Multiple protests took place yesterday in Athens and Thessaloniki on the 10th anniversary of the fatal police shooting of teen Alexandros Grigoropoulos, with clashes between anti-riot police and protesters continuing well into the night.
Anticipating violent rallies at the Greek capital, authorities had deployed approximately 2,500 police and a helicopter, while the central Syntagma square metro station was temporarily shut down.
The first clashes broke out during an early mid-day march of about 700 people, with police firing teargas after masked youths started throwing rocks and smashing bus stops. At least 28 people were detained.
Another march later in the evening through the city centre, where according to police around 1,700 people took part, was peaceful before it degenerated into violence.
A group of protesters set up burning barricades in the streets surrounding Exarchia Square and threw Molotov cocktails and objects at police, who responded with tear gas and stun granades.
By midnight, four cars had reportedly been burned while dozens of protesters were taken into custody.
Emergency services were called at the scene transferring an injured individual to Evangelismos hospital. Two policemen also suffered minor injuries.
It is understood that overall at least 66 people were detained and 13 arrested.
Meanwhile, a Telesur TV network contributor, named Hibai Arbide Aza, posted a video on Twitter showing a police officer beating an handcrafted young man, with an investigation on the credentials of the video expected to be conducted by authorities.
Angry protests also unfolded in Thessaloniki yet with less intense clashes, while a fire broke out at a subway construction site.
An early afternoon march was followed by a peaceful evening protest, but riots swept the city centre later.
Police arrested 15 individuals with an estimated 52 taken into custody.
The annual marches and protests on the day of Grigoropoulos’ death have become a rallying cry for anti-authority and leftist movements in Greece.
The 15-year-old student was on a night out with friends on 6 December 2008 in Exarchia, when he was killed by police fire during an altercation.
The incident sparked an unprecedented – for decades – two-week outburst of violence in cities across the country, mainly Athens and Thessaloniki.