The Golden Dawn Has a British Fan Club
On Saturday, a few dozen English fascists held a demonstration in solidarity with their Greek counterparts. I talked to their leader about why they felt the need to start yet another nationalist organization.
On Saturday, about 35 fascists gathered outside the Greek embassy in London to show their support for some fascists in Greece and announce yet another nationalist movement in England, this one named the New Dawn.
The demonstration was a response to the shooting of two Golden Dawn (GD) members in Athens earlier this month. Unlike their Mediterranean counterparts, who have become known for stabbing immigrants and beating up their opposition on television, the New Dawn confined itself to flying some flags, making a couple of speeches, and holding a one-minute silence in memoriam of their dead brothers in fascism.
Wading my way through the unnecessarily large police presence, I sat down with the director of the New Dawn—who, as a proud nationalist, said he'd rather not be named—and asked him to explain a few things about his organization.
VICE: What is the Golden Dawn doing in the UK?
New Dawn: We're demonstrating in solidarity with all nationalists in Europe in regards to the current situation in Greece. Either all nations of Europe will rise from the abyss as one, or we won’t rise up at all.
Do you have any Greek expats in the local group?
Yes, there are quite a few people of Greek descent in the group—I would say five or six.
Do you communicate a lot with your Greek counterparts?
I have a number of contacts in the Golden Dawn in Greece, which includes people involved with other nationalist groups affiliated with the GD. We previously organized a demo in support of the party back in January outside of the Greek embassy, again with official support of the GD people back in Greece.
What are your thoughts on the murder of antifascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a supporter of the GD earlier this year?
First of all, any murder is regrettable, but everything must be put into perspective. The individual who was killed was a supporter of violent [antifascist] groups—he was an anarchist who sang songs in which he called for nationalists to be murdered. From what I have heard, the situation in which he was killed was a clash between two groups of football hooligans in the bar, so it's not as if he was an innocent bystander.
Well, there's evidence linking Golden Dawn officials to the murder, suggesting they authorized it. That doesn't sound particularly spontaneous.
There have been a number of incidents in the past several years where nationalists have been murdered by [antifascist] and the system hasn't reacted to it by arresting a member of a left-wing party and raiding their houses.
How about the two Golden Dawn members shot dead outside their Greek headquarters last weekend? The word "martyrs" came up a lot during the demo today.
They are martyrs to the cause of European freedom.
What do you think of the media's reaction to the murders?
The media distorts everything because it is controlled by special interest groups who are unanimously hostile to us nationalists. The murders themselves received little or no coverage by the mass media, whereas the death of the antifascist made headlines. What happened to Manolis Kapelonis and Giorgos Fountoulis was a clear case of a cold-blooded assassination that was condoned, if not indeed ordered by the political establishment empowered in Greece. I don’t think it was by normal antifascists—it was too professional.
Is it possible we'll see violent responses to the murders from the Golden Dawn in Greece?
It is possible that some members might react violently, but I'm really hoping there isn't a violent reaction, as this would give the system more ammunition to shut them down. The party has unfairly been given the reputation of being violent, even though the opponents are more violent.
Again, there's evidence that suggests otherwise. Hypothetically, if violent acts were to happen, would the English supporters stand behind the party?
We would certainly not condone the violence, but it wouldn’t take away our support. We would still stand behind it, because I’m sure any violent attack wouldn't be endorsed by the GD leadership. It might be a case of isolated individuals.
Alright. Tell me about the New Dawn—why did you feel the UK needed a new nationalist movement?
The New Dawn is an ideological movement in an embryonic state at the moment. The decision was made by some of us who have been involved in the UK movement due to the state of fragmentation, infighting, and general confusion around here [in the British nationalist landscape]. It was made after some consideration that we should put together a group with a hardcore ideological wing on the one hand and street presence on the other—[holding] demonstrations and such.
What type of support are you expecting? Do you really see a bright future for the New Dawn?
We hope to attract people who don’t have anywhere to go in the UK. People who don’t see the established groups normally associated with the far right moving forward. Potentially, we could get a lot of support, especially considering the current situation in other movements. The [British National Party], for example, has lost [a huge amount] of its membership, while the EDL has experienced in-fighting after leading members dropped out of the movement recently.
The problem I can see you having is that people in England aren't quite financially desperate enough yet to get fully behind a far right movement, which is what spurred support for the GD in Greece.
The challenge is the fact that people in England have got a very comfortable standard of living compared to current Greece. Even if people are on the dole, they still can go and have a beer from time to time. In addition, the British mentality is very thoroughly entranced with liberalism, which is a big obstacle. There is definitely a lot of potential, as people are looking for something more radical. But we're trying to do something constructive here—I think a new Golden Dawn could be viable, but before we can change the situation, we need to change ourselves.
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