Announcement from “Fighting & Free”
On September 21, 2018, LGBT activist Zak Kostopoulos was lynched and murdered. He was chased into the jeweler’s shop in Gladstonos Street, where he was trapped and in his attempt to get out, the jeweler, in collaboration with his broker accomplice, was furiously kicked repeatedly in the head and any other part of his body they could. The policemen who arrived at the scene, continued the murderous attack against him.
The medical examiner who examined his dead body ruled that Zac died because of the wood he ate. The medical examiner’s report, the witnesses and the videos from the crime scene rejected everything that the lawyers of the perpetrators and the media tried to put on Jacques to “justify” the criminals who attacked him. Zac wasn’t a drug addict, he didn’t walk into the jewelry store to rob, he didn’t carry a knife.
He was a frightened man who sought refuge and ended up dead.
Justice: once again biased and inadequate
The court acquitted the 4 police officers who participated, for the second time, in the attack that killed Zackie. The jeweler and broker’s sentence was 10 years in prison, without parole or probation. However, the jeweler is serving his sentence at home due to his old age, while the broker was released from prison two months after his conviction, after the court accepted his request for probation!
The justice’s stance is infuriating, but not surprising. Police officers are very rarely convicted or face any penalties for the violence they use on the streets. At the same time the people of the system even when they are condemned – and this happens through our struggles and movements – they have a different treatment and protection. Let us remember Lignadis, who, while he was found guilty of 2 rapes and sentenced to 12 years in prison, was released pending the hearing of the appeal. The murderer of Alexandros Grigoropoulos Epaminondas Korkoneas was recently released, as were several of the condemned Chrysaugitians!
Victims of gender-based violence, LGBTI people and people in the movement are treated very differently by justice. Georgia Bika’s rapists were not prosecuted. At the same time tens and hundreds of people are dragged to the courts every year with fabricated charges on the occasion of their participation in a march, while we cannot forget cases such as those of Hirianna and Pericles who spent 400 days in prison until they were acquitted in 2018, but also of Panagiotis Kalaitzis recently, who remained in prison for 7 months, without any evidence against him.
The fight continues
The case of the murder of Jacques is not closed, since it is expected to be tried in the second degree. It is important until the trial is set, but also during its duration, to keep the case “alive”, by organizing informative trips, keeping the issue up to date and with our physical – massive – presence on the streets and in the Courts. This action also played a very important role so that the jeweler and the broker were convicted at first instance.
Our accumulated experience in recent years has proven it: only through mass movements can we put pressure on civil justice to do its job! We don’t forget Jacques, we don’t forget his brutal murder. We continue the fight for justice and heavy penalties for those who participated in it!
At the same time, we fight against the oppression of LGBTI people as a whole, against violence and discrimination. Zac’s death crystallizes in the harshest way what it means to live in a system where anything considered “different” risks isolation, humiliation, violence and even murder.
We join our voices and demand a world without homophobia, transphobia and sexism, a world that will “fit” all individuals, where sexual orientation, identity and gender expression will be expressed freely, without feeling shame, fear and threat. Such a world requires a total overthrow of capitalism, the system whose existence and operation is based on the artificial separation of people, discrimination, oppression and exploitation of the weak and the “different”.
All and sundry at today’s gatherings:
- Athena: 7:00 p.m., Gladstonos & Patision
- Thessaloniki: 7:00 pm, Statue of Venizelos