On Friday, February 13th, almost 8 months since their initial imprisonment, 13 people arrested during protests at the EU summit in Thessaloniki last June have had all charges dropped. 8 of the remaining cases are still under investagative review by the Greek Judiciary whilst the remaining 6 have had their charges dropped to misdemeanours. A final decision on whether to pursue allegations could come as early as next week. This is an enormous victory in the campaign against state repression waged by the Greek state against anti-capitalist protestors - although it must be remembered that the battle is not over yet.
Comprehensive coverage of the Thessaloniki Support Campaign can be found on the UK Indymedia site; Athens and Thessaloniki Indymedia sites both carry breaking news regarding the Thessaloniki 7 and the other accused.
Seven people in particular were held on remand following the demonstrations on charges of rioting, possession of explosives and resisting authorities. All of the 7 denied these charges and, in the case of Simon Chapman, there was substantial video and photographic evidence to confirm that he was framed. However, this had been repeatedly rejected by the Greek Judicial system despite being freely available on the internet in multiple languages and having been shown in the mainstream media.
To protest their innocence, last autumn Souleiman "Kastro" Dakduk of Syria, Simon Chapman from the UK, Fernando Perez Gorraiz and Carlos Martin Martinez of Spain and Spyros Tsitsas from Greece went on hungerstrike. Michalis Traikapis and Dimitris Friouras were also incarcerated in another, juvenile prison, and joined in a week long symbolic strike. Overall, the five lasted for between 49 and 66 days, which finally culminated in their release on bail - but only after the medical team had been threatened with facing manslaughter charges if they did not force feed the prisoners! Needless to say, the doctors did not cooperate. Following this, the prisoners were forced to stay in Greece, although they appear not to have suffered serious consequences to their health.
During this time, there has been continued state oppression elsewhere around the world, with Miami police brutalising hundreds at protests against the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas Summit, heavy prison sentences being handed out to peace protestors and the ongoing detention of people in Guantanomo Bay. In South America, dozens were murdered in Bolivia, while death remains a daily occurence in the Middle East.