The Golden Dawn

The Golden Dawn, Greece's ultra-right thug club, used to come out only at night. For a street-fighting fascist gang turned ascendant political party, with all the weary symbolism of flame-waving and puffed-up synchronized shouting, individual members were curiously reticent to attack immigrants and people of colour before nightfall—until now. Now, they’re killing in daylight.

By Laurie Penny and Molly Crabapple at 7:00 am Mon, Oct 1, 2012

The Golden Dawn used to come out only at night. For a street-fighting fascist gang turned ascendant political party, with all the weary symbolism of flame-waving and puffed-up synchronized shouting, individual members of Greece's ultra-right thug club were curiously reticent to attack immigrants and people of colour before nightfall—until now. Now, they’re killing in daylight.

They come out in clutches of three, four or more and attack in the streets, usually under the cover of darkness. But lately they have been growing bolder, emerging during the daytime, in full view of a police force that nobody trusts to intervene. Many areas of Athens have become, in the past year, suspended street-battles. People with darker skin are afraid to go out alone.

“I came here from Bangladesh six and a half years ago, and in the last two years a lot has changed,” says Arif, 28, a marketing student living in central Athens. While racist violence was a sporadic problem, “Now the Golden Dawn come out in large numbers and openly, they have public meetings, speeches saying we don’t want immigrants in our country, and they beat up people right in front of the police, who do nothing,” he says. Arif is shy and slight, stacking chairs in the restaurant where he works, but as he describes what it is like to be Asian in Greece, he slams the chairs down hard and speaks louder.

“For sure, I’ve been afraid,” he says. “When I first came here, I was going out almost every day and coming back at two or three in the morning, but now those groups are bigger. They draw their marks around Attica Square. They’re not afraid of anyone.”

Eighty per cent of Europe’s immigrants arrive in Greece, the port of the Mediterranean, and due to a quirk of EU legislation all asylum seekers and refugees have to stay in the country where they first arrived. In the past year, the flow of migrants swelled as families and individuals from the Middle East fled the tumult of the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Bahrain. They came from Turkey, Africa and the Gulf, arriving in the port city of Patras.

Omonia is a poor area of central Athens where refugees and migrants arriving from ports across the country concentrate. They are no more able to find livable work than any native Greek. It’s where the police raids have started, where the worst of the racist violence takes place after dark. And yet, according to New Democracy officials, it is the ordinary citizens of Omonia who are the real problem.

One soon suspects that New Democracy, Greece's main center-right party, sees political advantage in fostering racial tension and allowing violence towards migrants to continue. When you learn that international human rights organisations condemned Greek police for letting racist attacks go unpunished, even as 1,600 migrants were deported in the first of many public raids, the suspicion becomes nauseating reality. The new deportation policy is named for Zeus Xenios—the Greek god of hospitality—because we have come to the end of the age of irony. These days, state power is the bully in the corner, daring you to laugh in its face.

At the rally in Nikaea, the police who line both sides of the street in formation and in full battle armor look like an occupying army. It is likely that at least some of them voted for the fascist party that these protesters have come out together to decry. Exit polls in the last elections suggested that 50% of police officials in urban areas cast their votes for the Golden Dawn, a party whose mimicry of the postures of democracy is not yet efficient enough to prevent its representatives physically assaulting socialists on live national television.

Thanks in part to its defenders in the police force, the Golden Dawn won 18 seats at the last elections with an agenda openly hostile to migrants and people of colour. It pursues the standard route for far-right extremist groups seeking to exploit economic hardship in Europe: appeals to nostalgia and patriotism combined with a scantily-clad agenda of violence.

"I know many [who have been attacked by Golden Dawn members]" says Malick Abdul, a middle-aged Pakistani community leader in Nikaea. "Only a month ago there was a case where seventeen people were beaten in a bus station. The bus driver and steward, after dragging them off the bus, called Golden Dawn and they all attacked the group of Pakistanis. This happened in Pyrgos. I’ve been in Greece for 23 years now and it wasn’t like this before. We were having a wonderful time here. But in the last 4 years the atmosphere changed and things like that started happening. I have a shop here. My children were born here."

Just days later, Human Rights Watch released a report, "Hate on the Streets," (PDF) making official the naked desperation in the square at Nikaea: Pakistanis, immigrants and non-native Greeks are afraid to go out alone because of racist violence, and the police do nothing.

"The police don't come here anymore," Malick continues. "They just stopped. Buses, as well. They attack us everyday, even today, just before the demonstration. And the police blocked all the buses that were coming to bring more people to the demo from around Athens. All the streets were blocked, and the buses were turned around."

"I was attacked and stabbed here, about a year ago." says another man, interrupting him, "It was a group of seven. Golden Dawn."

Two hours before dusk, the speeches end and the march sets off. The streets are narrow, the tarmac coated in hot dust. The demonstrators, chanting in unison, pour down a throughway. It's the same chant, over and over—pote ksana fasismos!—fascism, never again. Not just never, but never again. In continental Europe, in a suburb where the grandmothers leaning over balconies to watch the drama have clear and potent memories of the 1967–1974 military junta, the distinction is important.

"The nazis came here to shut down the shops of the Pakistani immigrants," says Petros Constantinou, "and this is a united action against them.” Like many people at this march, he uses the term ‘Nazi’ freely to describe the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn say that they are not Nazis. It is, in fact, the main thing that they say in public. Nonetheless, the hairs on the back of your neck rise the first time you see the Golden Dawn’s insignia. It looks like an unravelled swastika.

A boy, no older than eight runs ahead of the demonstration. Darting in and out of the crowd, he sits on low steps while the adults, straining behind an enormous anti-fascist banner, catch up. His skin is dark and freckled, his eyes are blue, and his baseball cap is pulled down tight over his head. I give him the thumbs up, and he sticks out his tongue. I stick mine out further. He pulls a face. He laughs and runs away, and then runs back. Somewhere in the crowd a few of his relatives chant— Fascism, Never Again.

Buy Discordia at Amazon US [amazon.com]

Buy Discordia at Amazon UK [amazon.co.uk]

The Golden Dawn used to come out only at night. For a street-fighting fascist gang turned ascendant political party, with all the weary symbolism of flame-waving and puffed-up synchronized shouting, individual members of Greece's ultra-right thug club were curiously reticent to attack immigrants and people of colour before nightfall—until now. Now, they’re killing in daylight.

They come out in clutches of three, four or more and attack in the streets, usually under the cover of darkness. But lately they have been growing bolder, emerging during the daytime, in full view of a police force that nobody trusts to intervene. Many areas of Athens have become, in the past year, suspended street-battles. People with darker skin are afraid to go out alone.

“I came here from Bangladesh six and a half years ago, and in the last two years a lot has changed,” says Arif, 28, a marketing student living in central Athens. While racist violence was a sporadic problem, “Now the Golden Dawn come out in large numbers and openly, they have public meetings, speeches saying we don’t want immigrants in our country, and they beat up people right in front of the police, who do nothing,” he says. Arif is shy and slight, stacking chairs in the restaurant where he works, but as he describes what it is like to be Asian in Greece, he slams the chairs down hard and speaks louder.

“For sure, I’ve been afraid,” he says. “When I first came here, I was going out almost every day and coming back at two or three in the morning, but now those groups are bigger. They draw their marks around Attica Square. They’re not afraid of anyone.”

Eighty per cent of Europe’s immigrants arrive in Greece, the port of the Mediterranean, and due to a quirk of EU legislation all asylum seekers and refugees have to stay in the country where they first arrived. In the past year, the flow of migrants swelled as families and individuals from the Middle East fled the tumult of the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Bahrain. They came from Turkey, Africa and the Gulf, arriving in the port city of Patras.

Omonia is a poor area of central Athens where refugees and migrants arriving from ports across the country concentrate. They are no more able to find livable work than any native Greek. It’s where the police raids have started, where the worst of the racist violence takes place after dark. And yet, according to New Democracy officials, it is the ordinary citizens of Omonia who are the real problem.

One soon suspects that New Democracy, Greece's main center-right party, sees political advantage in fostering racial tension and allowing violence towards migrants to continue. When you learn that international human rights organisations condemned Greek police for letting racist attacks go unpunished, even as 1,600 migrants were deported in the first of many public raids, the suspicion becomes nauseating reality. The new deportation policy is named for Zeus Xenios—the Greek god of hospitality—because we have come to the end of the age of irony. These days, state power is the bully in the corner, daring you to laugh in its face.

At the rally in Nikaea, the police who line both sides of the street in formation and in full battle armor look like an occupying army. It is likely that at least some of them voted for the fascist party that these protesters have come out together to decry. Exit polls in the last elections suggested that 50% of police officials in urban areas cast their votes for the Golden Dawn, a party whose mimicry of the postures of democracy is not yet efficient enough to prevent its representatives physically assaulting socialists on live national television.

Thanks in part to its defenders in the police force, the Golden Dawn won 18 seats at the last elections with an agenda openly hostile to migrants and people of colour. It pursues the standard route for far-right extremist groups seeking to exploit economic hardship in Europe: appeals to nostalgia and patriotism combined with a scantily-clad agenda of violence.

"I know many [who have been attacked by Golden Dawn members]" says Malick Abdul, a middle-aged Pakistani community leader in Nikaea. "Only a month ago there was a case where seventeen people were beaten in a bus station. The bus driver and steward, after dragging them off the bus, called Golden Dawn and they all attacked the group of Pakistanis. This happened in Pyrgos. I’ve been in Greece for 23 years now and it wasn’t like this before. We were having a wonderful time here. But in the last 4 years the atmosphere changed and things like that started happening. I have a shop here. My children were born here."

Just days later, Human Rights Watch released a report, "Hate on the Streets," (PDF) making official the naked desperation in the square at Nikaea: Pakistanis, immigrants and non-native Greeks are afraid to go out alone because of racist violence, and the police do nothing.

"The police don't come here anymore," Malick continues. "They just stopped. Buses, as well. They attack us everyday, even today, just before the demonstration. And the police blocked all the buses that were coming to bring more people to the demo from around Athens. All the streets were blocked, and the buses were turned around."

"I was attacked and stabbed here, about a year ago." says another man, interrupting him, "It was a group of seven. Golden Dawn."

Two hours before dusk, the speeches end and the march sets off. The streets are narrow, the tarmac coated in hot dust. The demonstrators, chanting in unison, pour down a throughway. It's the same chant, over and over—pote ksana fasismos!—fascism, never again. Not just never, but never again. In continental Europe, in a suburb where the grandmothers leaning over balconies to watch the drama have clear and potent memories of the 1967–1974 military junta, the distinction is important.

"The nazis came here to shut down the shops of the Pakistani immigrants," says Petros Constantinou, "and this is a united action against them.” Like many people at this march, he uses the term ‘Nazi’ freely to describe the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn say that they are not Nazis. It is, in fact, the main thing that they say in public. Nonetheless, the hairs on the back of your neck rise the first time you see the Golden Dawn’s insignia. It looks like an unravelled swastika.

A boy, no older than eight runs ahead of the demonstration. Darting in and out of the crowd, he sits on low steps while the adults, straining behind an enormous anti-fascist banner, catch up. His skin is dark and freckled, his eyes are blue, and his baseball cap is pulled down tight over his head. I give him the thumbs up, and he sticks out his tongue. I stick mine out further. He pulls a face. He laughs and runs away, and then runs back. Somewhere in the crowd a few of his relatives chant— Fascism, Never Again.

Buy Discordia at Amazon US [amazon.com]

Buy Discordia at Amazon UK [amazon.co.uk]

Published 7:00 am Mon, Oct 1, 2012

About the Author

Laurie Penny is a journalist, author, feminist, socialist, utopian, general reprobate and troublemaker. Lives in a little hovel room somewhere in London, mainly eating toast and trying to set the world to rights. Drinks too much tea. Has still not managed to quit smoking. Regular writer for New Statesman, the Guardian and the Independent. Author of Meat Market (Zer0 Books, 2011) and Penny Red (Pluto Press, 2011).

Molly Crabapple is a New York artist. She has created subversive, Victorian inspired art for The New York Times, Red Bull, the Royal Society of Arts, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Marvel Comics, and The Groucho Club, as well as Occupy Wall Street. Molly has been called ‘Equal parts Hieronymus Bosch, William S. Burroughs and Cirque du Soleil.’ by the Guardian, ‘A brilliant and principled artist’ by BoingBoing, and ‘A Downtown Phenomenon’ by the New York Times. Her publications include the digital graphic novel Puppet Makers (DC Comics, 2011), the art books Devil in the Details, Saints and Sinners and Week in Hell (IDW, 2012), and the graphic novel Straw House (First Second Books, 2014).

77 Responses to “The Golden Dawn”

  1. ehutch79 says:

    I can’t tell if this is actually stuff happening in greece, or some kind of story.

    • millie fink says:

      Really? You need to get out more. Like, at least a click or two away–

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Dawn_(Greece)

      This post is excellent reportage, and important too. As the rich keep getting richer while tossing to the rest of us the meager crumbs of “austerity,” racial scapegoating will keep growing. It’s divide and conquer all over again. 

      Which means, when you think about it, that we’re not conquered yet.

      Fuck heroes. Fight now!

      • cjporkchop says:

        I’m aware of the Golden Dawn party, but the dream-like illustration on the cover of “Discordia” (and later, the three-headed dog) made me wonder at first glance if this particular Boing Boing post was about a work of fiction. I’m sad to read further and learn it is not.

        We do see quite a few graphic novels posted about on Boing Boing, do we not?

  2. Phen says:

    Sad and disquieting. Just a point though. Fascism is Ultra-left wing, not ‘ultra-right’. Fascists don’t really like conservatives, liberals or anyone really. Nazi – National Socialism.

    It begins to get scary when minorities are picked out as scapegoats on a national level.

    Can’t see it getting any better in the medium term either.

    • Snig says:

      Please explain why this definition for far right is not applicable:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far-right_politics

      And explain why this one is more applicable:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki

    • John Aspinall says:

      “Just a point though. Fascism is Ultra-left wing, not ‘ultra-right’.”

      Completely wrong.  While fascism is not conventionally “hard right”, it shares more in common with the authoritarians on the right than anywhere else.  Fairly good discussion here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#Position_in_the_political_spectrum

    • Hi, Phen. You might want to read up on something I like to call, “The Twentieth Century.” It’s a fascinating topic, and I’m sure you’ll learn a lot.

      • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

        It’s funny how everybody knows that the ‘People’s Democratic Republic of…’ is an authoritarian hellhole, but you somehow still have people insisting that the ‘National Socialists’ were really some sort of leftist group (that just happened to kill communists like it was going out of style) because they have ‘socialist’ in the name…

    • FoolishOwl says:

      Much of the point of fascism is that it’s an effort to mobilize paramilitary forces in order to suppress popular movements with physical violence. Socialists are usually a principal target.

    • The whole Fascists are lefties thing is a slightly reworked Glen Beck talking point right? But otherwise obvious troll is obvious, the last golden dawn thread carried this argument for far too long.

      • FoolishOwl says:

        it goes back farther then Glen Beck, most of whose talking points were derived from the John Birch Society of the 1960s.

        However, it’s not that the Nazis just chose that name by accident. The idea that socialism simply meant centralizing power in the state went back far enough that Engels complained about it. But, most socialists understood socialism to be inseparable from internationalism, and a struggle against nationalist chauvinism and for the unity of the oppressed and of the working classes across national lines. The Nazis were the negation of this

        And were the murderers of countless socialists.

      • iburl says:

        Rush Limpballs has been flogging this theory for years…. but what would you expect from a right wing Nazi?

    • Marja Erwin says:

      Fascists want to build racist ultranationalist dictatorships, and reinforce class and gender hierarchies.

      How would that make them ultra-left-wing/egalitarian?

    • Elliot Taub says:

      Huh? If Fascism is Ultra-Left Wing why did the Nazis attack the Soviets? Fascism is and has always been right wing. Calling it “National Socialism” was an attempt by Nazi leaders to combine their ideology with a popular concept of the time and draw workers away from the Communists. It was more about a racially pure Society than Socialism.

      • lorq says:

        Exactly.  The Nazis appropriated the “socialist” name because it was the popular thing to be associated with at the time.

        For a considerably milder example, consider today’s “European People’s Party.”  The name sounds downright Maoist — or at least socialist/egalitarian.  It’s actually a center-right pro-business party, not unlike the Republicans in the US.

        The Nazis hated the Left — many Communists ended up in concentration camps — but, like any number of political parties or regimes, they weren’t above giving themselves an inclusive-sounding name to broaden their appeal.

        • Preston Sturges says:

          And the Nazis main political opponents were the Social DEMOCRATS. 

        • Preston Sturges says:

          It’s also Dialectics, which was all the rage in Germany of that era.  In dialectics, you adopt the enemies talking points and jargon as a way of “winning” the debate by making the debate impossible. Once everything is made meaningless, people are more likely endorse the use of force. 

      • Scott Bieser says:

        Historically, fascism arose in Italy as a “third way” between socialism and capitalism, combining (in a most nominal way) the private-property institutions of classical liberalism with the centralized state-power components of socialism. Private property was allowed to exist only inasmuch as it served the purposes of the central state, and private industrial activity was to be come “rationalized,” that is, controlled by state regulatory authorities. 

        In economic terms, it most closely resembles progressivism, and many progressives on the 1920s and early 1930s praised Mussolini and his programs. Italian fascism also used nationalistic sentiments and imperial ambitions to build its political base. Naziism built on this and added (or simply emphasized) a racial component built on distorted history and anthropological theories.

        But for most of these neo-fascists, I suspect complex ideology and theorizing is not what motivates them. They are simply afraid and frustrated and angry, and not understanding the cause of their troubles, find immigrants an attractive scape-goat.

        • Preston Sturges says:

          Umberto Eco’s essay about Ur-Fascism is on line,  He grew up under Mussolini, so he’s qualified to discuss Fascisms distinctly right wing characteristics,  He points out the Italian Fascism was at best very loosely defined.

          For this reason, modern neofascists point to Italy as the only “real” Fascism, since that allows them to claim the 20 or so variations of Fascism are actually something else, leaving them free to flaunt to their swatikas.

    • Funk Daddy says:

      “It’s not us, it’s you, because label that contradicts policies. Too bad about the minorities I guess it will get worse and you should accept it an inevitable” – Phen, summarized

    • Ashley Yakeley says:

      It’s confusing because there are several “right wings”. The nationalist right wing tends to be economically socialistic (e.g. National Socialism) and even green sometimes, and has pretty much nothing in common with, say, the libertarian right wing. And both of those can be secular, in opposition to the dominionist right wing.

      The left wing seems to be a bit more unitary, though some kinds are more authoritarian than others.

    • Preston Sturges says:

      “Fascism is leftist” is a popular talking point with HOLOCAUST DENIERS, because if Hitler was leftist he probably did not really kill all those Socialist Jews did he?

      You are free to have your opinion, just like it is OK to have the opinion that having sex with toddlers is OK. It does not mean a person with that opinion is a child rapist, they’re just someone that happens to agree with and defend child rapists. 

      But just to be clear, I’m not comparing your bullshit to the rationalizations of child rapists by accident, it is quite intentional.

    • Preston Sturges says:

      People who say “Nazis were leftists” are NAZIS who want to spew the right wing Nazi talking points about flags, fertility, marriage, national spirit, anti-intellectualism, nostalgia, xenophobia, jingoism, heroic death, anti-white reverse racism, the cult of white victumhood, preemptive war, crushing unions, saving christianity, saving the country from class warfare, and paranoid conspiracy theories without being called “Nazis.”

      That’s why people who say  “Nazis were leftists” are usually hard core neofascists who get all their beliefs from Mein Kampf.  They are just trying to avoid being called “Fascists” or “Nazis” by destroying the meaning of words. Orwell predicted this as a totalitarian tactic in “1984” (“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”)

      Of course Hitler said that the real threat was immigrants and the reverse racism against whites from jews and their multicultural henchmen. Hitler did not say death camps for immigrants was fascism, he said it was self defense.

    • Petzl says:

      Just a point though.  Fascism is only “Ultra-left wing” to watchers of Fox News and readers of Jonah Goldberg. 

      Also, Red China is GOP: People’s Republic of China.

    • Roanhouse says:

      Actually the father of Fascism, Benito Mussolini, said “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” Something that is about the privatization of public assets to companies tightly connected to the government in power. Similar to what is happening in Wisconsin under Gov. Walker and what Paul Ryan and the rest on the tea party right are calling for. So in fact Fascism is an Extreme Right Wing nationalistic ideology to promote privatize everything so that no more public transparency can occur. The hiring of for profit prisons, for profit police forces and military are examples of this too.

      • wysinwyg says:

         Dubious quote is dubious.  Where did Mussolini say that?

        Let me save you some time.  There is no record of Mussolini saying that.  He also probably meant something different by “corporatism” than what we think of.

        I’m on your side, here, but you can only be the good guys by being principled.

        • Preston Sturges says:

          Actually, the Mussolini quote is poorly sourced.

          But Wikipedia has a nice list, 
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_fascism
          and FDR said this to Congress: 

          “…….The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 29, 1938. Message to congress.

          Sounds pretty current, doesn’t it?

          • wysinwyg says:

            Great quote, although Roosevelt did round up Americans and put them in camps and is probably more directly responsible for the creeping authoritarianism of the executive branch than any other US president.  I know this is a liberal heresy but FDR might be my least favorite president.

          • Preston Sturges says:

            Well in contrast the Republicans of that  era were the hard-core Nazi appeasers and many  were convinced that Jews had infiltrated and taken over the US government.

            And in the failed “Bankers Coup,” a group of prominent Republicans actually plotted a Fascist takeover of the United States.  

            Also check out videos of the Nazi “German American Bund,” and their rally in Madison Square garden. Giant American flags and a 30 ft George Washington. Except for the swastikas, it looked like any other conservative American event.

            Likewise check out Henry Ford’s rabid hatred of the Jews. He used to get Christmas cards (!!!!) from Hitler.

            So don’t pull a muscle saying FDR was “like” a fascist when there were plenty of actual American Fascists in that era, and they pretty much all hated FDR.

          • wysinwyg says:

            @boingboing-e41803c944b3d68e5215c8b9cefb0196:disqus Tu quoque only proves your side is as bad as the other.  I think the goal is actually to be a little better. In other words, stop using the bad deeds of others to justify the bad deeds of people you’d like to think are on the “good” side of history. Bad deeds shouldn’t be justified at all.

          • Preston Sturges says:

            I>>>In other words, stop using the bad deeds of others to justify the bad deeds of people you’d like to think are on the “good” side of history. 
            ——————————————–
            until very recently, conservatives were very proud of how they had supposedly conquered “moral relativism,” but now much of what they do is justified in terms of something someone else allegedly did which is usually also debunked on Snopes.

          • Preston Sturges says:

            >>Tu quoque only proves your side is as bad as the other.  

            And Daddy only drinks because you cry. 

            Besides your use of “tu quoque” is ironic because you are using it wrong. Tu quoque is a logical fallacy used to dismiss a critic by accusing him of hypocrisy, which in this case would make you the one resorting to the tu quoque logical fallacy against me.

            Your reductio ad absurdum reasoning that people who complain about self identified swastika tattooed “Fascists” are as bad as real Fascists was stated most recently by Nordic white supremacist and child murderer Anders Breivik. So your reasoning is also used by Hitler apologists.

            Go back to SodaHead.

    • Golden Dawn is by ultra-religious, anti-union and anti-globalization and pretty much a typical specimen of the far-right paranoia that has engulfed the EU.

    • iburl says:

      You are a total idiot if you really believe that Fascism is a left-wing philosophy. You have been brainwashed by right wing toads like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck.

  3. Göran Gustafsson says:

    I was just in Greece and i saw the Golden Dawn insignia spray painted all over Rethymnon, Crete.

  4. nodus says:

    Unfortunately, that’s the way it is. Their propaganda towards the elderly combined with the economical crisis and the recent elections made them quite popular. Later, however, after the election, they showed more of their brutal side, so the people began to steer away.

    One point though. Lately they have been focusing on the illegal immigrants, not the ones who are here legally. That’s why they ask for your identification card (or your green/ pink card). If you speak Greek well enough they might not ask you though.

    The only thing they haven’t done, which they said they would, is bring their brutal side in the parliament – a reason for their election. It seems they are cowards as well, that’s why they travel in packs.

    • I’m interested, does Greece have a big problem with illegal immigration?  It doesn’t even seem like a great location for asylum at the moment, let alone illicit residency.

      • nodus says:

         Greece connects Europe with Asia and Africa, so most immigrants usually just pass from Greece to head to the other countries like Italy, France and Germany. The center of Athens used to be full of Pakistani and Africans in general. And you also have to take into account the mass immigration from Albania in the 90s. Albanians (many of which have a Greek ancestry) account for more than a million (or close to that number), although most actually came legally. So Greece is more or less unlucky because of its position at the crossroad.

  5. Boundegar says:

    This is horrifying, and a stark reminder: if it can happen there, it can happen here.  Fight now.

  6. winslow winslow says:

    Sometimes I wish that the Mayans were right about 2012.

  7. Jeff Scott says:

    Doesn’t really sound like a “quirk” does it? 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dublin_Regulation

    More like a deliberate and reasonable way to handle asylum seekers. 

    “One of the principal aims of the Dublin Regulation is to prevent an applicant from submitting applications in multiple Member States. Another aim is to reduce the number of “orbiting” asylum seekers, who are shuttled from member state to member state. However since the country that a person first arrived in is responsible for dealing with the application, this puts excessive pressure on border areas, where states are often least able to offer asylum seekers support and protection.”

    We can argue about the unintended consequences of the policy, but it’s not like Greece didn’t actually sign up for this. 

  8. I am 29 years old, born and live since then in Greece. I am going to clarify a few things regarding the situation here, as it seems that some of you may not be well informed. Anything that you are going to read below can be proved with photos and articles, so anything you want to ask, feel free to do it!

    Golden Dawn is a neo-nazi party, nothing less than that. Greek media never call them nazis cause many of them support them financially as well as “politically” with articles in websites and newspapers. GD’s (Golden Dawn’s) nazist propaganda usually is produced and reproduced from the media. Words like “filthy” or “illegal scums” are being used from journalists besides the members and the supporters of GD.

    GD’s members and many supporters of them adore Hitler and other Nazis and they have written articles showing their support and their respect for Nazi. Even they claim to be Greek patriots they have tatoos with swastika and they honour and support the Greeks who once helped Nazis during the war. They totally reproduce Nazis theory, as they claim the superriority of their Greek s blood and culture, hunting down immigrants even if they have papers or not. In their theory, immigrants, black skin coloured people, roma people, leftish people, lesbians, gay or people with genetic problems are people who don t deserve freely to live in Greece.

    They claim to favour Greeks but the truth is that they favour Greeks capitalists who have money. They hate strikes and they never support workers rights. They gain popularity due to the financial situtaion in Greece like NSPD did in Germany. Like Hitler s SA, they organise their own street army. Like the article describes, they usually are 4-5 people, with knives and other weapons. They break into immigrant s houses at nights, beating to death immigrants. They destroy immigrant s shops and property and they hunt down anyone who is not white or does not speak Greek.

    Article is well informed I must say, police force voted them( 50% of the force) so they support them in every action. To give u an example, yesterday night, an Antifascist demonstration with motorcycles took place in Athens. When the antifascists saw people breaking immigrants shops, they hunted them down. Police got informed for the incident and despite arresting the fascists who were breaking foreign property they ran over the antifascist protesters with their bikes beating them. They arrested the antifascists and till now they don t allow them to contact any lawyer. The media reproduced what the nazis said ” Antifascists and immigrants beat innocent people, police arrest them”.

    As you understand Greek government does not want to handle violence from the nazis. Police support them, so we re in the middle of a new democracy of Weimar as Germans lived during middle thirties. Police beat immigrants not even allowing them to sue Greeks for breaking their houses. Police force are brutal and they act worse than in dictatorships.

    I have so much to write about the situation here in Greece. A big Thanks to “boingboing” and other popular websites that try to describe the situation as it really is. Any help that the website needs i m at your service to provide information regarding the situation here. At least foreign media can do what Greek media dont, to inform!

    LIVE YOUR MYTH IN GREECE

    * I am deeply sorry about my english*

    • No need to apologize about the English  this is the most informative/scariest comment on the thread. It is eerie how similar this article sounded to descriptions of Germany in the 30’s, always good to hear from someone who is there.

    • wysinwyg says:

       You communicate more clearly in English than most Americans, I’m pretty sure.  Thank you for sharing what’s happening in your country.

  9. Greece’s center-left party and its center-right party signed a bi-partisan agreement that would turn Greece into the Haiti of Europe; every penny the Greek people earn, every piece of property they own, every morsel of food they have must be seized and sent north to pay off loans that were taken out by the bipartisan elite in the name of Greece and then openly stolen. If they ever pay those loans off, the bipartisan elite will simply take out new loans and steal those, too.

    With both centrist parties discredited, that leaves only the radical parties with any even minimal credibility, the communists and the fascists. If that doesn’t scare you, you’re not awake yet.

    • I agree with your first paragraph but you make a mistake in the second one.
      You equalize the greek communist party with the nazist party. I guess you don thave any idea about polical situation here in Greece or what political parties represent. If you stick in the past, you won t explain the future, especially when u re not aware of what communists here in Greece fight for.
      To your knowledge, I m not a communist…

      • I think the point he is making is not that the communists and the facists are on the same side but rather that both are on the ends of the spectrum.

        • wysinwyg says:

           I think the point of the response was to say that false equivalence is false.  “Both ends of the spectrum” imply they’re equally as bad, but from the first-hand accounts that doesn’t sound like an accurate description.

  10. lorq says:

    Before I’d ever heard of the Golden Dawn I’d noticed parallels between the current situation in Greece under the “austerity measures” of the IMF and Germany after the Treaty of Versailles.  It might be interesting to trace the growth of ultra-right nationalist groups in each European country the IMF successively passes through in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

  11. It saddens me that they’re using the name “Golden Dawn”. That WAS a group dedicated to mystical enlightenment, and they would utterly despise this fascist movement.
    I really don’t understand the fascist resurgence around the world. Is the general population NOT familiar with history? Is the general population REALLY composed primarily of idiots and rubes? .. .. sure seems so :

  12. Alex Linder says:

    Golden Dawn is subversive. Penny and Molly are Establishment as can be.

  13. Well… keen daily reader of Boing Boing myself. I live in Greece as well and just wanted to back up Αριστερόθεν’s story. Things are getting real bad real fast over here. The impact of the crisis is immense, the measures imposed threaten the survival of a large part of society and as if that wasn’t enough, a new austerity plan is on the agenda, that can only make matters worst. An hour long walk in central Athens is enough to attest this. Not a day goes by that you don’t see dozens of people going through garbage to collect anything useful to eat or wear and even recycling in Athens is the work of immigrants going through garbage, collecting recyclable materials to sell for next to nothing to recycling plants. Thousands of people depend on messes to survive, home closures is on the red, giving rise to homelessness a huge property tax was imposed and attached to the electric bill, leaving numerous people without electricity.

    All this provides the platform for fascism to rise from its ashes (where it belongs). Immigrants are the scapegoats of the situation, an agenda put forward from the Government and the media, who sponsor Golden Dawn’s actions, as this a very effective way of distracting the people from protesting the real perpetrators of all this, all the while dividing the workers rendering them unable to pursue and fight for their rights.
    The thing is that Greece is just the first to come to this. Unfortunately this is a capitalistic crisis with no end in sight, given Europe’s recession, US stagnation, lowering growth rates for emerging economies (China, India etc.). What we have on our hands is a case of history repeating itself, with the crisis of 1929 giving rise to fascism, ending its cycle with the morbid devastation of WW2. It is after all, and always has been, political economy and not just economics.Hopefully we will overcome this, but things look grim and it is certain that the answer to this crisis for the upper class, will be to exploit workers at an even greater rate and strip them of all their rights. But to which point will we bear this?Keep an eye on Greece, over the coming period, it should be enligting and perhaps a taste of thing to come?PS Funny story…Last week, during a general strike I stumbled across 2 people with blood covered faces as a result of a tear gas exploding right in front of their head. I took care of them and put them in an ambulance. As I was left alone, I carried along to find my coworkers who had moved on. As i walked i saw the police chasing and then savagely beating up 4 kids who had done nothing (I was a witness from the start of the pursuit). I started shouting so that people could gather and maybe put an end to this, but since they wouldn’t stop, I fell over the kids to protect them. This resulted in me being in custody as well. While on custody and handcuffed, I was spat on the face, verbally abused, thrown around, kicked and hit in the face, and my feistiness to all this abuse, led to me being pepper sprayed (a whole can of it).Funny story why? Because I remember reading a story on BB the very next day about a 1 million dollar settlement for the same action at UC Davis.Of course it doesn’t stop there. And remind you, I wasn’t under arrest (aka charged with something) but only detained. Back at the police station, the abuse continued to all detainees. Verbally and physically they kept attacking all 150 of us, in the presence of high level officers, who were officially endorsing it. The actual arrestees were brutally hit while in detention, many of them resulting in broken arms and cracked sculls.50% of the perpetrators (police force) voted for Golden Dawn. You do the math…Live your myth in Greece!

  14. lutzray says:

    For french reading boingboingers there’s the excellent blog “Notebook of an anthropologist in Greece”

    In this particular post, a policeman claims 95% of the police force is behind the Golden Dawn party:

    http://greekcrisisnow.blogspot.fr/2012/09/les-iles-laube.html

  15. Ldude893 says:

    Nazis.
    People in Europe, supporting Nazis in political power, in the 21st Century. And said Nazis are actually getting more powerful.

    Jebus Christ, it’s that bad. 

    Just wait, a couple more years and they’re going to bring back Ghettos for immigrants. One of two years after that, concentration camps will make a comeback.
    People never change, do they? In their most desperate moment, they’ll turn towards a party that’s explicitly shown as supporting an ideology that killed millions of people. I guess it’s not completely the people’s fault. With the Greek government absolutely useless, people have no choice but to turn towards the party that could actually benefit them the most, regardless of how twisted the group’s ideology.

    It’s a terrible state of affairs. I wish the best for the Greeks who do have common sense and choose not to support this party.

  16. Vishy Moghan says:

    As a British citizen of Iranian origin living and working in Greece for  the last eighteen years, I would like to first send a heartfelt thanks to the authors of this article, and secondly ask with full emphasis that they not stop pressing and campaigning for the world to sit up and take notice of the absolute, real and present danger of the situation in this country.

    I read here various arguments for the whys and wherefores of this tragedy. And yes we know full well that historically desperate people turn to desperate solutions. But I can not emphasise enough the radical turn this country has taken towards the extreme right.

    I was also surprised by those here who try to argue for the blurring of boundaries between left and right and throwing blame both ways. But in all honesty as the article points out in no uncertain terms, there is no grey area here. Golden Dawn are Nazis with the full weight of that title. They intend, and have made it abundantly clear that they plan to, bring about a holocaust for those of foreign extract regardless of whether they are legal or illegal. Several attacks have already taken place on Greeks who happen to be gay or different. Including (as light as this may seem compared to murder) for example the public shaving of a Greek youth sporting dreadlocks, in broad daylight in one of the busiest shopping streets of Athens. The police are not simply in collusion with Golden Dawn, they are actually referring citizens who call them for help to the so called party’s offices, literally giving callers the phone number to make their complaint to GD and for them to send their thugs around to “help” the citizen with their problem.

    My family escaped Iran to get away from the rule of Muslim dictators. Being of the so called intellectual classes of that country there was no room for my family there. I left Iran as a child, and now in my fifties to be facing the growing daily spectre of attacks, beatings, stabbings, threats, humiliation and even murder committed against foreigners is beyond shocking. I, you could justifiably say have a choice. I can indeed return to Britain and keep myself and my wife and child safe, where those poor immigrants do not have the option. But Nazism is not an ethos that likes to stay where it is. Its aim is and has always been to spread its poison far and wide.

    And this is the most surprising aspect of the nearly blanket silence in the world media on the subject.

    How short sighted is it that no one in Europe seems to be taking even a cursory notice of the situation, let alone stepping back in absolute horror and demanding intervention. It is my belief that right now as things stand we are a very short step from a return to genocide in this part of the world.

    Please understand that Golden Dawn are actually building caches of arms as I write. Their cadres are openly training for combat alongside the police force, if the reports that we get are to be believed.

    I am a photographer and graphic designer, and many of my associates are photojournalists who every day see and record their crimes yet most of their very graphically illustrative photographs are not making it into the media.

    Anyway this is getting long winded. All I really wanted to point out is that the seriousness of this situation and its potential consequences for Greece and indeed the rest of Europe can not be over emphasised.

    Take heed and try not to let this be ignored any longer, not just for the sake of Greece but perhaps for all people.

    • Preston Sturges says:

      >>>I was also surprised by those here who try to argue for the blurring of boundaries between left and right

      This is a technique for recruiting Hitler core constituency, the people who will believe anything.  Tell them “Nazis were leftists,” then feed material straight from Mein Kampf, but they will think they are being antifascists since they are conservatives.

      This is just a variation on the original Nazi Big Lie – that it was the Jews who were the genocidal racist monsters that were going to enslave people. Of course it was Hitler with that plan, but he accused the Jews.

      This fellow called it correctly:

      “When and if fascism comes to America…it will not even be called ‘fascism'; it will be called, of course, ‘Americanism'” –Professor Halford E. Luccock of Yale Divinity School; New York Times article from September 12, 1938, page 15

      And in the US we have Glenn Beck who worships Hitler but praises Jesus.  And the pitch is to the elderly, which in the US is the Tea Party.

  17. Vishy Moghan says:

    The major problem with this kind of obfuscation is the simple and unfortunate fact that most people, it seems to me, have a very ahistorical  view of politics, the fabled short memory of the general public. Or worse still what they call selective amnesia. This leads our societies again and again into making the exact same mistakes, and falling into the exact same dead ends.

    I know older people here who have told me horrific stories about the time of the occupation by the Germans, how they watched their men folk marched off to the SS headquarters never to be seen again. The massacres of whole villages, the tortures and so on. And then so soon after the end of the war the civil war and then shortly after that the Junta, the awful reign of terror by the Colonels. This last well within living memory.

    And yet all Golden Dawn needed was the media hysteria over the collapse of the system and the crimes (mostly fictitious) of the immigrants to run the population straight back into the arms of Fascism. The degree to which normal people have accepted the violence against innocent people is unbelievable.

    The de-humanising process against immigrants started when the government got wind of the oncoming tide of the crisis, it was their get out of gaol free card. OOPS they said we’ve been caught with our hands in the cookie jar and we have no plan, so let’s make it all the fault of immigrants. Forget the fact that the politicians had been draining the blood out of this country for years, moneys being siphoned off to foreign private accounts, forget the collusion of church and police in perpetuating the corruption, forget the tax dodging and lies throughout every level of socio-economic activity, the back handers and so forth. The loans that the banks callously gave out like it was free, and the stupidity of the trap of free money. No it is the immigrants who brought us to this, get rid of them and all will be right again with Greece. Shamelessly using the immigration issue, manipulating the media to bring it centre stage, smoke and mirrors to distract the public from political crimes committed against them. Add to that the natural jingoism and patriotic fervour so endemic to Europe, we had the exact recipe for another classic mess.

    It is hard to see once more the real criminals getting away with crimes for which they should have been hung by their heels in public, and worse still, return to government as if they were the most honest of people while the poor, the politically disaffected, the refugees, those with alternative life styles and so on get the axe and the blame for everything. And shocked as some may be, no one is doing anything to counter this wash of horror, to put a stop to it.

    Nazism has a way of becoming viral, and to jump host with great ease. And the more we all look away from it, the more we make light of its proponents the more easily it spreads. A tragedy has unfolded in this country and no one is paying any attention to it.

  18. Sadly, yes, it’s all true — and there is no end in sight; things in Greece will keep getting worse and no one knows when they will get better, or even how they could possibly get better,,,

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