Astoria elected officials and community groups have protested the opening of Greece's ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn's New York office, located in Astoria.
The opening of Golden Dawn's (Chrysi Avgi) New York office has prompted protests from elected officials, religious and community leaders in Astoria, where the branch is located. Astoria is home to one of America's largest Greek communities.
Yeshiva World reported the protest was led by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio who held a press conference on Friday. He was joined by State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, Ron Meier of the Anti-Defamation League, Alan S. Jaffe, President of Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Democratic District Leader Costa Constantinides, and members of the Greek community.
Blasio said: "I am standing here today with a broad coalition of Greek and Jewish leadership, and with members of the greater Astoria community, to send a clear message to the Golden Dawn party that is trying to make inroads in New York City. You are not welcome in this community, this city, or this country. 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.”
Ron Meier said: “We are outraged by the establishment of a New York City presence of Golden Dawn."
Constandtinides added "I strongly condemn the message of the Golden Dawn. Their message plays to the worst of humanity. They are not representative of the amazing Greek community that I know and love. As a Greek-American, I have always been part of a Greek community that thrives as part of the grand tapestry of diversity that is Queens and NYC and loves their diverse neighbors. We reject Golden Dawn’s message of hate and division."
According to the Queens Chronicle Golden Dawn's presence in Astoria went unnoticed until members went to The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York to help collect clothing for Greeks. The organization's Christos Vournas said he was disturbed when Golden Dawn members labeled boxes of clothes “For Greeks Only."
Since Golden Dawn opened their New York Office, Anonymous has hacked their NY website, which remains unavailable.