By Xekinima, the CWI in Greece
Six years ago, on the 18th September 2013, a Golden Dawn death squad murdered the anti-fascist artist Pavlos Fyssas in a working class neighbourhood of Athens. This year, as in every year since, thousands demonstrated in cities all over Greece in commemoration of Pavlos Fyssas and against the neo-nazi ‘Golden Dawn’.
The murder of Pavlos by fascists in 2013 sparked a huge anti-fascist movement with tens of thousands demonstrating across Greece. The movement forced the government to begin the trial of the ‘Golden Dawn’ leadership and its death squads. They now face charges of murder and criminal conspiracy. The trial is now into its fourth year and is due to end in the next couple of months.
During Greece’s financial crisis and conflict with the European Union, ‘Golden Dawn’, which, until then had been a small group of a few hundred, became the third largest party in parliament. During its rise, ‘Golden Dawn’s paramilitary troops launched murderous attacks on immigrants, the LGBTQ community and the left.
In this July’s parliamentary elections, ‘Golden Dawn’ was dealt a huge blow. Receiving only 2,9% of the vote, 4% less than the last election, it had no MPs elected (the threshold to get into parliament is 3%). With its former MPs losing their parliamentary immunity, the party being cut off from state funding and the whole leadership facing serious criminal charges ‘Golden Dawn has started collapsing. Its headquarters in Athens has closed down, as have almost all of its offices in other cities and it has entered a spiral of splits.
The anti-fascist movement has played a key role in cornering the neo-nazis with massive mobilisations and counter-demos for every fascist public meeting. It has consistently revealed the truth behind their false “anti-establishment” policies. Campaigns have continued on the streets, in the neighbourhoods and on the internet. Although ‘Golden Dawn’ is falling apart, it doesn’t mean that the danger of fascism has passed. All of the factors that have contributed to the growth of the fascism and the far right are still present in the Greek society. The danger of the rise of fascist forces will always be around the corner as long as capitalism survives and they will present, in many countries, a more immediate threat whenever the system plunges into crisis.
Below is a video report made by Xekinima, the CWI (majority) section in Greece, of the 5.000 strong demonstration in Keratsini, Athens and of the antifascist festival, held the previous day, which attracted more than 7000 people. Magda Fyssas, Pavlos’s mother heads the demonstration. Since the murder of her son, Magda has become one of the leading figures in the anti-fascist movement in Greece, resolutely fighting to put the ‘Golden Dawn’ leadership behind bars. Xekinima members in Athens marched in the ranks of the “Anti-fascist Coordination of Athens and Pireus”, an alliance of revolutionary left wing organisations, anti-fascist groups, activists and trade unions, which Xekinima has played an important role in building.