Signs of rising fascism in Greece and …

Economic decline. Record unemployment. Anti-immigration. Anger toward government. Does any of this sound familiar? Well this isn’t the American Republican Party we are talking about. These are the markers of a rising fascist movement in Greece, where the neo-Nazi “Golden Dawn” is gaining political momentum. It seems that hardship has a differential effect among nations, bringing citizens together in some countries, and dividing them bitterly in others. In Greece the situation is getting ugly these days. In an article entitled “Fear and Loathing in Athens: The Rise of Golden Dawn and the Far Right,The Guardian describes a tale of civil unraveling that indeed might give US voters something to consider. Put simply, the platforms of Greece’s Golden Dawn and the US Tea Party movements are nearly identical. As The Guardian’s Maria Margolis writes, “You can hear it from blocks away: the deafening beat of Golden Dawn’s favourite band blasting out … ‘Rock for the fatherland, this is our music, we don’t want parasites and foreigners on our land’…Tonight is the opening of the Golden Dawn office in Megara, a once prosperous farming town between Athens and Corinth. “The Greek national socialist party polled more than 15% here – double the national average – in the June election, when it won 18 seats in parliament. (One was taken up by the former bassist with Pogrom, whose hits include Auschwitz and Speak Greek Or Die.)

“Legitimised by democracy and by the media, Golden Dawn is opening branches in towns all over Greece and regularly coming third in national opinion polls. Its black-shirted vigilantes have been beating up immigrants for more than three years, unmolested by the police; lately they’ve taken to attacking Greeks they suspect of being gay or on the left. MPs participate proudly in the violence. In September, three of them led gangs of black-shirted heavies through street fairs in the towns of Rafina and Messolonghi, smashing up immigrant traders’ stalls with Greek flags on thick poles. Such attacks are almost never prosecuted or punished. Ask Kayu Ligopora, of the Athens Tanzanian Community Association, whose premises were vandalised by around 80 “local residents” on 25 September after police walked away. He’s lived in Greece for 20 years; for the first time, he says, he’s thinking about leaving. Or Hussain Ahulam, 22, who told me how four men with dogs and a metal crowbar left him bleeding and unconscious by the side of the road as he walked home one day. Or 21-year-old HH, a Greek citizen of Egyptian origin, who was beaten on 12 October by three men with chains as he stepped off the trolley bus, and whose sight may be damaged for good.”

 

 

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