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Greek anti-racists march against neonazi Golden Dawn

Thousands march through Athens against far-right party

Anti-fascists have marched through the Greek capital Athens to show their opposition to the neonazi Golden Dawn party.

Rightwingers had gathered to protest against the indictment of Golden Dawn leaders.

Police vans were positioned to keep the two groups apart as thousands of left-wing protesters gathered near the Golden Dawn offices in the city centre.

Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos's wife told the neonazi rally the party had "millions" of supporters. But in the event only 2,000 or so turned up.

Anti-fascist groups had wanted to stop Golden Dawn gathering altogether.

"Put the murderers in prison and smash the Golden Dawn para-state," read one banner, alluding to the neonazis' sympathisers among the police. 

Mr Michaloliakos, deputy party leader Christos Pappas and party MP Yiannis Lagos are already being held in a high-security Athens prison on charges of belonging to a criminal group. Authorities are to hit additional senior Golden Dawn members with fresh charges next week. 

A total of six of the party's MPs have been charged in connection with the investigation.

The September 18 murder of hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas triggered public outrage and court documents have linked Golden Dawn to two murders, three attempted murders and numerous assaults. Witnesses have testified that senior party members are involved in migrant beatings, extortion and possible arms smuggling.

Some police officers have also been arrested for allegedly aiding the group or turning a blind eye to its activities.

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