Anarchists, police clash in central Athens during anti-war rally

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Tension and battles between Greek police and anarchist demonstrators took place in the centre of Athens, Greece, during the anti-war demonstration of the 4th European Social Forum which is taking place in the Greek capital, from 4 to 7 of May 2006. The march of the approximately 1,000 anarchists ended with clashes between groups of anarchists and police. Riot police used tear gas, while a branch of a Greek bank, a fast-food store and around 50 shop windows in central Athens were damaged.

The anti-war demonstration rally staged by the 4th European Social Forum started today morning with socialist politicians, peace and environmental groups from Greece and all over the world attending. The Synaspismos party, a coalition of Social Movements and Ecology Parties of Greece organized the demonstration.

Thousands of people from Europe, Asia, and America, members of Greek labour unions and non-government organisations took part in the march together with representatives of the Steering Committee. According to the European Social Forum and the organizers, there were approximately 80,000 demonstrators.

A group of youths set off clashes outside the British embassy, the War Museum, the Ministry of Foreign Ministry and the Parliament. They then headed to Ermou Street, where they vandalised several shops. Riot police arrested more than 15 people. Further small-scale incidents were reported shortly after 5pm near the U.S. embassy and the Athens Police Headquarters, when a group of anarchists hurled Molotov cocktails against police officers and cars.