Ambiguous objectives and action
Serious questions are raised by the online presence of extreme nationalist militia which invites citizens to military-style training through its blog.
The activity of the self-proclaimed “Patriotic Civil Guard” is still relatively unknown to the general public and, according to what it says, its members are “citizens-soldiers.” It aims to “be prepared for when the crucial time comes… Organized, trained, coordinated, disciplined, operational, powerful”…
The videos they have uploaded on YouTube show members of the organisation undergoing armed training.
‘Patriotic Civil Guard’ declares that they will intervene “only when social unrest erupts, something that will be exploited by some anti-Greeks” and they claim that the existence of such a group “will prove to be extremely necessary and valuable”.
The declaration of the organization’s positions includes strong statements against foreigners and immigrants contrasting them with the “spiritual and physical features of our race.” This text demands, inter alia, the provision of Greek citizenship only to those who are part of the Greek race, the expulsion from the country of those who are not Greek and have come illegally, the closure of the border with Turkey, the punishment with 6 years of imprisonment of those employers who employ “illegal immigrants” and those who rent houses to “settlers.”
During the last few days there has been a lot of talk about the recent incidents between the police and immigrants in Stockholm. The last post on its blog, the organisation “invites all Greeks”: “become a Civil Guard militiaman now, don’t wait for situations like the one in Stockholm.”
The organisation does not hide its military-style structure, which includes a commander and a sub-commander, while its announcements are signed with the mark “from the headquarters”. ‘Patriotic Civil Guard’ seems to be active throughout Greece. Its headquarters are on Karolou street, in Karaiskaki square in Athens, but it has local branches in Larisa, Rhodes, Nafpaktos and Ioannina.
In the videos that can be found online, the organisation’s members can be seen undergoing military-style training wearing ‘camouflage’ uniforms just like the ones used by the army, with a patch of the flag and the insignia of Patriotic Civil guard. Many of their members have served in the Special Forces, according to what they claim.
According to the videos, on the 7th of April the organisation completed its 56th round of training.
The training courses take place in mountainous lonely places – but they never mention the exact location – and include, in addition to military exercises, first aid, self-defence and history lessons.
Juridical circles raise the question whether the goals of the organization, its activities and its pronouncements are covered by existing legislation, in particular at this juncture when there is debate about the outbreak of racist violence and the enactment of a legal framework to deal with it.
[Translated from in.gr’s website, 31/05/2013, available online at: http://news.in.gr/greece/article/?aid=1231251163]