The Socialist 2 October 2013 |
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Greek government forced to take action against neo-fascists
Links between Golden Dawn and state apparatus revealed
The right-wing New Democracy (ND) and ex-social democratic Pasok coalition government in Greece has finally decided to crack down on the neo-fascist Golden Dawn after the recent murder of left-wing rapper Pavlos Fyssas. A Golden Dawn member, George Roupakias, has been charged with his murder (he was arrested on the spot and admitted guilt).
The murder took place in full public view with a gang of about 30 Golden Dawn (GD) thugs attacking Pavlos in a central square in Keratsisni, one of the working class suburbs of Pireas. The top leadership of GD is now under arrest, including leader Nikos Michaloliakos and five other MPs, charged with running a criminal organisation.
Roupakias claimed to have acted on his own and that he was not a member but a supporter of GD. However, many photos of Roupakias together with top leaders, his presence at GD events, plus the fact that he was on payroll by GD, cleared up the picture.
Also, after the event, reported telephone conversations between GD cadres made it clear that he had acted according to plan and that the top leadership of GD was all the time aware of what was going on.
The cold-blooded murder has shaken Greek society. At the same time as attacking immigrants and left wingers, GD acted as a Mafia, selling 'protection' to many shopkeepers, indulging in other criminal activities, keeping arms and running paramilitary training for its members.
All these revelations vindicate the claims of the anti-fascist movement, who for years explained the real character of GD and its links with the police.
But these claims instead only met with hostility from the governing circles and the mass media. Now, following the murder a number of senior policemen, including the head of the secret services, were removed from their positions because of alleged links with GD.
In fact the hypocrisy of the ruling class, the government and the media is nauseating. Only days before the murder of Pavlos top figures in ND were speaking in favour of a common government between GD and ND!
Most of the mass media, controlled by bankers, ship owners and big constructors allowed GD to have a favourable platform.
It was apparent to anyone who wanted to know that GD was a neo-fascist organisation as well as a criminal gang, but the ruling class was turning a blind eye to them hoping to be able to 'contain' them, and use them in a controlled manner against the working class and social movements.
The murder of Pavlos indicated that the monster which the ruling class had nourished was getting out of control. At the same time as the murder, opinion polls indicated that the GD mayoral candidate in next May's local elections in Athens, was leading in the polls.
Pavlos Fyssas's death sparked massive anti-fascist demonstrations. On the day of his murder there were protests in 35 Greek cities. This movement has continued with tens of demonstrations nearly every day, all over the country.
Wednesday 25 September saw the biggest anti-fascist demonstration ever in Athens, marching to the central offices of GD, with close to 20,000 participants. This was significant, given the fact that both the mass parties of the left, Syriza and KKE (Communist Party), had refused to take part in this demo.
The ruling class seems to have taken the initiative against the Nazis, and this perplexes a section of the left.
But the action against GD by the state is a tactical measure at this time, to rein in the far right whose outrageous actions threaten to provoke a massive anti-racist backlash which could meld together with the anti-austerity strikes and protests of the workers' movement, and threaten the survival of the government and even the system.
The truth of the matter is that the ruling class will not extinguish fascism. The conditions of mass desperation created by the capitalist crisis and by the policies of the ruling class remain favourable for the far right and fascism to re-emerge - perhaps under a different name if the government outlaws GD.
Therefore the anti-fascist movement and the left should not have any illusions in how far the state will move against GD. The capitalist state can also use similar actions against the left and workers' movement.
The forces of the left which are determined to fight against fascism must take the opportunity of the exposure of the criminal character of GD to go on the offensive.
Xekinima members (the Socialist Party's sister organisation in Greece) have played a key role in establishing and bringing together anti-fascist committees in Athens and other cities.
These anti-fascist committees must create defence squads against fascist attacks.
Moreover, the committees must be politically armed to counter the fascists' ideology and explain that it is the system, not immigrants, that is responsible for mass unemployment, poverty and attacks on workers' living conditions. And that it is necessary to fight against the capitalist system, that creates the conditions for the re-emergence of fascism, and for an alternative socialist society.