Anarchists attacked police with molotov cocktails and stones after a protest rally against maximum security prisons in downtown Athens, Greece, late on Tuesday.
About 400 black-clad people marched from the University of Athens administration building to the Greek parliament around 7:15 pm to demonstrate against maximum security prisons and demand the release of imprisoned terrorists. They wrote anti-establishment slogans such as “War on democracy” and “Burn all prisons” on the parliament’s courtyard wall and then returned to the university’s administration building.
Then a group of about 70 young people wearing hoods gathered outside the old building of the National Technical University of Athens and started burning dustbins and cars, and smashing shop windows. When riot police arrived on the scene, they received a massive attack with petrol bombs and stones. Police responded with tear gas.
The anarchists sheltered themselves inside the technical university building from where they threw more molotov cocktails and stones.
Then a new battle erupted at Exarchia square where more hooded young people gathered and attacked policemen. Skirmishes took place in surrounding streets as well and continued until early Wednesday morning. Police arrested 9 people and 21 others were taken in for questioning.
The riots were a culmination of continuous anti-establishment demonstrations and sit-ins in public buildings, and have become an increasingly common occurrence in Greece’s capital.
The SYRIZA-led leftist government has been accused by opposition parties for being too lenient on anarchists. Last week, about two dozen anarchists went all the way up to the parliament stairs and put up banners demanding the abolition of maximum security prisons and the release of imprisoned terrorists.
New Democracy attacked the SYRIZA-led government over the incident, urging the responsible ministers to step down.
“Those who can’t cope ought to step down. [Such incidents] cannot be tolerated any further,” said a statement by New Democracy spokesman Nicos Karagounis.
The statement said the authorities had allowed «hooded men to go on a rampage.”
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