Anti-Fascist Struggle and Race in the Face of Golden Dawn: A Greek Anarchist Responds


Today, the world learned of the stabbing death of Greek antifascist hiphop artist Pavlos Fissas, who performed under the name MC Killah P, at the hands of thugs affiliated with the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. His death is just the most recent since the party’s rise in recent years, but may have tipped a country teetering on the brink of civil war into incredibly volatile territory. In response to the murder, antifascists have already clashed with police across the country, and Golden Dawn offices have been attacked.

I managed to reach anarchist contacts in Athens following a march from the site of Fissas’s murder that resulted in clashes with police, and connected with one activist long enough to get an interview. Given the reality of Golden Dawn infiltration of the Greek police, and other very grave realities on the ground, I’ve withheld my contact’s name. Below is our conversation.

So, what happened tonight?a big demonstration, beginning where Pavlos was killed. It split in two directions, and some of the protesters marched toward the local offices of Golden Dawn, where they clashed with police protecting the building. The other group, which we were part of and was much larger, marched toward the police station. Obviously, we also encountered cops. There were some people in front of them – might’ve been police, might’ve been Golden dawn; it’s often hard to distinguish them – who tried to provoke us. They were chanting Golden Dawn slogans and calling us “cunts”. Our group was a mixed bunch, but largely anarchists and leftists. The confrontation turned into a chase, with the cops pursuing us. Some of us split off down narrow streets, a lot of us were beaten and tear-gassed. There were 23 arrests, and I’m told at least one serious injury, but I don’t know details. I did see an ambulance, at one point. About 30 people – including some journalists – were let into a building by a woman trying to shield them from police violence. They’re still there, surrounded. Some of us are in online communication with them, at the moment. font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
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Beyond his music you mean?the 18 year old Pakistani that was recently killed, for example. They have a sort of contract with an athletic company, which allows them to kind of “sponsor” thugs, by floating them clothing, weights, and so on. Their basic job is to go into neighborhoods and attack immigrants. The arrests you all probably heard about, with the antifascist motorcycle patrols? Those were in response to this sort of thing. It’s a critical detail, in that this is quite dangerous. Golden Dawn has been rather smart in recruiting underground criminal networks. They have the guns, the drugs, the resources.

It appears Golden Dawn is sort of counting on this outsourcing dynamic for a sort of plausible deniability. They initially tried to say Roupakias wasn’t affiliated with them.New Democracy [the Right party] made a statement that angered a lot of people. They basically asked why everyone is upset about Golden Dawn violence, but never violence from Syriza [left-wing party]. 150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>2008 uprising.

Yeah, at the beginning of the crisis. Golden Dawn was nowhere then. We were attacked by them in street fights as far back as 2006, and when we told people, they’d ask “Who’s Golden Dawn?” Now they have chapters in every neighborhood. Have you heard about what happened in Meligalas 2 or 3 days ago?

I don’t think so.

They staged a memorial where their Nazi “ancestors” were killed during the Civil War. They seem to like bringing up that history. So do the cops. When they arrest an anarchist or communist, they say things like “We’re going to kill you, like we did back then.” It’s a reference point for both sides, really.

What are anarchists doing in response at the moment?

We’ve been disrupting Golden Dawn activity, like their “for Greeks only” food distribution. We distributed flyers at one recently saying “We don’t need charity. We need dignity and solidarity.” We’re also building our own solidarity structures. For example, there’s now a medical clinic operating out of Exarchaeia; it opened last week. font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
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Yes. For example, there is a new group that deals with the expansion of immigrant detention centers in Greece. They’ve been doing great work. Generally, what we’re trying to do is approach things from the principle of dignity, and these projects embody that. A year ago, we were in more violent terrain, and there was more of a preoccupation with attacking fascists. I think this murder may have shifted us into another phase. It’s hard to say what will happen. It’s possible a lot of people will want to attack Golden Dawn. There’ve already been attacks on their offices all over the country. I don’t know if that will become more personal; if people will turn to attacking fascists in the streets, beyond just attacking their offices.

It’s also hard to predict how voters who’ve supported Golden Dawn will respond to this event. Will they finally be ashamed? Will they feel like they loaded the proverbial gun?

Is there really much chance of that? line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
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