Progressive sections in the Greek capital Athens held a demonstration on March 9, Tuesday, protesting the rise in police atrocities across the country. Greece has been witnessing a widespread police crackdown on various protests being organized by the working class and student and youth groups affected by the COVID-19 crisis. A police attack on residents in the southern Nea Smyrni suburb of Athens on Sunday had triggered outrage across the country.
Thousands of people gathered in the square of Nea Smyrni on Tuesday and subsequently took out a march in the city. The march was organized by trade unions, including the All Workers Militant Front (PAME), various student and youth groups, and parties, including the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
On Sunday, according to a 902.gr report, people protested police attempts to impose fines on families who were out for a walk in Nea Smyrni. The police brutally attacked a young man who had objected to their intimidation. The video of the police attack went viral on social media and been widely condemned.
Nikos Sofianos, member of the Central Committee of the KKE, said that “the big demonstration in Nea Smyrni was a response to the policy of terrorism and the anti-popular policy that go together.” He added that the New Democracy-led government in the country wants to control people who have been “quarantined for a year due to the criminal management of the pandemic by the government.”
An earlier decision by the government to set up a state security division on university campuses had also courted widespread criticism. On March 10, students organized demonstrations across the country demanding the safe reopening of schools and colleges. Students have also condemned the police atrocities and denounced plans for militarizing campuses with police forces.