Written by Mariúcha Fontana *
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 20:59
In September, after Pavlos Fyssas’ murder, the rapper known as Killah P, an antifascist activist and member of the leftist coalition Antarsya, the Greek streets were taken up by huge demonstrations and clashes with the police, demanding the ban of the neo-fascist party Golden Dawn.
Fyssas Pavlos’s murder was the drop that spilled the cupofa growing neo-Nazi violence against leftist activists and immigrants. The previous week had left several people seriously injured in the attack perpetrated by about 50 fascists, armed with iron sticks against Communist militants. The impunity towards these gangs, who patrol some neighborhoods of Athens and extort the merchants is reinforced by their open complicity with the police. The president of the Association of Pakistani immigrants, Mejid Abdul Malik, stated to the press that they have been suffering attacks of the fascist group for five years without any reaction of the government.
Golden Dawn‘s links with the state security forces
These relationships are so well known that they have even given rise to an extensive report on The Guardian. On the evening of Pavlos’ murder, Golden Dawn members were filmed throwing stones against anti-fascist demonstrators next to the riot police. As reported by João Lopes, a Portuguese MAS correspondent in Athens, it is estimated that around half the police force has voted in Golden Dawn.
Police officers are directly involved with the Golden Dawn, and the same goes for military commanders. According to the website Ekathimerini, former members of the Golden Dawn confirmed that there is a rigid command chain in the party which includes local leaders and the MPs, who authorize attacks such as the one that killed Fyssas. There is a wide structure of neo-Nazis “assault squads” trained by military officers.
The Parliament and the Greek government forced to repress the Golden Dawn
In the elections of June 2012, the right-wing party New Democracy won 29.66% of the votes and formed a coalition government with the “socialist” PASOK (12.28%). The second most voted party was the left coalition SYRIZA (26.89%). The neo-Nazi “Golden Dawn” surprised by obtaining 6.92%. Samaras’ government has allowed them hands free all this time, comparing, in his speech, the neo-Nazis and the left, including SYRIZA, calling them the “two extremes”.
Prior to Fyssas’ murder, New Democracy was attempting an alliance government with the Golden Dawn support. Some of the mass media have helped to build up a welfarist and “moderate” image of the neo-Nazis, who ask to be called nationalist but have a hard time to hide their “fuehrer”: Michaloliakos, a former soldier and defender of the colonels’ dictatorship and an outspoken admirer of Hitler.
The 2014 electionsare getting closer and the government, in deep crisis and with the country in bankruptcy, could see the growing escalating of violence of Golden Dawn who aggressively disputes with Samaras the right-wing sectors that are part of Samaras’ electoral base. The Golden Dawn also presents itself as an option to the most despairing sectors, even for the working class which reject SYRIZA’s moderate positions that, when criticizing its own left wing trends, as well as other organizations, does not rely on the workers’ mobilization, seeks alliances each and every day with the deeper rightists and does not demand a rupture with the EU and the euro.
However after Fyssas’ murder, outrage and demonstrations broke out and several neo-Nazis headquarters were burnt by protesters. It was only then that the Parliament and the Greek government withdrew the Golden Dawn MPs’ immunities. Two of its most visible members, Kasidaris and Panayotaros, the latter famous for assaulting two leftist MP in a TV debate, should be brought to justice for crimes committed years ago. The “fuehrer” Michaloliakos and two MPs have been arrested and other six have been left without immunity under indictment. Some members of the first level of the police officers command were ousted and some agents were arrested. The Parliament has discontinued the state finance of 1.5 million euro per year to the Golden Dawn.
It is urgent to organize the workers’ self-defense
After Fyssas’ assassination and the measures against the neo-Nazi party, the polls indicate a decline in the voting intention (they give the neo-Nazi party a 6-7% support, compared to previous 10-12%). This indicates that the Golden Dawn, although it has been weakened, still holds an important space. Furthermore, it retains a strong support base in the state security forces, far from being cleaned.
As João Lopes reports, protests against their leader and MPs imprisonment did not exceed 400 people. In some places they were not able to open their premises because of the protests of the anti-fascist, the leftist activists and the immigrants, especially the Pakistanis. In Chania, in the island of Crete, they were literally thrown into the sea. Also the neo-Nazi campaign to get into the hospitals, “blood for Greeks only” ended up defeated by the physicians and the hospital community who have expelled them.
But the battle to destroy the neo-Nazis is still incipient. Against fascism, particularly in Greece, where it reached, for the first time since the Second World War, a massive weight, it is required the unitary defense by the whole left aiming at the demolition of the neo-Nazi organization.
This means it is necessary to demand that the Golden Dawn is outlawed and to promote a united action with anyone who wants to fight them. However it requires, at the same time, a policy of united front of all workers’ organizations in order to organize the self-defense against the fascist violence through teams that must be trained and armed, having in view that with the Nazis there is no discussion, they must be destroyed as fast as possible. This is an urgent task.
One thing is to demand from the State measures to combat the fascists and another is to trust it will do it. Leave it up to “democracy”, that is, to trust that the State and the Samaras’ government will provide the banning of the fascism and ensure the defense of the workers’ organizations and the left is more than an illusion, it is a crime. Among other reasons, the State and the Samaras’ government will not do it, because banning the Golden Dawn would mean to dismantle a fundamental part of the State security forces, an action that they will never implement.
* With the collaboration of JoãoLopes, from Athens