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Officials want neo-Nazi set out of Astoria

Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (c.) speaks at a protest in Astoria against anti-immigrant Greek group Golden Dawn with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (second from l.) and District Leader Costa Constantinides (fourth from r.). Photo courtesy Simotas
TimesLedger Newspapers

City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio denounced the Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party native to Greece, for its plans to move into New York and distributing hate literature in Astoria.

De Blasio was joined in his protest Friday at Athens Square Park, at 30th Street and 30th Avenue, by local elected officials, including Greek-Americans state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) and District Leader Costa Constantinides, as well as Jewish leaders.

“You are not welcome in this community, this city or this country,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Your hatred and bigotry will fall on deaf ears in Queens, the most diverse county in America, where people of every race, creed and nationality live side by side in harmony.”

Golden Dawn, also known as Chrysi Avgi, has been active since 1993 under founder Nikolaos Michaloliakos, who has denied that the Third Reich systematically killed Jews in gas chambers and who has been accused of doing the Nazi salute.

The party has only been able to enter Greece’s Parliament within the past year, running on an anti-immigration platform, Al Jazeera reported. Of the 300 seats in the parliament, Golden Dawn received 21 in May 2012, but the number was knocked down to 18 in a second election a month later.

Golden Dawn announced it would be opening a headquarters somewhere within the city in late September. In Astoria, home to the largest population of Greeks outside Greece, de Blasio said there have been sightings of Golden Dawn’s hate literature.

Simotas, who came from Greece to the neighborhood with her parents when she was 6 months old, said in a statement that there is no room for an anti-immigrant agenda in Astoria.

“We were welcomed in Astoria with open arms by the generations of immigrants that came before us,” Simotas said. “This is what we in Astoria stand for as a community.”

Constantinides echoed her sentiment.

“Their message plays to the worst of humanity,” he said of the party. “They are not representative of the amazing Greek community that I know and love.”

Alan Jaffe, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, said in a statement the council supports free speech but is offended by the presence of Golden Dawn.

“Their ideology is rejected by the Greek community here in Queens, and we will continue to work with our local ethnic and faith partners to combat all forms of racism and intolerance,” he said.

Golden Dawn has also received criticism for its plans to open a New York branch from members of the protest movement Occupy Wall Street and the hacktivist group Anonymous, which claims to have taken down Golden Dawn Division NY’s website, xanyc.org. The website was still unreachable as of Tuesday afternoon.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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Reader Feedback

Rose from 29th Street says:
de Blasio and Alan Jaffe should go down to Borough Park to denounce the racist apartheid state of Israel!

Please don't come to Astoria and excoriate us for Golden Dawn.

The ADL should comment on the immigration policies of Israel!

Shame on all of you for telling us Greeks who to be ashamed of.
Oct. 11, 2012, 8:01 am
Spiros from 29th Street says:
Alan S. Jaffe, President of Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, has gall denouncing and berating anyone as racist. He should march to the Israeli consulate and condemn Israel for rounding up African refugees.

So which xenophobia does Jaffe advocate?
Oct. 11, 2012, 8:05 am
Ivan from Astoria says:
I am from Montenegro and I have lived in Astoria many years and I have many Greeks. Some support Golden Dawn and to be honest I do to. This tide of illegal muslim migrants needs to be stopped and I mean now. If most of the Illegals could be deported Greece can return to peace.
Oct. 11, 2012, 9:14 am
Taso from Astoria says:
The Greeks that came to America came legally and without welfare. No to illegal immigration to Greece and Europe!
Oct. 11, 2012, 9:15 am
Tassos from Astoria says:
Maybe Constantinides and Jaffe should visit some Athens at night where not a word of Greek is spoken, but drugs, prostitution, burglary, rape and violence happens all the time.

Maybe there is a reason why Greeks outside of Greece choose to support Golden Dawn because they vow to clean up the streets. We want to go to Greece, not Greecestand
Oct. 11, 2012, 9:50 am
steve from apo says:
How about this for a headline: "American Imperialists
Attack Indigenous Rights Group"
Oct. 11, 2012, 12:25 pm
Jerry from Astoria says:
How about you go after the ADL, JDL and other Jewish groups? How about Israel where one can't even be a citizen unless they are Jews. Practice what you preach. Muslims have no business in Greece, Europe and USA. These are Christian based countries.
Oct. 22, 2012, 3:22 pm
Jack from Overseas says:
Jewish hypocrites
Oct. 22, 2012, 3:32 pm
Scott from Montana says:
Such tolerance! You know, if this was a black group this headline would be...

Neo-nazi officials want blacks out of Astoria.

Hypocrisy, thy name is libtard.
Oct. 22, 2012, 3:35 pm
Ricardo from Jersey says:
I know a few Greeks from around this way. None of them have a problem with Golden Dawn.
Oct. 22, 2012, 3:46 pm
Sam Papadopolous from Astoria says:
How dare these politician and activist vermin tell WE Greeks who we can or cannot have in our neighborhoods. America is in dire need of a Golden Dawn -type party in this country and they cannot stop this tide of change. Who are the jews and their puppet politicians to say who is allowed in this community. They should be ran out of the country by the tip of a knife.
Oct. 22, 2012, 7:48 pm
Scipio from zama says:
Golden Dawn!!! Thank you for all you are doing!
Oct. 22, 2012, 10:06 pm
old sarge from midtown says:
Golden Dawn sounds like just exactly the type of diversity we need. It's odd how the city council can be so opposed and intolerant of some genuine diversity. The city officials seem like the real haters. Perhaps they are "racist-nazi-haters-who-want -to-kill-six-million-greeks" ...
Oct. 22, 2012, 11:52 pm
Peter from Nassau says:
I CHEER THE GOLDEN DAWN!!! I was hoping someone/group would get some traction in support of the white race. The ADL & the zionists can go to Hell. P.S. Nice Flag- G.D.
Oct. 23, 2012, 7:43 am
John from Bay Ridge says:
I am not a hypocrite.
I am against illegal immigration into Israel, Greece, The United States, Europe, Africa, China and everywhere else. People shouldn't be invading other peoples' territory. All people are entitled to their own country. Moslems, Jews, Negroes, Orientals and Whites.
Jan. 9, 2013, 7:32 pm
Jay from USA says:
We need Golden Dawn they are good people doing great things. It is not racist to protect your country and it's people.
Jan. 9, 2013, 10:45 pm

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