Athens riot police set alight by petrol bomb as thousands of anarchists go on rampage

Clashes broke out Sunday during a march to commemorate the first anniversary of the police shooting of a teenager, whose death sparked massive riots.

Police fired tear gas at youths throwing rocks and firecrackers in central Athens, as several thousand demonstrators gathered to mark the death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos.

Violence also broke out in Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city, where youths threw petrol bombs at police and smashed the storefront of a Starbucks cafe.


A protester throws a stone at riot police during a march in central Athens


A riot policeman's clothing catches fire after demonstrators threw petrol bombs at them


Police arrest demonstrators during a massive demonstration commemorating 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos' fatal shooting

Concern was heightened by reports that far-left groups and anarchists from other European countries have traveled to Greece to join the protests.

About 3,000 mostly students, anarchists and leftists began a march to parliament on Sunday and more protests were expected on Monday. An evening memorial service was planned in the Exarchia district, where the 15-year-old was shot dead.

Protesters in central Athens unfolded a banner reading 'Remember, remember, the 6th of December'.

Some dressed in black chanted 'Policemen, Pigs, Murderers'.


Anarchists throw stones at riot police during clashes in Athens


Riot policemen try to drag away a demonstrator, and one of them hits him on the head trying to subdue him


Police carries a detained demonstrator: Police clashed with hooded youths and the rector of Athens university was injured Sunday as violence flared

Greece's new socialist government has deployed more than 6,000 policemen onto Athens streets to avert a repeat of last year's unrest that hit the capital and major cities causing millions of euros of damages.

'It's been a year since police murdered the boy and the government which caused the murder has collapsed but nothing has changed in terms of police brutality,' said Panos Garganas, 63, a university employee.

'We want more jobs, more education and no more police.'

Thousands of people took to the streets and clashed with police hours after the killing of the 15-year-old last year, destroying shops, attacking public buildings and burning cars, in rampages that went on for weeks.

Greek police said about 150 foreign anarchists had arrived this weekend from Italy, France and other European countries.

Police arrested 75 youths on Saturday ahead of the march, including 5 Italians and 1 Spaniard, for carrying wooden sticks or throwing stones at police.


Police officers detain a demonstrator during the protest


Victim: 15-year-old Andreas Alexis Grigoropoulos who was killed on December 6, 2008 by a Greek Police officer in Exarhia


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