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live Molotov bombs and tear gas in Syntagma

26 September 2012 / 14:09:03  GRReporter
3236 reads

Victoria Mindova

Anastasia Balezdrova

Vassilis Vifidis

A demonstration involving thousands of people organized by the Greek trade unions against the new austerity measures the government has been planning took place in central Athens.

The appearance of anarchists, after the end of the trade union protests, who were throwing Molotov bombs, caused the intervention of special riot forces. The police used tear gas to disperse the hooligans.

Unlike the meetings known so far, the protest of trade unions involved this time a much larger number of supporters of anarchist movements. After the members of PAME trade unions and of the unions of employees in the public and private sectors passed through Syntagma, anarchists began coming in flocks into the square outside the parliament. According to unofficial information, they were between 1,500 and 2,000 in number. They were carrying the familiar black-and-red flags, dressed in black, with gas masks and ready for a fight with the police.  Fifty detachments of riot forces (MAT) were deployed in Athens.

The first Molotov bombs exploded down Syntagma Square shortly after 2 pm. Two police detachments were deployed in front of the five-star hotels Grande Bretagne, King George and Athens Plaza. They immediately responded with tear gas and batons. Ordinary protesters dispersed immediately to protect themselves from the flying paving stones. The central location of the hotels has not been conducive towards attracting more tourists in the past three years. In every big protest, their marble staircases are broken down into pieces that are used in the fight with police. This time, police forces were outside the hotels and the marble slabs remained unbroken.

The meetings in Athens began at 11 am. According to initial information, the protesters were 120-150 thousand in number. People of all ages had gathered to protest again against the fiscal consolidation measures, which Greece must implement to continue to receive the financial aid from Europe and the International Monetary Fund. Trade unions and workers in key sectors of the economy joined the protest. The protesters’ activity is growing stronger this autumn after the strikes in Athens in the last six months did not have supporters. "We will not give up. We will not let them destroy us," a middle-aged woman was shouting at the parliament. A group of pensioners holding lids and saucepans had gathered in front of parliament, and were hitting them with wooden spoons. "We were working all our lives, take the money from liars, crooks and thievish politicians," they were shouting with one voice.

Tags: 24-hour strikeDemonstrationsMolotov bombsTear gasAnarchistsRiot forces
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