5 May 2011 – Melbourne, Australia – The United Macedonian Diaspora (“UMD”) expressed its outrage over the May 3, 2011 outburst of violent Greek nationalism underlined with Neo-Nazi ideology that has targeted Macedonians in Australia. Destruction of property of the Macedonian football club Altona Magic in Melbourne has resonated in the wider Macedonian-Australian community with questions about the extent to which Greek Neo-Nazi groups are willing to go in their anti-Macedonian actions. Considering this is just one in a series of attacks by Greek Neo-Nazis against Macedonian-Australians, a worrisome atmosphere has weighed in over Australia’s Macedonian communities.
On May 3, 2011, the Altona Magic stadium was vandalized in most disturbing fashion. According to the Herald Sun and the Altona Magic football club representatives Nazi swastikas and the Greek flag were spray-painted on the field. The vandals demolished the locker rooms, spray-painted over the scoreboard, banners, goal-posts and burned the Australian and Macedonian flags. The most striking element of this perverted act was the ten grave-shaped holes dug into the field.
Towards the end of WWII many Macedonians were expulsed from their towns and villages in Northern Greece. More than 40,000 children were shoved on trains and shipped far away from their homes. Those who stayed in Greece faced violent pressures from Greek authorities that amounted to public torture and murder. Yesterday’s incident is a flashback to those who fled the violence there and found safety in Australia.
“This is a call for concern. The way in which it was done is morbid, disgusting. This act had been purported to bring back horrible memories among Macedonians who fled Greece during the civil war. The symbolism with the graves dug out in the field is disturbing and worrisome. I call all Australians regardless of their heritage, to stand behind the Macedonian community to reassure the safety of the people and condole with those who lost family members in the hands of fascists,” said Ordan Andreevski, UMD’s director of Australian Operations.
The United Macedonian Diaspora calls upon Victoria Police to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Australia has never been nor should it ever become associated with Neo-Nazism. In order to ensure this, Australians must condemn such acts of violence.
“The people who have done this should be ashamed of themselves and of the way they manifest their Greek heritage through violent anti-Macedonian and anti-Semitic actions. Greek-Australians must do some soul-searching and recognize that this is not how we should treat each other. They must take a step forward and condemn this attack,” said Andreevski.