Greek Anarchists Step Up Resistance in Athens’ Exarchia

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Stelios Misinas, FILE)

ATHENS – After sitting still for most of August, anarchists who dominate the capital city’s neighborhood of Exarchia are stepping up clashes with riot police charged by the new New Democracy government with reining them in.

There were a number of confrontations after police raided an anarchist hangout, the former Vox summer cinema that the anti-establishment types took over and made into a kind of headquarters, allowed to under the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that is riddled with anarchist and terrorist sympathizers and see Exarchia as a kind of symbol for resistance.

On Aug. 31 a group of around 40 people tossed Molotov Cocktails and stones at a riot police unit on Tositsa Street, just hours after a smaller group attacked another police unit on Harilaou Trikoupi Street and while no injuries were reported, no arrests were either.

Police are bracing for assaults from the group Rouvikonas which said it would guard abandoned buildings used by squatters and would take on authorities aiming to rid the neighborhood of anarchists and lawbreakers, also rounding up drug dealers and illegal immigrants.

Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis has ordered the transfer of 500 police officers from desk jobs to the motorcycle-riding DIAS unit, Kathimerini said, with police beefing up for an expected fight against a determined foe.

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