NEWS

Police raids in Exarchia avert violence after rally

YIANNIS SOULIOTIS

TAGS: Crime, Politics

Police on Monday continued with raids on apartment blocks in downtown Exarchia following an unusually quiet night on Sunday, the anniversary of a 1973 student rising against Greece’s junta which usually ends in violent street clashes between anarchists and riot police officers. 

In a raid early on Monday, officers seized a cache of materials usually used in violent demonstrations including firecrackers and rocks, and arrested two men – a 47-year-old cafe worker and a 33-year-old student who are believed to have rented the apartment a few days earlier with the aim of using it as a launchpad for attacks on riot police.

Meanwhile an Athens prosecutor brought charges against 28 suspects who were arrested on Sunday following clashes in Exarchia between self-styled anarchists and riot police.

Four minors were among a total of 32 suspects detained on Sunday. All four minors were released from custody. The other 28 suspects face charges ranging from supplying and being in possession of explosives to insulting police officers and assault, all misdemeanors.

Of the 28, six were detained on Sunday following a raid on the rooftop of an Exarchia apartment block that led to the seizure of materials used to manufacture firebombs.

There was satisfaction in the ranks of the Greek Police as a plan aimed at averting violent clashes on Sunday’s anniversary appeared to have worked, with the upheaval limited to short-lived tensions in Exarchia on Sunday evening, though a young woman sustained minor injuries.

The success of the plan was attributed to the constant presence of riot police officers in and around Exarchia and random ID checks on passers-by as well as raids on rooftops in the area.

Separately the anarchist group Rouvikonas was particularly active, carrying out five actions within 24 hours. Its members targeted the home of Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis in Maroussi

on Sunday, scattering fliers outside it, and later threw red paint at the Vyronas Town Hall. Early on Monday its members used sledgehammers to smash the facade of a cement company in Nea Philadelphia and then threw bottles of paint at the offices of two private power providers near Halandri.

Online