Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Greek Battlefield - Today on the Streets of Athens
Greek anger over new austerity measures and layoffs erupted into violence outside parliament on Wednesday, as demonstrators hurled chunks of marble and gasoline bombs and riot police responded with tear gas and stun grenades that echoed across Athens' main square.
Police said at least 14 officers were hospitalised with injuries, and at least three journalists covering the demonstrations sustained minor injuries. The violence spread across the city centre, as at least 100-thousand people marched through the Greek capital on the first day of a two-day general strike that unions described as the largest protest in years.
Most of the protesters marched peacefully, but crowds outside of parliament clashed with police who tried to disperse them with repeated rounds of tear gas. Hundreds of rioting youths smashed and looted stores in central Athens on Wednesday after the mass anti-government rally against the new painful austerity measures. Police and rioters held running battles through the narrow streets of central Athens, as thick black smoke from burning rubbish and bus-stops set ablaze filled the city's skyline and obscured its ancient monuments.
A gasoline bomb set fire to a presidential guard sentry post at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside Parliament, while running clashes broke out in several side streets near the legislature and the capital's main Syntagma Square. Nearby, groups of hooded, masked protesters tore chunks of marble off building fronts with hammers and crowbars and smashed windows and bank signs. Scuffles also broke out among rioters and demonstrators trying to prevent youths from destroying storefronts along the march route.
Posted by nickglais on 10/19/2011 12:13:00 PM