Protests denounce actions of Golden Dawn MP


GREEK UNREST:PROTESTERS ACROSS Greece poured on to the streets of cities last night, denouncing the “dark force” of fascism as the spokesman of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party continued to elude arrest more than 24 hours after his extraordinary onscreen assault of two female left-wing politicians.

Nine days before fresh general elections, the faultlines in Greek society are deepening.

And late yesterday, as a police manhunt for Ilias Kasidiaris showed little sign of success, the divisions were on full display.

While anti-fascist demonstrators descended on public squares, supporters of Golden Dawn crammed into a hotel in Athens to hear the party’s leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, rail against immigrant “scum” and the corruptsystem that had brought thecountry to such a “dark place”.

“There is growing polarisation. People are becoming increasingly radicalised thanks to all the rhetoric in the EU and here against the anti-austerity, leftist majority and that is opening the door for Golden Dawn,” said veteran left-wing activist Petros Constantinou.

“We are demonstrating not only against the rise of the far right but against those who have enabled fascism to take root.”

Mr Constantinou, a tall, thin man who has spent years running an organisation that protects migrants, is, like a growing number of Greeks, convinced that it is the police who have facilitated Golden Dawn. “Without police cover and protection, Golden Dawn would not have survived,” he said. “And the proof of that is the failure to capture Kasidiaris.

“How is it possible that a man can do what he did in a television studio and yet manage to get away and stay on the run after a state prosecutor has ordered his arrest? The police clearly don’t want to arrest him.”

All day yesterday, TV channels had replayed footage showing Mr Kasidiaris, a MP and former commando in the Greek army, lashing out at Rena Dourou first, hurling a glass of water in her face before turning his fists on Liana Kanelli, the KKE communist party’s former news anchor spokeswoman.– (Guardian service)