SocialismToday           Socialist Party magazine

Issue 182 October 2014

The murder of Pavlos Fyssas, one year on

A year has passed since the death of the anti-fascist musician, Pavlos Fyssas, killed by Golden Dawn member, Giorgos Roupakias. The murder shocked society, but it was only a matter of time before a Greek anti-fascist was killed by the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn. The killing had been preceded by the murder of Sehjad Lukman, a migrant worker at Petralona, an attack against 30 members of PAME (the KKE ‘Communist’ Party trade union federation) in Perama, as they were flyposting, and many other attacks.

Pavlos, 34 years old when he was killed, was the son of a worker at the shipbuilding zone in Perama. From 1998 to 2003 he worked in the zone and was an active member of the metal workers’ union. After work he devoted himself to music. When he was 18 he met with members of Freestyle Productions, a low bap music company based in Perama. Fyssas said his artistic name, Killah P, stood for ‘killer of the past’.

Through his music he talked about social injustice, fascism, and the murders of Alexandros Grigoropoulos (a 15-year-old killed by Greek police, 2008), and Carlos Guiliani (shot dead by Italian police anti-G8 protests in Genoa, 2001). Pavlos did not belong to any particular political group, but was involved in anti-fascist action, and that is reflected in his lyrics.

On 17 September 2013, Pavlos and his friends were at a café in Keratsini, western Athens, watching a football match. He was threatened by members of Golden Dawn who were ringing up for more people to come round. Thirty Golden Dawn members were waiting outside the café, where Pavlos stood up to them. Roupakias stabbed him through the heart.

After the murder, hundreds of publications have proved the criminal character of Golden Dawn’s neo-Nazi organisation: its military structure, its raid attacks and the weapons training of its members. Photographs showed Golden Dawn leaders giving the Nazi salute, raising the swastika flag and so on. Photos of Hitler, as well as his books, SS helmets and weapons were found in their houses. This proved what the left and the movement have been arguing for two decades.

The day after the murder there were 35 demos all over the country, and the anti-fascist demo in Keratsini paralysed the city. Within 15 days, more than one hundred demos had been organised on a national level. The most important one was called by the Anti-fascist Coordination of Athens-Piraeus on 25 September, with over 20,000 demonstrators, and without the official participation of the leaderships of Syriza and the KKE.

At present, nine Golden Dawn MPs are remanded in prison awaiting trial. But this should not reassure the left and the movement. The government, under pressure from the anti-fascist movement after Pavlos’s murder, was forced to deal a blow against Golden Dawn. But it did not want to crush it, just limit its ‘excesses’, to put it under control. The government needs to keep it in reserve, to attack the workers’ movement if the formal state cannot do so.

The anti-fascist movement and the left cannot place any trust in the government. They have to organise a massive front against Golden Dawn, to close its offices and publications, to oppose every one of its public events and, mainly, to stop its influence on those social groups which, because of the economic crisis, are trying to find a way out through Golden Dawn. Anti-fascist committees need to be built in towns, neighbourhoods, workplaces and schools.

Pavlos Fyssas will be remembered in history – and he should be – as a fighter who resisted the Golden Dawn bullies, standing up against 30 Nazi thugs. To mark the anniversary, mobilisations are being organised throughout Greece, with solidarity events taking place in other countries.

Yiorgos Ligouriotis, Xekinima (CWI Greece)

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