The campaign of solidarity with Nikos Romanos is growing in strength and on a wider front as acts of solidarity and support are happening across the globe. His case highlights the vindictiveness of the state apparatus, not just in Greece but in states across the planet, the same brutal repression happens somewhere every day, whether it be Ferguson US, or Athens Greece, it is the same vicious reprisals to keep hold of their authority over us.
Nikos being arrested.
In the case of Nikos Romanos, some people may not be familiar with the facts behind this case. Behind this vicious brutality of the Greek state, there is a young man who at the age of 15, saw his 15 year old best friend shot and die in the street, at the hands of a thug in a uniform, called a police officer. This after what was a verbal confrontation, the uniformed thug drew his gun and fired to kill the youth. The state shaped Nikos Ramanos's life in a brutal fashion, and the state will willing let him die. This, in what is supposed to be developed, democratic Europe, an illusion that has evaporated like mist in a wind.
Nikos after his arrest, and the photoshop image issued by the police.
Nikos Romanos was only 15 years old when his name first became known to the Greek public. Romanos was close friend with Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the unarmed pupil who was shot dead by a policeman in the Athens neighborhood of Exarheia. Romanos watched his friend die in front of his eyes after being shot through the heart.
Not the happiest way to set of into on adulthood, this was a brutalisation by the state machinery of a young man with all the potential of youth, friends and family, beside him. Now some 6 years after that incident, the state is still vindictively brutalising one of our own, with a callousness that defies belief.
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Last spring while in prison, Romanos studied for and took the pan-Hellenic high school exams earning high enough marks to gain a place at a top Athens polytechnic university in business management.
At the time, the Justice Ministry had praised him and other inmates for their academic success and was to award Romanos a prize of 500 euros. However Romanos refused to attend a ceremony to accept the prize from the Justice Minister, saying that doing so would violate his principles.
Regardless, at the time the Justice Minister Charalambos Athansiou stated that, “the state does not make distinctions on the issue of studies. He is praiseworthy for following the advice of his teachers and working hard to gain a place at an institution of higher education.” However despite this praise, the door subsequently was shut on Romanos’ putative academic career when the relevant prison council denied his application for prison leave to attend classes.