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

Racist Attacks

Via Kathimerini

The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) yesterday issued a statement alleging that groups linked to the extreme right-wing Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) have been attacking immigrants in the Aghios Panteleimonas district of central Athens over the past week. According to SYRIZA, the groups have been patrolling the area at night and have attacked immigrants with sticks and iron bars.

I don’t have any other information at the moment. As soon as I find out more I will post it. The situation for immigrants here in Greece is becoming intolerable. I write “becoming” but thinking on… it already is. I don’t understand how a person can even dislike a another human being because of the colour of their skin, let alone go out and attack them. It’s incomprehensible to me.

What can we do ? Anything ? I believe the police know who these people are but it seems that nothing much is being done to stop their violence.

I am at a loss for words…

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10 Comments

  1. Xenos
    September 10, 2009    

    Given that many of the police are known to be members of Chryssi Avgi, and the Greek state does nothing to deal with this problem… This is really the issue in a nutshell: the Greek state tolerates and is even complicit in criminal and racist acts.

    BTW, the thugs’ attacks on immigrants have been going on ever since the police started evicting people from Aghios Panteleimonas. I don’t know why SYRIZA talk only about the last week — maybe to prove their own ignorance?

  2. Cyd
    September 10, 2009    

    Given that many of the police are known to be members of Chryssi Avgi

    Certainly you have documentation to prove this assertion since it is such “given” that “many” police are members of CA. Otherwise it would appear to be another example of you talking out of your ass.

  3. Xenos
    September 10, 2009    

    The only ass here is you, Cyd, and I wasn’t talking out of you.

  4. Cyd
    September 10, 2009    

    What a surprise, no evidence for unfounded assertions. Is this the level of academic rigor you use to impress one and all?

  5. Stassa
    September 11, 2009    

    Right. More on that. The Chrysa Avga are not police officers, they’re something like the boy scouts of the police. Too fucked up to be trusted with doing police duty but useful nonetheless, when it comes to beating people up and threatening them with violence.

    But, here’s some interesting news from tvxs.gr:

    On the 8-9-2009 members of the Team of Lawyers for the Rights of Immigrants and Refugees went to the Agios Panteleimonas Police Station to communicate with one of their customers, an Afghan man being held there who had been the victim of an armed assault in Attiki’s Square.

    We denounce the inexcusable neglect of the officers in charge of the preliminary proceedings, in certifying the identity of those responsible [for the assault] and in sending the profoundly lacking judiciary brief to the Prosecutor, without even taking an official statement from the victim.

    We denounce the detention of the victim, who is injured, under conditions that place his health in danger, the detention of the sole eye witness who is a non-accompanied child refugee and the intimidation of their defence lawyers, members of our Team, by citizens who were freely roaming the facilities of the police station.

    It is unacceptable for some chosen “concerned citizens” to know elements of the judiciary brief that is still in the preliminary examination stage, and to freely roam inside the police station, provocatively overlooking the activities of the defence lawyers.

    We denounce the attempts at intimidation against defence lawyers from “concerned citizens” in the presence and with the tolerance of the officers of the state.

    We denounce the racist attacks from teams of vigilantes who are acting uncontrolled and with the tolerance of the police in the area of Agios Panteleimonas, and turning against the immigrants, threatening their lives.

    The Afghan refugee must be the same man who was injured on Saturday the 30th of August (I believe). He was attacked by a lynch mob who patrols Agios Panteleimonas at nights and stabbed with an iron bar on the left side of his ribcage.

    The same mob had previously threatened to attack a shop at Agios Panteleimonas, where an Afghan refugee who is a journalist, was sitting. He reports that the owner of the store recognised some of the attackers as being policemen (I personally find that dubious) and that the police showed up and told the lynch mob that the men in the shop where not the ones the mob was looking for and that they should move on to Plateia Attikis.

    The Afghan journalist, Bassir, had returned home when he received a phone call about an attack in Plateia Attikis, by a mob, against an Afghan man. He started towards the square, but on the way there he saw the same mob attacking another Afghan man, so he went back home fearing for his safety. An eye-witness (a woman, so the kid the lawyers’ group mention cannot be the only one- not that there could only be a single person there when this happenned) told him that during the incident, there were 5 or 6 police officers looking but they didn’t react. They finally intervened to call an ambulance when they realised he had lost a lot of blood and he was in danger. According to people who frequent Attiki’s square, that is a common occurrence.

    This is according to this article, btw: http://www.tvxs.gr/v19388

    It also mentions that according to the UN High Commission for Refugees, during the summer, tens of people have been taken to hospitals injured, presumably in similar incidents.

    What concerns me is that the media, even the “liberal” tvxs.gr keeps referring to the Afghans and the Iraqis as “immigrants”. Not that I think we need some two-tier system of “immigrants -bad”, “refugees- good” or anything, but this semantics legerdemain is only serving to obfuscate the fact that Greek society has moral responsibilities towards those people, and to enable the populist propaganda that “they come here to take our businesses” and so on.

  6. Xenos
    September 11, 2009    

    Thank you, Stassa, for this extremely important info. I did not know any of this, as my information relates to previous incidents. The relationship between the police and fascist groups in Greece is long-standing and very serious. No government has ever properly taken control of the Public Order Ministry and the police, and now we see the results of this disgraceful abdication of political responsibility over decades.

    Cyd: go and wipe your ass: you are disgusting.

  7. Alexandros
    September 11, 2009    

    Xenos’ comments are very true. The police is corrupt and both the far-right and the far-left run free.

  8. EU Expat in Greece
    September 11, 2009    

    Attacks against immigrants are unfortunately not a new phenomenon, nor are they limited to Greece. But the question that is going through my mind over and over again is: Where the hell is the outrage?

    If this does not cause people to stand up and to shout from the top of their lungs that enough is enough, that this type of behavior is intolerable in a civilized society, what will? Where are the news media reporting and denouncing these events in the harshest possible words? Where are the politicians standing up and condemning the state of affairs? Where are the people demonstrating against such violence, showing that they, too, consider it to be a major blight on their beloved country?

    These events, in particular, demonstrate that it is vitally important to treat racism differently from other types of petty crime (and I do not mean to imply that racism is a petty crime; this is just picking up on racist remarks made by commenters in the thread on soccer hooligans). The moment racially motivated remarks and actions become tolerated, the moment that a group of people are being belittled and dehumanized consistently in the minds of people, it is only small step toward tolerating, and even encouraging, violence against said groups.

    I have spoken up over and over against discriminatory remarks and attitudes whenever I am confronted with them, including members of my own in-law family. They can be the nicest and most helpful people one can imagine. Yet, some of them, too, have this curiously blind spot when it comes to derogatory attitudes toward people who are not of their own ethnic group.

    I have even been confronted with responses of the form “Well, you are an EU national, and you are married to a Greek, so you are not one of them.” To which I respond that I see no fundamental difference between myself and the “them,” and that I consider any derogatory remark or physical attack against them also to be directed against me. At times, it feels like an uphill battle, and it is difficult not to despair.

  9. Stassa
    September 15, 2009    

    Where the hell is the outrage?

    You’re asking “where is the reaction against the resurgence of nationalism and racism in Europe”?

    It got lost somewhere in the last 50 years or so. We’ll find it again, don’t worry. We (Europeans) do every few decades or so.

  10. EU Expat in Greece
    September 15, 2009    

    I am not talking about the resurgence of nationalism and racism. I am specifically talking about keeping quiet about violence, which crosses a dangerous boundary.

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