Golden Dawn Arrests Take Greece into Uncharted Waters

Helena Smith, Guardian (London), September 28, 2013

Before his untimely death at the age of 34, Pavlos Fyssas was a hip-hop rapper popular on Greece’s anti-fascist scene but little known beyond the frontiers of that music genre or the borders of the country itself. On the night of 17 September all that changed.

After becoming embroiled in a row over a soccer game being shown at a cafe in a working-class Athenian suburb, Fyssas and his friends were set upon by thugs dressed in the combat pants and black T-shirts worn by supporters of the country’s far-right Golden Dawn party.

Cornered by the mob, the bearded singer was soon lying in a pool of his own blood, with stab wounds to the heart and chest. Within minutes he had died. And within hours the killer, a self-professed member of Golden Dawn, had been arrested.

Murkiness may still surround the circumstances of the murder, but what Fyssas’s death revealed, in sharp relief, was the depth of division within Greece. In an atmosphere made toxic by record levels of poverty, unemployment, desperation and despair, Greeks were soon describing the killing as a “political assassination”–the latest act in a string of attacks by a party bolstered by its seemingly runaway popularity in the polls.

Overnight, Fyssas had become a martyr–with the far-rightists deemed to have crossed a red line, despite Golden Dawn’s vehement protestations that it had no connection with the crime. Thousands took to the streets.

“Until then we had managed to be civilised about the differences between the left and the right that have run through our country since the [1946-49] civil war,” said the political commentator Giorgos Kyrtsos. “With Fyssas’s assassination, that line was crossed.”

After months of tolerating a group that had brutalised society–spawning a climate of fear among immigrants, attacking gays, holding “Greek only” food handouts and coarsening political exchange with rants about “subhuman foreigners” in the Athens parliament–Antonis Samaras’s fragile coalition finally took action.

And, when it did, it acted with an alacrity and determination that few might have envisaged. In the space of 10 days, Golden Dawn branches across the nation were raided and searched, members were arrested, weapons confiscated and sympathetic police officers removed from posts. In the early hours of Saturday came the next step: the arrest of five of the organisation’s senior members, including its rabble-rousing leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, and 14 prominent cadres.

All 19 were due to appear late on Saturday before a public magistrate on charges of forming a criminal gang.

Not since the return of democracy after the collapse of military rule in 1974 has a party been so publicly hounded. The arrests will undoubtedly unleash new tensions on to a political scene already poisoned by profound disillusionment with an establishment widely blamed for the financial mess that has lead to the nation’s economic and social meltdown.

Adding to the crippling sense of uncertainty hanging over Greeks, Michaloliakos himself pledged that the campaign against his party would “open the gates of hell” before his arrest at his home early on Saturday. As Golden Dawn supporters gathered outside the gargantuan central police headquarters in Athens–blue and white Greek flags in hand underscoring their ultranationalist views–it remained unclear how the extremist organisation would react.

In recent months Europe had looked on horrified as the group, whose emblem resembles the swastika and whose politicians have openly applauded the policies of Adolf Hitler, has gone from strength to strength. Three years ago the far-rightists won only 0.72% of the vote. In elections last year that support increased tenfold with the party winning just under 7% of the vote and 18 deputies in the 300-seat parliament on the back of deep disgruntlement over sweeping austerity measures.

The government, which had come under increasing pressure to clamp down on an organisation now viewed as the continent’s most violent political force, has won plaudits for the decisiveness with which it has ultimately cracked down on the group. Polls have shown a sudden drop in support for Golden Dawn, with conservatives who had migrated to the far right in disgust with Samaras’s own centre-right New Democracy party returning to the fold.

But the far-rightists have also managed to retain their core support with successive polls this week showing that the party still remained Greece’s third biggest political force. If need be, Michaloliakos and his cadres have vowed to fight their corner from inside prison cells.

Many have voiced concerns that the crackdown could backfire. The government is wading into uncharted waters, constitutionally, with experts emphasising the impossibility of outlawing a party catapulted into parliament by democratic means.

Even if its MPs are found to be guilty they will still retain their political identity. Greeks are still haunted by the memory of the KKE communist party being outlawed for almost 30 years after the civil war.

“It may have been more correct constitutionally to have sought parliament’s approval to lift their political immunity first,” said the constitutional law professor Kostas Chrysogonos.

In a rare display of consensus on both the left and right, politicians have attributed Golden Dawn’s meteoric rise to the relentless, internationally mandated cutbacks Greeks have been subjected to since their debt-stricken country descended into crisis in late 2009. Far from having ideological appeal in a country that suffered one of the most brutal occupations between 1941-44 under Nazi rule, the far-rightists have managed to capitalise on the deep sense of injustice and fury that has increasingly radicalised society.

“Golden Dawn’s respirator is the memorandum,” said Takis Pavlopoulos, a senior policymaker in the radical-left main opposition Syriza party, referring to the loan accord Athens has signed up to with its “troika” of creditors at the EU, ECB and IMF. “Its base is not ideological but one of desperate people. Once you abolish the memorandum, the party will wither away.”

Without Greece being cut some slack by its foreign lenders–not least Germany which has paid the lion’s share of its €240bn in rescue loans since 2010 but has made austerity the price–many fear the party will resurface under another name if it is ultimately banned.

Hopes abound that by exposing the inner workings of a group that has operated as a paramilitary force but until now has been shrouded in mystery, Greeks will gradually turn their backs on Golden Dawn.

“We are not saying to all those people who voted for them that they are Nazis or fascists,” said Notis Marias, a senior figure in the rightwing opposition Independent Greeks party. “What we are saying is that they made a mistake and this is the time to correct it.”

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  • Puggg

    It is my understanding that Greek politics are rather violent, and that Golden Dawn, by Greek standards, is well behaved.

  • dd121

    This is where our “hate” laws will lead.

    • Sick of it

      More reason to stick to the Constitution rather than civil rights, human rights, and international law generally.

  • Spartacus

    “After months of tolerating a group that had brutalised society–spawning a
    climate of fear among immigrants, attacking gays, holding ”Greek only”
    food handouts and coarsening political exchange with rants about
    “subhuman foreigners” in the Athens parliament–Antonis Samaras’s fragile
    coalition finally took action.”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    And that “action” is gonna cost them a lot, hopefully their lives.

    • Sick of it

      If the Greek people fight back against their corrupt government, we need to be willing to lend them a hand.

    • Lagerstrom

      “Greek only” food handouts! Imagine the nerve! Those fascist-Nazi-people must be insane. Little wonder the Greek ‘government’ took hard action.

  • Aaron Alexis was a Prius driving Obama supporter. Under this logic, the FBI should put a dragnet out for every Prius driver and Obama voter. Tempting as that may be…

  • IstvanIN

    The Greek government, and the tribal mayor of Athens, hate the Greek people. They have tried to ban Golden Dawn from feeding hungry Greeks. They want to ban free political expression. They want to ban free speech. The cradle of Democracy has a lot of rot.

  • Nathanwartooth

    The same thing would happen in the United States is a Golden Dawn type party started to win.

    At some point it becomes clear that you can’t win by playing by the rules because the rules are created by the people in charge.

    Unfortunately this probably means that we will be seeing violence in Greece as people realize their vote doesn’t count unless they vote for the “right” people.

  • HJ11

    “Democracy” is what is pushed by lefties, except when the other side in politics starts winning, and then you simply arrest and demonize them and come up with laws to keep them from having free speech.

  • Andy

    That is frightening, frightening, frightening.

  • ms_anthro

    This is only going to galvanize Golden Dawn’s leadership and supporters among the Greek people. Any attempts to suppress a movement this large can only fan the flames of rebellion. For all the Guardian’s sneering tone about Greeks who dare to want to keep Greece Greek, Golden Dawn is fulfilling a need that the globalist traitors in government have decided is unimportant.

    They will learn how wrong they are when enough Greeks finally have nothing to lose. We live in interesting times.

    • Sick of it

      The Greeks are in that bad of a spot already, but too many are socialists. This is what socialism does to people…it makes them eager to accept poverty, slavery, and death.

    • Kronolog

      The race issue is more or less irrelevant, given that the Golden Dawn had no more than a few percent support some years back, and the explosion in support does not correlate with an equally large explosion in immigration. The reason is, of course, economical: The Greeks want a northern European welfare system, but they also want to retire early and cheat with their taxes; add to this that Greece has always been a poor country without the necessary industrial base to facilitate a high welfare level, and it is no wonder that they couldn’t achieve it in an honest way. So what was left to do then, but to borrow?

      It really doesn’t matter if Golden Dawn, the army or the current establishment runs things, Greece will still be poor. The difference is that GD (and perhaps the army too) will blame the Jews/Germans/Immigrants/Communists et al. for their problems instead of facing the inherent contradictions between the means and wants of the Greek people.

      • ms_anthro

        Okay, but nothing in your post addresses my own. My original point was clear: when Greeks are told that participating in an increasingly popular political movement is “hate” and must be banned, it will only serve to make that movement more popular.

        It’s undeniable that Golden Dawn’s anti-immigrant stance is at least partly responsible for their popularity. They feed the poor–the Greek poor. They avenge crimes committed by immigrants against Greeks. They patrol the streets at night and protect Greeks from non-Greek predators. They have many supporters among the Greek police and military.

        Cracking down on them and trying to shut them down by force will backfire disastrously on the globalists. But such shortsighted idiocy has never stopped them before.

        • Kronolog

          It does: namely the fact that there aren’t any “globalist traitors” in the government; the government is simply filled with Greeks who are acting like Greeks have done for ages. Therefore, putting the GD in charge won’t change anything, as Greece will still be poor (because it’s run by Greeks), and because Greece will still be poor, the Greeks will still be dissatisfied.

          • ms_anthro

            There aren’t any globalist traitors in Greece? Tell that to the Greeks who are being race-replaced in their own country by Third World trash courtesy of the globalist politicians in charge.

            Are you apologizing for the open-borders multikult insanity that has infected the West, or are you really trying to pretend it doesn’t exist?

          • Mike Conrad

            “Therefore, putting the GD in charge won’t change anything”

            Ah, then we’ve nothing to worry about, have we?

            But seriously, are you really saying that the GD would permit Goldman Sachs to rape the Greek economy again? Somehow I doubt that.

  • RebelliousTreecko

    “After months of tolerating a group that had brutalised society–spawning a
    climate of fear among immigrants, attacking gays, holding ”Greek only”
    food handouts and coarsening political exchange with rants about
    “subhuman foreigners” in the Athens parliament–Antonis Samaras’s fragile
    coalition finally took action.”

    I thought those kinds of people saw tolerance (putting up with stuff you don’t like) as a good thing.

  • Sangraal

    ‘Greeks are still haunted by the memory of the KKE communist party being outlawed for almost 30 years after the civil war.’

    I’m the Greeks lie awake at night reliving the trauma of those poor persecuted left-wing extremists.
    Ah the Guardian, always good for a laugh.

  • cloudswrest

    After becoming embroiled in a row over a soccer game being shown at a cafe in a working-class Athenian suburb, Fyssas and his friends were set upon by thugs dressed in the combat pants and black T-shirts worn by supporters of the country’s far-right Golden Dawn party.

    Does the author have a reference for this? Anybody who’s followed the news on the “antifa” crowd knows they are pro-actively violent. Here’s another view from Thorborne Richardson.

    We are left uninformed as to how the “affiliate” with Golden Dawn encountered the “popular anti-fascist singer.”
    The implication left in the reader’s mind is that this well-liked and even beloved artist was probably assaulted and stabbed as he ambled about in his daily life…perhaps as he was buying his Feta cheese or chowing down on his moussaka in a street cafe.
    Maybe. But highly unlikely. Especially in view of the media’s reluctance to fill in the details.

    • Zaporizhian Sich

      Personally, I think the incident that is the pretext for all this is a false flag. The killing was very likely done by Golden Dawn’s opponents in the Greek government to discredit them and create an excuse to ban the party. The whole thing is in my view just like the Reichstag Fire the Nazis used as an excuse to turn Germany into an all out police state, documents proving it surfaced during the occupation after WW-II.

  • Spartacus

    “In a rare display of consensus on both the left and right….”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    There is no left or right. They all have the same policies, as they are dictated by a certain group…

    • Paleoconn

      Precisely, ND and Pasok are the same. Just like the Dems and repugs in the US

    • evilsandmich

      Yeah I guess you noticed that last Greek election as well that was supposed to change everything yet ended up changing nothing.

  • libertarian1234

    Golden Dawn needs to declare the present government an enemy of the state for importing foreign third world factions in order to destroy the country and its economy.

    It’s at a point where the only solution left is to make citizen’s arrest on all of them, forming Nuremberg-type trials to assess their degree of guilt, after a mass march to their offices by tens of thousands of supporters.

    A gallows should be built in the city square so the sentences can be carried out in full view of the public.

    It’s too late for anything else.

    • Sick of it

      They did try a relatively peaceful political solution…and found themselves thrown in prison.

    • ms_anthro

      This needs to happen in every White Western country on the planet. Incidentally, this scenario is also the globalists’ worst fear. If anything keeps them tossing and turning at night, it’s the prospect of being strung up like wind chimes by a righteously outraged mob. Even scarier if the mob does it after conducting public trials that expose their many crimes.

  • Chris Granzow XI

    Isn’t it ironic that Greeks invented democracy and now days we’re the ones perverting it, while trying to preach to them. Seriously, you can’t just shut down a whole party because one of their voters committed a crime. That’s the most undemocratic action you could possibly take. And who’s to say that when they “raid their offices” they’re not just going to plant some evidence? This is dirty politics. They want to do the same thing to Hungary btw.

  • bigone4u

    In the US, the drop in the standard of living due to immigration can be more easily concealed by endless quantitative easing, which finances government giveaways. In Greece, the chickens came home to roost through poverty and hardship because of the common currency, the Euro, which Greece can’t print on its own.

    Ironically, the effort to unite Europe backfired by creating a nationalist party in Greece and stirring nationalist sentiment elsewhere. The drastic action of shutting down Golden Dawn is going to backfire because Golden Dawn is devoted to the economic rebirth of the country. That message resonates when you don’t have enough to eat and Golden Dawn is feeding you.

    • libertarian1234

      I think you’re right.

      It’s a dumb move by the pigs in government to try to squash GD. They’ll be much more dangerous if they force them into underground activities. They’re not going to go away. If anything they’ll be gaining converts for as long as this economic catastrophe lasts, and there’s no end in sight. In fact there’s every reason to believe it will get worse.

      If they’re forced into guerilla warfare, they might very well then form underground hit teams on a leaderless resistance basis which will make it impossible for the government to destroy the leadership.

      GD, as I understand it, has many people in the military and police force on their side with many others sympathetic to their cause.

      And as they get stronger the government will get weaker. And I believe eventually there will be a massive protest at the government offices which could see the government officials purged…..as they should be, because they are, like the ones over here, dedicated to destroying their country by importing third world hordes.

  • robert

    It is all about white hating.

  • Zaporizhian Sich

    The Jews behind this have a tiger by the tail, and they are about to find out that riding the tiger’s back ends with being in his belly. Now a coup or all-out civil was is assured, which will result in foreign troops or mercenaries slaughtering Greeks civilians intentionally. The Greeks have to know to whom the Prime Minister owes his loyalty, international Jews in America and Europe. No sooner than had he moved to ban Golden Dawn, he flew off to meet with his Jewish paymasters. This can only further fuel the flames of revolution, which ravaged Greece just after WW-II. Divisions and grudges from that Communist initiated bloodbath have festered to this day, and now between the misery foreigners are imposing on Greeks and these old wounds I am certain armed rebellion is imminent, followed possibly by a regional war if not a world war. The Turks want to massacre Greeks and invade the nation, and you can be sure the Greeks are living for the day to slaughter Turks and take back Istanbul and western Turkey, which IS Greek land the Muslims taken from them. The Zionists have set the stage for a massive bloodbath which will drown Greece in the blood of her people. I am certain the spirits of King Leonidas and his 300 bodyguards are weeping at this turn of events, I would be if I had any ties to Greece.

    • Spartacus

      I don’t think it’s gonna be an all-out civil war like in Spain or more recently in Syria . Most likely it will be an insurgency similar to what the Taliban are doing in Afghanistan.

      • Zaporizhian Sich

        That is still civil war, and I can tell you from personal experience when bullets are missing you by inches it isn’t a “low-intensity” conflict for you. It’s combat in the middle of a war.

    • Paleoconn

      Turkey should be carved up. A kurdish region to join with that from the former Iraq, the western part including Constantinople returned to the Greeks, and the rest to remain Turkey.

      • jackryanvb

        And the Blacks will return Rhodesia to White Brits, Algeria returned White French, Detroit returned to…. Native American Indians….

        Let’s build some new White communities.

        The past is history.

    • jackryanvb

      There has to be some alternatives.

      Greeks and modern day, post Ataturk secular Turkey are not kill or be killed enemies, same as Irish and British.

      Some honorable agreement with Jewish interests can be made.

      Putin’s Russiashowed the way.

      Please ease up on this anti Semitic Jew hating stuff. It violates Amren’s comments guidelines.

      • Zaporizhian Sich

        That is merely a code word for whites calling them out for their treachery and worse. Do you know how many of my father’s countrymen were murdered by the Jews,whose descendants are ruling the U.S.? 12 million were killed in one year alone. Guess what, many Slavs DO hate them, me included. Wake up, lest you watch your children die of starvation in front of you the way one out of four Ukrainian children did at the hands of the Jews in a single year. The fact is, powerful Jews here in the U.S. and in Greece are behind this. If you wish to know who are the real rulers, look no farther than those nobody dares to criticize. Well, I dare to.

        • dd121

          I have noticed that any anti-Jewish comment on AmRen is quickly deleted. This earns us the love and respect of liberals and Jews everywhere.

          • Zaporizhian Sich

            I personally do not want anything from them, except their fearing they have awakened a sleeping tiger, who understandably is annoyed at being disturbed.

        • jackryanvb

          Work with northwestfront – they discuss this subject.

      • Spartacus

        Jewish interests are the destruction of the White race – and I assume, in the long run, of the Yellow race as well. Think about it – if you were a small, intelligent and very adaptive group, why would you want to share the world with a much larger but equally intelligent and adaptive group. Mulattos, mestizos, and the such are their final objectives – smart enough to make good workers and slaves, but dumb enough to never figure out who really holds the whip that’s lashing them .

  • Paleoconn

    And here are your 30 pieces of silver, Samaras.

    • Zaporizhian Sich

      He is indeed a Quisling and a Judas Goat. If there is any justice in the hereafter, Mr. Samaras will be remanded to the Ninth Circle of Hell, which is reserved for all of history’s worst traitors and betrayers. Their boss in Hell will be Satan himself.

      • Paleoconn

        He and the mayor of Thessaloniki will keep each other company down there. GINOs if I ever saw any, and I don’t mean Italians.

  • Paleoconn

    It amazes me how dishonesty in politics, Greek or otherwise, goes unchallenged. The guy says tha ‘since the civil war until the stabbing death of the rapper, thing were civilised between the left and right’. How about the unpunished violence of countless communists and anarchists against national symbols, monuments, or even citizens wearing t-shirts with the Greek flag on it? What about the terrorist group November 17 operating with impunity for three decades, killing Greek businessmen and British diplomats? Silence. But then the MSM in Greece is far to the left of MSNBC, what can we expect from them?

  • Evette Coutier

    so it’s alright for foreigners to enter the country, rape, and murder, but if a white kills someone that crosses the line and its a national emergency. Kiss my behind you weak kneed pansies.

  • WR_the_realist

    90% of blacks vote for Democrats. So how come when blacks murder whites the Democratic Party doesn’t get the blame, and charged as a criminal gang?

  • jackryanvb

    Can the mods step in here a bit? We’re getting obsessive anti Semitic Jew hatred comments. This violates Amren comment guidelines as is not helpful.

    • Franklin_Ryckaert

      Then please explain what those Amren comment guidlines are vis a vis Yahweh’s Chosen People?

      • jackryanvb

        Amren is an Up Town, educated, race realist web site. Obsessive, 24/7 anti Semitic Jew hatred is a huge turn off with mainstream White Americans. We don’t do the Jew obsessed, Jew hatred here.

        • Franklin_Ryckaert

          But what if they themselves are obsessed with hate for us?

  • NM156

    Where’s the background on this “hip hop artist”? Has the Euro media investigated him yet? Drunken soccer stormtroopers don’t roam the streets in packs, looking for anti-fascists to stab to death.

    • Lagerstrom

      Good point. Haven’t heard anything about this fellow apart from that he’s some sort of ‘anti-fascist rapper’, whatever the hell that means.

  • blight14

    And yet again, the same ‘who’ is behind the attacks on the Golden Dawn…….

  • Le Fox

    Human democracy at work, folks. Golden Dawn will only get more popular.

  • HJ11

    Not much new in the persecution of Whites who know they’re White. Now,it’s up to Golden Dawn to struggle and win. If they don’t, then they show thereby that they are not the fittest.

    Personally, I’m betting on Golden Dawn, as it now exists or in some other form, to win eventually. My guess is that they’ve built a strong enough infrastructure to fight off the anti-White bigots. However, time will tell.

  • curri

    .

    Democratically-elected politicians are being charged with “forming a criminal gang.”

    Ha, ha. Has anyone heard of the Cook County Democratic Party? It’s been a “criminal gang” for at least 100 years. If you don’t believe me google ”Chicago Democrats and The Chicago Mob.” As a bonus, search “Nearly 150 employees, politicians and contractors in the nation’s second-largest county have been convicted on corruption charges since 1957.” The report the latter phrase is from says that that’s certainly just the “tip of the iceberg.”

  • Northern American-Nationalist

    “In an atmosphere made toxic by record levels of poverty, unemployment, desperation and despair . . .”

    How about the toxic atmosphere produced by record levels of immigration? Not one mention of any of that in the entirety of the article. I really have come to despise Western media.

  • Kronolog

    Globalization has hit every European country – most have managed to retool their economy, Greece hasn’t, and therefore it can’t enjoy the same standard of living as those who have. The Greeks rejected this fact, thus they borrowed money to finance their welfare and thus do they now find themselves in an uncomfortable position.

    There are many immigrants, true, but how many arrived in the last couple of years, during which the party’s popularity has sky-rocketed? Hardly enough to explain the party’s rise from just 0,7% three years ago.

  • Zaporizhian Sich

    Armed to the teeth we are not. If we were, we could kill them just as easily as they could kill us. A 30.06 will not give their armored limousines a hickey, but they have all sorts of weapons they can use to kill us from dozens, hundreds of miles away with no way for us to strike back directly at them. We have nothing but small arms for the most part, and knowledge on how to improvise or use other weaponry, but we are not an army. No, what scares them is that they fear their intended victims will kill a huge number of them even if whites lose. They also know we are going to become a fanatical resistance movement, look how long it took the Soviets to defeat Ukrainian nationalists AFTER the end of WW-II. The Nazis did not lay down their arms either, they kept attacking the Americans and British for several years after the end of the war. Our enemies want to be able to kill us with impunity, that is why they are lusting after a total disarming of whites while arming the blacks and browns.

    • Mike Conrad

      Sorry to disagree, but ownership of firearms is a pretty trivial opposition to ownership of the mass media.

  • Zaporizhian Sich

    Yes, that is called false flag operations.

  • Zaporizhian Sich

    I was not referring to WW-II, I was referring to the civil war Communists started after WW-II in Greece. It is you who needs to get his facts in order, WW-II has everything to do with our current nightmare, it created the stage for it.

  • Mike Conrad

    “Fyssas and his friends were set upon by thugs dressed in the combat
    pants and black T-shirts worn by supporters of the country’s
    far-right Golden Dawn party.”

    What a brilliant way of taking down your political enemies. Dress like their supporters and then kill someone. …Just sayin…

  • Helios Megistos

    There were 158,000 killed during the Greek Civil War; it was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek government army—backed by the United Kingdom and the United States—and the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), the military branch of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), backed by Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania. It was the result of a highly polarized struggle between leftists and rightists that started in 1943 and targeted the power vacuum that the German-Italian occupation during World War II had created.

  • ms_anthro

    Golden Dawn enjoys wide support among the police and military. The Greek government’s stance on this is practically inviting a coup.