Riot police attacked and crushed a 1,500 person strong antifascist demonstration called to counter a 500 strong Neo-nazi Golden Dawn rally, Saturday night in Athens, Greece.
After the State claimed it wanted to destroy the Neo-nazi monster it created, Saturday night was proof that this is not the case. Neo-nazis were protected and guarded by the police, while antifascists had their heads smashed, and were teargased, beaten, hunted down, arrested, and suffocated in several riot police military-style attacks, including one in a subway station.
The antifascist demo was calm, until cops attacked. People were carrying banners reading: “We shall crush them – Antifascist fronts everywhere- massive and social- Anti-authoritarian Movement,” and “The knife of the Golden Dawn member and the boot of the coastguard murder of people of our class – Anarchists for the social liberation.” The knife refers to the murder weapon which Golden Dawn used to kill antifascist rapper and working class activist, Pavlos Fyssas, while police watched and were told not to intervene. The coastguard murder refers to the premeditated drowning of 12 refugees, just a few months after the Lampedusa massacre, which outraged people in Greece and Europe.
Before the Golden Dawn rally started, there were scuffles among fascists and Athinaikos football team fans, and the fascists had to retreat. When antifascists started to grow in numbers, witnesses reported that “there were cops and undercover cops in every alley,” and that the riot police were on stand by. There might be a reason why cops don’t go undercover to spy on the Neo-nazi Golden Dawn, since they acted together so many times against immigrant workers and doctors. “Golden Dawn are a continuation of the mainstream politics by other means.” (see documentary here)
And they remain as such: at their rally, Golden Dawn announced they will re-brand their party in case they are not allowed to use the old name in the upcoming May elections. They will be called National Dawn.
As Golden Dawn were chanting their fascist and racist slogans– “Foreigners get out of Greece,” among others – riot cops unleashed their terror against antifascists who intended to stop the Neo-nazi rally.
Cops tried to break the antifascist demo firing teargas grenades at them, and later they chased them one by one, beating them with their clubs.
The streets were not safe for fascists either, as one of them was caught by antifascists earlier behind the Grande Bretagne Hotel, on Syntagma square. The cops jumped in to help him escape, and arrested at least one person during that incident.
Four riot police squads – an army – had been deployed against the antifascists on Syntagma square. Suddenly they put on their masks. Knowing this was a sign that repression was coming, people formed human chains and refused to leave. A few minutes later, cops attacked the antifascists following a military-combat scenario: they unleashed their terror at the same time from three different sides, with stun grenades and chemicals. People ran and gathered at the lowest part of the square to re-group. Teargas bombs were fired at antifascists. One person was badly injured, and several were captured and arrested. Running from the cops, people gathered on Filellinon st, and found themselves surrounded by cops. A fascist was attacked a few blocks down from Monistiraki square – he was carrying a knife.
The main block of the demonstrators gathered at Monastiraki square, chased by the MAT police. Two more police squads appeared on Mitropoleos and Aiolou street corner. Demonstrators learned that at least 5 antifa had been arrested at Karagiorgi Servias, and that they were taken to the Police HQ (GADA). At Monistaraki square, protesters started to throw rocks at cops. The riot squads had the entire square surrounded. Some managed to escape and ran to Monastiraki subway station, only to find themselves trapped inside. The four riot police squads hunted them down, and two antifascists were left bleeding on the ground.
Cops invaded the subway station, and some antifascists fought back. All of a sudden, cops – by themselves – took control of the entire station. They ordered passengers to evacuate and closed it down. A few minutes later it became clear why, as they gassed the antifascists hiding there. Cops recklessly threw teargas grenades into the subway – quite a counter-insurgency technique to make their bosses proud. Then cops invaded the tube platforms, chasing and arresting protesters. Some antifa ran on the train rails to escape.
At least 25 antifa were detained at the Monastiraki tube station (among them a reporter who was taking pictures). 3 others were captured on a street near Ermou by DELTA elite force. Two police vans took the captured antifa to the police HQs.
At least 5 antifa were badly injured, many wounds to the head, as cops hit them repeatedly.
One was kept under armed escort at the hospital. Later information about him revealed that he is a Kurdish political refugee and was injured by a teargas canister. While he was treated in hospital for a few hours, armed cops guarded his door. Witnesses reported that the hospital was invaded by armed OPKE (Special Police Teams for Crime Prevention and Suppression) cops. They even burst in the radiology clinic of Genimatas hospital where the injured were being treated. “The doctors are yelling at the cops to leave,” witnesses reported.
Later in the night, he was taken to the police HQs, one mainstream media outlet announced “it is expected he will be accused of having attacked the police!” Such accusation is not substantiated by facts, but only by what the police say.
Antifascists and supporters who went to the GADA police headquarters to help their comrades later said that the young people detained accused the brutal elite Delta force – which was also called in to break the antifa demo – of trying to overrun them with their motorbikes.
Resistra.net, who kept a live flux of information going during the state repression of antifascists, posted two photos of the fascist chief squad Dareios Likiardopoulou, who along with his squad, attacked the metro station. As Resistra.net says, Dareios Likiardopoulos was the defense witness of Golden Dawn at the trial of the murderous fascist attack in 1998 against the student and member of EAAK (extra-parliamentary left in Greek universities). Back then, one of the henchmen of Golden Dawn was condemned for this case. Dareios Likiardopoulos is known for his repressive actions at every serious protest. In this photo from from 2010, we see Dareios kicking a photo journalist.
The Greek capitalist state never misses one single pretext to terrorize and repress the left. Earlier last week, police raided the homes of at least 26 anarchists in a supposed attempt to locate an escaped terrorist.
Before their Golden Dawn rally, Neo-nazis defaced the place where Fyssas was killed by them. In response, thousands of anarchists demonstrated on the streets of Athens, as seen in this video.