The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Film Maker Attacked

This is horrible. I am no longer shocked by the actions of ultra-nationalists here in Greece. Sad and angry but not shocked. I have said many times that we should be afraid of groups like this and I have been ridiculed many times because of it. I have tried to make people understand how scary it is that you could unwittingly bump into a gang that could injure or even kill you. It’s all very well to say I am exaggerating but do you know what it’s like to live with that fear ? Even to know that one person hates you and would beat you because of the colour of your skin, your religion, your opinion or your work is terrifying.

I’m at a loss for words. Again. More later…

UPDATE: My

“minimal account”

of this case was because I was referring to Teacher Dude’s post. There is such a thing as blog etiquette. TD broke the story and it would be wrong of me to hijack it. Anyway, enough of justifying myself (again) …

Just Sayin has posted an account of what happened in Ray Pride’s own words.

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8 Comments

  1. March 23, 2009    

    This *is* terrible.

    I’ve been reading your blog, on and off, since I began blogging in Dec. 2006. Your account of the film maker makes me recall the violence of the Civil Rights Movement. Although I was too young to recall personally, but only through what I’ve read and have been told by those who participated, such utterly senseless violence makes me shudder. Thank you for your courage and activism to report it. I hope the film maker will be okay.

  2. Michael Scowcroft
    March 23, 2009    

    DD,
    I, too, applaud your (and Teacher Dude’s) bravery in reporting this kind of violence.

    Marcy, unfortunately, we don’t have to go as far back as the Civil Rights Movement to see this kind of right-wing violence in America.

    “A neo-Nazi group’s scheduled march against “black crime” in Toledo, Ohio, sparked rioting Saturday afternoon.”
    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/10/15/nazi.march/index.html

    “1994 was the big year for murders and attempted murders of abortion providers in the U.S. and Canada….right-wing American authoritarian groups use media-driven campaigns of political disruption as a strategy for inciting street-level political violence”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-feldman/return-of-1990sstyle-rig_b_41324.html?view=screen

    In America (home of the KKK), right-wing violence exploded with the car bombing of the Federal office building in Oklahoma City in April 1995, killing 169 persons and wounding more than 400. In peaceful Sweden, neo-Nazis in 1999 murdered two police officers, assassinated a labour union activist, bombed a journalist and his son in their car and, in 1998, Nazis also sent a letter-bomb to the Swedish Minister of Justice.

    And in my country Britain, we probably hold the record for the most right wing hate groups in existence:
    The British Movement
    The British Nazi Party also known as the November 9th Society.
    The International Third Position
    The National Front
    The National Socialist Movement – linked to London nail bomber David Copeland
    The NF Flag Group
    League of St. George
    Combat 18
    The Wolf’s Hook White Brotherhood
    The White Nationalist Party

  3. Oath Taken
    March 24, 2009    

    The vital detail that is not clear from your description DD is that he was beaten when he was spotted taking pictures of the demonstrators and not because of his political beliefs or American citizenship as one might guess from your minimal account. Now that does not justify getting beaten up one bit but it explains it:

    Recently those ultranationalist goons have been photographed and then identified as targets (and I mean that in a very precise sense – as in “here’s so-and-so, here’s how the fascist pig looks like, here’s where he lives, next time you see him take good care of him”) on the athens.indymedia.org website. They are naturally suspicious of photographers in the same way that any unhooded hooligans among the demonstrators would be thinking photographers unknown to them are probably working for the police.

    Bottom line – in a Greece increasingly beset by uncontrolled violence between the far right and the far left – just don’t photograph demonstrators. Not because it is not your right but because it is unlikely the police will be there in time to prevent you from being harmed.

    As an aside I wish the ultranationalists and the far left just beat each other senseless and let the rest of us have our cities back but I very much doubt that will happen. Expect things to get worse.

  4. March 24, 2009    

    The extremists on both sides of the equation are despicable. What scares me most is that innocent people who have no affiliation with either side are targeted. I’ve been accused of running with the left wing thugs who are burning down the city. I have nothing to do with them but what if someone really thinks I do? In the past, I have been “outed” by right-wing extremists. They posted my personal details (real name, work etc) I am constantly aware that some of these *&%#^%@$ know who I am and what I do offline. Believe me, it’s scary.

  5. March 24, 2009    

    Thanks for spreading the word on this story, DD.

    To answer Oath Taken. Ray was not taking pictures when he was attacked, the thugs thought he looked like an anarchist and that was enough for them. As far as taking pictures at demos, I have been doing this for some time and I have had no hassles taking pictures of supporters of the various political parties. Obviously LAOS supporters are a different breed despite their veneer of “respectability”.

  6. Oath Taken
    March 24, 2009    

    DD I believe you. You are neither below the radar nor such a prominent target to become safe (fame/infamy does have that perk). At this point I can only wish you that you achieve the latter stage as it’s probably impossible to drop below their radar anymore.

    Craig I went by your own text happened to be taking pictures of the rally by the far right LAOS party in the central Agias Sophias square when he was set upon by 5 or 6 ultra-nationalists. Furthermore it appears that both the daily Ethnos and another source tend to agree with your initial statement (and especially the newsblog.gr source which makes quite a lot of sense).

    http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=11431&subid=2&tag=8334&pubid=2754789
    http://www.newsblog.gr/?p=9169

    Now maybe they (and you initially) were all misinformed and the thugs just targetted him because they though he was an anarchist. I would not put anything past them and the same for their leftist counterparts (a conscript was attached some months ago for having a Greek flag tattoo – I guess that’s a mortal sin).

    As for the targetting via athens.indymedia.org has indeed happened. All you have to do is go through the pages of that site and find plenty of photographs of both far right thugs and policemen, sometimes with further personal information. So do not underestimate the motivation they would have to avoid being photographed by people they do not know. This is not an attempt to apologize for their thuggish behavior – it’s just a precaution for everyone.

    As for your good luck so far taking photos of leftist demonstrators I hope it lasts. Maybe they recognize you as a victim of police brutality and a sympathizer so the anarchists among them don’t think you’re working for the police.

    As for the veneer of respectability of LAOS supporters it’s irrelevant: the ultra-right wingers that take to the streets are either Elliniko Metopo (that’s Makis Voridis’ gang) crowd or Hrisi Avgi supporters that despite not being under the LAOS umbrella tag along to boost their numbers. None have any air of respectability – the average “nikokiris” that has unfortunately been scared and lured to LAOS to enable it to get past 3% after all these years does not take to the streets…

  7. Michael Scowcroft
    March 25, 2009    

    Slightly off-topic:

    I was reading Teacher Dude’s account of when he was beaten by the Greek Police for taking pictures of them.

    Alot of us foreigners expressed shock and outrage that this can happen in a European country. We were quick to pour scorn on the backward legal system in Greece.
    But i wonder how many of us know that in Britain, it is a serious criminal offence to take photos of the British Police and is punishable by up to 10 YEARS IN PRISON??!!

    If TD took pictures of the British Police, he would’ve probably been arrested and charged as soon as he was discharged from the hospital….A sobering thought for us living in modern, civilised and free Britain.

  8. Michael Scowcroft
    March 25, 2009    

    UK Police hate Cameras:

    three UK police officers beat up handcuffed Iraq war veteran:

    Arrested for video-taping Police on his own property:

    Arrested and tazed for asking a public servant a question:

    Arrested for video-taping the police in the “home of the free”:

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