Monday, May 09, 2011

Notes On The Trial Of Simos Seisidis

May 5, 2011 Anarchist News

In the courtroom, a picture of a haloed Jesus hung above the five judges
sitting behind the elevated bench. Two cameras hung above the judges,
staring down at the spot where each witness would testify in front of a
Bible. Simos Seisidis sat atop a little podium, surrounded by sub-machine
gun wielding anti-terrorist police, one wearing a balaclava. He tapped his
fingers against the desk he sat behind, played with a little a bottle, and
knocked his microphone back and forth, generally looking bored, staring
off into space. Rain was falling outside the courthouse as people began to
testify on his behalf. This was to be the last day of the trial.

His mother told the court that her son was innocent and that, from a very
young age, he had always been picked on by those with more power than him.
A journalist told the court that Simos had been punished enough by having
his foot stolen from him and that a concert organized on his behalf had
drawn a wide variety of people from all classes in his support. While
these testimonies went on, Simos smiled and joked with his friends in the
court room who had not seen him in a long time.

Another friend of his testified that after the bank robbery Simos was
alleged to have participated in she was followed by the police and
eventually kidnapped by them. She was taken to the police headquarters,
asked to identify Simos in pictures, and when she said she didn’t
recognize him, the police said they would jail her boyfriend if she did
not say the man in the pictures was Simos. She told the court that what
happened to her happened to many other people. After she spoke, an old
communist began to testify. He told the court that he had suffered
repression during the dictatorship and that the same type of repression
was still happening now in the new democracy.

During this testimony, Simos humorously asked to go the bathroom. He
grabbed his two crutches and was escorted upstairs by the anti-terrorist
police. When he returned, his sister’s husband was testifying, telling the
judges that the police have a vendetta against his friend, that they rely
on pressuring witnesses, and that when Simos was having his foot stolen
from him, the police would not let anyone of his loved ones in to see him.
People in the audience begin to yell when this is brought up, still
enraged at what the State did to their friend.

And then it was Simos’ turn to speak. As he spoke, many people began to
cry. I cannot translate all of what he said, but I am positive that he
said this to the court that was judging him: “I expect nothing from the
State. You are the State. I have nothing else to say.” With these words,
Simos departed for the day.

After a short break, one of the judges began to read off the evidence
against Simos. As she launched into her inquisitorial tirade, the sky grew
extremely gray. All of a sudden, there was a flash of lightning, followed
by thunder. Everyone in the court began to smile and laugh. When she was
done, the defense told the court the reasons Simos was innocent. As he did
so, the sky slowly began to lighten. After this, the judges retired to
their chambers and everyone waited. When they returned, the verdict was
announced: Innocent. Everyone jumped, cheered, and smiled. Even though
Simos would still be in jail, the most serious danger was now past.
Everyone left the courtroom. By this time the storm had passed and the
friends of Simos were able to return home without being drenched in rain.

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