Since August, Golden Dawn and almost all neo-Nazi groups in Greece have been organising a pan-European neo-nazi gathering for November 1st, with a pretext to commemorate two Golden Dawn members who were murdered 10 years ago.
On Wednesday, October 25, under the pressure of the antifascist campaign to cancel the neo-Nazis’ plans, the Ministry of Citizen Protection and the Hellenic Police issued a statement banning all rallies on November 1st.
The decision cites the “polarisation between nationalists and anarchists/anti-authoritarians” as the main reason for the ban. It also cites
“the serious risk to public safety due to the possible commission of serious crimes, in particular against life, physical integrity and property”.
The ban applies to the entire prefecture of Attica, not just the area of Neon Heraklion.
The government and the police are once again using the theory of two extremes, putting fascists in the same bag with the anti-fascist movement and its mass organisations.
The fact that the physical integrity and the lives of the people are endangered by the pan-European neo-nazi rally is a reality. Among the organisers is the Golden Dawn Youth Front, which is officially classified as a nazi and criminal organisation, while its leading members are serving long prison sentences.
Neo-nazis from the Balkans, Italy, etc., including members of the Bad Blue Boys, who recently murdered the football club AEK fan M. Katsouris in Nea Filadelfia on August 7, responded to their call.
But for two months now, until October 25, the Hellenic Police and the government blatantly ignored these dangers and kept silent about the neo-nazi gathering.
They even ignored the unanimous decision of the Municipal Council of Neon Heraklion, which called for a ban on the gathering of fascists and not, of course, on the demo of the anti-fascist movement.
During all this time, they let the fascists organise their fiesta, pretending that it was just a “commemoration event”, when in fact it was a pan-European gathering that would have meant a show of force and pogroms in Neon Heraklion and other parts of Athens.
And this is exactly what would have happened had it not been for the reaction of the anti-fascist movement.
The Antifascist Coordination of Athens and Piraeus started a campaign at the beginning of September, which would conclude with a big anti-fascist rally on November 1st at the place where the fascists were meant to hold their gathering.
A total of 40 political organisations, social collectives, trade unions, ect responded to its call, while there were letters of protest and solidarity by more than 10 international organizations, councilors, MP’s, ect. Even Communist Party-led mass organisations and trade unions joined in, calling their own demonstration nearby, on the initiative of PAME (the Communist Party trade union caucus).
All of these forces were described by the police as “anarchist elements”, portrayed as equally responsible for violent incidents as the fascists.
Among those that the Hellenic Police statement identifies as “dangerous” are the Union of Parents’ Associations of Neon Heraklion Schools, the local Teachers Union, the Union of Employees of the Municipality of Neon Heraklion, etc.
In a country with real democracy, the gathering of the fascists would have been banned right after it was announced. The same goes for any other public appearance of neo-Nazi parties and organisations.
But a government with prominent far-right ministers, which has bred and tolerated Golden Dawn for 33 years and which implements harsh anti-working class policies, needs the fascists. Without the antifascist movement, there would be no ban on the pan-European fascist fiesta.
It is the struggle of the antifascist movement that will ensure that there will be no fascist rally in Neon Heraklion on November 1. The neo-nazis have already suffered a big defeat. Their plan for a pan-European rally has amounted to a fiasco.
The antifascist concert on Saturday, October 28, in the central square of Neon Heraklion, organised by the Antifascist Coordination of Athens and Piraeus with the support of the Union of Employees of the Municipality of Neon Heraklion and a number of Parents’ Associations of local Secondary Schools, will send a militant and massive antifascist message.
On Wednesday, November 1st, the antifascist movement will be united and militant in Neon Heraklion. Not to provoke violent events, as these will only succeed to prop up the “theory of two extremes”, but to practically secure the implementation of the slogan “fascism never again, neither in Neon Heraklion, nor anywhere else”!
The antifascist movement will put a brake on the Nazis’ plans!