It's a warm night in Athens and the nuns have broken the police line. They didn't have to try too hard. The lines of riot cops assembled outside the Chytirio theatre are mostly trying to stop the anti-fascists from reaching the neo-nazis, nuns and priests who have come to protest the opening of the “gay jesus” play Corpus Christi, not the other way around. So when the little old lady in the black habit bobs past the shields and helmets to harangue assembled anarchists and activists about blasphemy and sodomy, nobody tries to stop her.
This is the opening night of Corpus Christi, Terrence McNally's iconoclastic 1998 play which casts Jesus and his disciples as gay men in rural Texas. It wasn't supposed to be the first performance – last night's opening was violently shut down by a gang of thugs from the fascist Golden Dawn party, who warned that that "in any case where the religious sentiment of Greeks is insulted, the Golden Dawn will react dynamically”.
"Dynamically" meant, in practice, that audience members and journalists were beaten, threatened and called "faggots" and "ass-munchers", and the police – 50 percent of whom, according to some polls, are Golden Dawn supporters – allowed it to happen. Eventually the fascists managed to lock the actors inside the theatre and opening night was postponed...
Tonight, 200 anarchists and anti-fascists have come out to protect the theatre from the Golden Dawn. Right now, there is a stand off.
Besides attacking theatergoers, these Golden Dawn fascists are filling a vacuum in Greece's economic and political chaos—electing legislators and aligned with a police force "that increasingly appears beyond state control, and which has long forsaken its role of protecting citizens from the thugs they now side with."