) world-wide outlets, and to institute the use of recycled or cotton paper products (instead of destroying millions of trees in order to litter our neighborhoods with their throwaway containers), 30 or so groups from around the world have united to demand a boycott of their restaurants. Attempts to reform this monstrous corporation are nothing that excite us here at the Fifth Estate, but the attempt of this group to bring attention to what it means to eat at the Mac has our support. Death to Ronald McDonald! You can contact the sponsoring groups at: AV, Box 5333, Takoma Park, MD 20912 (301/270-3444).

Inside agitators: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently sent a bulletin to the nation’s atomic power plants alerting operators of an increase in acts of “insider” sabotage by employees. “It’s not a mushrooming crime wave or anything,” said NRC official Edward Jordan hopefully, but he said the commission is receiving more reports of “deliberate acts directed against plant equipment in vital areas” than it did three or four years ago. The May 4 bulletin did not itemize instances of such sabotage, but it was understood they involved such acts as cutting control wires, dumping metal chips into the lubricating oil of reactor coolant pumps and tampering with valves to release radioactive gas. Hey, don’t worry, those plants are safe.

Anarchist Radio: The French Anarchist Federation sponsored Radio-Libertaire is one of the Free Radios broadcasting in Paris since their underground transmissions began in September 1981. (See FE Winter 1982-1983 issue.) Radio-Libertaire was not, however, assigned a frequency when the French government finally made its pronouncement on the assignment of the Paris FM airwaves last May 6. Le Monde Libertaire (the Parisian anarchist weekly) denounced the decision which it says was clearly political. The May 12 issue of the paper lists the stations which were granted a frequency and characterizes them as “commercial, religious or affiliates of official political parties.”

Their editorial continues: “There’s been so much noise about the great liberality of the socialist-communist government. Many were led to believe that freedom of expression, one of the warhorses of the left, was going to become a concrete reality on the FM dial. Although we had absolutely no illusions about the ‘wild’ desire of our ‘governors’ to give broadcasting rights to anarchists, the outlawing of Radio-Libertaire nevertheless constitutes one step along the road of statist repression which will, in all likelihood, only increase. It seems inevitable that from now on, having to confront economic and political difficulties, the statists in power (whatever their faction) will have to do, willingly or under pressure, what the logic of power makes unavoidable: wield the stick.”

Their outrage stems from the blatantly political nature of the decision. They remain committed to broadcasting anarchist views and point to the high ratings Radio-Libertaire got in listener polls.

The May 19 issue of Le Monde Libertaire reports an interesting prelude to the government’s May ruling. Last January, the communications authority asked Radio-Libertaire and the Gay station to share a frequency. Both groups refused. Later, the state wanted R-L to share a frequency with a student group which is ideologically close to the government in power and which has powerful financial backing. Radio-Libertaire rejected this proposal too. Both these groups were assigned a frequency in the May 6th decree, while Radio-Libertaire was left out.

In spite of the ruling, Radio-Libertaire is still broadcasting—at the same frequency; subsequent issues of Le Monde Libertaire list the program schedule. They have every intention of continuing Radio-Libertaire—if necessary, as a pirate station.

The paper asks both for financial support for the radio station as well as for their readers to protest to the Prime Minister about this decision of the communications authorities. Such projects put anarchists in an ambiguous position.

Le Monde Libertaire newspaper and Radio Libertaire are part of the French Federation Anarchiste and may be contacted at 145, rue Amelot 75011 Paris France. Radio Libertaire is in need of funds and sells t-shirts at $10 and badges for $1.

Mobilization for Animals is an international group of people dedicated to ending the continuing torture of animals in laboratory experiments, cruelty in the food production system, hideous forms of hunting and slaughtering of animals for sport and for luxury apparel. Every penny they raise goes directly to help the animals in an attempt to stop this society’s relentless war against wildlife which lays waste to our planet at the same time that it destroys millions of living creatures daily. MFA, P.O. Box 1679, Columbus, OH 43216.