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National Day Parades Turn into Protests with Eggs, Yogurts and Black Flags (pcts, videos)

Tension, frustration and anger colour this years’ parades to commemorate Greece’s “NO” (OXI) to the Axis powers on 28th October 1940. In quite some cities across the country, protesters forced state officials to leave the parades, hurling eggs and yogurts, and chanting “Thieves!”

Greek Black Flag

In some cities, the parades were officially cancelled but the parading groups kept their schedule of the day.

Athens: Banner “No to 4th Reich”

In Athens, some school students turned their back to Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou, while teachers and parents groups were urging the students to ‘turn their heads away’. Some protesters were carrying black flags and banners “Greece is not for sale!”. Some eggs were hurled.

Video: Athens – student raise hands with black handkerchiefs

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Video: Music Band of Athens Municipality tied black ribbons on the instruments

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In Patras, a rain of eggs landed at the VIP podium forcing the deputy Defense Minister to escape under strong police escort. Protesters took place at the VIP podium.

Athens …

In Iraklio, Crete, eggs and yogurts were hurled against local politicians.

In Piraeus, protesters booed the politicians and chanted anti-government slogans.

Video: Piraeus – students turn their heads away from politicians

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Pyrgos: Parade  was interrupted when protesters neared the podium and chanted anti-government slogans

In Kalamata a ruling party PASOK deputy was harrased by protesters.

In Rhodes, protestres hurled oragnes against the state officials, while in Serres eggs were hurled agaisnt the local politicians.

Despite the presence of strong police forces, the government reportedly decided not to have police intervene because of the huge crowds of spectators. A police intervention would not only blot the historical day but would also cause a chaos and might harm spectators who usually watch the parades with many young children.

To be continued…

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14 comments

  1. KTG, Can I ask, has that flag been used long as a Greek black flag ? Because others (e.g. me & mine) cherish it for other reasons …. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Piran's_Flag 🙂

    But anyway, it’s good: I for 1 consider it an honour to see such a flag used to protest this devious injustice against the people of Greece. Oxi! All the best KTG and the Greek people: you are inspiring Europe, and more.

    • Greek black flags show ‘mourning’…

      • Hi KTG,

        Thank you, I understand about black for mourning, and the significance of that on Oxi day. I wondered if you could explain please whether you know of a traditional meaning, in Greek context, of the black flag with a white cross (+), which is pictured at the top of this page ?

        Or, perhaps, is this particular flag non-standard ? (There appears to be a word in red letters in the bottom-right corner of the flag.)

        Also, in expressing political sympathies in my comment (maybe a bit too much), I meant no disrespect towards the commemoration of Oxi day.

  2. I think it a great shame that people can not differentiate and have now all to easily forgot the MEANING of OXI DAY.

    There is a play and time for demonstrations against austerity TODAY WAS NOT IT.

    • Gotta say, if it had been me, being forced to walk by these politicians standing at their high podium, I would have done the exact same thing. Not 10 wild horses could have made me look at them..

      Throwing stuff at them, to much, but turning your backs at them, very fitting and think it was well made by the students!

  3. We have an expression in Greek “ekso ap to xoro polla tragoudia leme” meaning that its easy to talk about something you are not involved in…
    Yes the significance of 28th October and “OXI” is great and it has been honored by the Greeks every year since.
    This year it is different. Greece is in crisis and great danger. People are suffering. Money they have worked or working so hard for are being taken away from them. When you take money from a poor person with dignity… oh yes he will and he should protest!
    28th of October and the parade to commemorate “OXI” is the time and the place where most politicians are outside their protected villas or parliaments.That is the day they come “face to face” with the people.And for that reason YES!!! THIS IS THE DAY AND TIME TO PROTEST!!!
    I respect your opinions my dear not-greek friends… but you have no idea how it is, unless you have lived in Greece