Saturday, 1 September 2012

First they came...

'After the immigrants, you're next', read flyers from the fascist party that appeared in the gay district of Athens this week. They also announced that disabled people will be their next target.

It is difficult not to draw parallels with history. I would like to draw these parallels now:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Trade Unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Trade Unionist

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me

by Pastor Niemoller

By initiating the Xenios Zeus operation, Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias has encouraged and collaborated with this black-shirted mob who parade through the streets carrying flares, waving their flags which look like unravelled swastikas. He declared that 'our social fabric is in danger of unravelling. The immigration problem is perhaps bigger than the financial one'.

It seems that the policies he is pursuing could have the effect of making the immigration problem bigger than the financial one.

The fascist threat is real and yet no one seems to be doing anything about it: there are no consequences for those who carry out the attacks, the beatings, the arson. It is not surprising given that a large part of the fascist party's base comes from the police force: an exit poll in May 2012 found that in some urban areas 50% of the police voted for the fascist group which now holds 7% of the seats in Parliament.

The government is also turning a blind eye to what is going on in the streets, hoping that xenophobia and racism will distract from the worsening economic crisis. Foreign governments and the foreign media were extremely worried last spring about a socialist Greece - the possibility of SYRIZA gaining a majority whipped up a frenzy of reports and warnings about how a socialist Greece would mean a collapse of its social fabric which resulted in the Greek people, with fear in their hearts, voting for the very same people who created the mess in the first place.

No such worry about the rise of fascism, about thugs terrorising the streets in their black shirts, their unravelled swastikas, the violence they are spreading. The exact same happened in the 30s: the worry about a socialist Germany was far greater than the worry about a fascist Germany. The rest is history.

For daily updates on Greece and lots more on current affairs go to


  1. Spot on post Eirene

  2. Excellent post. These images should be published all over Greece, as a reminder of what happened to Greece as a result of the Germans once going down the same road that some Greeks are going down now.

    1. I agree Ken that the parallels need to be pointed out. What I find really worrying is that the fascist party is treated like any other party on the T.V. news, given equal air time as all the others. And, as I said in the post that European governments still see the rise of the Left as a threat, but are ignoring the rise of fascism.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. The Black and Asian immigrants (for it is their race - not their immigration status - that the fascists oppose) are the European Jews of the 1930s. I wonder how the Greek fascists would feel if other European or North American countries started attacking the Greeks of the diaspora, booting them out and forcing them back to Greece?

    1. I agree with you Sally that it is the race and not the immigration status that the fascists oppose and we must do everything we can to stop them.

  5. I think Sally has a point.