The same government repealed the reform of the 2010 Greek citizenship law, the first to offer second-generation migrants a potential entitlement to citizenship. The government and authorities criminalised HIV patients and drug addicts; persecuted and illegally detained anarchists and anti-fascists; slashed salaries and pensions; saw youth unemployment rocket to over 60%; shut down hospitals; and pushed universities to the point of collapse. This is the great paradox of dismantling Golden Dawn: the same government which threatens democracy and indulges fascism gives itself democratic credentials for its supposed curbing of extremism. \\\
Golden Dawn is both a political party and a gang – and outlawing political parties often proves problematic and ineffective. The law can prohibit, but it cannot eliminate, fascist ideas; these must be confronted politically instead. For ordinary people, the struggle against Golden Dawn is not limited to the welcome though theatrical arrest of its leadership. Anti-fascism is a political struggle about the kind of life we want to live. It is fought daily by citizens, activists, civil society groups and migrant communities. It is a battle for democracy, solidarity and social justice. It cannot be won unless the systemic injustice of austerity is defeated.
- Originally published at The Guardian, Sunday 29 September 2013
Imagine an Athenian who went on an overseas trip for a couple of weeks and returned to the city on 28 September. The traveller left beforePavlos Fyssas’s assassination, and the awakening of media and government to the neo-Nazi threat, leading to the arrest of Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos and some of its MPs and supporters.
The initial reaction of the traveller to the crackdown would be jubilation mixed with surprise: the change in the authorities’ attitude following Fyssas’s murder was dramatic. And yet, the same authorities have had…
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