Huge protests occurred yesterday in Athens, flooding the streets of the city with rage and anger. Around 100.000 marched against austerity cuts, and their deprivation of democratic rights, by the EU-backed regime.
At 10:30pm people started converging at the Archeological Museum. Meanwhile, in Gardenia Square of Zografou district in Athens around 50 strikers gathered in order to proceed to the central gathering point at the Museum. The police denied their access and without reason attacked them and detained more than 25 people.
Around 1pm the main march started, towards Patision Ave and Zografou, Dafni and Pagrati districts. A lot of demonstrators were marching behind the banner of the municipality workers’ union. A triple police cordon secured the entrances of luxurious hotels in Syntagma and the Parliament building. Along Patision and Akadimias streets there was huge police presence. A water cannon appeared for the first time, parked next to the parliament in Syntagma.
At 1:30pm the first tension in front of the metal fence in the House of Parliament appeared, as protesters tried to bring down the metal fences. Police responded with large amounts of tear gas bombs which were thrown amid demonstrators in Syntagama. The crowds attempted to disperse the armed forces, using Molotov cocktails and stones.
At around 3pm mass use of chemicals by the police on Ermou street was reported, while in Athens’ central park several trees caught fire due to the excessive amount of tear gas used by the police, which resulted to ignition.
Mass police offensive on Amalias street while the march continues, and all streets of central Athens were occupied by strikers. Brutal police beatings and arrests took place, a few minutes later, in front of the parliament as the police was pushing against demonstrators away from the parliament.
Meanwhile, the neighbourhood assemblies called for a new gathering at the University Refectory in order to march anew towards the police headquarters in solidarity to the twenty demonstrators who had been detained. Later on, the popular assemblies’ blocks were chased down to Omonoia square by DELTA motorcycle security forces who, also, invaded the entrance of the subway metro station and threw stun grenades inside.
At around 4pm clashes between the police forces and angry protesters took place in the Exarcheia district, which lasted for approximately 30 minutes. The crowds were dispersed and for about 2 hours Athens’ main streets were almost occupied by huge police forces.