Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Golden Dawn arrests in Greece: A quick note

by talos Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 02:19:32 AM EST


After years of toleration of nazi / organized crime activities the Greek government following the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, acted at last:

(Reuters) - Greek police arrested the leader and more than a dozen senior members of the far-right Golden Dawn party early on Saturday after the killing of an anti-fascist rapper by a party supporter triggered outrage and protests across the country.

The arrests, which are the most significant crackdown on a political party in Greece since the fall of a military dictatorship in 1974, are the biggest setback to Golden Dawn since it entered parliament on an anti-immigrant agenda last year.

front-paged by afew


So here's a recap, I'm working on a more extensive diary:
Golden Dawn are Nazis. As I have pointed out here early on: they are deadly dangerous. They are nazis who have connections with, and work as, organized crime, down to having turf wars with other gangs and making deals with Albanian and Pakistani mobs (while beating up and killing random Pakistanis in Athens). They apparently are also funded by shipping magnates, clergymen and businessmen. And they are (I can't say were yet) certainly protected and supported by police. The last bit is crucial: wherever GD fought antifascist groups in comparable numbers they got their arses kicked. It was only due to police intervention that they could claim the streets. And all this started according to the preliminary investigation (but you could ask even me and I'd tell you, all of what they found has been public knowledge for ages) in 1987. They were collaborating with the police and building support for 25 years and the political establishment did nothing at all to stop them.
Had Pavlos Fyssas survived the attack I reckon that the police would throw the book on him and his attacker would get a hand-slap. This has been going on for ages: This is what happened last year to the anti-fascists that confronted Golden Dawn: The police arrested and tortured them.

Most of the establishment media were implicitly "humanizing" them and hushing up completely, or not covering the extent and severity of their crimes: The Nazis were just "one of two extremes" according to the government and its media parrots, the other being SYRIZA. This immoral calculus of inventing an equivalence between political protest and racist gangsterism, has characterized media coverage of Golden Dawn by oligarch controlled media in Greece. Suddenly, though, they have all discovered the Nazis misdeeds and crimes. And they are "bringing to light" actions that were common knowledge to everyone who has access to the internet, or the foreign press or social media the past 5 years...
It is some sort of perverse deja-vu - and while it is rewarding to hear someone on TV publicly stating that these people are common criminals, one is outraged by the gall of the MS media pretending that all of this is just now emerging into the spotlight... (Until early September there were pundits and Conservative cadres calling on New Democracy to collaborate with a "more serious" Golden Dawn. Even after Fyssas' murder Samaras' advisers were pushing the Golden Dawn - SYRIZA equivalence, until the last possible minute - and still are...)

Why now? GD went three steps too far, too soon (three steps: attacking very right wing but non-GD members in a memorial service - I kid you not - for Nazi-collaborators executed by partisans during WWII, attacking Communist Party members with clubs and then killing a Greek), and if the government didn't act now things would have gotten completely out of hand for them - leading even possibly to some sort of low intensity civil war, judging from the extent of anti-fascist reactions across Greece. That, and the unanimous horror that the murder and Neo-Nazi impunity caused in the EU and the US, made it difficult to persist in using the threat of Golden Dawn as a political counterbalance against the left.

Still this is possibly the most right wing government in Europe (along with Hungary) and its attitudes towards immigrants, law and order and popular protests isn't that far from that of the Nazis. And it has a murderous agenda of unrelenting austerity to pull-off. So while the organized crime part of this terror might subside, I'm not sure at all that institutional terror, via police brutality and government legislation will disappear... The day after Pavlos Fyssas' murder while massively protesting his death at the scene of the crime, in Keratsini, we were tear gassed by riot police as Golden Dawn thugs were by their side throwing rocks at us... As a Greek Human Rights NGO activist put it in a recent article: About Golden Dawn, I am angry for the past, happy for the present and worried about the future...

The government is planning - it seems - to evade a round of local by-elections (which should occur if GD MPs resign en masse) by a totally unconstitutional change of electoral law. This is an outrage against democracy of course and is due to the fear of losing an election to SYRIZA, despite supposed gains after GD's ban. GD is dead but undemocracy on the other hand will remain very much alive under this government:

Little has changed at the institutional level, however. The application of the criminal law to thugs will not change the widespread racism fuelled by the New Democracy-Pasok coalition government. It was Andreas Loverdos, a prominent Pasok member at the time, who likened Golden Dawn to a "Greek Hezbollah" because they are "active in the big issues" and "create trust".

It was Vyron Polydoras, a former New Democracy minister, who urged a coalition with them. And it was prime minister Samaras himself who declared, in March 2012: "Our cities have been occupied by illegal migrants; we will take them back." Sticking to its word, this government launched the ironically named hospitable Xenios Zeus operation, rounding up dark-skinned people and detaining undocumented immigrants in camps euphemistically named "holding centres".

The same government repealed the reform of the 2010 Greek citizenship law, the first to offer second-generation migrants a potential entitlement to citizenship. The government and authorities criminalised HIV patients and drug addicts; persecuted and illegally detained anarchists and anti-fascists; slashed salaries and pensions; saw youth unemployment rocket to over 60%; shut down hospitals; and pushed universities to the point of collapse. This is the great paradox of dismantling Golden Dawn: the same government which threatens democracy and indulges fascism gives itself democratic credentials for its supposed curbing of extremism.

Golden Dawn is both a political party and a gang - and outlawing political parties often proves problematic and ineffective. The law can prohibit, but it cannot eliminate, fascist ideas; these must be confronted politically instead. For ordinary people, the struggle against Golden Dawn is not limited to the welcome though theatrical arrest of its leadership. Anti-fascism is a political struggle about the kind of life we want to live. It is fought daily by citizens, activists, civil society groups and migrant communities. It is a battle for democracy, solidarity and social justice. It cannot be won unless the systemic injustice of austerity is defeated.

Display:
I'll front-page the fuller piece in place of this one, as and when.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 02:20:45 AM EST
Undemocracy- A fantastic neologism. Thanks. (Now we'll need a definition.)
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 04:39:17 AM EST
Still this is possibly the most right wing government in Europe (along with Hungary) and its attitudes towards immigrants, law and order and popular protests isn't that far from that of the Nazis.
Spain is getting there


In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 05:30:37 AM EST
See the flag on the right in the Spanish photo? Well... Golden Dawn: live blog, October 1 (Eleutherotypia)
Yee-haw!

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 06:18:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Enjoy cosy nights in with this official Real Nazi™ low thread count bedspread!

So these people are:

  1. Insane
  2. Role playing in a Hollywood movie
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 08:17:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought they are insane until they entered parliaments like in Greece ...and actually got in power like in Hungary...
Now I am really scared for quite some time...especially because this sickness is spreading and fast...
Remember they did not take Hitler seriously too and just had in mind to use him for some time and drop him later.
Wave of right policy parties/all kinds of fundamentalists coming to power  all around the world and trough democratic means is really something one should very much worry about. Something is very very wrong.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 09:50:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought they are insane until they entered parliaments like in Greece ...
That doesn't mean they are any less insane, it's just that a lot of other people are insane.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 10:07:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah...I better say " I thought that ONLY they are insane..."
And honestly what puzzles me lately is that I see some actually very intelligent and educated people thinking blurred and not able to see obvious. And knowing that I am definitely not smartest of them all i just wonder am I going crazy or they are?
Things are not good...  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 10:15:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, we know the mainstream (Social Democrats and Christian Democrats) are insane (maybe differently insane, but insane all the same).

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 10:36:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, etc. are caught in a bind. In order to get the funding to win elections they have to subvert the principles on which their parties were founded. The only solution is to limit the power of concentrated money, but all action has been in the opposite direction. Now, with governments and media firmly in the hands of those representing concentrated money, the great mass of people is being systematically misdirected in ways that subvert the very concept of representative democracy. To reverse this it becomes necessary to convert angry knuckleheads into voters who support limits on the power of money. I am uncertain that there are enough of the merely confused with which to form a majority. Time will tell.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 02:24:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure that this describes the conditions in the EEC ca. 1990 when the Maastricht Treaty was conceived.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 04:43:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nor am I, but it seems likely that most of the elements, especially the potential power of the economic interests, were in place even if some the players were uncertain as to how successful some of their efforts would be and others would have been horrified at how things would unfold. In the USA the rollback of regulation that occurred late in the Clinton Administration was the result of long term efforts that had been ongoing at least since the '70s.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 2nd, 2013 at 10:27:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Golden Dawn arrests in Greece: A quick note
This is an outrage against democracy of course and is due to the fear of losing an election to SYRIZA,

in italy it's the M5* that has them shaking in their boots, and justly so.

the rightwing maniacs have thrived under mr b, but luckily now have lost their voter-attractive patina, especially since the lega scandal and the fail of the new guard under berlusconi (alfano especially) to really make voters believe... b is a snake-charmer and can still hypnotise idiots, but none of his henchmen/cohorts have that charisma or allure.

plenty of unreconstructed fascistic thought around though, bubbling away, just no demagogues to champion.

this latest government toppling could leave a vacuum but i think beppe has the only real option for those sick of the centre-left-and-right charades but wanting to vote.

reading the comments on beppe's italian website one is struck by how well informed and economics-savvy they are, definitely a whole level above the comments on the PD website.

it would be like seeing water run uphill if beppe's party got elected majority, but the ram pump principle can come into play i guess :)

if the polls show a big, decisive vote ahead for M5* expect all kinds of shenanigans to delegitimise the phenomenon, even false flag 'events'.

there are no frothing GD types left in italy with much real power to do more than act ugly and spew racist rhetoric. calderoli's recent insults towards the coloured minister for integration are shameful, but attitudes like his are increasingly evidence of ignorance and bigotry that craves representation.

without big daddy b hovering over the country's fate these assclowns will have less relevance.

...and it looks like he really is going down this time.

thanks for the great diary, Talos. let's hope syriza can emerge the last men standing. at least they are in position to offer alternatives.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 10:09:18 AM EST
Yeah it's better for them when they have charismatic leader like b ...but I don't think it's about that everywhere. There is no less charismatic person then Tony Abbott here in Australia and there is no more charismatic one then Kevin Rudd...and Abbott won (even majority).
This virus goes deeper...as you said it's like a mass hypnosis when working class votes for far right...Abbott promised to turn the boats of illegal immigrants but who ever has a gram of brain knows that this is a country of immigrants and neither  Abbott or that person really care for few thousand of them coming by boat...Those that are " taking jobs from Australians" are coming by plane and legally.He promised cuts to the bone / austerity and they can't see the knife coming to their neck...they do not see themselves jobless and on a waiting list for operations of life threatening illnesses...their kids with less school staff and in crowded old schools...utility bills going trough the roof because of privatization...etc...  they are like sheep...
What is bloody wrong? If majority of the people stooped spending in this crises (supposedly because they do not have money/credit any more) how the hell one can explain that they are voting for those on the right?  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 10:44:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah it's better for them when they have charismatic leader like b
It appears b's charisma may be running out...

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 12:26:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al-Jazeera on Greek politics:
Post-World War II Greek history has been punctuated by deviations from democratic norms, including a 25-year ban on the Communist party.
That sure is an interesting way of looking at it.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 03:54:53 PM EST
The stuff occupying the bulk of the text is not normally punctuation, so wouldn't it be more punctuated by deviations to democratic norms?

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 01:41:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Golden Dawn arrests in Greece: A quick note
The government is planning - it seems - to evade a round of local by-elections (which should occur if GD MPs resign en masse) by a totally unconstitutional change of electoral law. This is an outrage against democracy of course and is due to the fear of losing an election to SYRIZA, despite supposed gains after GD's ban.

So what are they planning to do? Arresting the MPs and keep the seats empty? And thus improving the weight of their own seats?

I can't come up with a non-azi example right now, though there probably is. So with the risk of Godwin-related derailment, that is actually what the NSDAP and DNVP did in 1933 when they banned the KPD and annulled their seats.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Oct 2nd, 2013 at 06:57:30 AM EST
If they don't resign, and are in jail, isn't the effect the same? Does Greek law force them to resign? This wasn't the case in Britain, and the law was only changed after Bobby Sands was elected.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Oct 2nd, 2013 at 07:08:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Austerityland

There are those who will be cheering the arrest on Saturday of Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos and the Greek government's crackdown on his neo-Nazi party after the political assassination of rapper and left-wing activist Pavlos Fyssas last week.

My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with hosannas for the government's moves against the neo-Nazi party.

Some feel that with the raids of branches, confiscation of some weapons, and arrest of leading cadre on charges of forming a criminal gang, the governing parties, New Democracy in particular, have finally, belatedly realised that the Golden Dawn now threatens their interests as much as it threatens the left and immigrants.

Perhaps this is the case. Perhaps the cabinet has indeed decided that enough is enough, however useful the fascists have proved until this week, and that the pitbulls now need to be muzzled. I have no access to the interior of the skull of Prime Minister Antonio Samaras or Nikos Dendias, his anti-immigrant minister of public order and citizen protection [sic]. So I do not know.

But I am sceptical.

Despite my revulsion at the party, I am afraid that I have to take my leave from this celebration, partially because I feel that the evidence suggests that the crackdown is at best little more than a piece of political theatre.

But also more fundamentally because I worry that in the context of the dominant but dishonest media and political discourse of "two extremes" of left and right - where the so-called `far left' Syriza, trade-union strike action, and smaller left wing groups are spoken of in the same breath as the Golden Dawn - the moves against the nazis are a precursor to a similar but more thoroughgoing crackdown on sections of the left.

I would rather the ideas of the Golden Dawn be defeated in open political contest, and its militants sent scurrying, swept from the streets by popular antifascist mobilisation, than they be arrested by the very same men who not days before stood by approvingly while the blackshirts engaged in their pogroms.



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 2nd, 2013 at 10:42:28 AM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries

LQD: Totes awky momo

by Frank Schnittger - Oct 12
30 comments

Catalonia open thread

by fjallstrom - Sep 29
41 comments

Smudges

by Oui - Sep 23
10 comments