Why we decided to form Anti-fascist Action for Greece (AAfG)
The murder of the Greek anti-fascist activist and hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas (“Killah P”) by neo-Nazi ‘Golden Dawn’ thugs led to mass demonstrations against the rise of fascism in Greece. Sadly, there had been many deaths of, and attacks on, nameless migrants that preceded the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. However, the murder of a Greek sent shock-waves across Greece and internationally. This murderous event served to further confirm in the public mind the true colours of fascism in Greece, its infiltration into many layers of Greek society and the establishment (e.g. the Police and other parts of the State), as well as its capacity to attack, terrorise, and murder, both the most vulnerable as well as the most progressive parts of Greek society, and finally its will to physically eliminate its political enemies. Understanding the deeper causes of this phenomenon, disseminating information and facts about fascist attacks and about anti-fascist action in Greece, along with coordinated joint action by anti-fascist forces here in the UK has never been more pressing.
In light of the above, on Saturday 21 September 2013, many of those who took part in the protest outside the UK Greek Embassy, that had been called by Greek and British antifascist and antiracist organisations and other progressive groups, gathered in nearby Holland Park, and agreed to issue a call for the setting-up of a broad antifascist network aimed at taking action to address the rise of fascism in Greece and the UK.
Despite the recent arrests of members of Golden Dawn’s leadership and the criminal charges against them (including those of founding and running a criminal paramilitary-style organisation) the actual causes of fascism in Greek society remain unaddressed. The unprecedented austerity policies implemented by the pro-Memoranda Greek governments under the directives of the Troika (i.e., the EU Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund), the intensified anti–immigration rhetoric and laws, the demonisation of migrants by the media, and the extreme repression by the State and Police of all resistance and dissent against these measures, have all provided fertile ground for fascist ideas to take root in Greek society, as well as have created the space in Greece’s political life for fascist organisations to appear.
The future work of AAfG shall involve the breadth of antifascist action, including raising awareness about fascist crimes in Greece alongside raising awareness about the antifascist movement in Greece. We aim to do this across all platforms and via all means at our disposal. Initiatives shall include (but not be limited to):
- Social events of an educational, networking, and /or awareness-raising nature. Examples are public discussions and film screenings;
- Group mobilisations (e.g., protest rallies, assemblies/demonstrations);
- Linking up with the membership and leadership of other British antifascist/antiracist groups, and other related progressive organisations, with a view to joining forces and taking collective action;
- Building relationships with the Media & Press though disseminating our narratives through these means and by inviting the Press and Media representatives to our events; and
- Establishing and maintaining our (AAfG) social media presence (fb, twitter, blogs, mailing lists).
We aim at getting our message across the Greek communities in Britain, as well as to the broader British public, other UK antifascist groups and organisations, trade unions, political parties, journalists and the Media & Press, groups representing other ethnic groups and communities, and, generally, groups and individuals from all walks of life who also struggle against prejudice and who take a stand against racism and fascism. We would also want to get our message out and seek to work with any group or individuals who are interested in defending social and democratic rights in our societies.
Call to action
We are calling for the joining-up of efforts by all antifascist forces in the UK, in order to form the widest possible anti-fascist front. The rise of Golden Dawn in Greece during the last three years of unprecedented for modern times economic austerity, its hateful and murderous campaigning and entrance, as a political party, on the political scene and in the Greek Parliament (May and June 2012 elections), the threat of similar organisations in the UK such as British National Party, the English Defence League, and other such groups – which are gaining support and are increasingly becoming acceptable political forces – all raise serious questions and concerns, about the rise of fascism, the purposes and interests fascist organisations represent and seek to serve, and the increasing adoption of the far-right agenda and rhetoric by the more mainstream centre-right parties throughout Europe.
We call upon people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as individuals of no particular political affiliation, that are interested in our cause, to join AAfG, to take part in our meetings, and activities, and to contribute with their ideas and efforts in our mission to fight against fascism and the extreme right in our societies.