I am posting this article because I have been following the activity of the neo-nazi group Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) since one of its members, Pantelis Kazakos shot nine people in downtown Athens in 1999. He killed two of them and seriously injured the other seven. In 2005, a book about the attack was published. It was this book that inspired this blog.
One of the biggest shocks of the election was the acquisition of seats by the far right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn). The origins of Chrysi Avgi are the usual tale of bigoted extremism. Registered as a political party in 1993, it set out largely as a xenophobic nationalist party. Throughout the 1990s party members engaged in numerous attacks on foreigners and students, whilst the party’s magazine even made a call for vigilantism against immigrants and those with leftist politics. Some members of the party even became part of the Greek Volunteer Guard, a paramilitary group, who took part in the Bosnian War and were involved in the Srebenica massacre.
Chrysi Avgi members have not just concentrated on killing foreigners outside of Greek territory, however. In 1999, during an international football match, Albanian fans burnt a Greek flag in front of cameras; incensed by the disrespect of the Albanians one Chrysi Avgi member then went on a killing spree in Athens shooting nine immigrants as he felt ‘insulted by the burning of the Greek flag.’ Other Chrysi Avgi members founded the ‘Blue Army’ a football hooligan group dedicated to enforcing respect to Greece, which has been involved in numerous brawls with fans from opposing nations. Far from distancing itself from the actions of these imbeciles, Chrysi Avgi’s own newspaper praised their stupidity.
Despite their racist actions, use of the Nazi salute and self-definition as the ‘People’s Nationalist Movement’, Chrysi Avgi vehemently deny being a Neo-Nazi party. As you can probably infer from their flag and its colour scheme this refutation seems slightly ludicrous. Chrysi Avgi is, however, a highly ludicrous party. For the first years of its life the party advocated Hellenic Paganism as the state religion, advocating the sacrifice goats and praise Zeus, Hades and Bacchus for all of life’s wonders. The party has since also given the Greek Orthodox Church the green light as a religion for Greece, in order to appeal to a broader base of voters. Perhaps this has been the reason behind its shock 7% share of the national vote at the May election and its consequent acquisition of 21 seats out of 300 in the Greek parliament.
I am going to continue posting about this violent, fascist group because I have to do something. And I don’t know what else I can do? It’s inadequate for now, this is my protest.
Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) are the biggest threat to human rights and democracy in Greece today.