Aftermath of Grigoropoulos Anniversary Rally in Athens: Fire and Destruction [Videos]

zimies_AthensThe neighborhood of Exarcheia and several major streets in downtown Athens, Greece, looked like they were bombarded after Saturday’s riots that marked the sixth anniversary of teenager Alexandros Grigoropoulos‘ assassination by a policeman.

Burned vehicles and bank ATMs, broken store windows and bus stops, looted shops and destroyed traffic lights were some of the extensive damages in the area.

According to the police, 296 people were arrested, 253 of them were released later while 43 were taken to jail, pending charges. Police also announced that 12 officers were injured.


“The damages were equal to those in 2008,” said Athens Deputy Mayor Giorgos Apostolopoulos. Assessing the situation, the Deputy Mayor spoke of major damages in Exarcheia Square, Omonia Square and Panepistimiou street. “There are always a few trouble-makers destroying the city’s image,” he said.

“Downtown Athens businesses are repeatedly damaged by demonstrations, protest rallies and vandalism,” said Giorgos Floros, board member of the Athens Chamber of Tradesmen.

Greek police have received a lot of fire over the riots handling. Protesters spoke of excessive use of force and brutality. A video released by Reuters shows a policeman hitting a man who is already handcuffed.

Another video – allegedly from the Patras riots – that was released by an individual, shows a riot squad member putting a molotov cocktail in a sack. Police headquarters announced that the particular video is not from Saturday’s riot but from a previous one.