Feature: Greek anti-fascist rallies held on 3rd anniversary of rapper's murder, trial continues

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Thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Piraeus on Saturday at the start of a three-day anti-fascist demonstrations to commemorate the third anniversary of the murder of rapper and activist Pavlos Fyssas by a Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) member.

The 34-year-old musician was stabbed to death by the ultra-Right party supporter Yorgos Roupakias at the district of Keratsini near Piraeus port around midnight on Sept. 17, 2013, after a heated argument outside a cafeteria.

Fyssas' killing triggered a judicial crackdown on Golden Dawn a few weeks later.

The trial of some 70 defendants, among them Roupakias and the party's leadership on charges of forming a criminal organization, which started in the spring of 2015, still continues.

"We need to kill the fear. We need to rise up against fascist threat" was the motto on the lips of relatives, friends, neighbors and anti-fascist activists who gathered on Saturday at the site where Fyssas was murdered, holding candles and flowers.

The rapper's family expressed anger and disappointment that "while Pavlos is gone, the fascists who killed him are still moving freely and are delivering speeches inside the Greek parliament."

In March this year, Roupakias, who has confessed he stabbed Fyssas, was the last key defendant released from custody, after completing the maximum 18 months of pretrial detention.

The trial has been dogged by multiple delays. On Monday the family plans to hold a symbolic protest outside the Athens Appeals Court complex where judicial proceedings resumed a few days ago.

On Sunday were also scheduled a rap music festival at Keratsini and another anti-fascist rally at Aghios Panteleimonas square in central Athens, a flashpoint of racist attacks and anti-racism activism in recent years.

Police was on standby for any violent clashes between the party's supporters and anti-fascist protesters.

Although the rapper's murder shocked Greek society, the Golden Dawn party was reelected in parliament in both general elections in January 2015 and September 2015.

Currently the party which entered the Greek parliament for the first time in 2012, riding on the wave of discontent at austerity, holds 18 seats in the 300-member assembly.

If elections were held this weekend, the party would increase its percentage compared to the last electoral battle winning 7.9 percent of votes (up from 7 percent a year ago), an opinion poll released on Saturday showed.

According to the survey conducted for local newspaper "Parapolitika" (Behind the scenes of politics), the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA party would lose by 19 percent to 26.1 percent of votes to the conservatives. Endit

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