More than 3,000 antifascists march in west Thessaloniki driving the Nazis back to their holes

Nikos Anastasiadis

The antifascist rally that was held on Saturday, February 5, in Evosmos, west Thessaloniki, was a massive success. More than 3,000 antifascists, perhaps up to 4,000, marched in the streets of this working class and immigrant neighborhood as a response to fascist provocations of the previous days.

The demonstration was called by the Federation of the Parent’s Associations, student unions, labour unions, etc. It was supported by all the Left and the anti-authoritarian forces: from the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and Varoufakis’s MERA25 to the anti-capitalist Left and anarchist groups.

It was vibrant and combative. It was maybe the biggest demo ever held in this area.

Ο Εύοσμος κατακόκκινος και οι φασίστες στις τρύπες τους. Αυτό είναι μονάχα ένα μέρος της πορείας

Δημοσιεύτηκε από Chris Avramidis στις Σάββατο, 5 Φεβρουαρίου 2022

Fascist provocations

 The demonstration was called after a series of provocations by fascist forces in the area, and generally in Thessaloniki. 

  • Fascist gangs tried to stop an open assembly at the technical school of Evosmos, on the issue of how to organise resistance to government policies on education. They physically attacked the students and tore down a banner which called for free health and education.
  • Fascist students attacked a 15-year-old immigrant student, with metal punch rings, injuring him.
  • On February 1, a gang of thugs connected to one of the football clubs of Thessaloniki, killed the 19-year-old Alkis Kampanos with a sickle (!). They just asked him what football club he supported and when he replied, they murdered him. As the police investigation for this event proceeds, it is clear that this group of thugs is connected to fascist gangs in West Thessaloniki.

These were only the events of the past month. These provocations and attacks are linked with the recent events in Stavroupoli, another area of west Thessaloniki. There again, the fascists tried to infiltrate the local technical school and launched an attack against left students. 4,000 antifascists marched through the streets of Stavroupoli as a response then [read our report for these events here]  

Fascists try to regroup

As we have analyzed here, one year after the court verdict against Golden Dawn, the fascists are trying to make a comeback. Even if Golden Dawn now is cornered and has split multiple times, new groups arise. 

This is because, even if the court verdict was a huge victory for the antifascist movement, the reasons that lead to the rise of fascism are still there: poverty, unemployment, desperation, disillusionment with the Left. And of course, there are still sections of the establishment that support, fund and protect the fascist forces in order to use them when they need them.

In order to counter and efficiently fight against the fascist comeback, we need a united front of the Left and all the antifascist forces. This has been “de facto” achieved in the last months in the demonstrations. Under the fascist attacks, the whole of the antifascist movements was forced to act in unity, gathering at the same square on the same date. This was a step forward, compared to other instances where the antifascists were split and scattered. But it was a “technical” unity. What is needed is for this unity to be realised in every workplace, every school, every neighborhood. We need joint campaigns to drive the fascists out of the places they try to infiltrate, not only to respond to their attacks, because that may be too late…

We also need to connect the antifascist struggle to the fight against the system which nurtures the fascists – capitalism. Fascism is like the mythological monster Hydra, which had many heads and a regeneration feature: for every head chopped off, the Hydra would regrow two heads. According to Greek mythology, Hercules chopped off all the heads and burned the neck, so it couldn’t grow new heads. That’s the task we are faced with, if we don’t want fascists poisoning and killing in our neighborhoods. 

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