By New Worker correspondent
ANTI-Fascist activists gathered outside the Greek embassy in Holland Park on Wednesday 11th December to show their solidarity and support for three Greek journalists about to go on trial in Athens charged with defaming members of the fascist Golden Dawn party.
The protesters included members of several progressive organisations including Unite Against Fascist, the National Union of Teachers, the Socialist Workers Party and the Greek Socialist Workers Party (SEK).
Katerina Thoidou, journalist, Tasos Anastasiades, publisher and Panos Garganas, editor of Ergatiki Allileghii (Workers Solidarity, weekly paper of SEK) were accused of “defamation” by a lawyer who is in the payroll of a Nazi Golden Dawn MP
Articles in Ergatiki Allileghii exposed the neo-Nazi inspired campaign against the right of second generation immigrants to Greek citizenship. The law under which the members of SEK are accused is infamous in Greece as a “free press killer” law.
If the journalists are found guilty they could face a fine of up to €30,000 each – which would bankrupt Ergatiki Allileghii.
Currently several leading members of Golden Dawn are in custody awaiting trial on various charges of violence and criminality. Their party has been behind a wave of brutal attacks on immigrants, homosexuals and left-wing activists.
It exploits and exacerbates divisions among Greek undergoing extreme austerity measures imposed by the European Union arising from the mismanagement of Greece’s economy by the one-per-cent of fabulously rich bankers.
Last Wednesday’s protest was addressed by UAF joint leader Weyman Bennett and Paul Mackney, former general secretary of the lecturers’ union Natfhe. They both reminded those present that Greece has suffered on several occasions from extreme right-wing governments: dating from the 1930s, then again under occupation by the Nazis.
Just after the liberation from the Nazis, British imperialism intervened to restore the monarchy and stop the Greek communists, who had played a leading role in the resistance, from being elected into government. This led to civil war followed by another period of extreme right wing military rule.
And in the 1960s the country suffered a fascist military coup by army colonels against the left-wing government of Georgios Papandreou.
From 1967 to 1974 Greece was ruled by the colonels’ junta and all left wing political activity was forced underground.
Weyman Bennett pointed out that fascist and Nazi parties throughout Europe are now looking to Golden Dawn for inspiration and that these parties have links, including through the structures of the European Union.
“One of the best ways we can show solidarity with our Greek comrades is to fight the fascists here and ensure that Nick Griffin loses his seat in the European Parliament next year,” he said.