Fascism Comes to Queens

by The North Star on March 7, 2013

Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party that has tormented Greece and terrorized immigrants, has now brought its fascist message of anti-democratic intimidation to New York City. On March 2, New York supporters of the Greek Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) had planned a discussion event: “Beyond Scapegoats & Moralism: Greece and the Global Crisis in Politics and Capitalism.” The event, originally to be held in Astoria — a Queens neighborhood with a strong Greek population — had to be relocated to Manhattan after the venue’s owners were subjected to a series of anonymous and violent threats.

Leaflets, denouncing SYRIZA as “anti-Christian”, “terrorists”, and “communists”, were posted throughout the neighborhood, emblazoned with the iconography of the Golden Dawn — which the party claims is a Greek meander, but is eerily reminiscent of a swastika.


In the leaflets the fascists indicate their anger at anti-fascist activities organized by the Astoria community, reportedly previously by The North Star. The leaflets also include the URL of a website where the fascists boast about the local “Greek Community” “throwing out” SYRIZA:

The Greek community protested a planned Syriza meeting in a Hellenic enclave of New York. The protest caused them to try to book other venues in Astoria, but they were apparently refused every time when people saw who it was, which forced them to flee to their real home, the openly communist Brecht Forum (Previously named “The Marxist School”)

The website also explains their racist ideology in more detail:

Our goals are to promote and support the Golden Dawn’s nationalist ideals and vision for Greece among the Greek diaspora. To preserve our European culture, we must resist and overcome the genocidal multi-culturalist, and anti-Hellenic agenda of the New World Order. The unholy alliance of the bankers, media, corrupt politicians and the educational system are rabidly attempting to extinguish all traces of Hellenism- past, present and future through poverty, historical revisionism, media distortions and third world immigration.

If you are having trouble reading between the lines, the overt anti-semitism exhibited by “Golden Dawn NYC” removes any doubt that these indisputable fascists are aptly characterized as “neo-Nazis.” While most of us only know Fred Leutcher as the pathetic holocaust-denying useful idiot of Errol Morris’ Mr. Death, the Golden Dawn racists cite this “expert witness” and “leading gas chamber specialist” to demonstrate that it was “scientifically impossible” that concentration camps were “used to kill people with any known deadly gasses” — while lamenting the “show trial” of Canadian holocaust denier Ernest Zundel.

In a statement, the Greek American Left Movement responded to these neo-Nazi attacks on free speech and assembly:

The attempt to shut down open, public, and democratic discussion is despicable and offensive to any democratic-minded person. As for the blatant accusations, SYRIZA does not support or advocate terrorism. The real terror Greek people face comes from those who have attacked their living standards and democratic rights — not to mention fascist elements who issue threats against democratic discussion and freedom of expression and who murder immigrants in the streets of Athens.

Meetings such as the one held by SYRIZA-NY are a necessary part of the effort to build a solidarity movement in support of the democratic struggles of the people in Greece against austerity — and against the attacks of an unelected group of bankers and financiers which seek to destroy the basic rights and living standards of ordinary people.

We will not allow discussion and debate, elementary democratic rights be silenced, nor will threats stop our work in building solidarity with working people in Greece and internationally.

Greece is a global epicenter of the political fallout stemming from the ongoing capitalist economic crisis. As unemployment has neared 30%, the Greek government has slashed pensions and salaries, to meet the demands of the international class of finance capital. This has resulted in the surging popularity of SYRIZA, which has provoked much debate about how austerity can be successfully resisted. The North Star has hosted many such debates on the Greek radical left.

Predictably, however, the discontent has also found an outlet in far-right manifestations. The odious Golden Dawn received an unprecedented 7% support in the most recent legislative elections, and more recent opinion polls have shown double-digit support, with a reportedly astonishly high level of support from Greek police.

It is not at all surprising to see Golden Dawn increase their presence in Greek expatriate communities, from New York to Melbourne. The North Star has reported on and supported the anti-fascist opposition to Golden Dawn’s expansion and will continue to do so.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe vaughan March 10, 2013 at 3:34 am

The Golden Dawn has fascist imagery, stormtroopers, and screwball racist propagandists with murder in their hearts. Revolting–and undeniably dangerous even in the United States. It’s certainly dangerous to Greece if Greek expatriates here become sources of support for the GD there.

But the purpose of fascism in its original form was to mobilize the masses, first for the suppression of the Left, and then for warfare in the interests of the bourgeoisie. That’s what Frau Bechstein, the Wagners, and the Krupps signed on for–and that’s why General Ludendorff’s postwar domestic intelligence unit in 1919 sent ex-Corporal Hitler to infiltrate what would become the Nazi Party.

History never repeats itself exactly. The fact is that today’s fascism, at least in the United States, appears to serve strategic aims that in some respects appear to be diametrically opposed to those served by fascism in the first half of the twentieth century.

Not the least of these is the fact that their fuehrers don’t stick, perhaps because the “fascist” movements want to immobilize, not mobilize, the masses. Thus what they need least is a charismatic speaker who can whip enormous crowds into a synchronized frenzy, and who will thrill these crowds with visions of self-sacrifice in the interests of military glory. Glenn Beck wasn’t that.

I think that the left in general should pay more attention to the differences in the big picture between historical fascism and contemporary fascist-like movements. There may be weaknesses there that could be exploited strategically.


David Berger March 16, 2013 at 8:27 pm

SYRIZA-New York and Campaign for Peace and Democracy together with Radical Film and Lecture Series

Invite you to a discussion with Lefteris Kretsos, Senior Lecturer of Industrial Relations at the University of Greenwich in London,

“Neoliberalism and Working Class Resistance in Greece”

Date: Friday, March 22nd, 6pm

location: , Manhattan – 40 W. 4th Street, Room LC11, New York University, Tisch Hall (between Washington Sq. East & Mercer St. in Manhattan).

Light refreshments will be offered. Bring photo ID for admission. Wheelchair accessible. RSVP welcome though not required.

Piece by Lefteris Kretsos in Labor Notes



Mozillameister October 1, 2013 at 9:17 am

I have a bad feeling about all this…economic crisis, democratic governments on the verge of collapse, increasing fascist and communist ideologue…

History seems to be repeating itself again. How long’s it gonna be before hyperinflation brings the world to worship these archetypes?

Crap. Sucks being Jewish… Oh well, I liked life. :(

Then again, guess I don’t have to see the world go into nuclear oblivion, if TSHTF. Camps are still better than radiation.


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