In crime fiction murderers tend to return to the scene of the crime either in disguise in order to erase evidence of their act, or in the open, when they are absolutely confident that they have nothing to fear. In the latter case, hiding among curious onlookers, they sadistically enjoy their handiwork – the pain of others – and relish their lethal power.
Reality is not too far from its artistic representation, whether in literature or on the big screen. Nevertheless, it is more inventive than the most imaginative script writer. Fresh evidence of this came on Sunday in the crudest and most intimidating fashion as members of the criminal organization that is Golden Dawn returned to Keratsini where anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas was stabbed to death. Who would have imagined such gall? It seems that the Erinyes, those chthonic deities of vengeance, are no longer around.
So the pack, wearing t-shirts as black as their thoughts, returned to Keratsini. They may have been out in the open but they also made sure to remain hidden by shielding their faces. This time they did not strike in the trademark way, that is by ambushing their target in the dark. They marched in military formation. They shouted their blood-thirsty slogans. They vandalized the site of the killing. They took down the banner that was put up by a teachers’ association the day after the killing. They erased poems. They, these good Christians, destroyed the candles lit at a makeshift shrine for Fyssas. They threatened Fyssas’s family at their home. They intimidated locals. They attacked the anarchist hangout Resalto with iron bars and threw stones. And they threw stones at an apartment in the basement of the same building despite the pleas of the residents.
The Golden Dawn raid lasted for more than an hour. The group was at no point obstructed by police who, once again, did not seem to have been notified in time. It was a carefully orchestrated and highly symbolic assault, not some random scuffle outside a soccer stadium. In fact, the raid marked the official inauguration of Golden Dawn’s election campaign.
Sadly, it’s not the police that provides the best cover to the Golden Dawn thugs, but Greek society. The party still ranks third in opinion polls. Its supporters are not so much convinced by its superficial criticism of the memorandum but are, more worryingly, attracted to its deeper values: intolerance and love of violence. Those who insist on portraying Golden Dawn voters as innocent, misled folk are merely deluding themselves. How much violence, how much horror does it take to wake up from a delusion?