Two ways to look at this Golden Dawn thing

The party’s leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, three other MPs and around a dozen members were arrested on charges of founding a criminal organisation. They are due to appear in court on Sunday to be charged formally.

It is the first time since the military dictatorship ended in 1974 that sitting members of parliament have been arrested. The arrests underline the Greek government’s efforts to stifle the fiercely anti-immigrant party, which has been increasingly on the defensive since the fatal stabbing.

People who have plotted and then carried out a murder should indeed be charged. That’s one way if looking at it.

The other is that so called anti-fascists are acting in a very fascist manner by banning a political party.

And I don’t know enough about what’s going on to know which of those two is the true one.

Although I do have my suspicions and they are fed by the fact that they’re not charging them with being accomplices to murder but with membership of an organisation. Looks much more like the party thing than anything else with the limited information I’ve got.

10 comments on “Two ways to look at this Golden Dawn thing

  1. The Greek Communist Party has murdered tens of thousands of people since 1945. With generous and broad targetting as well – killing leftists as well as rightists. It has spun off half a dozen terrorist groups who have murdered dozens.

    It remains legal. Indeed Syriza is one of the main parties in Parliament despite being a collection of Communist parties and some of their fellow travellers.

    The Fascists just got too popular.

  2. Asked a London friend about Golden Dawn recently, trying to get the real skinny rather than what gets filtered through our media. He’s Cyp but fairly plugged into the mainland @ no particular axes to grind*, far as I’m aware.
    Got the following impression:
    Yep. They are pretty much what is says on the tin. But Greece isn’t UK. UK you’d have to go a long way find anyone stocked the tin & if you did it’d have the label steamed off & be hidden on the back of a shelf. But UK’s pretty atypical for Europe. Being overtly racist doesn’t provoke the reflex cringe reflex been browbeaten into the English if not the Brits in general. Certainly doesn’t in France or here.
    Doubtful doings? Depends what you mean by doubtful doings. If you went delving into Spanish politics you’d be able to identify the far left & right because they’re the ones not in prison or awaiting trial on corruption charges. Wouldn’t need to dig very deeply into our far right before you’d be looking at leftovers from the Franco regime & identifying someone who’s uncle neckshot couple hundred Republicans up in the hills somewhere. Then there’s the Basques for separatist nationalists. Greece has got the legacy of the Colonels & the civil war before that. Just because it’s ‘history’ doesn’t mean it’s history to everyone. And, of course, Greece’s far left aren’t exactly pussycats. So yes it’s had/has some unpleasant, from a Guardian perspective, people connected but that’s par for the course for extremist politics, isn’t it? Becomes mainstream & we politely forget, don’t we. Sinn Fein anyone? Otherwise they’d be queuing up to join the LimpDims.
    Probably better to look at it in the same way we should regard our own BNP. Some less than savoury CV’s but what would you expect? Lot of support & therefore members drawn from ordinary peeps, nowhere else to go to voice their concerns. The whole complicated arena of ‘extracurricular activities”. Covert but approved by party. – What they say they’re banning it for. Covert but not approved by party.- Just because you’re a member of the Rugby Club doesn’t mean you don’t play soccer in your spare time. You like kicking balls. Activities by unconnected or loosely connected people who see the party as a symbol. Activities conducted by opponents of the party wanting to get them blamed.. Activities by people bugger all to do with Golden Dawn but who cares about accuracy? Activities that are totally fictional but make good reading.

    *On the mainland issues. He’d shoot a Turk on sight & probably drive the car over his children’s heads for good measure, of course. But then the family lost half its property in the invasion & if the EU tries to ram a regularisation of the situation down his throat he may come & shoot you.
    Not everywhere’s the UK

  3. bloke in spain – “They are pretty much what is says on the tin.”

    I think we are all agreed they are Fascists. But if they are not about to come to power I don’t see why they should be banned. Even if they were close to coming to power. It requires a lot to justify a forcible take over. This is not the Rhineland crisis. Nor is it Chile under Allende. Golden Dawn didn’t even get that many votes.

    “Wouldn’t need to dig very deeply into our far right before you’d be looking at leftovers from the Franco regime & identifying someone who’s uncle neckshot couple hundred Republicans up in the hills somewhere.”

    Nor in the UK – it turns out Nick Clegg’s Father-in-law was an appointed mayor under Franco. So a good loyal Fascist. Not so sure about executing Republicans though.

    “And, of course, Greece’s far left aren’t exactly pussycats. So yes it’s had/has some unpleasant, from a Guardian perspective, people connected but that’s par for the course for extremist politics, isn’t it?”

    The Communists are entirely mainstream in Greece. And far more of a danger than Golden Dawn. But I reject the idea that these people are unpleasant from a Guardian perspective. The Guardian always sympathises with the torturers and murderers. Where it doesn’t, it usually means there are even bigger torturers and murderers that it prefers somewhere in the background.

  4. @SMFS
    I’d like to think there’s a democratic way of looking at this but Europe doesn’t really do democracy.
    ” they are not about to come to power”
    That’ll be irrelevant of public support because if they had, we’d be watching the cruise missiles fly on the rolling news the week after they were elected. It’s not something the EU would allow. (See former Yugo)
    But if the Greeks want to play the game, the only factions can go out on the street & demonstrate are the socialists they’re asking for the right wing (totally inappropriate label but whatever) to do the demonstrating by shooting & bombing State targets. And good luck to Golden Dawn. I’ll put my Euro in the collection box.

  5. Jonathan:

    ‘Protestors’ according to the BBC. Protestors! People do not set fire to banks and deliberately lock the staff in, murdering them, as a ‘protest’.

    Another example in the long line of instances of the BBC soft-soaping the murderous activities of people they are sympathetic with.

  6. Being a Greek and not affiliated with any particular political party please allow me to explain what’s the deal with this whole situation. As you may not know Greece has a huge problem with illegal immigration. There are areas in central Athens where you no longer hear the Greek language. Greeks (being traditionally a little nationalistic) grew weary of this situation and after many years of nothing being done, they found shelter in the idea of a far-right party that actually acted to ”solve” their problems. Consequently, Golden Dawn was rightfully elected by the people of Greece.

    So far so good. The problems began when a supposedly legal political party,in the safety of the support of a large portion of the population, started adopting gang tactics to address the issues at hand. Golden Dawn members formed units and attacked immigrants both legal and illegal and even natives affiliated with left parties.They killed many of them and were proud of it.This obviously ignited responses by the latter and the whole deal grew to a point where there was a legitimate fear of another civil war! I honestly believe that the average Greek feels that arresting GD was a correct step, since they were stretching the boundaries of political activity beyond what is legal and ethical.

    On another note, GD is openly supporting racism and embrace the ideals of Nazism. This was my personal beef with them. Greece was the country with the most casualties during WWII (proportionate to the population at the time) and we never got compensated for the destruction the Nazi forces caused. Pretty much every Greek you’ll meet is proud of their ancestry and the struggle of our fathers and grandfathers. Yet DG members went on interviews saying things like ”ofc we are not Nazis” and ” this is just propaganda” when many of them have tattoos like the Nazi cross and the ”Sied Heil” phrase. I am ,honestly, baffled at how many of my fellow Greeks fell into this trap, blinded by their hate.

    The true question, though should be: Is there some kind of political game being played in the background? I definitely think so. Banning GD is a win-win situation for the current government, which is in hanging by a thread. They managed to ”please” the majority of the Greek population, show a good and righteous face to the rest of Europe and at the same time gain a lot of voters, which will obviously head their way (being the only major right-wing party left).

    At the end of the day, the truth is that the real problems of Greece haven’t been solved. Everything is the way it was 10 days ago. There is no stability in the Country and corruption runs rampant still. GD, although a problem that needed to be dealt with at some point, was a great scapegoat for the moment, a distraction if you like and the main reasoning behind their arrest is yet to be seen..

  7. Arresting those who engage in illegal activity is fair enough. Let’s arrest Nick Clegg for accepting £2.4million from the convicted fraudster Michael Brown.

    And let’s arrest David Cameron and Millipede for selling peerages for £1m a go and pocketing the proceeds.

  8. Spyros objects to GD’s “open support for racism”. What’s wrong with racism?

    Racism is defined in the Oxford, Chambers and other dictionaries as the belief that some races are better than others. Now psychologists find different races have different average IQs. And the average earnings of different races in the US is different (Asians top, whites second, and Hispanics and blacks lower down). So it looks like racism is a valid idea.

    Doubtless Guardian reading leftie thickos will object to the above on the grounds that racism can lead to horrors like the holocaust. That’s just typical leftie thicko logic: using the same logic you could argue that all explosives should be banned because explosives have caused tens of millions of deaths in wars (far more than died in the holocaust).

    And leftie thickos will doubtless also raise the objection that there are valuable human qualities other than IQ and earning power. Yes, well we’ve all worked that out: every street sweeper and building site labourer has worked that one out.

  9. If they aren’t being charged with being accessories to murder there is no reason to believe they are. In which case the murder is irrelevant.

    They are only being charged with membership of an increasingly popular political party, & that is indeed incompatible with democracy. If the Greeks are anything like us this would encourage more people to vote for them so this looks very like the extinguishing of Greek democracy on the altar of the Euro.

    It will be interesting to see how many alleged democrats in Britain condemn this. I suspect very few, but I also suggest that you can’t be a democrat unless you support democracy.

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