As has been well documented in the media, the nation of Greece is in the throes of an economic meltdown. Austerity measures aimed at paying off an astronomical debt load have plunged the economy into a death spiral, and sparked nationwide protests and strikes. Unemployment is at 27 percent and climbing.Much as the Nazis arose in Weimar Germany by exploiting similar economic conditions, Golden Dawn, an avowedly fascist political party, has been rapidly gaining power in Greece. Once an unimportant fringe group, Golden Dawn captured seven percent of the seats in parliament in the most recent election. Armed with government funding and the tacit cooperation of the police (many of whom are Golden Dawn members), fascists have adopted a strategy of terrorizing Greece’s immigrant population while offering rudimentary social services restricted to Greek citizens.Ordinary Greeks are mobilizing to prevent the fascist takeover of their country. Neighborhood assemblies, immigrant solidarity groups, labor unions and other civil society organizations are resisting both Golden Dawn and the destructive government policies that created the economic collapse. Greek activists Sofia Papagiannaki, Thanasis Xirotsopanos, Vangelis Nanos are traveling through the U.S. to speak about fascism and resistance in their country. Tour dates and locations — as well as speaker bios and supporting material about the rise of fascism in Greece — is below.
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Speaker bios: Sofia Papagiannaki has studied Computer Science in University of Crete and works as software developer. Since 2006 participates in the free social center Nosotros in Exarchia, Athens. She has been in the editing team of Anti-authoritarian newspaper/magazine Babylonia and among the organizers of B-Fest, the festival organized by Babylonia newspaper in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She is active in Anti-authoritarian movement and several other initiatives specialized in ecological issues, such as committee of solidarity to Chalkidiki (against the mines of gold) and initiative for the waste management in Attiki. Vangelis Nanos studied Music Technology and Acoustics at the Technological, Educational Institute of Crete. He participated in student movements from 1995 to 1999 (school occupations against school reform). At university Vangelis was active in the General University Assembly which, at this time, was established as the only student institution by abolishing the previous administrative council which consisted of political parties. Vangelis has also participated in an occupied self-managed space in Rethymno (Crete), the pirate radio station 91.1 FM, the Antiauthoritarian Movement of Rethymno, the magazine Toxicub, the newspaper Babylonia, solidarity movement with the Zapatistas (one school for Chiapas) and the anti-globalization movement. He was active in the university occupation movement of 2006 to 2007, the Law School occupation during the December 2008 uprising, solidarity with the hunger strike of the 300 immigrants in 2011, and the Syntagma square movement. Vangelis is currently active in the free social center Nosotros, in Athens, the Anti-authoritarian Movement of Athens, the pirate radio station Entasi FM, the B-Fest festival, the occupation of the Botanical Garden in Petroupoli and the antifascist struggle (patrols). Thanasis Xirotsopanos is an activist involved in the anarchist movement since early 90’s. He participated in the squat community, the anti-globalization movement and social struggle concerning ecology, immigrants and free social spaces. He is an active member of Anti-authoritarian Movement and it’s structures since the beginning. (Nosotros, Babylonia newspaper, Antifa actions, B-Festival, etc.)
More resources about fascism in Greece and the struggle against it published by The New Significance:
Short video: “Fighting the the Fascist Phenomena in Greece” featuring voice-over by one of the 15 anti-fascist motorcycle patrol participants who Greek police arrested and tortured.
Article: Greece Between Austerity and Fascism
|The New Significance will be tweeting from the tour as it proceeds.
Tour by date:
More resources about the Athens’ Anti-Fascist Motorcycle patrol:
The Guardian: “Golden Dawn party infiltrates Greece’s police, claims senior officer” (video)
3rd Anti-Fascist Motorcycle Patrol: Video of Patrol
4th Anti-Fascist Motorcycle Patrol: Video of Patrol