Athens, May 14, 1998
To The Ministry of Justice Athens
We, who submit this petition, have united our efforts and formed the Anti-Nazi Initiative in order to prevent the development of the neo-Nazi political current in our country and in order to enforce the basic democratic principles, so as to have every Nazi activity banned and every Nazi organization officially declared illegal.
The fact that only our country from all the countries in the European Community, allows the legal function of an organization which openly declares to be a supporter of Hitlerism, as "Chrysi Avgi" does, is one of the greatest political scandals and an unprecedented provocation against the democratic achievements not only of the Greek people, but of all European peoples.
The peoples of Europe have acquired knowledge of Nazism and fascism through the highly painful experience of the Second World War, and in no case would they accept to give to the Nazi once again the opportunity to poison the masses and to use them for their wars and their monstrous dictatorships.
This is why, after they punished the Nazi murderers when the Second World War was over, they prevented with strict laws the reappearance of all kind of propaganda supporting directly or indirectly the political and ideological beliefs, as well as the symbols, of the ones responsible for that war.
The Nazis and fascists of every kind, in order to assure freedom to organize themselves and to spread their beliefs, are referred to the democratic and human rights that are generally in force for citizens and persons, individuals and groups of every country. That is, they invoke the right to "freedom of expression"!
The current of historical revisionism of Nazi-crimes used this argument, especially after the mid-fifties.
In view of the grave danger the general democratic principles to become the vehicle for the re-appearance of Nazism, the European peoples and States decided to strengthen democracy. They joined their anti-fascist experience against racism appearing in the form of anti-Semitism and "Aryan Nation", with the national liberation movement of the Third World countries against colonialist racism and embodied these principles in international and European Conventions.
In this way, not only did they declare illegal every distinction based on ethnic origin, color and religion, within their communities, but, also, they prohibited the activities and associations of racists and Nazis.
In this way, humanity as a whole established the foundations and the rules with which the re-appearance of a new Nazi movement fighting for world conquest and leading to a new bloodshed would be prevented, to the greatest extent possible. The peoples protected the right to freedom of expression by future violations.
In contrast to the general course of all the modern democratic societies, in our country, Nazi have the monstrous convenience to form a political party, to issue newspapers and magazines, to participate to the elections (Euro-elections of 1994, and Parliamentary Elections of 1996), and even to take part to the Electoral Committee of all parties invited by the competent ministers with the consent of all parliamentary parties. Finally, with the same general consent they are allowed to talk on TV.
Consequently, in our country, where we enjoy the grievous privilege to have the Nazis legal, they have acted accordingly to the immediate consequences of their beliefs and according to the iron law of their same existence. They beat up systematically foreign workers, especially those of different color, as well as young people whose appearance implies democratic ideological attitude, they campaign against ethnic minorities and they have repeatedly and seriously injured members of anti-nationalist organizations.
In the area where the center of their activities is found, at schools, where they are developing alarmingly, the Nazis form their troops on violence. The physical violence and the threat of exercising physical violence on unorganized easy targets are the main forms of their propaganda.
The latest exhibition of violent attitude was the unprovoked murderous attack to A. Kalofolias, in the center of Athens in front of many intimidated eye-witnesses, who saw the perpetrators hiding in the offices of “Chrysi Avgi”.
Therefore, on the grounds of above reasoning and facts, we democratic people, residents of this country, Greek and foreigners alike, regardless of any political or ideological disagreement, consider the prohibition of Nazi organizations and Nazi activities, the most important matter for democracy in Greece.
We also believe that we must confront all of the arguments and objections expressed by progressive and democratic people with good intentions about the democratic character of the prohibition of Nazis, in the light of history, peoples’ experience and international democratic practice.
For this purpose, we will refer to their most basic arguments:
The first is that the prohibition of Nazis may become the political and legal basis for the prohibition of other political parties, with similar, but not Nazi ideology, and democracy would be threatened. According to the same logic, the prohibition of Nazis could also be used for the prohibition of other left wing or revolutionary organizations, which support violence within the sphere of class struggle, revolutionary violence or violence against imperialism, and deny from this aspect the modern democratic capitalistic state. Thus, this prohibition could be used indiscriminately against democratic organizations so that the purpose of the initial ban would be reversed.
The ban on Nazis is not a method for the solution of the problem of reactionary political forces in general, or even racism, or anti-Semitism and the correspondent violence. The political and legal ban cannot put an end to political and social struggle, or to prevent the most backward, oppressive political and ideological currents. It has been historically proven that these currents transform incessantly and adjust to the continuous changes in political and social life. It has also been proven that above forces borrow from their opponents, symbols and phrases in order to hide their monstrous and obsolete propaganda under attractive clothing.
The prohibition of these forces as a form of confrontation, would mean division within society, and finally the enforcement of dictatorship. However, the prohibition of Nazis, that is, the exercise of violence on them by the State, is the implementation of the collective will of peoples not to undergo again the painful experience of Nazi violence.
The whole Greek people, as well as European peoples, and the majority of peoples and nations have known and hated Nazi violence, coming from Hitler State and Japanese Empire. On the basis of this logic, the ban on every dissemination of that ideological propaganda which has been proved to use violence, and on its further development is a social demand.
This is the main difference between the prohibition of these forces which openly declare to be Nazi, and the forces which hide their nazism, racism and anti-Semitism, and might be more dangerous. The difference is that peoples have experienced widely during a world war the very essence of the ideology of Nazism. This mass experience creates international law, the source of which is the world-wide anti-fascist struggle. This is the law of Nyrembergi trial, which is the basis for the policy of post war prohibition of Nazism, racism and anti-Semitism in European countries. On the contrary, our country allows the free expression and association of Nazis, and also the dissemination of ethno-racist and anti-Semitic ideas.
Therefore, it becomes obvious that the ban on Nazis cannot be used against other political or ideological currents referring to violence as a form of the class struggle, or aiming at the abolition of the modern capitalistic state.
It is not needed here neither to involve in the discussion about the theory and practice of class struggle, the violent abolition of the capitalistic state, nor to distinguish between the great mass wars of peoples against imperialism and their oppressors, and the dictatorships imposed in the name of the people.
In any of the above cases, there has not been expressed from the peoples universally the demand to prohibit or to restrict any of the defenders of above revolutionary or oppressive ideas. On the contrary, it has been generally accepted that the fighters against class oppression and imperialistic forces were in the front line of the great universal liberating anti-Nazi struggle.
Actually, the ban on Nazis is the pre-condition for the survival of every progressive and democratic current, and cannot be used otherwise.
The immediate consequence of the legality of Nazis, is the legality of their violence. This violence is exercised against the most progressive and democratic people, thus imposing on them a selective dictatorship, without changing the general democratic form of the constitution. Furthermore, the most worrying fact when Nazis are legal, is that their legality, expresses the intentions of broader and more powerful forces of the political constitution and of state power, often hidden, to use Nazis, their violence and their propaganda, in order to clear the road for their leap to political power.
At this point, we will refer to the second most frequently used argument against the prohibition of the Nazis, which is that this prohibition would strengthen Nazis who are politically marginalized, because they would be given the chance to appear as martyrs, and they would be brought to the center of political life.
This argument ignores the social basis of Nazism as political current, and the historical experience about its development. Nazism develops through propaganda to the people and organizes members in this way, that is, it has the form of a revolutionary peoples movement. Yet, only the form is common. The real source of its strength is found at the support or tolerance by powerful fractions of the upper class and of state mechanisms.
This support and tolerance gave Nazism the power to exercise violence.
Violence is its basic form of propaganda. The distressed middle-class strata, the unemployed and the marginalized who are its main followers, demand mostly power, and this power is proved by violence exercised against the “enemies of the nation and of the people”. Nazi theory defines the “enemy” and legalizes the violence exercised against him, but the very same violence is the most substantial element in the theory and practice of Nazis.
This is verified today in the case of “Chrysi Avgi”, which, in spite of its marginalized, as yet, character, organizes new members, especially when in general no sanctions are imposed against it. The victims of its violence, in most cases isolated, cannot resort to the Courts in order to confront, by themselves, a perfectly organized and legal criminal gang. The relative Act has been proven insufficient, if not inexistent, to punish the perpetrators who hide themselves with the cover of a criminal gang.
Consequently, the prohibition of the Nazi organization will lead to their deterioration, since they do not acquire their strength from the people, but from the tolerance and cooperation of the State mechanisms. Besides, the ban will not make them martyrs, due to the general feeling of repulsion of the whole population towards their ideology. This ideology might be attractive only to the very young people who have absolutely no knowledge of modern political history, and do not have the resistance obtained by the experience of social life.
This is why, the prohibition of Nazi ideas is so necessary as the prohibition of propaganda in favor of drugs is. The freedom of dissemination of ideas does not apply to Nazi ideas because they do not correspond to the term "ideas". They are barbaric callings to the worst instincts of destruction.
Is there anyone who can support that pederasty and drugs must be left free, as well as the relative propaganda, in order to be confronted through argumentative conversation? Until that time, many children will have been raped and abused from corrupted adults and even more dead bodies from use of drugs will decorate the salon of this "aristocratic" fake democratic procedure.
On the other hand the prohibition of the activities and propaganda of the Nazis will prevent their development exactly because they will be brought to the center of political life. Only in this way those who support or cover the legality of Nazis especially in Greece, will be openly revealed in front of the Greek and the European public opinion, and worldwide. Because due to this tolerance Nazi have already entered the center of political life. This was proved when a few months ago they attacked to a meeting of Greek and Turkish businessmen, and they achieved to further poison the Greek-Turkish relations, while they still provoke with attacks to immigrants in the center of Athens.
Only then, the deeper political and ideological background existing in our country will be revealed. The dominant ideology of the superior Greek national civilization in the center of Europe, and the rapidly increasing anti-Semitism, are closely related to the fact that a member of the Parliament, Georges Karatzaferis, belonging to the major opposition political party "Nea Dimocratia" (New Democracy), invites the Nazis to a future government. At the same time the leader of that party covers him completely, while no other parliamentary party has demanded the prohibition of Nazis, until now.
The prohibition of "Chrysi Avgi" and any other Nazi gang, will cut off the bands of every dark political center, national or international with the new mechanisms of political disorder. Nazis are the representatives of above mechanisms at the central political level.
There is a wide spread opinion, relative to the aforesaid, that the prohibition will make the Nazis heroes and that the democratic peoples' movement must confront them, and not government laws.
It is true that in the end the confrontation of Nazism will be the result of peoples' democratic struggle. Yet, this struggle is seriously impaired if the political parties and the state institutions do not recognize their responsibilities. We are contrary to the logic supporting that the Nazis will be confronted in the streets by revolutionary violence, while the political forces and state mechanisms, remain passive, intervening only to appease or to act as mediators or to arrest members of each group fighting each other.
The democratic movement will continue to carry out the anti-Nazi struggle. Yet, this struggle must become the central issue in the society and in the constitution, and institutional measures, laws and official decisions of the administrative and governmental mechanisms must affirm the victory over Nazism.
The Anti-Nazi Initiative will not underestimate this crucial matter for political democracy, for peace and for national independence within the boundaries of a united Europe.
For these reasons, WE INVITE YOU
To prohibit "Chrysi Avgi" and any other Nazi organization, their function, association and expression, and to take measures for the penal punishment of their leaders as responsible for all the attacks made until now against citizens, Greek and foreigners alike, residents of this country, for which attacks Nazis have been publicly accused.
We would like to believe that you will satisfy the democratic claim of our people and put an end to the shame of Nazis legality in Greece, and we ask to have a meeting with you the soonest possible.
Attached please find:
Our petition for the prohibition of "Chrysi Avgi"
Text followed by about 265 signatures, including the same demand. The collection of signatures is continued.
The Platform of Anti-nazi Intiative
Extracts from the publications of "Chrysi Avgi" proving their openNazi racist character
The text of CERD
On behalf of the Anti-Nazi Initiative