Racist attacks in downtown Thessaloniki

Press release of the Antiracist Initiative of Thessaloniki – Antifascist Assembly for solidarity – NAFTHA – 31 May 2013

Bloody racist attacks against immigrants took place on Saturday 25 May for the first time in downtown Thessaloniki, highlighting in our city as well the level of barbarism that can result from the rise of racism and fascism. Two immigrants were stabbed, one of them to the neck, in two different parts of the city, and have already reported to the police that their attackers hurled racist threats at them before attacking them.

Specifically, on Saturday 25 May around midday, a group of Greeks heckled African street vendors in the area around Aristotelous square and Tsimiski street [translator’s note: the most central area of downtown Thessaloniki], threatening that if they didn’t leave the country, they’d kill them. At 4pm, according to eyewitnesses, two persons on a motorbike drove near a 39-year-old vendor from Rwanda and one of them tried to stab him in the neck. The migrant pulled back, thus avoiding the worst but with a light wound to the jugular. He was transferred to the Ippokrateion hospital where his wound was stitched up, while he gave his deposition about the incident to the police.

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14-year-old Ismael from Afghanistan, a victim of racist violence

14-year-old Ismael from Afghanistan was assaulted on Easter Monday in Athens by men in black who slashed his face with a broken bottle of beer. You can watch below his description of the attack in a video released by Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) and read the English translation of the dialogue.

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Greece: a new, tougher law against racism?

Greek media hailed on 07 May 2013 a proposed new bill against racism that was reportedly prepared by the Ministry of Justice and will be submitted to parliament after the Easter holiday. According to news reports (see e.g. here, here, here and here), the new bill proposes much harsher penalties for all forms of hate speech, with prison sentences ranging from 3 to 6 years and fines up to €20,000, while deprivation of political rights would be considered in certain cases. Discussion of this bill began in the public debate as it was announced that parliament would discuss lifting the immunity of Golden Dawn MP Germenis following his assault on Mayor of Athens Kaminis last week during a food distribution “for Greeks only” organized by Golden Dawn.

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#rbnews international show 20 April 2013: The anatomy of the Golden Dawn vote

This week on #rbnews international, our guest was sociologist Vangelis Lagos, who is participating in the European research project MYPLACE (Memory, Youth, Political Legacy And Civic Engagement). The purpose of MYPLACE is to explore how young people’s social participation is shaped by the shadows (past, present and future) of totalitarianism and populism in Europe. We discussed the reasons why more than 400,000 chose to vote, in the spring of 2012, for the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn.You can listen to the podcast, as usual, after the jump.

#rbnews international show 13 April 2013: The Black Book of Golden Dawn

This week on #rbnews international, we continued our series of fascism and anti-fascism in Greece with an interview with Dimitris Psarras. Dimitris is a journalist with the investigative team Ios, whose reports are currently published by the Editors’ Newspaper. He published in October 2012 a book titled The Black Book of Golden Dawn (Polis), a comprehensive summary of the years of research he conducted into the history and activities of Greece’s neo-Nazi party. He is also the author of The secret hand of Karatzaferis: the media rebirth of the Greek far-right (Alexandria, 2010).

You can listen to the podcast, as usual, after the jump. We added some explanatory notes for those who are not familiar with details of Greece’s political scene.

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#rbnews international show 06 April 2013: Nationalism and national identity in Greece

This week on #rbnews international, we inaugurated a series of shows about fascism and anti-fascism in Greece with an interview with Athanasia Anagnostopoulou, a historian and associate professor in Panteion University in Athens. We discussed the formation of Greek national identity and its evolution towards elements of aggressive, dangerous nationalism not only in the recent crisis years, which saw the rise of Golden Dawn, but also in past decades, where the basis for such a form of nationalism was established.

You can listen to the podcast, as usual, after the jump.

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#rbnews international show 17 November 2012

By @IrateGreekOn the #rbnews international show on 17 November 2012, our guest was Joanna Kakissis, journalist with National Public Radio and Time magazine. We discussed the commemoration of the 1973 Polytechnic University uprising, the delay in the disbursement of Greece’s latest tranche of bailout loans, and the independence (or not) of the Greek judiciary. You can follow Joanna on Twitter @joannakakissisIn tribute to the 1973 Polytechnic uprising but also to celebrate World Tolerance Day on 16 November, we played songs from “Our Great Circus”, an anti-Junta musical first performed in Athens in the summer of 1973. The promotion of World Tolerance Day is supported by the 1 Against Racism network.

You can listen to the podcast and download the weekly news bulletin in English after the jump.

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