Anti-terrorism police arrested leading members of the fascist Golden Dawn party in Greece this morning, Saturday, including party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos and several MPs. They are being held on charges of forming a criminal organisation.
The Socialist Workers’ Party in Greece (SEK) said this was “only the beginning” and called for an “antifascist cleansing” of Golden Dawn’s friends in high office. Their full statement is below.
Anger at Golden Dawn’s attacks exploded after the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas earlier this month. Since then high-ranking police officers have resigned, others have been suspended and arrested over links or suspected links to the fascist Golden Dawn.
Around 200 Golden Dawn members protested against the arrests at the Athens police headquarters.
But hundreds of thousands of public sector workers walked out in an historic strike against the Nazi organisation on Wednesday of this week, with massive demonstrations in cities all over Greece that evening.
Some 50,000 people rallied in Athens, including many workers who have been striking against the government’s cuts. The overwhelming majority went on to march on the Golden Dawn headquarters, breaking away from a concert organised by the largest left party Syriza.
“All the roads in the area were just full of people, and lots of union placards saying ‘Nazis out of our workplaces’,” said Katerina Thoidou of the Movement Against Racism and the Fascist Threat (Keerfa).
“People didn’t just want to dissolve the Golden Dawn, but to bring down the government. They are so angry at the government, the courts and the police that spent so long trying not to notice the Golden Dawn and all its attacks.”
The arrest of Michaloliakos is only the beginning to dismantle the murderous neo-Nazi mechanism and their protectors!
1. The apprehension of Michaloliakos, Kasidiaris and other leaders of Golden Dawn is a victory for the magnificent antifascist movement that took to the streets after the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. It finally breaks the provocative immunity of neo-Nazi murderers and those who protect them are forced to pretend to be late-coming persecutors.
We celebrate this development and we organize the next steps.
2. Our first demand is to extend the dismantling across the width and depth of the murderous apparatus. The killers and their masterminds are not only 34. In every neighbourhood, in every place where offices of the Golden Dawn operated, we demand the unravelling of these networks in all their extent.
This anti-fascist cleansing must include officers of Hellenic Police who generously gave their cooperation, prosecutors who violated their duties and their funders who provide the means for the operation of these murderous gangs.
3. At the same time, we demand the resignation of all high ranking officials who gave generously their help and who are politically responsible for the spreading of neo-Nazi links with state mechanisms. Who brought in the National Intelligence Service (EYP) the cousin of a Golden Dawn member to the position he held and was involved in the scandal of kidnapping Pakistanis for ex minister Voulgarakis in 2005, if not Samaras himself? Who was leading the police if not Dendias?
The PASOK – New Democracy coalition, instead of claiming to represent the leadership of the “constitutional spectrum”, must submit its resignation. Not only for direct involvement in the protection of neo-Nazis, but because they paved the way for spreading poverty through the Memoranda and playing the card of racism. It is the government that closed schools and hospitals and opened concentration camps. It’s time for them to leave.
4. The Left has an obligation to be at the forefront of these struggles, linking workers’ resistance to layoffs, closures and privatization through the Memoranda with the anti-fascist struggle. It should be building a strong workers’ movement against the troika of IMF -EU – ECB, who together with local capitalists are the directors of the system that generates crises, poverty, racism and neo-Nazis.
The steps made these days with the strikes, combined with the anti-fascist demonstrations showed that thousands of activists oriented towards such a movement. We welcome the pioneering role of ANTARSYA both in the strike front and to the anti-fascist uprising these days and we call for rallying to the ranks of KEERFA that paved the way to reach the anti-fascist movement here. The Nationwide Assembly and the International Antifascist meeting on October 5 to 6 is a milestone to organize the follow up to victory.
Athens September 28th 2013,
Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party (SEK)
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