Police poised to take strict security measures for Nov. 17 anniversary

Police poised to take strict security measures for Nov. 17 anniversary

Helicopters, drones and 5,000 police officers will be deployed as part of the tight security operation planned by police in central Athens on November 17, on the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising at the Athens Polytechnic.

"The police force has taken all necessary measures and will do whatever is possible to ensure the events for the Polytechnic are carried out smoothly. It is on standby to protect, among others, public buildings and especially universities," police sources told state-run news agency ANA-MPA.

The security measures will once again be focused on the Exarcheia district, from where anti-establishment rioters traditionally mount raids on police after the end of the main march for the anniversary.

Greek Police (ELAS) said that they also have plans for dealing with attackers that climb up onto the roofs of buildings in the area in order to launch various objects at police.

Authorities will also use the helicopters and drones to relay visual images to the operations centre, so that police have a complete picture of what is happening.

Officers in plain clothes will also be deployed throughout the district.

Government buildings, embassies, universities and especially the Economic University of Athens – where a police raid uncovered helmets, clubs, hoods and other paraphernalia used by rioters at the weekend – will be heavily guarded.

Police believe these areas in universities served as a base for the rioters in their attacks on police and, following the recent abolition of university asylum laws, police will be able to operate within universities.

This will also be the inaugural deployment of the newly-formed motorcycle police unit “Drasi,” which has replaced the “Delta” unit.

Fifty police officers in five groups of 10, mounted on motorbikes, will be constantly patrolling the areas around central Athens and Exarchia, supporting the MAT riot police.

ELAS leadership has instructed police on patrol to take measures to protect themselves, warning that there is a risk they will come under attack. [ANA-MPA]

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