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article imageControversy over Golden Dawn Montreal Greek only Xmas food drive

By Katerina Nikolas     Dec 4, 2012 in World
Greece's ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) branch in Montreal is stirring controversy by planning a Christmas food drive to raise food to be distributed to Greek Christians only.
Since Golden Dawn opened a branch in Montreal in September they have attracted a small support base but plenty of critics. Their policy of collecting food to distribute to needy Greeks suffering under financial austerity has stirred controversy as the party excludes non-Greeks from its distribution process.
CBC reported Montreal city councillor Mary Deros said Golden Dawn's Christmas food drive for Christian Greeks was "racial discrimination in its worst form." She added "If you see children in schools of different races, will you only feed one community group and allow the other children to go hungry?"
Nicholas Pagonis, president of the Montreal Hellenic Community, also voiced his concern about the party's presence in the city. He said: "I think it's a black mark on the community in Montreal, that we have such an organization in our ranks."
CBC spoke to reporter Joanne Vrakas who interviewed party members when the Montreal branch opened. Members now refuse to give interviews. A video of the CBC report can be seen here.
Golden Dawn has established several chapters outside Greece, in Melbourne, New York and Italy. It also has plans to open offices in Chicago, Connecticut and Toronto. In October officials in Astoria, New York, held a press conference to protest the presence of Golden Dawn, telling the party they were "not welcome in this community, this city, or this country."
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