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Greeks March to Protest Ultranationalism

  • VOA News

Migrants shout slogans during an anti-fascist rally, commemorating the killing of Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas four years ago, in Athens, Sept. 16, 2017. About 3,000 leftist activists and migrants marched through central Athens Saturday to honor the memory of Fyssas, murdered by a neo-Nazi sympathizer, and Heather Heyer, the activist killed by a car that rammed into a group of people at Charlottesville, Va., last month.

Hundreds of people marched in Athens, Greece, Saturday in an anti-racism protest to commemorate the killing of an activist rapper by a member of the Greek ultranationalist political party Golden Dawn.

Scuffles broke out between police and a few dozen protesters who broke off from the march and began heading toward the Golden Dawn offices. Blocked by police from reaching the offices, the protesters threw firebombs and police responded with tear gas.

The march was to commemorate rapper Pavlos Fyssas, whose music conveyed anti-fascist messages. Fyssas’ stabbing death in 2013 resulted in an investigation of Golden Dawn, which had been linked to violence, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. Nearly 70 members of the group have gone on trial since 2015.

Protesters throw petrol bombs at policemen during an anti-fascist rally, commemorating the killing of Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, in Athens, Sept. 16, 2017.
Protesters throw petrol bombs at policemen during an anti-fascist rally, commemorating the killing of Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, in Athens, Sept. 16, 2017.

Giorgos Roupakis, the Golden Dawn member who admitted to a judge that he had killed Fyssas, served 30 months in pretrial detention, the maximum amount of time allowed. Now under house arrest, he is still awaiting trial.

The anniversary of Fyssas’ death is September 18. Another commemorative march is expected to take place in the Athens neighborhood of Keratsini where Fyssas died.

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