Violent protests in several Greek cities as pressure builds on government to ban right-wing extremist party
The murder of an anti-fascist rapper sparked a wave of protests in at least six Greek cities last night, with thousands gathering to oppose far-right party Golden Dawn, the political group many blame for the hip hop artist’s death.
Violent clashes broke out in the suburbs of Athens as well as in Greece’s second city Thessaloniki, where about 6,000 protestors marched.
There were also Greek media reports of violence and disorder in the western city of Patras, the central city of Larissa, the north eastern city of Xanthi and on the isle of Crete’s second city, Chania.
What began as a peaceful demonstration in the working class neighbourhood of Keratsini, the Athenian suburb where MC Killah P was killed, escalated into chaos when hundreds of protesters attacked a police station near to where the rapper was stabbed.
A two hour confrontation saw large groups of youths set fire to trash bins, attack the pavement with hammers and throw petrol bombs and rocks at riot police, who fought back with tear gas.
Police currently say more than 75 people have been detained – 41 in Keratsini and 36 in Thessaloniki.
The left-wing rapper - real name Pavlos Fyssas - was stabbed to death on Tuesday 17 September by a 45-year-old man claiming his allegiance to the right wing party, Golden Dawn.
The Greek government have since tabled emergency legislation talks to consider a ban on the right-wing extremist group, who currently hold 18 of the 300 seats in Hellenic parliament and are considered the country’s fastest growing political party.
Minister of Public Order Nikos Dendias cancelled a trip to Rome saying the government was planning urgent legislation to outlaw the group.
“Neither the state will tolerate, nor society accept, acts and practices that undermine the legal system,” the Minister told reporters.
Golden Dawn leader Nicholas Michaloliakos said his party “unreservedly condemns the murder of the 34-year-old at Keratsini and denies any involvement of the party”.