Greek Students Clash With Police

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Thursday’s march in Athens. School and university students banner reads, ‘Cash to the banks – Bullets to the youth. This is the time for our days, fight for freedom and justice’
Thursday’s march in Athens. School and university students banner reads, ‘Cash to the banks – Bullets to the youth. This is the time for our days, fight for freedom and justice’

THOUSANDS of Greek school and university students staged protest marches in Athens and 20 cities throughout the country last Thursday on the 10th anniversary of the killing of 15-year-old school student Alexis Grigoropoulos by a policeman. They shouted slogans against education cuts and police oppression.

The midday Athens march was viciously attacked in the city centre by armed riot police squads with tear-gas and noise-lightning canisters. Dozens of demonstrators were apprehended and handcuffed by police.

But students held on to their banners and stood firm. Riot police backtracked and the students’ march proceeded to the Vouli (Greek parliament). Greek police said that over 5,000 policemen were mobilised in the capital and Metro stations were shut.

In Thessaloniki too, the students’ march was set upon by riot police with tear gas who made many arrests. There was a second evening march in Athens last Thursday by left-wing parties and anarchists. Following this march, youth set up barricades in the Exarkhia neighbourhood next to the Athens Polytechnic building.

Hundreds of armed riot police and two water-cannon vehicles launched attacks with tear gas to clear the barricades. Journalists reported that riot police entered apartment blocks looking for demonstrators. On Friday morning Greek police announced that 118 persons were apprehended on Thursday in Athens and Thessaloniki. Twenty-eight persons were charged.