Jailed self-styled anarchist Nikos Romanos and six imprisoned members of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire urban guerrilla group have called for an escalation of “anarchist action” during May in response to a recent government crackdown on sit-ins at public buildings around Athens.
“The sit-ins are the fortresses of the anarchist struggle in the war against authority,” Romanos said in a letter posted on the anti-establishment Athens Indymedia website over the weekend and urged “anarchist” groups to go on the offensive against the “suppressive state.”
His message was backed by six Conspiracy members who “welcomed” Romanos’s call for action in a post on the same website.
Romanos is serving a 15-year prison sentence for his role in an attempted armed robbery in 2013 and was a friend of Alexis Grigoropoulos, a teenager who was shot dead in Exarchia by a police officer in 2008, sparking weeks of violent riots in Athens.
The 23-year-old, who was initially charged upon his arrest with being a member of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire but later cleared, has vowed to avenge Grigoropoulos’s killing and to continue his “struggle” against the establishment which he blames for his death.
In November 2014, Romanos went on a month-long hunger strike which ended after authorities pledged to grant him the right to take furloughs from prison to study at college.
His call to action over the weekend follows recent attacks by “anarchists” against police stations in Exarchia and Pangrati as well as metro and electric railway stations in central Athens.