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)

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)

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)

Δολοφονία Έλληνα Συνδικαλιστή από τους Νεο-Ναζί της Χρυσής Αυγής

Διαμαρτυρία στην Ελληνική Κυβέρνηση
κατά του Φασισμού και της Λιτότητας

Ηνωμένα Έθνη, 5-7 μμ . Παρασκευή , 27 Σεπτεμβρίου
DAG Hammarskjöld PLAZA, East 47th Street & SECOND AVE.

Στις 18 Σεπτέμβρη ο 34χρονος hip-hop μουσικός και αριστερός ακτιβιστής Παύλος Φύσσας δολοφονήθηκε από μέλη του νεοναζιστικού κόμματος Χρυσή Αυγή στην εργατική συνοικία Κερατσίνι, στον Πειραιά. Του επιτέθηκαν περίπου 30 Χρυσαυγίτες και ενώ η αστυνομία παρακολουθούσε αμέτοχη, το θύμα μαχαιρώθηκε από γνωστό μέλος της Χρυσής Αυγής. Ο ιατροδικαστής αργότερα βεβαίωσε ότι αυτό δεν ήταν ερασιτεχνικό χτύπημα.

Η Χρυσή Αυγή αρνήθηκε κάθε σχέση με την δολοφονία. Μέλη του κυβερνητικού συνασπισμού καταδίκασαν την δολοφονία αλλά εξακολουθούν να αναφέρονται στην θεωρία τους περί των «δύο άκρων», δηλαδή ότι η άκρα δεξιά και η άκρα αριστερά ευθύνονται εξ ίσου γιά την παρανομία και την έλλειψη πολιτικής σταθερότητας της χώρας, εξομοιώνοντας τους νεοναζί με την αριστερά, και ειδικά με το κόμμα της αξιωματικής αντιπολίτευσης, τον ΣΥΡΙΖΑ.

Παρά την σχεδόν καθολική κατακραυγή γιά τον φόνο, οι σχέσεις μεταξύ της νεοφιλελεύθερης κυνέρνησης ΝΔ/ΠΑΣΟΚ και της Χρυσής Αυγής είναι τεκμηριωμένες. Η κυβέρνηση και η Χρυσή Αυγή έχουν ενώσει τις δυνάμεις τους στον πόλεμο που έχουν εξαπολύσει εναντίον της αριστεράς, εναντίον της Δημοκρατίας. Αυτή η συμμαχία αποτυπώθηκε τις μέρες που ακολούθησαν το φόνο του Φύσσα, όταν τα μέλη της Χρυσής Αυγής, δρώντας ως παρακρατική δύναμη και κρυβόμενοι πίσω από τις γραμμές της αστυνομίας, λιθοβόλησαν αντιφασίστες διαδηλωτές. Το ότι η αστυνομία και οι κομμάντος της Χρυσής Αυγής αγωνίζονται στην ίδια πλευρά δεν αποτελεί έκπληξη, ούτε πρόκειται γιά μεμονωμένα περιστατικά. Πρόκειται για μια ουσιαστική πολιτική σύμπραξη καθώς τόσο η κυβέρνηση όσο και οι νεοναζί προσπαθούν να εξαλείψουν κάθε αντίσταση στην εξαθλείωση της χώρας. Και στις δύο περιπτώσεις, εκείνοι που αμφισβητούν τα κυρίαρχα συμφέροντα και απαιτούν αλλαγή, θεωρούνται εχθροί που πρέπει να απειληθούν, φιμωθούν και να εξαλειφθούν. Οι πολιτικές διαμαρτυρίες απαντώνται με δακρυγόνα και μαζικές συλλήψεις. Όταν ο υπουργός Οικονομικών της Γερμανίας Βόλφγκανγκ Σόιμπλε επισκέφθηκε την Ελλάδα τον Ιούλιο, πάνω από 4.000 αστυνομικοί απέκλεισαν το κέντρο της Αθήνας προκειμένου να αποφευχθούν οι διαδηλώσεις. Όταν οι εργαζόμενοι στα μέσα μεταφοράς στην Αθήνα κατέβηκαν σε απεργία τον Ιανουάριο, η κυβέρνηση κήρυξε στρατιωτικό νόμο, επιστρατεύοντας τους απεργούς εργάτες και απειλώντας τους με κατηγορίες περί προδοσίας και φυλάκιση μέχρι πέντε χρόνια. Τα παραδείγματα είναι αμέτρητα, η βία της Χρυσής Αυγής, καθώς και η βία του καθεστώτος Σαμαρά είναι του ίδιου τύπου, είναι η βία εναντίον της αλλαγής, υπέρ της εξάλειψης κάθε διαφωνίας και υπέρ της υπεράσπισης των κυρίαρχων οικονομικών συμφερόντων.

Οι πολιτικές λιτότητας των τελευταίων τεσσάρων ετών δεν έχουν δημιουργήσει μόνο κοινωνικές συνθήκες που έθρεψαν το αίσθημα κατά των μεταναστών και την έξαρση νεοναζιστικών μορφωμάτων, αλλά έχουν επίσης συστοιχηθεί με όλο και πιο αυταρχικές προσπάθειες για την εξάλειψη της πολιτικής και κοινωνικής διαμαρτυρίας. Η κυβέρνηση όχι μόνο αδυνατεί και αρνείται να διαχειριστεί την απελπισία στην οποία έχει περιέλθει ο λαός αλλά και να αναγνωρίσει την πραγματική κατάσταση στην Ελλάδα. Η βία με την οποία αντιμετωπίζεται κάθε εκδήλωση πολιτικής δυσαρέσκειας και αντίστασης, είναι η πιο σημαντική πολιτική ομοιότητα μεταξύ των νεοφιλελεύθερων και των νεοναζί.

Δεν υπάρχει καμία αμφιβολία ότι η συνεχιζόμενη κλιμάκωση της βίας που βιώνουμε στην Ελλάδα είναι το άμεσο αποτέλεσμα της πολιτικής και των μέτρων της κυβέρνησης Σαμαρά-Βενιζέλου. Αν δεν εισακουστούν τα πολιτικά αιτήματα εκείνων που μάχονται για την αλλαγή και υπέρ των συμφερόντων και της ευημερίας της συντριπτικής πλειοψηφίας των Ελλήνων και δεν τους επιτραπεί να συμμετάσχουν στη διαμόρφωση της πολιτικής, οι βίαιες αντιπαραθέσεις και η κοινωνική διάλυση θα είναι μονόδρομος. Οι ηγέτες του κυβερνώντος συνασπισμού, Σαμαράς και Βενιζέλος δεν είναι μόνο συνένοχοι στη δολοφονία του Φύσσα, αλλά είναι αρχιτέκτονες μιας πολιτικής που κρύβεται πίσω από το πέπλο της νομιμότητας, αποδυναμώνει τους ενεργούς πολίτες, και χειραγωγεί το εκλογικό σώμα.

Σας ζητούμε να συμμετάσχετε μαζί μας την Παρασκευή και να δείξετε την υποστήριξή σας στην αλλαγή. Υπογράψτε την έκκληση συμπαράστασης http://www.akny.org/2013/09/akny-stop-neo-nazi-pavlos-fissas. Βοηθήστε μας να στείλουμε ένα σαφές μήνυμα προς την κυβέρνηση Σαμαρά / Βενιζέλου ότι ο χρόνος για δράση είναι τώρα.

ΤΕΛΟΣ στην πολιτική της λιτότητας
ΑΠΟΚΑΤΑΣΤΑΣΗ πραγματικής Δημοκρατίας ΤΩΡΑ!

υπό την αιγίδα AKNY – Αριστερή Κίνηση Νέας Υόρκης ( www.AKNY.org )
ΣΥΡΙΖΑ – Νέα Υόρκης ( www.syriza – ny.org )


ΔΗΜΟΣΙΑ ΣΥΝΕΔΡΙΑΣΗ ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΚΑΤΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΣΤΗΝ ΕΛΛΆΔΑ
Στην Αστόρια, QUEENS, Σάββατο, 12 Οκτ. , 17:00
Church of the Redeemer, 30-14 Crescent Οδός Astoria , NY 11102
N / Q Τραίνο στο 30th Avenue

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)

Pavlos Fyssas Murdered in Cold Blood by Neo-Nazis


PAVLOS FYSSAS

Left Activist and Hip-Hop Artist


The Left and organised working class need to organise a powerful anti-fascist front. By Andros Payiatsos. Original published Sept. 19, 2013 in Xekinima (CWI Greece). Translation by Socialist World.

Pavlos Fyssas a.k.a. Killah P

Pavlos Fyssas
a.k.a. Killah P

Last night (18/09/13) the municipality of Keratsini in greater Piraeus, second largest city and biggest port in Greece, was overwhelmed by tens of thousands of anti-fascists from all over Piraeus and Athens. Piraeus has strong working class traditions and a history of struggles. The anti-fascists were expressing their anger at the cold-blooded murder of Pavlos Fyssas, a rap artist and anti-fascist activist.

Pavlos Fyssas was well-known for his bold anti-fascist songs and left ideas. He was attacked by Golden Dawn thugs in front of many witnesses and four (armed) policemen who did nothing to prevent the killing.

A supporter of Golden Dawn was arrested by police yesterday and he reportedly confessed to the murder. He was arrested on the spot. Although fatally wounded, Pavlos was able to point out his assailant to police. There were also many eye witnesses to the stabbing, as the attack took place in a central square.

After admitting having killed Pavlos Fyssas, the suspect said he was a member of Golden Dawn and that he visited the offices of Golden Dawn in the area very regularly, “five to ten times every month”.

The police searched the suspect’s house after the murder and found Golden Dawn literature and other party material. It is reported in the media that his wife told police that immediately before the suspect’s arrest he telephoned her and asked her to take all the Golden Dawn material away from their home and to bring it to the house of one of his relatives – who is the leader of Golden Dawn in the area.
Continue reading

Print format (read all)

Costas Panayotakis in the NYTimes Examiner

GREECE AND WEIMAR

Originally Published in NYTimes eXaminer
By Costas Panayotakis
Above: Anti-Fascist demonstration in Athens, Greece. Photo by NYT eXaminer.

Above: Anti-Fascist demonstration in Athens, Greece. Photo by NYT eXaminer.

The economic crisis, political and economic polarization, and the meteoric rise of the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party/criminal gang has given rise to a lot of comparisons between today’s Greece and the Weimar Republic, the period of German history in the 1920s that led to the rise of Hitler. Roger Cohen’s rehearsal of this theme(i) in The New York Times this week does not really add any insights to this conversation but simply advances a number of contradictory and misleading claims.

For example, while the column is entitled “Why Greece Isn’t Weimar,” Cohen begins by suggesting that the Greece/Weimar analogy is a valid one, attributing the rise of “violent extremism” in today’s Greece to the same ingredients of “national humiliation, economic disaster, high immigration, political division and international tutelage” that, in Cohen’s mind, can best be understood by “[l]ook[ing] no further than Weimar Germany.” By the end of his column, however, Cohen completely reverses himself by claiming that “[t]hrough Europe, Greece has been saved from the fate of Weimar.” In this respect, Cohen thinks, Greece today is more comparable to Germany after the war, when Europe, allowed Germany to “c[o]me back” by “help[ing] usher [it] from its cataclysmic ‘zero hour’ of 1945”.

Anyone even vaguely familiar with the history of post-war Germany knows that this was a period of rapid economic reconstruction that led to Germany’s current status of an economic superpower within Europe. Only someone who naively accepts the Greek government’s narrative about Greece’s supposed economic recovery would seriously think that today’s Greece is closer to post-war Germany than to the Weimar Republic. As Cohen himself is aware, unemployment rates in Greece have skyrocketed to record levels, indeed levels surpassing the unemployment rate the United States experienced at the peak of the 1930s Depression. And yet Cohen assures us that Greece’s “economy is turning slowly” and that “the most acute phase of Greece’s economic crisis has passed.” The fact that Greece’s economy is still shrinking, but only by 4% a year, and that it will take decades for unemployment rates to return to normal levels of course explains why, as Cohen recognizes, “the most acute phase of [Greece’s] political trial is upon it.” In other words, it is easier to buy into the Greek government’s economic boosterism if you are a New York Times reporter than if you are an average person in Greece who, as Cohen himself admits, has yet to feel any improvement in their lives.
Continue reading

Print format (read all)

AKNY – Stop Neo-Nazi Violence After Murder of Pavlos Fissas

Support the Anti-Fascist Struggle in Greece

SIGN THE PETITION TO GOVERNMENT OF GREECE
By AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement (www.AKNY.org)
& Syriza-U.S.F., New York (www.syriza-ny.org)
Stop Golden Dawn PetitionAround midnight on the 17th of September in Amfiali, a working class district of Piraeus, Pavlos Fyssas, a 34 year old musician, anti-fascist and community organizer, was stabbed to death by a gang of neo-Nazis, members of Golden Dawn. Pavlos was from a working class family, and, like his father, a member of the Metalworkers Union employed in the Perama Industrial Zone.

Based on eyewitness reports, Pavlos and his friends were chased down the street and assaulted by up to 25 neo-Nazi thugs. One of them pulled up in a car and stabbed Pavlos Fyssas three times while a group of police stood idly by, even discouraging onlookers from getting involved.

This last murderous strike against a well-known anti-fascist is neither random nor isolated. A Senior Consultant of Nikaia Hospital, where Pavlos died, said “yesterday’s murderers have been training on the bodies of immigrants for three years.” The man arrested for the murder, a GD member, was known in the area for his participation in these kinds of attacks.

The murder comes shortly after a similar attack on September 12th, when about 50 black-shirted supporters of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn group with crowbars and bats enhanced with nails and screws brutally attacked Greek Communist Party (KKE) and Communist Youth (KNE) members in the dock-side district of Perama near Piraeus. The unprovoked attack led to the serious injury and hospitalization of eight of them. Among the injured was Sotiris Poulikoyiannis, President of Pavlos’s union.

The attack once again was neither spontaneous nor haphazard. In a video taken on August 8th, still available at the GD’s official website, Golden Dawn MPs boast of their plans to use violence against workers who had been organizing against the bosses’ job cuts. So far no-one has been charged for these crimes.

AKNY – Greece Solidarity Movement, and Syriza- U.S.F. New York, denounce the systematic and well-orchestrated attempts on the part of Golden Dawn to cultivate a climate of violence and civil war. We stand with the hundreds of thousands who flooded the streets of Athens and many other cities all over Greece in the days after the attacks in protest against violence and the complicity of the police.

Compounding the tolerance of Golden Dawn by the ruling coalition, indeed its very encouragement of their actions through allowing police collaboration with GD thugs, is their ideological campaign to blame violence on “two extremes,” falsely equating violent fascists on the one hand with millions of workers and their allies fighting against the troika-imposed austerity, which the ruling coalition supports, on the other. It is this austerity against which teachers, other public sector workers and millions of other workers are striking this week. It is no coincidence that the fascist attacks happen right as the anti-austerity movement renews and deepens itself.

Please sign at Change.org to demand the prosecution of Golden Dawn to the fullest extent of the law, and to stand in solidarity with the people of Greece and all the people around the world fighting against fascism and for social justice and freedom of expression.

AKNY- Greece Solidarity Movement (www.AKNY.org)
Syriza-U.S.F., New York (www.syriza-ny.org)

Print format (read all)