By Lefteris Charalambopoulos
The 7 October, 2020, conviction of Golden Dawn as a criminal [neo-Nazi] organisation and of seven top members as its directorate was one of the few times that justice was truly served in such a case.
It was a ruling that reflected the public’s sense of justice and it demonstrated that this country possesses both memory and clear judgment.
It made clear that those who view Hitler with nostalgia have no place in Greek political life and that the murderers of [anti-fascist rapper] Pavlos Fyssas and of 27-year-old Pakistani Shahzad Lukman [who was riding on his bike at 2:30am to load oranges for his employer] must remain in jail.
The ruling vindicated the anti-fascist movement which persistently, for years and at great cost, battled against fascist gangs.
Now, the time has come for the appellate court trial.
I believe that the court system will once again rise to the occasion and send the message that criminal gangs harbouring the Nazi ideology have no place in public life.
As in the first trial, it is a message that must be sent by the entire political system.
This is especially so now that various people, including members of the Nazi organisation, believe that they can exploit public dissatisfaction and insecurity in order to offer the far right an electoral impetus.
Obviously, fascism cannot be fought solely through court rulings.
It is fought on the streets, in neighbourhoods, in schools, in public squares, and in places where it attempts to rear its ugly head and to lure and manipulate people.
Above all, it is fought through an effort to uproot its ideology – which is essentially deeply reactionary, racist, and cannibalistic, as it leads people to hate mainly people who share the same problems and anxieties, and simply happen to have a different ethnic origin.
This effort requires the backing of the educational system, of political parties (which many times insert racist elements in their rhetoric, which is exploited by the far right as a sort of legitimisation), and of the media.
None of that, however, decreases the importance of this trial, because it must be made clear that Golden Dawn was never a political party.
It was a criminal organisation and a Nazi gang.