|Civil unrest marks Revolution day celebrations|
Despite increased speculation about trouble brewing prior to the military parade in Athens on Sunday, it was not that particular parade that got the authorities scrambling during this year’s culmination of the 25th of March Revolution day celebrations.
In Thesaloniki, citizens scuffled with police officers guarding the main parade stand and 6 individuals were taken into custody. The small throng of people were led by members of Syriza and other political parties from the left side of the political spectrum and voiced their opposition against the Papademos regime and the memorandum.
In Patra, the parade was held up for several hours due to violent clashes between members of the public and riot police. Dozens of protesters marched in the town centre prior to the start of the parade and attempted to approach the dignitary stand that had been set up at the Trion Simahon square.
Riot police used tear gas to disperse the angry mob, but after the atmosphere was once again clear of chemicals, the protesters returned, voicing their opposition towards the Papademos government and the memorandum. Due to the incidents, it was decided that no government representative would be present at the parade, which eventually began just after noon.
The most severe incident of the day, took place in Iraklio, on the island of Crete, where the parade was called off altogther, for the first time in the city’s history. The decision was made after violent scenes of civic unrest convinced local authorities that going ahead with the parade would endanger the students set to take part in it.
Local MPs had perhaps anticipated the brewing troubles as it was noted that no political representatives from any party were present.
In Veria finally, 32 individuals were arrested by local authorities prior to the start of the parade there. A number of them were found to be carrying clubs and other such objects and according to a police representative, there were plans to attack the main dignitary stand.