ATHENS (Reuters) – Rampaging protesters threw petrol bombs at police and set bank ATMs, cars and shops on fire in central Athens on Saturday, the anniversary of the police killing of a teenager six years ago.
Riot police used teargas and water cannon to beat back protesters in the bohemian Exarchia neighbourhood, where about 200 black-clad youths hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at them. A cloud of smoke billowed into the sky from the clashes.
At least two shops were set on fire, and dozens of others damaged. Police said they detained nearly 100 demonstrators.
The clashes erupted after about 6,000 protesters marched to commemorate the 2008 police shooting of AlexandrosGrigoropoulos, an anniversary that normally draws thousands of anti-establishment protesters.
This year’s protest was in solidarity with a jailed self-proclaimed anarchist who witnessed the death of Grigoropoulos and who is now on hunger strike demanding he be allowed to attend university classes.
Nikos Romanos, 21, was sentenced to prison for robbery in October and began his hunger strike on November 10. He is in critical condition in hospital.