Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Defend Savas Michael Matsas against the Golden Dawn fascists!

We are reprinting below a translation of a press release about the upcoming trial   of Savas Michael Matsas, a long time leader of the Workers Revolutionary Party of Greece (EEK).  We urge all left and labor groups in Greece and internationally to express their solidarity with Savas Michael and oppose the vicious attempt to silence the voice of anti-fascists and socialists in Greece.  It is obvious that this case, initiated by the Golden Dawn fascists,  would never have gone to trial without the complicity of the right wing Samaras government and their "left" allies in the coalition.              

Savas Michael Matsas

A trial organized by the Nazi “Golden Dawn” in Greece

                    Savas Matsas, a Greek Jewish Marxist intellectual, and Secretary General of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party (EEK) of Greece, will go on trial on September 3, 2013. He is being accused of “defamation” against the Greek openly Nazi party, the infamous “Golden Dawn”, for “instigation of violence and chaos” and “disruption of the civil peace” because, four years ago, in May 2009, the EEK issued a leaflet calling for participation in an antifascist demonstration protesting against a murderous attack by the Nazis against the immigrant communities in Athens that was made possible through the covert assistance of the local police in Greece.

         The events leading up to this trial are noteworthy enough to be described in more detail.

         In December 2008, an important youth revolt had shaken the entire country following the murder of a 15 years old adolescent, Alexandros Grigoropoulos by two police guards. The revolt continued for nearly two months, in what Dominique Strauss Kahn, head of the IMF at that time, had rightly described as “the first political explosion of the current world financial-economic crisis”. In the spring and summer 2009, the right wing Karamanlis government had launched a counter-offensive  to check the social unrest by organizing continuous pogroms by the police  assisted by the Nazi “Golden dawn”( then still a marginal far right  extremist group) targeting the immigrant communities  and the left. In the December 2008 revolt the immigrant workers played a rather secondary if not a marginal role in the events, with one great exception: during the revolt, on Christmas eve in 2008, a gang of thugs hired by the bosses – and never punished to this day – attacked a Bulgarian immigrant with acid, resulting in serious injuries to the woman, Konstantina Kuneva. She was apparently singled out for being an active trade unionist. Kuneva went on to become a symbol of the revolt and of the unity of all workers regardless of their national or ethnic origin. 

      It is not an accident that other female trade-unionists coming from abroad, like the Polish Monika Karbowska, were targeted later in 2009, arrested and made the subject of show trials.

        The police pogroms against immigrants reached a climax in the spring of 2009, in Athens, in the neighbourhood of Aghios Panteleimonas, where the “Golden Dawn” murder squads terrorised immigrants with the protection and collaboration of the local police. Left organizations had called for anti-fascist demonstrations. The EEK joined this mobilization and issued a leaflet calling for mass participation.  The leaflet signed by the EEK as a party was also published in the party newspaper NEA PROOPTIKI and featured on the party’s web site. This is the “crime” for which the General Secretary of the EEK is accused and put on trial.

      In May 2009, leading members of  the ‘Golden Dawn”, including Ilias  Panagiotaros, now a member of the Greek Parliament, and Themis Skordeli - a woman with shadowy connections to the underworld, accused of a murderous attack on an Afghan immigrant but who to this day has never been brought to trial - initiated a lawsuit against the entire spectrum of the Greek left, from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and SYRIZA to the extra-parliamentary left, ANTARSYA and EEK, all the immigrant associations, and independent personalities like the Dean of the National Technical University of Athens Constantinos Moutzouris.  The charge against Moutzouris was that he allowed an alternative web site, Athens.Indymedia, to broadcast from space on the campus.

      The lawsuit remained in limbo until late 2012, after the Greek elections of May and June 2012, when, the Golden Dawn was catapulted to Parliament from the margins of political life and the shadows of the State repressive apparatus. In November 2012, at the day celebrated nationally  for decades now as the  anniversary of the  1973 youth revolt in Athens National Technical University (the “Polytechnic”) against the military dictatorship of the colonels, the Greek Police, after  receiving orders from the judiciary,  began interrogations of all those accused in the Golden Dawn lawsuit of 2009. By June of 2013, from the dozens of the accused in the legal action of 2009, and interrogated in 2012, only Savas Michael(Sabetai) Matsas of the EEK was called to trial on September 3, 2013, together with the former Dean   C. Moutzouris.

       Simultaneously with this preposterous “legal” action, the Nazis have intensified a non-stop, vicious anti-Semitic and anti-communist campaign against the Secretary of the EEK, accusing him of being “an instrument of the World Jewish Conspiracy to foment civil war among Greeks to impose a Judeo-Bolshevik regime in Greece”.  Pictures of Savas Michael are presented combined with anti-Semitic insults and open death threats: “Destroy the Jewish vermin!”

       Although there is a powerful wave of solidarity for Savas Michael both in Greece and internationally, including the support of many Jewish people, the “official” leadership of the Greek Jewish community, the Central Israelite Council of Greece(KISE) has so far refused to make the slightest public statement on this vicious attack on a Greek Jew. The reason is obvious: they disagree with his political views. Even more sinister, the current Chairman of KISE, in a recent interview in the Jerusalem Post, defended the credentials of Adonis Georgiadis,  a vicious anti-Semite and  a fascist well known in Greece, who after being for years a leading member of the far right LAOS party, has jumped to the right wing New Democracy party and became a minister of Health in the Samaras government (where other notorious fascists are included: like Makis Voridis, personal friend of Jean Marie Le Pen and former  leader of the youth organization of the dictator Papadopoulos)! The “Judenrat” mentality and practices did not finish with the Third Reich.

       On August 29, a press conference is scheduled in the headquarters of the Union of Journalists in Athens (ESHEA) to present the facts behind this case, the political implications of this trial, and the solidarity campaign  that is gaining an increasing hearing throughout the world.

                                                                       August 2, 2013

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, Comrade Savas has made a call for letters that support his right to fight fascism. I think, in line with his call, Permanent Revoultion should ask its readers to send letters of support to Comrade Savas.

His e-mail address is savvasmatsas@gmail.com

We should also do our best to spread the word.

Kemal Ulker