Greek neo-Nazi “spokesman” in action

June 9, 2012 at 8:26 am (elections, Europe, fascism, Greece, Jim D, reblogged, thuggery)

Published on Youtube on 7 Jun 2012 by  (text below slightly edited by JD):

Ilias Kasidiaris, who was elected to Greece’s parliament in last month’s elections, was debating with two female politicians on a chat show.

Video footage shows him throwing a glass of water at one of the women.

When the other intervened, he slapped her in the face three times.

Mr Kasidiaris appeared to have been ‘provoked’ when Rena Dourou of the radical left-wing Syriza party mentioned his alleged involvement in an armed robbery in 2007.

He jumped up and threw a glass of water across the table at her, a You Tube clip of the Antenna television channel showed.

When Liana Kanelli of the Greek Communist party, the KKE, apparently threw a newspaper at him, he responded by slapping her around the face with three right-left blows.

A journalist at Antenna told the AFP news agency that colleagues were unable to stop Mr Kasidiaris from leaving the building.

Golden Dawn has risen in profile after it won just under 7% of votes, or 21 seats, in parliamentary elections on 6 May.

The party’s anti-immigration policy has led to accusations of racism and instigating violent attacks against immigrants.

Golden Dawn’s leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, has also denied the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz and questioned the Holocaust, but he rejects the label neo-Nazi.

In most of the video Kasidiaris and Kaneli talk simultaneously so I tried my best with the translation

PS: Is anyone able to translate what it is that  Kasidiaris says about Israel?  -JD  

PPS: On the run, he continues to elude the police.


  1. Innocent Abroad said,

    Hasn’t GD’s support collapsed in the polls? I doubt Kasidiaris has won many floating voters, either.

  2. Babz Badasbab Rahman said,

    Younger man throwing right left combinations at an older women, how very brave of him. But then again he is a neo Nazi so shouldn’t be too surprised.

  3. modernity's ghost said,

    Terrible, but that is what neofascists do, attack people, physically.

    We shouldn’t forget the reality and nature of neofascism.

    Not forgetting that Golden Dawn are boycotting Israelis too.


    That must warm the hearts of many an “anti-Zionist” 😦

  4. representingthemambo said,

    In some respects things like this are actually bloody brilliant for Golden Dawn’s opponents. What else could the Greek left have arranged that would have managed to discredit them more. There has been lots of talk about this showing the pointlessness of debating fascists, but surely this shows the opposite?

  5. Pinkie said,

    “There has been lots of talk about this showing the pointlessness of debating fascists, but surely this shows the opposite?”

    Not so sure of that, Representing.

    What do you ‘debate’ about with fascists? In retrospect going on telly with a thug who then hits an older woman opponent might seem like a a result, but none of it was planned.

    Sharing a platform with racists and fascists is not likely to produce such gems very often, but it will give some legitimacy to the very people you wish to destroy as a political force.

    • Babz Badasbab Rahman said,

      Disagree, best way to defeat fascists is to show them up on tv and radio in front of millions of viewers. Fascists can’t debate for shit because their arguments are so pathetically weak and those sitting on the fence and their supporters need to see and hear fascists getting their ass handed to them. Stifling debate and and freedom of speech will only drive vile backward views underground.

      • modernity's ghost said,

        Pinkie is right.

        There is NO evidence to suggest that debating neofascists wins over 1) their supporters 2) those intent on supporting them 3) anyone else.

        In fact, the historical evidence (and remember this goes back to the 1920/30s) points the other way.

  6. Jim Denham said,

    It’s a tactical matter. As I’ve argued before (against Modghost), I think the “no platform” position is used wrongly by the far left, and leaves us open to accusations of being against free speech. The “no platform” slogan does not appear in any of the classical Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyist texts of the last century. James P. Cannon and the US Trots always posed the question in terms of stopping the fascists *organising* not preventing them being heard.

    Most of the time, of course, the only way to deal with hard-core fascists is to “aquaint their heads with the pavement” but there is no absolute principle against arguing with rank and file workers in and around fascist movements. More importantly, of course, we’re seeking to engage with, and win over, the *audience*.

    I think a fair case can be made for Nick Griffin’s disastrous (for him) appearance on BBC ‘Question Time’ having been a major contributory factor in the subsequent implosion of the BNP.

  7. modernity's ghost said,


    How many times, this is NOT “no platform”.

    It is an analysis of how racists work and the nature of political discussions.

    If you would like to put forward some cogent analysis or evidence of where the Left has consistently won over those on the borderline with mere words I will concede the point.

    But, and this is the big but, you don’t ever engaged with the theory behind this point and it is extremely annoying, and I am not talking about obscure Trotskyism or irrelevant Marxist Leninism.

    Straight question Jim, have you ever read Deborah Lipstadt’s Denying the Holocaust? And the arguments there in?

  8. Jim Denham said,

    Straight answer (to your final question about the Lipstadt book), Mod: no. But I have worked in a factory where the National Front organised (and had some shop stewards) and have some practical experience of confronting and fighting fascism in a workplace where a significant number of workers were attracted to it.

  9. modernity's ghost said,


    I have never doubted your commitment to opposing fascists, I am merely suggesting that *this* discussion doesn’t tally with history or evidence.

    And please Jim, bear this in mind, not all of us are Trots.

    Not all of us follow a “line”, some of us (like me) try to base their views on **evidence**.

    And the evidence that I’ve seen, discussed, read about and debated suggests that treating racists as if they have a point (which is implicit in a desire to debate them) is mostly foolhardy, bad politics and above doesn’t work. I acknowledge there maybe a few exceptions.

    My sole objective is to defeat of neofascism, I’m not fussy how it’s done.

    I am not tied to any particular method and if debating such filth would win and I would gladly do it, but the evidence doesn’t suggest that is the case.

    And that’s what I am going on, evidence

    Please can I suggest that you or one of your comrades make an effort to read Lipstadt’s work and the arguments concerning the wisdom of debating Holocaust deniers, etc

  10. Jim Denham said,

    Mod: I refer to my first-hand practical experience of dealing with fascists and fascist-influenced workers; you counter by saying, “Not all of us follow a “line”, some of us (like me) try to base their views on **evidence**” and then suggest I read a particular (no doubt, very good) book.

  11. modernity's ghost said,


    Do know what one of my sorrows nowadays is?

    The poor quality of debate amongst socialists.

    You really shouldn’t assume that I countered anything, I am not terribly interested in static idiotic positions, so beloved of Trotskyists.

    I acknowledged your point, I thought it was good, however it wasn’t necessarily germane to the wider issue.

    Please, please, could you make the slightest effort not to assume bad faith and to read my occasional contributions with a degree of charity.

    I may not express myself fully, or I might leave out something because I naturally assume you would understand the point, but am basing my views on evidence, nothing more.

    If you provide evidence of where debating fascists/racists is a good tactic I will acknowledge it, I have no axe to grind with facts.

    However, and this is the point I will constantly returned to, the evidence suggests otherwise.

    I freely acknowledged there may be individual cases in work where you have to grasp the nettle by both hands, but that isn’t the same as **allowing** racists/fascists freedom of speech on socialist blogs, etc

    They are two different issues.

    In fact, you might want to ask any of French comrades what the Front de Gauche’s attitude is in these examples, sadly they have beaten comprehensively by the neofascist National Front in Henin-Beaumont.

  12. Jim Denham said,

    “Please, please, could you make the slightest effort not to assume bad faith and to read my occasional contributions with a degree of charity”: I thought I did that already, Mod. But if it hasn’t been self-evident I’m sorry.

  13. Clive said,

    Mod – surely on one level the whole point of Lipstadt’s book is to counter Holocaust revisionism – which in a sense is to argue with it. (There’s a section at the end which takes up particular ‘revisionist’ claims for instance). If there was no point engaging at all, why write the book?

    • modernity's ghost said,

      Has anyone in the AWL actually *read* Deborah Lipstadt’s book? I mean, take into account her arguments, on their own merits, without prejudging the issue?

      Might I suggest that if someone in the AWL does, in fact, read books around this subject that they try to render the arguments, what she’s actually getting at, and why.

      • Innocent Abroad said,

        [15] Well said, Mambo. I think this whole “no platform” thing is a control exercise: “I/my fgroupuscule hereby claim the right to determine who is and who isn’t a fascist”…

        As to Greeece: of course there’s no connection between the police’s inability to find Kasidiaris and the polls showing that half of Greece’s police support Golden Dawn. No connection whatsoever.

  14. Clive said,

    To be clear – of course there’s a central argument, which I agree with, that to publicly debate these people is to give legitimacy to their claims. But there’s another level to the argument, surely.

  15. representingthemambo said,

    This has been an interesting discussion so far.

    Jim is right, it is essentially a tactical issue, but there is a principle at play as well: if the left cannot expose these people in debate, then maybe it’s time to pack it in?

    I think the whole giving legitimacy to their ideas notion is a bit of a red herring. I honestly don’t think one can have a continuum of ideas and at a certain point we refuse to argue with the people who make them. Where is the cut-off and why? Do we refuse to debate racist rightwingers in UKIP or the Tories when their politics aren’t that different to the BNP/EDL/Golden Dawn? (Surely right now it is the Tories who are the bigger threat to trade unions and minorities anyway?) To me that would be the height of folly and seems more like self-righteous posturing rather than serious strategy.

    Surely the best example that illustrates the debate was Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time. His ideas were given a public airing and him and his party were exposed as morons with a patently ludicrously philosophy. There was much talk beforehand of how awful it was allowing him on there but surely what actually happened decided that argument in the favour of the pro-debaters.

    Golden Dawn have received huge amounts of extra publicity since they got 7% at the elections and I have seen polls now that show them at 3.5%ish. They haven’t benefited from a more central role in the Greek national debate (although that can change I suppose) and the behaviour of Kasidiaris has shone a light on quite how thuggish they are, which was the point I was making earlier in the debate. Some of the people who were considering voting for them will almost certainly think again and I think it’s just silly to just write off everyone who is thinking of voting for the far-right in any case.

    There is another issue. People in the Labour Party who normally are on the right of the movement have invoked the no-platform policy and refused to appear at hustings with fascists. If you wanted a better demonstration of meaningless faux-radical posturing that satisfied sections of the left but in practice achieved nothing, then you would struggle. It was bullshit and to think it was somehow ‘left-wing’, and not bluster, was extremely foolish.

    Now if Golden Dawn were in a position to take power the debate would by necessity be very different, but the nuances we are discussing here would be slightly irrelevant I think……..

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