Between 2,000-3,000 police and riot officers have been assigned to monitor two rallies in downtown Athens on Tuesday marking the eight-year anniversary since the fatal police shooting of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos.
University and school groups gathered at noon at the Propylaia in front of Athens University, with further rallies expected in the afternoon by leftwing and anti-establishment groups at 5 and 6 p.m. respectively. Similar protests are being held in other cities around the country to commemorate the December 6, 2008, shooting of Grigoropoulos by a police officer in the downtown Athens district of Exarchia.
A memorial gathering is also planned at 9 p.m. at the spot where the 15-year-old schoolboy was gunned down by special police guard Epaminondas Korkoneas, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2010.
The 2008 had shooting had sparked widespread rioting in central Athens but also in other parts of the country, prompting authorities to take tougher security measures on every anniversary.
Police are particularly concerned about this year’s events after the discovery over the weekend of a large cache of Molotov cocktails in an abandoned building in Exarchia.
Security measures include the closure of the Panepistimio and Syntagma metro stations from 3 p.m. and until further notice from the police. Trains will pass through the stations without stopping. Police are also closing down main roads in the downtown area to traffic.