NYC: Astoria repudiates "Golden Dawn" fascists
We recently noted the frightening rise of the neo-fascist "Golden Dawn" party in Greece, which actually now holds a parliamentary bloc despite the fact that its leaders (including sitting MPs!) are accused of violent attacks on immigrants. On Sept. 22, Digital Journal reported that these sinister creeps were making an effort to organize the Greek diaspora, launching local chapters in Melbourne, Australia, and in Astoria—the Greek neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. They launched a New York website (now seemingly disabled) that spouted the predictable populist pabulum, e.g.: "Our goals are to promote and support the Golden Dawn's nationalist ideals and vision for Greece among the Greek diaspora. We must resist and overcome the genocidal multi-culturalist, and anti-Hellenic agenda of the New World Order." And they organized an event to collect food and clothing to send back to Greece, ostensibly to aid families thrown out of work in the country's current econo-cataclysm. A photo from the event is online at the website Fuck Yeah Anarchist Banners, with a caption helpfully informing us: "This is NOT an anarchist banner. This is a fascist banner, being hung by organizers from the Golden Dawn neo-fascist party. They are violent, antisocial racists. It is being hung at the Stathakion Cultural Center."
Indeed, the banner sports the Golden Dawn's creepy swastika-like symbol, being held aloft in the vestibule of the Stathakion Cultural Center, which is the auditorium of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York. Ironically, your very own blogger was among the panelists at a left-wing event on the global economic crisis held at the Stathakion center in February 2011, which also included a live video hook-up to a simultaneous panel being held in Crete. (Also ironically, the Stathakion center happens to be a reconverted former synagogue!)
Now for the good news: Astoria-based activist Pete Korakis, who invited me to the panel at the Stathakion center, writes on his blog that on the night of Oct. 9, some 300—"men, women, young, and old, Greek, and non-Greek"—filled a room at the neighborhood's Church of the Redeemer for an educational meeting in repudiation of the Golden Dawn, emphasizing the necessity to resist xenophobic scapegoating for the economic crisis both in New York and in Greece. The event was co-sponsored by the Left Movement NY (Aristeri Kinisi NY), Occupy Astoria-Long Island City, Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination, and Strike Debt. It was covered in anti-racist blog The North Star, the Occupy Astoria website, and USA Greek Reporter.
This isn't the only effort in opposition to the Golden Dawn coming to the US. Anonymous has responded by taking down their website—which is (was? its still down, and has been for the better part of the past month as of this post) xanyc.org. The large Greek-American organization AHEPA recently issued this statement denouncing Golden Dawn as well as fascism in general. Also local NYC officials lead by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Greek-American State Senator Michael Gianaris, and Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, as well as Jewish leadership all came together and condemned the opening of Golden Dawn's NYC office.
Hopefully, the Golden Dawn have got the message that they are not welcome in New York City. We will be watching this one.