Michael Chege

Michael Chege

A new self-defence group has sprung up in Greece following violent attacks on black and ethnic minorities in the country.

In response to repeated threats and physical assaults by members of the Golden Dawn a group which calls itself the Black Panthers has been started by minorities who were fed up of being attacked, with little or no protection from the police.

Residents set up night time patrols in their areas, and made use of mobile phones and social media to alert each other of attacks and mount a rapid response.

The group is modeled after a similar group in 1960s America which was started in an era of segregation and widespread injustice and assaults by the authorities.

But racist attacks on people of colour has been rising steadily as a result of the economic crisis and many are blaming immigrants for crime and unemployment.

In the last year alone, more than 150 racist attacks were recorded by police, but most go unreported.

Earlier this year, neo-nazi members of the Golden Dawn were photographed patrolling Greek hospitals with weapons in their hands in search of immigrants who were either patients or doctors there. They would then drag them out of the hospital beds, beat them up and force them out of the hospital.

The photo above shows one such raid by the Golden Dawn.

It was also revealed that Golden Dawn members were targeting Greek nurseries and had asked the country’s Interior Ministry to supply a list of names of foreign and non-white nursery-school children to the hate group.

As a result, teachers in schools across the country reported that they  received documents from local authorities asking for information on ‘foreign’ schoolchildren.

But while these vicious attacks on immigrants have continued, the police have failed to take action against the protestors and in February, a senior police chief in the country confirmed that the group had infiltrated the police force at all levels.
In the wake of all of these revelations, for the first time ever in Greece, black residents began to organise their own protection against this hate mob and thus the Black Panthers were born.

A member of the party, Michael Chege was interviewed by Channel Four news and explained why he became a member of the group.

His parents who were originally from Kenya moved to the country, when Chege was just a baby at eight months and has been living in the country for all of his life.

Despite this, he is regularly stopped by police who check his immigration status and is forced to carry around a bag full of documents to prove his right to live in the country. His case is by no means an isolated one.

He told Channel Four news: “It has turned our lives better, at least in our neighbourhood. I’m not afraid of this neo-Nazi, stupid, idiotic group. They want to do what Hitler did. Try it. They will have the same fate and even worse, In WW2, they were crushed. In WW3, we will exterminate them out of the face of the earth.

“I am a member of the Black Panthers and everybody knows that. So I am giving them (Golden Dawn) a straight warning – don’t mess with black people, anyhow. And I mean it.”

Michael explained how, in scenes reminiscent of the ‘back of the bus policies’ in 1960s America, thugs from the Golden Dawn party tried to force him off a bus in Athens. He explained how to skinheads hopped onto the bus and he was immediately warned by other passengers to vacate the bus.

But as a martial artist and a resident who has lived in the country for 28 years, he refused. He added that the fight inside the bus was “really hard”, Michael left the scene with minor injuries. He said: “It is not the first time and certainly not the last time … if you need respect, you must earn it”.

A day later, he made an appearance on live television to debate with  Nikos Michaloliakos, leader of the hate mob, who claims that Africans are cannibals. During the debate, Michaloliakos said: “The pygmies are boiled and eaten by other blacks in Africa … and they’re considered special too.”

But when Michael asked him whether he had ever been to Africa to witness that, the far-right leader was forced to admit: “”No, I only read about it in newspapers, I know what I’ve read in newspapers.”

Chege’s mother Ann says she now wants to return to Kenya because of the rise in extremism and the reluctance of the authorities to address it.

Chege added: “No matter how the situation is, I love Greece. I feel it is my home. I cannot condemn Greece. I have enjoyed Greece. Those days. But now, it has changed 180 degrees. When I walk at night, I’m scared. If I raise enough money, I want to go to Kenya [for good] at Christmas time. By God’s grace.”

 Akashic Times is the UK’s only online, fully independent not-for-profit weekly newspaper that brings you real news from across the globe.

If you want to keep ahead of what is really going on in the world, subscribe to our newspaper via the subscribe button and join our Facebook & Twitter pages. Subscription is completely free ofcourse


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(Spamcheck Enabled)