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Issue #1663      November 5, 2014

Golden Dawn does not reach Australian shores – for now

The planned visit to Australia in October of two Golden Dawn members of the European Parliament has fallen through - at least for now.

Golden Dawn is an extreme right-wing neo-fascist party in Greece that has used the Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath, the European Union-imposed austerity measures that have disastrously affected many Greek people and the party’s secret ties with Greek plutocrats and state police and security agencies, to rapidly become a significant political force in Greece.

Its presence in Australia and recent electoral success in Greece encourages similar movements here to come out of the woodwork.

This is evidenced by the solidarity protest the Australia First Party organised in Brisbane in May, to protest the “illegal imprisonment” of Golden Dawn parliamentarians and to give expression to “nationalists supporting nationalists (and) patriots helping patriots.”

On that occasion however, a much larger community-union counter demonstration successfully thwarted the Australian extreme right’s organising effort and the rightists fled.

The most immediate cause for Golden Dawn postponing its October visit in this instance is probably its parliamentary group’s preoccupation with an impending trial for a raft of criminal offences for which it is currently being prosecuted – including murder, weapons offences and attacks on immigrants, left wing activists and gay people.

However the proposed Golden Dawn visit generated fierce opposition throughout the Greek community in Australia and guaranteed that the Golden Dawn MPs would have had a torrid reception on their arrival here – even if the Abbott government had allowed the visit – and this has also been a significant factor in the cancellation of the Golden Dawn tour.

Within days of the visit being announced in early September, leaders of the Greek community throughout Australia, along with the Australian Council of Trade Unions and a number of ethnic and religious peak organisations released a statement that called on all Australians to unite to “demonstrate their detestation of the message of hatred and the violent politics being propagated by groups like Golden Dawn”.

When the Greek media in Australia exposed Golden Dawn’s use of (an unregistered) charity to raise funds in Australia for Golden Dawn in Greece – fund raising abroad being a tactic Golden Dawn has resorted to as its ability to raise funds in Greece has become increasingly restricted – the Australian chapter’s leader was forced to declare within a few days of being outed that Golden Dawn had stopped fund raising in Australia because of the pressure of community opposition.

The Communist Party of Australia actively worked to build opposition to the Golden Dawn visit and its ongoing presence in Australia. The CPA Secretariat declared that, “The Australian people should never allow our country to become the breeding ground of violence, divisions and hatred” or “the source of financial support for fascist activities abroad.” (see “CPA Secretariat statement – Proposed visit to Australia of representatives of Golden DawnGuardian #1656 September 17, 2014).

Greek CPA members especially, have actively informed the Greek community of the proposed visit and encouraged demonstrations of opposition.

The CPA Secretariat statement was translated into Greek and widely circulated, by email and in pamphlet form, while the Guardian newspaper with the statement was also widely circulated.

The effort of Golden Dawn to extend its presence and resource itself from Australia – and the reaction it stirred – shows we must watch not only for the malevolent presence of groups such as Golden Dawn entering Australia, but for similar home-grown groups building their influence among a dissatisfied and disempowered electorate, using groups like Golden Dawn as a precedent and a support.

Above all, Communists must make all effort to expose the true causes of the growing crises within contemporary society and point to the correct solutions to overcome them, which are solutions in the interest of the great majority of working humanity, that is, are socialist solutions.

Next article – Questioning the value of the Australia/US alliance

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