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12 Φεβ 2012

LIVE BLOG on anti-austerity protests: Feb 10-11 & 12


01:00 Recap of the day's main events 

"Greece en rage", might be an accurate description of what happened today.

  • Several preventive detentions in Athens took place before even the demo starts. 
  • Massive turnout as expected.The crowd was dispersed very early though, around 17:30-18:00 when tensions aroused on the front side of the demo and riot police officers started hurling teargas to repel demonstrators on the lower side of the square.
  • The demo was split, but protesters remained en masse in the nearby roads, to avoid clouds of tear gas filling the air...which was literally unbearable. With sheer determination they attempted to get back on the spot but riot squad tactics were aimed at halting the demo. This cat-and-mouse chase kept for 3,5 hours.
  • There were reports by journalists of policemen attacking on random people, protesting peacefully.
  • Paul Mason, the BBC correspondent was attacked by a bunch of far right protesters as they thought he was German. The worst was prevented thanks to other people's intervention.
  • Clashes spread across the city, with banks and retail outlets set on fire. Estimated number of arsoned buildings at 10  45.
  • 100 people suffered injuries, while 74 have been arrested and 92 detained.
  • In Thessaloniki 28.000 people demonstrated (including PAME members) and clashes broke out between protesters and riot police as well.
    Feb 12, 2012 Demonstrators flooding the streets outside the parliament before clashes pic @Jaquou Utopie

00:30 Vote on the new austerity plan at Parliament is starting now.
00:00 PM finished his speech to the Parliamentm vote will follow soon.
Greek Police suggests that there has been an organised plan to burn banks and other buildings in Athens and Thessaloniki.
Prime Minister, Government and Police websites are down right now.
00:01 Police is now trying to "wipe out" city center from remaining looting youth and demonstrators. Many detentions. Tear gas and grenades at Monastiraki square. via @doleross and @Menacius
PM Lucas Papademos just addressed the Parliament.
23:55 Tweets from the Battle for Athens via @IrateGreek 
23:55 Volos Town Hall on fire. Firemen cannot reach. Tax office of Volos has been looted, files have been destroyed. A building of a bank that was set on fire has just collapsed. via @doleross
22:47 Christos Papoutsis,Minister for Civil Protection has just resigned.

23:42 Clashes and attacks are being spread now around Exarcheia. An attack to the police station of the area is reported. Police is organising a "safe zone" around syntagma.
23:27 Around 500ppl remaining outside the parliament,most of them youths with malox applied on their face by @Inflammatory_23:21  Ermou st: thuggish riot cops harrass citizens. Further down, looting of shops. Police protects parliament.
Photo from Thessaloniki by @dvdbou

23:16 Thessaloniki: evening demo on right now. @CrippleHorse reported extreme police violence.
23:10  confirms instances of looting in various parts of downtown Athens.
23:09 Major police attatcks in Thessaloniki. 23 detentions at the attempt of occupation of Athens Town Hall.

23:06 Stadiou St Security alarms,barricade remnants,paving stonesrandom ppl walking fire smoke via @Inflammatory_

22:58  It is confirmed that protesters are in the city hall of Athens and riot police outside. Ianos bookstore is on fire via @alterthess
About one hour ago, MPs were watching football match at the Parliament cafe wgile discussions at plenary were on. MPs yelled on MP Eva Kaili when she tried to make them go back to the plenary.
photo via 

22:54 Protesters tried to occupy Athens Town hall but were repelled by police. Meanwhile, ex Mayor of Athens said that Government and Regional administration of Attiki are thinking of putting Athens in emergency situation.

22:48 Things are calm now at Law School.

22:42 Police is trying to repel demonstrators from Amalias str. towards Syggrou avenue. Several buildings still on fire in Athens and Thessaloniki.
Reportsabout clashes and police attacks around occupied Law School.

22:40 Hotel Amalias close to Syntagma has been atatcked by police who teargased inside. People at the hotel have been helping out demonstrators and injures people during the demo. 

21:41 outside greek parliament now via @modestospk
21:37 Paul Mason tweets that he and his crew are fine thanks to other protesters' intervention
21:32 Around 40 ppl attacked at a police station. It is estimated that 10 buildings have been set on fire. Demonstrators who have been remaining in stadiou are on their way to Syntagma again. Random protesters were assaulted by police in Mitropoleos area.
21:23 BBC journalist Paul Mason was attacked by a bunch of far-right demonstrators as they thought he was German. Check @paulmasonnews timeline on twitter
21:09 Buildings in stadiou and korai on fire via @akoupook

21:06 Alpha Bank branch of Panepistimiou in central Athens on fire
20:48 This pic was taken in Zapeio by @modestospk, a stone's throw from the parliament. This bunch of people is one of many that remain determined in random areas of central Athens, despite teargas use. 
20:45 SkaiTV reports that police is running low of teargas and is asking for additional supplies
20:36 Journalist @xstefanou reports police attack on random demonstrators near Metropoleos area
20:34 Volos town hall occupied
20:32 More than 3000 ppl in Rethymno demo
20:17 10 people in total suffering injuries and breathing problems. Protesters that have come back home claim massive turnout...exceeding summer demos. Excessive teargas use has made the atmposphere unbearable but people remain determined.
20:05 PAME union members remain in Omonoia indeed
20:03 Riot police hurling stones over demonstrators
20:00 There are unconfirmed reports that a Starbucks outlet and a Eurobank branch have been set alight.
19:46 People from occupied Law School encourage demonstrators from loudspeakers to remain in syntagma
19:39 More than 10.000 demonstrators in Patra. In syntagma people 
19:34 Protesters in Amalias chanting slogans. Pic by @ypopto_mousi
Αμαλίας μπροστα απο το ξενοδοχείο πολύς λαός με τύμπανα κ τραγούδια #12fgr

19:20 Random clashes across central Athens
19:16 Another man suffering injuries in front of the ministry of Finance
19:10 Demonstrators from Syntagma now in Monastiraki to protect themselves from teargas use pic via @ioann_a

19:05 15.000 people joining Thessaloniki's demo now. Pic by @northaura

18:59 Syntagma remains a battlefield. Demonstrators are determined to stay. Police tactic to repel them in the lower side of the square.
18:57 PAME union members approaching Syntagma
18:56 Police officer recording demonstrators with a camera 
18:39 demonstrators in Panepistimiou, a stone's throw from Syntagma. Trying to protect themselves from tear gas use. Pic by @csyllas
πανεπιστημιου #rbnews

18:26 One man reportedly being injured but received first aid. One photojournalist hit by petrol bomb
18:22 Protesters are determined to stay, police tactics to repel them
18:20 Most of the demonstrators remain packed in the streets around the square. 
18:15 Syntagma sq has become a battlefield. Smoke rises from a barricade of bins set alight in order to dilute tear gas which has filled the air. 
18:09 The demo is not over. People are determined to stay
18:04 Protesters in syntagma sq have been dispursed. Some of them set bins alight as the air is unbearable from tear gas via @ypopto_mousi
Ο κόσμος ανάβει φωτιές για τα χημικά #f12gr

17:58 Some protesters remain in the upper side of Syntagma were clashes occured and tear gas was hurled. The air is unbearable. Most of the demonstrators have been removed on the lower side of the square pics by @ypopto_mousi
Ατμόσφαιρα αποπνικτική Μάχη απο αριστερά της βουλής #12fgr

17:50 Riot policeman hit by flare on the face. Ambulance on the spot to pick him up.
17:44 Protesters hurling objects at police lines. Tear gas filled the air. Pic by @ioann_A

17:41 Stun grenade hurled over protesters who were repelled backwards. 
17:38 Minor clashes now in the front of the parliament opposite riot police men. Stun grenades hurled by police. 
17:32 Thousands have flooded Syntagma reminding summer demos turnout pic via @athkork

17:19 Mikis Theodorakis arrived in Syntagma
17:16 Over 10.000 PAME communist backed labor union members in Omonoia sq chanting slogans
17:08 Massive participation in Thessaloniki as well via @gazakas

16:57 Packed already in Syntagma...and the official time the demonstration was called is 17:00 (local) Pic by @leuteris and @giannis_g respectively

16:50 Police water cannon in Irodou Attikou st, a stone's throw from the demonstration via @monachus

16:48 Over 3000 demonstrators already in Syntagma to join the demo
16:37 Pic of a demo outside Greek Embassy in Paris, in solidarity with Greeks via @pexlibanis

16:35 Riot police buses outside the parliament. Pic by @thesspirit

16:30 Monastiraki tube station is packed from people going to join the demo in Syntagma sq via @angelosbratis
15:55 Protesters have already started gathering outside the parliament. Pic via @ypopto_mousi

13:53 Bikers' demo just arrived in front of the parliament, blocking traffic flow via @ypopto_mousi

15:51 Journalist  @xstefanou confirms dozens of preventive detentions

13:46 Member of Freedom Flotilla in Greece has been reportedly detained before the demo starts. This is one among other 2 preventive detentions that have been reported. Riot policemen in close proximity to occupied Law School. As mentioned yesterday, police will be guarding in a descrete manner the building since there is an estimation of becoming a shelter for demonstrators in case of trouble. 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.


Thousands of people are expected to gather in Syntagma sq today at 17:00 amid further discussions on the new loan agreement's details. The parliament will vote at midnight -local time- on the new austerity measures needed to secure a second €130bn in return. However Greeks have already been dragged into the downward spiral of financial insecurity -to put it mildly- and they seem like a boiling pot ready to explode. 

Buildings Occupied
Several government buildings in various places across the country have been occupied since Friday, when the general strike was called by the 2 major trade union bodies, GSEE & ADEDI.  The town hall of Cholargos, prefecture premises of Chania, Thessalia, Veroia, Ionio and south Aigaio sea islands to name a few...adding Olympion cinema in Thessaloniki on the list, that took place yesterday. As mentioned earlier in this blog, the School of Law has been occupied by students and citizens, aspiring to become a hub of activities and support amid current anti-austerity demos. For twitter updates follow #rbnews and #12fgr hashtags.


15:22 Here's a recap of the day's main events
  • 6000 police officers on duty for the weekend along with 12 prosecutors on guard
  • Less turnout of protesters than yesterday in Athens (5000+ people), but demos of tomorrow are expected to be bigger.
  • PAME labour union members -affiliated with the Communist Party of Greece- rolled out a big banner in the archaeological site of Acropolis writing “down with the dictatorship of EU monopolies
  • Demos in Athens and Thessaloniki were peaceful. Minor clahses among police officers and protesters took place in Patra though.
  • The town hall of Holargos, a suburb northeast of Athens, remains occupied by citizens for 2 days in a row. An assembly is due at 19:00 
  • Olympion cinema in Thessaloniki is occupied by protesters who will reportedly hold an assembly as well.
  • One man around 55 years old suffered minor injuries as riot police officers repelled the last few demonstrators remaining peacefully outside the parliament at 15:00

15:20 Traffic flow allowed in Amalias ave 
15:07 One man suffering minor injuries as riot police officers repelled the last few demonstrators remaining peacefully outside the parliament
14:57 Riot police officers attempt to repel the few demonstrators remaining outside the parliament 
14:20 Pic of random protesters outside the parliament by @bezestini. Turnout has not been as massive as yesterday although the weather was better, but it is expected to be bigger tomorrow.

14:02 The demo is over and protesters seem to get dispersed, although a few still remain outside the parliament. Riot policemen guarding the parliament. Pic via @thesspirit

13:56 Protesters have occupied cinema Olympion in Thessaloniki via @alterthess

13:44 Video of demo from the city of Patra

13:38 Protesters and full armed riot cops at Syntagma. Drizzling stopped. Pic by @bezesteni

13:20 "We resist against labour & social security rights scrapping" says the banner held by members of  the Federation of Port Workers, in Thessaloniki city, northern Greece. Pic by  @VeriasA

13:19 Banner... pic via @MinPapag

13:05 Upper side of Syntagma sq, outside the parliament via

12:53 PAME labor org members - affiliated with the Communist Party of #Greece - in close proximity to the parliament via @alxarch 
12:47 Demonstrators in Thessaloniki via

12:40 Anarchists rallying in Syntagma
12:20 demonstrators have arrived in Syntagma. Turn out has not been massive via

6000 police officers are expected to be on duty for the anti-austerity demos during the weekend, reinforced by 12 prosecutors on guard. Theιr focus will be on government buildings, banks, uni campus and especially the area in close proximity to the parliament. Tube stations of Panepistimio, Evaggelismos and Syntagma will remain shut. It is estimated that the occupied building of Law School may become shelter for demonstrators in case of trouble. To this end, riot police officers will be guarding in a descrete manner the building since the abolishment of the academic asylum law has sparked resentment and the police is not eager to take full responsibility of handling clashes that may occur inside the campus. Stop-and-search tactics will be employed as well. Follow #rbnews and #11fgr hashtags for twitter updates.



15:13 Riot policemen attempting to repel the last few demonstrators outside the parliament pic by @leuteris
14:47 Random protesters still remain in the upper side of Syntagma outside the parliament 
14:45 Four people suffered injuries today. Two of them were taken to hospital
14:42 Premises of prefecture of Veroia, northern Greece, occupied
14:35 5 protesters have been detained so far

14:28 Minor clashes among protesters and policemen near in Panepistimiou St, central Athens. Pic by @Makissinodinos
14:08 An ambulance has arrived to pick up the injured protester. There are still no reports about his conditions but he remains conscious
14:00 Confirmed: one protester suffering injuries. There is no indication how serious it is though. Pic via @makissinodinos
13:48 The atmosphere in Syntagma square is quite unbearable from chemical use by riot police to repel demonstrators. Protesters tore up paving stones to throw at police lines. There are reports about one person suffering injuries.
13:46 Protester being detained by police via @harrisxan

13:30 Clashes among riot police and protesters broke up in the lower side of Syntagma sq. (Mitropoleos st)
13:24 Riot police and protesters outside the parliament in the upper side of Syntagma  square

13:30 Gallows outside the parliament via @bezesteni

13:09 Members PAME labor organization - affiliated with the Communist Party of Greece have occupied ministry of Labour 
13:06 Pavlos Stasinos, an MP of PASOK socialist party, has resigned

13:02 Cholargos town hall (suburb in the northeast side of Athens) occupied by citizens via @skaigr
12:55 Protesters outside the parliament via @csyllas

12:41 Unpaid workers of ALTER Channel, a private TV station in Athens. The company has fell behind on paying salaries, for months. The number of Greeks who are employed but unpaid has become a widespread problem. via @csyllas

12:39 Left-wing group outside the parliament via @csyllas

12:24 Ministry of Finance occupied by workers via @naftemporiki


GREECE: 22% cut in the minimum wage, 15% cut in complementary pensions and 15.000  civil service redundancies, are the austerity measures -among others- that the coalition government agreed in return for bailout loans, dragging Greek people into the downward spiral of poverty. The country's two major trade union bodies GSEE (General Confederation of Workers) and ADEDY (Civil Servant's union Federation) have called for a 48h general strike, starting today. Anti-austerity mobilizations will take place in various cities across the country which are expected to escalate on Sunday, when parliament will be voting on the terms of the loan agreement. To this end, School of Law has been occupied by students and citizens, aspiring to become a hub of activities and support amid demos of the next days. Follow #rbnews and #10fgr hashtags on twitter for further updates.


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