Socialist Worker

Anti-racists in Greece speak out - united we can beat the Nazis

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2374

Anti-fascists in Greece march last Sunday to the spot where Pavlos Fyssas was murdered

Anti-fascists in Greece march last Sunday to the spot where Pavlos Fyssas was murdered (Pic: Thanasis Kambysis)


Anti-fascists from across Europe met in Greece last Sunday at the spot where musician Pavlos Fyssas was murdered by a member of the fascist Golden Dawn.

They called for an international day of action on 22 March next year against fascists and the racism that feeds them.

Petros Constantinou is an Athens councillor and coordinator of Keerfa, Greece’s leading anti-fascist organisation.

“We want to see mass demonstrations in every capital city,” he told Socialist Worker. “This is an appeal to everyone to join the struggle against fascism.”

Among the delegates to the international meeting were Weyman Bennett and Steve Hart of Britain’s Unite Against Fascism (UAF). 

The meeting followed a Keerfa conference last Saturday. Keerfa was central to organising protests after Pavlos’ murder. It helped build a march of 50,000 on Golden Dawn’s office, and an anti-fascist general strike in the public sector.

Hundreds of people across Greece signed up to its conference, which was broadcast live on ERT, the state broadcaster which workers have occupied.

Petros said, “People were very proud of how their protests had forced the government to crack down on Golden Dawn.

“There were reports from huge mobilisations all over Greece against Golden Dawn’s attempts to open offices.

Doctors

“Hospital doctors talked about how they put their bodies in the way of Golden Dawn racists who tried to give blood ‘only for Greeks’. 

“One doctor told them, ‘Your blood isn’t worth anything to us, even to collect from the pavement’.”

The Greek police arrested leading members of Golden Dawn after Pavlos’ murder. But there is huge anger at the way the authorities had previously protected them—and implemented the racist policies the party fed off.

Since the murder, a judge has revealed the names of Golden Dawn whistleblowers to the party’s lawyer. 

And department of public order minister Nikos Dendias is prosecuting Petros for his anti-fascist activities.

“We don’t believe the government and the courts can put an end to Golden Dawn,” Petros said. “The prosecution needs to come from the anti-fascist movement, not the state.

“We want to escalate our own demands. Close their offices, cut off their subsidies, investigate and prosecute the bankers and business people who funded them.

“And Dendias and prime minister Antonis Samaras need to go.”

Petros hopes the struggle against Golden Dawn can inspire anti-fascists everywhere.

He said, “There’s lots of enthusiasm for people to organise in their local unions to shut down the fascists in their neighbourhoods, schools and workplaces.

“But they also want to shut down racism—close camps where migrants are mistreated, stop police raids and legalise migrants who have been denied papers.

“There’s a new atmosphere of struggle. People believe we can link up with the workers’ struggle against austerity—and bring down the government.”


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