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Greece: Violence, Anarchists Mark Anniversary of Teen's Death from Police Shooting
December 7, 2009
Ayinde O. Chase - AHN Editor
Athens, Greece (AHN) - Greek police arrested hundreds of rioting youths and used tear gas and shock grenades on Monday during a second day of protests. Rioters were protesting marking the anniversary of the police shooting which killed a teenager igniting an outpouring of violence the country hadn't seen in decades.
Youths donning hoods threw incendiary devices and marble chunks at police during a protest march through Athens' city center.
Violence has been escalating in the Greek cities of Athens, Patras and Ioannina since Saturday as authorities have been clashing with hooded protesters and demonstrating students.
Several thousand police officers were deployed ahead of the weekend in an attempt to quell any up swell of violence commemorating the death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos.
On Sunday local media showed images of rioters smashing bank windows and shops, setting garbage bins on fire and destroying cars. Authorities report at least 25 policemen and five protesters and 25 policemen have been injured, including the dean of the Athens University.
On Sunday Anarchists broke into a building at Athens University and tore down the Greek flag and replaced it with the red and black anarchist banner. During the attack the Dean of the university suffered massive head injuries and is currently listed in critical condition.
Several high schools and universities in the country are listed as being under the occupation by students on Monday as part of the protest.
Officials report more than 300 people have been detained by authorities.
2008's original rioting violence spread throughout the country's cities and lasted for weeks. During those troublesome weeks authorities had to deal with bombings, shootings, and arson attacks all directed towards banks, and multinational institutions.
Greek officials are saying they won't tolerate lawlessness this year. Karolos Papoulias, the president of Greece, is pleading for calm and asked for nonviolent protests.
Officials are fearing that the influx of anarchists from other countries will further ignite an already rapidly growing problem.
In 2008 Grigoropoulos was killed by a police officer who claimed he fired into the air while being attacked by teens. Subsequently two police officers have been charged with murder and attempted murder in the teen's death. They are scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 20.