“Beyond Scapegoats and Moralism”
March 2nd, 2013 panel with Alan Akrivos, Nikos Alexiou, Peter Bratsis, Despina Lalaki and a very lively, far-ranging discussion with the audience. Hosted by Syriza New York.
Video by Joe Friendly
A panel discussion with a small delay, March 2, 2013
Report by Nikos Levis
Syriza New York is a support group for the “party of the radical left” and current main parliamentary opposition in Greece. Syriza NY invited a panel of scholars, action and labor people to speak in Astoria on March 2nd, 2013, on the subject of “Greece and the Global Crisis in Politics and Capitalism.” The event was announced a month in advance. The literature called on everyone to go “Beyond Scapegoats and Moralism.”
By now everyone has heard that Astoria recently acquired a handful of Greek or Greek-American neo-Nazis or Nazi wannabes. However, as these things tend to go, no one expected that a small, unknown group who seem to fit that description would show up at the venue hosting the Syriza event – a private building – after midnight before the day of the event. Whoever they were, they made intimidating noises to the residents, who remained inside the building. Before dispersing, the unknown group used heavy tape to plaster the front of the building with “Golden Dawn” leaflets. These accused the venue of hosting a meeting of “anti-Greek terrorists.” That night, in addition, threatening anonymous phone calls were made to parties responsible for the Syriza event and the Astoria venue. The venue felt compelled to cancel.
(For the full story see “Fascism Comes To Queens,” in The North Star; also, coverage in the New York Greek-language press; also, the AKNY statement on the affair. In addition, in a possible clue, the anonymous wordpress.com blogger who presents himself as the voice of “Golden Dawn” in New York celebrated this atrocious behavior as a glorious victory for Hellenitude.)
But seriously: Nazis. Is this still New York City?
With only hours left before the announced start of the Syriza panel, a replacement location was just found in time, in Manhattan. Word about the incident got around. Turnout was strong and energetic. Many people traveled in from Astoria. The apparently dangerous discussion went ahead, on the original themes as planned.
Now, thanks to tireless videographer Joe Friendly, here’s your chance to listen to ideas about Greece and the crisis of world capitalism; ideas that narrow minds would silence with terror, if they could.