Anti-war march ends on low key

Riot police had to resort to using tear gas yesterday evening against left-wing demonstrators trying to march from the center of town to the US Embassy, in order to protest against the weekend visit to Athens of US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Around 1,000 people joined in the march, which was organized by anti-war and left-wing groups and started after 7 p.m. at the old Athens university building on central Panepistimiou Avenue. Protesters proceeded peacefully to the top of Syntagma Square, where they were informed by police that they could go no further. The Public Order Ministry had warned in advance that the march would not be allowed to go any further, as this would play havoc with security and transportation arrangements for foreign dignitaries staying for the Olympics at the Hilton Hotel – which lies on the marchers’ planned route. Nobody was hurt during the minor confrontation, while a small group of anarchists briefly skirmished with riot police before dispersing. A similar march will take place today at 11 a.m.

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