Black Cat ★ Red Cat

Here is the flyer we passed around:


Never Again Fascism!

In recent years the world economic Crisis has plunged Greece in a deep recession. As always, workers, students and the more vulnerable amongst us are made to pay. Jobs are lost, unemployment skyrockets, pensions melt away, the cost of living rises, etc. This economic crisis threatens the stability of the entire economic system of the European Union. The “solution”, imposed by the Greek and European politicians and bankers, along with the IMF, is crippling austerity. Populations, already hard hit by the direct consequences of the crisis, are further burdened by cuts to social services, salary cut-backs and regressive attacks on labour rights.

As in 1920’s Italy and 1930’s Germany, a previously obscure fascist party has been thrust into the spotlight. This party, named Golden Dawn, scapegoats immigrants and leftists for Greece’s woes and has a political platform based…

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Responding to the international call for solidarity to the antifascist struggle of the Greek people, we are organizing a solidarity protest outside the Greek Consulate in Toronto, together with RoR Toronto.

Where: 365 Bloor St. Eeast.
When: Saturday, January 19, 2pm.

Facebook event page:





Greece 1940: The antifascist struggles of yesterday. Turtle Island 2012: The necessity of struggle today.

The capitalist crisis of 2008 brought class struggle to a new level of intensity. In Greece, the EU country most hit by the crisis, devastating policies are imposed to large sections of society. These expose the organic ties between neoliberalism and fascism, best seen in the meteoric rise of Golden Dawn. A true fascist party, Golden Dawn is involved in routine acts of violence and has recently started appearing in Greek diaspora.

Join us on Sunday the 28th, on Ohi Day, the anniversary of Greece’s entry to World War II to:

  • Learn about the actions of Greek fascists in Greece and North America.
  • Discuss different perspectives on the fascist phenomenon and its relation to the crisis,
  • Relate, compare and contrast the history and the effects of the current capitalist crisis in Greece and North America.


  • Antonis Tsopelas (Association of Greek Canadian Veterans of the National Resistance 1941-45)
  • Nikos Gryspolakis (Occupy Montreal)
  • David McNally (York University)

Where: OISE, room 2211 (map:

When:  Sunday, October 28th, 6.00pm

With support from:

Laurie Penny: It’s not rhetoric to draw parallels with Nazism

Published in The Independent,  Thursday, 30 August 2012:

“After the immigrants, you’re next.” That’s what was written on flyers that appeared this week in the gay clubbing district of Athens. As violence against immigrants and ethnic minorities escalates across Greece, supporters of the ultra-right Golden Dawn party have also begun to promote hate attacks on homosexuals and people with disabilities. These fascists march with black shirts and flares through Athens, terrorising ethnic and sexual minorities, waving an insignia which looks like nothing but an unravelled swastika, and declaring disdain for the political process. And yet, across Europe, they continue to be treated as a mere symptom of Greece’s economic crisis.

Once, right-wing thugs only came out to attack immigrants at night. Now they do so in daylight, unafraid of the consequences because there rarely are any. In recent weeks, the number and severity of the attacks have increased – on 12 August, a 19-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker was fatally stabbed by a gang on motorcycles just streets away from the Greek parliament – and if migrants report attacks to police, they risk being arrested.

Not only are crimes against immigrants in Greece considered low priority, much of Golden Dawn’s support base comes from police ranks. Exit polls in the May 2012 elections suggested that in some urban districts up to 50 per cent of Greek police voted for the racist group, which now holds 7 per cent of the seats in parliament.

The stabbings, beatings and motorbike attacks have become so routine that in many parts of the capital, immigrants are afraid to go out alone. While Greece has long had a large migrant population – 80 per cent of refugees to the European Union arrive in Greek ports – families who came to the country seeking safety are now afraid for their children. A recent Human Rights Watch report, Hate on the Streets, found that “national authorities – as well as the EU and the international community at large – have largely turned a blind eye” to xenophobic violence in Greece.

Turning a blind eye would be bad enough. But now the Minister for Public Order, Nikos Dendias, has pledged to crack down on immigration, which he described as an “invasion” and “a bomb at the foundations of society”. Tellingly, Dendias also described the presence of foreigners in Greece as a more significant threat than the economic crisis – a message he would no doubt plaster across the walls of Athens if he could.

Whipping up racism has become a strategy for diverting an embittered nation’s attention away from the government and public spending crisis. Like many flagging centre-right administrations, the New Democracy coalition is mimicking the language of far-right extremists, pandering to rather than pacifying public xenophobia. With Dendias’s support, the police are rounding up immigrants, arresting and deporting thousands in raids across Athens and nearby cities – a programme named, with no apparent irony, after Zeus Xenios, the Greek God of hospitality.

Golden Dawn’s surge in popularity and confidence did not come from nowhere. The party has been active for decades, but four years ago, before the first wave of austerity cuts in Greece, it was regarded as something of a joke. This summer, with its party at the table in parliament, members of Golden Dawn are setting up “Greeks only” supermarkets and distributing food parcels to the unemployed in Syntagma Square – but only for “real Greeks”.

The left does not need to point to the historic correlation between imposed economic austerity and the rise of fascism: Golden Dawn is making that link explicit, celebrating it. But simple willingness to capitalise on public anger will never, in any nation, make racist thugs the voice of the people.

As with many fascist groups, Golden Dawn claims to represent the marginalised working class. Like far-right groups across Europe – including the English Defence League and the new British Freedom Party – Golden Dawn declares itself the enemy of a bankrupt democratic system, exploiting for its own ends popular anger against neoliberal economic mismanagement. However, although it professes to stand against austerity, it has no economic project: its tactics are simply violent, divisive and nauseatingly racist. And the governments of Greece and Europe seem willing to tolerate this as the social cost of an ongoing austerity consensus.

The European Union was established after the Second World War to ensure socio-economic unity on a continent ripped apart by fascism. In the Greece of today, Golden Dawn is being treated as a serious political party, despite its members’ eschewal of democratic process and tendency to assault rival politicians on television.

Long after the Nazi party took power in Germany in 1933, after the Reichstag had been burned and anti-semitic violence became official state policy, European governments remained more worried about the possibility of a socialist Germany than a fascist one. Almost until the Second World War, it remained more important to many world leaders that Germany pay down its debts. Drawing historical parallels with Nazism is a weary rhetorical technique that commentators on left and right have cheapened by tossing the simile into discussions of food labelling and over-enthusiastic traffic control. In this case, however, it’s not rhetoric.

Actual fascists in actual black shirts are actually marching around Athens waving swastikas and burning torches, and maiming and murdering ethnic minorities, and world governments appear frighteningly relaxed about it as long as the Greek people continue to pay off the debts of the European elite. When the lessons of history are taught by rote, they can be easy to miss when most needed. This time, Europe must remember that the price of fostering fascism is crueller and costlier by far than any national debt.

Greek government launches mass round-up and deportation of immigrants

(reblogged from In Defence of Greek Workers)

Greek government launches mass round-up and deportation of immigrants
By Christoph Dreier
9 August 2012
Just a week after the Greek government announced €11.5 billion in new cuts in social spending, 4,500 police officers in ​​bullet-proof vests, accompanied by Alsatian dogs, took to the streets of Athens to hunt down foreign-looking people.
Some 6,000 were taken into custody. Of those arrested, 1,400-2,000 were imprisoned and are set to be deported to their home countries.
According to eyewitness reports published in the Guardian newspaper in Britain, the police teams acted with the utmost brutality. Police are said to have randomly stopped foreign-looking individuals and packed them into windowless buses. After several hours, the officers searched them and checked their papers. Those who could produce a residency permit were released; all others were taken to police stations and a temporary detention facility near Athens.
Eight-eight Pakistanis were summarily deported on Sunday.
Other reports speak of humiliating scenes in which the victims had to spend hours kneeling on the ground. There are reports of violent attacks by police officers on detainees.
The representative of the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR in Athens, Petros Mastakas, pointed out that the police action violated the rights of immigrants. “It is very difficult, practically impossible, for asylum seekers to apply for protected status, and we are concerned that there may be among those arrested people who want protection but were unable to submit their requests,” he said.
“Operation Xenios Zeus”, as the mass deportation is called, is part of a broader campaign against refugees. Since April, there have been constant mass raids leading to arrests and deportations. In July alone, 819 people were deported from Greece.
By the end of the year, the government plans to build eight deportation camps where up to 10,000 people can be interned. Greece has not witnessed such mass arrests and use of prison camps since the Colonels’ dictatorship of 1967-1974. At that time, thousands of workers and youth were arrested, tortured and shipped off to concentration camps on the islands of Leros and Gyaros.
The minister responsible for civil protection, Nikos Dendias of the conservative New Democracy, denounced refugees seeking asylum as worse than the German troops who invaded Greece during World War II. Speaking to Skai TV, he described them as “occupiers” who have turned the country into an “immigrant ghetto”.
“We’re losing the country,” he said. “What is happening now is [Greece’s] largest invasion ever.” These words could have been spoken by a representative of the fascist party Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn), which won nearly seven percent of the vote in the last election and is represented for the first time in the Greek parliament.
Chrysi Avgi, whose members use the Nazi salute and sport a modified swastika, have played a central role in witch-hunting immigrants. Reports of brutal attacks on immigrants by members or supporters of the party are growing.
There are close links between the security forces and Chrysi Avgi. The Greek newspaper To Vima reports that over half of all police officers voted for the fascist party. Recently, a member of Chrysi Avgi received the support of 41 deputies in the election for deputy parliamentary speaker. Since the party itself has only 18 seats, at least 23 deputies from other parties supported the fascists.
A report by Human Rights Watch from July raises the suspicion that the attacks on immigrants are semi-official actions. According to the report, police officers often turn a blind eye when they are confronted with evidence of violence and even stand idly by when immigrants are assaulted. Undocumented immigrants are “routinely discouraged from making official complaints,” the report states. The police have told some victims they “have to pay a fee to file a complaint.”
The organization Expel Racism has received hundreds of reports of people being beaten up while the police stood by. According to anti-racism activist Thanassis Kourkoulas, police officers beat up immigrants in police stations, and local residents who complain about immigrants are given the phone number of Chrysi Avgi.
Operation Xenios Zeus has the backing of the European Union. For years the EU has criticized the lack of border controls in Greece. A significant number of illegal immigrants come into the EU via the Turkish-Greek border.
In 2003, the EU adopted the Dublin II regulations. Since then, a refugee who enters the EU without a valid visa can lodge an asylum claim only in the country of entry. This means Greece is not only committed to secure the EU external border, but also to prevent onward travel by asylum seekers to other EU countries. Under this regulation, immigrants have been repeatedly deported from Germany back to Greece.
The European Commission hailed the mass arrest of immigrants. “The Commission has encouraged the Greek government to improve their border management and to step up the controls at their borders for several months,” said a spokesman.
Operation Xenios Zeus is directed not only against refugees, but against the entire Greek and European working class. The anti-immigrant agitation and repression are, in the first instance, meant to serve as a reactionary diversion from the savage austerity measures being imposed on the working class and considerable sections of the middle class. In the face of mass popular opposition to the policies of the government and the Greek and European ruling classes, the bourgeoisie is seeking to “change the subject” and incite racism and chauvinism in order to split the working class.
The terrorizing of immigrants is at the same time aimed at intimidating the working class, while strengthening the state apparatus and promoting fascist forces in preparation for mass repression against political and social opposition.
In Greece and other European countries, there is growing resistance by the working class to the austerity measures of the EU. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the trade unions and allied pseudo-left organizations such as Syriza and Antarsya to divert social anger into harmless channels. To continue the attacks, the ruling elites must turn to methods of open repression.
Just weeks ago, police violence was used to crush a strike by steel workers at a plant near Athens. Last Sunday the police attacked a demonstration against the construction of a gold mine in Halkidiki, using rubber bullets and tear gas.
The government recently made changes in the military leadership to ensure the loyalty of the troops. For years the Army has held maneuvers preparing the soldiers for the suppression of riots.
Greek and European workers must defend immigrants against the attacks of the government and the police. This is an integral part of the struggle against the austerity measures that are destroying the livelihoods of broad social layers.
Photos: Selected by Lenin Reloaded, via Google Images

Call for international solidarity for Greek Steelworkers’ Strike

(reblogged from Lenin Reloaded)

This morning, at approximately 5.30 am,  and after the issuing of a warrant for the termination of the heroic Steelworkers’ Strike, in Aspropyrgos, Attica, riot police forces attacked the strikers, arresting six workers who were safeguarding the strike site, and molesting members of the Communist Party of Greece and the Coalition of the Radical Left who were on site. They subsequently allowed a small number of scabs and office managers to enter the factory, resuming work. This action took place despite the fact that the majority of the workers had recently decided for a continuation of the strike. This violent and dictatorial attempt to put an end to the longest workers’ strike in Greek history (263 days as of today) has been the culmination of months of employer-encouraged attempts to isolate, sabotage, slander and in every way undermine the living symbol of Greek popular resistance against capitalist barbarity and naked exploitation in the country, under the auspices of the Greek Government, the IMF, the EU, and the European Central Bank.

All the parties of the Greek Left, with the ignominious exception of the class traitors of the so-called “Democratic Left” that has joined forces with the corrupt plutocracy that rules the country with an iron fist, have made statements of protest and are organizing immediate demonstrations starting today.

We call on all the Progressive Forces globally –workers, unemployed, underpaid, precarious laborers, pensioners, women, immigrants– to support and show solidarity for the beating heart of the European workers’ movement: the Steelworkers of Greece Strike. By agitating, demonstrating, protesting against what is taking place in Greece, calling on their governments to protest the utter annihilation of basic working rights within the European Union, in a so-called “advanced” country of the west.

Funds are also sorely needed by the long-unemployed workers, who are currently being blackmailed to return to work or stay fired.

The Greek Steelworkers’ strike Bank Account information is as follows:

National Bank of Greece

IBAN: GR4001102000000020062330152
BIC or Swift Code : ETHNGRAA ( Bank Idendifier Code )
Name of Bank Account Owner (on behalf of the strikers): Liakos Dimitris

For English-language information, please visit the All Workers Miltant Front, at this address: 

Please disseminate as widely as possible.