Support has poured in from across Greece for the newspaper Workers Solidarity, Socialist Worker’s sister publication.
Its editor Panos Garganas, journalist Katerina Thoidou and publisher Tasos Anastasiades were set to stand trial on Thursday of this week.
They are accused of defamation by Ioannis Andriopoulos, a lawyer on the Golden Dawn payroll. The accusation relates to an article about his attempt to overturn a law granting citizenship to second generation migrants.
“We’ve seen a wave of solidarity,” Panos told Socialist Worker. “As well as many unions we’re now seeing local councils pass resolutions to support us. The courts have to take this into account.”
Journalists’ union leader Dimitris Trimis has pledged to testify that the article was true and that they should have the freedom to say it.
Supporters of the paper say workers are rallying to defend it. “We’ve gathered dozens of signatures from the Agios Savvas hospital,” said Stella Myrisioti in Athens.
“Many people tell us they will be there outside the court. They are angry that the murderous gang of fascists dares, after all its crimes, to try to sue the anti-fascists.”
The trial is one of several court battles against fascism currently underway in Greece.
The Keerfa anti-racist and anti-fascist coalition is supporting the family of murdered Pakistani worker Shehzad Luqman.
The state has tried to keep the trial of his murder separate from the trial of Golden Dawn’s leaders, even though one of the alleged killers had Golden Dawn leaflets.
The trial of Workers Solidarity is also an attack on the left and the workers’ movement that has made life hard for the Greek government.
The government only just got its next budget through parliament last week. It faces ongoing strikes in health and education.
Hospital worker Maria Alifieri said, “We have been fighting closures and layoffs, and against the Golden Dawn Nazis’ attempt to organise blood donation for ‘Greeks only’.
“Workers Solidarity supported all these struggles. Many hospital workers buy and read it.”
Workers who occupied state broadcaster ERT for almost six months to stop its closure have also pledged to support the paper.
ERT occupier Gavrilos Kasimatis said, “Throughout our fight Workers Solidarity showed us solidarity and now we must do the same.
“We will be outside the courts, and call on everyone who supported us to support Workers Solidarity as well”.
Thanks to Nikos Loudos, Aleka Donou and Workers Solidarity journalists
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