Dozens march against far-right extremism in Athens

AFP , Saturday 12 Oct 2013

Greek protesters carried banners such as 'Fascism never again' in demonstrations against neo-Nazism

Dozens took to the streets of a working-class Athens district Saturday to protest against far-right extremism, local media reported, as authorities continue their drive to dismantle neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn.

Carrying banners saying "Out with neo-Nazis" and "Fascism never again," protesters marched in the Perama neighbourhood, where members of the Communist party were assaulted by alleged Golden Dawn supporters last month.

The assault took place one week before the September 18 fatal stabbing of 34-year-old anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a Golden Dawn supporter, an attack that sparked national outrage.

"Nazis in prison," protesters shouted demanding the closure of the local Golden Dawn office, local media said.

As authorities continue their crackdown on the group, six of the organisation's elected deputies and numerous other party members have so far been indicted.

Three Golden Dawn lawmakers are currently in pre-trial detention, including party leader Nikos Michaloliakos who is charged with heading a criminal organisation.

Greek parliament is expected to decide whether to lift immunity to prosecution for five other Golden Dawn lawmakers, including Michaloliakos' wife Eleni Zaroulia.

On Friday, four alleged Golden Dawn members charged with voluntary manslaughter in relation to the Perama assault testified in court.

Three of them remain in custody.

Once just a fringe organisation, Golden Dawn capitalised on growing social tensions in a country hard hit by the economic crisis and was first elected to parliament last year, winning nearly seven percent of the vote.

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