Sunday , March 26 2023

Both incidents during the great riots of 2008, which almost led to new tragedies


The shots were heard on the night of December 6, 2008 at Exarchate, acted as the cause of an uprising that seemed to “vibrate” for a long time.

The murder of a 15-year-old at the time Alexander Grigoropoulos by a special guardian Epameinonda Korkone there was a spark that ignited an unprecedented explosion of the wick, the sound of which was heard throughout the planet.

However, the conflict that followed in the days that followed could lead to new tragedies. This is because there were two incidents between the many and difficult times of the day, which, although largely forgotten today, could have led to new tragedies and, as is easy to understand, in such a climate, this is going to lead to uncontrollable situations.

These were two moments when the balance allowed dangerous weapons games.

Armed mafia on Alexander Avenue

Sunday, December 7, 2008 Lunch. After a night of fiery obstacles and violent clashes in the center of Athens, thousands of people are gathering at a museum on Patision Street at the initiative of law students to reach Attica Police Directorate General to protest against police violence that led to the loss of a child’s life.

After the spontaneous clashes of the first night, this gathering was the first organized reaction to what had happened. However, this course will never reach its destination. Almost immediately after the march begins, groups of young people come out of the blocks and begin to break and burn everything they find in their path in a coordinated way.

Within minutes, Alexander Avenue resembles a battlefield. The anger is huge. The mats they had a clear order to remain in their positions until the course reached just before the height of Charilaou Trikoupi and there to respond to the episodes and arrest those who caused them. The meeting of the two warring parties creates hell.

It was hardly possible to breathe from tear gas and chemicals, but also from the many and great fires. Protesters manage to reach the corner of the Supreme Court. There were very strong MAT forces that prevented them from moving forward. As a result, incidents and collisions were “diverted” across the region.

At 16:36 in the afternoon at the intersection of Kirillou Loukareos Street with Alexander Avenue, a MAT policeman pulls out a gun and marks the protesters! All a few hours after Grigoropula’s murder, he “freezes” in front of the image of an armed police officer. Next to the bully, a colleague creates a weapon with his fingers, and he also marks a show of immaturity. Protesters, fearing the worst, try to hide behind parked cars.

His photographer is on site Free press Kostas Tsironis, who captures a snapshot. After shouting and realizing that it is perceived, the policeman puts the weapon in his place, fortunately without shooting and leaves the rest of the unit from the place of tension.

The current climate is evidenced by the fact that Mr Tsironis was fired from the newspaper when he clashed with its leadership for reasons that the document was not published the following day. There were many who thought that the newspaper was trying to censor the photographer so as not to throw “oil on the fire”. The photo was distributed to major photo agencies abroad and finally published two days later in a free press.

“Zitades” who shot shortly after Grigoropulo’s funeral

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 was probably the most emotional day. It was a day when thousands of people gathered in the Paleo Faliro cemetery to accompany Alex to his last home.

One can hardly forget the 15 – year – old mother who mourns the loss of her son, and Nikos RomanosGrigoropoulos’ friend, in whose hands he cooled, to be one of those holding a white coffin.

The funeral soon turned into another demonstration against police violence. There was a lot of emotion, and only the intense presence of the police did not work.

When the ceremony was over and the family of the deceased left the scene, the first fiery obstacles were set up and the episodes did not begin long. The more time passed, the more intense and violent they became.

Given that the worst and longest clashes were caused last night rebellion, the police had now received an order for intolerance and a harsh response to the unrest.

Molotov cocktails, stones, blockers, chemicals, tear gas and fast grenades create another day of war. This time, the battlefield is not the center of Athens or Exarchia, but of P. Faliro.

Over time, the intensity of the episodes decreased. At the intersection of Achilleos and Amfitheas streets, a group of about 200 people (mostly students) threw stones at MAT forces, who responded with limited use of tear gas. Then suddenly her motorcycles appeared from Achilleos Street Group “Z”. The drivers stopped, got off of them, approached the assembled crowd and took out their weapons. After the initial “freeze”, people gathered reacted strongly to the image of a child who had fallen dead from police bullets on the day of the funeral and marched against the “Zitades”.

Then, to everyone’s surprise, the police began firing in the air. The incident was also recorded, but this time not by a photographer, but by a camera of the television station “Mega”, which was a few meters away from the scene.

As was perfectly normal, the crowd tried to take precautions in this case as well, and immediately afterwards, the police officers involved in the incident boarded the motorcycles again and left the area.

According to an eyewitness who had analyzed what happened in Mega’s main bulletin, a total of four “Z” police officers shot in the air more than 15 times. Initially, the police reported the shooting of a Group G police officer, but was later forced to admit that he may not be the only one to shoot, but several more, and the exact case was given a sworn investigation.

For the sake of history, it should only be mentioned that in both cases the investigation was carried out by the Romanian HQ Greek police, without responsibility for the police officer.

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