A post on an anarchist website claiming responsibility for a Molotov cocktail attack on police in the downtown Athens Exarchia district in the early hours of Thursday vowed an escalation in violence that would “make December 2008 like a pleasant memory.”
The announcement came shortly after a group of hooded men pelted a riot police unit with stones and makeshift firebombs – without causing any injuries.
The Exarchia attack, the writers of the post claimed, was part of a string of violent incidents over the past few days described by the perpetrators as “an expression of solidarity” with Constantinos Giagtzoglou, a 29-year-old terrorist suspect who was recently transferred from the capital’s Korydallos Prison to a penitentiary in Larissa, central Greece, and has been on hunger strike demanding that he be moved back to Athens.
These have included some 30 to 40 anti-establishment group members staging a sit-in protest on at the offices of the government-affiliated Avgi newspaper in support of Giagtzoglou, while in the early hours of Wednesday a similar number went on a rampage on the central Ermou shopping street, smashing the windows of at least 10 shops.
Also on Wednesday in Thessaloniki, a group of around 10 men set fire to dumpsters outside the northern port city’s Aristotle University, while in the western city of Patra, the Agriculture Ministry came under a hail of Molotov cocktails.
Then in the early hours of Thursday, a branch of SYRIZA, the majority left-wing party in Greece’s coalition government, in the eastern Athens neighborhood of Kaisariani came under attack. The assailants smashed windows and threw a squib into the entrance.
In the meantime, anarchists took over the administrative offices of the University of Thessaly in central Greece and a branch of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University.
This spate of attacks, the writers of the post said, is “a wave that will sweep away the SYRIZA government and make December 2008 seem like a pleasant dream.”
“This time, blood will flow if Dinos dies,” the writers threatened, using the hunger striker’s nickname and referring to the nationwide, week-long riots sparked by the killing of a teenage boy in Exarchia by an off-duty police officer on December 6, 2008.