Golden Dawn member of the Greek Parliament, Elias Kasidiaris, has told Radio 3XY that his Party plans to open an office in Melbourne and a delegation of parliamentarians will be visiting Australia soon. The radical right party has toyed with opening offices in Australia and around the world, and believes there is demand for them here. Already, Golden Dawn have reportedly set up a New York office in attempt to reach out to the Greek diaspora and have a New York based website in both Greek and English. President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, Bill Papastergiadis, says he’s baffled the party believes they have a following here. “I’m completely unaware of their significance in Victoria,” he tells Neos Kosmos. – “In a country which prides itself on multiculturalism, its policies don’t fit well with the Australian environment, so I don’t see its relevance.” The party won a seven per cent minority in the Greek Parliament and has 18 ministers representing the party in Greece. Golden Dawn has become synonymous with racial and homophobic violence and has terrorised Greeks from all walks of life. Kasidiaris himself grabbed headlines around the world when he attacked Communist Party leader Liana Kanneli live on a morning TV show last year. Minister for Cultural Affairs and Citizenship, Nick Kotsiras says he cannot fathom why a Greek party can gain popularity with completely contradictory views to that of Greeks everywhere. “Greeks fought for freedom, and Greeks fought to ensure that our children are able to live in peace and harmony with their neighbours. And for a political party to say the opposite is an insult,” he says. Minister Kotsiras believes the party will fade away over time, and predicts it will be a “one term wonder”. Yet, despite its extremist views, Golden Dawn has gained support from some in the police force. Reports have suggested that instead of breaking up protests, some police officers have stood idle as people are beaten. Minister Kotsiras says he won’t meet with the Golden Dawn ministers when they come to Melbourne and thinks “the best thing is to ignore them”. “Golden dawn’s views are not welcome in Victoria. They are irrelevant, misdirected and inappropriate,” he says. On their New York website, Golden Dawn promotes itself as fighting “against altering our racial demographics by the millions of illegal immigrants, and the dissolution of the Greek society promoted by both the coalition parties and the so-called left”. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
An estimated 190-200 sandwiches were sold to benefit victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Diana Getz)Last week, 17 people, including students and staff, were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Many others were injured. Thousands of miles away, in Skagway, Alaska, one family wanted to help those affected.Listen nowWhen Skagway resident Greg Getz heard the news, he knew he wanted to offer some sort of support.“My wife and I saw that on T.V,” Getz said. “And for no other reason, you’re just walking around the house, you start getting choked up, and you have no personal connection with these people but because of what you see you feel like you do. We really didn’t know what to do. So we put that thing on Facebook asking if everybody else felt the same way and they did. And that’s how it all started.”Getz put a message out on the Skagway Swap Facebook page – a community marketplace.Getz said he and his wife Diana were thinking of holding a fundraiser to benefit the victims and families of those affected by the Florida shooting.The idea: to sell barbeque sandwiches for a $5 donation.Getz says he put together similar fundraisers twice before, when he lived in Nome, but wanted to make sure it was feasible in the small community of Skagway. He lived in Texas for 17 years – that’s where the barbeque inspiration comes from.More than 100 people responded to the Facebook post. They said they’d take four, 10, even 20 sandwiches in a few cases.Getz estimates they sold 190-200 in total.“We normally keep track of the buns because of the bags that we have,” Getz said. “Well, there were so many kids helping out, that everybody came. It was just my wife and I setting everything up. When they saw that we were having trouble, everybody jumped in. They started helping out. So some of the bags got thrown away but I’m just guessing, somewhere around there.”The donations are still coming in. Getz says they total about $1,700 so far. He’s hoping that reaches $1,800.“I’ve never done it for anything like this,” Getz said. “And the other fundraisers I’ve had up in Nome, they were cash. You collect the money, you give it to the family and that’s the end of it. So this one’s a little bit different. ”Getz says he plans to donate the money raised through the fundraising website GoFundMe.The Getz family will continue collecting donations until Thursday afternoon.