A few days ago, a photograph was published on some social media sites of Magda Fyssa sitting in a court room. She is the mother of the 34-year-old rapper Pavlos Fyssas who was killed by a member of the neofascist Golden Dawn party on September 18, 2013 in the western Athens district of Keratsini.
In the photo, with the seats around her empty, Fyssa is seen sitting alone at the back of the courtroom, dressed in black, with the kind of devastation on her face that is in no way fleeting but has sculpted her features forever. Her head is held high, with a forceful stoicism.
She will never give up, until responsibility has been assigned to her son’s murderer(s).
Five years after the killing of Pavlos Fyssas, the Golden Dawn trial, which is in its fourth year, is stalling. In a report by Ioanna Mandrou in Kathimerini, we read, among other things: “After 253 court sessions, many of which were marked by tensions and confrontations, the trial continues to move between the hall in the women’s wing of Korydallos prison which is being used for the trial to the Court of Appeals in Athens, and is expected to run until late 2020 or even later, possibly in 2021.”
The police are concerned about the planned anti-fascist rallies that will end with a concert in Syntagma Square, as well as a series of events planned for Tuesday, the anniversary of Fyssas’s murder.
With catharsis through justice being delayed, the poison keeps dripping, completing its work quietly beneath the surface, corroding the foundations of society.
This is not the discord or polarization caused by other kinds of political confrontations. We must not forget, of course, that a criminal gang consistently comes third in polls comparing the popularity of Greece’s political parties, which means that for some tens of thousands of Greeks, murder, attempted homicides, harassment and assault are not considered serious enough to withdraw their vote.
The delay in this case is toxic. It is well known that, in criminal trials, time counts in favor of the defendant, because the volume of the demands for the perpetrators’ punishment gradually diminishes.
At the same time, the delay also accommodates the political system.
As GD members have kept a lower profile since the trial, they have kept out of the way of political power, causing incidents only outside of Parliament.
There is nothing reassuring about the growing silence after the murder of Fyssas. It is threatening and ominous because it finds ways to trigger the worst, nurturing an ever-bigger evil.