Since I was a boy, my father told me that when tough economic times come, the fascists will rise. Since the world economy crashed in 2007, that is exactly what has happened in Europe. Greece, hit the hardest of any country in the Euro-zone has seen a rise of the far right Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. In fact in 2012 they won 7% of the national vote and for the first time sat 21 in Greece’s parliament. Followers of Golden Dawn and other fascists groups have professed and conducted violence against immigrants, jews, and LGBT. Attacks on these groups is happening with more regularity and in many other countries as the economic effects of austerity continue to wreak havoc on peoples lives.
In an effort to combat the rising tide of Golden Dawn and other far right-wing groups has risen what some have called the “Real Sons of Anarchy”, an anarchist anti-fascist motorcycle gang. The group has taken to the streets of Athens to show strength against the fascists in Greece.
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Anarchism has had a bad name for quite some time. However the truth is, that anarchists seek to change the existing power structure and are therefore often scapegoated for violence they did not commit and made to out as crazy’s. By way of example, at a gathering for the eight-hour work day, in 1880’s Chicago, the Haymarket riot resulted in false and trumped up charges against several German Immigrant Anarchists, several who were put to death. To this day there is credible evidence that the riots were set off by the police and not the anarchists.
Anarchism in theory is based cooperative living not violence. Rather than having the State or the Fascists rule society, they believe the people should rule in cooperation over their own lives. There are rules and expectations, just not bullying and self-interest.
The Anti-Fascist motorcycle gang is just an example of people protecting where the government has failed to do so. This act of cooperation just happens to be done on two wheels.