Perilous affinities

Footage of the recent clashes in central Athens proved what we already know: that the extreme-right group Chryssi Avgi and certain members of the police force, particularly the riot police, not only share the same dark «ideas» but also join forces on the «battlefield» against the «enemy within» and the «accursed migrants.» To the batons and tear gas of the police, Chryssi Avgi adds knives, clubs and iron bars, and they believe they are doing the country a service as they crack open people’s skulls with a small Greek flag adorning the end of their weapon. I wonder, isn’t the symbol tainted when used as a lethal weapon? One would think that the shocking images of riot police and Chryssi Avgi members working together in unison would prompt some response from the political leadership. Yet it hasn’t. In fact, the government spokesman denied the images without batting an eye. All we heard was that an investigation would be launched. An investigation had also been conducted into the case of the Cypriot student who was savagely beaten by police in Thessaloniki. Images of that event forced the Greek police to admit that police brutality is not just a malicious rumor circulated by the enemies of the nation, but the penalties handed to the perpetrators were a joke, smacking more of approval than reprimand. Nothing more should be expected this time, even if a new video were to show that Chryssi Avgi was armed by the riot police itself. And so the status quo is preserved until the next time neofascists stab an immigrant under the unflinching eye of the forces of public order, the next attack against foreigners, when the police will say «don’t even bother» to people who protest, and the next time the National Technical School of Athens is occupied and Chryssi Avgi appears «spontaneously,» wearing the mask of a concerned citizen, to «help restore order.»