Golden Dawn, an openly racist Greek political party has received the support of approximately 30 members of Toronto's Greek diaspora, according a July 30th, 2012 letter that was acquired by the Toronto Media Co-op.
This revelation follows reports that Golden Dawn has opened a chapter in Montreal boasting 150 members. The political party had previously claimed to have opened offices in Melbourne, Australia and New York City. The opening of the New York office was warmly greeted by the Klu Klux Klan, who described Golden Dawn as "a fraternal organization."
The economic crisis that has clenched Greece has led to a rise in Golden Dawn popularity. They ran in this summer’s election with the slogan: "So we can rid this land of filth" - a pledge to remove illegal immigrants from the country. They won 18 of the 300 seats in parliament.
The party has been blamed for a wave of violent attacks on immigrants, queers, leftists, artists and journalists.
Golden Dawn also gives out food and clothing, but only to those they deem to be ethnic Greeks. It is suspected that much of the work Golden Dawn will conduct in the US and Canada will be collecting items for donation.
"We will always be at your side and if we can help your work," reads a letter from a Toronto supporter of the Golden Dawn, "remember that apart from New York and Chicago, there is also Montreal and Toronto with even more fans."
This letter, posted on Golden Dawn's website, was written in Greek by an author identified as "Photios T." In the letter he claims to represent 30-35 supporters of the party in Toronto, but insists there are "many others" in the city.
"We wish that you are always able to do the best for our Holy Mother, our Greece, because the Freemason-Zionists have destroyed her," the letter states.
However, the message of Golden Dawn seems only to appeal to a small portion of Canada's Greek diaspora. Earlier this month the Montreal Gazette reported that a representative of the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal remarked that the group had "voted to denounce the organization because it is anti-democratic, racist, violent and anti-immigrant.”
"The rise of Golden Dawn is a link in the chain of increasingly authoritarian and fascistic elements increasingly appearing throughout the globe as a result of the smashing of welfare state," said Michalis Famelis, an Athens-born leftist activist living in Toronto.
Famelis is currently organizing a speaking event to discuss fascism in Greece, comparing the current situation with and historic examples. The event will be examining the rise of Golden Dawn and looking at ways to confront the party.
"We are hoping that this will be an opportunity to reconnect the progressive elements of the Greek diaspora with ongoing movements and struggles in Toronto," remarked Famelis, who says Greeks in Toronto will be "sending a message back home that the diaspora does not support the fascists."
Tim Groves is an investigative researcher and journalist based in Toronto. He can be reached at timgrovesreports [@] gmail.com. For more information on his work and writing, click here.