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Reuters photo released today proves Simon's innocence

A/nia (m-L) | 26.11.2003 12:33 | Thessaloniki EU | Repression | World

Reuters released a new photo, which accompanied by two older ones clearly proves Simon's innocence. The new one is photo number 3

Simon's arrest
Simon's arrest

Photo no.1 The already well-known photo by Yiorgos Karahalis: Simon is been kicked by a riot cop while still wearing his blue and purlpe rucksack. This is the text that accompanied the picture:


A Greek riot policeman kicks a protester in a main street of the northern town of Thessaloniki following a meeting of the EU summit June 21, 2003. Police fired volleys of teargas in Greece's second largest city to disperse hundreds of self-styled anarchists who were among 25,000 peaceful anti-capitalist protesters marching through Thessaloniki's centre.The anarchists smashed shop windows and set fire to cars and buildings including a McDonald's. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

A/nia (m-L)


Hide the following 18 comments

then is the also well known photo of his arrest

26.11.2003 13:05

Simon's arrest
Simon's arrest

Photo no.2 taken by Orestis Panagiotoy: it shows Simon sitting on the pavement, his glasses having dissapeared

An arrested demonstrator is being guarded by riot policemen after clashes that took place during demonstration against the EU summit, Thessaloniki Saturday 21 June 2003. EPA PHOTO/EPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

A/nia (m-L)

and this is the new Reuters photo

26.11.2003 13:09

new photo of Simon by Yiannis Behrakis
new photo of Simon by Yiannis Behrakis

Photo no.3 Simon's own blue and purple rucksack is clearly visible a few meters behind him: a mysterious black rucsack full with bottles has appeared on the bottom-left, whilst on the right- hand side, a cop places a second black rucksack next to Simon.

This file photograph taken June 21, 2003 following an EU summit in Thessaloniki, shows Simon Chapman from Basildon, Essex following his arrest by Greek police. His blue and purple rucksack can be seen in the background. Supporters of Chapman claim his bag was switched during his arrest with another containing firebombs and a hammer to implicate him. He is now on hunger strike in a Greek prison along with four others charged with possession of explosives and weapons, and supporters keeping vigil in Athens November 25, 2003, said that the vigil had now become a death watch . REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

A/nia (m-L)

Only one photo

26.11.2003 13:25

The title says it all. 45 minutes after posting there is only one photo. The "new" third one is not there.


Direct action

26.11.2003 14:01

How about blocking the runways of planes flying to Greece? We managed to get onto the runway at Fairford, surely Stanstead and Luton should be possible?


Blue Bag

26.11.2003 15:28

Is that his vanishing blue bag at the top of this new photo? Oh yeah great news i just heard they have been released on bail if people havent heard yet


TheLie of Simon's Innocence

26.11.2003 21:51

The claims, with much vaulted photo evidence, that anarchist Simon was wrongly arrested by police shows the flaw and weakness of the anarchist movement. If a white Southerner from Mississippi ran along with the crowd to watch a black man being lynched, would we all proclaim his innocence? If a group of Israeli students stood and watched Israeli soldiers arrest a suspect, would we proclaim their innocence? Do we proclaim the innocence of American soldiers in Iraq just because they may not have fired a single shot during their time in service? NO! They are ALL guilty by association with the power structures that we seek to destroy! So why can't we stand up in solidarity when we march shoulder-to-shoulder with bomb throwers and window smashers and ball-bearing shooters, and proclaim that we are ALL anarchists and ALL worthy of arrest? How can we provide cover and support for bomb throwers then run whining to the press when we get arrested? "I'm not the one throwing the bombs! I wuz FRAMED!!!!!" The fact is, we should be proud that when we take part in mass demonstrations the very existence of which depends on the anonymity of the crowd, that we are ALL parties to burning down businesses, smashing cars and endangering people's lives. Have we no honor?

Robert Kessler
mail e-mail:

what the feck

26.11.2003 22:34

Urm yeh, but if your innocent do you think youd want to do 20 years inside!!????
as i have heard from people, if simon had done the crime, he'd be happy to do the time. the fact is its obvious he didnt. so stop being such a twat, and stand up for fellow anarchists.


Don't you get it?

26.11.2003 22:54

If you run with Anarchists, you ARE an anarchist. If you're brothers smash things, you smash things. Just as we hold the West and corporations collectively guilty, we should also accept collective responsibility. Let's be consistent. Besides, the policeman isn't kicking Simon, he's lifting him up to see his face the same way you'd use your foot to lift up a suspect garbage bag. Look at his body position. His weight is forward on his left toe, and his shoulders are forward over his foot. You can't kick anything from this position. Try it. Also, it looks as if the policeman in pic #2 and pic #3 is actually crouching protectively next to this injured young man, not pummelling him. Pictures can be deceiving.


The lie of your innocence

27.11.2003 01:36

So. This aparrently goes for you also. You, being a citizen of the U.K. are guilty for the crimes of your goverment, and your country. Or else, why do you keep on living in U.K.?

But the truth has nothing to do with this. Not all anarchists throw bombs. Not all people that marched against the E.U. summit, were anarchists. And the fact is that Simon, did NOT carry molotov bombs. So he is NOT guilty. Being an anarchist, doesn't mean that you throw bombs. Like being a U.K. citizen does not mean that you kill children in Iraq.

On the other hand, soldiers, ivading a foerign country, are not demonstrating. They are not demanding anything, they are not talking. They exist in that country, only to conquer. And only to use force. A peacefull soldier, does not exist.

And still this matter is not so simple. Who is more responsible for the people dying in Iraq? The one that throwed bombs in an anti-war protest, believing that he is trying to stop the war (even if I believe that it is a mistake), or the one that sits in his home, wathcing TV doing nothing to stop his goverment from sending the troops?


An opinion from someone who was really there..

27.11.2003 08:47

ok, the truth is that even though I was there along with around 5000 other people of the black block(maybe the biggest of all blocks that day)I did not throw any molotov coctail but i really understood that all these actions(destroying and burning)were just symbolic.I mean that if the U.S.government has the right to bomb and kill anybody,anytime,with the E.U. standing next to them,then we really have to show that we are here...and we really gave them something to remember...
Today, all 7 arrested at that day are in Greek hospitals and out of jail,but the 5 of them are in a really bad condition.......
There are many things that happened in Thessaloniki and Athens after their arrest and believe me,these actions were really succesfull...

These 7 people(only 3 greeks) were just the scapegoats.They accused them with charges that most of them never did...there was secret police inside the black block....Sad but true.......


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what do anarchists do, mr anarchist authority?

27.11.2003 10:42

"If you're brothers smash things, you smash things."

what a load of crap

this anarchist does what he wants to do and certainly doesnt go along with dumb tactics just because someone else decided to start some shit

if I was near my bro was being jumped I'd be there for him, but when i do an action, I am part of an affinity group that decides what is going to do ahead of time, and that certainly doensnt include doing the most serious thing that any other group at an action has chosen to do

I would rather use every tool to fight authoritism, and bsting corrupt cops is one of those



27.11.2003 18:56

even if you're a black bloc anarchist there's no fucking point playing some government's fucking tune in order to try and make some sort of a point. They're not going to be impressed and I for one couldn't give a shit about impressing them. a 20 year prison sentance isn't a good thing and taking a whooping instead of doing all you can to get out and fight another day is just stupid. Whilst it might do your machismo no end of good it'll leave you capable of doing fuck all when it comes to being active.



But, Clopy.......

27.11.2003 19:43

You ask, "Who is more responsible for the people dying in Iraq? The one that throwed bombs in an anti-war protest...or the one that sits in his home?" Excuse me, but have we forgotten that the biggest killer of Iraquis was Saddam Hussein? That's like blaming Americans for killing innocent Germans in WWII! Have we, as anarchists lost the ability to recognize that some forms of corruption are many many times worse than other corruption? If one must kill the Nazis to stop them, is this not a justified action? The police in Greece were repressive certainly, but in Iraq under Hussein such protests would have brought down not just the killing of the protesters, but the killing of their families, too! Are we so eager to tear apart the West simply because it's easy? We are so free in the West to hold our protests and actions because our governments are so reletively tolerant that they try to only arrest the most violent and destructive of us; not kill us, but simply arrest us! What irony! We say we fight for social justice, but we protest the countries that the refugees from tyranny flee TO! Shouldn't our first targets be the tyranical governments that cause the refugees in the first place? If we can't differentiate between the communist and Nazist nations that slaughtered 100 million people in the 20th Century and the nations of the West that are certainly flawed, but FOUGHT the communist and Nazi monsters of that century, than we HAVE no moral compass from which to point to improving social justice.

You say "A peacefull soldier, does not exist". Oh really? Does the U.N. have peaceful soldiers? Do you recognize that "liberate" and "conquer" are words with different meanings? Do you not see the obvious? The difference between invading a country to try to free it's people (i.e. the U.S. and Britain at Normandy Beach)and invading a country to try to enslave it's people (i.e. Eastern Europe under the Soviets) is the difference between justice and oppression? Or do you just enjoy smashing things?



27.11.2003 22:43

OK Robert, what are you on?!, I'm not an anarchist, I don't know about any of this black bloc stuff, but I can tell a f**king fit-up when I see one. In case you hadn't noticed, in the first pic the cop has his boot firmly on Simon Chapman's shoulder (probably only because he missed his head) and there is plenty of video footage showing what those so-called upholders of law and order were up to. And where did all that blood come from? - did Simon bash HIMSELF over the head?!

Like I said, I am not an anarchist but I have been on a few demos in my time, the most recent on 20 November where the police left us alone until the rally finished (can't say what happened after that because I left as the rally ended). I have always gone to demo's here in the UK hoping they will be peaceful, but after the poll tax fiascos of 1990/91 I have always thought 'that could happen to any of us'.

I don't know if you remember, but about 20-odd years ago there was a teacher called Blair Peach who went on a peaceful demo here in the UK. Then he got his head bashed in by a police officer. And then he died. The 'enquiry' was a bloody whitewash as usual, but there are people out there in their 30's/40's plus who remember what happened.

So, Robert, next time you decide to exercise your democratic right to protest (if you can be bothered), remember, it could be YOU.

mail e-mail:

Robert, anarchy does not tell people what to do or what to say.

28.11.2003 02:58

First of all, Robert, i can't tell if you identify yourself as an anarchist by your words but i can definitely tell you are not an anarchist in actuality. if you want to make assertions about anarchy, you should spend some time looking into the ideas of others that subscribe to those concepts. Second of all, resisting an oppressive structure is not anarchy in its ideal. Whenever there is a system of control that exploits people or the land, those who do stand up to resist, must do things that they would not ordinarily do given their non-oppresive ideals. This is a point of desperation. This in itself is not anarchy. So, when the platform for conversation is shifted from the ideal, to the path towards the ideal, there are too many variables to create an all-encompassing strategy that would work. And if you look into anarchist theory, this is what most of the debate is about. Let me remind you that civilization on earth has only happened once, and we are in the middle of it. There is no precedent for this, and no one can say what the answer is. But I feel it is very important to support each other in resisting this system as much as we can. If some of our fellow anarchists have been taken in by the system, and they claim their innocence and are doing whatever they can to get out, I think we should support them and help them. I don't feel it is our place to redebate the details of an individual circumstance which we have very limited understanding. It creates confusion and diffuses the efforts to support the victims. It almost seems that this is your intention, and I call into question where your ideals actually lie. Perhaps you could explain.
p.s. America did not defeat oppression when the nazis fell, america just beat them out to become the world empire. And because america won, it rewrote history, like so many have before. Maybe you should spend more time looking into the background of these empires.


Individual before a cause, or else the cause itself is oppressive

28.11.2003 07:08

By declaring that as an 'anarchist' i should take responsibility for bombings committed by other 'anarchists', and then, for my 'honour' recive punishment for them, is completely absurd! The basis, at least for me, of anarchy is to alleviate suffering of the individual, so that no soldier shall die for a flag, and none die at the hands of that very soldier-for a flag. Taking 20 years in prison, especially for somthing he didnt do, simon would be playing their game, choosing a side and burning for it. ANARCHY IS NOT A SIDE, but the idea that there should be no sides, no abstract to burn and die for- only the concrete and real, i.e. the meetings that would be physically disrupted by the molotov Simon DIDNT carry.

When i see Simon in prison, i see an individual suffering at the hands of a system, and that is a higher call than any abstract theory or movement, so fuck anarchy if it means someone has to accept a punishment, the individual always comes first. Now Simon's case goes even a degree further than simply that, because he is clearly innocent, AS AN INDIVIDUAL, not a black bloc. while a black bloc might be based in autonomy and solidarity, that is for the protection of each and every individual, not becuase the bloc belives in assimilation. I do however take to heart the solidarity of a bloc in this: just as i would not want to languish in a prison, i do not want anyone to languish in prison, unless they express a wish or desire to, as Simon has most definately not done.

And Rob, i dont know what you're thinking, but summing up Anarchists under one label is the most counterproductive and ironic thing i can imagine.


Sean says "Anarchist means whatever you want it to"

28.11.2003 18:00

OK. So...your definition id that there is no definition beyond doing what you want, when you want, with whomever you want. Fair enough. Have you ever thought about thefact that when a bunch of protesters decend upon a neighborhood to fight "the system", what they're really doing is oppressing the people of that neighborhood. Harming people's abilities to go to work and make a living and feeding they're families? See...that's fascism. Not the police, who live in that neighborhood and are entrusted with protecting their neighbors, but the fascist protesters wo get bussed in from all over the world to destroy the lives of people in a community in the name of social justice. George Orwell predicted this.


which is more facistical

30.11.2003 06:28

ok, anarchy means anything u want it to, devoid of a system. In todays world i dont think its atainable, but thats for another day and/or listserv. Now while i would agree with your statement that facism is ppl decending upon and oppressing a community, especially in the name of global justice, i would contrast that facism with the facism of the police and those they defend. I do NOT think that being reactionary excuses your actions, i.e. the police. Their assumed 'duty' does not overstep the fact that they are human, naturally anarchistical to the extent that they make choices based on internal systems, not external ones. I am of course excluding things such as where to sleep based on the weather, but in "civilized" parts of the world-at least the rich parts- that should be a moot point. The police use tear gas, the protesters do not. The police block off FAR more streets than protesters even desire to. While i agree that communities deserve more respect and thought, most political actions are in commercial, not residental, areas. And dont bother pointing out that commerce has communities too, i know that. I simply oppose the actions and ideals of those communities, just as i do those of Nazi communities, the KKK, so on and so forth. The police are not defending their neighbors, if they were they wouldnt be surrounding a G8 meeting or the WTO or something and BEATING their neigbors, as did happen VERY often in miami last week. Police repeatedly threatend, beat, and arrested local citizens attempting to get to work, for no reason than to spread fear in the context of the protest, thus associating protesters with FEAR, and further ensuring their rule. We live in an empire based on fear, this is what Orwell saw and wrote about, not the evil of radicals.


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