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After months of rumours and false starts, there is now reliable information that Golden Dawn MEP Giorgos Epitideios will be in Australia and holding events in Melbourne and Sydney, 16-20 November.

SEE: The Guardian, Golden Dawn: far right Greek party members pay ‘stealth visit’ to Australia, “Two members plan to raise money and meet local supporters in Sydney and Melbourne this week”.

Golden Dawn is a violent fascist organisation in Greece, that has attempted to build support in the Greek diaspora community in Australia and around the world. This tour of Australia comes at a key time for Golden Dawn, and opposing them now is critical.

As a fascist organisation Golden Dawn has its roots in the military dictatorship of 1967-1974, but until recently they have been at most a marginal political force. In 2012 they capitalised on the the waves of anger and discontent at mainstream Greek politics in 2012 to win 18 seats in the Greek Parliament. Their violent apparatus has close links with the repressive apparatus of the Greek state, and is renowned for it’s violent attacks on immigrants, the workers movement, anarchists, left groups, and the queer community.

The Greek state has subsequently turned on Golden Dawn:

Golden Dawn (GD), as we knew it, is over. Their leader N. Michaloliakos is behind bars, along with other prominent members, while those who survived the first purge are facing added charges that emerged a few days after the first arrests. While this was happening, a number of their offices around Greece have closed down, the state funding they received has been stopped, and reports indicate that many of their members (ex or current) are forming lines outside the High Court to testify against the organization.

For an analysis of the how and why check out When the state turns antifa.

Golden Dawn is on the defensive in Greece, and as such is seeking support abroad. Golden Dawn MEP Giorgos Epitideios, a former general, is in Australia as part of a respectability campaign.

Within Greece, Golden Dawn want to be able to claim that they have support from the Greek diaspora, and that they’re seen as respectable internationally.

Within Australia they want to pitch to the Greek community, in particular to organise funding to offset the losses they have suffered following the attacks on their organisation in Greece.

A solid, public and overwhelming rejection of these fascists in Australia would send a strong message of support to anti-fascists in Greece, would harm fascist propaganda in Greece, and would prevent these violent thugs organising among the fringes of the diaspora community.

A Welcoming Committee

Information is being disseminated through the No to Golden Dawn in Melbourne facebook page and twitter account. The event page Disrupt and Dismantle Welcome Collective will be updated to the address and dates of Golden Dawn events in Australia as information comes to hand.

A statement condemning Golden Dawn has been signed by ten Australian trade unions including the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association, the Communications Workers Unions, the Community and Public Sector Union, the Construction and General Division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the Maritime Union of Australia, the National Tertiary Education Union, the National Union of Workers and the Textile, and the Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia.

A call to action will be issued by the No to Golden Dawn in Melbourne group in the coming days.

What Needs to Happen

The Golden Dawn events in Melbourne are already appropriately infiltrated. The time and location of the planned events is expected to be released at very short notice, at some point between 16 and 20 November.

Anyone who cares about opposing fascists in Australia and in Greece should prepare to respond in this time frame. In order to oppose and disrupt Golden Dawn in Australia, we need to muster hundreds of opponents of fascism at a particular location in the Melbourne area at short notice.

Make ready in your organisations, unions, and community groups. Keep an active watch on the No to Golden Dawn events and facebook page. Tell everyone you know about this, spread the word that these dimwits are coming and we are going to drive them away. When Golden Dawn attempt to show their heads in our city, let’s drown them out, break them up, and drive them out.

– Kieran.

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The Indonesian state continues to murder on behalf of Australian companies.

The ABC reports that Arc Exploration had absolutely nothing to do with the shooting of eight protesters by Indonesian police in the Sumbawa town of Sape four days ago.

The ABC reports that Arc Exploration conducts “meetings with local people” and that “extensive consultation process with local community leaders and authorities” and that this “resulted in these parties confirming their support for [the company’s] activities”.

Hidup Biasa reports that after a five day occupation of the Port at Sape Indonesian Police opened fire on protesters killing eight and injuring hundreds.

The Port was occupied by villagers (and student supporters) opposing minging developments in Sumbawa, like this one near the town of Barawera.

Here is a photo of the proposed development. The development would involve digging out the green bit.

Two days after the Police killings, three hundred people gathered on the streets of Makassar to denounce the police brutality.

A police station, banks and advertising billboards were pelted with stones. Two people were arrested, two other arrests were foiled by the mass intervention of demonstrators. According to the awful google translation I am relying on:

Protesters claimed that what happened in Bima and elsewhere caused by the greed of capitalism to exploit the environment which then threaten people’s lives

Word.

A commenter on Indymedia notes that ANZ are a major investor in Arc Exploration, the same happy chaps who are major investors in Gunns and a key source of finance for the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill in Tasmania.

It’s all one struggle.

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A report I prepared on yesterday’s action in defence of the Engelhardt St Fertility Control Clinic:

Women’s rights are still under attack in Albury. Once again a group of anti-choice religious demonstrators have picketed the Engelhardt St Fertility Control Clinic in Albury, and attempted to intimidate and harass women seeking to access the clinic.

Today, for the second week in a row, the anti-choice group were met by a small and determined gathering, and their harassment was substantially disrupted.

I arrived at the clinic at ten am to find five of anti-choice set up out the front of the clinic. Three were across the road from the clinic loudly praying, whilst two others were on the foot path out the front of the clinic accosting women who were seeking to access the clinic. I was joined by chief executive officer of Women’s Health Goulburn North East, Susie Reid.

Women’s Health Goulburn North East is the overarching body that includes the Engleheart St clinic. Susie Reid is highly supportive of action to defend women’s rights, and to obstruct anti-choice campaigners seeking to harass women at the clinic. They are keen to see this become an ongoing action in defence of women’s rights to access a clinic free from harassment.

Others arrived over the following hour. Susie Reid demonstrated the art of intercepting and non-physically obstructing anti-choice harassers out the front of the clinic, impressive and highly effective!

The anti-choice group sought to engage us verbally on several occasions, but their inability to get any response frustrated them. We had one drive and stop abuser, who left when he realised he was being totally ignored.

The surveillance camera was back. This week the camera was in a car parked on the clinics side of the road, and it was pointed directly at the entrance of the clinic. The claims of the anti-choice group, that their camera is getting a broad picture of the street in case they are assaulted, are clearly bogus. It’s there to intimidate women seeking to access the clinic.

At 11.30am, having been obstructed from accessing the front of the clinic and harassing women, the anti-choice activists packed up and left. They took their camera with them.

We suspected this was a ruse, and it was. They returned in greater numbers. I still consider this a win. They were also forced to leave in order to get more supporters, and most importantly they did not bring the camera back.

There was one more occasion in which an anti-choice campaigner attempted to accost a woman leaving the clinic, but she was obstructed. The anti-choice group made no more attempts to interact with women coming or going from the clinic.

They then concentrated on praying loudly from across the street. At 3pm they packed up and left.

During the day there was some media interest. Prime News interviewed a number of people in the morning, and a journalist from the Border Mail arrived in the afternoon.

I consider the day a clear win for those of us defending women’s rights at the clinic. The anti-choice group clearly did not expect to be resisted for a second week. We received good support from passing drivers, and a number of people stopped to thank activists defending the clinic.

Three weeks ago we lived in a town where a group of religious fundamentalists could picket a fertility control clinic and harass women seeking help and advice with impunity. This is no longer the case.

This report is just one person’s account, and is no way an official position of any group, or the gathering as a whole! Also, ongoing updates are being posted to twitter using the hashtag #albchoice. Please share widely, no rights reserved.

Kieran Bennett.

Update: Here is Prime coverage of Thursday’s action, and here’s Win TV coverage of Thursday 19th of May’s action. The Border Mail has some articles on the issue here, here, here, here and here.

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