NEWS

Scuffles break out between protesters, police

scuffles-break-out-between-protesters-police

Riot police used tear gas and flash bangs on Tuesday to disperse a crowd of a few dozen protesters gathered outside Athens University to mark the 1973 student uprising against the military dictatorship. The scuffles were brief, according to reports, and the protesters soon dispersed.

The government has imposed a ban on marches and rallies on Tuesday and Wednesday, fearful of them turning into super-spreader events in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

A few mostly leftwing groups and parties defied the ban and held low-key marches, though most gatherings proceeded without incident, and with participants maintaining physical distancing and wearing masks.

Leftist opposition SYRIZA, which had spoken out against the ban, held a muted wreath-laying ceremony at the historic campus of Athens Polytechnic.

Around 200 members of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) were prevented from reaching the American Embassy during a march, however, while a small rally was also held by the leftwing Mera25 party.

Some 5,000 police officers – with aerial support from helicopters and drones – have been deployed in Athens to prevent the customary November 17 rallies and marches.

Seven people have been remanded on suspicion of planning to organize or take part in a banned event.