Athens Mass Protests: Petrol Bombs, Tear Gas, Stun Grenades Sept 26/2012 – Live Blogging

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Greece fevers with a massive 24-hour general strike as more than 30 trade unions participate in the anti-austerity mobilization organized by public and private sector unions ADEY and GSEE. The strike comes just days before the announcement of an additional austerity package of 11.5 billion euro and extra taxes of 2 billion euro. With the austerity package Greeks will see their wages and pensions to undergo further cuts.  A new Troika imposed taxation system is expected to abolish tax free amounts for self-employed and freelancers. All these measures will come , while recession is at -7% and unemployment at 23.6% with galloping tendency. More than 1:2 youth is without job.

It is the first general strike and organized mass protest since Samaras’s coalition government took office after the elections in June.

16:00

Anti-austerity protests and clashes are over. A bunch of rioters managed for one more time to dissolve a peaceful demonstration.

We’ve seen this film before….

The journalist detained earlier for bearing a gas mask in his bag was released after intervention of the journos’ union.

The number of protesters has been estimated as 100,000 people.

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15:48

Police against female protesters. It looks as if protesters booed police for detentions.

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15:30

All calm in front of the Parliament and Syntagma Square.

Some main streets are given back to traffic.

Riot police and motorcycled police still around.

Unconfirmed reports speak of 3-4 injured protesters.

There is talk of 104 detentions.

The main protest is over, however it seems that there is still tension in some areas of downtown Athens.

15:14

The fire in the National Garden has been extinguished.

15:06

State NET TV: “Riot Police repelled rioters from Syntagma to Omonia Square [some 1.5 km away]. Dozens of detentions. There are still riots near Omonia Sq.”

Some protesters claimed on Twitter that police fired tear gas inside the <Omonia> Metro station.

15:04

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Americans for Greek People” – Tourists I suppose…

 

14:54

Tension seems diffused on the upper part of Syntagma Sq. Protesters’ blocks returned and keep marching in front of the Parliament.

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14:50

There are reports that police has detained unknown number of protesters. Info still to be confirmed.

14:44

Burned down stand of Athens Air Show

14:40

Tree (s) are burning at the National Garden, next to the Parliament. The National Garden was closed to the public today for …security reasons.

Where are the water canons riot police deployed against protesters?

 

14:31

Real weird picture right now: police isolated the area in front of Hotel Grande Bretagne, organized protesters were advised to pass through the Syntagma Sq (which was forbidden territory earlier), reach the parliament and go left, while on the right side (Tram station) riot police fires tear gas against other groups.

I think Greeks learned one thing after two years of IMF-austerity and riots: to calmly fullfil their duty for a protest rally, while the rest of the world is falling apart.

 

14:29

Reports of some 70 hoodies trying to create tension in several spots around Syntagma Sq. Apparently they have been booed by the protesters.

14:27

smoke from tear gas at Syntagma Square as protesters’ blocks move forward

 

14:18

Reports of protesters throwing petrol bombs at police and police firing tear gas and stun grenades.

14:13

Protester climbs on the iron fence – situation remains calm.

However there are indications uploaded to Twitter by protesters that there might be a forceful disolving of the protest march.

14:07

The smart slogan

Word game from ‘unemployment’ and ‘strike” – something like “We Un-Strike”?

 

14:00

Protesters still flocking to Parliament.

Correction: Unconfirmed reports claim that riot police squads in Xenofontos street and near Zappeion (SE from Palriament) put on their gas masks. A bit earlier there was some tension on Stadiou street as protesters wearing hoods tried to enter the teachers’ block marching towards the parliament.

13:57

Four-legged protesters

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Famopus Athens riot dog, Loukanikos, has ended his protester career for …security reasons.

13:44

Tension rose a bit earlier as protesting members of  municipality workers union tried to take down the iron fence outside the Parliament. They hurled water bottles at riot police squads.

Στήθηκε και ο φτάκτης

Iron fence protecting Parliament and Prime Minister’s office.

 

13:42

Estimations speak of more than 30,000 protesters in downtown Athens.

13:41

Unconfirmed information claim a Greek journalist was detained for carrying a gas mask in his bag.

13:40

According to some  Greek websites, members of extreme-right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) are expected to join the mass protest after 2 p.m.

13:38

Protesting artists : Culture is Dead

 

13:27

Slogan “Aki, Giorgaki, Voulgaraki, behind prison bars there is no fakelaki” with reference to former defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos (PASOK) currently in prison waiting for trial for alleged bribes and money laundering; “Giorgaki” is the nick name for ex PM Papandreou who took the country to IMF; Voulgarakis, former minister of  Nea Dimocratia whose name is involved in latest alleged scandal. “Fakelaki” is the common Greek word to describe money given under the table in an envelope.

So many words to explain a single slogan lol

13:22

Protesters in front of Greek Parliament

12:58 pm

Members of security forcess protest without uniform.

Last night the chief of Greek General Staff forbade the wearing of uniforms during protests.

At the same time, Greek police launched an internal investigation  against the policeman who symbolically hung himself outside the Finance Ministry on Sept 6, 2012.

12:56 pm

There is a RT-Live Streaming with the protest outside the Parliament.

12:45 pm

Protesting mothers of 3 children – “You are children murderers!!!”, “Borders need guards and arms need men”

Families with 3 children experience sharp income decreases due to child allowances cuts.

12:39 pm

Strong police forces are deployed outside the big hotels in downtown Athens

Police, protesters outside Hotel Grande Bretagne right at Syntagma Sq. oppsotie Greek Parliament

12:37 pm

According to police estimations, protesters of Communist union PAME are 12,000-13,000, members of ADEDY-GSEE 2,000-3,000.

Protesters outside the Parliament (via news247.gr)

12:32 pm

Information speak of some 60 “preventive” detentions in Athens.

12:30 pm

Police has deployed five water canons in downtown Athens in ‘order to limit the usage of tear gas’ should the situation get out of control.

12:10 pm

Banner - Trade Federation: “NO to havoc of enterprises”

Public services are on halt. Hospitals work for emergencies only, shops are closed until early afternoon, ferries remain docked, only to mention a few of the sectors that are paralyzed today. Security measures are high especially outside the Greek Parliament. Main roads in downtown Athens have been closed to traffic as the the first protesters started to march towards the parliament.

Central slogan: “SOS Save the country but first of all the people.”

As early as ten o’clock in the morning, protesters started to gather in Athens but also in several major cities like Thessaloniki, Patras, Lamia, Iraklion.

Εθνικός Κήπος: Κλειστόν λόγω πορείας

Padlock at National Garden, right next to Greek Parliament

For security reasons, police closed two metro stations (Syntagma & Panepistimiou) in the city centre but also the National Garden.

Patras: Free Coffee to Protesters by the union of catering & entertainment

Greek media are on work stoppage between 11 am and 3 pm. However many websites and social media report from the protest rallies.

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