A demonstration against refugees and migrants took place on Sunday, January 19, at Athens’ Syntagma Square, organised by various far-right organisations. A relatively small but vocal number of citizens was present, many holding banners with racist slogans and Greek flags, priests with icons who preached hate instead of love: a sad flash-back to images from last year’s demonstration against the agreement with North Macedonia. Golden Dawn members undergoing legal proceedings for their part in the assassination of rapper Pavlos Fyssas were also present, as was pseudo-neoliberal far-right advocate Thanos Tzimeros. All in all, a hateful crowd.
During the demonstration the German journalist Thomas Jacobi of Deutsche Welle and La Croix was repeatedly beaten on the face by Nazis who recognised him because of his role in the production of the documentary “Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair” (2016). That Jacobi was identified and targeted by the Golden Dawn is clear because this is the second time that he was bludgeoned by its supporters, the first being during last year’s demonstration against the agreement with North Macedonia.
The beating was not stopped by police forces, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, are far quicker to respond in Left-leaning demonstrations. The Conservative government took the opportunity to speak about “violence on both sides”, even though the Prime Minister has in past interviews assured us that “the far-right in Greece does not produce violence”. The Conservative ex-Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, in the meantime, gave a telling interview to the “Fileleutheros” publication, condemning foreigners, illegal migrants, refugees etc. Is it really any wonder we are where we are?
Our Greek Electoral Wing MeRA25 has condemned the demonstration, and all similar gatherings of racism and hate. DiEM25 joins them in this condemnation and stresses that we, as convinced European democrats, stand against all far-right iterations in Greece and across the continent, and in solidarity with refugees and migrants. We call on the Greek Government to stop fuelling and tolerating misanthropic rhetoric and actions, and to finally liberate all refugees and migrants from their inhumane imprisonment.
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