NEWS

Indignant movement draws largest crowd

Tens of thousands of demonstrators converged in and around Syntagma Square on Sunday for a 12th day of protests against the goverment?s ongoing austerity drive.

The crowd in central Athens was the largest since the campaign began with the turnout estimated at 80,000 and police out in force. Following a dip in numbers at rallies toward the end of last week, yesterday?s crowd spilled out of Syntagma Square and into surrounding streets.

It appears that a larger number of Greeks were inspired to join Sunday?s protest as rallies were also taking place in Spain and Portugal, which have similar economic problems. Greece?s self-professed ?Indignant Citizens? -modeled on a movement with the same name that was launched in Spain last month – have pledged to continue their protests until the government reacts.

A few government backbenchers have expressed support though most have dismissed the movement as vague and lacking direction.

Critics outside the government have drawn attention to the range of slogans on the banners raised by protesters. Apart from anti-austerity slogans such as ?Take back your measures? and ?Greece is not for sale,? other messages rail against racism and demand more rights for migrants.

Organizers of the Indignant movement say that their unifying themes are opposition to austerity and their independence from the labor unions that usually organize protest rallies in Greece.

On Saturday, members of the Communist-backed labor union PAME organized a demonstration in Athens to protest rising unemployment and ongoing austerity.