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live Greece marks the 41st anniversary of the events at the Polytechnic School in Athens under unprecedented security measures

17 November 2014 / 17:11:32  GRReporter
1743 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

An unprecedented number of policemen are guarding the marking of the 41st anniversary of the events at the Polytechnic School in Athens that initiated the fall of the military junta in Greece.

Over 7,000 policemen from the special riot forces have been deployed for a few days in the centre of the Greek capital, where there are restrictions on the circulation of cars and other vehicles. A police helicopter is following the course of the procession.

The traditional protest march began with a ceremony in front of the Polytechnic School and it was accompanied by an indirect dispute, between the youth organizations of parliamentary and extra-parliamentary leftist parties, on who would carry the ritual flag.

In this situation, the group of 60 people who were carrying the flag set off from the Polytechnic School alone and the participants in the major procession more than half an hour later. They passed through the entire centre of Athens that was surrounded by a large number of police forces. The security was enhanced, especially around Syntagma Square and the Parliament building whereas a police helicopter was patrolling over the centre of the Greek capital at the same time.

The protesters shouted slogans against the government, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the police, calling them "Golden Dawners in uniform."

The slogans culminated when, two hours after its launch, the procession arrived in front of the US Embassy where the traditional slogans "Americans - murderers of nations" and "The people do not want you. Get out" could be heard. The slogan "Freedom for Palestine" could be heard several times as well.

The massive procession passed with a few clashes between the protesters and the police. The riot police forces responded with small quantities of tear gas to the stones thrown at them.

The unrest began shortly before the procession reached the US Embassy. A group of anarchists broke away from the other protesters and set off to the police who repelled them.

The tension arose later when some of the protesters reached the crossing of Kifisiyas Avenue with Alexandras Street. During the clashes there, the police used flash grenades. While retreating to the neighbourhood of Exarcheia the anarchists set fire to two containers for disposal.

The commemoration of the anniversary of the student revolt in 1973 ended with a procession of members of the Greek Communist Party and its youth and student organizations, which passed peacefully, as every year.

According to police sources, at least 30 people were detained during the clashes.

Tags: Polytechnic School in AthensCommemorationPolice guardsYouth organizations.Leftist partiesRestrictions on the circulation of carsUS Embassy
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