NEWS

Protesters return to Athens for a second day

Thousands of people demonstrating against austerity measures braved heavy rain in Athens to protest in front of Parliament for a second consecutive day on Thursday.

After a notable first day of protest in Athens and other Greek cities on Wednesday, thousands of people who are following the example of ?The Indignant? demonstrators in Spain gathered in Athens and other city centers on Thursday.

Social networking sites were abuzz with discussions about Wednesday?s protest and people were invited to return on Thursday to keep up the pressure on politicians over austerity measures and the quality of life in Greece.

Apart from Athens, protests were also held on Wednesday in Thessaloniki, Patra, Larissa, Volos, Rethymno and Hania.

Such protests are something of a rarity for Greece as they are not linked to a particular party or political philosophy and not organized by labor unions.

More than 10,000 people crowded into and around Syntagma Square for a peaceful demonstration, chanting, ?Thieves, thieves? and making offensive hand gestures at the unseen lawmakers in Parliament behind a row of riot police officers. Another 5,000 or so gathered in the center of Thessaloniki.

The few banners in the crowds bore slogans that betrayed no allegiance to any political party. ?What time is it? Time for them to go,? one banner read.

The protests were organized using social networking sites including Facebook, following the example of the Spanish campaign that has been driven largely by young people.

The Greek initiative even adopted the name of Spain?s, Los Indignados, with groups calling themselves ?The Indignant of Syntagma Square? and ?The Indignant of the White Tower,? in a reference to the Thessaloniki landmark.

Online