Athens: were demonstrations and police violence avoidable?
Although the government had banned traditional demonstrations because of the pandemic, several hundred people gathered in Athens on Tuesday to commemorate the student uprising of 17 November 1973, including members of the Greek Communist Party KKE. The police used tear gas to disperse the crowds. There were also demonstrations and incidents of police violence in other cities.
Government on its high horse
The government has failed, writes Stelios Kouloglou, MEP from the left-leaning Syriza party, on the web portal TVXS:
“If the government had requested that only symbolic acts - of course in compliance with hygiene regulations - take place on the anniversary, none of what we saw yesterday would have happened: neither police violence, nor 6,000 police officers chasing after 1,500 demonstrators all over Athens, nor all the jostling [and resulting potential clusters of infection] at the police stations or among the riot police (ΜΑΤ). ... But because the government has the support of the vast majority of the media, it believes it can do as it pleases.”
Protagon takes the Communist Party of Greece to task:
“The party members who took part in the event probably sent an SMS with the code of a doctor or pharmacy visit [to be able to go out despite the curfew]. That is bad, and not at all worthy of someone who claims to be part of a struggle. A revolutionary doesn't behave like a scheming member of the petty bourgeois. ... They were in the media spotlight, as they wanted to be. ... But with this action they insulted all those citizens who are respecting the pandemic restrictions.”