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Greek riots continue into second day

From the Guardian:

“Protesters smashed store windows and threw rocks and firebombs at riot police who responded with teargas today, the second day of violence during commemorations for a teenager shot dead by police a year ago.

The killing of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos led to two weeks of rioting in Greece last year, with gangs of youths smashing, looting and burning shops across the country in protest at heavy-handed police tactics.

Today’s clashes broke out during a demonstration by about 3,000 people, mostly secondary school pupils, through the centre of Athens. Several dozen youths towards the back of the march attacked riot police with rocks, firebombs and firecrackers, smashing some of the bus stops, telephone booths and shopfronts not damaged in yesterday’s demonstration.

Protesters injured a passerby who attempted to intervene, beating him unconscious. Police detained at least three youths. Demonstrators scrawled anti-police graffiti and stencilled a photograph of Grigoropoulos on shop windows and walls along the demonstration route.

Minor clashes broke out during a march of about 2,000 people in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, where police fired teargas to disperse youths pelting them with rocks.

Police said at least 16 officers and five demonstrators were injured yesterday, while 177 people were detained in Athens and another 103 in Thessaloniki. One policeman who lost control of his motorbike struck and injured a female pedestrian, who was tended to by demonstrators until an ambulance arrived.

At Athens University, masked protesters broke into the building, injuring the university’s dean and pulling down a Greek flag, replacing it with a black and red anarchist banner. The clashes continued late into the night, and police clashed with protesters in the southern city of Patras and the north-western city of Ioannina.

Last night the civil protection minister, Michalis Chrisochoidis, defended tougher tactics used by police, following criticism from a leftwing opposition party. “Police detentions, when justified, are not illegal in a democratic society. Neither is it illegal for judicial officials to press charges,” he said. “Vandals and hooligans have nothing to do with democracy.””

This seems to be rather typical of reporting of these events where almost everything police say is taken at their word.  Police purposely run over people in the crowd (as the video below shows) and it is said that the officer simply lost control of his bike.  He just couldn’t take his foot off the gas while driving up to a crowd of people…  The information about the dean from the university being beaten has not being confirmed by anyone except the media as many people at the university have seen him walking around after it was occupied and he was seemingly unscathed.

At least they got one thing right. “Vandals and hooligans have nothing to do with democracy.”