Photo by our Observer @ypopto_mousi.
While the Greek parliament voted to approve the country’s sixth round of austerity measures
last night, outraged protesters rampaged in the streets. Our Observer tells us that the use of violence is now no longer limited to anarchists and hooligans, ordinary protestors are also turning to violence as their exasperation reaches new heights.
Protesters and riot police clashed late into Sunday night. Police sprayed protesters with tear gas, and a number of protesters fought back by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. Banks and hotels were set on fire, and luxury store windows were smashed. The Health Ministry report that about 50 people were injured.
Amateur videos uploaded online show scenes of urban guerrilla warfare in the very heart of Athens. These clashes are the worst Greece has experienced since the death of a teenager, killed by a police officer, set off riots in 2008.
Police officers on motorcycles drive into a crowd of protesters. Video published on YouTube by Perseus999.
Police officers shoot tear gas at protesters, who fight back by throwing all sorts of projectiles. Video published on YouTube by TheVisehrad.
Protesters shoot what looks like tear gas or smoke bombs on the police. For the first time since the start of the demonstrations, protesters reportedly used flame throwers and firebombs.
“It’s as though a civil war took place last night"
Nikos Karamfyllis is a sales manager in Athens. He followed yesterday’s protests on television.
I felt like I was in Kabul. This morning, the air still reeked of tear gas. There was debris everywhere; whole buildings were charred. It’s really as though a civil war took place last night, or a revolution. I don’t understand why the police let things get so out of control, especially considering that the event had been planned for several days and everyone knew that it was going to get ugly.
A lot of people think, and I count myself among them, that the authorities deliberately mismanaged the situation to deter people from going out and protesting. I don’t know if it’s true, but it has certainly worked. I personally did not go out and protest because I thought it would be too dangerous."
During a protest in the northeastern city of Thessaloniki, police threw teargas on a peaceful protest march. Video published on YouTube bygmezertz.
“A lot of ordinary protesters helped to deface buildings”
Our Observer, who asked to remain anonymous, is an Internet consultant in Athens. He has published several photographs from Sunday’s protest on Twitter
In contrast with past demonstrations, yesterday's protesters were really ready to fight in order to keep parliament from voting. As usual, anarchist from the extreme left attacked storefronts and public buildings. Of course there were hooligans and looters. But this time, a lot of ordinary protesters helped to deface banks and businesses – for example a Starbucks café – because for both old and young, they are symbolic of a common enemy, as they are a part of the current economy.
The police were also more than aggressive. There are a number of videos that clearly show they provoked us to create a situation where they would have the right to use tear gas and other chemical products. Before, people just watched as the police cracked down on protesters. Now, nobody stands by with their arms crossed, which explains yesterday’s clashes. One could say that the Greek people have gone to war against the system."
See more photos by our Observer @ypopto_mousi on Twitter.