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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.”


Violence erupts on Greek riot anniversary
12/06/2009, 5:30 PM
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the AP:

“ATHENS, Greece — Protesters hurled rocks and burning garbage at police Sunday as violence erupted during a march to mark the first anniversary of the police shooting of a teenager, whose death sparked massive riots.

Police fired tear gas at scores of hooded youths in central Athens, as several thousand demonstrators marched to commemorate the death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos.

The rioters smashed bank windows, overturned trash bins and hurled rocks and fire crackers at riot police. Authorities said 48 people were detained for public-order offenses. At least five protesters were injured in the clashes.

Police on motorcycles chased rioters amid scenes of chaos at Athens’ main Syntagma Square, with youths punching and kicking officers pushed off their bikes.

At Athens University, masked protesters broke into the building and pulled down a Greek flag, replacing it with a black-and-red anarchist banner.

Violence also broke out in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, where youths threw petrol bombs at police, set fire to several cars and smashed 10 storefronts, including a Starbucks cafe. At least 20 people were detained in the northern city.

More than 6,000 police had been deployed across greater Athens in anticipation that demonstrations would turn violent. Protests were held in the capital and several other Greek cities.

Concern was heightened by reports that far-left groups and anarchists from other European countries have traveled to Greece to join the marches.

Ahead of Sunday’s clashes, police detained 160 people following minor clashes in central Athens and a raid on a cafe, where police seized sledgehammers and firebomb-making equipment.

Grigoropoulos was killed by a policeman’s bullet on the evening of Dec. 6, 2008. Within a few hours of his death, riots spread from the Greek capital to several cities across the country, with police apparently powerless to prevent youths from smashing, looting and burning stores in violence that continued for two weeks.

The new Socialist government, which came to power in October and has been confronted with a surge in armed attacks by far-left and anarchist groups after last year’s shooting, and had vowed a zero-tolerance approach to violence at Sunday’s commemorations.”


Two new publications on Greece’s 2008 revolt
11/16/2009, 3:25 PM
Filed under: update | Tags: , , , , ,

From the Occupied London Blog:

“With only weeks to go before December 6th, the day marking one year from the assassination of Alexis Grigoropoulos, two new excellent publications on the uprising of 2008 have come out by comrades in the UK and the US. In London, the good people at the 56a Infoshop have released “Everyone To The Streets: Communiques and Texts from the Streets and Occupations”. The book is 150 pages long (!) and contains an introduction by the 56a collective, two chronologies from Athens and Thessaloniki, 15+ texts and communiques from the streets and occupations plus analysis from Greek group TPTG and afterword.

Meanwhile, some good people on the other side of the Pond have also put out an excellent publication: “A day when Nothing is Certain” also contains a collection of texts and analyses from the December uprising. A hard copy of the booklet is making its way around the US – a .pdf version of it is available to download here – and here is a link to a print-ready version.”