Με εκκωφαντικές κραυγές επιχείρησαν μέλη της Χρυσής Αυγής να τρομοκρατήσουν τους συμμετέχοντες στην εκδήλωση για την έκδοση του Ελληνο-Μακεδονικού λεξικού στα ελληνικά. Εκκωφαντική σιωπή κάλυψε το θέμα στο δημόσιο λόγο, στο τοπίο των ευρωεκλογών.
Η "παράσταση" παίχτηκε στην αίθουσα των Ανταποκριτών Ξένου Τύπου και μετά την αποχώρηση των συντελεστών της, η εκδήλωση συνεχίστηκε κανονικά: [βλέπε: http://crimevssocialcontrol.blogspot.com/2009/06/blog-post_03.html
Το παρακάτω κείμενο μού το έστειλε σήμερα η συνάδελφος Riki Van Boeschoten.
Neo-fascist thugs attack book launch of first Greek-Macedonian dictionary printed in Greece
The Greek-Macedonian dictionary was compiled by Vasco Karadzas, born in a slavophone village near Kastoria (D’mbeni or Dendrochori), who became a political refugee after the end of the Greek Civil War. This dictionary is a much needed guide for cultural mediation between standard Greek and standard Macedonian. It grew out of the author’s long-standing work as a translator (he has translated major works of Greek literature including Seferis, Ritsos and Kavafis into Macedonian) and his love for the two languages in his life, Greek and Macedonian. Just before his death in 2003 he handed over the material to members of the Rainbow Party with the wish to see his work published in Greece. This last wish was fulfilled this month when the Greek-Macedonian dictionary was printed in Salonica by the Zora press. In his foreword Mr Karadzas expressed the wish that the dictionary may contribute to a better understanding between the Greek and Macedonian people by improving their linguistic skills. The brutal disruption of the book launch by a group of violent neofascists revealed that Mr Karadzas had been a bit too optimistic in his estimations.
The book launch was organized by the Rainbow Party on June 2, at the Foreign Press Association in Athens.
The panel included Dimitris Lithoxoou, writer, Riki Van Boeschoten, associate professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Thessaly, Victor Friedman, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Balkan and Slavic Linguistics, University of Chicago and Thanasis Parisis, President of the Greek Committee of the European Bureau of Lesser Used Languages. Towards the end of the presentation, just when professor Friedman stressed the urgent need for documenting endangered Macedonian dialects spoken in Greece, free from the police harassment that so often has hampered research, about twenty men wearing black shirts and combat helmets burst into the room, launching violent verbal assaults to the audience and the panellists, singling out some of them by name. They were active members of the Neo-Nazi party Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) who had attended an electoral meeting in central Athens. While the others blocked the door, two of their leaders continued to threaten members of the panel.
One of them was about to hit professor Friedman with his black helmet when he tried to take a picture of the thugs, but he was stopped by the other one. Apparently they had taken orders from their bosses to refrain from physical violence. When I called the same man a “fascist”, he turned to me in a threatening way and called out “Here it is Greece”, apparently implying that in Greece fascists are free to do whatever they like. Personally, I felt like reliving Bertolucci’s film 1900 (1976) documenting the rise of fascism in Italy, but also the lack of popular support for resisting the fascist movement. After that the fat leader ripped off the banner on the podium that had the name of the book in Greek and Macedonian and confiscated a copy of the dictionary. They tried to push everybody out of the room, yelling “It is finished, everybody out!” and also intended to take a picture of everyone in the room. But when they heard police was on its way, they swiftly left the building. Nobody was arrested, but later the commander of the police force told me they had accompanied them to the nearest metro station. When the presentation started there was no police to protect the event, but according to a member of the audience a police force was stationed in front of the building just before the invasion of the building by the Golden Dawn activists. A second police force, called upon by a member of the audience, arrived long after the fascists had left the area. The attitude of the Greek riot police that night raises serious doubts, to say the least, about their ability to protect academic freedom and freedom of expression, a basic human right guaranteed by the Greek Constitution. It confirms the claims made by serious newspaper, such as TA NEA, about the close relationships between part of the Greek police force and neo-fascist groups such as the Golden Dawn (see report published by TA NEA on 17/04/2004). During the whole incident, both the audience and the panellists kept their calm and showed their resolve not to give in to their attempts at intimidation. After the fascist thugs had left the room, we shortly discussed the incident and then continued the presentation. The incident can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hVZYz_gH5k. Independently of the specific occasion that led to the incident described above, we would like to alert international public opinion to the fact that Neo-nazi organizations such as the Golden Dawn present a serious danger to Greek democracy. They are increasingly involved in violent or even murderous attempts against immigrants, leftist activists and members of ethnic minorities. On 24 February 2009 a handgrenade was launched against the premises of a network supporting immigrants, just after Neonazis celebrated in Athens the anniversary of the foundation of the German Nazi party NSDAP. The Golden Dawn Party openly supports National Socialism and theories about Aryan purity. Members of the Golden Dawn participated in the Srebrenica massacre of Muslims during the Yugoslav war and were decorated by Radovan Karadzic, now due to be tried by the Hague Tribunal. They have also participated in racists attacks against immigrants in Athens and elsewhere. In September 2006 a prominent member of the Golden Dawn, Andonis Androutsopoulos, known as “Periandros” was convicted to a 21 years prison sentence for attempted murder against three left-wing students, while another member carried out a knife attack against participants in an antifascist demonstration in February 2008. Still shocked by the brutal experience I have lived through, I would like to urge the international community and especially fellow academics to urge the Greek government to take measures against such violent actions which violate the Greek Constitution and international human rights legislation and to ban such dangerous formations as the Golden Dawn from parliamentary representation. Riki Van Boeschoten Associate Professor of Social Anthropology University of Thessaly