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Thursday, October 04, 2012

The More Things Change....

UPDATE (October 7): Our friends in Quebec have done a hell of a lot of legwork on this file already. For those you you who, like us, are sadly uniligual, here is the translated link.

We've all been rather busy here in ARC land with real life issues, but we certainly couldn't allow this to pass without comment:

Anti-immigrant Greek political party accused of being racist opens Canadian chapter

Justin Ling, National Post Staff | Sep 28, 2012 6:20 PM ET | Last Updated: Sep 28, 2012 6:21 PM ET
More from National Post Staff

MONTREAL – The Greek political party Golden Dawn has been called a neo-nazi organization. But Canadian supporters who opened a Montreal chapter this month say that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Montreal chapter is one of only two outside Greece. It launched in early September and began to collect food, medicine and clothing to send to Golden Dawn headquarters in Athens for the needy. Organizers say they have sent about a ton of aid to Greece.

But critics don’t see that plan as quite so altruistic. The party chooses who is to receive the donations and the rule is: no immigrants.

Canadian leader Jimmy James says that restriction is justified because illegal immigrants are taking food from the country’s historical inhabitants. “It’s a problem when a Greek is starving in his own country.”

Golden Dawn wasn’t well known outside of Greece until this year, when it exploded from a fringe group to the third most popular party in Greece, at 22% in opinion polls.

Many are shocked that the anti-austerity party has done so well — it holds 18 of 300 seats in parliament — considering it advocates the expulsion of all immigrants from Greece. The English-language Athens Today calls it “a fascist, racist movement of vigilante thugs.”

And now, it is exporting its brand of ultra-nationalism to Canada.

Deputy leader Spiros Macrozonaris says the group has already attracted 152 members in Montreal.

The party drew heat this month when, amidst its rise in the polls, it released a video showing a squad of supporters and MPs ransacking an immigrant flea market in Greece.

Mr. Macrozonaris shrugged off the reaction. “If you step on my foot, I’m going to scream,” he says. “We have the ugly side, too.”

That ugly side is what has gained the party notoriety.

“[Golden Dawn] is blatantly and proudly anti-immigrant,” says Phil Triadafilopoulos, an associate political science professor at the University of Toronto. “They combine the political ideology of extreme right-wing xenophobic parties with the ethos and tactics of a street militia.”

And when the group turns away non-Greeks, he says, Golden Dawn doesn’t care whether they are in the country legally or not. “They are anti-immigrant, period.”

Prof. Triadafilopoulos says that most Greeks have “deep misgivings” about Golden Dawn.

Yet the party is doing little to temper its image. Reports allege that members have begun patrolling downtown Athens, beating anyone who doesn’t appear to be a Greek.

“Illegal immigrants, they put knives to old ladies’ throats. They’re taking over our homes,” Mr. James says. “The police are doing nothing about it,” which has turned Athens into a “ghetto.”

It’s going to come a head at some point, he warns.

“Nobody wants to see blood spilled,” he says. “But that’s what it’s starting to look like. It looks like it’s leading to a civil war.”

Efforts to expand the party worldwide have been met with fierce resistance online.

This month, Golden Dawn opened an office in New York to garner support among Greek ex-patriots. Their website was quickly the subject of an attack from the hacker group Anonymous.

Montreal is the location of the group’s only other international chapter, yet it escaped without much recognition until Québec Facho-Watch got on the case.

The website, which seeks to “unmask intolerance in Quebec,” began looking into the group in mid-September, reporting that it has ties to white power and fascist groups.

“All neo-nazis are dangerous,” said a spokesperson for Facho-Watch who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We must show them they’re not welcome here.”

Katerina — a Greco-Canadian who now lives in Greece — wanted to convey exactly that when she launched an online petition asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to put a stop to the group. 

Katerina, who doesn’t want her last name published because she is concerned about her safety, has collected more than 1,000 signatures.

But the attention hasn’t fazed Golden Dawn.

“They can write whatever they want. We know who we are,” Mr. Macrozonaris says.

“We’re all good people,” Mr. James says.

National Post

As some of our members are students of history, we have to note the irony of the modern fascist movement. For example, the largest and most dangerous neo-Nazi movements in the world today exist in Slavic nations (particularly Russia), even though the Slavs were hated by the Nazi regime and Slavic nations were among those nations that suffered the most as a result of Nazi aggression.

In this case, we note that a very minute element of the Canadian Greek community has voiced support for Golden Dawn's xenophobic campaign targeting immigrants to Greece, (legal immigrants or otherwise) however these same individuals don't seem to remember a time, almost 100 years ago, when they were targeted here in this country as, "the Other":


Dr.Dawg said...

"Jimmy James?" Now, there's a Greek name for you. Maybe a cousin of "Tommy Robinson."

Anonymous said...

Message to editors:

It might be a good idea to investigate and write about AM 640 for constantly giving a platform to racist, anti-Muslim and anti-gay hatemongers like the EDL, the JDL, Hindu Advocacy, Charles McVety, etc.

This morning they interviewed Pam Geller, a neo-fascist who rabidly spreads hate against all Muslims.
Here's some info about her:

Also, a regular on-air caller who goes by the name "Gary from the Beaches", is obviously Gary Schipper, the voice of the Heritage Hotline back in the day. Anyone familiar with his voice and political views would recognize him almost immediately.

Anonymous said...

CBC makes a report about Golden Dawn Montreal. They stole informations form without quoting the website as their source.

They interviewed antifascists from but didn't quote a single word of it. Instead, they took the names of golden dawn members that gave them, and made an interview with the neonazis.