As demonstrators gathered to observe the tenth anniversary of the murders of two far-rightists on Wednesday, conflicts between far-right and anti-fascist groups resulted in clashes in Athens, the arrest of a dozen people and many injuries, including police officers.
Following an attack on the far-right Golden Dawn party’s Athens offices that resulted in the deaths of two of its members, anti-fascist groups staged a protest on the tenth anniversary of the attack.
Despite Golden Dawn’s official classification as a criminal organization in 2020, this week’s event demonstrated that the Greek far-right is regrouping, and that the organization’s principles and adherents remain meaningful to many.
Anti-fascist demonstrations were held in Athens’ Neo Heraklion and Pefkakia neighborhoods in spite of a police order prohibiting any kind of gathering.
Following the conclusion of the demonstrations, there were violent confrontations in Monastiraki and Victoria Square, and a civilian was shown being beaten by police in a video that went viral on social media.
Giannis Oikonomou, the Minister for Citizens Protection, called for an investigation.
“Regarding material circulating from an incident in Victoria Square, in which police officers and arrestees are involved, I want to point out once again that Greek police must operate based on the laws and official rules. That is why an urgent administrative examination will be conducted,” he said.
The media reported that later on, in the Monastiraki neighborhood of the city, far-right groups broke into a metro train and set it on fire. Additionally, they harassed and cursed anybody who believed they were from Neo Heraklion.
Police claimed in a statement that two service trucks and boxes, stones, and a fire extinguisher were used by individuals to attack police officers in Victoria Square, causing minor injuries to a few of them.
There were also large-scale conflicts between far-right and anti-fascist organizations at Monastiraki station. An online video purports to show far-right groups in Monastiraki hurling gasoline onto metro cars while wearing helmets in order to set them on fire.
According to police, sixty people were brought in for interrogation and thirteen were taken into custody for different offenses following the clashes in Athens.
Significant precautions had already been made by the police in response to the demonstration. Due to concerns for national security, 21 Italian members of the fascist group CasaPound Italia, who had traveled to take part in the far-right demonstrations, were brought to the Directorate of Foreigners on Tuesday and faced deportation.
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