Friday, December 12, 2008
Greek protests over police killing continue for sixth day
In Athens thousands of high school students protested by blocking roads and surrounding 15 police stations in the capital. In some cases the teenagers clashed with officers inside, throwing stones while in others they handed out flowers.
Despite the cold and rain thousands of anarchists turned out last night in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki to express their anger over the killing of 15 year old, Alexandros Grigoropoulos on Saturday. Although there were tense scenes with the riot police following the marchers the demonstration passed off peacefully.
University students across the country have occupied campuses and are planning more marches to protest the death of Grigoropoulos who was shot by a police offcier in the Exarchia district of Athens on Saturday, sparking off the worst violence Greece has seen in over thirty years.
Early reports printed in the Washingtom Post and now being repeated in the Greek language media indicate that the ballistics report on the bullet that struck the teenager confirm the police officer's account of the incident. The 37 year old, father of three claimed in his statement that he had shot into the air in order to scare off a group of thirty youths who had attacked him and his partner with bottles and rocks.
However, the results of the official report have been met with widespread disbelief as three separate eye witness accounts from local residents say that the policemen had not been under attack at the time of the incident and that the officer had fired directly into the group.
Such contradictions are likely to fuel protest planned for the coming weekend and still further add to a popular sense that the police are not accountable to the Greek justice system.