Join a conversation on the excessive and unwarranted use of force by law enforcement across Europe. From abuses of power and attacks against the press by both the Greek and Turkish states to decisions of French and British lawmakers to extend police powers, we are seeing a growing trend of police misconduct and impunity, which are becoming increasingly legitimised by the states themselves.
Panellists will share their own experiences of police misconduct and will discuss present authoritarian trends, as well as how and why we have come to this point on a global scale.Moderated by Antifascist Action for Greece (‘AAfG’), our panel consists of:
Kumru Başer is a freelance journalist from Turkey, based in London since 1986. She has worked for international media organisations, as well as for a number of Turkish television channels and newspapers throughout the years. Her work on Turkey has been mostly focused on human rights, women’s rights and the Kurdish issue. She has written articles on the experiences and the effects of 1980 military coup and is also known as an ardent campaigner for press freedom in Turkey.
Angelique Kourounis is an Athens-based correspondent reporting for over 30 years on Greece and the Balkans for various French-language media in France, Switzerland, Belgium and Canada. Over the last 10-15 years she has reported and made documentaries on issues such as the far-right and the Nazis, refugees in Greece and Turkey, and many more. She studied international law and history, and became involved in investigative journalism from her teenage years.
Thomas Jacobi is an Athens-based correspondent for various French-language media, and has worked closely with Angelique over many years.
Anastassia (Natasha) Tsoukala is a tenured Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Paris-Sud, Senior Researcher at the University of Paris-Descartes, and Associate Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Conflicts, Liberty and Security. She is also Vice President of the Centre for Security Studies of Greece and Co-editor of the book series “Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security” published by Palgrave Macmillan. Her areas of expertise are security policies and human rights in Europe, and the social construction of threat.
Save your spot now as the seats are limited. Check out our Facebook event and registerhere. Hope to see you all there!
During a nationalistic demonstration in Athens on Sunday 20 January, fascist thugs attacked journalist Thomas Jacobi in a most vicious and cowardly manner, injuring him primarily on the face and head, destroying his equipment and stealing stuff from him. Thomas Jacobi works for various international media and had worked with film maker Angelique Kourounis on the documentary “Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair”.
The fascists targeted Thomas Jacobi because of his work. Audio footage of the events (in Greek) can be found here, where the attackers can be heard swearing at him and hitting him, as well as admitting that they targeted him because of his work on the documentary that revealed the inner workings and the neo-Nazi nature of the Golden Dawn party in Greece.
AAfG applauds the courage of Thomas Jacobi and expresses its solidarity and support for him and all journalists fighting fascism both in the streets and through their work.
You can watch the full documentary “Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair” here.
At 23:58:11 on 17 September 2013, two pairs of policemen riding on two police motorcycles arrive at the scene, where Pavlos Fyssas and his friends confront a group of Golden Dawn fascists.
However, the police falsely reported that they were not called to the scene until 23:59.
The police also reported that only one team (of two motorcycles) were on the scene (00:01:26)
At 23:59:08 a convoy of eight motorcycles followed by two cars arrive; Fyssas’ killer, Georgios Roupakias, can be seen in one of the cars.
A few seconds later, at 23:59:40, the police motorcycles appear to arrive again. This means that the police left the scene and drove around the block. This is not included in any testimony by the police.
The time of the murder is estimated between 00:03:23 and 00:04:06.
It looks like the police left the scene to make space for the convoy to arrive.
Meanwhile, it is also known that Roupakias was identified as the attacker by Pavlos Fyssas himself and not by any policeman on the scene. Had Fyssas not done so, Golden Dawn would probably not be on trial today.
When Roupakias was arrested by police who happened to be in the area, not by the aforementioned motorcycle group, he reportedly told the police officers ‘I’m one of yours’.
All these raise serious questions about the complicity of the police that remain to be clarified.
Forensic Architecture, a London-based research centre, were commissioned by the Fyssas family to reconstruct the events of the night of the murder from the audio and video material made available to the court. This is a short video, while the full report will become available on 5 October.
Five years ago Pavlos Fyssas, the antifascist rap singer, was murdered on the streets of Athens by members of the Greek Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn (GD). The on-going trial of GD leaders and members has heard extensive evidence that the murder was perpetrated with the knowledge and at the instigation of GD leaders.
Some key facts about the Golden Dawn trial are listed below. More information, including continuous reports of the trial proceedings, can be found on the Golden Dawn Watch webpage: http://goldendawnwatch.org/?page_id=420&lang=en
Start date of the trial: 20 April 2015.
18 Golden Dawn (GD) MP’s who were elected in June 2012 are accused of being in charge of a criminal organisation.
Nearly 50 more GD members or sympathisers are accused of being the physical perpetrators of the following attacks:
18 for the murder of Pavlos Fyssas on 17-18 September 2013.
5 for the attempted murder of communist trade unionists (of the PAME Trade Union) on 12 September 2013.
5 for the attempted murder of Egyptian fishermen in Greece on 12 June 2012.
The rest of the accused have already been charged for attacks that took place in the past, but at present the court is considering whether these attacks were carried out by them as members of GD.
At the moment all 150 witnesses for the prosecution have testified and all documents (including audiovisual material and phone calls) have been viewed and/or heard by the court.
Next step: the defence of GD will submit documents, followed by testimony of the defence witnesses, and the accused will provide their statements.
It is estimated that the trial will last for one more year from now.
The GD trial is an important landmark in the fight against fascism and racism in Europe.
All over Europe extreme right wing and Neo-Nazi parties are disguising themselves as “nationalists” and “patriots”. Golden Dawn is the most virulent of them, led by an unashamedly pro-Nazi leadership. As the evidence presented in the trial has clearly shown their ideology, structure and modus operandi as a Neo-Nazi party, their defence team has changed track from denying the Nazi nature of their organisation to arguing for “freedom of speech” for their abhorrent ideology. Their aim is to terrorise their opponents, by targeting migrants, left-wingers, trade unionists and everyone else who opposes their rhetoric of hate and violent actions. Like all similar parties in Europe, GD do not present the failures of the neoliberal economic policies and the resulting impoverishment of a large section of the population as the result of the inherent inequality that stems from the vast accumulation of wealth by the few, but use the migrants as scapegoats for all the ills that have been caused by the decisions of the wealthy elites.
Antifascist Action for Greece calls everyone concerned with the rise of racism and fascism in Greece, the UK and Europe, to help stem the tide of hatred that is targeting the most defenceless members of our societies.
Cinematically, In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts) is an excellent film. Its three chapters are shot in three distinct styles; Diane Kruger’s performance is exquisite, from the tiny details on her facial expressions to the physical bearing of her presence on screen; the soundtrack is excellently matched to the plot and succinct; the Golden Dawn link provides further relevance (Greek acclaimed film director Yannis Economides is extremely convincing in his part): all these elements testify to a feat of artistic thoroughness in Fatih Akin’s latest feature.
The film’s reception in the UK however, causes a lot of scepticism. The film arrived in UK cinemas with several months’ delay. The Guardian ditched it; not only the Nazi’s are dubbed ‘terrorists’ at start, but Peter Bradshaw makes an outright political judgement that, while the film is right to pick on Europe’s xenophobia, the real issue is the Islamists’ attacks and the “Islamophobe panic they are intended to create” – as if Islamophobia were the direct outcome of terrorism. What the clearly politically biassed critic silences is that, while the highest body-count of terrorist attacks is in fact seen in Muslim countries (Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan), the far-right and Neo-Nazi ideology has taken on in Europe big time, even during the couple of weeks following the film’s release.
The film strikes a fine balance between post-90’s liberalism, post-WWII German conscience, and today’s regression into xenophobia. While the couple depicted in the film are leading a comfortable family life, they are neither well-off nor a typical conservative kitsch household. Their illegal-drug past may still cast shadows, but they seem very much in control of their lives. While Katja senses that the murder of her partner and child was a neo-Nazi attack, the father of one of the culprits gives them away–the father is alerted of the resemblance to the murders of 2000-2007, when nine ethnic minority male citizens were murdered by the National-Socialist Underground. The film’s point is that no-one in Germany should be negligent of these murders. Today’s xenophobia, from Italy to the US, and back in the EU via the Wisegrad countries’ Trump-style anti-immigrant policies, should remind us that no-one should be negligent of the NSU and their trial.
In the film, the link to the Greek Golden Dawn (GD) is explicit. GD provide a fake alibi and help the neo-Nazis culprits escape to Greece. Katja, having lost faith in justice, tracks them down. The finale consists in a suicide attack by Katja (using the same kind of nail-bomb that had been described to her in tortuous detail during the trial). Is this what Guardian readers find so uncomfortable? That there is such a thing as a non-terrorist suicide bomber? Or that the perpetrator is not an Islamist? Or that the victims are not liberal Europeans, but a bunch of proper hardcore Nazis? Or is it that the film highlights Europe’s xenophobic regime? Mainstream politics increasingly recede into the dark waters of what Europe has known only too well: from Germany’s failing government to EU’s financial elites, the liberals are sucking up to the xenophobes and the neo-Nazis. What is to be done? The Golden Dawn trial is ongoing. There is still more evidence to be dug out. However, the public is paying little attention to the revelations of the trial proceedings. It is time to take action, to expose unremittingly the true nature and purpose of neo-Nazis masquerading as “nationalists” and “patriots” in order to harness people’s anger and divert it away from its true causes – inequality, austerity and the bleak future that they augur – and convert it to hatred towards the “others”.
Join us for a film screening, music, food and more on the occasion of the Athens Polytechnic Uprising commemoration day!
We are proud to be hosting the following events:
19.00: Screening of “Spectres Are Haunting Europe”
20.30: Live music with the SOAS Rebetiko Band and other musicians
Admission is free! Homemade food will be sold at the SOAS Junior Common Room from 19.30 onwards. Proceeds and donations will go towards the running of the Refugee Legal Support project in Athens!
“Spectres Are Haunting Europe” is an award winning documentary by Maria Kourkouta and Niki Giannari. Starting as a project about the Greek Civil War, it developed into a documentary following the daily life of refugees (Syrian, Kurdish, Pakistani, Afghani, and other) in the camp of Idomeni in Northern Greece. One day, Europe closes its borders for them once and for all. The film is “a call to welcome the refugees that cross the European borders, as well as the ghosts that return with them”.
The SOAS Rebetiko Band is “diasporic music-making in action”. Created out of Ed Emery’s musical seminars at the School of Oriental and African Studies, they have worked hard to highlight the shared musical cultures of Greeks and Turks. Rebetiko is a broad music genre of Greece, consisting of urban songs and instrumental music which developed in and around the major port areas of Eastern Mediterranean (Smyrna/Izmir, Istanbull, Syros, Piraeus and Thessaloniki).
Two videos emerged where police are shown to beat refugees when down and throwing rocks at them inside Moria camp on Lesvos. The events took place on June 18th, when refugees protested about the conditions of their detention.