Repression, social crisis, the rising of fascist Greece and the prohibition of Golden dawn. A December report
The new planned austerity measures are already effecting Greek society. New taxes on agriculture and land, more expensive electricity-about 40% from January the 1st – and privatizations of public property are only few references on this recessional disaster plan . Holidays seems that didn’t arrive for the most of the Greeks. Athens doesn’t really look like any other European city during this annual Christmas holiday. The atmosphere remains eruptive and miserable. Fascist groups marching on the streets, escalated violence in a multidimensional level, state repression and economical injustice are daily topics of discussion.
In Greece of social unrest, the new record of unemployment, resentment against immigrants and the new planned government austerity measures, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has jumped into the third place in popularity among Greek political parties. According to a recent pulse survey in December 2012, Golden Dawn now has more than 11%, while PASOK(social democrats) under the new leadership is absolutely collapsing.
This is perhaps one of the main reasons why PASOK started a large mobilization against Golden Dawn. PASOK tries to get back its lost credibility and trust, especially within their traditional voters which now moved to SYRIZA.
The leader of the party Evangelos Venizelos has presented/expressed in a press conference 3 weeks ago, his willingness to do every thing’s possible in order to ban Golden Dawn from the political life of the country. This discussion has been followed by the other “Government partners” , especially writing for the Democratic left party. Furthermore the discussion is institutionalized and moved into the parliament with the majority of the Mps of those parties to express their concerns about the Golden Dawn phenomenon and racist violence. The participation of the nazi’s leader wife Eleni Zaroulia in the EU human rights council was also a topic that dominated this debate last weeks . The discussion rather seems to get a direction of a ban for the neonazi party but remains questionable if the authorities/state which all of these years “armed” this group against the social struggles in Greece, will take a decision towards to this direction.
– And from the discussions in the microcosm of the parliament at the real life on the streets.
The miserable environment of the Greek streets is probably the best evidence of how hypocritical could be a discussion in the parliament concerning the prohibition of Golden Dawn. The activities of the nazis stay influential and violent though. The new tactic of Golden Dawn rather is to extend/escalate their campaign of hate in the countryside. All around the country the Golden dawn battalions are organizing marches in military uniforms, distributing food “only for Greeks”, are organizing “Greek job centers” where the greek employees “offer” 15 to 20 euro for a day of work – certainly gives a clear impression of “the modern slavery” for the working population, where the greek neonazis are preparing for. Besides the “nazi humanitarianism” Golden dawn is responsible for many incidents of racist violence in the country the past few weeks. The new department of the Police which is established by the ministry of civil protection against racist violence is obviously a new Government fiasco.
In Most of occasions Police is protecting as well as openly supporting the nazis especially when antifascist counter-demonstrations are scheduled . A variety of circumstances of arrested antifascist activists and local inhabitants while they try to protest against Neo-nazis have been reported from all around the country. It rarely happens the same when right-wing activists use violence against minorities, migrants or leftists.
– The theory of the two extreme poles and the historical squat of villa amalias
Pri minister Samaras and the New Democracy party (conservatives) before the elections, in last may and after in june 2012 used a clear pro-elector y strategy based in the propaganda against the left, orientated especially against anarchist and other radical forms of activism. According Samaras, the new government must give an end to squats, rioters and those who are trying to “destabilize” democracy on the left or on the right (the theory of the two extremes).
Since the beginning, this Government tried to figure out a new repression strategy against social centers, self organized spaces and furthermore against mass protests. Since its formation, the government coalition (with the three parties in charge), a number of occupied buildings in Athens and Thessaloníki have been evicted. The background of these actions is totally clear. A society of control and a modern state of repression are the new strategical principles to avoid or postpone? a new December 08 in Greece. After “less known squats”, was the turn for the historical Villa Amalias to be evicted. On Dec. 20th in the early morning, riot police showed up and raided the 22 year old Villa Amalias squat in Greece, arresting 8 people. Several days later the cops are still in position outside the building and the 8 arrestees are facing felony charges.
Villa Amalias is one of the most historical autonomous spaces in Europe. Constantly all of these years of the existence of villa amalias, concerts, theater performances, political discussions have been taking place almost in a daily basis. Villa Amalias was for two generations of anarchists and for the youth, an essentially vital way of resistance and against gentrification. Villa Amalias counts also a number of Nazi attacks with gas bombs and molotov cocktails. It wasn’t the first time that the state attacks to this place though.
Villa Amalias is well known not only for the many concerts and other community events held at the space, but also for its antifascist work. Situated in a neighborhood with a large immigrant population and bordering on an area where Golden Dawn is very active, in anarchist and leftist political circles the squat is widely recognized as a major reason that the neonazis have not been able to expand their influence into that neighborhood.
According to police, the raid and eviction of the squat was undertaken after an anonymous tip that there was drug trafficking taking place out of the building. The police did not find large quantities of drugs or piles of cash but only a small quantity of marijuana. Among the items found in the squat, according to police reports were over 1200 empty beer bottles and a container of flammable liquid, the 8 people are facing felony charges having to do with possessing materials to make molotovs. The squat has concerts which regularly draw over a thousand people, as well as open meal nights with beer. The flammable liquid turns out to be heating oil used for the oil heater on the premises.
The mass media have also started a large campaign against Villa Amalias, often speaking about “terrorists and criminals” , using the new dogma of the two extremes. According to them, government has to deal with the evil extremes and social turbulence. In Greece you could meet people on the street who are convinced that we don’t need a fascist regime cos we already have a modern dictatorship based in repression and intolerance. But those tactics of the greek state are probably the wrong ones, because the smell of rage returned again on the streets of Athens and beyond.