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17 Νοε 2011

Live Blog - 1973 uprising anniversary rally (Nov.17, 2011)

22:00 Thessaloniki: uni students & faculti outside the campus entrance chanting slogans against violation of asylum by riot police. Students rally to the city centre
21:41 Thessaloniki: riot police left from Aristotle uni premises
21:18 Thessaloniki: police enters into the school of Theology yard via @alterthess

20:50 Thessaloniki: 7000 people rallied at the US consulate. Clashes between protesters and police at the moment 
19:15 70 people detained for questioning and 4 arrested in Athens
18:45 Communist party's demo is now over.
18:35 Police raises the number of demonstrators to 25000. Communist party & PAME union still at 7000 people who almost reach US embassy
18:15 Clashes in Mavili square, a stone's throw from US embassy. Police estimates the crowd size joining the demo at 20.000 while 7000 marched with the Communist Party of Greece and the affiliated PAME union.
18:05 The demo is massive as expected Pic by @giopso

17:50 Police has reportedly made 60 detentions until now. Communist Party of Greece and the affiliated PAME uniot at Syntagma square, outside the parliament on their way to the US embassy which is safeguarded by 200 officers
15:41 Communist backed trade unionists of PAME, start marching now. The rest of the demonstrators are a stone's throw from the final destination, the US embassy.
17:20 a few minor clashes broke out between protesters and riot police outside the War Museum. The rally heads on. 
17:00 Protester hurled molotov coctail at riot police officers who responded by firing tear gas. Two arrests were made 
14:50 Syntagma square: Eleftherotypia newspaper journos on the front who have been unpaid for 3 months, followed by lefties

16:30 People have already started marching. Greek Federation of State School Teachers (OLME) joins the demo. Pic from @cocobilly

16:00 Riot police blocks access in the lower side of Syntagma from the Association of Imprisoned & Exiled Resistants. Eventually police backed off. Pic by @cocobilly

15:47 Syntagma square now

15:15 Riot police has blocked access from streets surrounding Polytechnio campus- the same tactic was used last year as well

people in Klafthmonos sq pic from @patsiko_ 14:55
15:00 random demonstrators in Syntagma square outside the parliament
14:52 arround 2500 people gathered at the starting point of the rally
14:51 constant stop-and-search tactics from police, mainly on youths in central Athens and various tube stations
14:44 20 preventive arrests have been reportedly made in central Athens. Riot police outside the parliament at the moment
14:35 Police has blocked the traffic flow from the following streets in central Athens: Patission, Stournari, Solonos, Ippokratous as well as Alexandras Ave  

14:18 No demonstrators in Syntagma square (next to the parliament) at the moment. Heavy police presence on the surrounding roads
14:00 People start gathering in Klafthmonos square - the meeting point from where the rally is supposed to start via @doleross

13:29 Polytechic University gates have been closed, ceremony will begin at 14:00 and the rally commences approximately a couple of hours later than that.
13:15 Police vans across Sygrou Ave near Panteio University. Although it's a bit far from Polytechnic campus, bear in mind that the academic asylum law  which guaranteed students sanctuary from arrest or state brutality has been repealed. People have passed by Patission St. to lay a carnation at a monument outside the yard of Polytechnic campus, honoring students killed in the 1973 pro-democracy uprising. 

11:30 The following tube stations will be closed: Panepistimio at 12:00, Syntagma at 13:00, Evangelismos & Megaro Mousikis at 15:00

Thousands of people are expected to take part in today's annual march, to mark the 38th anniversary of university students' uprising, against the 7 years dictatorship of Giorgos Papadopoulos - backed by the US government. The rally's destination has always been the US Embassy of Athens, but this year for some groups of anarchists, it will be Syntagma square outside the parliament. Recent developments in Greek politics have made this day a timely reminder for two reasons:
1) After long negotiations upon the new coalition government's structure, four MPs from far-right LAOS group, have managed to hold cabinet posts. One of them, the Minister of Transport & Infrastructure, Makis Voridis, used to be -back in the '80s- the president of the "National Political Union", founded by imprisoned former dictator G. Papadopoulos (mentioned above). The party is known by its Greek acronym EPEN. Further details about the inconvenient truth for M.Voridis' background, could be found here.
2) The academic asylum law was introduced in early '80's to protect freedom of thought and expression. It made it illegal for police to enter university property without the permission of rectors, which guaranteed students sanctuary from arrest or state brutality...until this August though when the government repealed the academic asylum law

Around 7000 officers are expected to be on duty, some of them with plain clothes, reinforced by anti-terrorism units and 12 prosecutors on guard. Since the abolishment of the academic asylum law has sparked resentment, the police is not eager to take full responsibility of handling clashes that may occur inside the campus and will use stop-and-search tactics and preventive arrests. University faculties and professors' associations argue that although the responsibility does not lie with the academic community, however it will do its best to keep uni premises intact. The dean of Aristotle University, stressed out that "nobody is above the law, only our traditions and the academic asylum is a long academic tradition itself, associated with free movement of ideas, autonomy and independence from any external factor".

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