Tuesday 15th of May 2018, threatening thick black smoke and flames escape from the cell windows of the second floor in the administrative detention centre of Petrou Ralli. This fire is not an accident, it is an outburst sparked off from the unbearable conditions suffered by the detainees. An attempt to break the usual indifference and normality of enclosure. Through the prisoners' acts, they exposed themselves, took the risks of an upgraded violent repression from the state forces and now bear the costs of their revolt.
Three days after those events, on Friday 18th, a solidarity gathering was called - by ssaekk - outside of the hellhole of Petrou Ralli. During this gathering, even more than previous ones, the detainees press each other against the windows bars of their cells. The situation inside seems highly tense, the detainees make a serious effort to communicate with us, through shouting and throwing written messages of distress that contain their concerns and names. Some of those messages reach us over the fence, flying over the cops gathered under the prison windows.
Out of our dialogue with the prisoners, we received the following informations. Even though the facts around the happening of the fire are blurred, the consequences of the rebellion and the repression which followed are undeniable. After the traces of revolt were flushed away, a group of ten detainees have been taken into a closed office, got hardly beaten up, before being transferred to an unknown destination.
In the following days, the measures inside Petrou Ralli have changed drastically. Lots of transfers to others camps and detention centres occurred, along with deportations back to islands and several releases. For those who are left inside, the means of pressure used by the state authorities are increasing. For example, the shutdown of water and the absence of electricity in the sanitary facilities. These great lacks are worsening the hygiene conditions and preventing the slightest minimum care of ongoing diseases and infections.
On top that, some of the migrants are doing Ramadan, so they don't eat during the day light. Cops exploit this situation by cancelling the 'proper' food distribution, using it as a form of punishment. In the last days, each of them only received a croissant and a bottle of water at night, after a long day of fasting. Shamelessly, this same poor nourishment was used as a bribe in order to silence the detainees during the solidarity gathering. A dirty deal, strongly denied by the prisoners.
The climate of terror, physical and psychological war imposed on the detainees in Petrou Ralli, which is upgraded in times of revolt, is pushing some of the prisoners to commit suicide. We were told about one unsuccessful attempt in the last days and the idea is strongly considered among some of them. Opposed to this option, they made us clear that there is a huge motivating force to lead a fight for their lives and their freedom. As said, they are ready and with our support they will insurrect.
We stand in solidarity with those who fight and resist. Any sign of revolt inside the prison cells is a step forward in our common struggle against domination and enclosure. The flames from this fire came from the blaze of desire to burn and destroy every prison and centre of detention. This is an immediate call to gather our forces and confront the state apparatus.
comrades from Squats Community of Koukaki