This is the opening night of Corpus Christi, Terrence McNally’s iconoclastic 1998 play which casts Jesus and his disciples 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. Postponed, but not cancelled – it seems that it will take more than the threat of getting their brains beaten out on the pavement while the police stand by and do nothing to stop this cast from putting on the play they came to perform.
Tonight, 200 anarchists and anti-fascists have come out to protect the theatre from the Golden Dawn. Right now, there is a stand off. The fascists are on one side, along with a handful of elderly priests and nuns swooping about like cracked-out ravens and shaking their crucifixes at anyone who will pay them attention, and anti-fascists on the other, behind a solid wall of riot shields.