Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party that has tormented Greece and terrorized immigrants, has now brought its fascist message of anti-democratic intimidation to New York City. On March 2, New York supporters of the Greek Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) had planned a discussion event: “Beyond Scapegoats & Moralism: Greece and the Global Crisis in Politics and Capitalism.” The event, originally to be held in Astoria — a Queens neighborhood with a strong Greek population — had to be relocated to Manhattan after the venue’s owners were subjected to a series of anonymous and violent threats.
Leaflets, denouncing SYRIZA as “anti-Christian”, “terrorists”, and “communists”, were posted throughout the neighborhood, emblazoned with the iconography of the Golden Dawn — which the party claims is a Greek meander, but is eerily reminiscent of a swastika.
In the leaflets the fascists indicate their anger at anti-fascist activities organized by the Astoria community, reportedly previously by The North Star. The leaflets also include the URL of a website where the fascists boast about the local “Greek Community” “throwing out” SYRIZA:
The Greek community protested a planned Syriza meeting in a Hellenic enclave of New York. The protest caused them to try to book other venues in Astoria, but they were apparently refused every time when people saw who it was, which forced them to flee to their real home, the openly communist Brecht Forum (Previously named “The Marxist School”)
The website also explains their racist ideology in more detail:
Our goals are to promote and support the Golden Dawn’s nationalist ideals and vision for Greece among the Greek diaspora. To preserve our European culture, we must resist and overcome the genocidal multi-culturalist, and anti-Hellenic agenda of the New World Order. The unholy alliance of the bankers, media, corrupt politicians and the educational system are rabidly attempting to extinguish all traces of Hellenism- past, present and future through poverty, historical revisionism, media distortions and third world immigration.
If you are having trouble reading between the lines, the overt anti-semitism exhibited by “Golden Dawn NYC” removes any doubt that these indisputable fascists are aptly characterized as “neo-Nazis.” While most of us only know Fred Leutcher as the pathetic holocaust-denying useful idiot of Errol Morris’ Mr. Death, the Golden Dawn racists cite this “expert witness” and “leading gas chamber specialist” to demonstrate that it was “scientifically impossible” that concentration camps were “used to kill people with any known deadly gasses” — while lamenting the “show trial” of Canadian holocaust denier Ernest Zundel.
In a statement, the Greek American Left Movement responded to these neo-Nazi attacks on free speech and assembly:
The attempt to shut down open, public, and democratic discussion is despicable and offensive to any democratic-minded person. As for the blatant accusations, SYRIZA does not support or advocate terrorism. The real terror Greek people face comes from those who have attacked their living standards and democratic rights — not to mention fascist elements who issue threats against democratic discussion and freedom of expression and who murder immigrants in the streets of Athens.
Meetings such as the one held by SYRIZA-NY are a necessary part of the effort to build a solidarity movement in support of the democratic struggles of the people in Greece against austerity — and against the attacks of an unelected group of bankers and financiers which seek to destroy the basic rights and living standards of ordinary people.
We will not allow discussion and debate, elementary democratic rights be silenced, nor will threats stop our work in building solidarity with working people in Greece and internationally.
Greece is a global epicenter of the political fallout stemming from the ongoing capitalist economic crisis. As unemployment has neared 30%, the Greek government has slashed pensions and salaries, to meet the demands of the international class of finance capital. This has resulted in the surging popularity of SYRIZA, which has provoked much debate about how austerity can be successfully resisted. The North Star has hosted many such debates on the Greek radical left.
Predictably, however, the discontent has also found an outlet in far-right manifestations. The odious Golden Dawn received an unprecedented 7% support in the most recent legislative elections, and more recent opinion polls have shown double-digit support, with a reportedly astonishly high level of support from Greek police.
It is not at all surprising to see Golden Dawn increase their presence in Greek expatriate communities, from New York to Melbourne. The North Star has reported on and supported the anti-fascist opposition to Golden Dawn’s expansion and will continue to do so.