Extreme-right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) expanded its activities on the other side of the Atlantic, with the aim to reach out Diaspora Greeks in USA and Canada and widen their sphere of influence. Under the drive of charity collection, GD opened a branch in New York and had some appearance in Montreal and Toronto. The establishment of branches caused concern among Greek expatriates with their biggest organisation AHEPA to slam the NY branch opening saying “fascism has no place in the USA.” Concerned Canadians started a petition against the establishment of any GD office in Canada.
The GD-motives seem clear: to take advantage of possible lack of knowledge from the side of Greeks abroad but also to earn possible political gains. Then there has been talk from time to time in Greece to grant voting rights to diaspora Greeks during parliament elections.
New York Branch
The first branch was inaugurated in Astoria suburb of New York. Apart from promoting its ideas, GD tries to get support for its charity activities and calls on diaspora Greeks to donate food, clothing and medicine that would be distributed to ethnic Greeks only.
“The Golden Dawn is the only political party in Greece that unapologetically stands for the sovereignty, security, and dignity of the Greek people. The party intends to reverse decades of unlimited third world immigration which has brought crime, unemployment, disease and possibly terrorism to the once peaceful Greek cities.”
“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,” (from their NY website)
The New York Observer particularly mentioned also the launching of their website describing it as ‘creepy’ with a Swastika-like symbol.
News Latitude underlined the ”unbridled delight” expressed by white supremacists who applauded the arrival of Greek neo-Nazis in America.
The news alarmed also Jewish media in USA that reported about the opening of the NY branch stressing especially the “anti-Semitic and xenophobic rhetoric” of the GD.
Diaspora Greeks Reaction
The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the largest Greek-American association worldwide, on Tuesday issued a statement expressing its concern regarding the rise of extreme nationalism in Greece and criticizing the GD-branch in New York. The statement signed by AHEPA Supreme President John Grossomanides, reads:
«AHEPA, which was founded 90 years ago in the US in order to protect Greek migrants from racism and discrimination, is gravely concerned by the rise of extreme nationalism in Greece, as reported by the Greek media in recent months,» the statement said, further citing criticism by the United Nations’ human rights chief Navi Pillay of Greek authorities for failing to take stronger action against the recent attacks against migrants.
Grossomanides went on to slam the recent opening in New York of a Golden Dawn branch, saying «fascism has no place in the United States,» adding that many members of the Greek-American community and of AHEPA in particular fought and sacrificed their lives against the Nazi occupation of Greece.”
Grossomanides said that racially-motivated attacks against migrants are «unacceptable and concern us deeply as a community and as members of AHEPA.
«They are similar to those faced by our ancestors when they came to the US, almost a century ago,» the statement added.
Diaspora Greek and GD
KTG remembers very well the several comments sent by some readers -apparent Diaspora Greeks, once “migrants” themselves, complaining about the influx of Latinos in the USA and expressing support of the GD. Ignorance? No. Their message and the white-supremacy-language they used was clear enough.
Nick Malkoutzis, journalist in Kathimerini, expressed the view that some members of the Greek diaspora don’t seem to understand what Golden Dawn really stands for.
In an e-mail to Latitude News, Malkoutzis wrote: ”Some Greek-Americans . . . . appear to think that rather than being extremist, and therefore dangerous, this party is made up of enthusiastic and well-intentioned nationalists. Golden Dawn is very clever at hiding its real face and I fear that many in the Diaspora have fallen for the idea that they are just enthusiastic patriots hook, line and sinker.
“It is incumbent upon the members of the Diaspora who truly have Greece’s interests at heart – and I am sure there are many – to stand up to this growing fascism.”
Reactions in Canada
There are reports that GD had a charity drive in Montreal early September and collected “food and toys” for “pure Greeks” in Greece. They had another appearance in Toronto earlier this summer.
Concerned Canadians launched a petition asking the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper to prevent GD from establishing offices in the “most immigrant friendly country in the world.”
I can’t tell exactly who is behind this petition, whether Canadians or Diaspora Greeks.
Office in Australia Failed?
Of course, GD tried to set up foot in Australia but the Greek community there strongly reacted against any linking to a neo-Nazi group, even if Greek.
A damning report in The Australian, linking the Greek community to neo-Nazis has outraged the community. The report that appeared in Thursday’s edition of The Australian, entitled ‘Greek neo-Nazis set up local chapter’ also appeared on the front page of the newspaper with members of Golden Dawn holding Greek flags.
The article which reported the right-wing extremist party Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) have set up an Australian chapter has sparked an outcry by the community who have suggested that these discussions may be a “media beat up.” As it stands, Golden Dawn do not appear to have set up a local chapter but this report has created a premature discussion about this based on the Facebook page Xrysh Avgh Melbourne (Golden Dawn Melbourne). (Neos Kosmos)
GD: The “Anarchists” from the right?
If one lives in Greece and follows GD-MPs statements as broadcast by the local media, some things are clear: They consider the state is governed by incapable people and have despise the institution of the Parliament, where they occupy 18 seats after the elections in June.
They use a clear simple language appealing at the patriotic and religious feelings of the people. Reason and argument and dialogue have no place in their strategy. Should one refuse to comply or make uncomfortable questions, some punches or even a glass of water against female MP-colleagues would do the ….”convincing work.”
Their utmost priority is to clean Greece from immigrants: they follow this target of theirs with violence one the streets, unauthorized controls, and chasing.
They are clearly anti-Semitic: condemning zionists and free masons and “accused” Minister of Citizen Protection Nikos Dendias, that he was a free mason. In Orthodox and conservative Greece, a Freemason is not not welcome. A centuries-long taboo. Side-note: Dendias had the courage to answer, he was not free-mason himself, but that the had friends who were.
Surely, ”the Holocaust never happened,” they claim.
And yet. Devoted to the principle of (National-)Socialism they distribute food to poor ethnic Greeks only. Oh yes, they made also several efforts to establish a blood bank for Greeks-only, however this project was vehemently turned down from the associations of Greek physicians.
Of course, they are against the loan agreements between Greece and its lenders – but against these are all parties of the Greek opposition.