Appeal for the Respect of Civil Liberties and for the Withdrawal of Charges Against the Six Young People Arrested Outside the Greek Embassy (en)


Six young people were arrested during the demonstration in solidarity with Greek students on Friday December 12th in Paris. The police used the pretext that the demonstration had not been authorised to pick out certain demonstrators at random and arrest them. After 48 hours in custody, where for the first 24 hours they were denied access to a lawyer as well as medical aid, were physically threatened and deprived of sleep, they were brought before the courts for immediate sentencing.

The six were charged with organised violence against the police, destruction of public property and refusing to allow DNA samples to be taken. They risk up to five years in prison. Given the lack of proof against them, the judge decided to postpone the trial. The trial will now take place on January 19th (in the middle of an exam period for university students), at the High Court in Paris, in the 23rd chamber.

These arbitrary arrests are a sign of the government’s determination to reinforce the repression against workers and students who engage in protest. In the final weeks of his presidency of the European Union, Sarkozy wanted to show his support for the right-wing government of Karamanlis, who is faced with widespread social contestation in Greece. This contestation is fully justified in view of the assassination of a 15-year-old youth and also because of the legitimacy of the wider demands of the Greek demonstrators.

Sarkozy also wishes to send a clear message to discourage those who might wish to engage in struggle as the financial crisis deepens into economic and social crisis. This crisis is affecting the working class and young people right across Europe.

We will not accept such serious threats to individual and collective rights. The six young people facing trial have committed no other crime than to express their opinion and to show their support for the Greek protest movement. We cannot accept that they face five years in prison simply for having participated in a demonstration.

We demand that all charges against the six be dropped and that no further action be taken against them. There will be a protest opposite the High Court in Paris to support them during the trial on Monday 19th January 2009 at 13.00, St Michel metro station, in Paris.


List of signatories:

AC !, Alternative Libertaire, Alter Ekolo, APEIS, ARS Combat, Assemblée européenne des citoyens, ATTAC, ATTAC Campus Quartier latin, CEDETIM, CNCU, CNT, Collectif Droits Nouveaux, Collectif intersyndical et interprofessionnel (5ème et 13ème arr. de Paris) DAL, Europe Solidaire sans frontières, fédération des Tunisiens pour une Citoyenneté des deux rives, Fondation Copernic, FSE, FSU, Groupe Communiste du Conseil de Paris, Groupe CRI, Initiative des étudiants et des travailleurs grecs en France, jeudi Noir, LCR, Les Alternatifs, Les Jeunes Verts, Les Objecteurs de Croissance, Les Verts, Lutte Ouvrière, Marches Européennes, Marxistes Unitaires, MJCF, Mouvement des Quartiers pour la justice Sociale, NPA, Parti de Gauche, PCF, Réseau Alerte Inégalités, Réseau Féministe « Ruptures », Réseau IPAM, Réseau No Pasaran, RESPAIX, Génération Conscience, Réveil des Consciences, SCALP-reflex, Secours Rouge, SNU-TEFI-FSU, Stop Précarité, SUD Lycéen, SUD Etudiant, UNEF, Union Syndicale Solidaires.

List of personalities:

Evelyne Perrin (chercheuse en sociologie et en économie) – Annie Pourre (No Vox) – Olivier Besancenot (NPA) – Arlette Laguiller (Lutte Ouvrière) – Catherine Levy (RAI) – Patrick Nivolle (Sociologue) – Francine Bavay (Les Verts, Conseillère régionale IDF) – Jean Desessard (Les Verts, Sénateur) – Anne Le Strat (co-présidente de la Fondation Copernic) – Claude Debons (Parti de Gauche) – Jacques Perreux (Vice-président du Conseil Général du Val de Marne) – Michel Pialoux (Sociologue au CNRS) – Annick Coupé (Solidaires) – Pierre Rousset (Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières) – Pierre Cours Salies (CNCUAL) – Monique Dental (Fondatrice du réseau  « Ruptures ») – Katie Palluault (militante féministe, CNCU) – Benjamin Lormet (Marxistes Unitaires) – Suzanne de Brunhoff (économiste) – Jacques Boutault ( Les Verts, Maire du 2ème arrondissement de Paris) – Alice Boussard (FCPE 93, RESF 93) – Catherine Gégout (Ancienne conseillère de Paris) – Michel Rousseau (Marches Européennes) – Malika Zediri (Conseil Régional 94) – Marie Georges Buffet (Parti Communiste Français).

Support from Greece

Students’ general assemblies in Athens:

Applied Mathematics and Physics, Architecture, Civil Engineers, Education, Engineering Informatics and Electronics, Medicine, Philosophy.

Unions and initiatives:

Antiracist Initiative of Thessaloniki, EAAK (student union), Initiative of Cypriot students in Greece – ANATROPI, Left Unity (student union), Network for civil and social rights of Athens and Thessaloniki, OLME (National Federation of employees in the secondary), POSDEP (National Federation of University Teachers), Second Team (initiative of temporary workers), Stop the War Coalition, Union of Medicins of Thessaloniki, Union of Workers in the book and paper sector, Union of Technicians-Employees.

Political organizations:

Alternative Ecologists, ARAN, ARAS, Communist Renewing, EEK, EKKE, ENANTIA, MERA, NAR, nKA, OKDE-Spartakos, OKDE, SEK, SYRIZA, Youth of  Synaspismos.


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