I came home from NYCC to two pieces of news. One that I’ve been nominated for the Shel Dorf award for “best blogger”. All puffed up, I then opened an e-mail from Bleeding Cool reporter, Dr Manolis V of the Last Week’s Comics column, which knocked me to the floor. The Guardian reports;
Thursday night the Athens premiere of Terrence McNally’s play, Corpus Christi, was cancelled following protests by members of the far-right party Golden Dawn (including some MPs) and religious groups.
The protest had a clearly homophobic agenda. Manolis V, a journalist, was attacked by protesters while the police apparently did nothing: “The police is next to us. I shout ‘They’re beating me, aren’t you going to do something?’,” he wrote on Twitter. “I move away so I can look on from distance. A well-known Golden Dawn MP follows me. He punches me twice in the face and knocks me to the ground. While on the ground, I lose my glasses. The Golden Dawn MP kicks me. The police are just two steps away but turn their back.”
The spectacle of fascists physically attacking people whose moral agenda they disapprove of has become routine in today’s Greece. What should come as more of a shock is the tacit approval of the police.
When four protesters were arrested, the Golden Dawn MP Christos Pappas boarded the police bus in which they were held, and released one of the prisoners. From the video depicting the incident, we can see that no officer tried to stop him.
Golden Dawn know that the police are on their side, and so do those they attack. Manolis says he is afraid to go to the police and file a lawsuit, because he doesn’t want them to have his name and address on record.
Manolis also spoke to Laurie Penny for Vice.com;
Manolis V, a blogger for Lifo magazine, was taking pictures of priests ripping down Corpus Christi posters, when he found himself surrounded by neo-nazis.
“I told them that I write for Lifo, thinking that that would protect me. Instead they started yelling, ‘This fag works for Lifo, come and see this faggot.’ They ganged up on me, started swearing at me and pulling my beard, and one of the Golden Dawn MPs spat in my face. They were all around me.” On the phone, Manolis sounds shaken.
“I managed to leave and they kept shouting at me, ‘You run away you faggot, you ass-muncher.’ I looked back from half a block away, and then this other Golden Dawn MP comes over to me and he punches me in the face.
“‘Cry you little girl,’ he says. ‘Cry, you faggot.’”
The Golden Dawn created a YouTube sensation earlier this year when MP Ilias Kasidiaris assaulted a left-wing politician on live TV, and they still appear to see no reason why elected parliamentary representatives should not punch the shit out of known journalists in the street.
“I fell to the curb and he kicked me. My glasses were gone. I’m shouting, ‘Police, police, help, they are beating me,’” says Manolis. “The police officers turned their back and pretended not to see. As I moved away, one of them blew me a kiss.”
Time for us to go in. To get to the theatre we need to talk our way past three rows of riot police in full armour and through the locked double-doors into a little courtyard below an outdoor stage. It’s quiet in here. A handful of actors, stagehands and journalists skulk on the terrace, smoking and drinking soda and glancing nervously at the growing crowds outside the gates
Our thoughts and prayers are with Manolis. Someone actually worthy of “best blogger”…