Athens, Greece – A peaceful rally turns into an angered mob as Greek protesters took to the streets of Athens earlier today. 18 people have been detained after the annual rally, which begun at 1 p.m. Tuesday in central Athens.
The annual rally is in honor of the death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in 2008 at the hands of riot police.
The violence erupted after the peaceful march when a large group of youths wearing protective clothing started launching fireworks and throwing Molotov cocktails & flares at police. Authorities quickly retaliated with tear gas and flash-bang grenades.
The rally had approximately 1,500 people who marched toward the Greek capital toward parliament to mark the eighth anniversary of the killing. Greek police had already been on alert for the Remembrance Day, mobilizing thousands of officers and shutting down two central metro stations closest to the protest.
The group of protesters warned residents about what would potentially happen today by leaving notes on the windshields of cars, advising them to remove their vehicles from the area as “the neighborhood is a target of a state military attack.”
However, university students and groups gathered in front of Athens University and proceeded toward the Parliament. This rally, which settled at Syntagma Square, ended peacefully.
The officer who shot Grigoropoulos, Epaminondas Korkoneas, was in 2010 found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to life in prison for the killing. At trial, Korkoneas asserted he had fired warning shots to keep back youngsters who were hurling objects at him and his patrol partner.