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On the Murder of Pavlos Fyssas by the Fascist Golden Dawn

Aaron Patrick Flanagan • Sep 27, 2013

At the scene of Pavlos Fyssas’s murder

The calculated ambush and murder of anti-fascist activist and musician Pavlos Fyssas, 34, in Greece last week is a tragedy, one that progressive activists, anti-racists, and anti-fascists around the world have swiftly reacted to. His senseless death at the hands of ravenous bigots, however, has long been a promise, a guarantee that was issued by every vote that was cast for Golden Dawn (GD) during that country’s May 2012 elections.

Since having 19 delegates elected to Greek Parliament, GD has made many promises, like orchestrating “Greek blood only” blood blanks—the same blood one of its pay-rolled members spilled on the streets of Pireaus last Wednesday. And in the wake of that spilling, Nikos Michaloliakos, the party’s Rudolf Hess adoring, megalomaniacal leader, has only promised more. Responding to the long overdue police crackdown on his criminal gang, he cautioned that he “would open the gates of hell.”

In truth, they’ve been open.

From the moment GD unlocked its office doors, party members have beaten, stabbed, burnt out, and generally terrorized the immigrant communities of Athens, in particular. Political opponents have been attacked in broad daylight and openly assaulted on live television. Video footage on YouTube of party street soldiers attacking public events, only to retreat behind armed riot police and soldiers for protection, is easily accessible. Days before Fyssas’s stabbing, black-shirted, camo-clad members attacked a group of Communist party members hanging posters, subsequently hospitalizing many.

Heretofore this violence has been committed with general impunity, often with the aid of police protection, and nearly always within full view of the general public.

Which is, after all, the point. GD has set out not to capture the hearts of the Greek people, but to seize its citizens—the “demos” of its democracy—by their throats.

Even if one has received food from one of GD’s “Greek-only” food banks, one has also inherently heeded its threats. Just after last May’s elections, for example, Michaloliakos gestured at fellow Parliamentarians, “Those who betrayed the motherland – you should be scared now.” Yet Greek citizens and their immigrant neighbors are the ones living in fear. And this fear at its core is the only semblance of a choice that GD will ever extend to the Greek people if they gain significant political power—”accept what we offer, or receive our knives.”

Such a stark “choice,” one instilled with dread and intimidation, is the sum of all that fascists and totalitarians have ever offered any populace anywhere. And as the present—as so much of history, including last Wednesday’s murder—remonstrates to us, the fascist politician turns to the people not to thank them for the trust bestowed on them, but to scream in their faces the doctrine of absolute dominion, blood and soil, the cult of death.

As many have rightly commented, GD has capitalized on real frustrations of the Greek people—an almost fictional level of political corruption, harsh austerity, rampant unemployment. GD’s “solutions” to the socioeconomic realities that have all but crippled Greece follow from the doctrine mentioned above-the twisted tautology that drives GD to commit violent act after violent act after violent act until, as its members hope, the Greek populace falls silent under the haze and confusion of a cultural case of PTSD.

As the ten-of-thousands demonstrating in Greece alone have been proving—as fascism exists as a populist manifestation, the populace can defeat it. Be there no confusion that such a haze can be clear cut.

In response to this tragic death, Karolos Papoulias, Greece’s president, has issued a promise of his own, saying, “It is our duty not to allow any space whatsoever to fascism – not even an inch.” Sadly, such inches were roughly the dimensions of Pavlos Fyssas’s stab wounds. President Papoulias’s actions must be swift, sustained, and resonate at a volume that matches the voices of his people demanding justice for a left-to-grieve family and yet another victim of Golden Dawn.

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