Riots and police brutality on first day of Alexandros Grigoropoulos murder anniversary

flames on the streets of Athens, and burning the greek flag

Riots have broken out in Athens and Salonica during the first day of A. Grigoropoulos murder anniversary with police demonstrating extreme brutality leaving two people seriously wounded by a motorised charge on the Athens march.

Police brutality during the marches to comemmorate the first anniversary of Alexandros Grigoropoulos murder surpassed any limit today, in a coordinated operation of barbarity and crude violence against protesters across greece. Under socialist orders police violence has left dozens of people wounded.

In Athens the protest march called at 13:00 in Propylea was attacked by riot police forces before even starting. Protesters fought back erecting flaming barricades and forcing the police to retreat with use of rocks. Protesters also occupied the rectorial headquarters of the University of Athens in Propylea, lowering the greek flag and flying a black flag in its place. The march continued to Omonoia square where more clashes took place and several shops were destroyed -one consumed in flames. At Syntagma square motorised police forces (Delta team) charged the march from Ermou street. After the charge the Delta-team thugs dismounted and threw rocks at the protesters. As a cause of the police orgy in violence, an elderly member of the Worker’s Revolutionary Party-Trotskyist (EEK) has been reported to be in serious condition due to head injuries: Ms Koutsoumbou, a veteran prisoner of the anti-dictatorship struggle, was hit by a Delta force motorbike during the mounted charge on the crowd. According to Savas Michail, leading member of EEK and major radical philosopher, Ms Koutsoumbou is in intensive care having received far worse hits than during her tortures by the colonels' junta. One more man has been hospitalised with serious injuries. At the time 60 people are reported detained.

In Salonica the 3,000 strong protest march turned violent when riot police attacked it without any provocation with tear gas and blast grenades. Clashes ensued along the main avenue of the city. The police surrounded some 200 protesters outside the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace, but were liberated by the rest of the march. The previous night the police broke the university asylum in the Salonica Polytechnic arresting 8 people who the authorities claim had attacked the International Expo with molotov cocktails. The march in Salonica has not been concluded at the time of writing and the situation is particularly tense as the protesters are returning to the main avenue to protest against police brutality.

In Larissa the protest march proceeded through the main streets of the city smashing CCTV cameras, coming under attack by riot police forces. The protesters errected barricades and engaged the cops with stones and other projectiles.

There is little information about the course of the marches in other greek cities.

At the same time, the 21 people arrested in the anarchist social centre Resalto last night have been charged under the notorious anti-terrorist law for construction and distribution of explosives (beer bottles and two bottles of heating oil).

The protest marches for the 1st anniversary of Alexandros Grigoropoulos murder by cops will continue on Monday, while at 21:00 on Sunday there will be a memorial demo at the spot of his shooting in Exarcheia.

Comments

taxikipali
Dec 6 2009 16:27

Update 18:30 (local time): As evidence of police brutality thicken, prisoners across the country have refused food in protest to the repression. A few minutes ago the social centre of the Network of Human and Civil Rights was raided by riot police forces which sprayed the entire building with tear gas forcing its evacuation. Exarcheia are occupied by strong police forces which are arbitrarily attacking and arresting people in order to prevent the planned memorial for the assassination of Grigoropoulos at the spot of his murder at 21:00

The video of motorised police hitting protesters with their bikes can be seen in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAf5zkagHOo&feature=player_embedded

taxikipali
Dec 6 2009 18:44

Update 20:30 (local time): News have started pouring from smaller greek cities about today's marches. In Patras the 2,000 strong march attacked the city hall and smashed several banks. There have been 50 preventive arrests. In the city of Xanthi riots broke out with flaming barricades. The National Electricity Company offices have come under attack with molotov cocktails.

Meanwhile, the arrested comrades from Resalto have been taken to the Peiraeus courts where hundreds of protesters were attacked with tear gas and blast grenades by riot cops.

In down town Athens sporadic battles continue around the occupied Law School and the Rectorial Headquarters. The media are spreading false information about the rector being injured during the occupation of the latter building - in fact he is has been hospitalised due to his chronic heart problems which worsened today due to stress. The police is trying to take advantage of the false news to lift the asylum and evacuate the building. Police has already briefly breached the university asylum of the Law School by entering its front yard while chasing protesters.

At the same time football fans attending a match have attacked police forces shouting slogans against today's repression.

During today's clashes in Athens16 cops are reported injured and 146 people detained. Ms Koutsoumbou remains hospitalised with internal hemorrhage and possible brain injuries.

taxikipali
Dec 6 2009 20:42

3rd Update 22:30 (local time):

Riots have broken out during today evening's protest march in the city of Ioannina with several banks smashed and 40 people detained. Unverified information talk about the police raiding an anti-authoritarian social centre in town.

Clashes between protesters and riot police also broke out during this evening's 1,500 strong march in the city of Volos.

There are reports that at the time of writing clashes are developing between protesters and riot police in the city of Agrinio. One patrol car is reported torched by a molotov cocktail and the main roads of the city are off limits.

In downtown Athens despite state terror around 800 people have managed to cross police lines and attend the memorial one minute of silence at 21:00 exactly a year after A. Grigoropoulos murder at the spot of the assassination in Exarcheia. The protesters then marched to Exarcheia square but their way to the Polytechneio has been blocked by riot police forces which continue to lay siege on the occupied university premises.
Tension developed earlier outside the police headquarters of Athens when the police refused lawyers to meet with the 177 detainees of today's protest march.

In Salonica police once again briefly breached the university asylum entering the main yard of the Aristotelian University to arrest a man. There are 88 people detained in the city from today's march.

JoeMaguire
Dec 6 2009 22:27

Independent piece seems to give no context to how militarised Greece is, or that fascists are also active aswell.

Quote:
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
taxikipali
Dec 6 2009 22:28

4th Update 00:30 (local time) - last for tonight:

It has been confirmed that large scale riots have broken out in Agrinio with heavy damages on capitalist and state buildings as well as heavy clashes with the police. In the city of Volos after the extended clashes protesters have sought refuge at the university in an atmosphere filled with tear gas. In both cities many people have been detained. In Ioannina it has been confirmed that the police has raided a self-managed social centre of the city, while an unidentified number of people have also been detained in the island of Rhodes and in Crete. All 51 people detained in Patra have been released, while three protesters were wounded during the march earlier today. The number of detained people in Athens has risen to 263.

In the city of Serres today's protest march attacked the courts of the city with paint; no detentions have been reported.

Meanwhile the Minister of Public Order is waging a mass war of propaganda, claiming the Athens rector came under "a murderous attack" during the occupation of the rectorial headquarters, while attacking the Radical Left Coalition for condemning police barbarity as "spreading lies" with the purpose to provide cover for "hooligans and vandals".

jesuithitsquad
Dec 6 2009 22:33

taxikipali-

thank you so much for the updates. interesting juxtaposition about the older woman surviving the dictatorship but possibly not the 'socialist' government. here's to hoping she pulls through.

mikail firtinaci
Dec 6 2009 23:24

taxipali;

thanks for these news very much. I could not find any satisfactory news anywhere else except yours. I have a question though;

do you think as it was in the december insurrection, things will continue to ascelate, or is it going to be for only for today -or yesterday-?

In this side of the aegean sea, there are also huge clashes, especially in kurdistan. But these are restricted to kurdish nationalists who are protesting the situation of the arrested leader of PKK, öcalan. In one protest in Diyarbakır (the biggest kurdish city in turkish kurdistan) one protestor, a university student aged 23 has been killed by the riot police. Things are getting worse...

taxikipali
Dec 7 2009 08:42

Thanks comrades, keep in mind that news in the british press are filtered through the ministry of information here (the independent for example talking about a motorised cop losing control and falling on the elderly woman when state tv footage proves the Delta team has been targeting protesters with their motorbike as a tactic). The way things develop from here is mainly in the hands of the pupils who have already taken to the streets across the country. I will post a new news item on the second day of protests separately later today.

M.
Dec 7 2009 14:25

Thank you very much for the news and the updates. I hope the false information campaign of the media do not put some people against the workers, students and people who are in the streets fighting.

For the spanish speakers, there's also a blog called "Grecia Libertaria" (Libertarian Greece) where these information can be founded: http://grecia-libertaria.blogspot.com/

grupo_ruptura
Dec 7 2009 16:29

Also, Spanish translations in Klinamen.org.

Cheers, comrades

Wayne
Dec 7 2009 17:08

Yeah, thanks taxikipali. Your posts are the best way I have found to follow the extraordinary and courageous ongoing struggle in Greece.

taxikipali
Dec 7 2009 23:17

Cheers comrades and sorry for the delay in the update...la lotta continua!

skeletor
Dec 7 2009 23:40

Yes I would just like to say that one of the most important social struggles of our lifetime is being completely blacked in in regular media and radical media circles.

Much Thanks Libcom and Taxikipali for your informative and regular updates of the situation there.

ParisT
Dec 9 2009 19:52

thanks for the updates of what is going on.