|All not quiet on the 25th of March parade front|
Just as expected, the student parade segment of the 25th of March Revolution day celebrations, did not go down without the presence of much anticipated incidents of public unrest.
Leading up to the celebrations, much had been written and said about state efforts to nullify any protests and protect the celebrations from any form of rioting.
Despite the very strong police presence however, there was plenty of incident, echoing what was seen on the 28th of October and setting a dark cloud over Sunday’s main celebrations and the upcoming military parade.
School and university teachers marched from Stadiou street, shouting slogans reminiscent of the junta era, of course making the connection between the then Papadopoulos regime and today’s Lucas Papademos government.
Riot police formed ranks on the corner of Voukourestiou street, in order to stop them heading closer to Parliament and disrupting the student parade and scuffles ensued.
Numerous complaints were also lodged by members of the public, who accused police of not allowing parents to come close to the parade and watch their children march with their respective schools.
In what has slowly become a fad since the 28th of October parades, numerous school bodies taking part in the parade averted their gaze from the main stand when marching in front of it, as a way of protest.
Minister for Education Yiorgos Babiniotis refused to comment on the incidents, as well as the mass police presence – which greatly exceeded the total amount of students taking part in the parade – choosing instead to focus on the historic significance of the 1821 Greek uprising against Ottoman rule and the role that education played in that.
Tomorrow’s military parade is expected to have the same, if not a larger police presence, with most of the city centre cordoned off, in fear of extensive unrest.
In total, nearly 29 people were led to central police processing for interrogation, but as yet no arrests have been officially announced.