AKNY–Greece Solidarity Movement -

AKNY Statement: Neo Iraklion Murders & ERT Shutdown

On the Murders Of Two Golden Dawn Members
And Yesterday’s Shutdown of ERT

STATEMENT BY AKNY-GREECE SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
Please follow latest developments on our FB page.

Last night, November 6, as footage of a 4 am raid by Greek riot police at the headquarters of the public broadcaster ERT streamed online, we were reminded of the hypocrisy and the sinister plans of the present Greek government of the New Democracy party and its junior partner PASOK.

ON THE RAID ON ERT

ERT, the Greek Public broadcasting TV and radio network, was summarily ordered shut down by the Samaras government last June, in a cabinet decree later found to be illegal by the Greek courts. Since then the unpaid ERT workers have occupied the network’s headquarters and continued broadcasting on the Web, creating a true open forum for struggling workers and the issues of the day.

Last night eight squadrons of riot police raided the ERT building and took possession of it. Today, ERT workers showed their continued defiance by broadcasting the news from the street outside the locked-down headquarters, with 1.25 million views online. Strikes have been called to protest the raid in days to come. The parliamentary opposition of Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left, has filed a censure motion that threatens to bring down the Samaras government.

ERT journalist Aglaia Kyritsi, who has refused to apply for a post in the government's new privatized

ERT journalist Aglaia Kyritsi, who has refused to apply for a post in the government’s new privatized “public” channel, presents the news outside locked-down ERT headquarters, Nov. 7, 2013. Behind her riot police in full gear "protect" the building from its workers. (Adapted from Panagiotis Sotiris)

ON THE MURDERS IN NEO IRAKLION

Last Friday, November 1, two members of Golden Dawn were shot to death and another man was wounded by unknown assailants who drove up on a motorbike and opened fire outside the Golden Dawn offices in Neo Iraklion.

We condemn this crime absolutely and find that it is entirely counter to the spirit and the practice of the Greek democratic left and of the grassroots anti-fascist movement that has until now opposed the neo-Nazis in Greece.

There has been much speculation in the media and by politicians about who may have been responsible for the Nov. 1 murders, although so far no salient details as to the identities of the perpetrators have been made available to the public, and it is unclear what if anything the authorities know about who is responsible. (See news in Greek and English/NYT)

Police investigating at scene of murders in Neo Iraklion, Nov. 1. (Links to story in Greek on tvxs.gr)

Police investigating at scene of murders in Neo Iraklion, Nov. 1. (Links to story in Greek on tvxs.gr)

ON THE GOVERNMENT & ITS “NARRATIVE OF THE 2 EXTREMES”

Despite the lack of information about who the perpetrators of the attack on G.D. were, the government under Prime Minister Samaras is using the murders to reinforce its “narrative of the two extremes,” which equates the neo-Nazi far-right with the people and workers of Greece who are resisting the austerity measures dictated by the EU-led troika and imposed by the same Samaras government. The government has chosen this moment to press forward with its attack on the workers and the left, as we are seeing with the raid on ERT, and to facilitate the rehabilitation of the far-right elements inside and close to New Democracy and the Greek state.

Until very recently, the government tolerated neo-Nazi associates in its police force, but we are supposed to never mind. Never mind that special units of the army were providing training to Golden Dawn cadre. Never mind that the murderer of Shezhad Luqman last January had Golden Dawn materials in his apartment, and that the police tried to minimize this. Never mind that the murder of Pavlos Fyssas was a well-orchestrated hit by a Golden Dawn “attack battalion” with apparent countenance by elements in the police.

Never mind that high police officials were forced to resign after their ties to Golden Dawn were exposed. Never mind that there are reports that Golden Dawn has distributed weapons stockpiles in “strategic locations” throughout Greece. Never mind all that, because now the government is claiming that there are “left wing extremists” who must be met with the same tough legal measures imposed on leading members of Golden Dawn–although the latter are being investigated in connection with 10 homicides and attempted murders.

Athens, Nov. 7,2013. After a night raid (!) that's how police chose to seal the front entrance of the Greek Public TV!

Athens, Nov. 7,2013. After the night raid this is how police chose to seal the front entrance of ERT.

We believe the fight against the neo-Nazis is one that is fought in the streets, every day, in broad daylight. The movement of the people will turn back Golden Dawn in the streets and bring down the Samaras government by resisting by democratic and popular means, in every workplace and neighborhood, against their authoritarian and brutal economic policies.

Print format (read all)

Greg Palast’s Unfortunate Golden Dawn Apologia

More Investigation – Less Pontification

Opinion by Nikos Levis
UPDATED October 10th – See Addendum

Greg Palast has done great work as a reporter. So it’s sad to see the best-selling author’s very ill-informed editorial in Truthout today, in which he attacks the Greek left for “cheering” the arrests of the Golden Dawn leadership. Palast begins with a confused version of the news from Greece. The Greek government has not issued a ban on the Golden Dawn party, as he seems to suggest. It’s doubtful most of the left would support a party-wide ban by the state, since they are aware it would set a dangerous precedent.

Here are the details of what has actually happened so far, which Palast’s column mangles:
Continue reading

Print format (read all)

PSC-CUNY Faculty and Professionals Union Supports Greek Teachers’ Strike

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF STRIKING TEACHERS
AND OTHER PUBLIC WORKERS IN GREECE

PSC-CUNY, the Professional Service Congress representing faculty and professionals at the City University of New York, adopted the following resolution October 4, 2013.

Whereas, public employees in the U.S. and abroad continue to be pressured by local and national governments to bear the brunt of a world-wide economic crisis that was not of their making and accept layoffs and reductions in pay, job security, pensions and health care; and

Whereas, corporate interests have used the economic crisis as a pretext to push an agenda of austerity and privatization that enriches their shareholders by sapping resources intended for the public good, scapegoats public employees, threatens social safety net programs depended on by millions and diminishes the quality of public services such as education; and

Whereas, public workers in Greece who have already been subjected to several rounds of austerity-driven layoffs, salary reductions and other cuts are striking to resist a new round of cuts affecting 25,000 workers and layoffs affecting 15,000 workers planned by the Greek government under pressure from “bailout” lenders at the European Union and International Monetary Fund; and

Whereas, the class dimension of the layoffs that affect the Greek education system is revealed by the fact that they disproportionately affect specialties in technical high schools often pursued by lower-income students; and

Whereas, this development encourages the privatization of education, as many of the students who can no longer pursue these specialties in the public high school will have to turn to the private sector if they and their families can afford it; and

Whereas, the brutal austerity policies in Greece have undermined schools, leading to inadequate fuel and school heating in the winter, an insufficient number of teachers, and many students going to school hungry; and

Whereas, part and parcel of the austerity policies in Greece is a liquidation of labor and collective bargaining rights and draconian civil mobilization orders that have allowed the government to break strikes by teachers as well as by workers in other sectors of the economy; and

Whereas, public high school teachers represented by their labor union, OLME, are fully engaged in the fight against austerity and last week voted to launch a rolling strike against public sector layoffs starting on September 16, and

Whereas, ADEDY, a confederation of public sector unions, called a strike and organized mass demonstrations this week, and

Whereas, public workers in the U.S. face a similar assault, with budget deficits closed through layoffs and reductions in benefits, social safety net programs under attack and unions undermined and demonized; and

Whereas, educators in the U.S. are targeted as scapegoats and particularly subjected to the privatization and austerity agenda through charter schools, school closings, relentless testing and other so called “accountability measures,”

Whereas, PSC members are in the midst of our own fight against the forces of austerity by resisting public disinvestment in CUNY and the diminishment of our curriculum through Pathways;

Resolved, that the PSC stands in solidarity with the striking teachers and other public workers of Greece, we thank them for their sacrifices and for the brave stand they are taking against austerity, a misguided policy that worsens economic inequality and deprives working people of necessary public services.

Print format (read all)

Astoria: Politics & Crisis In Greece After the Crackdown on ‘Golden Dawn’

WHAT IS THE LEFT ALTERNATIVE?

Public Meeting in Astoria – 5pm Sat, Oct 12, 2013

[ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ] — [ PDF στα Eλληνικά – FLYERPOSTER ]

[ FACEBOOK ] — [ FLYER IN ENGLISH ] — [ POSTER ] — [ CONTACT ]

LOCATION: Church of the Redeemer, 30-14 Crescent Street, Corner of Crescent & 30th Road. N/Q Train to 30th Avenue in Astoria. Church of the Redeemer is the venue, not an endorser.

LOCATION: Church of the Redeemer, 30-14 Crescent Street, Corner of Crescent & 30th Road.
N/Q Train to 30th Avenue in Astoria. Church of the Redeemer is the venue, not an endorser.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On September 18, Pavlos Fyssas, an internationally known hip-hop artist, anti-fascist and left activist, was assassinated by members of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn (G.D.). Fyssas and six friends were assaulted by 30-40 members of a G.D. “attack battalion.” Fyssas was stabbed to death in what the coroner attested was not an amateur hit. In response to the assassination, hundreds of thousands of outraged people took to the streets in Greece, with solidarity protests in a dozen European cities as well as New York and Tokyo.

After years of failing to prosecute acts of violence attributed to Golden Dawn, the Greek government of New Democracy and PASOK finally struck against the neo-Nazis on Sept. 28. About 40 G.D. leaders, parliamentarians and party members have been arrested. They are charged with running a criminal organization responsible for 32 cases of violence, including 10 alleged murders and attempted murders.

We are forced to ask: Why were the first nine cases not enough to prompt action?

For years, Greek authorities tolerated and even protected G.D.’s violence against immigrants, gays, leftists, anarchists, artists and others. In the week after Fyssas’ murder two top police officials with alleged G.D. links resigned suddenly for “personal reasons.” Many examples show G.D.’s violence worked in the service of avoiding change, eliminating dissent, and defending dominant economic interests and social structures. A week before the murder, the G.D. “attack battalion” assaulted and injured Communist Party (KKE) members, apparently because they were organizing shipyard workers against wage cuts.

G.D.’s violence, we submit, serves the same functions as the violence of the Greek government. In both cases, those who demand social change are seen as enemies. The government suppresses peaceful protest with tear gas and mass arrests. Central Athens is shut down by thousands of police troops whenever EU officials visit to oversee the Greek austerity program. When transit workers and then teachers tried to strike, the government declared martial law, issuing conscription orders to strikers and threatening to charge them with treason and imprison them. Thus, the austerity policies have not only created social conditions that allowed anti-immigrant sentiment and neo-Nazi sects to flourish. They have also gone hand-in-hand with ever-more authoritarian attempts to eliminate political challenges and social protest. To frighten voters into accepting authoritarian measures, the government presents a “narrative of the two extremes,” attempting to equate left opposition parties with Nazis.

Two-thirds of people under 30 are unemployed, pensions and wages for most have been cut by 30-50 percent or more. But the resulting popular discontent and anger fails to register with the political machinery. Two weeks ago, the University of Athens was forced to shut down altogether due to budget cuts!

In the face of immense failures, the government bizarrely declares success after success, and expects everyone to play along with its charade.

Even during Prime Minister Samaras’ visit to New York, he presented a false picture of unity behind his government’s policies. On October 12, the Greek left of New York will present a radically different picture. We will discuss and debate alternatives the left in Greece offers for moving past the country’s crises. We invite the Greek-American community to take part and we also invite all New Yorkers. (The main language of the meeting will be English, but people are also welcome to speak in Greek; translations from Greek will be provided.)

Developments in Greece are part of a global crisis that also affects the United States. Greece has become capitalism’s testing ground to see how much pain a people can take. The lessons learned in Greece are already being applied in other countries, including in parts of the United States.

End the Politics of Austerity.
Restore Democracy Now!

With

KOSTIS KARPOZILOS
Historian, Columbia University
Writer of the documentary film “Greek American Radicals
DESPINA LALAKI
Sociologist, NYU
AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement
PETER BRATSIS
Asst. Professor of Political Science, CUNY
Member, SYRIZA NY
IANNIS DELATOLAS
Anti-fascist, activist
Member, Antarsya

SPONSORED BY
• AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement (www.AKNY.org)
• Syriza-New York (www.syriza-ny.org)
• ANTARSYA NY
• Campaign for Peace and Democracy (www.cpdweb.org)
• Occupy Astoria LIC (www.OccupyAstoriaLIC.org)
• Queens College Socialist Club

Print format (read all)

Panagiotis Sotiris: “The Crackdown on Golden Dawn”


ON THE NEED FOR THE LEFT
TO REGAIN THE INITIATIVE

Comment by Panagiotis Sotiris


We must make sure that the Left is not simply voicing anger and protest, but also offering a radical alternative narrative for Greek society, transforming the subaltern classes into a collective subject of resistance and emancipation, a new ‘historic bloc.’

Panagiotis Sotiris is a professor of political philosophy at the University of the Aegean and Mitilene.

Panagiotis Sotiris is Professor of Political Philosophy at University of the Aegean and Mitilene.
He may be contacted at psot@soc.aegean.gr. Photo from tjen-folket.no.

For many people in Greece – including the writer of this comment – watching the Golden Dawn leadership in handcuffs, with only a handful of supporters protesting their arrests, was a happy moment. A neo-Nazi organization, with a long history of attacks, beatings and cold-blooded murders, is finally accused of being exactly what it is: a criminal organization. Although a small comfort to all those who suffered from Golden Dawn’s attacks, recent developments are indeed a victory for anti-fascists and the mass movement against Golden Dawn, especially after the murder of 34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas, an anti-fascist rapper in a working-class suburb of Piraeus.

However, the decision by the Greek government and the Greek judiciary to finally bring charges against Golden Dawn should not make us forget the responsibility of successive Greek governments and pro-austerity parties for the rise of Golden Dawn. Both New Democracy and PASOK not only tolerated for a long period the activity of Golden Dawn, but also took advantage of its rise in order to shift the political debate to the right. Golden Dawn is being penalized but the agenda of the far-right has become part of the political mainstream. Racist anti-immigrant policies, authoritarian attacks on protesters in the name of “law and order” and anticommunism are the trademarks of the Greek government. In the name of the theory of the “two extremes,” both the radical Left and anarchist groups haven been attacked. Pundits in big-business controlled media have suggested that a more “serious” and modernized version of the Far-Right could be part of a potential government coalition against the Left and anti-austerity movements…

Continue reading

Print format (read all)

Al Jazeera Special Report on Golden Dawn

Neni Panourgia on “The
Persistence of Golden Dawn”


Al Jazeera THE STREAM aired the above documentary report last week, just before the government crackdown on the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece:

The murder of Greek rapper Killah P, allegedly by a member of Golden Dawn, has once again focused the spotlight on the right wing Greek nationalist party. Amid repeated austerity cuts, high youth unemployment and a lack of economic progress, many Greeks looked to the group for change by voting it into parliament in 2012. This, despite their extreme politics and reported violence against immigrants, Jews, homosexuals and opposition politicians. Critics are now demanding the party be banned from government and labeled a ‘criminal gang.’ So will Greeks still turn to Golden Dawn?

With

Neni Panourgia
Anthropology professor, The New School
dangerouscitizens.columbia.edu

Costas Papachlimintzos @CostasPap
Journalist, Athens VIEWS

Matthaios Tsimitakis @tsimitakis
Journalist
tsimitakis.wordpress.com

Tatiana Papanastasiou @tatiana_papan
PhD candidate, Oxford University

Print format (read all)

Photos: NYC, Berlin, Cophenhagen – Against Fascism and Austerity in Greece

Protest Greek Government at United Nations

Friday, 9/27 – Videos by Stanley Heller
Part 1 (Rally & D. Lalaki) – Part 2 (N. Levis)


Part 3: Sia performs “Lysistrata Lyceum


Part 4: Peter Bratsis on the functions of violence
Ten video segments from 9/27 by SH/The Struggle

New_York_UN_9-27-13Photos from Friday 9/27 in New York by Greek Photog, Michelle Equality Kaplan, Jerry Levy, Chiu Ng Photography and Mickey Z-vegan.

From Ethnikos Kirikas/National Herald, New York, Sept. 30: "Under the aegis of Aristeri Kinisi, New York and SYRIZA, New York, a protest was organized across from the United Nations building in New York against austerity and fascism."

From Ethnikos Kirikas (National Herald), New York, 9/30:
“Under the aegis of Aristeri Kinisisi, New York and SYRIZA,
New York, a protest was organized across from the United
Nations against austerity and fascism.”

Additional video by Carlos Sabater


Friday 9/27: Also in Berlin…

Berlin_9-27_antifa

And Copenhagen – At Greek Embassy

Copenhagen_9-27_FyssasMarch[ Berlin photo album ] — [ Copenhagen report ]


Breaking Sat. 9/28: Golden Dawn Leadership,
“Attack Battalion” Members Arrested in Athens

Michaloliakos_ArrestedLive Blogging:
Greece’s Golden Dawn Leader Michaloliakos, several MPs arrested
Report:
Golden Dawn head, MPs arrested in unprecedented Greek crackdown

Print format (read all)

Friday at United Nations: For Pavlos Fyssas!

1_Pavlos-Fyssas-KillaP

Join Us 5pm Tomorrow 9/27 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza


ORGANIZE AGAINST FASCISM AND AUSTERITY
PROTEST GREEK GOVERNMENT AT UNITED NATIONS
STATEMENT OF PROTEST
[ FACEBOOK INVITE ] — [ PETITION ] — [ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ]
[ FLYER: ENGLISH ] — [ PDF στα Eλληνικά εδώ ]
On the occasion of Greek government junior leader Venizelos’
Speech to the United Nations General Assembly
5-7 pm Friday, Sept. 27 at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
East 47th Street and Second Avenue


Photo album of international protests
since the murder of Pavlos Fyssas

ATHENS – SEPTEMBER 250_Athens_NewDemo_Sept25

Images from Greece, Cyprus, London, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm, UK and France, Germany…
Continue reading

Print format (read all)

Nazi Golden Dawn Murders Activist in Greece!

Statement by AKNY & Syriza – New York

Organize against Fascism and Austerity
Protest Greek Government at United Nations
5-7 pm Friday, Sept. 27

AT DAG HAMMARSKJOLD PLAZA, EAST 47th STREET AND SECOND AVE.
On the occasion of Greek government junior leader Venizelos’
Speech to the United Nations General Assembly
Banner from 18-Sept-2013 demonstration in response to murder of 34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas by Golden Dawn thugs in Piraeus, Greece.

“34-year-old dead; today fascism dies.” Banner from 18-Sept-2013 demonstration in response to murder of 34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas by Golden Dawn thugs in Piraeus, Greece. Photo: Δρομογράφος

Despite the near universal condemnation of the murder of Fyssas, there are fundamental connections between the neo-liberal regime of the New Democracy/PASOK coalition and the efforts of Golden Dawn on the streets.

On September 18th, 34 year old hip-hop artist and left activist Pavlos Fyssas was assassinated by members of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. He was cornered in the working class neighborhood of Keratsini, in Piraeus, by approximately 30 thugs. As police looked on, a car pulled up and a well-known member of Golden Dawn jumped out and stabbed the victim; the coroner would later attest that this was not an amateur hit given the two strategically placed stabs to the chest and an upside-down L shape cut to the abdomen.

The reactions to the murder have been predictable. Golden Dawn has denied any connection to the assassination. Members of the governing coalition have condemned the violence but continue to re-broadcast their argument against the ‘two extremes’, that the far right and far left are threats to legal order and stability in Greece – thus equating the neo-Nazis with those on the left, especially SYRIZA, the leading opposition party of the Coalition of the Radical Left.
Continue reading

Print format (read all)

Insider Blows Open Greek Neo-Nazi Operations

Inside Golden Dawn and
Its “Model Chapter”

We translate an interview with a former member of the Greek neo-Nazi organization, published last week in ETHNOS newspaper, Athens. The insider lays bare the party command structures and tells of organized violence and racketeering activities by its local chapter in the Piraeus district of Nikaia.

UPDATE 9/25: Greek press reporting Golden Dawn has shut down and “emptied out” its offices in Nikaia and one other location, possibly the beginning of a “domino effect.”

Athens and Piraeus. The district of Nikaia is to the west of Piraeus and east of the island of Salamina (Salamis), near the Keratsini neighborhood where Pavlos Fyssas was assassinated.

Athens and Piraeus. District of Nikaia (pop. 93,000) is east of Salamina (Salamis) island
and west of Piraeus, near Keratsini neighborhood where Pavlos Fyssas was assassinated.
CLICK MAP FOR FULL STORY

INTRODUCTION:

Since the Greek elections of June 2012 a neo-Nazi party known as Golden Dawn has held 18 seats in the country’s parliament. Under its long-time leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos, the group has been implicated in dozens of organized acts of violence against immigrants, leftists, anarchists, artists, gays and others.

On the evening of September 17, 2013, Pavlos Fyssas, known internationally as the hip-hop artist KillahP, and six of his friends were surrounded by an estimated forty unknown assailants on a street in a neighborhood of Piraeus. Fyssas was stabbed twice, once near the heart and once in the abdomen. He died soon after police arrived to the scene. The police arrested a suspect associated with Golden Dawn, Giorgos Roupakias. Roupakias has admitted to committing the killing. The Golden Dawn leadership has denied any involvement of their party.

In the days that followed, tens of thousands took to the streets in anti-fascist marches and rallies held in Greece, but also in European and U.S. cities. The protesters adopted a defiant slogan from a song by KillahP, “You think I’m scared? As if!” For the first time the Greek government, led by the New Democracy party, opened an investigation into thirty-two cases of violence attributed to Golden Dawn. Since then, two top police officials alleged to have Golden Dawn connections have resigned suddenly due to “personal reasons,” according to the BBC.

In an earlier incident attributed to Golden Dawn in the week before the death of Fyssas, on September 12, an estimated 50 men in helmets and armed with clubs staged a surprise assault on 20 members of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) in the neighborhood of Perama, resulting in the hospitalization of nine victims. On September 20, Ethnos newspaper of Athens published the following interview with an unidentified former member of the Golden Dawn chapter in the Piraeus neighborhood of Nikaia, which is considered the “model” for all other Golden Dawn chapters. The interview is one of the first public accounts of the organization’s internal workings by a former insider. The interviewee implicates Golden Dawn’s Nikaia chapter in both the Fyssas assassination and the Perama attack.

This translation from the Greek is provided by Greece Solidarity Movement (AKNY.org), New York. Interpolations in the original text by Ethnos are in parentheses, those by the translators are in square brackets.


“You think we’re scared? As if!”


GOLDEN DAWN DID BUSINESS WITH… PAKISTANIS?

When did you become a member of Golden Dawn?
I started from the first [public] meeting held by the local chapter in Nikaia, which was called for via Facebook. They said they needed help because some Pakistanis were going to attack their offices in Nikaia. That was the first time I went. I remember it was on a Thursday and I had gone to the office asking how I could sign up. I believed in the ideology that wanted a Greece without illegal immigrants, but I didn’t believe in terrorizing violence and beatings. These are two different things. So, I went and signed up. They even issued me a membership card.
How does one become a member?
Continue reading

Print format (read all)