Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, which critics said have been beating immigrants with impunity as the government is frozen over what to do, will find itself squaring off with people who fight back.
Black immigrants in Greece – many of them in the country unlawfully – have formed the Black Panthers, taking their name from a 1960’s black power group in the United States and said they will send out patrols to confront Golden Dawn.
In a report aired on Britain’s Channel 4 TV, Michael Chege, a Kenyan who lives in Athens, warned Golden Dawn it would be exterminated if it tries to mess with black people again.
He said he and a group of friends have set up a brigade and will protect themselves and neighbors in areas where he said Golden Dawn has attacked immigrants.
“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,” said Chege speaking to Channel 4 reporter Jamal Osman.
“We will exterminate them,” he said. “I’m not afraid of this neo-Nazi, stupid, idiotic group,” he told me. “In World War Two, they were crushed. In World War Three, we will exterminate them out of the face of the earth. “They want to do what Hitler did. Try it. They will have the same fate and even worse,” he continued.
Chege left his native Kenya when he was eight months old and after living in Greece for 28 years he says he is still treated as a new immigrant. As the only black kid at school he had to fight hard to earn respect and took up martial arts when he was seven.
While he says it is unfortunate to be a “stranger in your own land,” Chege, now a father, does not wish for his children to suffer the same abuse he has and hopes to move his family to Kenya.
In the meantime the Black Panthers use mobile phones and social media to alert each other in case of an attack. “It has turned our lives better, at least in our neighborhood,” he said.