Refugee puppet procession in Athens cancelled due to protests

Refugee puppet procession in Athens cancelled due to protests

The creators of the giant puppet Little Amal, which is on a 5,000-mile journey from Turkey to Britain to highlight the plight of Syrian refugees and the stories of the millions of youngsters traveling alone, cancelled the procession of the figure through a central Athens neighbourhood on Friday after extreme-right protestors gathered in the area.

There were violent scenes around Karaiskaki Square, in Metaxourgio, where extreme right-wing elements and anti-authoritarian counter-protesters had gathered.

Police fired tear gas and flash grenades at anti-authoritarians, who they said attacked a riot police squad.

On Thursday, the procession of the Amal puppet proceeded peacefully from Asomaton Square in Monastiraki to the Technopolis cultural centre.

The giant wooden 3.5-meter-tall living artwork by a young Syrian refugee is passing through several cities in Greece and has for the most part been warmly embraced since it arrived from Turkey.

After Greece, Little Amal will go to Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and finally the UK where her journey will end in Manchester on November 3.

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