ATHENS Black-clad protesters and riot police fought pitched battles in Athens on Sunday on the seventh anniversary of a teenager’s killing by police.
The shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in 2008, a year before Greece’s economic crisis began, had led to the country’s worst riots in decades. The annual march draws thousands of anti-establishment and anti-austerity protesters.
Sunday’s violence erupted at the finish of a peaceful march through Athens. Demonstrators threw scores of petrol bombs, bricks and broken marble at police in riot gear who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.
Little fires burned in the streets and garbage containers had been set alight. Smoke billowed more than the neighborhood of Exarchia, the site of the shooting, exactly where hundreds much more converged on a square, uprooting benches and smashing pavements.
Some 6,000 police officers have been deployed in Athens and a helicopter clattered overhead for most of the day. At least 18 individuals were detained, a police supply stated.
At a shrine at the spot exactly where Grigoropoulos was shot dead, mourners left roses and notes. “In no way forget,” one particular note read. Nearby, hung among two buildings, a banner proclaimed: “Our fury will not end. Cops, pigs, murderers.”
(Reporting by Renee Maltezou Writing by Karolina Tagaris Editing by Digby Lidstone)