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New Democracy Will Put Limits on Small Street Protests

February 17, 2020

ATHENS – In a measure likely to bring protests itself, the ruling New Democracy will send to the Parliament it controls measures that will limit small demonstrations to only parts of roads or move them to other areas to prevent traffic disruptions in the Greek capital.

The bill, seen by Kathimerini will also allow police to designate an alternate route or area for a march if it threatens to disrupt social and business activity, effectively putting curbs on the protests.

Each march will be assigned an “organizer”  responsible for making sure it’s peaceful and with cooperation with police, the designated person responsible for any damage – but cleared if precautions were taken – as marches often are taken over by violent anarchists.

The bill would also create a police liaison between the authority overseeing the demonstration and the organizer but it wasn’t explained how police could prevent anarchists from showing up or stop them from throwing objects and Molotov Cocktails.

A digital platform will also be created to provide citizens with real-time information on march routes and traffic arrangements with the bill making it a criminal offense for anyone to participate in a demonstration prohibited by police.

Disrupting a demonstration will be a criminal offense if it becomes violent and the measure will let police stop a march if it’s deemed unlawful or the protesters don’t behave orderly or in compliance with what the police want them to do.

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