Rioters Rampage through Greece; the World Today VIOLENCE: Mobs Throw Athens and Thessaloniki into Turmoil after Teen's Death

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), December 8, 2008 | Go to article overview
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Rioters Rampage through Greece; the World Today VIOLENCE: Mobs Throw Athens and Thessaloniki into Turmoil after Teen's Death


Byline: By Staff Reporter

RIOTERS rampaged through Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki today, hurling Molotov cocktails, burning stores and blocking city streets with flaming barricades after protests against the fatal police shooting of a teenager erupted into chaos.

Youths wearing hoods smashed storefronts and cars in Athens. Riot police responded with tear gas while the fire department rushed to extinguish blazes.

Several bank branches, stores and at least one building were on fire on a major street leading to the capital's police headquarters. Clashes also broke out near Parliament.

Streets quickly emptied as word of the violence spread. Local media reported several people sought treatment for breathing problems.

Violence often breaks out during demonstrations in Greece between riot police and anarchists, who attack banks, high-end shops, diplomatic vehicles and foreign car dealerships in late-night fire-bombings that rarely cause injuries.

Some believe the anarchist movement has its roots in the resistance to the military dictatorship that ruled Greece from 1967-74. The anarchists often take refuge inside university buildings or campuses, where police are barred under Greek law.

The shooting of the 16-year-old boy that set off the first riots happened last night in Exarchia, a downtown Athens district of bars, music clubs and restaurants that is seen as the anarchists' home base.

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