The following statement was read aloud by the comrades of the No Golden Dawn in Chicago Working Group in front of the Greek consulate
NoGoldenDawnChicago@gmail.com | www.facebook.com/NoFascistGoldenDawnPartyInChicago | @NoGoldenDawnChi | 312-446-4939
January 19, 2013
The Honorable Ioanna Efthymiadou
Consul General in Chicago, The Hellenic Republic
650 North St.Clair St., Chicago Illinois 60611
Dear Madam Consul General:
We write as Greeks in Chicago, as the American-born children and grandchildren of Greeks, as workers, immigrants, artists, union members, human rights advocates and activists from a host of backgrounds. We write to condemn the Greek government’s use of police violence against virtually every protest on the streets of Greece — unless those protests are organized by fascists, who count police officers as members of their ranks.
We condemn your government’s sweeping use of chemical weapons against protesters, the wanton arrest of civilians who resist police violence, the torture of anti-fascist demonstrators, and your government’s naked abandonment of even the most fundamental principles of democracy.
Your government has used the police — including the fascists in their ranks — to squelch dissent and soften the ground for growing corruption and austerity, the evisceration of even the most basic economic safety net, and the ongoing transfer of wealth from ordinary Greeks to the elites your government serves. Your government has stood by idly while fascists maim and murder — including the murder in Athens on January 17 of Pakistani cyclist Shehzad Luqman, one more atrocity in a relentless series of attacks on immigrants, people of color, leftists, LGBT people and anyone who dares to speak out against fascism or the Greek government. Greek police routinely criminalize not the perpetrators of these crimes, but instead the people who speak out against these neo-Nazis — while your government sets those same Greek riot police upon the Greek people in a wave of violence that now rivals the worst practices of the dictatorship.
No people, no nation, no progressive impulse inspires us more than the example set by the people of Greece themselves — who are engaged in a daily, heroic struggle to resist not just Golden Dawn, fascism and right-wing extremism but the wider wave of state-sponsored repression that seeks to undermine their just struggle for jobs, education, housing and dignity. Greeks have withstood generations of repression. The Greek people endured WWII’s devastating Nazi occupation, which took the lives of tens of thousands of Greeks from starvation, assassination, Nazi death camps and extermination campaigns. Greeks have endured years of right wing dictatorship — a legacy of authoritarianism that your government increasingly parrots, particularly in your tacit embrace of the open neo-Nazi agenda that Golden Dawn and its fascist allies promote both within and outside of the government.
Chicago is a city of immigrants, including a large and well-established Greek American community — and the Golden Dawn party has declared its intentions to expand operations into this community. Your government’s tacit collusion with Golden Dawn and its murderous agenda opens the door for these fascists to not only continue to terrorize the people of Greece, but to expand that wave of terror to the United States, to the very city that hosts your consulate.
Golden Dawn members have a well-documented history of brutality, destruction and murder that targets Jews, Arabs, Muslims, immigrants, people of color, gays and lesbians, progressives and any Greeks who oppose their racist, xenophobic worldview. No civilized government would stand for this. The group’s open violence has sparked a growing international push-back that is increasingly — and rightly — putting responsibility for the impunity of Golden Dawn squarely at the feet of Greece’s ruling party.
We embrace the aspirations of Greek protesters in the streets on January 19 in Athens — and their opposition to austerity, government repression and the growth of neo-Nazism in Greece. We reject your government’s policies — including your government’s raids on the squats in Athens and the police campaign to crush dissent in a wave of state-sponsored violence against immigrants, workers, autonomous social centers, unions, leftists, the poor and any Greeks who oppose your government’s catastrophic austerity and privatization policies.
We join those anti-fascists in holding your ruling party and your government responsible for these predations and the lethal effects of austerity — and in demanding that they end. Finally, we have one simple response to any Golden Dawn plans to extend its reach anywhere in our city or on this planet: No Pasaran.
The members and supporters of the No Golden Dawn in Chicago Working Group
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