Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Anti-Fascists Take on Fascist ELAM on Cyprus

The Anti-Fascist Initiative (AFI) confronted the fascist group National People's Front (ELAM) in Nicosia, Cyprus on Sunday. The anti-racists outnumbered the racists by about seven to one. AFI marchers chanted "Fascism will not pass; Racism will not pass" and "ELAM equals Golden Dawn, neo-Nazis out of Cyprus". The two... groups were kept apart by scores of police.

The following is from the Cyprus Mail.

'We'll come at night and find you, traitor'

By Charles Charalambous Published on December 29, 2009

Far-right protestors cover their faces to hide identities

SUNDAY’S demonstration in the centre of Nicosia by far-right group National People’s Front (ELAM) and the counter-demonstration by the Anti-fascist Initiative passed off without incident, thanks to self-restraint by the marchers but also a very strong police presence which kept them apart.

The ELAM march “against illegal immigration” – estimates varied between 80 and 150 people participating – started at 5pm from their office near the Commerce Ministry, carrying a banner saying “‘Every foreign worker equals an unemployed Greek”.
Most of the predominantly young marchers were dressed in jeans and black tops, and carried Greek flags on thick short poles.

They headed down Makarios Avenue towards their stated destination of Eleftheria Square. They got as far as the intersection with Grivas Dighenis Avenue, where they were stopped by a deep line of police. They then spent an hour or so chanting slogans such as “ELAM, race, blood and honour”, “Foreigners out of Cyprus”, and “We’ll come at night and find you, traitor”.
Ending his address to the march and media representatives, ELAM representative Stratos Karanicolaou said: “We don’t want further adulteration of the Greek race in Cyprus. We are Greeks and Cyprus is a Greek island.”

The counter-demonstration organised by the Anti-fascist Initiative (AI) – a recently-formed informal network of anti-racist and anti-fascist groups – numbered between 700 and 1,000 people of all ages, and included members of Action for Equality, Support and Anti-racism (KISA), Alert, AKEL, EDEK and the Greens. Spotted among the marchers were Nicosia mayor Eleni Mavrou and Greens deputy George Perdikis.

KISA director Doros Polycarpou told the Mail yesterday that the turnout was gratifyingly higher than expected, despite the lack of formal representation by the main political parties, most of which had condemned the ELAM march in earlier public statements. He added that it was regrettable that the AI counter-demonstration was presented by some parts of the media as “just another KISA demo”, and the day was “over-simplified by some into an anti- and pro-immigrants matter”.

The AI march set off from Eleftheria Square at around 4pm, and headed down Makarios Avenue with the stated aim of peacefully preventing the ELAM march from proceeding towards Nicosia’s old town. They were stopped by police some 600 metres short of the intersection with Grivas Dighenis Avenue, and greeted the ELAM march with chants such as “Fascism will not pass; Racism will not pass” and “ELAM equals Golden Dawn, neo-Nazis out of Cyprus”.
The two demonstrations broke up peacefully at around 7pm. Police maintained a visible presence at strategic points in Nicosia throughout Sunday night, with the express aim of preventing any isolated incidents involving the marchers.

Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC yesterday, KISA president Doros Michael said that ELAM makes a point of playing on the general tendency – also reflected in the media – to emphasise the nationality of anyone charged with committing a crime or involved in a socially-questionable incident. “Unfortunately, many surveys have shown that Cypriots are very xenophobic, and ELAM is seeking to capitalise on this.”

Polycarpou said that AI will be continuing its efforts to engage the political parties, trade unions and other groups in setting up a more permanent network to prevent fascist organisations like ELAM from using the democratic process to further their anti-democratic views.
He said: “It is important to systematically address all aspects of ELAM’s activities, starting by looking at whether the things they are saying are legal under the Constitution and EU law, both of which forbid incitement of racial hatred. We need to raise awareness about their real political aims and slogans, compared to their statements against illegal immigration.”
Polycarpou added: “We have to consider the prospects for the future, with a possible solution to the Cyprus problem. It would not be difficult for inter-communal violence to be provoked with such people around.”


Anonymous said...

your picture caption says those are "far right" folks but those are OBVIOUSLY the anti-fascists gathered to protest IN OPPOSITION TO the far right! look, there's some antifa lit in her hand! sheesh

Oread Daily said...

Got that right. I took the info from somewhere and didn't pay attention. I'm at fault. Thanks. A "sheesh" is certainly in order.

Anonymous said...

why should ilegal imigrants get the jobs of greek cyprioits who they have families and so many obligations!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ELAM SE AKOLU8UME!!!!

Anonymous said...

we are legal by european law and have affiliations with other nationalist parties in europe. we are not against foreigners just the trash which has arrived on our island illegally, not for jobs but for free handouts, and do not respect the law here. we are not fascist, as defined and written, fascism is the control of goverment by corporations.most of the drug crazed, anarchists in your pic do not even know what fascism is. we are not neo-nazi, we have no problem with jews or think we are a master race, just that the greek people of cyprus should come first and not be second rate citizens in their own country.as for being extreamists, communism is a form of extreamism and anarchists are the worsed form of communists. next time you want to write an artical, do some research.as for being taken on by anti-fascists, they have never taken us on, not politically, idiologically or even physically. GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT NEXT TIME - a member of ELAM

Anonymous said...

And we don't need any more nationalism in an island which was devided by you nationalists, get out of cyprus . . . If you feel more greek than cypriot, go live in greece

Greek Cypriot 1960's War Veteran said...

Yes Anonymous claiming...." we are legal by European, etc., etc.,......"; in your own ignorant mind you are right but grossly naïve! Where you and all so called "patriotakia" are dead wrong is that the fundamental doctrine of ELAM is deeply rooted in the dark canyons and slimy caves of hate, prejudice, discrimination, malice, envy and jealousy. Most members are lazy rejects, criminals, druggies, drug traffickers, wife, child and parent abusers, angry losers, antisocial culprits, rejects and cowardly bullies preying on the weak and the helpless under the fallacious umbrella of ethnicism and patriotism: "The last refuge of villains is patriotism" (Disraeli, X prime minister of the U.K).
Take my word; I a front line witness; My first nephew, son of my sister is one of their so called leaders...a welfare peasant, lazy bum, bipolar idiot with criminal record, an extremists, fanatical, sickening, fascistic and prejudicial coward.
So, please get your facts straight and do not align yourself with these cowards who better go and fight the invaders, not defenceless, homeless and abused victims.