Migrant supporters scuffle with police near Parliament

Members of an initiative campaigning for the granting of legal residence in Greece to nearly 300 undocumented migrants who are in the fifth week of a hunger strike on Tuesday scuffled with police officers who stopped them from staging a press conference outside the side entrance to Parliament.

Police stopped the activists from setting up a press conference with a briefing on the health of the 287 migrants, 230 of whom are in Athens and the other 50 in Thessaloniki. Around 40 of the hunger strikers have been hospitalized, some with acute kidney failure.

Of the dozens of supporters who had gathered outside Parliament on Tuesday to express their solidarity with the hunger striking migrants, some claimed to have been jostled by the police. Writer Vassilis Alexakis, who attended the demonstration, accused the police of using tactics reminiscent of Greece?s military dictatorship, which fell in 1974. ?We came here to speak about the hunger strikers and they hit us, they pushed us, they kicked us,? Alexakis said.

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