Athens, Greece – Greek riot police attacked an anarchist contingent as they dispersed from an annual November 17 commemoration for the second year in a row. Hours of clashes followed massive demonstrations commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic Uprising, a student uprising against a seven-year military junta which was attacked by the military, leaving dozens dead on November 17, 1973. Unprovoked at the end of this last Saturday night, police attacked the dispersing crowd, reportedly sending four people to the hospital from injuries and arresting thirteen.
The timeline of the attack goes as such: at the end of the night as an anarchist contingent marched down Alexandras Avenue, police doubled up their platoons around the contingent and verbally antagonized them, when the contingent called out that they were taking the metro to leave, the police attacked. A video of the police attack (above) is also described in a tweet thread by @kinimatini (in Greek).
Was there. Yesterday. Riot police stormed w/ teargas and grenades protest at it's end at the moment protesters where abt to go into the metro and leave. Nothing happened, noone provoked them. Just ofr fun. At least on person was hit #athens #greece t.co/b1CrkQGqO8
— Nikolas Georgiou (@mpodil) November 18, 2018
Thousands of police were deployed throughout Athens during the November 17 commemoration, which routinely draws large clashes with police during the night. The yearly commemoration brings thousands of people to the streets to demonstrate against the military and state for killing dozens of people outside of Polytechnic University in Athens on November 17, 1973 as they rose against oppressive military rule.
For more information on November 17 and the crackdown against anarchists and anti-authoritarians in Greece, check out: Political Prisoners Part 2 – Targeting of Anarchists & Autonomous Groups & Political Prisoners Pt. 1 – Tasos Freed & Irianna Jailed (Τάσος & Ηριάννα)
This year, after a large peaceful demonstration, clashes erupted throughout the area near Polytechnic University with projectiles and incendiaries being thrown at police, who reacted with crowd control explosives and tear gas.
In what’s becoming a frequent scene in Athens after demonstrations, police attacked demonstrators on Alexandras Ave., just north of the anarchist Exarcheia neighborhood. There was a very similar police attack on the same street last year, on November 17, 2017, at the end of the protest (video below).
Expecting the same kinds of police attacks this year, the anarchist federation decided they would leave ahead of the spot they left last year, at the Ampelokipi metro station. It’s reported that when someone shouted “everybody from the federation we’re going down to the metro“, that’s when the police fired instantly.
Thirteen people were arrested during the police attack, and as many were injured by police beating them with batons and unloading tear gas canisters on the dispersing crowd.
#Greece: Video by @kinimatini reveals how the @hellenicpolice attacked those commemorating the uprising against the 1967-74 military junta. There are injuries & very violent arrests, cops shouting threats at the photojournalists etc. t.co/p3F37R8N9O
— ecpoir (@ecpoir) November 18, 2018
“They are not even afraid that people will make a connection between the commemoration of a crushed bloody student rebellion by a military junta and the brutal attack against a protest by policemen armed and dressed like soldiers on the same day years later“, said @kinimatini of the police attack.
At least nine of those arrested during the attack are reported to have trial at noon on Monday, November 18, for charges of various offenses, even carrying arms, and for having wooden flagpoles.
Cover image by Nikolas Georgiou.
Continue to follow Unicorn Riot as we have a media team set to be in Greece during the first half of December to document the 10 year anniversary of the police killing of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos and many more topics.
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Unicorn Riot's Specials From Greece [2018-2020]:
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- Greece: Political Prisoners Pt. 3 – Criminalized by Association - Feb 7, 2019
- Major Clashes Mark 10 Years Since Greek Police Killing of 15 Year Old Alexis - Dec 9, 2018
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- Greece: Action of Solidarity With Squats and Against Evictions
- Greece: Anarchists Defend Exarcheia’s Autonomous Zone From Police
- Greece: ADYE, Exarcheia’s Free Self-Organized Healthcare Clinic
- Greece: Political Prisoners Pt. 1 – Tasos Freed & Irianna Jailed (Τάσος & Ηριάννα)
- Greece: Political Prisoners Pt. 2 – Targeting of Anarchists & Autonomous Groups
- Greece: Networks of Resistance Pt. 1 – ZAD, Bure, Hambach Forest
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