Please raise your voice against fascism

Mpampis, my great childhood friend, recently posted on his Facebook timeline a variant of Martin Niemöller’s “First they came” poem. It’s been a while since I first read and loved that poem. To me, the poem is a great reminder of the need for all of us to remain informed, engaged, active participants in the democratic processes, defenders of peoples’ rights, builders of a society that cares.

You might have not heard about the latest developments in Greece but suffice to say that, as in every case of a nation that goes through tough times, the far right attempts to forcefully establish itself. They attack our basic human rights, such as that of having and expressing an opinion. They terrorize. They kill. A weakened society, as a result of the austerity measures enforced to it, starts to tolerate violence, looks the other way when racism proliferates and the fascists force their misconceived nationalistic “values”.

Apathy feeds those who want to oppress.

A vocal opponent of the far right was stubbed to death by a fascist, a neo-nazi. In cold blood. Just like that.

We need to keep our voices raised, our arms interlocked, our hearts joined. I believe in peoples’ right to have their own political, religious, philosophical, whatever views. I will always defend that right. However, I do not accept any attempt for views to be dictated to me or anyone else, especially by religious, political, or any other form of fundamentalists.

This post doesn’t apply only to Greece. We see political and religious (whether Christian, Muslim, or any other religion) fundamentalism, in addition to imperialism, gaining momentum around the world. It needs to stop! We need to speak out!

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

(Martin Niemöller, source Wikipedia: First They Came, for the multiple variants: Wikiquote)