Pavlos Fyssas

Έχει ξεκινήσει ήδη εμφύλιος. Η ελληνική κοινωνία είναι έτοιμη, ακόμα και αν δεν το θέλει κανείς αυτό, να ξεκινήσει έναν αγώνα, ένα νέο είδος εμφυλίου πολέμου

“Civil war has already started. The Greek society, even if one doesn’t like that, is ready to start a new fight, a new kind of civil war”

Elias Panagiotaros, Golden Dawn MP.

“A ripe pear is more likely to fall in the shit than onto the clean ground”

German proverb

Keratsini, Athens, 23.57, 18th September 2013: When the police arrived at the scene they found “two people engaged in fighting”, one of whom would later be identified as Pavlos Fyssas, the latest victim of the “new” Greek fascists [1]. Other papers reported that when the police arrived there were over twenty neo-Nazis at the scene, so many and so well armed with sticks and clubs that the police felt they couldn’t intervene, except for a young policewoman [2b] who produced her gun and arrested Yiorgos Roupakias, the man who butchered Pavlos Fyssas [2].

The people who perpetrated this heinous crime are not random hooligans. They roam the streets in motorcades, carrying clubs, sticks, knives and “butterfly machetes”. They sport black uniforms, designed to show rank, complete with black helmets and gloves and insignia. Many of them also wear  bulletproof vests (the same make as the police ones, since a prominent member of the group [3] is also a supplier of materiel to the police). The people who did this are members of  “Golden Dawn”, the neo-Nazi group that has an increasing stranglehold on Greece, and particularly Athens.

That the thugs were in Keratsini is no accident. Keratsini, along with Perama, Drapetsona, Amfiali, Nikea and Aghios Paneteleimonas are the so called “red boroughs” of Athens, the heartland of the dockers and shipyard workers; they always voted Communist. The fascists have methodically established themselves in those neighbourhoods. Members of the militia from all corners of Greece were brought in, organising food handouts, “policing” the streets on motorbikes, attacking the disposessed, immigrants and the destitute [4]. Sadly, they managed to get 10% of the vote in these deprived areas before they felt secure enough to show what they were really up to. On the 12th of June last year they savaged six Egyptian fishermen, completely smashing the jaw and nose of one of them; in an attack soon after they took out a man’s eye. The attacks follow the same pattern, perpetrated by motorized groups who, if not tolerated by the police at least they seem to, operate beyond the force's control. The fact that in certain areas of Athens and other metropolitan centres one in two members of the police force are supporters of the group does nothing to calm fears.

Following Fyssas’ assassination, a doctor from Nikea’s general hospital said on TV that it’s been “three years now we are shouting about the increasing number of racist attack victims we have to deal with”. According to some, however, Golden Dawn’s activites aren’t purely ideological but also quite practical, perhaps aiming at taking control over of the fish-wharf of Keratsini.

Pavlos’ father, a local, is a member of the Metal Workers Union. The son, Pavlos, did various jobs, at times installed pipes, but he mainly was an MC (a rapper), going by the name of Killah P; many of his songs spoke against the fascists. In retrospective, it appears that his mere existence reminded a few their inadequacies. He was certainly known in the area, among other things as a red, and a person who stood up against the bullies of the Golden Dawn.

That the assassin is a local too is the ironic part of the tragedy.  A father of two, 45-year-old Yiorgos Roupakias worked at the very same fish wharf. According to a close friend, his sideline was working as a caterer in the Golden Dawn offices – as did his wife and daughter – for what they call “pocket money” in Greece (zero hours in the UK). He was active in food handouts to “ethnic Greeks” and other “activities” of the organisation, the nature of which we can only guess. [5] He claims that he is only casually connected to Golden Dawn and that the attack was in self defence. This photo from his own Facebook [6] page says otherwise (the Zorba looking guy is a top official in Golden Dawn). [7]

Keratsini, Perama and Drapetsona, are a microcosm, a murky one, that the battered Athenian middle class don’t want to know anything about, they are the backyard. Disconnected, neglected, unemployed, a blast from a past when unionism ruled supreme; but also when there were jobs in the docks, the yards, the fish wharf and the metalworks. Now they are trapped between no electricity, heating, health services or jobs, and a scared silent majority who want nothing to do with them. For the latter, the main issue is whether or not “we” stay in the Eurozone, not what is happening in Keratsini.

HUBRIS is a Greek word. As the periphery, the boundaries of the edge, of Europe is burning, the ruling class is carrying on as if nothing is happening. Privileged Theodore Pagalos, the Sorbonne graduate grandson of a ruthless Greek dictator and constant cabinet member of the “socialist party”, had the audacity to say Greeks are “all in it together”. Stavros Psycharis, the proprietor of the largest Greek media conglomerate, said a couple of weeks ago that the electorate of the left-wing Syriza, the second largest party in Greece, and the Nazis, are one, or rather the two sides of the same extremist coin. For the (in numbers) ever-diminishing but (in wealth) expanding elite it is important to force down our throats that not following them means that we are fomenting our own demise.

The nature of the game is that everyone who opposes the austerity measures for whatever reason is considered an extremist, and in this situation, people who oppose the violence and killing, the gradual breakdown of society, are marginalised. The (literally) silent majority are sleep-walking towards disaster; it could be civil war if the marginalised left takes the bait and start carrying guns.

 Petros Diveris, 19 September 2013

[1] http://www.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_kathremote_1_18/09/2013_519198

[2] http://www.imerisia.gr/article.asp?catid=26510&subid=2&pubid=113113547

[2b] http://www.tovima.gr/society/article/?aid=531799  

[3] Elias Panagyotaros the intimidating 20 stone gorilla of an MP runs a shop called “Phalanx”, adorned until recently with images of the imprisoned former dictator Papadopoulos. The shop supplies military weapons and combat equipment and he counts the police among his clients. He openly talks about spilling blood and starting civil war. Naturally his inner Golden Dawn group recruited from amongst football hooligans. It is in the football stadium that the rich Greeks, ship owners for example, and the militias share the same oxygen, so to speak. More on that soon.


Read more here: ifemerida.gr (in Greek)

[4] Motorcades

[5] http://www.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_kathremote_1_19/09/2013_519251

[6] The page was up until 19/09/2013, sadly someone disabled it since.

[7] http://www.tanea.gr/news/greece/article/5042023/idoy-o-poly-gnwstos-agnwstos-ths-xryshs-ayghs/

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