After the stabbing of a local man was blamed on immigrants, neo-Nazis from Greece's Golden Dawn party riot near the port of Patras, home to a transient population of migrants and refugees hoping to escape to Italy.
The 30-year-old Greek was killed on May 19th, which the local media was quick to blame on 'Afghans'. Over the next few days, violence escalated with migrants being chased through the streets. On the 20th, a group of 150 fascists attempted to enter an industrial complex where homeless migrants live, but were stopped by police. Two days later the atmosphere was still tense. Around 350 Golden Dawn members marched to Patras and congregated around a disused factory used as shelter by migrants. They threw rocks at people inside and attempted to storm into the building brandishing crowbars, shouting 'Foreigners Out of Greece' - to a bunch of foreigners who are trying their damned hardest to get the fuck out of Greece.
As the night progressed, the racists threw stones at cops who responded with tear gas. If this makes it sounds like the cops and the fash are in opposition that's not entirely true. Between 45 – 59 per cent of Athens cops voted for the Golden Dawn in the May 6th election, where it won 21 seats in the Greek parliament, and 7 per cent of the votes. Yes, these civic-minded public servants voted for a party of extreme, old-school style neo-Nazis, whose symbol looks remarkably like a swastika, and want to plant landmines along the border to prevent undocumented people from getting into the country from Turkey.
The fash may have also helped out the cops more directly: they'd been trying to empty the buildings of migrants with daily raids and sweeps for months. On the morning of 22nd, undocumented migrants had been arrested and taken to Athens without the opportunity to collect their personal belongings, all for 'the own safety'. On 23rd, police again stormed the makeshift shelter and arrested the remaining 60 or so migrants to bus them to Athens as well. The municipality's response has been to call an emergency meeting about the events but tellingly the debate is not just about bloodthirsty racist mobs running through the streets with crowbars but equally focussed on the 'problem of illegal migration' in the city.
Meanwhile, anti-fascists attacked a GD MP in a television station who was due to appear on local telly, and anti-fa counter-protests have been planned.