Shocking accusations about the events in Paros
She reports that she was attacked by a prominent member right in front of a riot police squad that remained suspiciously aloof.
She was saved by her companion, who also was beaten savagely. Maria Troullou, teacher in the island of Paros, says told ‘Sunday Ethnos’ about what happened: “they violently shoved my head in the wall. I received a second blow to the skull by crowbar or baton. I felt the blood flowing”.
After the beating she was taken to hospital with her partner Savvas Mavridis, where they both received stitches. Although the teacher chose to speak publicly about the attack she received from prominent member of Golden Dawn, she decided not to proceed with a lawsuit against that individual. One reason is – as she tells us – that, after the recent trial of Ilias Kasidiaris in which he was acquitted in a court room full of Golden Dawn supporters, she believes that probably her own case will have the same fate.
Willing … witnesses
The second reason is that she is scared, as the man who beat her furiously did so in front of the eyes of the police, who did not protect her from the attack, nor did they proceed to arrest the offender, which makes her think that he enjoys some form of immunity. She also believes that there will be many willing … witnesses to provide an alibi for the perpetrator about the time of the attack.
Her aim is to unite her voice with those of people that have been victims of fascist attacks, in order to claim the conviction of the Golden Dawn through the European courts. As she says: “regardless of what the supporters of the Golden Dawn champion, the individuals active within this ideological space constitute a public danger. They threaten not only immigrants, but every citizen that wishes to express herself freely and claim her rights. The official authorities and political power have demonstrated their inability to manage the phenomenon of the exacerbation of fascist violence. I hope there is an end soon otherwise many innocent and peaceful people will pay for it. Wherever Golden Dawn has stepped foot on, someone paid with his blood. This vulgarity must stop”.
The attack took place on 28 February 2013. Unprecedented events had occurred that day on the island and saw the light of day, since a delegation of the Golden Dawn had gone to Paroikia [the island’s capital] to hold an event. A demonstration was scheduled for the same day by the Antifascist Initiative, an intervention activity organized by mainly young people on the island. Strong police forces, including the Athens riot police were sent to the island.
Shortly before the end of the march, riot police ‘cornered’ the protesters, as reported by the teacher, in a dark alley of Paros near the tavern where the manifestation of Golden Dawn was taking place. The police then used chemical gas and charged against the crowd. Right behind the riot police there were people in civilian clothes, identified by bystanders as supporters of golden Dawn who were – as reported – throwing stones against the demonstrators.
The teacher took refuge on a balcony with her partner Savvas Mavridis, but failed to escape from the hands of one hefty person. “An angry huge guy leaped from within the riot police that were running and beating people. He was coming straight at me. I stood there on the balcony and he – really tall – grabbed me by the lapels and hit me as I struggled trying to resist. He was trying to pull us down from the balcony. If we fell on the road from that height we would have been smashed. One of the reasons we avoided such a danger was that we were a little higher and not at the same level as him” says Ms Troullou for the night lived.
“The attack was so cruel and violent. Hideous, without any justification. As if he chose me in the crowd. What is more threatening than a female antifascist? He grabbed me by the hair and slammed my head furiously in my wall. Hit on the forehead I fell and stayed down dizzy. I felt my partner’s hand on my arm. He was trying to lift me. Then I received a second blow. From the same direction as the perpetrator, that got me on the top of the skull. Something hard, like a crowbar or a baton. I bent again. Then I collapsed feeling the blood flowing”, she tells ‘Sunday Ethnos’.
The worse for Ms Troullou were avoided thanks to the wall of the balcony where she had sought refuge and her partner S. Mavridis who saved from the fury of the Golden Dawn member. “My partner managed to keep me under his control. We received strikes by the police at various points but also by the hands of the perpetrator. The only thing we could do was instinctively defend ourselves. We were getting beaten from all sides. My partner received multiple blows to the head, body and neck. He has scars on the calves from the resistance he exercised with his legs to keep us both on the balcony.
If my partner was not there to protect me risking his own life, the worse would have happened” claims the teacher who does not belong to any political party and participated in the march to protest against racism.
Once attacked, Maria Troullou and Savvas Mavridis moved to Paros Health Centre. In the medical report it is confirmed that when they went to the hospital – in the evening of 28/02/2013 – S. Mavridis was diagnosed with rupture of the frontal and the left occipital bones of the skull. The wounds were cleaned and required 17 stitches. Respectively Ms Troullou showed intense headaches, neck pain and eye pain while she received four stitches to the head.
Wounds all over the bodies of the teacher and her partner – they left the hospital with 21 stitches
As a result of the blind blows that M. Troullou and S. Mavridis received they had to be transported to the island’s Health Centre and then to Vardakeio and Proio General Hospital of Syros, where – according to medical reports published by the ‘Sunday Ethnos’ – they were diagnosed with head ruptures, neck pain, and severe headaches. The teacher received four stitches on her head, while her partner’s head required 17.
A crowd gathered outside the hospital showing support and demanding the intervention of the police for identifying the perpetrator. It took the police more than one hour to go to the hospital to take the testimonies of the injured.
Ms Troullou says in her testimony to the police that the perpetrator of the attack was an unknown man in civilian clothes, with light complexion and short hair, hefty and with height of 1.90. By that time the teacher did not know the name of the person who attacked her, but only his appearance.
The next day, Friday 1st of March 2013, episodes occurred in the port of Paroikia, when a German who lives permanently on the island tried to capture with his camera Golden Dawn supporters and MPs Giannis Lagos, Ilias Panagiotaros and Nikos Michos was they were leaving the island. According to the police, a number of followers, including MP N. Michos, moved menacingly towards the German and the police intervened immediately. There was tension built up, which ended with the boarding of Golden Dawn’s Delegation on the boat to Athens. It is on that day that the perpetrator of the attack against the M. Troullou was recognised.
Regarding the events of Thursday and Friday the Golden Dawn issued the following statement: “Groups of anarcho-leftists backed by the police attempted to attack the organizational conference of the Golden Dawn in Paros.
The police illegally accompanied them up to the event hall … But their attempt to interrupt the conference of the Golden Dawn failed miserably.
After midnight ‘unknown’ individuals destroyed the store that hosted us. Not a single adduction too place for these acts, although the perpetrators are well known on the island. Instead there were illegal attempts to adduct some of our members who had not committed any offense, even MPs! The legal department of Golden Dawn is already examining the facts and will file lawsuits against all those responsible”.
“Like … hare”
Indeed, the official website of the Golden Dawn featured a text with photos of what happened in Paros, entitled “they left running like hares despite police coverage”, while the text editor wrote: “The police illegally accompanied them to the event hall and this made the well-known … ‘masculine’ chickens get courage. The attempt to dissolve the conference of the Golden Dawn failed miserably. And just at the sight of our fellows, the ‘para-state’ dissolved and according to reliable information are still running towards the sea. The even continues normally”.
On ethnikismos.net website that is adjacent to Golden Dawn the author of a relevant text posted about the events admits clearly that Golden Dawn members came in physical contact with the protesters and even that they beat them. “They ran like Olympians” is the title and the text reads: “They went to … smash the fascists” and “left running and … spanked”.
[Translated article from ‘Ethnos’ newspaper, 22/03/2013, found online at: http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22768&subid=2&pubid=63801540]