A mantle of glory

“The political climate of the times, the will to fight for a better society, the ideas, the awe surrounding the Left and [the awe] that the press felt for the organization, made me feel proud for what I was. [It made me] feel, unfortunately, that I was in the vanguard, fighting for something very right,» November 17 member Patroklos Tselentis told the court. Tselentis obviously spoke out prompted by the (extremely effective) benefits of the new anti-terrorism law and, perhaps, by a will to absolve his conscience. Yet he was wrong about one thing: He referred to the political climate of the times, while his conclusions are actually still valid today. Otherwise, why do some people refuse him the right to speak out? Turncoat, betrayer, collaborator, tragic, sad; these are some of the adjectives that accompanied him – coming not just from inside the court, but from the shapers of public opinion. In truth, apart from staging a trial of intentions, critical commentators portray him as a «hero that cracked»; a man who did not live up to the circumstances, a man who has betrayed the moral code of the organization. But when Tselentis is described as a «fallen angel» then the group and its activity are shrouded in a mantle of glory… This is the real problem with November 17. The country is full of people who refuse to see the group as a band of killers and who are ready to condemn it, albeit acknowledging some undefined moral constitution.