The graffiti translates as “Fire in the house of Golden Dawn”.
This photo was featured on the cover of the Fall 2013 edition of the Michigan Quarterly Review.
The recent global financial crisis and a mismanagement of state revenue has left Greece saddled with a huge deficit, rendered even worse by the knock-on effects of the Eurozone predicament affecting the Southern European member states. The strict austerity measures imposed on Greece as a condition of the EU and IMF sponsored bailouts have taken their toll on the people of Greece, increasing support for parties at the more extreme ends of the political spectrum. The most dramatic example of this is the far-right group Golden Dawn (χρυσή αυγή), whose popularity has swelled to make it Greece’s third largest political party, holding 18 seats in Greece’s 300 strong parliament. Golden Dawn’s hugely divisive anti-immigrant stance and its links to violence and neo-Nazism have led to powerful opposition against the party and its ideology by vast swathes of the Greek population, particularly members of communist, socialist and solidarity groups. On the 18th September the fatal stabbing of the anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas (stage name Killah P) in Athens by a Golden Dawn sympathiser lead to mass demonstrations against the party both on the Greek mainland and in Chania (where Golden Dawn has an office) and Rethymno. The Greek government has responded by raiding several Golden Dawn offices and implementing legislation that could see the party banned.