Organizers of the Macedonia protest in Athens insist that protesters were one and a half million people. One the other hand the Greek Police insists that there were no more than estimated 140,000 protesters spread over an area of 50,000 square meters. Police considers that 2 to 3 people cover an area of one square meter.
Footage shot by a police helicopter and released by Greek Police Sunday afternoon seems to confirm the official numbers.
As I said on the Live Blog earlier, had protesters been 1,5 million people, the crowd should have been standing up to Hilton hotel and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. But they did not. The crowd hardly reached the Zappeion area on Amalias Avenue and the end of the National Garden on Vassilisis Sofias Avenue. Everybody who lives in Athens and has seen real huge protests knows that.
Furthermore, police said in its statement that a total of 283 buses carrying protesters from all over Greece to Athens were registered at the tolls before entering the Greek capital.
Here is a graph I found on social media: calculates: surface of the protest zone X people per m2.
via @episodiakos on Twitter
UPDATE Meanwhile, it turned out that the police video had no date and time if was shot triggering an outcry among those claiming that the number of participants was much bigger.
Minister for Citizen Protection, Nikos Toskas, said time and date were erased as they were wrong showing 1.1.2018. Toskas said that the video was shot at 2:55 pm, at the peak of the protest and that the police estimate of 140,000 people was accurate. “It has nothing to do with political expediency,” he said adding “if there were one or one and a half million people the crowd could have reached the district of Ambelokipoi.
…And Syggrou-Fix in the South, I would add.
So far the estimates are:
Greek Police: 140,000 people
Organizers: 1,000,000 – 1,500,000 people
KTG: 150,000 – max 200,000 people.
Even 140,000 people is a huge turnout, Greeks have not seen even in the biggest anti-austerity protests.
The dispute continues.