Twenty six protesters, who were arrested in Thessaloniki after storming in the Thessaloniki Cathedral and disrupting the liturgy, were cleared on Monday, August 1. They were found innocent on the counts of exhibiting offensive behavior during the time of religious worship.
The 26 people arrested were protesting the evacuation of buildings across the city that had previously been occupied. However, despite being cleared, 19 of them were sentenced for the act of contempt for refusing to undergo forensic marking. The court imposed a six-month suspended prison sentence and they were freed pending appeal.
According to Greek police, the raid on the Cathedral was directly linked to the demolition of a former orphanage which had been occupied by members of anti-establishment groups. The demolition of the orphanage, and raids on several other squats, prompted the condemnation of leftist ruling party SYRIZA which expressed support for “solidarity initiatives.”