Teachers and students have been in the forefront this week of mass protests in Greece against the fascist Golden Dawn party. As well as against huge cuts to education, teachers' rallies have been calling for the end of the fascist group, which had gained some ground in the country as a result of the vicious attacks on people's living standards, dictated by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. In a letter to the UK Guardian today a group of academics stress the importance of education, and universities in particular, in this dangerous situation: "They are and must remain beacons of critical thinking in a Europe whose social structures are being eroded by massive cutbacks and over which the shadow of far-right extremism looms."

The murder of Pavlos Fyssas last week - an anti-racist rapper - has caused outrage in the country. Moreover there have been increasing revelations about the involvement of the state, in particular the police force, in the Golden Dawn party. Golden Dawn leaders have been filmed swearing at immigrants and threatening violence, while their flags and salute are reminiscent of Hitler's nazi party. Worryingly, they have been allowed to go into some primary schools and preach their version of history to young children. Now a Golden Dawn member has admitted to the murder of Fyssas and it is looking increasingly likely that his murder was organised by the party.

On Wednesday there was a mass protest of students and teachers in Athens, which marched on the headquarter of the Golden Dawn but was prevented from reaching it by security forces. In the last few hours the leader of the party has been arrested by police.