Around 30 police attempted to break in to the headquarters of the Socialist Workers Party (SEK) in Athens this morning (Thursday).
A group of fascists joined the police in shouting racist obscenities and attempting to kick down the front door.
SEK members quickly alerted the media and others on the left. The public exposure led to a senior police officer arriving at the scene to call off the attempted raid.
Police remained in the area for some time but eventually withdrew as the incident drew more publicity.
The raid began after a journalist for Workers Solidarity, Socialist Worker’s sister paper in Greece, took photographs of a police stop and search operation near the office.
The police at first threatened the journalist, before another SWP member intervened. The attempted raid began soon afterwards.
Panos Garganas, editor of Workers Solidarity, spoke to Socialist Worker about this morning’s events.
“Some police claimed they wanted to arrest our comrades for obstructing the stop and search operation and insulting police officers,” he said.
“But others said they would do it anyway—because the police force is ‘too soft on un-Greek elements’.
“All of them were swearing at the comrades and kicking the front door, which was locked.”
Panos added that it was unclear whether the police were acting under official orders. But he added, “The electoral result of the neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn, which received 50 percent of police votes in Athens, has made the police more provocative.”
The SEK issued a statement linking the attack to the racist policies of the New
Democracy and Pasok governments. It also called on the left and the unions to defend democratic rights.
“If police can attempt a raid on a political party in the middle of an election, this is a reminder of how the state reacts to an advance of the left,” said Panos.
“It has happened in the past and we should be on the alert.”