Tuesday 6 October 2020

As if I would get frightened

«Σιγά μη Φοβηθώ»: Το μήνυμα στην πρόσοψη της Στέγης του Ιδρύματος Ωνάση

'As If I Would Get Frightened', is the message projected outside the Onasis Cultural Centre in Athens, a clear message against the fascist organisation Golden Dawn, as we are awaiting the verdict of the five-and-half-year trial which is due to be announced tomorrow (note the date on the projected image).

Pavlos Fyssas giving a performance in 2011.

'As if I would get frightened' is a line from one of the songs of Pavlos Fyssas, a rapper and anti-fascist activist.  He was murdered on September 18, 2013 by a member of the Neo-Nazi Party Golden Dawn.

The 33-year old rapper was murdered on the night of 17 September 2013 as he sat with friends in the Coralli Cafe in his neighbourhood of Keratsini in Pireus, where he was well-known for his humanist and anti-fascist music. He was stabbed three times (once in the heart) by Giorgos Roupakias, a member of the five-man leadership of the Nikea branch of Golden Dawn, as other neo-Nazis held him down.

Branch members had recognised Fyssas at the cafe, and following a group text, a battalion squad assembled, and equipped with sticks and knives they left for Keratsini. They joined another group of Golden Dawn members already there. Even though the local police were warned, they did not intervene and when they belatedly arrived on the spot where the stabbing took place, they said it had taken them a while to get there, although they were just 100 metres from the cafe. Many of the thugs were allowed to get away.

Tellingly, as he was arrested, Roupakias told the police: 'I am one of yours. I am Golden Dawn'.

Following Fyssas' murder, protests against Golden Dawn and the associated rise of the far right took place throughout Greece. The protests were violently broken up by a police force that had still left unanswered questions as to how they allegedly allowed the murder of Fyssas to take place in front of them without intervening.

You can see more about Fyssa's murder here

Fyssas' murder happened at a time when the fascist party had operated with impunity for decades and was at its peak; it was represented in parliament and felt powerful enough to carry out a range of violent attacks against migrants and leftists. Popular anger at the murder resulted in the trial of the Nazi organisation. Sixty nine memebers of the fascist party were charged with founding a criminal organisation, being a member of a criminal organisation, and the murder of Fyssas.

See the source image

The court saw that, despite its protests to the contrary, Golden Dawn is and always has been, a neo-Nazi organisation. Video clips show its leader Nikolas Michaloliakos telling a private party meeting: 'We are the seeds of the defeated army of 1945' - i.e., the army of the Third Reich. The court also saw the secret oath for Golden Dawn recruits, which identifies the organisation's chief enemy as 'the Eternal Jew'. According to its original statute, Golden Dawn is structured on the basis of the Hitlerite Fuhrerprinzip - one-man authority from top to bottom.

The five-and-a-half trial will conclude tomorrow, Wednesday 7 October, when the panel of three judges issues its verdict. What's at stake is the reputation of the Greek state and judicial authorities. The judgement will also resonate beyond Greece, because it will impact on the morale and confidence of far-right organisations across Europe which had seen Golden Dawn as a successful model of combining electoral advance with violent street-fighting aimed at controlling neighbourhoods and intimidating the opposition.

The evidence against Golden Dawn is overwhelming. The only reason for any doubt concerning tomorrow's verdict is due to the scandalous proposal from the prosecutor representing the state's interests in the case. She first argued for the court to dismiss the charge of being a criminal organisation. She even proposed that each of the crimes committed was done so by 'discrete individuals' and that their crimes had 'nothing to do' with the organisation. She went so far as to say that only Roupakias should be convicted in the Fyssas case, not those in the immediate group directly assaulting him. I repeat, this is the prosecutor representing the state's interests. This would fly in the face of all criminal law. If accepted, it will mean the re-legitimisation of Golden Dawn and the handing out of more than 8 million euros that has been withheld from its state funding until the end of the trial.

So, we await the court's verdict. Greek society has already reached its own. The fact that a cultural institution like the Onasis Centre post such a message of solidarity at the front of their building is an indicator of how strong feelings run.


  1. I know you got the verdict you wanted,,,,,and so right too.
    I had no idea this horror was ongoing...why didn't I? We must all keep alert to what is happening in these dangerous times.
    You must be so happy Eirenne.........here's to more positive verdicts, elections, decisions.....we will succeed....of course we will.

    1. The day of the verdict, was a good day, Julie. Now we await the sentencing - I hope it's another good day. Like you say, we need some good news in these awful times we're living in.