8,100 officers on duty for rally

More than 8,100 police officers will be deployed over the next three days to supervise annual events held to commemorate a student uprising, with authorities expected to use their recently given powers to film misbehaving demonstrators at Saturday’s annual march. Interior Ministry sources said police will not be using mobile video cameras to film violent protesters but will switch on traffic cameras to catch any street clashes. Earlier this month, Supreme Court prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas gave police the green light to record street protests with traffic cameras and use the footage as court evidence if criminal acts are committed during the demonstration. The decision allows police to position closed-circuit cameras for public gatherings, such as protest marches and sports events, and then to use any incriminating videotape evidence to identify and prosecute those who have committed crimes. Interior Ministry sources also said the march, in which 15,000 people participated last year, will be supervised along the same lines as 2006 with police officers surrounding possible targets, such as ministries and embassies. «There will be no place we will not search in order to stop people from approaching with petrol or weapons,» said a senior police source. Other innovative measures that could be introduced by police include the introduction of a transparent plastic barrier that will keep violent demonstrators away from the US Embassy. Five demonstrators and three policemen were injured at last year’s march in scuffles while a total of 46 people were detained.