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Sunday, 16 January 2011

Riots break out in Athens at anti-racism rally (Greece)

Riots broke out in Athens on Saturday at a protest against a planned wall between Turkey and Greece, local media reported.

Left-wing demonstrators clashed with right-wing protesters and police in the Agios Panteleimon area, which has a large immigrant population. Around 3,000 left-wing activists wanted to demonstrate against xenophobia and stage a concert, while extreme-right protesters also gathered to demonstrate.

Left-wing protesters threw stones at the police, while right-wing demonstrators chanted anti-immigrant slogans and threw stones to leftist protesters. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades at the demonstrators to keep the two groups apart.

Hours before the rally, Greece daily Kathimerini published a call on supporters from residents of Aghios Panteleimonas to congregate in their local square to protest against the anti-racism rally. The residents condemned the organizers of the rally as "sold-out trade unionist traitors."

Greece is currently struggling to contain a wave of illegal immigration. Human rights organizations calculate that there are around 500,000 illegal immigrants currently living in the country.

Channel 6 News