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The first strike protest was peaceful

06 November 2012 / 19:11:42  GRReporter
2283 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

The strike procession in Athens was calm and clash-free. Despite the complete lack of any public transport and taxis, the centre of the Greek capital was flooded with about 15 thousand demonstrators, who were protesting against the government's financial policy.

The members of the trade union of the Communist Party, PAME, were the first to arrive at Syntagma square. They stood on the street in front of the Greek parliament and shouted slogans against the government and against the main opposition party SYRIZA as well. "New Democracy, PASOK and Synaspismos (SYRIZA’s predecessor – author’s note) signed the Maastricht Treaty, which is to blame for the current problems of the people" was one of the main slogans.

Representatives of the youth and student organizations of the party participated in the protest too.

After about an hour, the Communists withdrew from Amalias Square and then, the participants in the strike procession organized by the major trade unions GSEE and ADEDY began arriving.

It involved small groups of officials from the Ministries of Finance, Education and Interior. They were followed by representatives of left student organizations, who arrived in the square with heavy footfalls and red flags in their hands. "The opposition is on the street, not in parliament," they cried. When they saw the members of riot forces detached in several lines, they began to rhythmically repeat, "Attention, attention! Members of Golden Dawn in uniforms."

The next demonstrators were members of left organizations and non-parliamentary parties who were protesting against the presence of the xenophobic, and in their opinion the neo-Nazi, party, Golden Dawn in parliament.

Among the diverse groups could be seen the anarchists with red-and-black flags, who today limited themselves to chanting bombastic slogans against the government and its policies. According to some estimates, they were over 1,000 in number.

The last, but most numerous, were the supporters of SYRIZA, who were carrying large posters reading, "Stop the catastrophe" and "Let’s chase them out." Some of them chanted the slogans familiar from the last year's protests of the discontented, "In a magical night, like that in Argentina, we will see who will be able to board the helicopter the first", "Take your memoranda and get out of here" and "Irreconcilability and continuous strike."

The protest ended shortly after 2.30 pm. Some of the demonstrators remained in Amalias Avenue in front of parliament, where songs had already sounded, which were more modern that those at the beginning of the protests that called the "working people to rise up against their chiefs."

The protests are expected to intensify tomorrow during the vote on the austerity measures in parliament. The unions of public transport workers have announced that they will break the strike and will work normally from 3 pm to the end of the shift to "help the people who want to protest to get to Syntagma unhindered."

Tags: SocietyProtestStrikeNew austerity measures
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