How philanthropy can help tackle violent extremism

Eleni Takou and Martin O'Brien

The fight against the far-right Golden Dawn group in Greece shows how funders can equip civil society for similar struggles

Extremism seems to be on the rise internationally, even in societies where it had appeared that far-right politics could never move beyond the fringes. What can be done to oppose it and in what ways might philanthropy respond? A recent report by the Social Change Initiative and HumanRights360 draws lessons on how Greek civil society successfully opposed such a threat which could be of value to those facing similar challenges.

Poster of Greek rapper Pavlos Fyssas, a victim of Golden Dawn violence in 2013.Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Far-right party Golden Dawn rose to prominence during a period of economic crisis in Greece, winning 18 parliamentary seats in 2012, while its gangs were attacking minorities on the streets. In October 2020, following years of activism led by civil society groups, a trial declared Golden Dawn a criminal organisation and jailed its leaders.

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