Friday, September 20, 2013

Fighting fascism in Greece

Media is reporting violent clashes “broke out” in several Greek cities after a member of the country’s far-right Golden Dawn party was arrested in the fatal stabbing in Athens of Pavlos Fissas, a 34-year-old musician & anti-fascist activist. All that means in media lingo is that cops attacked unarmed protestors. Golden Dawn, which has strong links to the Greek police (meaning much of the membership is interchangeable), has already been involved in repeated attacks on & intimidation of undocumented immigrants. Squads of Golden Dawn vigilantes vowing to “rid the land of filth” terrorize immigrant neighborhoods carrying clubs & swastika-like symbols. Human Rights Watch, the conservative human rights group, reports that xenophobic violence is of alarming proportions & accuses Greek officials of not doing a damn thing to stop it. In fact, the regime doesn’t even bother to record incidents or the numbers of immigrants threatened & attacked. Police discourage victims from filing complaints or try to charge them fees for doing so. According to Greek immigrant rights groups, there are hundred of reports of immigrants beaten while cops stood by doing nothing & of immigrants being attacked by cops in police stations while attempting to file a complaint.

The widespread condemnation & protest at the murder of Fissas may be attributable to alarm & recognition that Golden Dawn is now broadening its assaults from primarily immigrants to include immigration rights activists. In this photo a riot cop uses his shield to attack an anti-fascist activist holding a banner (yesterday). There is plenty of political experience of both the positive & negative kind for how to organize to oppose fascism. It includes out-mobilizing them & scaring the hell out of them since terror is their stock-in-trade.

Greek unions have presently called a 48-hour general strike against the austerity measures & opposition to Golden Dawn has been incorporated into the protests. Greece is in a crisis & the union leadership needs to stop with the one-day & two-day strikes to blow off steam; they need to keep the work force out until the regime is brought to its knees & Golden Dawn brought to justice & prosecuted.

(Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)

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