News / Europe

Thousands March in Greece Over Rapper Killing

A protester holds a banner during an anti-fascist rally in Athens, Sept. 25, 2013.
A protester holds a banner during an anti-fascist rally in Athens, Sept. 25, 2013.
Reuters
Thousands of Greeks marched towards the headquarters of the Golden Dawn party in Athens on Wednesday in the biggest show of public anger at the fatal stabbing of an anti-racism rapper by a supporter of the far-right group.

Golden Dawn is Greece's third most popular party and the most visible symptom of discontent over state corruption and a deep economic crisis that has fueled hostility to immigrants. But polls since the killing of rapper Pavlos Fissas indicate the party has lost about a third of its public support.

Wednesday's rallies by university students, labor unions and leftists in Athens and the second biggest city Thessaloniki have overshadowed a 48-hour public sector strike over layoffs demanded by Greece's international lenders.

More than 10,000 people, some holding banners reading "Never Again Fascism" and singing anti-fascism anthems, marched outside parliament in the central Syntagma square, where hip-hop groups held a memorial concert earlier on Wednesday.

The protest column then headed for Golden Dawn's headquarters some 5 km (three miles) from central Athens.

The killing of 34-year-old Pavlos Fissas has fired outrage across the political spectrum against a party that is widely regarded as neo-Nazi and whose popularity has so far appeared immune to accusations of brutality and violence.

Golden Dawn rejects the neo-Nazi label and any involvement in the attack, saying it is the target of a witch-hunt after the government began efforts to crack down on the party and its alleged influence over the Greek police force.

Top-selling daily Ta Nea depicted a swastika in a red circle with a line running through it.

"No to fascism"

"The crisis brought us to our knees but we need to say a loud "no" to fascism like we did in '74," said Vangelis Georgountzos, 59, referring to the student uprising that led to the overthrow of Greece's then-ruling military junta.

Standing in the crowd that flooded the street in front of parliament alongside his teenage daughter, Georgountzos said: "First it was the immigrants, then Fissas, tomorrow it could be your son or daughter - everyone needs to understand this."

Earlier in the day, mourners laid flowers and candles at the spot in the working-class neighborhood of Keratsini where Fissas, who performed anti-racism raps under the stage name Killah P, was knifed.

"Murderers!" declared a banner above the makeshift shrine.

An ALCO survey for the Newsit.gr website, conducted in the days after the stabbing, found that public support for Golden Dawn was down by 4 percentage points to 6.8 percent.

"Golden Dawn voters haven't changed their minds, they're simply not saying who they'll vote for because of the current climate of terror," the party responded in a statement.
    
The party says petrol bombers have attacked its offices in recent days and that assailants smashed the window of an animal food shop in central Greece belonging to one of its lawmakers.

Fissas's killing has led to an investigation into the party for evidence linking it to the attack and dozens more criminal offenses. It has also prompted an unprecedented shake-up of Greek police following reports that Golden Dawn party cells were operating within the force.

A senior court official told reporters on Wednesday that prosecutors probing Golden Dawn had found evidence that could help them establish whether it is a criminal organization.

Citing fingerprint and photographic evidence, the official - who spoke on condition of anonymity - said that at least one person linked with the party has taken part in two separate gang attacks against political opponents and immigrants.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid