While the United Kingdom has seen a rise in xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism amongst political adherents to the so-called “English Defense League” (EDL), other nations like France have targeted the Roma people (formerly referred to by non-Roma as “Gypsies”), even ethnically cleansing tens of thousands of Roma people in 2010. Famously oppressed along with Jews and various enemies of the Nazi Third Reich, the continued oppression of the Roma people has not fallen out of vogue with France, nor garnered the same public outrage and shaming as with other groups.
But France is hardly alone. Nations like Greece have been experiencing their own resurgence of fascism and racial xenophobia. Greece’s Neo-Nazi “Golden Dawn” party has recently received soaring numbers of supporters.
A viral video, which swept Greece, documented about 40 husky men, led by Giorgos Germenis, a right-wing Golden Dawn party law-maker. Germenis and company were filmed “marching through a night market in the town of Rafina demanding that dark-skinned merchants show permits,” according to the New York Post.
Some do, and they are left alone. But the action quickly picks up, as the men, wearing black T-shirts with the party’s name, destroy a stall with clubs and scatter the merchandise. “We saw a few illegal immigrants selling their wares,” Mr. Germenis says in the video. “We did what Golden Dawn has to do. And now we’re going to church to pay our respects to the Madonna.”
Now, a new viral documentation of the racism and Greece is sweeping the Internet in Europe. The picture shows a photograph of a female shop owner shoving a little Roma girl street musician on a walkway under the Acropolis. Roma children are often in this area playing music for donations, or selling flowers and the like. The action apparently infuriated this right-wing shop owner.
The photo originates with Associated Press photographer Dimitris Messinis, who was frequenting this busy tourist spots in Athens, near the main Metro station and now the New Acropolis Museum.
Many witnessed the event, but no one intervened. The Department of Child Protection of the Security of Attica has since launched an investigation to try to find this woman due to the bad publicity and uproar it has caused both outside of Greece, and inside amongst those who are fed up with the rise of fascism in their country.
(Article by Mikhayah Khalilan; Photo from the Associated Press)