Last week in Piraeus, a member of Golden Dawn murdered an anti-fascist activist and rapper, Pavlos Fyssas, aka Killah P.
A suspect was later arrested, and admitted to the killing. The man also identified himself as a member of Golden Dawn, an extreme far-right party that’s become hugely popular in Greece in recent years.
Fyssas, who grew up in the working class suburbs of Piraeus, often penned tracks that described his neighborhood, and the struggles of the people who lived there.
Greece’s Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, condemned the killing. Samaras said he was determined not to let “the descendants of Nazis” undermine the country that gave birth to democracy.
For its part, Golden Dawn denied, again, that it’s a neo-Nazi party, and said it had no connection whatsoever with the murder.
Still, numerous Greek cities erupted in protests last night. Anti-fascist demonstrators clashed with police, and more than 100 people were detained by the authorities.
“A lot of people here in Greece are realizing right now what the real face of this neo-Nazi party is,” Christos Michaelides, a current affairs editor for an Athens daily newspaper, told the BBC.
Learning very late.
“It is so, so sad that it took the death of a Greek person in order for the Greek society to wake up,” says Leonidas Oikonomakis.
And that’s the difference here, it seems. Fyssas was a native Greek.
Oiknomomakis points out that Golden Dawn members have been implicated in numerous deaths and beatings of immigrants in the past few years. He says both the Greek government, and its European creditors, have been turning a blind eye.
“For three years now, immigrants have been suffering, dying, being attacked by Golden Dawn. They all know about it. As long as the debts are paid, everyone is happy. They don’t care if people are dying on the streets.”
Immigrants are metoikoi, you see. Home-changers, foreigners, strangers, xenoi. We all do it; it’s not just the Greeks, not just anyone. Distance always dilutes empathy.