EEKSavvas Michael-Matsas:

From the trial of the antifascists to a murder by the fascists

From UK Left Network, September 2013.
The trial of Savvas Michael-Matsas, General Secretary of the EEK (Workers Revolutionary Party of Greece), and of Konstantinos Moutzouris, former Rector of the National Technical University of Athens, took place on September 3-4, 2013, after a lawsuit deposed by the Nazi party “Golden Dawn” on May 8, 2009, and promoted in 2013 by the Greek “democratic” State and its judiciary arm, after the entry of the “Golden Dawn” in the Greek parliament in June 2012. The trial had enormous repercussions and produced a huge outrage internationally and nationally.

As many statements by many organizations noted, from well known as well as little known personalities from the cultural and political arena, including the mainstream international Press from all parts of the world: it was the first time after the end of the Second World War, and the defeat of Nazism, that two antifascists, including a Jewish communist intellectual and leader of a Trotskyist Party, in the case of Savvas Michael-Matsas, were brought to court by Nazis, with the complicity of the official State institutions in a member nation of the European Union.

It was this powerful tsunami of protests and solidarity that created a political dynamic permitting the victory of the “accused” in an initially very difficult trial. Parties of the Greek Left, many trade unions, anarcho-syndicalist and anarchist collectives, cultural associations, and dozens of artists and intellectuals issued public statements of solidarity or sent witnesses for the defense of Savvas Michael-Matsas. About a thousand people gathered in and around the court in the two day trial. The trial concluded with a unanimous ruling by the court of “not guilty” for both of the accused.

The three interconnected aims of this outrageous prosecution were, as Savvas Michael pointed out in his final “apology” to the court:
· To outlaw any antifascist discourse and action in conditions of social polarization and mass upheaval, in a country where the ruling class in a state of emergency uses the fascist gangs as an instrument to re-impose its control;

· To begin, starting from the Trotskyist party, the process of outlawing the entire Left and the dismantling of democratic popular rights in Greece ;

· Last but not least, to institutionalize the virulent anti-Semitism that accompanied from the start, the persecution of Savvas Michael-Matsas, an “instrument of the world Jewish conspiracy to impose a Judeo-Bolshevik regime in Greece in crisis”, according to the Nazi non-stop hate campaign.

The organizers of this witch hunt failed. For the first time, after its ascent, the Golden dawn lost a trial in Greek courts – a fact which says a lot about the current state of the judiciary in Greece. An important tactical victory was achieved, hailed by all throughout the workers movement (particularly in general assemblies where strike action in the public sector was decided) and among the popular masses identifying this battle with their own struggles against the escalating social disaster and barbaric repression by the bourgeois State forces and fascist paramilitary gangs.

But, as the EEK stressed in its first statement after the trial, a battle was won but the class war continues. What followed proves the truth of that statement: Within minutes after the trial concluded, many youth participating in it in solidarity with the accused were stopped and bullied by the special DELTA police forces, shouting to them “are you coming from the trial of the dirty Jew?” This is the same DELTA force, which had attacked the EEK in a peaceful demonstration in December 2009 nearly killing comrade Angeliki Koutsoumbou and seriously injuring dozens of comrades. A similar attitude was expressed by the police after the massive workers demonstration in Thessalonica on September 7, where 130 demonstrators were arrested, including many comrades of the EEK who were insulted by the police as “dogs of the dirty Jew Matsas”. The same insult was used the next day against another comrade arrested in an antifascist demonstration in Larissa. Even more sinister was the murderous attack, the day after the trial, on September 5, by a fascist gang in Pyrgos, Peloponnesus, against the 19 year old young son of a well known trade unionist cadre of the EEK, an attack that sent the young man to the hospital with serious injuries.

The fascist criminal activities escalated the last two weeks after the end of the trial: there was another murderous attack by dozens of Nazi storm troopers – a gang financed and supported by Greek ship-owners- in the Perama shipyards area against a group of members, trade unionists and supporters of the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) peacefully campaigning for the Festival of KNE (Communist Youth of Greece).

The climax of these activities was the murder, on September 18, of the 34 years old Pavlos Fyssas, a young left wing antifascist activist, musician and metal worker- a cold blood murder organized at the highest level by the Nazi Party and by its protectors in the bourgeois State, and executed by the “Golden Dawn” Nazi Mafia in the working class area of Nikaia, a historic stronghold of the communist movement. The murder produced huge popular uproar and anger, and sharpened the political crisis of the bourgeois regime and the Samaras government. Nevertheless, and despite the hypocritical crocodile tears of the government and the announcement of the “imposition of the rule of law”, the mass antifascist demonstrations that followed the murder were savagely repressed by the riot police, sending dozens to the hospital with serious injuries (one demonstrator lost his sight), and arresting hundreds of demonstrators.

This on-going confrontation is insolubly tied to the new phase of the class struggle, the eruption of a powerful strike movement of the workers in the entire public sector, in Education, in the Health services, the struggle in three major industries (including the LARKO factory, one of the biggest in the country and in Europe) facing closures under the diktat of the hated troika. The LARKO workers, who have been fiercely resisting the closure of their factory by blocking passage on the Athens-Thessalonica motor way, have been met with brutal attacks by the hordes of riot police sent by the government.

The murder of comrade Pavlos Fyssas, the fight with the murderous Nazi gangs, and their protectors, the repressive State apparatus, the sharpening struggle against the social devastation imposed by the troika of the EU/ECB/IMF and the Samaras government deepen the crisis of the regime, and reveal the bankruptcy of bourgeois parliamentary democracy.

The EEK fights throughout the country to bring together all these struggles into a General Political Strike – with no expiration date –
to bring down the government,
to kick out the imperialist troika,
to smash its catastrophic policies,
to build a United Front of the workers and popular organizations,
to organize Workers Self Defense groups and workers militias against the Nazis and State repression,
to open the road to workers power and a socialist way out of the crisis,
for a socialist Greece in a United Socialist States of Europe.
Savvas Michael, 9/24/2013The VOAG is watching - The VOAG is everywhere!!

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