Big anti-fascist protests took place yesterday in Greece, joined by trade unionists, activists, left-wing parties and anti-racist organizations. Only in Athens approximately 30-50.000 condemned the actions of Golden Dawn, one week after the fatal stabbing of the hip-hopper Pavlos Fyssas by Giorgos Roupakias, a Golden Dawn member who allegedly admitted to the killing.
Once the protesters reached the headquarters of the far-right party (in Athens) riot squads unprovocably threw tear gas against the crowd. The police also chased demonstrators all around the city centre, detaining around 20. Some more were arrested on the corner of Kifissias and Alexandras avenues by DELTA forces (motorcycle police). In total, 62 people have been arrested.
Antifascist rallies were held also in other cities across the country (Thessaloniki, Serres, Ioannina, Volos, Heraklion, Katerini, Chania, etc.)
Roupakias has been accused of benefit fraud and after losing his job in a private company joined Golden Dawn with his wife, offering paid services; according to the Greek editorial board Tvxs.gr, the interview of an x-member of the party, and neighbors with whom he was in contact, Roupakias was receiving funding from Golden Dawn to participate in beatings of migrants and political opponents, mainly around the area of Nikea and Piraeus. This is also confirmed by the findings of the coroners who claimed that the stabbing of Paul Fyssas has been done by a person who has experience in knife crime.
This incident sparked civil arrests all across the country, with the majority of the people believing that the Greek political elites have done nothing to combat violence by Golden Dawn when the first attacks begun to take place. Others believe that the Greek government turns a blind eye to the far-right party (despite its orders to investigate Golden Dawn’s infiltration with the police and army), given that the conservative political intelligentsia of the country along with many other representatives of the local star system as well as pastors and high personnel of the Orthodox Church, have implicitly or explicitly expressed their sympathies with the actions of the party. Hitherto, eight senior police officers being suspected to have strong allegiance with Golden Dawn were forced to resign.
This wave of protests not only challenges the ruling coalition but also achieved to raise awareness in the Greek public about the devastating consequences of fascism, whose popularity begun to drop according to new polls revealed by Alco. In it is obvious that a significant percentage of the 450.000 citizens who voted for Golden Dawn in last year’s parliamentary elections, will most probably vote for the ruling conservative party of New Democracy or the right-wing populist Independent Greeks.
Below, photos and videos from Athens