Activists in Greece are building for a massive demonstration against the fascist Golden Dawn party on 19 January.
Support is growing among trade unions, city councils, immigrant groups and football fans at the popular Karditsa FC. Last month Athens city council voted overwhelmingly to back the demonstration.
“Only the right wing New Democracy party didn’t vote to back it,” said Panos Garganas, editor of the Workers Solidarity newspaper. “Every other party united—even Pasok and Dimar that are in the coalition government.”
Golden Dawn members have been involved in violent attacks on left wingers and immigrants. Its logo is modelled closely on the swastika.
It gained 7 percent of the vote in last year’s elections, taking advantage of both the bitterness at the economic crisis and the increasingly harsh anti-migrant policies of the mainstream parties.
A survey showed that almost half of police officers in Athens voted for the Nazis. Police rounded up an estimated 8,000 people from migrant areas over the summer.
But Golden Dawn has been confronted by a growing anti-fascist movement. Two new developments hardened left unity against the fascists in late December.
A “silent demonstration” in Athens, backed by leading international anti-racist figures, put pressure on the governing parties.
Then three men claiming to be Golden Dawn members attacked an MP from the radical left coalition Syriza. “It was an escalation of fascist provocations—and it was seen like that by everybody,” said Panos.
Anti-fascists in Greece have called for international solidarity demonstrations on 19 January. In Paris and Barcelona anti-fascists have taken up the call. And Unite Against Fascism is organising a protest at the Greek embassy in London.
“There have been a series of important mobilisations to stop fascist attacks, and to stop the Nazis translating the votes they got into fascist squads,” said Panos. “The protest is an important step and we want to see a show of solidarity with anti-fascists in Greece.
“But the rise of the far right isn’t just happening in Greece but across Europe. So 19 January will be an opportunity to coordinate our anti-fascism.”
To support the day of action on 19 January go to uaf.org.uk/3194