From the BBC:
Greece‘s Golden Dawn: ‘Don’t say a word or I’ll burn you alive’
By Mark Lowen, BBC News, Athens
2 October 2013
A fortnight ago, Golden Dawn was feeling smug. Greece’s neo-Nazi party was riding high in the opinion polls at about 15%, double what it got in last year’s election.
Its support was soaring among a nation buckling under its worst financial crisis in living memory. It had opened new offices, lectures it hosted presenting the party’s view of Greek history were proving popular, its 18 MPs appeared untouchable.
But Pavlos Fyssas changed all that. A left-wing hip hop musician and activist, he had spent the evening watching football on TV in a bar near Athens. As he left, he was set upon by a group. The man arrested for stabbing him to death confessed to being an active supporter of Golden Dawn.
The murder prompted a national outcry. Tens of thousands took to the streets, demanding that the violent neo-Nazis be reined in.
This video says about itself:
2 Oct 2013
A woman has described how supporters of Greece’s far right Golden Dawn party threatened to attack a man on her behalf in exchange for cash.
The BBC report continues:
And then, in a weekend morning raid, the government sprang into action. Some 22 members were arrested, six of them MPs, including the party leader Nikos Mihaloliakos. They were charged with belonging to a criminal group, with counts including murder, assault and money-laundering.
‘Offer of violence’
Police say they found evidence linking the killer of Pavlos Fyssas to the Golden Dawn leadership. In the homes of MPs arrested, they said they uncovered photos of Adolf Hitler and swastika flags. Witness testimony told of a “Fuehrer-like” party structure, commanding hit squads that drove through Athens attacking migrants.
Whistleblowers are now under police protection. But we traced a former supporter who offered us a rare insight into how the party functions.
She attended Golden Dawn meetings looking for support, after being harassed by a man.
“Inside, I saw clubs and shields,” she tells me. “Everyone stood to attention when the leader came in. They talked of beating up gay and dark-skinned people.”
She lights a cigarette and holds back the tears.
“A party member came to visit me,” she says. “He made me an offer: he could break someone’s arm and leg for 300 euros [£250]. Set a car on fire for 1,000 euros. Put someone in hospital for a month for 1,500 euros.
“I didn’t want any of it, so I broke off communication. Later he came back and told us not to say a word or he’d burn us alive.”
So why, when the party’s vigilante nature was well known, did the authorities not act sooner?
Greece’s Racist Violence Reporting Network found that in 2012, there were 154 cases of racist attacks and, so far this year, 104. Two immigrants were murdered. Almost every incident is attributed to Golden Dawn.
One theory for the failure to act against this is the alleged collusion of the police. In last year’s election, figures from some areas of Athens suggested that one in every two police officers voted for Golden Dawn.
Several high-ranking members of the force have been suspended in the recent clampdown on the party, with others resigning.
Footage filmed by the website info-war.gr showed men in plain clothes standing close to riot squads policing an anti-fascist demonstration two weeks ago, hurling rocks at the left-wing activists. At least one of the men has been identified as a Golden Dawn member.
This video says about itself:
2 Oct 2013
Amateur video shows Greek police standing by as suspected right wing sympathisers throw rocks at left wing demonstrators in Athens.
The BBC report continues:
We met a Pakistani immigrant stabbed three times by suspected Golden Dawn supporters. A year on, the scars are still there – one just millimetres from his heart. On his stomach is a lump of scar tissue from the second wound, which has never healed.
But, he says, the police did nothing, launching no investigation and never contacting him beyond a first conversation.
“It’s because I’m a foreigner”, he says. “The police never act with us. If it were a Greek who got stabbed, they’d hunt the aggressor immediately. Now I’m terrified to go outside.
“I want to leave Greece for somewhere safer, like England.”
Golden Dawn updates: Nikos Michaloliakos, Christos Pappas and Giannis Lagos in prison: here.
Greek authorities release three fascist Golden Dawn deputies from custody: here.
Golden Dawn MP Boukouras appears in court to answer allegations: here.
Manoeuvres between Greece’s major parties accompany clampdown on Golden Dawn: here.
Report from the recent antifascist demonstration in Athens last Saturday: here.
- Golden Dawn head to appear in court (bbc.co.uk)
- Golden Dawn leader jailed ahead of Greek criminal trial (theguardian.com)
- Golden Dawn MPs to appear in court (bbc.co.uk)
- Greece arrests more neo-Nazi MPs (rinf.com)
- Golden Dawn leaders brought to court to face charges of murder and assault (theguardian.com)
- Supporters Of Greek Neo-Nazi Party Tested By Arrests (npr.org)
- Golden Dawn Plummets, Still In Third (greece.greekreporter.com)
- Greece: Golden Dawn members threaten journalists covering murder case of Greek artist (ionglobaltrends.com)
- Golden Dawn leader to appear in court (rinf.com)
- Soros Blames Merkel For Golden Dawn (eu.greekreporter.com)
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