During the past few days the murder of a 30-year-old Greek in Patras on Saturday morning (May 19) was assigned in local mainstream media of Patras to “afghan” perpetrators. The increasing discourse on the violent death rose on MAy 20, the day of the burial ceremony. A group of approx. 150 indignant locals but also fascists members of “golden dawn” party started to move in the evening towards the industrial area of Peiraiki Patraiki where currently some sans-papiers live in transit. The fascists among the protestors planned to revenge the death of the 30-year-old some of them holding rods and other truncheons. Indignant locals argued with golden dawn members who wanted to use the tragic death of the 30-year-old for their own purposes. The police forces arrived just in time to prevent the fascists from entering the industrial area. The mob outside the industrial area was shouting: “Foreigners out of Greece!” After a while of struggle between police and fascists, the latter left only to meet again the next day as they announced. Small groups of migrants and refugees spread in the city were chased by fascists. There are yet no news about injuries.
video showing the protest of the indignant locals and the fascist mob
On May 22 the atmosphere in Patras is remains heated. Police forces arrived in the early morning in the industrial area and arrested some sans-papiers in order to transfer them to Athens (about three busses) – as they said in order to protect them. Anyway, for the authorities the incidents of the last days might be seen as an opportunity to empty the buildings from the sans-papiers as they are trying already since some months by daily sweep operations. In the afternoon of May 22 the sans-papiers who had been transferred earlier that day to Athens were all released. During the arrest there was no possibility for the sans-papiers to collect their few personal belongings. Some of their items were allegedly burned by the police forces.
In the afternoon members of the neonazi GD gathered from other Greek cities and marched to the abandoned factory space (Peiraiki Patraiki, opposite the new port). The approx. 350 nazis tried to storm the factory, brandishing crowbars and pelting rocks to the migrants inside the building. During the night eight police officers were injured and five fascists arrested.
21:55 GMT+2 Meanwhile, the situation at the southern front of Patras, by the new port, is escalating in a nazi riot, as allegedly a couple of hundred Golden Dawn supporters try to break through the police lines to reach the abandoned factory building of Peiraiki Patraiki used by undocumented migrants for shelter.
22:00 GMT+2 People attacked Golden Dawn MP Michalis Arvanitis, who was scheduled to speak at a local TV station. The nazi was attacked inside the station building.
22:05 GMT+2 An antifascist gathering has been called for this Thursday, 24/05, at Olgas Square in Patras.
On May 23 the police entered again the industrial area which is a provisory shelter for migrants and refugees, arrested and transferred the last 50-60 to Athens. Meanwhile the municipality is holding an emergency meeting concerning the escalation of violence in the area of the new port and the “problem of illegal migration in the city”. The plan of the local government is to increase police patrols. In a telephone conference with the Minister of Citizen Protection the prefect of Western Greece demanded an increase of the police forces in Patras to face the militias of the neo-nazis but also and mainly to force refugees and migrants out of town.
In the night of May 23 again fascists started attacking the riot police next to the port and the industrial area of Peiraiki Patraiki.
press release of the solidarity movement in patras / May 23, 2012
call for antifascist meeting May 23, 2012 in Patras (in greek)
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