November 17’s instructions to members

Last Sunday, Kathimerini published the first part of a «terrorism manual» found near Athens in 1978 and containing what appear to be instructions for members of the urban guerrilla group November 17. Today, Kathimerini English Edition presents the second installment of excerpts from that material, following the first part published in the English Edition on Tuesday. Since its foundation in 1975, the terrorist organization, named after the November 17, 1973 Athens Polytechnic student uprising against the military dictatorship, has killed 23 people, while none of its members have been arrested. The group’s last victim was Britain’s military attache, Brigadier Stephen Saunders, whom it assassinated in June 2000. The text was found dumped with other material linked to the group on Mt Parnitha; it has since been studied carefully by police and judicial authorities in their investigations of strikes by the group. After Kathimerini (Greek edition) published the first part of this material on Sunday, government spokesman Christos Protopappas, when questioned by SKAI television Monday, avoided commenting on the substance of the report, attributing it to a leak. He restricted himself to comments such as «the police are working correctly.» No one in officialdom has even tried to answer questions such as: Who is arming November 17? Who has been funding it all these years? Who benefits from its activities? What connection might it have with the secret services? These excerpts, from Chapters IV and VI, focus on vigilance and links between members and, in particular, what to do if one of them is arrested. According to the manual, the «militant» in question has to be tough enough to stand up to interrogation for at least 24 hours to give his or her associates time to vacate safe houses and dissolve all links and contacts. No mercy is to be shown if someone becomes an informer. Over the past 27 years, the group has developed a strict code for its contacts, and requires that each member have a detailed knowledge of the city streets, escape routes, public buildings and transport. These chapters set out some of those rules, including how to pinpoint police shadows and how to avoid surveillance without arousing suspicion.