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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-07

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Criminal charges filed in firebomb attacks

  • [01] Criminal charges filed in firebomb attacks

    A public prosecutor on Sunday brought criminal explosives, arson and robbery charges against seventeen people over firebomb attacks and vandalim on the sidelines of a peaceful anti-war march through Athens by thousands of demonstrators from Greece and abroad.

    Misdemeanor charges filed against the seventeen, who included a non-Greek national and a juvenile, were resisting authority, vandalism, grievous bodily harm, and illegal weapons use.

    Joining an estimated 10,000 visitors to the European Social Forum's anti-globalisation meeting that culminated in the protest on Saturday were domestic political parties, trade unions, environmental groups, non-governmental organisations and migrant workers. Demonstrators shouted anti-American slogans to a backdrop of global ethnic music and red flags.

    Commenting on the incidents, Public Order Minister Byron Polydoras said authorities had achieved their targets of welcoming foreign visitors to the Forum's events while cracking down on sidelines violence.

    Amid tight security, the march passed parliament and the US and British embassies, marred by sporadic firebomb attacks near the two embassies after self-styled anarchists who held a separate demonstration skirmished around the main protest, hurling stones at police, slightly injuring one.

    Firebombs were also thrown near the French and Italian missions. Damaged were a branch of ATEbank and a police transport van near parliament.

    Riot police used tear gas to disperse the roaming gangs of youths, who retreated to the central Monastiraki district, smashing shop windows. Officials of the Forum stated that the attackers were not part of the main march.

    Many central thoroughfares and embassy sidestreets were sealed to traffic and pedestrians, and parking was banned from early morning. Eight thousand police were deployed around the city centre.

    "This (the Forum's march) was a major event for the entire Left, for Europe and for social movements....No more Iraq, no more war, and no return to Hiroshima," Alekos Alavanos, head of the parliamentary Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology, told a rally before the main march.

    Earlier, Alavanos called on left-wing political parties and other social movements to unite in a bid to create an alternative Europe.

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