Monday, December 8, 2008

Flag burned at UK Greek embassy

BBC News
Monday, 8 December 2008

Demonstrators have burned a flag outside the Greek Embassy in London in protest at the police shooting of a 15-year-old youth in Athens.

The group removed the Greek flag from a pole in front of the embassy, setting it on fire before raising a red and black anarchists' flag in its place.

There were scuffles with police, and the protesters hung a banner marking the death of Alexandros Grigoropoulos.

The police shooting has sparked three days of riots in Greece.

Officers blocked off the street after responding to calls from inside the embassy. in the Holland Park area of West London.

Five demonstrators were arrested on public order offenses after resisting police attempts to move them from the steps of the embassy to behind a temporary barricade on the street.

Inspector David Morgan said: "We just want to bring a peaceful end to it. At the end of the day, it's a diplomatic facility."

He added that about 40 people had taken part in the demonstration.

The protesters, shouting in Greek, reportedly said: "Cops are pigs and murderers."
A request from the demonstrators to meet the ambassador was refused, a spokesman for the embassy said.

A similar shooting incident in 1985 led to a lengthy vendetta between youths and police in Greece, with violence continuing for years.

Two police officers have been arrested in connection with the incident. The officer who fired contends it was a ricochet from a warning shot, but witnesses told Greek TV it was a direct hit.

The boy's family has hired an independent pathologist to ensure there is no cover-up.