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Athens Protests & Tear Gas- Live Blogging in EN – Oct 19, 2011

Unprecedented! It must be the biggest protest since 1974. Already more than 80,000 protests ( some sources speak of 100,000)  have gathered in front of the Parliament at Syntagma square, just 1,5 hour after the beginning of today’s demonstration. Members of the public and private sector unions and political parties, students and teachers, but also people without a union or party umbrella flock in downtown Athens to raise their voice against the strict austerity measures that crack down the back bones of the society.

This is the latest stand of the protests as of 13:10 local time.

Syntagma Sq by @eltoro80gr

There is a strong police presence and security measures are draconian. Metro stations Syntagma and Evangelismos are closed to passengers.

Κλειστόν... άστυ η Αθήνα!

Athens dowtown under protesters siege

There have been some incidents against police. In Kaisariani suburb of Athens, a group of young people hurled stones against a motorcycle police unit. One policeman is slightly injured. In downtown Athens, another group hurled stones and chairs against a riot police squad.

Μέχρι και η... τρόικα πήγε στην πορεία!

even the “Troika” joined the protests….

The atmosphere is tense.

Only Pigeons are allowed near the Parliament

Powerful demonstrations are taking place in other Greek cities as well. In Iraklio, Crete, owners closed their shops. In Arta, even people who normally refrain from protests gathered today. In Patras, protesters took down an EU flag. In Thessaloniki 40,000 people are estimated to take part in the protests.

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13:20

A group of 40 people dressed in black tried to trigger some riots in the down side of Syntagma Sq. They were pushed back and chased by the ‘people’s security units’. Far-rights? Extreme leftists? Agents provocateurs?

You can see a panoramic vie of the protest outside the Parliament here. Even thought there are occationally technical problems in the live-stream.

***** Do not forget to refresh KTG Live Blogging from time to time *****

14:56    Extensive use of tear gas as protesters tried to break down the fence – unbearable atmosphere – people coughing

Protesters broke the fence and managed to enter the Parliament year. Stong riot police squads are positioned on the two staris tha lead to Parliament.

              Riot Police fired tear gas to hinder the crowds but protesters are too angry to get scared by the tear gas.

Near the Athens University and Akadimias Street, groups hurled stones against policemen, who fired tear gas.

People wearing hoods caused damages to a Bank at Korai street

Protesting taxi owners set garbage bins on fire – police fired tear gas.

Very active is the group of Greek Communist Party (KKE) chanting “We won’t go away”.

*** KTG had a technical problem for almost 2 hs, sorry for the inconvenience ****

molotov cocktails at the Parliament

The stone war continues…

15:12

Fire at one of the outposts of the Parliament  – police extinguished the fire under a cloud of hurled stones.

Protesters chant: ” Set the bord***** Parliament on fire”  , “Bread, Education, Freedom”

 one man injured and fainted

crowds come dangerouly near the Parliament

Video: earlier protesters against the iron /plexiglas fence – Chant “Cops, Pigs, murders”

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 Video: earlier – riot police protesters Akadimias Street

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pic.twitter.com/3p7fnTeB

Outpost on fire

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Protesters call for a strike with a long lastin duration. Odd enough this morning a 60 -year-old man, self-employed who has nothing to do with unions told me ” We have to go on strike for one month. I tell you, the government will fall within 10 days!”

 15:43  There is no sight of calmness… Downtown Athens turned into a real battle field

First injured protesters taken to hospitals with ambulance.

Protesters Chant “Down with the Junta of PASOK and IMF”.

Tear gas has been fired also in Thessaloniki

 

15:58 Unebelievable pulse! Greek media consider today’s protests as the biggest in 40 years.

Clashes continue between riot police and ‘hooded people’.

For those watching Live Streams : the sounds you hear is not shooting, it’s the osund of stun grenades!

Policemen urge people per loudspeakers to leave peacefully!

Incredible: It is the first PM who managed to unite all the society against him….

Athens map showing protesting crowds from @alepouda 

16:12 A group of protesters attacked a police man in downtown Athens, hit him with a hammer on the head and stole his pistol. The policeman was not member of the riot police, but a special quard (Skai TV).

16:26 

Clashes continue between some 200 ‘hooded protesters’ and riot police. Clouds of tear gas arise from Syntagma Sq and in front of the parliament. Police tries to get control of the situation with tear gas and stun grenades..

The peaceful protesters are standing by to see if the situaiton gets under control.

Greek blog nonews-news reported that streets ventors were selling mask at 3 EUR per piece…

Protests in Volos turned violent too, local media report.

16:58

Daylight “disappeared” in front of the Parliament due to tear gas and garbage bins on fire.

 17:00

PM Papandreou concluded his talks with the leaders of opposition parties. He made it clear, he won’t head to early elections. They mad it clear, that they don’t support him. Political Consent? #FAILURE

 Video: earlier when protesters neared the Parliament building

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Syntagma at 16:30

17:08  A recycling bin was set on fire next to the Finance Ministry. Fire brigades have difficulties to reach the spot due to the masses of people.

Some piles of garbage, stranded due to municipality workers strikes, were set on fire.

“Hooded protesters” hurled molotov  cocktails, broke glas windows of bus stops. IT is a wonder where do they find ALL these stones that they hurl against the riot police.

According to latest reports, there are no clashes in front of the Parliament and that thousands of protesters are on stand by to take gain position.

17:15 According to police, 14 policemen have been injured and 3 citizens. 10 detaintions.

17:20

While downtown Athens turned into a hell battle field, inside the Parliament deputies have gathered to discuss and vote in principle about the multi-bill that will dramatically decrease the livign standards of the citizens.  Are they really so thick-skinned not to hear the voices of those who have elected them and pay their salaries and other expenses?

Streets of Athens – more pictures here

 17:35

6 civilians in hospitals – unclear whether due to respiratory problems due to tear gas or due to beating. Also  15  police men have been injured.

Syntagma Square in a dark grey cloud due to the garbage bins fires and tear gas.

 

 18:40

The majority of protesters left Syntagma Sq and the area in front of the Parliament. A relative small group of “hoodies” managed again to split apart a protest that would be the biggest in the last decades.

Riot Police is currently blocking remaining protesters to near the Parliament.

During the last hours there have been only small clashed between riot police and ‘hooded’ portesters.

Earlier on Ermou str, main shopping road

Φωτο NewsIt - Μικροεπεισόδια και στην Ερμού

It looks as if police has the situation under control. Should things change, Live Blogging will start rpeorting again.

Tomorrow, October 20, 2011 is the second day of the general strike and big protests are expected to take place as well.

Thank for reading KTG!

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8 comments

  1. Thanks so far. Have no time to follow the news, but your updates really help!

  2. You need to cause a bank run…

    Tell people a bank run will happen, because banks will go bankrupt when Greece defaults, and people will want to save their money from the banks.

    This is true, but also will cause a stronger bank run, and causing a bank run, is a very easy way to annihilate the government, and cause a significant setback on Troika

    • keeptalkinggreece

      what if the bank runners cause my savings to collapse?

      • That is my whole point.

        Your savings WILL collapse.

        Or you get stuff from banks first, or you risk losing it. And this WILL cause a bank run, if not now, later when the default becomes a visible and clear threat.

      • The collapse of fiat money is coming, it’s only a matter of time. Those people who have large savings in fiat money and none in gold or silver really only have themselves to blame. Not to mention Ancient Greece in 600 BC (some 2,600 years ago) was one of the first countries to invent and start using gold and silver coins, what more of an insult to our forefathers by abandoning the very idea of stable money. Throughout history gold and silver have always been stable money. All historical attempts at basing an economy entirely on fiat money alone has always ended in collapse, time and time again. This time history will be no different, fiat money will return to it’s intrinsic value of zero.

        The warning signs are so obvious, you can take heed or watch your savings get wiped away.

  3. Solidary greetings from Germany. GO ON GREECE!

  4. A sad afternoon indeed. Makes one wonder how much the city is able to deal with. Please have a good and peaceful Thursday.