On Wednesday 6 December, on the 15th anniversary of the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, police will take draconian measures in the center of Athens.
Around 4,000 police officers from all services, security and traffic will be on duty throughout the day as numerous rallies were planned since the morning. Traffic restrictions will be introduced on several roads in central Athens.
4,000 police officers will be on site, and drones will provide visibility to the operations center and headquarters of the Athens Police Headquarters (ΓΑΔΑ).
In addition, a National Police helicopter will fly, and with the help of drones, the operations center and GADA headquarters will transmit all the details from the scene, with the ability to send a task force to the scene of the incident if necessary.
Vehicles with water cannons will also be on alert, and thousands of members of the MAT police squads and motorcycle groups of police from the Action Group (Ομάδες ΔΡΑΣΗ) will be deployed around Exarchia.
It is noted that meetings initiated by students, schools and student associations are scheduled for 12:00, and meetings of trade unions, bodies, organizations and left-wing collectives at 6:00 in the afternoon.
Flowers and messages to the monument of Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Exarchia
Emergency traffic rules
Due to the announced rallies in the afternoon and evening, emergency traffic regulations will be in effect on various roads in the center of Athens. According to EL.AS., they will be introduced gradually and depending on road conditions.
The Attica Traffic Police Department has planned and will implement measures to ease traffic in a wide area of central Athens. As a result, drivers are asked to avoid driving or parking their vehicles in the event area, both for their convenience and to avoid additional traffic issues.
Who it Alexandros Grigoropoulosand why this date is celebrated
On Saturday evening, December 6, 2008, a call was received at the police station in the Athens district of Exarchia, and two police officers responded in a patrol car. Along the way, at the intersection of Mesolongiu and Zavella streets, a group of militant young people, 25-30 people, whose faces were hidden under hoods, blocked their way. They began throwing stones, sticks and bottles at the police car.
In the company of the young people who attacked the police were Alexandros Grigoropoulos along with friend Nikos Romanos (later involved in terrorism and robbery)
After the youths began throwing stones at the police (according to other sources, they were verbally insulting the patrolling police), Korkoneas, who was on patrol with a colleague, fired three times in the air. At the same time, one of the bullets from his machine gun ricocheted off a concrete beam and hit Grigoropolous in the head, which led to the instant death of the teenager.
It is noteworthy that within a few days the “free” but well-paid media “forgot” that Grigoropoulos and Romanos threw stones at the police, interpreting the situation in a completely different way: the evil police shot a child in the chest because they “they politely asked to move away” and threw 10 bottles of water at them.
“Alexis was executed in cold blood. The policeman turned the gun towards where the children were and fired to kill, not to intimidate,” the publication writes. in.gr.
Under public pressure, the court sentenced the policeman who fired the ill-fated bullet to life imprisonment. According to the jury’s verdict, police officer Epaminondas Korkoneas, 39, intentionally shot and killed Alexis Grigoropoulos. A second police officer who was with Korkoneas at the time of the incident received prison time for complicity in the crime. At the same time, many lawyers believe that the police are innocent and have become sacrificial lambs in order to appease the population of the country.
The deceased Alexander Grigoropoulos was portrayed in the Greek media as an innocent victim of police brutality.
Immediately, this tragic news spread throughout Greece, and young people took to the streets of major Greek cities to protest. But these were not silent mournful processions; the backbone of the protesting young citizens consisted mainly of members of leftist movements, anti-globalists, anarchists and simply hooligans who decided to fish in troubled waters.
As a result, the central streets of Athens and Thessaloniki turned into a battlefield between police units and militant youths who smashed and set fire to everything that came their way. Alexandra Avenue and the adjacent streets in the center of Athens suffered the most damage – dozens of burned cars, shops, banks, and car dealerships.
In fact, this incident had been brewing for a long time, and it was not accidental. The author of the publication had a chance to see how the police arrested one of the rioters a few days before December 6. When the young man was taken under the white hands by two fighters of the MAT detachment, he wriggled and screamed like an epileptic, and there was rage in his eyes, like a wild animal. Moreover, 100% of him was released literally after a few hours.
Former police officer Epaminondas Korkoneas, photographed in 2019, after serving 11 years in a maximum security prison.
The two police officers responsible for the death of the teenager were immediately detained by internal security forces and have already given evidence to the prosecutor’s office. Immediately after the incident, Greek Interior Minister Procopius Pavlopoulos and his deputy Panagiotis Hinofotis submitted their resignations, but Prime Minister Karamanlis did not accept it. And the most important thing is that the instigators of the riots were waiting for this. After all, literally 15-20 minutes later, all the anarchists and their sympathizers took to the streets of Greek cities and started a real war.
Anarchists protest on Sturnari Street (Exarchia)
In the days following the death of Grigoropoulos, more than 35 people, 30 shops and 9 banks were injured, and dozens of cars were damaged or burned. More than 130 people suffered material damage. Demonstrators in Athens, Thessaloniki and the island of Crete threw petrol bombs, rocks and other objects at city buildings and at police officers who used tear gas.
Burnt shop buildings
The entire urban center of the Greek capital was in the hands of rioters for a week. The streets of Exarchia and surrounding areas were littered with broken glass. Owners sat at the doors of the shops with tears in their eyes. After all, no insurance will cover their losses. Many were completely ruined. The power of shit (Scatocracy) was called by one of the owners of the Cosmodata store on Sturnari Street. He tried to resist the crowd that was throwing Molotov cocktails at his store, but at the last moment he decided not to tempt fate and ran away. As a result, the store burned down completely and the goods were stolen. A large electronics store, Plesio, also burned down; the 3-story building was burned to the very roof. The streets adjacent to the Polytechnic are covered with tons of stones.
George Street in Athens after the pogrom
The stones were obviously prepared in advance, because on the streets of a modern city it would be difficult to find even 10-20, and collecting several thousand is generally unrealistic. The skeletons of burnt-out cars and garbage cans stand as separate islands.
Polytechnio – stronghold of Athens anarchists
In the Greek capital, many protesters, after clashes with police, took refuge in the local polytechnic institute, to which police forces were deployed. A little later, the young people left the building and joined thousands of anarchists and left-wing demonstrators heading towards police headquarters in Athens.
Behind all the events there is a feeling of good organization and skillful management. Later, a few years later, Greek journalists found facts confirming that behind the anarchists was the then young SYRIZA party, which at that time was actively striving for power. Alexis Grigoropoulos’ mother, the wealthy owner of a chain of jewelry stores, Gina Tsapikyan, also played a significant role in financing the unrest, who decided to take revenge on the authorities for the death of her son.
The protests ultimately contributed to the fall of the center-right government of Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis in October 2009, giving a large following to the then fledgling Syriza party, which took power in Greece in 2015.
— George Mourmouris (@GeorgeMourmour2) December 6, 2022
Disorder on this day became traditional and continued on a large scale until 2022 inclusive. With the onset of the pandemic, the cessation of funding from SYRIZA, as well as the active actions of the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis to liquidate anarchist bases in Exarchia and surrounding areas, the level of rallies decreased somewhat, but already in 2022 it returned to its previous scale, however, the number of pogroms and riots was significant decreased.
Judging by the way the police began to prepare for the events of December 6, the new head of SYRIZA has again allocated funds for anarchists and anti-authoritarian societies, which means riots, burning of garbage cans and fights with the police are expected.