Self-defence group set up night-time patrols to protect against attacks
Via EnetEnglish, Channel4
Nicknamed the Black Panthers, a new self-defence brigade wants to protect themselves from racists who are targeting people who are not ethnic Greek.
Fed up of being the target of Golden Dawn gangs, a group of Athens residents has decided to take on the extremists by setting up night-time patrols in their neighbourhoods.
Nicknamed the Black Panthers, the self-defence brigade wants to protect themselves from racists who are targeting people who are not ethnic Greeks. The group uses mobile phones and social media to alert each other of attacks and mount a rapid response.
A member of the group who has lived most of his 28 years in Greece after coming from Kenya as a baby told Britain’s Channel 4 in a report broadcast on Tuesday evening: “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.”
“I’m not afraid of this neo-Nazi, stupid, idiotic group,” Michael Chege told Channel 4 reporter Jamal Osman. “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.
Born in Kenya, Chege moved to Greece with his family when he was eight months’ old. Now aged 28, he says he is treated the same as a newly arrived immigrant. He has experienced numerous police ID controls, so he has to carry a bag full of documents to prove that he is legal in the country.
“I don’t know if people know how it feels to be a stranger in your own land,” said Chege, who as the only black child in his school, is used to having to fight to “get respect” from others. His training in martial arts has come in useful when attacked by Golden Dawn.
“I have encountered them ten times in a real fight, in a battle in kill or be killed,” he said. In a recent encounter, two men got onto a bus he was travelling in and ordered him to “leave, run or get down”.
Refusing to submit to their threats, he took on the men on and emerged with only minor injuries.
Chege’s mother Ann says she now wants to return to Kenya because “there is nothing left for us here”.
“No matter how the situation is, I love Greece. I feel it is my home. I cannot condemn Greece. I have enjoyed Greece. Those days. But now, it has changed 180 degrees. When I walk at night, I’m scared. If I raise enough money, I want to go to Kenya [for good] at Christmas time. By God’s grace.”