Thou­sands rally in Span­ish style

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Thou­sand­sof pro­test­ers gath­ered in Athens’s Syn­tagma Square and cen­tral squares in other ma­jor cities in­clud­ing Thes­sa­loniki and Pa­tra yes­ter­day evening for an­ti­aus­ter­ity demon­stra­tions mod­eled on ral­lies be­ing held in Spain.

An es­ti­mated 10,000 peo­ple crowded into and around Syn­tagma Square for a peace­ful demon­stra­tion, chant­ing, “Thieves, thieves” and mak­ing of­fen­sive hand ges­tures at the un­seen lawmakers in Par­lia­ment be­hind a row of riot po­lice of­fi­cers. An­other 5,000 or so gath­ered in the cen­ter of Thes­sa­loniki.

The few ban­ners in the crowds bore slo­gans that be­trayed no al­le­giance to any po­lit­i­cal party, high­light­ing the ab­sence of unions and as­so­ci­a­tions that usu­ally or­ga­nize demon­stra­tions in Greece. “What time is it? Time for them to go,” one banner read.

The protests were or­ga­nized us­ing so­cial net­work­ing sites in­clud­ing Face­book, fol­low­ing the ex­am­ple of the Span­ish cam­paign that has been driven largely by young peo­ple. The Greek ini­tia­tive even adopted the name of Spain’s, Los Indig­na­dos, with groups call­ing them­selves “The In­dig­nant of Syn­tagma Square” and “The In­dig­nant of the White Tower,” in a ref­er­ence to the Thes­sa­loniki land­mark.

Un­like their Span­ish coun­ter­parts, how­ever – many of whom have been camp­ing out in cen­tral squares for days – most Greek demon­stra­tors did not ap­pear to be in it for the long haul. There were no tents or sleep­ing bags in sight. Still the crowds had not dwin­dled by late last night when the chant­ing of anti-aus­ter­ity slo­gans was bol­stered by a hyp­notic beat­ing of drums.

Crowds of pro­test­ers ral­lied out­side Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day in an anti-aus­ter­ity demon­stra­tion mod­eled on ral­lies that have been or­ga­nized in Spain with the aim of ex­press­ing the in­dig­na­tion of cit­i­zens with­out re­sort­ing to vi­o­lence. The Athens rally drew some 10,000 demon­stra­tors while around 5,000 gath­ered in Thes­sa­loniki.

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