Greece: Fascists attempted to racist pogroms, over a migrant killing

Julien Chaulieu – 11/05/2011

Fascists of the neonazi party “Golden Drawn” looking for their victims

A massive pogrom against immigrants and anarchists took place yesterday in Athens. Everything started when early morning a murder of a Greek citizen took place near Viktoria Square in the city centre. Around afternoon, people from the area gathered at the spot of the incident to make a peaceful protest against all the things that are happening in their neighbourhood (drugs, prostitution and things like that which on most of the times are done with the blessings of the police). Immediately there was a call from fascists, nazis and right wingers who took advantage of this tragic death, trying to pursue a racist pogrom. Obviously, they didn’t let this opportunity for votes to go into the drain, calling that the murderer was an immigrant. In total there were around 300 people gathered there, including neighbours and fascists.

At that point of time, things started to get out of hand. The fascists started to attack every immigrant on their way. Anarchists were alerted and gathered at Skaramagka Squat, which is located a few meters from Viktoria’s Square. The squat was attacked by approximately 30-40 fascists (see the video below) with the police giving them a little help, but eventually none of them achieved to get inside the squatted building as their attack was repelled by some anarchists. Another attack also took place to the squatted building of Villa Amalias.

Witnesses say, the fascists used fire-crackers in both squats, but without causing any serious damage. The police prevented the fascists to come face to face with the anarchists and other activists who were present inside the buildings.

In total, around 24 people were arrested (one from the fascist side). Many right-wing extremists headed towards Omonoia Square, beating up and hunting down every immigrant. The police tried to confine the situation to the centre of Athens. Some fascists wanted to march to Exarcheia Square – which is traditionally a neighbourhood of people with alternative lifestyle – but giving it a second thought they abandoned this scheme.

Things begun to settle down (at least that’s what local media were saying) around 22:00, but from eye-witness reports, many pavements in the centre of Athens are covered with blood.

It should also be mentioned, that during this protest, there were voices denouncing the presence of these far right hooligans, making it clear that they were unwanted. It was too obvious that these right-wingers were trying to fish votes from this incident. As it is understandable, many citizens of Athens have lost hope, while others show a lot of anger because of poverty and crime. However it is not true what the mainstream media try to present, that all the Athenians are adopting the nationalist propaganda.

More racist pogroms:

Close to the area of Liosia, a group of metal-workers repelled a group of fascists who attempted to verbally attack a migrant worker. Some not serious attacks took place also around Perama and Argiroupoli but with the help of locals and activists the fascists disappeared.

In the morning another murderous attack took place. Three Molotov bombs were thrown into the courtyard of a house in Renti (Athens) which is inhabited by a foreigner. The fire burned some furnitures and was extinguished by the fire-brigade.

The background:

Greece is for many refugees, the main gate to Europe. Many of those who enter the country, aiming to travel anywhere else (UK, France, Italy…), are getting trapped within the Greek territory because of the Dublin II treaty. The increasing number of immigrants has caused massive tensions between them and some local citizens. During the past few years, the situation dramatically worsened. Racist attacks occur on a daily basis. Migrants in Greece cannot enjoy social welfare housing and other benefits. On September 21st 2010 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees declared that the asylum situation in Greece is “a humanitarian crisis!”. Amnesty International has urged Greece to stop treating asylum seekers as criminals and holding them in detention centres. (Read also our article: “The Battle of Attica Square” goes on…).

During the municipal elections, in the race of Mayor for Athens, a fascist leader appeared set to win a seat on the local council for the first time. Nikolaos Michaloliakos, leader of the naonazi party Golden Dawn group gathered over 5 percent of the total votes, while in some areas Golden Dawn scores around 22%. As Associated Press reports “Michaloliakos capitalized on increased tensions with illegal immigrants, including attacks on foreigners by right-wing vigilantes, to nearly quadruple the extreme right’s showing from the last election, in 2006?