For Every April 21st, Let There Be Two, Three… Many November 17ths

Aris Velouchiotis

On Saturday, April 21st, an anti-fascist rally was held in Athens Park, located in the diverse Queens neighborhood of Astoria. Astoria is home to a large Greek population, a population that includes members of a fascist Greek political party called Golden Dawn. In order to perpetrate their dismal fascist agenda, members of Golden Dawn have intimidated and harassed anti-fascists and other leftists in Greek community circles through petty vandalism and anonymous death threats, and have made public appearances at Greek cultural and patriotic events. Moreover, as April 21st approached, these fascists launched a propaganda campaign to commemorate the unfortunate day when Greece fell to a brutal seven-year military dictatorship in 1967. Pro-junta posters began to appear throughout Astoria and a fascist advertisement, extolling the “virtues” of totalitarianism, was shamefully published in the spineless Greek-American newspaper, *Ethnikos Kirikas* (The National Herald.)

In response to these provocations, anti-fascists and many in the Greek community called for a public gathering on April 21st—not only to refuse the nostalgia for fascism and tyranny put forth by Golden Dawn, but to use the fascists’ own makeshift holiday to send a message: Golden Dawn will not be permitted to organize anywhere in the New York City Area. Upwards of fifty people were in attendance at the rally, and speeches were read, literature was distributed, banners were strewn along the park’s perimeter, and anti-fascist chants were shouted out and cheered. The rally proceeded without incident until a black sedan drove by—its passengers unfurling a Golden Dawn flag from the side-window. As the car sped around the block—and before it could attempt a second pass—the fascists met with several dozen anti-fascists hot in pursuit. The car’s occupants did not expect that their pompous display of fascist regalia would elicit such a response, and quickly and recklessly made a U-turn in the opposite direction of the park, retreating with their flag hidden between their legs. They did not dare appear again.

“When have we ever heard in the history of humanity that liberation can be achieved using backhanded methods? Never. Freedom isn’t achieved with prayers but with struggle and suffering! What should we prefer? The first or the second? We answer a thousand times with no shadow of doubt: TO FIGHT!” -Aris Velouchiotis

However, the fight does not require ordinary weapons. Solidarity, self-organization, and direct action – ideals which demonstrate the prospects of a new and liberated social arrangement – are the only means capable of finally and thoroughly defeating fascism. While the current order—based on exploitation and riven by crisis—provides a dank breeding ground for fascism to rear its ugly head through a social climate of poverty, destitution, and repression, the partial solutions found in party politics only exacerbate these manifold problems. The head will only fall once the body is taken out—this stands as much for Greece as it does for the United States. Thus, we remain convinced, and we declare it loudly: it will be with the social revolution, both mass and multitudinous, popular and powerful—and that revolution alone—that fascism will finally be laid to rest once and for all.

-NYC Autonomous Antifa

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One Response to For Every April 21st, Let There Be Two, Three… Many November 17ths

  1. Pingback: Astoria: Golden Dawn hangouts tagged in memory of Pavlos Fyssas | NYC ANTIFA

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