Nikolaos Michaloliakos, General Secretary of Golden Dawn
One of the great tragedies of the Greek debt crisis is the flourish of bigotry that blooms so easily in economic panic. The Greek fascist party Chrysi Avgi, or Golden Dawn, now holds 18 seats in the Greek Parliament and are gaining support in an increasingly tense political atmosphere. Blaming immigrants for a bad economy is par for the course in nearly any developed country, but Golden Dawn are particularly overt in their racism, openly denying the holocaust, praising Hitler, and campaigning under the slogan, “So we can rid this land of filth.”
Recently members of the party reached out to Greek American civic organizations in Queens for clothing donations. The boxes they supplied were labeled “for Greeks only”, and the Greek community in Queens has responded by the hundreds in condemnation at a recent community meeting. Astoria has the largest Greek population in New York, and Golden Dawn’s attempt to set up an office there would provide an advantageous and potentially well-funded base of operations, as well as potential for growth in their New York chapter.
While nationalist tendencies can run amok in any community (even a community made up of immigrants), Queens is said to be the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, and Greek Americans from Astoria are organizing and pushing back against Golden Dawn.