The “Halandri Case,” as it’s been dubbed by the mass media, represents a decisive point in the trajectory of the new urban guerrilla war.
To illustrate its importance, it’s worth referring back to the state and conditions in which the anarchist current and urban guerrilla warfare found themselves at the time.
About two years had passed since the appearance of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and—more generally—the new anarchist urban guerrilla warfare. Quite a few groups in Athens and Thessaloniki were taking uncontrollable action, setting the night on fire and destroying the structures of power. The fabric of diffuse incendiary guerrilla war was also expanding to provincial cities like Kavala, Chania, Heraklion, etc. Of course, anarchist groups engaged in propaganda by the deed were collaborating with one another in some cases, coordinating arson rampages on a national level. In many of the texts/communiqués accompanying those attacks, a new perception was being documented, settling the crosshairs of its critique on social inertia, people’s passivity, and the complicit silence that allowed power to define our lives.
In parallel, and for the first time in Greece, words and concepts like anarcho-individualism, nihilism, and antisocial anarchy were escaping the immobility of theoretical texts and seeking their place within the communiqués of practice.
The fact is that a new anarchy was being born within anarchy, and it was reflected in posters, pamphlets, stickers, street slogans, and friends.
Meanwhile, the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire shifted from arsons to the strategy of placing explosive devices in churches, politicians’ homes, and ministries.
At the same time, the method of political executions once again appeared on the stage of revolutionary practice, as undertaken by the Sect of Revolutionaries in their actions, beginning with the execution of a pig from the Antiterrorist Unit.
All of this was naturally taking place upon the foundation laid by the revolt of December 2008. The marks from that revolt, even if they were scarring over after the sparkling repairs made to damaged shopping mall display windows, were still deeply inscribed on the consciences and hearts of dozens of young comrades who chose the riots as their home address. It was at that precise moment when the possibility of gradually creating and organizing more and more autonomous anarchist action groups became a primary commitment for many comrades in the new urban guerrilla war.
Antiterrorist Operation “Halandri”
The state and its police chose that period to strike. It was at the end of September 2009 when the Antiterrorist Unit operation involving the raid on our comrade’s home in Halandri was carried out—an operation that had already been “advertised” since the summer of that year in a number of lengthy television reports and newspaper articles, which subsequently began to talk about “striking at the heart of neoterrorism.”
What followed was a police gala—a fashion show of balaclava-wearing EKAM and Antiterrorist Unit agents parading in front of the television cameras, leading handcuffed comrades to the courthouses alongside other people who had nothing to do with us, yet who had unluckily kept up social relations with some of the arrestees.
Concurrently, the persecuting authorities issued arrest warrants for a few more people (five of whom are Conspiracy of Cells of Fire members) while police chiefs and political leaders congratulated one another on their “success.”
The arrests and warrants further reinforced the security dogma that was then playing an investment role during the pre-electoral campaigning of the period, with elections just around the corner.
Likewise, the police considered the issuing of arrest warrants—for people who thus automatically found themselves on the most-wanted list, connected to the ploy arrests of others who had simply visited the Halandri apartment—to be a guarantee that would curb the activity of the remaining Conspiracy of Cells of Fire cells as well as the new urban guerrilla war in general.
The police and the state hoped that the propaganda of fear and the creation of an intense climate of distrust and suspicion would be successful and bear the desired fruit. Their aspiration was for their walkie-talkies to fall silent, putting an end not just to the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, but to the entire phenomenon of diffuse anarchist guerrilla warfare.