by New Worker correspondent
ANTI-fascists gathered in Holland Park opposite London’s Greek embassy last Saturday to anticipate and oppose a demonstration by an assortment of English, Polish and Greek fascists in support of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.
Golden Dawn is the third largest party in the Greek Parliament. Around 50 of its leading members, including MPs, are currently awaiting trial in Athens for a series of crimes outlined in a 700-page document prepared by a Greek Public Prosecutor.
These crimes include murders, weapon offences, violent attacks on immigrants and others, and the use of a party structure as a political front for the operation of a criminal organisation.
The Greek government turned a blind eye to Golden Dawn violence, attacks on immigrants and against communists and other left-wing and trade union activists. The fascists acted to intimidate resistance to the extreme austerity programme forced on the Greek people by the European Union and the IMF – and to try to divert the blame on to immigrants.
But Golden Dawn’s extreme violence eventually forced the Greek government into a clamp down when supporters murdered anti-fascist Greek rapper Pavlos Fysass in September 2013, causing international outrage.
Petros Constantinou, a prominent member of the anti-fascist Antarsya whose supporters have been widely targeted by the extremists said:
““This is an extremely important development and no time should now be wasted in holding this trial and putting these criminals away for life,” Their murderous tactics have been tolerated for far too long.”
Last Saturday a rag-bag of British fascists, former and current members of the British National Party, National Front, English Defence League, Britain First and others joined forces with a handful of Polish fascists and an even smaller group of Greek fascists to stage a protest in sympathy with their colleagues awaiting trial in Athens.
But anti-fascists arrived an hour before the fascists were due to occupy the spot opposite the Greek embassy. After a long wait the anti-fascists were joined by a large group of young Antifa supporters who arrived running, with news that the fascists were on their way.
Police were forced to act fast and threw a cordon across the road to prevent the Antifa youngsters making contact with the fascists.
The fascists’ arrival was further delayed while police hummed and harred and decided to further block the road with two police vans so that the fascists and anti-fascists could not directly see each other.
Then the fascists – between 30 and 40 of them – arrived with banners and shouting slogans in support of Golden Dawn.
There was an exchange of slogans and chants delivered by megaphone. The anti-fascists consistently outnumbered and out-shouted the fascists.
After a while the fascists decided to give up and withdrew the way they came, heavily escorted by police while the anti-fascists cheered their departure.