ATHENS – Greek anarchists responded after police raided buildings occupied by squatters in Athens, the anti-establishment groups vandalizing areas of the Greek capital’s downtown as well as the country’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki.
The attacks focused on ATMs and banks considered Capitalist symbols, as well as store glass fronts, which were hit with spray-paint graffiti condemning the police raids that are part of the New Democracy government’s plan to restore law-and-order after the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA was accused of condoning it.
The anarchists hit swiftly, infuriated that one of the raids was on a building they had held in the neighborhood of Koukaki in the shadow of the Acropolis with a man and his two sons complaining they were brutalized by police who stormed into their house to get to the rooftop adjacent to one squat.
The incidents occurred in Mitropoleos street in central Athens and the Tsimiski avenue area in central Thessaloniki, among the most prominent sites in both cites, and usually best patrolled, with reports in Kathimerini and the business newspaper Naftemporiki.
Nine people were arrested during raids on three squats in Koukaki and faced a prosecutor on charges of attempted grievous bodily harm after police said they were hit with thrown objects. Those detained were due to face a misdemeanors court on Dec. 20.
Among those arrested were film director Dimitris Indares and his two sons whose home is next to one of the squats. In audio footage posted online, Indares can be heard berating the police for tying them up.
The police say the brothers were in the squat when officers tried to get in and took part in attacks on officers, authorities claiming the pair fled to the roof and then to the roof of their family home to get away. Police said prosecutors had accompanied police into Indares’ home.