ATHENS – A special police water cannon was deployed to control rioting that began in Athens’ Exarchia district and around the Athens Polytechnic building on Saturday evening, after the events marking the 45th anniversary of the November 17, 1973 student uprising at the Polytechnic.
Police were dousing Patission Street with water on the side of the Polytechnic where several people had gathered, throwing firebombs, stones and pieces of marble against police, who replied with flash grenades and teargas to disperse the rioters.
Rioting was also underway throughout the Exarchia district, with Greek police drones and a police helicopter flying over certain points.
The rioting broke out around the Polytechnic building and the Exarchia district, with youths lobbing stones and fire bombs at police from the grounds of the Polytechnic and incidents reported on Stournari, Tositsa and Tsamadou streets. Those involved had set up roadblocks and were throwing firebombs, stones and various other objects at police.
Meanwhile, traffic police announced that all roads in central Athens had reopened except Patission Street, between Omonia and the start of Alexandras Avenue, though traffic along both lanes of Alexandras Avenue is moving normally.
Rioting was also reported after the annual protest march to the US Consulate in Thessaloniki, where protestors again holed up in the city’s Polytechnic, lit fires and set up roadblocks from which they attacked police with stones, firebombs and other items. Police responded with heavy use of tear gas, filling the air with smoke and choking fumes.
The 45th anniversary march in Patras similarly ended with scuffles in the city centre, during which five people were detained by the authorities.
Eight Detained for Incidents on Alexandras Ave; Rioting in Exarchia
Eight people were detained by the police during clashes with rioters on Alexandras Avenue on Saturday evening, outside the Ambelokipi metro station and the Hellenic Police central headquarters. The detainees have been taken to the state security police.
The incidents occurred after the annual protest march to the US Embassy, held each year to mark the anniversary of the November 17, 1973 student uprising at the Athens Polytechnic. They erupted with an anarchist bloc was passing through the Panormou Street and Alexandras Avenue junction and a group attacked police men standing outside the station with stones, lengths of wood and fire extinguishers.
The police responded with the use flashbang grenades and chemicals to drive the rioters back, while they also gave chase and detained eight individuals.
In the meantime, rioting broke out around the Polytechnic building and the Exarchia district generally, with youths lobbing stones and fire bombs at police from the grounds of the Polytechnic and incidents reported on Stournari, Tositsa and Tsamadou streets. Those involved have set up roadblocks and are throwing firebombs, stones and various other objects at police, who replied with teargas and flash grenades.