Tuesday 6 October 2020
Anti racists show solidarity with Greek anti racists as trial of fascist Golden Dawn draws to a close
As the five year trial of the Nazi Golden Dawn (GD) in Greece closes tomorrow, Wednesday 7 October, anti racists im Britain stand in solidarity with the Greek anti fascist movement and points to the lessons for the anti racist movement internationally in how to successfully fight the threat of fascism and the far right.
Golden Dawn, open admirers of Hitler, are accused of numerous crimes and multiple killings. Some 350 witnesses and over 100 lawyers have contested one of the most important trials seen in Greece. Anti racists point to the significant international implications of he trial, which is the longest court trial of Nazis since Nuremberg, after WW2.
Golden Dawn leader Michaloliakos and his “storm battalions” (echoing Hitler’s stormtroopers) unleashed terror on refugees, trades unionists, any who stood up to oppose them.
Golden Dawn members killed the anti fascist rapper, Pavlos Fyssas, (Killah P) in 2013. Pavlos would play at Greek anti nazi events held by the anti fascist movement. Golden Dawn also were involved in the murder of the young Pakistani man, Shehzad Luqman.
The organisation’s leaders deny the Nazi Holocaust. Against a background of deep economic crisis, it scapegoated refugees and other minorities. Anti racists, MPs and trade unionists were physically targeted by Golden Dawn thugs.
Golden Dawn had 18 MPs in the Greek parliament. Due to unrelenting, inspiring work by anti racist and anti fascist campaign KEERFA (Stand Up To Racism is the sister organisation of KEERFA here in Britain, organising as part of the World Against Racism international coordination that organises mass demonstrations each year on UN Anti Racism Day in March) and others, they lost all their representatives in the last general election, both in parliament and across Europe. They have no offices and are a shadow of their former prominence.
Petros Constantinou, organiser KEERFA, Greece, said:
“It is a historical day for the anti fascist movement. For the first time after the Nuremberg trial of Nazis, a Neo Nazi organisation is on trial after an explosion of anti fascist struggle in Greece following the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. The conviction as criminal organization will send the message that the only place for Neo Nazis in in prison.”
Weyman Bennett, co convenor Stand Up To Racism, said:
“Across Europe, the US and internationally, we are facing a deep polarisation that flows from a deep and multilayered global crisis. We have seen the rise of racist populism and racist populist leaders in key political offices, who have benefited from a long running policy from the mainstream establishment of ‘hostile environments’, Islamophobia and institutionalised racism. They now in turn are using their platforms of power to normalise previously deemed unacceptable levels of racism and fan the flames of dangerous, violent far right and fascist forces.
“That’s why we need a coordinated international anti racist movement that can stand in solidarity and learn from the experiences of anti racists fighting in difficult conditions across the world. Greek prosecutors have put Golden Dawn on trial because of long running campaigning by Greek anti fascists. General Strikes by public sector workers and others in honour of Pavlos were central in pushing back GD. As anti fascists in Britain we pay tribute to KEERFA for all their enormous efforts.
“Their mass, united front work has brought the downfall of Golden Dawn. They have played a critical role in curbing the return of fascism, in a land where once of course, Jews and others were deported to concentration camps.
Sabby Dhalu, co convenor Stand Up To Racism, said:
“Anti fascists in Greece have made history. They have withstood huge pressure and attacks from Golden Dawn (and some in the state) and will, we trust, be triumphant this week. The far right group, Greeks for the Homeland, aims to take the space the bankrupt Golden Dawn occupied. KEERFA and allies will, we know, be the most powerful opponents of those who wish to return to Greek’s darkest times.”
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