The fascist, neo-Nazi behaviour by a small group of Greek Australians at Greece’s National Day celebrations in Melbourne should be denounced and condemned as a cowardly attack on democracy and multiculturalism for which Greek Australians fought in the front lines to defend and promote.
And for that we have earned the moral and political respect and indeed admiration of our fellow Australian citizens in all fields of human activities. Greek Australians are known and respected in politics, education, health, unionism, arts, literature, social justice issues, migrant worker and ethnic rights, solidarity with the struggles of the Greek and Cypriot people for freedom, democracy and national independence, as well as with the oppressed peoples around the world, refugees and our aboriginal brothers and sisters.
The real issue is not the right of people to express their likes or dislikes on government policies here or in Greece, but the worldwide coordinated attempt of a resurgent fascist, neo-Nazi movement to enter and dominate the body politic overtly or covertly.
In Australia we have had and have, practising supporters of fascism and its twin racism. The right-wing extremist who massacred 50 Muslims in Christchurch was one of them. One Nation preaches racial hatred and white supremacy as does Golden Dawn in Greece with its ‘branch in Australia”. They are tolerated by some mainstream political forces who see and even cultivate political advantages in beating the racist, xenophobic drum. Unfortunately, this unprincipled tolerance permeates sections of the Greek community and church hierarchy.
Greek Australians and the peoples of the world cannot forget the catastrophes the fascists unleashed wherever they took power: in the Second World War, and the Metaxas and Papadopoulos dictatorships in Greece to name but a few.
We must not make excuses for fascists and their abhorrent acts, for that only encourages them and sustains the environment that creates them.
They must be called out and isolated, which is something that the rest of the democratic world, and Australia, are doing right now, even if some have to be drawn by the hair.
Decent democratic Greek Australians expect and indeed demand that community and religious leaders, who have so far remained silent or made excuses for such behaviour, to come out in full and unequivocal condemnation of fascists and their ideology in the Greek community and Australia in general.
We should all say loudly and clearly that fascism shall not pass, as so many million people, including Greeks, have said so even with their blood.
Neos Kosmos encourages robust dialogue on all matters of interest to the Greek Australian community. Submissions expressed as Letters to the Editor and opinions do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the publisher. To submit a Letter to the Editor or an Opinion piece, send an email to email@example.com