The Black Panthers of Greece

Posted on 31 Μάϊος 2013


The Black Panthers of Greece


Immigrants and refugees in Greece who thanks to EU laws and legislations of other EU countries have been trapped within the Greek territory (many are forced to return to Greece if they manage to get to another member state) have been denied basic social and civil rights, such like housing, legal papers or community support. In these times where severe austerity measures make the future of Greek people look dim, they find themselves totally exposed to the anti-immigrant violent racism coming from the growing Nazi party Golden Dawn and the state of exception.

Racist attacks occur almost on daily a basis and most of them go unreported. Thugs of Golden Dawn in co-ordination with local residents who have been convinced that immigration is the root of their country’s problem, the police or other far-right paramilitary elements, organize persecutions in neighbourhoods, using physical violence and intimidation against non-ethnic Greeks. Only a few weeks ago extremists warned all Muslims who reside in Greece to leave the country until the 30th of June, or “they will be slaughtered like chicken in the streets.” But a small group of migrants, nicknamed the Black Panthers of Greece, believes that this situation is going to end soon. Fed up with being the target of racist gangs, they decided to set up night-time patrols in their neighbourhoods. This self-defence brigade enjoys significant supports from anarchists, leftists and other anti-fascist groups.

Michael Chege, a Kenyan immigrant living in Greece for 28 years in Greece said to Jamal Osman (reporter of Britain’s Channel 4): “I am a member of the Black Panthers and everybody knows that. So I am giving them (Golden Dawn) a straight warning – don’t mess with black people, anyhow. And I mean it. I’m not afraid of this neo-Nazi, stupid, idiotic group. In world war two, they were crushed. In world war three, we will exterminate them out of the face of the earth.”

Michael explains how he is treated – the same as a newly arrived immigrants -, having, at the same time experienced numerous police ID controls, despite carrying all the valid documents to prove that he is legal in the country.

“I don’t know if people know how it feels to be a stranger in your own land,” said Chege, who is taking up martial arts training in order to defend himself when thugs Golden Dawn threaten him in the street. “I have encountered them ten times in a real fight, in a battle in kill or be killed,” he said. In a recent encounter, two men got onto a bus he was travelling in and ordered him to “leave, run or get down”.

A few months ago in a controversial video shot by Konstantinos Georgousis, a Greek student at London’s National Film and Television School – which has now been passed to the prosecuting authorities – 44-year-old Alexandros Plomaritis, who was a Golden Dawn member said: “We are ready to open the ovens. We will turn them into soap .. to wash cars and pavements. We will make lamps from their skin.” Georgousis replied: “I was terrified that these members were proud to express their extreme ideas during campaigning openly in public. I was shocked by their hostility and by the way they treated immigrants in the Athenian squares.”

αναρτήθηκε από selana

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